||ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE
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RAA-2011-12 WORLD GOVT TRANSPORT FLEETS
AIR FORCE AIR TRANSPORT JET AIRPLANE OPERATOR.
AUSTRALIA (COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA) WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1901, IT COVERS AN AREA OF 7,686,848 SQ KM, ITS POPULATION IS 17.9 MILLION, ITS CAPITAL CITY IS CANBERRA, AND ITS OFFICIAL LANGUAGE IS ENGLISH.
AUGUST 2000: TO ACQUIRE 5 767-200ER'S FROM QANTAS AIRWAYS (QAN) TO REPLACE 707 TRANSPORT/TANKERS.
July 2002: Contract to Virgin Blue (VOZ) for pilot (FC) training for 2 737-700 BBJ's business jets.
October 2002: Boeing (TBC) rolled out the 1st "Project Wedgetail" airplane, a 737-700, one of 4, that will be transformed into an Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) system for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAA) under a program called "Wedgetail" in honor of Australia's native eagle. Both Australia and Turkey have signed billion-dollar contracts with Boeing (TBC) Integrated Defense Systems to develop (AEW&C) systems.
(AEW&C) is part of (TBC)'s vision for an integrated battle space, where real-time information is quickly and simultaneously accessible to airplanes and forces and commanders on the ground, at sea, and in the air.
Following the completion of delivery and flight test activities, the plane will fly to DeCrane Aircraft Systems Integration Group - (PATS) in Delaware in January 2003, for installation of auxiliary fuel tanks. It will then fly back to the NW, where crews will modify the airplane with reinforced fuselage section, that will hold the Multi-role Electronically Scanned Array radar. Provisions for the mission equipment also will be installed.
Flight testing is scheduled for the 4th Quarter 2003, with delivery of the 1st 2 737 (AEW&C) airplanes in February 2006.
July 2003: Qantas (QAN) completed work on the last Royal Australian Air Force (RAA) 707 to undergo "deep maintenance."
October 2003: Boeing (TBC) installed the Multi-role Electronically Scanned Array (MESA) antenna on the 1st of 4 737-700's for Australia's "Project Wedgetail," an airborne early warning and control program. The Northrop Grumman (GRU)-built (MESA) antenna is 35.5 ft long and weighs more than >3 tons. It is the critical sensor aboard the airplane, designed to provide optimal performance in range, tracking, and accuracy.
April 2004: A$2 billion 5 orders (February 2007) A330-200 tanker airplanes to replace the 707's.
November 2004: Boeing (TBC) installed Northrop Grumman (GRU) MESA radar on the 2nd 737-700 for (RAA)'s "Project Wedgetail" (AEW&C) program.
June 2007: The Australian government is not happy with Chicago-based Boeing (TBC). (TBC) is reportedly 18 months late delivering a fleet of 737-700 airplanes Australia wants as surveillance airplanes. "Bloomberg News" reports the Australian Defense Minister said, “I think (TBC) has let the Australian government down … ” The (TBC) contract with Australia is worth approximately $1 billion. (TBC) plans to take charges of approximately $300 to 500 million to cover the delays.
June 2008: 707-338V (A20-624) retired - - SEE ATTACHED PHOTO - - "RAA-707-338C-2008-06."
October 2010: Australia will receive its second of five locally designated KC-30As (A330-Tanker) late this year, with the General Electric (CF6-80E)-powered fleet to be operated by the (RAAF)'s 33 Squadron from Amberley air base, Queensland. The service, which retired its last 707 tanker in June 2008, should receive its remaining examples in 2011 to 2012, according to plans outlined earlier this year.
The military certification receipt will also provide a boost to (EADS) (EDS) North America's campaign for the USA Air Force's 179-airplane KC-X tanker deal. The company's KC-45 submission is largely based on the KC-30A model prepared for Australia. Boeing is offering the smaller KC-767 NewGen Tanker.
Airbus (EDS) Military's order book for the A330 tanker/transport also includes six airplanes for Saudi Arabia, three for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and 14 for the UK. The type has a maximum fuel load of 111t.
Airbus (EDS) Military has flown the second A330-200 to have been modified under the UK's Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft (FSTA) program. Equipped with Cobham 905E underwing hose and drogue refuelling pods, the airplane made a 2 hour flight from Getafe near Madrid on 26 October. "The flight crew (FC) reported that the airplane, its systems, and two Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent 700) engines performed entirely satisfactorily," (EDS) says.
The second of an eventual 14 tanker/transports to be provided under the (FSTA) private finance initiative deal with (EADS) UK-led AirTanker Services, the newly flown A330 will be delivered to the Royal Air Force (RRR)'s Brize Norton base in Oxfordshire in November 2011.
December 2010: The Boeing Company (TBC) will bid a fond farewell to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAA) F-111 strike fighters that (TBC) has supported for more than >14 years when the fleet was retired on December 3. (TBC) has been the prime contractor for the F-111 through-life support activities since 1996.
April 2011: 5th Boeing C-17 delivery. To be used for assistance to Japan with recovery efforts related to March's earthquake/tsunami disaster - - SEE ATTACHED - - "RAA-C-17-2011-04."
The C-17 is the only airplane capable of performing all the airlift requirements — strategic and tactical, military and humanitarian, brigade airdrop and aeromedical evacuation — using either standard runways or short, austere airfields. The C-17 can transport large payloads across vast ranges without refueling and operate in extremely hot and cold climates. With a full payload of 170,000 pounds, a C-17 can fly 2,400 nautical miles and land in 3,000 feet or less.
As a member of the worldwide C-17 “virtual fleet,” C-17s will be supported through Boeing (TBC)’s C-17 Globemaster III Sustainment Partnership, a proven multinational Performance-Based Logistics program. Through the virtual fleet concept, C-17 customers receive comprehensive worldwide logistics support (spares, support equipment, Tech Orders, sustaining Engineering, and on-site field teams) through use of shared resources across the entire fleet. This highly successful program ensures high levels of mission readiness by providing all C-17 customers — regardless of fleet size — cost-effective access to an extensive support program.
There are currently 232 C-17s in service worldwide — 22 with international customers. The US Air Force (USF), including active Guard and Reserve units, has 210. Other international customers include the Qatar Amiri Flight (QAT), the UK Royal Air Force (RRR), the Canadian Department of Defence (DND), the Royal Australian Air Force (RAA), the (UAE) Air Force (UAF), the Indian Air Force (IDF), and the 12-member Strategic Airlift Capability initiative of (NATO) plus the Partnership for Peace nations.
May 2011: The first Airbus (EDS) Military A330 (MRTT) new generation tanker/transport (A39-003) for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) (RAA) has left Madrid on its ferry flight to Australia. Designated the KC-30A in (RAA) service, the airplane is scheduled to arrive at (RAAF) Base Amberley, Queensland on Monday 30 May, and to be formally handed over to the customer.
The airplane is the second converted by Qantas (QAN) Defence Services in Brisbane, which was returned to Madrid for painting and finishing. It will be joined by the second airplane for the (RAAF) in June, and two further airplanes later in the year. The fifth and final airplane ordered by the (RAAF), which arrived in Brisbane for conversion a few days ago, will be delivered next year.
The arrival of the airplane at (RAAF) Amberley air base follows an extensive development and test program for what is the world’s only certified and flying new generation tanker/transport airplane. The Civil Supplemental Type Certificate was obtained in March 2010, and the military certification in October.
In (RAAF) service, the A330 (MRTT) will be equipped with two underwing re-fuelling pods, the fly-by-wire Airbus Military Aerial Re-fuelling Boom System (ARBS), and a Universal Aerial Re-fuelling Receptacle Slipway Installation (UARRSI), enabling it to be re-fuelled from another tanker. It is powered by two General Electric (CF6-80E) engines. It is equipped with a comprehensive defensive aids suite (DAS) and fitted with 270 passenger seats.
October 2011: 737-7ES (33542, A30-002), delivery.
December 2011: The fourth Airbus (EDS) Military A330 (MRTT) multi-role tanker transport for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAA) has been formally handed over to the service, leaving just one airplane of its order still to be delivered.
Known as the (KC-30A) in (RAAF) operation, this particular airplane is the only one for the (RAAF) to have been converted from the basic A330 in Madrid, the others having been converted by Qantas Defence Services in Brisbane, Australia. It took part in the A330 (MRTT) development program and has been extensively renovated prior to its delivery in Madrid.
Following the handover, the airplane will remain in Spain for continued test work and will be transferred to (RAAF) Base Amberley, Queensland later in the year. The fifth and final airplane will be delivered in the third quarter of the year.
The A330 (MRTT) recently underwent successful re-fuelling trials in Australia with an (RAAF) F/A-18 fighter and earlier this month was displayed by the (RAAF) at the (LIMA) Airshow in Malaysia.
It is the world’s most advanced air-to-air tanker and the only certified and flying new generation tanker/transport airplane in existence. It will substantially increase the aerial refuelling and logistical capabilities of the (RAAF).
February 2012: The Royal Air Force Waddington International Airshow, UK is thrilled to announce the participation of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) (RAA) and its Boeing 737 (AEW&C), Wedgetail airplane at this year’s Airshow on 30th June and 1st July 2012.
The Wedgetail, which is the (RAAF) equivalent of RAF Waddington’s own (E-3D) Sentry airplane, is based at (RAAF) Williamtown on the east coast of Australia and will make the flight to the UK, after taking part in a major exercise in Alaska, solely for the airshow. It will be the first time an (RAAF) Wedgetail has been to a UK Airshow since the first airplane was delivered to Australia in 2009, and is a welcome addition to what is shaping up to be a truly international event, at the home of the UK Combat (ISTAR) capability. Based upon Boeing (TBC)’s most successful airliner the 737, the Wedgetail airplane has an endurance of 10 hours without in-flight refuelling and can fly up to 41,000 ft.
Combat (ISTAR), which means Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition & Reconnaissance, is (RAF) Waddington’s primary role, and provides support to allied forces at home for national security and in operational theaters. The combat (ISTAR) theme is an enduring theme for the Air Show and the participation of the (RAAF) (ISTAR) airplane will give visitors the chance to see a different and new type of platform with an (ISTAR) capability. (RAAF) involvement at the Air Show reinforces the strong links between Australia and Lincolnshire, where many (RAAF) personnel were based during the Second World War, and more recently at (RAF) Waddington which has a number of personnel on exchange tours between their respective military Services.
The Wedgetail joins the growing list of international participants, with the news that the Swiss F18 Hornet will make a welcome return after 10 years absence from the show, partnered by the Swiss Super Puma display, which has not been seen in the UK since 2001. More information can be found by visiting the (RAF) Waddington International Airshow at http://www.waddingtonairshow.co.uk.
November 2012: Boeing (TBC) delivered the sixth Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) (RAA) C-17 Globemaster III at the company’s final assembly facility in Long Beach. The airlifter will be assigned to No 36 Squadron at (RAAF) Base Amberley near Brisbane, where it will help meet increased demand for airlift to support military, humanitarian and peacekeeping operations.
Boeing (TBC) has delivered 248 C-17s worldwide, including 218 to the US Air Force active duty, Guard and Reserve units. A total of 30 C-17s have been delivered to Australia, Canada, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the United Kingdom and the 12-member Strategic Airlift Capability initiative of (NATO) and Partnership for Peace nations. India has 10 C-17s on order for delivery in 2013 and 2014.
January 2013: Australia has removed the Wedgetail Boeing 737-based airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) program from its Projects of Concern list following delivery of all six airplanes and achievement in November of initial operational capability (IOC).
The A$3.2 billion/$3.3 billion Wedgetail program was added to the Projects of Concern list in January 2008 because of schedule delays and system performance issues. A remediation plan was agreed with Boeing (TBC) in 2011, resetting (IOC) for 2012.
According to the Australian Defense Materiel Organization’s (DMO) website, the 1st 737 (AEW&C) in fully operational configuration was to be redelivered by (TBC) this month, with final operational capability planned to be declared in 2013.
The Airbus A330-based KC-30B multi-role tanker/transport, NH Industries MRH90 multi-role helicopter and an electronic support measures upgrade for the Lockheed AP-3C maritime-patrol airplane remain on the updated watchlist.
Australia is taking delayed delivery of 5 boom-equipped KC-30Bs and has ordered 46 MRH90s. The (DMO) says 18 MRH90s were to have been delivered by this month, with 3 of them in a rolling retrofit program being updated to final configuration by Eurocopter.
Also removed from the Projects of Concern is the program to acquire EuroTorp MU90 lightweight torpedoes to replace the Mk46 weapons now carried by Anzac- and Adelaide-class frigates, after (IOC) was declared in November.
Previous programs removed from the list after remediation include the Eurocopter Tiger armed reconnaissance helicopter, Lockheed Martin Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile, AAI Shadow tactical unmanned aircraft and Boeing-developed Vigilaire air-defense command and control system.
Australia, meanwhile, in December declared final operation capability with its 24 Boeing F/A-18Fs, and is to submit a letter of request to the USA seeking cost and availability data on an additional 24 Super Hornets as an option to manage delays with the Lockheed Martin F-35.
July 2013: Boeing Defence Australia (BDA), a local subsidiary of The Boeing Company [TBC], has taken over prime responsibility for supporting the Royal Australian Air Force (RAA) E-7A Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) fleet from Boeing in the USA. The move ensures a continued high level of readiness for the nation’s command and control airplane fleet.
Through a contract modification signed by the company and the Commonwealth of Australia, (BDA) will now execute the E-7A Wedgetail In-Service Support Performance-Based Logistics contract, with other Boeing organizations acting as subcontractor.
“This change effectively combines Boeing’s knowledge as the original equipment manufacturer with a talented Australian team dedicated to providing the Royal Australian Air Force (RAA) with low-risk, cost-efficient support for the E-7A Wedgetail,” said Shelley Lavender, VP & General Manager of Boeing Integrated Logistics.
“This is a significant step in the maturing of local industry to support this important strategic capability,” said Air Vice-Marshal Colin Thorne, Head Aerospace Systems Division in the Defence Materiel Organization.
Based on the Boeing Next-Generation 737-700 commercial airplane, the E-7A Wedgetail (AEW&C) provides airborne battle management capability with an advanced multirole electronically scanned radar and the ability to track airborne and maritime targets simultaneously. The crew can direct offensive and defensive forces while maintaining continuous surveillance of the operational area.
The Australian government declared Initial Operating Capability of its 6 E-7A Wedgetail airplanes in 2012. It is now focused on activities to support declaration of Final Operational Capability.
February 2014: Australia will buy eight of Boeing Company’s P-8A Poseidon long-range spy planes for A$4 billion/$3.6 billion, part of a growing trend by Asia-Pacific nations to protect commercial maritime interests as tensions in the region rise.
The purchase is aimed at dramatically boosting Australia’s ability to patrol 2.5 million square km/1 million square miles of marine jurisdiction that include offshore oil and gas interests as well as important routes for energy and raw material supply.
While the order has long been expected, with Australia contributing to the development of the planes, it comes on the heels of China’s first substantial military exercise in the eastern part of the Indian Ocean this month. That has sparked speculation that China too is showing greater interest in protecting its commercial sea lanes in the area.
More than >80% of China’s oil imports transit through the Indian Ocean on Australia’s west coast. Japan, India and South Korea are also dependent on Indian Ocean routes. “The P-8A is a potent and highly versatile airplane,” Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Defence Minister David Johnston said in a joint statement.
“As well as patroling Australia’s maritime approaches, it can conduct search and rescue, anti-submarine and maritime strike missions using torpedoes and Harpoon missiles.”
The sale also provides an important shot in the arm for Boeing (TBC)’s Defence division, where sales have been hard hit by a drop in USA military spending.
The 1st P-8As will be delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAA) in 2017, with all 8 airplanes fully operational by 2021. The order includes the cost of support facilities. Australia also has an option for a further 4 airplanes.
The planes are designed to replace the (RAA)’s AP-3C Orions, which have been in service for more than >40 years, and are expected to be supplemented with a fleet of MQ-4C Triton maritime surveillance superdrones at a cost of around $3 billion.
The Triton, under development by Northrop Grumman (GRU), is the size of a small airliner with a 40-metre/130-foot wingspan. It can cruise at 20,000 metres/66,000 feet for up to 30 hours, sweeping a distance greater than Sydney to London with 360-degree radar and sensors.
This would also provide surveillance compatibility with the US Navy (USN), which plans to buy 68 Tritons when they enter service in late 2017.
Rick Heerdt, Boeing VP and P-8 Program Manager, said the Australian order would help the company better manage any fluctuations in US Navy orders caused by USA budget cuts.
“This helps us smooth out the uncertainty that may or may not come as the Navy phases through budget drills,” Heerdt told "Reuters" in a telephone interview.
Heerdt said Boeing (TBC) expected to receive an initial full-rate production order for 16 planes from the US Navy before the end of the first quarter. “The negotiation is done. We’re just waiting for the money to be released,” he said.
Analysts said the deal would be worth >$2 billion for the company.
April 2015: "Royal Australian Air Force’s Boeing E-7 Wedgetails are Working Well, with System Improvements Coming" by Bradley Perrrett, Aviation Week & Space Technology, April 8, 2015.
In 2006, Australia was so concerned about the Wedgetail airborne early warning and control program, that it had to think of how to keep Boeing (TBC) committed to delivering it. The contract had a fixed price, with damages for schedule misses, that by then were apparent. But the Defense Department was not much interested in compensation. It was fixated on obtaining the capability.
Nine years later, it has it. The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has given a glowing report on the performance of the Boeing E-7 Wedgetail and its Northrop Grumman (GRU) Mesa radar over Iraq in the campaign to suppress the Islamic State. Only a few minor issues now need to be resolved before declaring the six Wedgetails fully operational, probably in the middle of this year, said (RAAF) Wing Cmdr Paul Carpenter.
The type, which became initially operational in 2012 after a development program that ran for 12 years, is already in line for upgrades, notably for the Mesa.
The (RAAF) saids the Wedgetail is performing reliably in Iraq, where it shares the burden of battle-space management with Boeing E-3 Sentries. “We are very happy with the performance we are getting out of the radar and the systems,” said Carpenter, who until late last year led the (RAAF)’s Wedgetail unit, No 2 Sqdn.
Air Vice Marshal Chris Deeble, then the head of the Wedgetail program, would have been delighted to hear those words in 2006, when he told Aviation Week that Australia would reserve some of its rights to compensation to keep Boeing (TBC) motivated. “We cannot afford to get a lesser capability than we have specified,” he said then. “It is a critical part of the way we intend to war fight.”
That way of fighting, not quite spelled out, was and is based on massive collection and dissemination of information, by and between such systems as Wedgetail, the Jindalee over-the-horizon radar, manned and un-manned maritime surveillance and electronic intelligence airplanes and the Lockheed Martin F-35, not to mention data supplied by allies, especially the USA. The campaign to thoroughly network the (RAAF) and its sibling services is now taking a step forward with "Project Jericho," prompted by the planned arrival of the F-35 into service in 2020, Deeble is now running the Australian F-35 acquisition.
In the end, Australia did not get all of the capability that it originally specified. Some items were downgraded or deleted, but it seems that none of the changes greatly reduced the Wedgetail capability. Boeing (TBC) added functions that Australia did not originally ask for—and is now pleased to have. 1st delivery, contracted in 2000 for 2006, did not occur until 2009. The gap understates the program delay, however, because an inordinate three years was then needed to make the airplane initially operational.
Now the Wedgetail is about to be fully operational, but not finally operational. The latter status will probably be reached the day before it is retired, said Carpenter, because the type will always be subject to upgrades. Already, “we still have a huge shopping list of things that still need to go in there, ots more features to work on.”
Upgrades are easier now that signals processing in modern systems is changed by software, not necessarily by switching hardware. “There is an enormous amount of potential in that Mesa radar that is waiting to be unlocked by a whole bunch of ones and zeros,” Carpenter said at the Australian International Airshow at Avalon near Melbourne in February. There are clear paths to upgrading the radar, he added.
Turkey and South Korea also operate the E-7. Although the three countries’ airplanes are not identical, they all feature the Mesa, the active, electronically scanned array of which is mounted on a dorsal fin on the fuselage of the E-7. The airplane is based on the high-gross-weight version of the Boeing 737-700 airliner.
Typically, the Wedgetail deployed to Iraq has flown missions lasting 13 - 16 hrs, including 8 - 12 hrs on station. In-flight refueling, while previously practiced, has become routine. “We wanted the E-7 Wedgetail to take the role of the E-3, not be 2nd-rate, and that worked,” said Carpenter. “We wanted to be plugged into the American system and not be a burden and in fact be an enhancing feature.” Logistics was part of that; the Australians supported themselves.
The deployed Wedgetail began contributing sooner than expected, on its first mission over Iraq in October. On that occasion, the E-3 was supposed to work as an apprentice to a USA Air Force (USF) E-3 in the busy northern sector of the country, so the Australians could learn the ropes before going solo in the southern sector, where fewer allied airplanes needed to be controlled. But the E-3 was unserviceable. The Wedgetail crew was forced to take on the northern sector immediately, putting to use experience gained in an intensive exercise program before the deployment.
The (RAAF) has not previously operated airborne early warning and control airplanes. In Iraq, a particular new task for the Wedgetail crew was the busy and critical one of orchestrating tanking for the airplanes in the zone.
The Wedgetails have been operating in Iraq above >30,000 ft but not at their ceiling, 41,000 ft. They stay above the tankers and tactical airplanes, while U-2s and RQ-4 Global Hawks fly above them. The electronic support measures suite has been used in Iraq.
The (RAAF) and its suppliers appear to have supported the Wedgetail well in Iraq. “Every time we had to replace a component or do some work on it, we had the right people, we had the right parts and the procedures,” said the Wing Commander.
A last-minute addition to the airplane was Internet protocol (IP) chat, which had been due for installation years later, but was rigged up in weeks. The system, running through the Iridium satellite phone system, was used to communicate with the combined air operations center on the ground, with command-and-control airplanes and (UAV) operators. “The Americans used (IP) chat extensively,” noted Carpenter.
Before the Iraqi deployment, a Wedgetail took charge of movements in the search for Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight 370 off Western Australia last year. The order to deploy was received one afternoon and the airplane left its base, (RAAF) Williamtown on the east coast, the next morning. Only 5 workstations had to be manned for that job (compared with all 10 in Iraq or for a big exercise) but the work included the challenge of coordinating Chinese, Japanese, South Korean, New Zealand, Malaysian, USA and Australian airplanes.
The airplane is named after the wedgetail eagle, an Australian bird with unusually acute vision.
May 2015: "Boeing Marks First International Sale of P-8A Training System" By Rob Vogelaar, aviationnews.eu, May 8, 2015.
Boeing [TBC] will provide the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) (RAA) with a complete training system for the P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol airplane under a contract that also includes the sale of 4 P-8A training systems for the US Navy (USN). This combined domestic and foreign military sale further strengthens the growing partnership between the (USN) and the (RAA) on the P-8 program.
The system utilizes simulators to train pilots (FC) and mission crews to operate the airplane, its sensors, communications and weapons systems without relying on costly live flights.
“Boeing (TBC) will deliver a seamless and comprehensive training solution for our customers’ pilots (FC) and mission crews” said Tom Shadrach, Boeing P-8 Program Manager on the Training Systems and Government Services team. “It will prepare them to use the world’s most advanced anti-surface and anti-submarine capabilities for any mission, at any time.”
Boeing (TBC) currently provides P-8A aircrew training devices, electronic classrooms and courseware for the Navy at its 165,000-square-foot Integrated Training Center (ITC) at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, where the goal is to shift majority of the training to the (ITC).
In February 2014, the Australian government approved the acquisition of 8 P-8As and supporting infrastructure to include training and initial spares and support equipment. Airplane deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2017, the P8-A training system is expected to be delivered to Australia in 2018.
July 2015: News Item A-1: Airbus Defence & Space is to provide +2 more Airbus A330 Multi Role Tankers (A330 MRTT) to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAA) under the terms of a newly signed contract. The agreement was announced by the Australian Minister for Defence on July 1st.
News Item A-2: The Royal Australian Air Force (RAA) will acquire 2 A330-200s from Qantas (QAN) later this year ahead of their conversion into KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft at Airbus Defence and Space’s Madrid Getafe, Spain facility. The jets A330-200 (892, VH-EBH & 898, VH-EBI) are currently leased from (CIT) Aerospace (TCI).
"The 2 additional KC-30A aircraft will be delivered in 2018 and provide a substantial increase to the air-to-air refueling capacity of the (RAAF)," the Australian Department of Defense said. “The (RAAF) decided to use these particular aircraft as they are extremely close to the same basic specification as the KC-30As already in service.”
Once conversion is complete, the 2 aircraft will join the (RAAF)'s existing fleet of 5 A330 (MRTT)s.
August 2015: "Boeing (TBC) Receives $1.49 Billion Contract for 13 P-8A Poseidon Airplanes" by (ATW) Rob Vogelaar, August 28, 2015.
US Navy orders 2nd full-rate production lot, including 1st airplanes for Australia.
Boeing (TBC) will provide the 1st P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance airplanes for Australia and additional P-8As for the US Navy, following a $1.49 billion contract award from the Navy for 13 airplanes.
The order includes 9 airplanes for the US Navy and 4 Poseidon airplanes for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) (RAA), a long-time partner to the US Navy on P-8A development.
“By working together since the early stages of P-8A development, the USA and Australia have created 1 airplane configuration that serves the needs of both countries,” said Captain Scott Dillon US Navy P-8 Program Manager. “The USA and Australian P-8As will be able to operate with each other effectively and affordably for decades to come.”
This latest award puts Boeing (TBC) on contract to build the Navy’s second lot of full-rate production airplanes, bringing the US Navy’s fleet total to 62 P-8As. (TBC) has delivered 28 Poseidons to date.
“Delivering premier airplanes on schedule and on cost has become a hallmark of the P-8 program,” said James Dodd Boeing VP & General Manager of Mobility, Surveillance & Engagement. “We look forward to building on (TBC)’s long-standing relationship with Australia by providing the quality, value and capability of the P-8A.”
Based on Boeing’s Next-Generation 737-800 commercial airplane, the P-8A offers the worlds’ most advanced anti-submarine, anti-surface warfare and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities. The Navy has deployed the 1st 2 P-8A patrol squadrons since operations started in 2013.
Australia’s participation in the P-8 program began in 2009 when the government signed the 1st in a series of memorandums of understanding to work with the US Navy on system design and development. The US Navy and the (RAAF) also established a joint program office that operates at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland.
Production of the 1st Australian P-8A will begin later this year, with delivery to the (RAAF) scheduled for 2016. Boeing (TBC) will also provide the (RAAF) with a complete training system for the P-8A, using simulators to train pilots (FC) and mission crews to operate the airplane, its sensors, communications and weapons systems without relying on costly live flights.
February 2016: News Item A-1: "Boeing to Provide P-8 Poseidon Training Systems to Royal Australian Air Force", by aviationnews.eu, February 3, 2016.
The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has selected Boeing (TBC) to provide service with P-8 maintenance training devices. This is the 1st international sale of P-8 maintenance training equipment currently used by the US Navy (USN) for its P-8A Poseidon fleet.
The (RAAF) virtual trainers were purchased through the US Navy and (RAAF) Cooperative Program and will be used to train P-8 maintenance personnel (MT) starting in early 2018. "This provides the (RAAF) with the ability to train its maintainers on more than >1,400 maintenance procedures using the Boeing provided suite of devices," said Tom Wagner, Boeing's P-8 Maintenance Program Manager. (RAAF) maintainers will be able to practice at great length before they are required to perform maintenance on the actual P-8A airplanes."
The maintenance training devices provide interactive, high fidelity simulations based on actual mission systems software, while the hardware-based trainers are full-scale replicas of airplane components.
Earlier this year, the (RAAF) ordered a Boeing P-8 aircrew training system for training pilots (FC) and mission crews to operate the airplane, its sensors, communications and weapons systems.
In February 2014, the Australian government approved the acquisition of 8 P-8A airplanes with an option for +4 more. That contract included training and initial spares and support equipment. Boeing plans to begin delivering the airplanes in late 2016 and the P-8 training system in 2018.
Boeing Aerostructures Australia manufactures ailerons for 737 series airplanes and their derivatives, including the P-8.
September 2016: News Item A-1: The Boeing military first P-8 Poseidon anti-submarine airplane (based on the 737 commercial jet) destined for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) rolled out on September 27. It will deliver on time and under budget. The (RAAF) P-8 is their 1st of 12, and is the 60th flying P-8 built. The US Navy (USN) has already taken 6 flight-test P-8s and 45 production airplanes. They have been deployed on intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions in the western Pacific, the Mediterranean, and North Atlantic. The Indian navy took 8 P-8s. Boeing also built 2 ground-test planes at the program's outset.
Between 1,000 and 1,300 defense-side employees work on the P-8 program in Seattle, with hu8ndreds more staffing the P-8 assembly line in Renton. 12 of the jets are produced per year now and will increase to 18 per year. The UK ordered 9 P-8s at the last Farnborough Air Show in July.
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RAA-2011-12 - FLEET
RAA-737 WEDGETAIL - 2013-01
RAA-KC-30B - 2015-07.jpg
RAA-P-8A Poseidon - 2015-08.jpg
0 707-338C (JT3D-3B) (671-19623, /68 A20-623 "CITY OF SYDNEY;" 689-19624, /68 A20-624 "RICHMOND TOWN," RETIRED 2008-06 - - SEE ATTACHED PHOTO - - "RAA-707-2008-06;" 707-19627, /68 A20-627; 737-19629, /68 A20-629 "WINDSOR TOWN"), EX-(QAN)/(WWC), (QAN) MAINTENANCE. 19623 PARTED OUT 2001-05. ALL RETIRED JUNE 2008. VIP, TANKER.
1 707-368C (JT3D-3B) (919-21261, /76 A20-261), EX-(SVA), (QAN) MAINT, VIP/MILITARY TRANSPORT.
6 737-7AJ (CFM56-7B) (33542, N358BJ) (AEW&C) WEDGETAIL.
1 737-7DF BBJ IGW (CFM56-7B) (30790, A36-002) WINGLETS. BBJ.
1 737-7DT BBJ IGW (CFM56-7B) (30829, A36-001). WINGLETS. BBJ.
1 737-7ES (CFM56-7B) (33542, A30-002), 2011-10.
0 767-200ER, EX-(QAN) 2000-08, 5 CANCELLED.
5 BOEING C-17 TRANSPORT, 5TH DELIVERY 2011-04 - - SEE ATTACHED - - "RAA-C-17-2011-04."
8/4 ORDERS BOEING P-8A POSEIDON SURVEILLANCE, RECONNAISSANCE & ENGAGEMENT.
9 LOCKHEED C-130H TRANSPORT.
12 LOCKHEED C-130J TRANSPORT.
5 +2 ORDERS A330-203 (MRTT) (KC-30A) (CF6-80E1) (A39-003, 2011-06) TANKERS/272 PAX, TWO CLASS.
5 DASSAULT FALCON 900 (TFE731-5A-1C2) (70, /89 A26-070; 73, /89 A26-073; 74, /89 A26-074; 76, /89 A26-076; 77, /89 A26-077), VIP/MILITARY TRANSPORT.
AIR VICE MARSHAL CHRIS DEEBLE, HEAD BOEING E-7 WEDGETAIL PROGRAM
WING COMMANDER, PAUL CARPENTER, BOEING E-7 WEDGETAIL PROGRAM, N0 2 SQDN.
WING COMMANDER KOLLIOS, COMMANDING OFFICER 33 SQUADRON (2000-04).