Author Topic: RAAF retains a flying reserve  (Read 7536 times)

Offline Volkodav

  • Counts rivits with his abacus...
  • Much older now...but procrastinating about it
Re: RAAF retains a flying reserve
« Reply #25 on: January 21, 2015, 09:33:57 PM »
Sounds good! :)

Lightning could be a good choice as a point interceptor over the East coast cities & Darwin, with longer range interceptors operating out of Adelaide & Perth, & maybe a second squadron out of Sydney. Not sure what, though.

Sort of what I was thinking except I also had the idea of Australia flip flopping on the Bristol Bloodhound Mk1 and ordering the Lightning instead.  AA including heavy AA with 3.7" guns had been an Army role in Australia, so it would make sense to keep it in the Army.  Lets say 30 Sqn is planned as the Bloodhound unit but when the government has doubts over its effectiveness, and that of existing RAAF fighter types, against Indonesia's TU16s; so the decision is made to equip 30 Sqn with, initially leased, Lightnings to provide point defence for Sydney and Darwin.  The Army retains the heavy AA role with Bloodhound, Thunderbird or Hawk. 

After 30 Sqn the RAAF reserve could then reequip some of their squadrons with Lightnings or go with a more long term, cheaper, solution, i.e. Mirage, Draken, Super Tiger etc. and longer range F-106 for the regions that require them.  So yes pretty much what you were thinking but chucking more types in there for the sake of build options should I ever pull my finger out and start building again.

So my cobbled up idea, part reality and part make believe, the original plan was two regular long range fighter squadrons in 78 Wing (75 and 78 Sqn with 80 Sqn disbanded in 1946), four reserve interceptor squadrons (21,22,23 and 25 Sqn) and a tactical reconnaissance squadron (3 Sqn), there was also 81 Wing in Japan as part of BCOF (76, 77 and 82 Sqn).  81 Wing was wound down to only one squadron by the start of the Korean War which saw the deployment of the remaining fighter squadron (77 Sqn) and 78 Wing (75 and 76 Sqn) was deployed to Malta, 24 Sqn was formed, 78, 80 and 82 Sqns were disbanded.  Playing with these squadrons, plus 79 Sqn (disbanded in 1945 but resurrected with Sabres in the 60s, Mirages in the 80s and Hawks in the 2000s) for symmetry and 30 Sqn because of its formation with bloodhounds in 1961 gives us a total of fourteen fighter / interceptor squadrons. 

Obviously there is no way Australia could afford the 9 regular units listed but if the reserve is increased in size it may be possible, say home squadrons have a 60:40 regular to reserve ratio verses the reserve units 40:60 ratio and 78 Wing stays in Malta and remains equipped with RAF rather than RAAF aircraft.  Or as each combat wing settled on two flying squadrons, maybe a third flying squadron could be provided by the reserve for 2:1 regular / reserve ratio in the wings. 

Offline Volkodav

  • Counts rivits with his abacus...
  • Much older now...but procrastinating about it
Re: RAAF retains a flying reserve
« Reply #26 on: June 04, 2015, 10:57:54 PM »
oz rb fans gorgeous RAAF DH Hornet would actually fit the post war RAAF structure quite well, instead of the perfectly adequate Mustangs, as the two (later three) regular fighter squadrons were roled as long range fighter squadrons.  The Hornet would also have been a good fit for the tactical reconnaissance squadron while the four (later five) interceptor (reserve) squadrons could have kept their Mustangs or, just for the sake of it, fly something else, Tempests, Furies, Griffon Spitfires, Spitefuls MB5s etc.

One thing that I notice was missing from the real world post war RAAF plans was the tactical airpower that had proven so critical during the war, the Kittyhawks, Beaufighters, Mosquitos, etc. with only the Mustangs being retained in squadron service and as long range fighters and interceptors not fighter bombers with the entirety of the strike capability apparently moved to the long range bomber squadrons.  It is quite ironic then that the Mustangs then Meteors served primarily in attack and CAS roles in Korea and the RAAF fighter force has pretty much always been multirole ever since (yes I do realise that the initial Mirage IIIs were intended as fighters and subsequent batches had an attack role, but they were converted to the same standard later).  Maybe the post war plans could have had an expanded reserve that covered off the tactical mission sets, five squadrons forming a tactical fighter wing, say two fighter attack (Mustang / CA-15), two fighter bomber (Beaufighter / Mosquito) and maybe a night fighter / night intruder (Mosquito) squadron.  Maybe it could have been even more attack orientated i.e. no single engined fighters or fighter bombers at all and Mosquito Fighter Bombers, Beaufighter then Brigand strike fighters and A-26 Invaders.  The single engined fighter bombers and attack aircraft would have served in Army Aviation, RAM and FAA.

Offline Volkodav

  • Counts rivits with his abacus...
  • Much older now...but procrastinating about it
Re: RAAF retains a flying reserve
« Reply #27 on: November 30, 2015, 12:22:10 PM »
Citrus has me thinking I will do my J35F/J as a RAAF Citizen Air Force example (period to be determined)

Back story.

Following Korea and fears the USSR would actively destabilise the region (also Eisenhower's Domino Theory) leads Australia to not only retain butt expand its Citizen Air Force, selecting the SAAB J29 to replace the Mustangs, Vampires and Meteors of the five Citizen Air Force interceptor squadrons while the CAC Sabre became the mount of the Permanent Air Force's fighter squadrons.  120 Tunnans were manufactured under licence by DE Havilland Australia between 1953 and 1960, an initial 50 B models, with the remaindered being built as Es and all surviving aircraft being upgraded to Fs from 1957.

With new generation aircraft, including TU22 Badgers and other modern types, proliferating in the region, the decision was made to expand and rename the Citizen Air Force.  Thus the rechristened RAAF Air Defence Command was expanded to include eight additional squadrons, No 25-29 Sqn's, equipped with DE Havilland  built (1962-67) Convair F-106C and D interceptors, being assigned to barrier defence of Australia's economically critical regions, mining agriculture etc. No 30-32 Sqn's, initially intended to operate Bristol bloodhound surface to air missiles were instead activated as point defence interceptor squadrons and equipped with leased F.1 and F.2 EE Lightnings as they became available from the RAF as newer models were delivered (the Army taking the SAM mission with the much more mobile EE Thunderbird in two heavy AA regiments).  The leased Lightnings were only ever intended as a stopgap until a better type fighter / missile became available however so successful were they in intercepting RAAF and allied bombers during exercises the decision was made to develop and produce an enhanced version for the RAAF the F.8 (built 1968-72) and was retained until the late 90s.  Additionally in 1961, No 33 Sqn was stood up as a in flight refuelling tanker squadron with twelve KC-135 specifically acquire to support the F-106 force, as was No 34 Sqn as an airborne early warning and control squadron with twelve leased EC-121 Warningstars.

As the F-106 and Lightning entered service the decision was made to re-equip the original Citizen AF squadrons with a local version of the superb J35 Draken, built from 1968 to 78, following the Darts and Lightnings.  The KC-135s were retrofitted with underwing hose and drogue pods and the Warningstars were replaced with the Vickers Australia / Grumman developed Vanguard AEWs (E-2 Hawkeye systems, including APS-125 radar), which were continually upgraded through until the early 2000s.

Through the 80's the Darts were replaced by Viggens, Drakens by Gripens in the 90s and Lightnings by Eurofighter Typhoons (as too were the Viggens) during the 2000s, Vanguards by Wedgetails and KC-135 by KC-30.  The original plan had been to replace the Darts with F-14B and the Lightning with the Viggen but the cancellation of the F401 engine, hence the F-14B saw the newer Australian Lightnings, which shared significant dsigned in commonality with the Australian Drakens as well as compatibility with the RAAF version of STRIL 60, being retained.  Both types saw similar upgrade and modernisation programs further increasing commonality.  Similar commonalities were designed into the Gripen and Eurofighter versions, as was, for the first time, a truly multi role capability as the ADC evolved into the RAAF Active Reserve.