Acceptance of Fifth and Final KC-30A MRTT Aircraft
Minister for Defence Stephen Smith and Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today announced Defence’s acceptance of the fifth and final KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft. The aircraft was delivered to Defence at the Airbus Military MRTT facility at Madrid, Spain last week.
This aircraft, to be designated A39-005, is the fourth aircraft to be converted in Australia from a commercial A330 airliner to a state-of-the art military tanker by Qantas Defence Services (QDS) at Brisbane Airport. One aircraft was modified in Spain, and remains in Spain for testing of the Military avionics and boom refuelling systems.
The final aircraft completed Australian conversion in July 2012 before being flown to Europe by Airbus Military to undergo painting and final preparation for delivery.
The aircraft will now be flown back by an all Australian crew to its home base at No. 33 Squadron at RAAF Base Amberley.
The excellent performance of the aircraft and crews at the recent Pitch Black exercises in Darwin has shown the good progress that has been made on the KC-30As.
Australia is the lead customer of the MRTT aircraft which integrates a new Advanced Refuelling Boom System and pod based hose and drogue refuelling system into a commercial Airbus A330 to create the world’s most advanced tanker aircraft.
Defence gets new Tugs
Two new East Coast Tugs have arrived in Australia to replace MSA Bandicoot and Wallaro.
The new tugs will be named Elwing and Waree following a tradition that they are named after tugs that previously served in the Royal Australian Navy.
The new tugs mark the start of transition from Bandicoot and Wallaroo to a new tug capability that will allow the Navy to provide a greater level of tug service to their own vessels as well as visiting ships.
The new tug capability is on track to achieve an Initial Operational Capability (IOC) to provide support to visits by nuclear-powered warships (NPW) before the end of the year.
The transition process is expected to finish by the end of February next year, with the achievement of Final Operational Capability.
The original Elwing was built at Rockhampton in 1933 and purchased by the Navy in 1943. She operated in Port Moresby before being sold out of service in May 1949.
The original Waree was commissioned in 1942 and served in Port Moresby and Northern Australian waters. She was paid off in 1946 and was returned to her owners, Waratah Tug & Salvage Co.
On achievement of IOC the Government will initiate disposal arrangements for MSA Bandicoot and Wallaroo.
Phased Array Radar In Service Support Contract Signing
Minister for Defence Stephen Smith and Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare, today announced the signing of a contract with CEA for the In Service Support (ISS) of the Phased Array Radar currently being installed on the Royal Australian Navy’s eight ANZAC Class Frigates.
The Phased Array Radar is the new technology and equipment that underpins the Anti Ship Missile Defence (ASMD) Project.
This AMSD upgrade will enable the Navy’s eight Anzac Class ships to identify, track and guide missiles to multiple targets simultaneously instead of the current single target capability.
The initial three year ISS contract provides through life maintenance support for the advanced, fourth generation fully digital active radar developed by CEA.
It also covers developing, maintaining and enhancing skill sets and capabilities, including training on-board Navy technicians.
The ISS contract will initially support HMAS Perth, which has already been successfully upgraded with the Phased Array Radar.
The upgrade of HMAS Perth as the lead ship for the ASMD program was successfully completed last year.
Following exhaustive testing, including in the United States, the Chief of Navy agreed to the operational release of the system in July 2011.
The total project cost is in excess of $650 million for the upgrade of all eight ANZAC Class Frigates.
The Government, late last year, approved the installation of the system on the remaining seven ships of the ANZAC Class by 2017.
King Air Simulator
Minister for Defence Stephen Smith and Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today announced that CAE Australia (CAE) will provide Hawker Beechcraft King Air 350 simulator training services in Sale, Victoria.
CAE will establish a full-flight simulator of the King Air 350 operated by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).
The King Air 350 is a modern glass cockpit, twin-engine turboprop with two front seat crew and capable of carrying up to four backseat crew or nine passengers.
The King Air is used to train students for low-level tactical fast-jet operations and maritime surveillance operations. Low-level tactical and maritime training flights are typically conducted 250 to 1000 feet above ground level.
The contract, worth $14.2 million, will provide over 1,500 simulator hours each year through to the planned withdrawal of the King Air 350 in mid-2018.
CAE will also build the facility to house the simulator and provide training which is currently undertaken in the United States. This training has been done in CAE’s Dallas Simuflite Training Centre because of a lack of such a facility in Australia.
Simulation is an increasingly important method of training for Defence personnel as combat systems become more complex.
Using simulator services in Australia will mean a greater training capability for the RAAF and savings of both time and money.
The simulator will be used by the RAAF’s No. 32 Squadron and the School of Aviation Warfare to train pilots, air combat officers and Royal Australian Navy observers at RAAF Base East Sale.
The procurement of King Air Simulator Services is an important capability addition in the training of Australian Defence personnel.
The simulator and facility will be owned and operated by CAE Australia.
Mr Smith's Office : Sacha Fenton (02) 6277 7800 or 0467 784 528
Mr Clare's Office : Annie Williams (02) 6277 7290 or 0428 040 522
Defence Media Operations : (02) 6127 1999