Author Topic: THE REVISED AUSTRALASIAN DEFENCE FORCE AIR CAPABILITY  (Read 1451 times)

Offline ScranJ51

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THE REVISED AUSTRALASIAN DEFENCE FORCE AIR CAPABILITY
« on: February 19, 2018, 09:05:11 AM »
(This concept was inspired by the Greater Australia story line, and I asked GTX Admin would he mind if I did this project.  Note that the options/opinions here are mine and mine alone.  Some units use correct marking, others are fictitious.  Also, there may be weapons loads etc that are not capable of being used - the Eagles carrying a mix of ASRAAM and AIM-9 for example - for the purpose of this exercise the technical issues and interfaces have been resolved.)

(the builds here are all - 1/72nd.  They are basically the fast jet fleets and most of the Helo fleets in the case of the Army.  I do have CH-47 and NH-90 kits I may build and add later.)

ALTERNATIVE AUSTRALASIAN AIR FORCES

In the 70’s, the RAAF ran an evaluation of aircraft to be considered as a Mirage replacement.  I was a controller at Williamtown in 1976-79, and during that time we had a visit from an F-15 prototype as (then) McDonnell Douglas pushed the F-15 as an option.  While history tells us the RAAF eventually selected the F/A-18A Hornet, what if the RAAF (and indeed the rest of the ADF) considered other options for a much larger (and more capable) ADF air fleet?

Units/Types (read as type, unit, role, establishment)

RAAF
82 Wing
   
F-15E Strike Eagle   1 SQN   Strike   16
F-15E Strike Eagle   6 SQN   Strike   16
F-111E   2 SQN   Recce   8
EF-111   2 SQN   EW   6
RQ-1 Predator   5 SQN   Surveillance/Recce   10
5OTU   Strike Eagle Conversion   10 F-15E

81 Wing   
F-15C   75 SQN   Fighter   16
F-15C   77 SQN   Fighter   16
F-16CJ   3 SQN   Multi-role/SEAD   16
F-16C   76 SQN   Multi-role   16
F-16C   79 SQN   Multi-role   16

78 Wing   
A-37B   4 SQN   FAC – expanded 4 Flight   14
F-16D/F-15D   2OCU   Fighter Conversion   10 x F15D, 16 x F-16D
Hawk 100   25 SQN   Lead-In Fighter Training   40
F-16A   ROULETTES   Air Display team   7 (6 x A and 1 x B)

Pilot Training   
Hawk   2 FTS   Training   90


RAN

CAW-1   HMAS AUSTRALIA
F-14 Tomcat   VF-805   Fighter, Recce   24
A-7E   VA-850   Strike   20
A-6E   VA-851   Strike   16
EA-6B Prowler   VAQ-852   Electronic Warfare   6
E-2 Hawkeye   VAW-808   Air Surveillance   6
S-3A Viking   VS-809   ASW, Anti-Ship   6
S-70B, MH-60R Sea Hawk   HS-723   ASW, utility   6/6

AW-2      Ashore/LHD’s
Sea Harrier FRS-1   VF- 816   Fighter   12
AV-8B Harrier   VF-817   Strike, CAIRS   12
NH-90    HS-722   Utility Transport   12

Training Wing   
VC-724 SQN (Fighter)   6 x F-14, 4 x Sea Harrier, 6 x AV-8B
VC-725 SQN (Strike)   4 x A-7, 3 x A-6, 2 x EA-6B

ARMY
1 AVN Regiment   

OV-1 Mohawk   172 SQN   Surveillance   8
OV-10D Bronco   173 SQN   FAC, Recce   20

5 AVN Regiment   
S-70A Black Hawk   A SQN   SF Transport/Support   30
NH-90   B SQN   Transport   50
CH-47F CHINOOK   C SQN   Transport   20

6 AVN Regiment   
AH-1S   161 SQN   ARH   24
AH-64D   162 SQN   Firepower   20

ADF Helicopter School   
Army Helicopter Training   Contractor supplied Aircraft

RNZAF
1 Wing
   
F-20 Tigershark   26 SQN   Multi-role   16
F-5E   16 SQN   Light Fighter   20
RF-5E   15 SQN   Recce   10

2 Wing   
F-18   2 SQN   Fighter   16
F-18   75 SQN   Fighter   16

3 Wing (Training)
Operational Conversion (1SQN)   4 x F-18A, 4 x F-18B, 4 x F-20B, 2 x F-5E, 2 x F-5F

PILOT TRAINING

With the significant number of jet aircraft entering the ADF inventory, instead of the proposed PC-9 to replace the Macchi, the decision was taken to acquire the Bae Hawk, to provide an all-through jet pilot training course (previously trialled by the ADF on the Macchi).  2FTS also provided pilot training to the RNZAF by way of the RNZAF “purchasing” sufficient hours for their needs from the ADF and supplying instructors to the combined effort.

Given the nature of aircraft selected, RAN Pilots continued to complete the RAAF 2 Flying Training School (2FTS) syllabus along with their RAAF colleagues, while Army Pilots completed the initial flying training assessment at Tamworth before commencing rotary-wing training at the ADF Helicopter School (utilising contractor provided aircraft) while those selected for the OV-10 and OV-1AU complete conversion training with the relevant Squadron. 

On completion of 2FTS, graduates for Multi-engined aircraft (C-130, C-17, P-3, Wedgetail etc.) are posted to their squadron for conversion training, while those selected for fast jet (including Navy pilots) remained in Pearce for Lead-In Fighter Training (LIFT) with 25 SQN on Hawk 100 aircraft. Navy pilots selected for rotary wing are posted to the ADF Helicopter School for rotary wing training then direct to their selected unit for conversion training. The advantage of this collocation of flying training and LIFT places all Hawk maintenance at one location. 

On completion of LIFT, RAAF fast jet pilots selected for fighters are then posted to 2 Operation Conversion Unit (2OCU) for training on the F-16 or F-15 depending on their selection/ADF requirements.  Attack pilots and Air Combat Officers for the Strike Eagle Squadrons are posted to 5 Operational Conversion Unit (5OCU – remembering 5 Operational Training Unit that trained Beaufighter, Boston and Mosquito crews in WW2 and Mustang and Sabre pilots later) for conversion onto the Strike Eagle.  RNZAF fast jet pilots are posted to the NZ Operational Conversion Squadron (No 1 Shadow Squadron) for training on their type.

2 Flying Training School Hawk

Hawk-01 by David Freeman, on Flickr

Hawk-02 by David Freeman, on Flickr

25 Squadron Hawk 100
The Hawk’s used for LIFT can carry AIM-9 missiles for training sorties as well as ACMI instrument pods.  The aircraft here is equipped with the centre-line gun pod.


Hawk-25-03 by David Freeman, on Flickr

Hawk-25-01 by David Freeman, on Flickr

Hawk-25-02 by David Freeman, on Flickr
« Last Edit: February 20, 2018, 12:52:56 PM by ScranJ51 »
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Offline ScranJ51

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Re: THE REVISED AUSTRALASIAN DEFENCE FORCE AIR CAPABILITY
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2018, 09:15:08 AM »
Royal Australian Air Force

THE STRIKE FORCE

Given 5 OTU is tasked with Strike Eagle conversion training, both 1 and 6 Squadrons are operational in deep strike and interdiction in both the land and maritime environment.  The reconnaissance role initially envisaged for 6 Squadron was indeed undertaken by F-111 aircraft, but by a re-roled 2 Squadron (who rather than take on the AWACS role – picked up their earlier tasking from Canberra days) who, in addition to reconnaissance with modified ex-USAF F-111E aircraft, also took on the Electronic Warfare (EW) role for the RAAF utilising several ex-USAF EF-111 aircraft.  Aircrew for the F-111 fleets have normally completed a tour on the Strike Eagle, and conversion to their F-111 type is managed by 5OTU “borrowing” F-111 airframes as required. Lastly, 5 Squadron was raised to operate the Remotely piloted RQ-1 Predators, which only have a surveillance/reconnaissance role, and do NOT carry Hellfire missiles.

1 Squadron F-15E
The aircraft is seen equipped for an “swing” mission, carrying both GBU-38 JDAM’s for precision strike, as well as Mk-20 Rockeyes for targets of opportunity or support to ground troops.  The aircraft carries 2 AIM-120 AMRAAM’s and 2 AIM-9 Sidewinders for self-protection.  The aircraft is also fitted with LANTRIN AN/AAQ-13 Navigation and AN/AAQ-14 Targeting Pods.

1sqn-03 by David Freeman, on Flickr

1sqn-02 by David Freeman, on Flickr

1sqn-01 by David Freeman, on Flickr

2 Squadron F-111E
The F-111E’s tasked with reconnaissance are equipped with camera’s mounted internally in the gun bay.

RF-111C-2 by David Freeman, on Flickr

RF-111C-1 by David Freeman, on Flickr

2 Squardon EF-111

EF-111-2 by David Freeman, on Flickr

EF-111-1 by David Freeman, on Flickr

5 Squadron RQ-1 Predator
The RQ-1 Predator’s used by the RAAF are used only for reconnaissance and are not capable or, nor fitted for, the carriage of Hellfire missiles or other stores.

5flt-02 by David Freeman, on Flickr

5flt-01 by David Freeman, on Flickr

6 Squadron F-15E
The aircraft shown here is configured for a strike mission, and carries 2 GBU-31 and 4 GBU-38 JDAM’s, 2 HARM Anti-Radiation Missiles, as well as AIM-120 and AIM-9 missiles for self-defence.  The aircraft also carries LANTRIN AN/AAQ-13 Navigation and AN/AAQ-14 Targeting Pods.


6RAAF-02 by David Freeman, on Flickr

6RAAF-01 by David Freeman, on Flickr

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Offline elmayerle

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Re: THE REVISED AUSTRALASIAN DEFENCE FORCE AIR CAPABILITY
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2018, 09:20:09 AM »
Would the F-14s be F-14As that would be upgraded, especially with new engines, later, or would they be either F-14A+/B or F-14D aircraft?  If you went with the former, the competition to re-engine them, as well as upgrade their systems, could get interesting, particularly if the same engine could be retrofitted to the F-111s and EF-111s as well.

Offline ScranJ51

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Re: THE REVISED AUSTRALASIAN DEFENCE FORCE AIR CAPABILITY
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2018, 09:30:17 AM »
THE FIGHTER FORCE

The RAAF decided to create a HI-LO mix of fighter units, with two HI units (75 and 77 SQNs) operating the F-15 in pure fighter roles, while the LO units (3, 76 and 79 SQNs) operate the F-16 in multi-role tasking, with the Squadrons operating in both fighter and strike/ground attack roles as required. The F-15 squadrons concentrate on air-to-air tactics, while 3 Squadron picks up the specialised role of SEAD thanks to their F-16CJ aircraft.

Training for the fighter squadrons is conducted by 2 Operational Conversion unit, which trains both F-15 and F-16 pilots.

To support the F-16 Squadrons in their close air support role, a dedicated squadron (4 SQN) was raised, equipped with A-37B aircraft.  The squadron took on predominately the Forward Air Control (FAC) role, while the squadron is also capable of providing close air support to ground units.  Given the role of 4 Squadron, pilots selected for this squadron have previously completed a tour on F-16 (or in some cases Strike Eagle) prior to their posting to this unit.

3 Squadron F-16CJ
3 Squadron is the primary Suppression of Enemy Air Defences (SEAD) unit within the RAAF.  The aircraft shown here is equipped with 2 AGM-88 HARM missiles, a AN/AAQ-33 Sniper Targeting pod and the AN/ASQ-213 Harm Targeting System pod, along with AIM-120 and AIM-9 missiles for self-defence.

F-16CJ-02 by David Freeman, on Flickr

F-16CJ-01 by David Freeman, on Flickr

4 Squadron A-37B
Mainly used in the FAC role, the A-37B’s can also provide a level of CAIRS if/as required.  The aircraft seen here is equipped with 2 Mk-20 Rockeyes and 2 250KG GP bombs.

A-37B-2 by David Freeman, on Flickr

A-37B-1 by David Freeman, on Flickr

75 Squadron F-15C
The Eagles of both 75 and 77 Squadrons can carry a mix of AIM-120, AIM-9X or ASRAAM missiles on their air defence duties.  Here the Eagle carries the three types.

F-15C-75-2 by David Freeman, on Flickr

F-15C-75-1 by David Freeman, on Flickr

76 Squadron F16C
The Viper’s of 76 Squadron are used in the full range of strike, interdiction and Close Air Support roles.  The aircraft here is configured for strike/interdiction with a mix of GBU-31 and GBU-38 JDAM’s as well as AIM-9X and AIM-9M missiles for self-defence, plus a SNIPER targeting pod.

F-16C-76-01 by David Freeman, on Flickr

F-16C-76-02 by David Freeman, on Flickr

77 Squadron F-15C
Note the Eagle here is carrying only ASRAAM’s for short-range engagements unlike the 75 Squadron Eagle above.

F-15C-77-03 by David Freeman, on Flickr

F-15C-77-02 by David Freeman, on Flickr

F-15C-77-01 by David Freeman, on Flickr

79 Squadron F-16C
Like 76 Squadron, 79 Squadron is multi-role across the full range of strike, interdiction and Close Support missions. Here the aircraft carries 2 GBU-10 bombs’ and a SNIPER pod in addition to AIM-9 self-defence missiles.


F-16C-79-03 by David Freeman, on Flickr

F-16C-79-02 by David Freeman, on Flickr

F-16C-79-01 by David Freeman, on Flickr

2 Operational Conversion Unit F-16D Viper and F-15D Eagle
The Viper’s from 2 OCU can carry all weapons used by the Viper fleet to provide training for the RAAF’s F-16 crews.  The aircraft shown here is on a strike training mission with GBU-10’s and a SNIPER pod as well as self defence missiles.

F-16B-1 by David Freeman, on Flickr

F-16B-2 by David Freeman, on Flickr

The F-15D is configured for a general Air-Combat Manoeuvring (ACM) or Air Combat Tactics (ACT) sortie carrying a mix of AIM-9 and AIM-120 plus an ACMI pod.

2OCU F15D-3 by David Freeman, on Flickr

2OCU F15D-2 by David Freeman, on Flickr

2OCU F15D-1 by David Freeman, on Flickr

The Roulettes: For a long period, the RAAF display team had utilised aircraft from the training system to provide an aerobatic display team.  With the increased capability of the ADF, a higher profile was considered appropriate, so a specific display team was developed, based within 78 Wing and utilising F-16 aircraft.  Pilots for the display team have completed a tour on F-16, F-15 or F-15E prior to selection for a 2-year posting to the display team.

F-16A-r-2 by David Freeman, on Flickr

F-16A-r-1 by David Freeman, on Flickr
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Offline ScranJ51

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Re: THE REVISED AUSTRALASIAN DEFENCE FORCE AIR CAPABILITY
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2018, 09:48:30 AM »
Royal Australian Navy

After the retirement of the A-4 from RAN service, the Navy had long argued that proper coverage of the Fleet could not be provide by the RAAF.  Despite the quantum leap in capability provided by the expanded Fighter Force, the RAAF agreed that the expanded RAN should have their own fixed wing component.

Surprisingly, the USN, cognizant of their reduced coverage/capability within the Pacific also vocally joined the discussion, and offered the USS NIMITZ to Australia at a nominal figure (plus providing on-going maintenance support at almost no cost) as an incentive.

The sale of the USS NIMITZ to Australia allowed the RAN to plan for an integral air component to operate from this ship.  Unlike the US Carrier Air Wings, the RAN decided to operate only 4 fast-jet squadrons from the HMAS AUSTRALIA (as NIMITZ was renamed), albeit each squadron being significantly larger than a US counterpart.

The fighter element of the RAN’s air wing is VF-805 operating 24 ex-USN F-14A Tomcat aircraft.  VF-805 consists of two flights of 10 aircraft, with a third flight operating 4 TARP capable aircraft to provide a reconnaissance capability.

The attack element of the air wing is provided by two squadrons, VA-850 with 20 A-7E Corsair II aircraft, and VA-851 operating 16 A-6E aircraft, all ex-USN stock.  Both squadrons provided 1 or 2 aircraft as tankers depending on the requirement.

Additional capabilities for the RAN’s primary wing are provided by VA-852, operating 6 EA-6B Prowler aircraft (again ex-USN stock) in the electronic warfare role, VAW-808 operating 6 ex-USN E-2C Hawkeye aircraft for air surveillance, and VS-809 conduction outer ASW operations with 6 Ex-USN S-3A Viking aircraft.

Completing the air wing is HS-723, operating a mix of S-70B Sea Hawk ASW aircraft and utility MH-90R aircraft.

CAW-1

VF-805 F-14 Tomcat
The Navy’s Tomcat are used only in the air defence role, and can carry the same mix of weapons used by the USN.  Here the aircraft is carting two AIM-154 Phoenix missiles, one AIM-7 Sparrow on the centreline and 2 AIM-9 missiles on the chin mounts.
(A models for whoever asked)

f14-03 by David Freeman, on Flickr

f14-02 by David Freeman, on Flickr

f14-01 by David Freeman, on Flickr

VA-850 A-7E Corsair
The Corsair’s of VA-850 are capable of both land strike and anti-shipping missions.  In the example shown here, the aircraft is configured for anti-shipping with two AGM-84 Harpoon missiles, a single AGM-65 Maverick missile and an AN/ALQ-131 Electronic Counter Measures (ECM) pod.

A-7D-02 by David Freeman, on Flickr

A-7D-01 by David Freeman, on Flickr

VA-851 A-6E Intruder
The Intruders provide the heavy and all-weather strike capability to the Fleet Air Arm.  Shown here is a strike configuration with 12 250 KG GP bombs, but the Intruders are also capable of carrying a range of guided weapons, as well as refuelling pods to act as Tankers for other RAN aircraft.

A-6E-01 by David Freeman, on Flickr

A-6E-02 by David Freeman, on Flickr

VAQ-852 EA-6B Prowlers
The Prowlers provide the stand-off jamming and electronic countermeasures capability to support the other strike aircraft.

EA-6B-01 by David Freeman, on Flickr

EA-6B-02 by David Freeman, on Flickr

VAW-808 E2-C

e2-03 by David Freeman, on Flickr

e2-02 by David Freeman, on Flickr

e2-01 by David Freeman, on Flickr

VS-809 S3-A

s3-01 by David Freeman, on Flickr

s3-02 by David Freeman, on Flickr

s3-03 by David Freeman, on Flickr

HS-723 Sea Hawk

Sea Hawk-03 by David Freeman, on Flickr

Sea Hawk-02 by David Freeman, on Flickr

Sea Hawk-01 by David Freeman, on Flickr


While HMAS AUSTRALIA operates the main fixed wing aircraft, the Navy was given some additional firepower by the acquisition of 12 Sea Harrier FA1 (VF-816) and 12 Harrier GR-7 (VFA-817) aircraft, capable of operating off HMAS AUSTRALIA or the 2 LHD platforms HMAS CANBERRA or HMAS ADELAIDE for short periods.  Utility airlift from the LHD’s can be Army rotary wing assets, or 12 “Navalised” NH-90 utility transports.

AIR WING 2

VF-816 Sea Harrier
The SHAR’s of VF-816 are capable of air defence, reconnaissance or anti-shipping roles (using SEA EAGLE missiles).  Here the aircraft is in the air defence/recce configuration of two fuel tanks plus 2 AIM-9 missiles and 2-gun packs.


SHAR-02 by David Freeman, on Flickr

SHAR-01 by David Freeman, on Flickr

VA-817 AV-8B Harrier
The Harrier’s provide light strike capability with a range of un-guided weapons.  The aircraft here is carrying 4 250KG GP bombs as well as 2-gun packs.

AV-8B-02 by David Freeman, on Flickr

AV-8B-01 by David Freeman, on Flickr
« Last Edit: February 19, 2018, 10:27:00 AM by ScranJ51 »
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Offline ScranJ51

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Re: THE REVISED AUSTRALASIAN DEFENCE FORCE AIR CAPABILITY
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2018, 09:56:52 AM »
The Australian Army

With the transfer of rotary wing support to the land battle from RAAF to Army completed in the 80’s, the acquisition of Black Hawk and Chinook provided the Army with a reasonable lift capability provided by 5th Aviation Regiment (5AVN).  This was further enhanced in the late 90’s/early 00’s by the acquisition of the NH-90 (named TAIPAN in Australian service) to give the Army a good mix of lift capability as well as providing specialist support (via Black Hawk) to Army Special Forces. 

The replacement of Kiowa and Iroquois with a dedicated Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH) caused much interest.  While the ADF leant towards the Eurocopter Tiger as a preferred solution, the US again seemed to plan to utilize a revitalised ADF as a quasi-replacement for US capability in the region, and offered a mix of AH-1S Cobra (primarily for Armed Recon) and AH-64 Apache (firepower support) as an option at a “bargain” price. Selection of the AH-1S provided a commonality with the increased USMC presence in the Northern Territory (and access to US supported maintenance) while the AH-64 gave the Army a desired capability that was assumed to be previously out of reach cost wise.  The US made a point of cycling several units through the Northern Territory during the Australian acquisition process to allow a very rapid progression to Full Operational Capability (FOC) for the Australian Army units being equipped with these two aircraft.  These types are operated by 6th Aviation Regiment (6AVN).

The USMC also sold 20 OV-10D Bronco’s from their stocks to the Australian Army.  While the Army conceded that the major supplier of Close Air Support and FAC remained the RAAF, these aircraft allowed an additional FAC Capability capable of operating from some forward strips, as well as a faster Recon/Observation platform than the Cobra.  The Bronco’s also provided a limited capability for insertion of small groups of SAS via parachute.  Although this capability is practiced, it is rarely used in an operational sense.

Completing the new equipment operated by the Army are 8 OV-1 surveillance aircraft.  These were ex-US Army aircraft returned to Grumman and the airframes Zero- houred, then fitted with state-of-the art sensors.  The aircraft are so different from anything operated by the US that they are referred to as OV-1AU, meaning AUSTRALIAN configuration.

161 Squadron AH-1S Cobra
While normally employed in the Armed Reconnaissance role, the Cobras’ can carry several different weapons as well as the front mounted gun, with the aircraft here configured for anti-tank operations and armed with TOW Missiles.

Cobra-01 by David Freeman, on Flickr

Cobra-02 by David Freeman, on Flickr

162 Squadron AH-64D Apache Longbow
The Apaches are the primary firepower platform of the Army.  The aircraft here is configured for “cover force” operations, with a mix of Hellfire missiles and Hydra 70 2.75” folding fin rockets and the chain-gun under the nose.


162ARA-01 by David Freeman, on Flickr

162ARA-02 by David Freeman, on Flickr

162ARA-03 by David Freeman, on Flickr

172 Squadron OV-1AU Mohawk
The Australian Mohawks were refurbished to “Zero” hour airframes prior to delivery, and are equipped with a sensor package including the Side-Looking Airborne Radar, which in upgraded for is capable of transmitting images/data via link to ground units.


OV-1AU-1 by David Freeman, on Flickr

OV-1AU-2 by David Freeman, on Flickr

OV-1AU-3 by David Freeman, on Flickr

173 Squadron OV-10D Bronco
The Australian Broncos are refurbished ex-USMC aircraft, with the aircraft here only carrying the guns in the pylons, although several rocket pods or bombs can also be carried.


bronco-04 by David Freeman, on Flickr

bronco-03 by David Freeman, on Flickr

bronco-02 by David Freeman, on Flickr

bronco-01 by David Freeman, on Flickr

A Squadron 5 Aviation Regiment S-70 Black Hawk
The Black Hawks of A Squadron provide direct support to the Australian Special Forces.


S70-1 by David Freeman, on Flickr

S70-2 by David Freeman, on Flickr

S70-3 by David Freeman, on Flickr

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Offline ScranJ51

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Re: THE REVISED AUSTRALASIAN DEFENCE FORCE AIR CAPABILITY
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2018, 10:03:26 AM »
THE ROYAL NEW ZEALAND AIR FORCE

As mentioned earlier, RNZAF pilot training is conducted at 2FTS in Australia, the RNZAF supplying instructors to a common pool and “purchasing” sufficient Hawk hours for their training needs.

About the same time the Australians were making a decision about the RAAF fighter force, the RNZAF was in the process of standing down their fast jet capability with the retirement of the Skyhawks.  There was a plan to acquire surplus F16’s (originally bound for Pakistan) but these became no longer available when the Australian “deal” went through.

Somewhat disappointed at losing the Australian sale, Northrop decided to approach the Kiwi’s (most likely at the prompting of the US Government) to try and broker a deal.  The upshot, thanks to a change in NZ Government and a somewhat more “hawkish” outlook for Defence, was the RNZAF signing an agreement with Northrop for a HI-LO mix (somewhat like the Aussies).  The RNZAF HI capability is provided by 40 F/A-18A Hornets (16 each for 75 SQN and 2 SQN) while the LO option is 42 aircraft, this time seeing the RNZAF join the production line for F-20 Tigershark’s alongside the South African Air Force and receiving 16 single-seat and 2 dual seat aircraft as well as managing to pick up at a bargain price, 24 refurbished F-5E aircraft.

An additional capability not previously held is a tactical recce capability provided by 10 RF-5E Tiger Eye recce aircraft. Seven of the RF-5’s and 16 of the F-5E’s are considered operational at any one time.

Training for the operational squadrons is conducted by one unit, Number 1 (shadow) Squadron, which holds 4 x F18A, 4 x F18B, 2 x F20B, 2 x F5E an 2 x F-5F. 15 Squadron draws on experienced F-5 pilots from 16 Squadron moving on to the RF-5 aircraft via an internal conversion course.

2 Squadron F-18A Hornet
The Hornet’s of 2 Squadron are multi-role, providing air defence or strike capability as required.  Here the aircraft is configured for strike, with 2 AGM-65 Maverick air to ground missiles plus a targeting pod, while the aircraft carries an AIM-7 and 2 AIM-9 missiles for self-defence.

2kiwi01 by David Freeman, on Flickr

2kiwi02 by David Freeman, on Flickr

15 Squadron RF-5E Tiger-eye
The RF-5E provide a photo-reconnaissance capability with retaining the ability to use AIM-9 air-to-air missiles for self-defence.

RF-5E-01 by David Freeman, on Flickr

RF-5e-02 by David Freeman, on Flickr

16 Squadron F-5E Tiger
The F-5E tigers of 16 Squadron are primarily tasked with close air support of the New Zealand army or light strike missions.  Here the aircraft is configured for strike with 4 250KG GP bombs and self-defence AIM-9’s.


F-5E-02 by David Freeman, on Flickr

F-5E-01 by David Freeman, on Flickr

26 Squadron F-20 Tiger-shark
The F-20’s provide the heavier strike capability for the RNZAF alongside the 2 Squadron Hornets, and carry precision guided weapons such as the AGM-65 Maverick’s shown here, as well as an anti-shipping capability with Harpoon’s.  Note the aircraft is also carrying the older AN/ALQ-119 ECM pod.  The F-20’s can also carry AIM-7 Sparrow missiles when used for air defence.


F-20A-01 by David Freeman, on Flickr

F-20A-02 by David Freeman, on Flickr

75 Squadron F-18C
The Hornet’s of 75 Squadron have up-graded avionics that make the aircraft equivalent to USN C models, and are major air defence aircraft of the RNZAF.  Shown here, the 75 Squadron aircraft can use AIM-120 AMRAAM’s as well as the older AIM-7 Sparrow’s.


F-18A-75-02 by David Freeman, on Flickr

75kiwi01 by David Freeman, on Flickr

« Last Edit: February 20, 2018, 12:53:40 PM by ScranJ51 »
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Offline Tophe

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Re: THE REVISED AUSTRALASIAN DEFENCE FORCE AIR CAPABILITY
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2018, 10:06:57 AM »
My favorite is your Bronco :-*

Offline elmayerle

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Re: THE REVISED AUSTRALASIAN DEFENCE FORCE AIR CAPABILITY
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2018, 12:51:10 PM »
I am surprised that the extra wing pylons fitted to the RAF's Harrier GR.5/7/9 aircraft are not fitted to these; it would enhance self-defense capability.

I will admit to surprise that the US Navy would sell the Nimitz rather than one with a name less associated with the USN (the USS John Stennis comes to mind, the USS Carl Vinson having more of a naval connection).  OTOH, I could see them adding another carrier on the back end of the production run to make up for it.

Offline Kelmola

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Re: THE REVISED AUSTRALASIAN DEFENCE FORCE AIR CAPABILITY
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2018, 04:51:04 PM »
Wow, you must have been busy building that lot!

Lots of lovely camos there, but the A-37 with the tiger stripes is my favourite :-*

As for the sale of the Nimitz, if this is happening around the same period as the decommissioning of the Melbourne in OTL, wouldn't the US rather sell off one of their older conventionally powered supercarriers, Forrestal or Kitty Hawk class?

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: THE REVISED AUSTRALASIAN DEFENCE FORCE AIR CAPABILITY
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2018, 06:35:28 PM »
Yet more proof that few things spice up a build better than those 'Roos!

Great stuff!

Brian da Basher

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Re: THE REVISED AUSTRALASIAN DEFENCE FORCE AIR CAPABILITY
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2018, 01:03:23 AM »
 :smiley:
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline elmayerle

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Re: THE REVISED AUSTRALASIAN DEFENCE FORCE AIR CAPABILITY
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2018, 03:02:27 AM »
Please don't take my comments as criticisms, those are beautiful models that fit the concept most excellently.

Offline apophenia

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Re: THE REVISED AUSTRALASIAN DEFENCE FORCE AIR CAPABILITY
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2018, 07:48:11 AM »
Wow, you must have been busy building that lot! ...

I'll say! It's a one-man Group Build  :smiley:
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Offline ScranJ51

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Re: THE REVISED AUSTRALASIAN DEFENCE FORCE AIR CAPABILITY
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2018, 08:15:16 AM »
elamyerle - noted - the kit used for the Harrier is an older kit with only 6 wing points - not 8

Re the NIMITZ as against KITTYHAWK et al - MAYBE the RAN was cognizant of the fact that the older carrier would have a shorter life - and opted to hold out for a CVN.  And I chose NIMITZ as it was first to mind - it could be ANY of that class.  However, given NIMITZ link to the Pacific - maybe it IS the most appropriate.........

There MAY be an update or updates coming - here is a teaser

pair-2 by David Freeman, on Flickr



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Offline elmayerle

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Re: THE REVISED AUSTRALASIAN DEFENCE FORCE AIR CAPABILITY
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2018, 10:28:34 AM »
elamyerle - noted - the kit used for the Harrier is an older kit with only 6 wing points - not 8
Good enough reason; I'm looking to combine that extra point per wing with an AV-8B+ to do a Harrier FGR.11 in FAA markings, at least, (thinking 804 Sqdn) and may do more, including a RAN one.

Offline ScranJ51

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Re: THE REVISED AUSTRALASIAN DEFENCE FORCE AIR CAPABILITY
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2018, 11:14:49 AM »
Further to the NIMITZ issue, being the lead ship of the class, the NIMITZ is one of the older ships in USN service.  Another advantage of the RAN having this class is that aircrew would be familiar with the ships of that class, and could cross-deck onto another (US) NIMITZ class ship seamlessly, something perhaps not as easy if we had purchased KITTY HAWK.


I don't want to bog the discussion down guys - all I wanted to do is do the physical builds for my enjoyment.     ;)
« Last Edit: February 20, 2018, 12:20:23 PM by ScranJ51 »
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Offline ScranJ51

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Re: THE REVISED AUSTRALASIAN DEFENCE FORCE AIR CAPABILITY
« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2018, 12:58:41 PM »
More teasers:

Seen in 2 OCU markings.......

JSF04 by David Freeman, on Flickr    ???

And even more interesting - 3 SQN colours......

Angel-5 by David Freeman, on Flickr   :o
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Offline pigflyer

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Re: THE REVISED AUSTRALASIAN DEFENCE FORCE AIR CAPABILITY
« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2018, 05:31:19 AM »
If only.  Super builds and ideas,  can't pick a favourite they are all so good.  Busy guy eh?
If I don't plan it, it can't go wrong!

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Offline ScranJ51

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Re: THE REVISED AUSTRALASIAN DEFENCE FORCE AIR CAPABILITY
« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2018, 01:11:13 PM »
The total build took almost a month.  Collecting the models was reasonably easy, but then i decided to add the 2 OCU F-15 at the last minute, and it was last build, along with the Apache.

Still have an NH-90 and Chinook in the stash - they will be built and on display eventually - I just may not show them here.

Along with the three teasers (all built previous to this idea) are one or two more that could be used to continue the story - not sure if I will or not.

Hope you all enjoy the builds


 :smiley:
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Offline Volkodav

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Re: THE REVISED AUSTRALASIAN DEFENCE FORCE AIR CAPABILITY
« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2018, 07:38:39 PM »
Yes, enjoyed it very much!

Have had my own evolving ADF for many years but managed to build stuff all and only ever completed one model that has since been wrecked in a move. Good on you completing so much especially in so little time.

Offline KiwiZac

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Re: THE REVISED AUSTRALASIAN DEFENCE FORCE AIR CAPABILITY
« Reply #21 on: February 23, 2018, 05:11:37 AM »
I was so impressed with my initial scan of your posts that I made a decision to wait until I had time to properly read through and enjoy each post. Now that I've been able to enjoy it over a proper coffee I've been able to do so.

I love it. The unit breakdowns, the aircraft loadouts, the deals...all of it. A fantastic blend of physical and written work! Top among my highlights of your project is the camouflage chosen for the RAAF fighters - I love the fade effect! They look superb! Speaking of which, I love the Fanta Can Hawk and seeing Australian Army camo on the AH-1. The Prowler vignette is delightful, and the F-15D from 2OCU took my breath away.

I do want to know what each air arm did for transport and maritime aircraft in your timeline, as well as what helicopters we got for the RNZAF. Some fascinating options out there!

The total build took almost a month.
Recently I've struggled to complete one build in two or three months!!! Bravo!
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Offline ScranJ51

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Re: THE REVISED AUSTRALASIAN DEFENCE FORCE AIR CAPABILITY
« Reply #22 on: February 23, 2018, 11:16:16 AM »
KiwiZac (and Volkadav),

Thank you.  First to the build issue.  I'm retired but normally only spend every third weekend or so building - but I do batch builds, normally of 4 to 6 models at a time.  For this project I built in batches.

Batch 1 - all the F-16s and the 2 Hawks.

Batch 2 - the Navy fast jets.

Batch 3 - Other Navy including the Sea Hawk.

Batch 4 - Strike Eagles and F-111's.

Batch 5 - Army Helos and fixed wing.

Batch 6 - the rest.

As per the Transport and Maritime question - I'll reply to that a little later.  The intent here is to only discuss physical models made.  Having said that I have built (previously) a C-130 and P-3C.  There is a 1/144th C-17 in the stash, as well as 1/72nd CH-47 and NH-90.

With regards to NZ Helo's - I'd suggest my answer would PROBABLY be that the RNZAF purchased AH-1, AH-64 and S-70's in limited numbers as part of the Aussie buy - but I'll think a little longer on that.

I'm unlikely to add any additional NZDF models.

There are several subtle differences in some models.  You may note the 1SQN aircrew have yellow helmets and the 6SQN blue - as per the tail flashes. 

Actually - almost every squadron the crews have different colour helmets to match SQN insignia.  Only OCU crews (and 2FTS) wear white helmets.

The Side roundels on the Strike Eagles are different sizes - allowing other crews to know exactly which squadron the aircraft is from at a glance.
Strike eagles by David Freeman, on Flickr

The F-16s have the lower stabilisers painted in different colours - Blue for 3SQN, Black for 76, Green for 79, Yellow for the OCU bird - again allowing identification of the squadron at a glance.
Vipers by David Freeman, on Flickr

For the Kiwi's - the F-5, RF-5 and F-20 are all different colour mixes - again - identification of Squadron (and role) at a glance.
Fast Kiwi's-02 by David Freeman, on Flickr

Dave
« Last Edit: February 23, 2018, 12:23:57 PM by ScranJ51 »
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Offline Kelmola

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Re: THE REVISED AUSTRALASIAN DEFENCE FORCE AIR CAPABILITY
« Reply #23 on: February 23, 2018, 03:22:02 PM »
Those are lovely little details and make this project all the more impressive :smiley:

Also, your description of the build process is encouraging for us who are daunted by the idea of tackling our stash - in the end, it doesn't require all your time to get fantastic results!


Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: THE REVISED AUSTRALASIAN DEFENCE FORCE AIR CAPABILITY
« Reply #24 on: February 23, 2018, 09:28:29 PM »
Those are lovely little details and make this project all the more impressive :smiley:

Also, your description of the build process is encouraging for us who are daunted by the idea of tackling our stash - in the end, it doesn't require all your time to get fantastic results!

Well put, Kemola!

Those are some fantastic models and it's a real treat to scroll through them.

Brian da Basher

Offline ScranJ51

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Re: THE REVISED AUSTRALASIAN DEFENCE FORCE AIR CAPABILITY
« Reply #25 on: February 24, 2018, 10:34:55 AM »
As stated earlier, my intention was to only discuss the capability/aircraft I had modeled.  Any other discussion would be better placed elsewhere, so I'll cut the discussion (without aircraft pics) to the Scenarios area and continue some discussion and answer KiwiZac's questions there.

Dave
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Offline ScranJ51

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Re: THE REVISED AUSTRALASIAN DEFENCE FORCE AIR CAPABILITY
« Reply #26 on: February 25, 2018, 02:40:46 PM »
As to "batch builds", I can do this because of my set-up in a shared craft/modelling room.

Here you see the workbench and the ledge above, with the current (6 or 7) builds lined up.  Behind those are the next batch.

Bench-1 by David Freeman, on Flickr


The advantage is I can do work on one model, move to the next, then the next etc., and finally return to the first build and continue the process.

And as to the stash, here is part of it (less than half)

Stash-1 by David Freeman, on Flickr

 (you may notice a number of Red Arrows Hawk kits - look out for a Red Arrows flight line doi sometime in the future   ;)  )
and some more

Stash-2 by David Freeman, on Flickr


I'm also toying around with display options


Troops-1 by David Freeman, on Flickr



with lights

Troops-2 by David Freeman, on Flickr


And another teaser - just finished

F117-1 by David Freeman, on Flickr

F117-4 by David Freeman, on Flickr

Cheers

Dave


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Offline finsrin

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Re: THE REVISED AUSTRALASIAN DEFENCE FORCE AIR CAPABILITY
« Reply #27 on: February 25, 2018, 06:33:33 PM »
Room is too neat, too orderly, too clean.  ;)

Offline KiwiZac

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Re: THE REVISED AUSTRALASIAN DEFENCE FORCE AIR CAPABILITY
« Reply #28 on: February 26, 2018, 06:04:11 AM »
Aussie Nighthawk, YES! Love it!
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Re: THE REVISED AUSTRALASIAN DEFENCE FORCE AIR CAPABILITY
« Reply #29 on: February 26, 2018, 12:13:02 PM »
Noticed the Cricket Dio.. clever idea

Offline ScranJ51

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Re: THE REVISED AUSTRALASIAN DEFENCE FORCE AIR CAPABILITY
« Reply #30 on: March 27, 2018, 02:08:54 PM »
OK - I decided to add to this idea.

U-2C
There are not many details about these “Black” Birds being operated by Australia.  What is known is that the USAF transferred 6 airframes to the RAAF sometime in the mid 90’s as the aircraft started to be replaced by TR-2’s.  The belief is that the US/USAF transferred the responsibility for Indian Ocean Surveillance to space-based platforms, with the U-2’s conducting surveillance flights based on Intelligence from these systems.  The aircraft are based at Edinburgh in South Australia, and regularly operate out of RAAF Pearce in Western Australia. At times it appears two aircraft deploy to Pearce for several weeks at a time, but when not flying the aircraft are kept in a hanger out of sight.  The aircraft have also reportedly flown missions on an irregular basis over the South Pacific, and there have been reports of the aircraft occasionally landing in New Zealand, but these movements are normally denied or never confirmed.  The aircraft have very toned-down markings, with no roundels, just red Kangaroos and “Royal Australian Air Force” in red letters on each side of the fuselage.

u2-1 by David Freeman, on Flickr

u2-2 by David Freeman, on Flickr

u2-3 by David Freeman, on Flickr

u2-4 by David Freeman, on Flickr
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Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: THE REVISED AUSTRALASIAN DEFENCE FORCE AIR CAPABILITY
« Reply #31 on: March 27, 2018, 05:27:52 PM »
Yet more proof that few things spice up a model like those wonderful red 'roos!

Well done!

Brian da Basher

Offline Volkodav

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Re: THE REVISED AUSTRALASIAN DEFENCE FORCE AIR CAPABILITY
« Reply #32 on: March 27, 2018, 05:43:05 PM »
 :smiley:

Offline elmayerle

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Re: THE REVISED AUSTRALASIAN DEFENCE FORCE AIR CAPABILITY
« Reply #33 on: March 27, 2018, 11:34:20 PM »
Gorgeous and quite plausible.

Offline ScranJ51

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Re: THE REVISED AUSTRALASIAN DEFENCE FORCE AIR CAPABILITY
« Reply #34 on: April 07, 2018, 01:27:26 PM »
I originally didn't plan on expanding the scenario from the batch builds, but then I got that U-2......   ::)


I've shown a couple of these before - but there is one new build  ;)


BREXIT and a Bargain Buy

With unrest in the European Union raising its head in the early 2000's, Britain decided to go it alone and pull out of the European Union.  There was a lot of emotional discussion and the confidence of the world in the UK was shaken, and the Pound dropped in value to a frightening degree.  The UK Armed Forces found the going tough, and needed to downsize.  After retiring the Harrier and Jaguar, the RAF still faced a budget shortfall, and looked to save money by cancelling some of their later Typhoon orders.

The UK aircraft industry took serious exception to this proposal, so the UK Government looked at the option of on-selling Typhoons as an option.  Enter the Aussies.

Sensing a real opportunity, the ADF offered to take 20 Typhoons off the RAF's hands. BUT - the ADF would only accept Tranche 3 (fully capable) aircraft, rather than older aircraft from RAF service.  The UK had no real option but to divert Tranche 3 aircraft from the production line to close the deal.

The Aussies were delighted, picking up additional very capable aircraft from a non-US supplier at a bargain basement price, while sending a message to the US that although the ADF were prepared to take on traditional US responsibilities in the Pacific, the ADF would do so under their own terms.

The pool of 20 Typhoons (16 single seat and 4 duals) were to be operated by 76 Squadron:

euro pair by David Freeman, on Flickr

Typhoon single by David Freeman, on Flickr

Typhoon Dual by David Freeman, on Flickr


Rather than dispose of the EX-76 Squadron Vipers, the RAAF shuffled the aircraft between 79 Squadron and a new unit that became a full-time Aggressor squadron for the ADF (and RNZAF).

30 SQUADRON RAAF:

The Vipers allocated to 30SQN were stripped of all operational equipment, including radar, to make them as light and agile as possible.  The RAAF developed a system whereby the ACMI pods on aircraft opposing the Aggressor Vipers could be used to feed ïnformation" to the opponent, allowing it to appear the Aggressor Vipers were radiating signals from regional aircraft such as the SU-30's flown by Indonesia.

 
Aggressor-1 by David Freeman, on Flickr

AGgressor-2 by David Freeman, on Flickr


The inspiration for this paint job was:
F16_Block_30 by David Freeman, on Flickr
« Last Edit: April 07, 2018, 01:55:49 PM by ScranJ51 »
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Offline ScranJ51

  • Fast Jet, Fast Prop, Fast Racing Cars - thats me!!
Re: THE REVISED AUSTRALASIAN DEFENCE FORCE AIR CAPABILITY
« Reply #35 on: April 07, 2018, 01:54:43 PM »
Next, the Aussies decided to twist the tail of the US to see how far they could push the envelope. As the USAF started to retire their F-117's, the RAAF negotiated to take 12 of the lowest flight timed aircraft so-as to give the ADF yet another capability edge of the region.

The 12 jets are pooled, with only 7 or 8 being in service at any one time, and are operated by No 1 Squadron alongside their existing F-15E's, making the squadron the largest in the RAAF inventory.

F117-1 by David Freeman, on Flickr

F117-2 by David Freeman, on Flickr

F117-1 by David Freeman, on Flickr

F117-4 by David Freeman, on Flickr


(next week - the RAAF considers options to replace the F-16's and F-15C's - stay tuned    :D  )
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Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: THE REVISED AUSTRALASIAN DEFENCE FORCE AIR CAPABILITY
« Reply #36 on: April 07, 2018, 04:58:35 PM »
I really like that F-16 of yours! Great work on the camo and looks fantastic with those 'roos!

Brian da Basher

Offline John Howling Mouse

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Re: THE REVISED AUSTRALASIAN DEFENCE FORCE AIR CAPABILITY
« Reply #37 on: April 09, 2018, 07:04:46 AM »
That A-37B is my favorite.  You certainly know your way around a paintbrush: awesome, original schemes!
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Offline Camthalion

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Re: THE REVISED AUSTRALASIAN DEFENCE FORCE AIR CAPABILITY
« Reply #38 on: April 24, 2018, 05:41:31 AM »
very nice builds

Offline ScranJ51

  • Fast Jet, Fast Prop, Fast Racing Cars - thats me!!
Re: THE REVISED AUSTRALASIAN DEFENCE FORCE AIR CAPABILITY
« Reply #39 on: April 24, 2018, 04:12:33 PM »
thanks - hopefully this weekend some more changes will be revealed....... :o
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Offline ScranJ51

  • Fast Jet, Fast Prop, Fast Racing Cars - thats me!!
Re: THE REVISED AUSTRALASIAN DEFENCE FORCE AIR CAPABILITY
« Reply #40 on: April 26, 2018, 04:52:05 PM »
I originally didn't plan to continue the story after the initial batch build,  but adding a few other aircraft to the story has changed my mind.

5TH GENERATION AIRCRAFT

The RAAF (and ADF) participated in the JSF Program from the late 90's/early 00's with participation in the System Design and Development (SDD) Phase.  This was basically a plan by American Industry to "lock"buyers in place - "If you don't participate in SDD, you are not really interested and will not be able to secure aircraft early on the production line."  The ADF where happy to go alone with this, although the Typhoon purchase put some in US Industry at unease, worried the Aussies may decide to cut their losses if the JSF or F-35 as it became, was delayed.  When the Aussies called a press conference in 2006 to announce their next generation aircraft, no-one was surprised to hear that the F-35 had been selected by Australia.

JSF03 by David Freeman, on Flickr

JSF01 by David Freeman, on Flickr

JSF04 by David Freeman, on Flickr


What most DIDN'T expect was the continuation of that announcement - that the F-35 would replace the F-16 in operational squadrons.

Huh? What about the Fighter Force F-15's?

Then came the bombshell.

Despite discussion that the USAF would NEVER let the Silver Bullet loose from their grasp - the Aussies announced that the next buy would again be two tier - The F-35 replacing the F-16's - while the F-15C fleet would be replaced by:

F-22 Raptors!

f22-2 by David Freeman, on Flickr

f22-1 by David Freeman, on Flickr

f22-4 by David Freeman, on Flickr

f22-3 by David Freeman, on Flickr


In further changes, 30 SQN would remain as the Aggressor unit, but would expand to accept both low-fatigue life F-16 AND F-15C aircraft for operation.

The issue of the RAAF Typhoons was neatly solved - these aircraft going to the RNZAF to replace the F-5E's and taking the primary RNZAF air superiority role, while the two Hornet squadrons would take on more of the strike and Army support roles alongside the F-20 Tigersharks.

75 F-35's would equip three squadrons and part of the OCU, while 50 Raptors would be operated by 77 and 75 Squadron plus the OCU.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2018, 04:59:59 PM by ScranJ51 »
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