May 30, 2007 08:36 UTC
RAAF Hawk Mk127s
The Australian government has committed A$ 142.2 million (currently about $104 million) for the redevelopment of Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Pearce, located next to the town of Bullsbrook, near Perth on Australia’s south-western coast. RAAF Pearce is primarily a training base, and currently hosts 79 Squadron’s Hawk LIFT Mk127s and 2nd Flight Training Squadron’s Pilatus PC-9/A trainers. It is sometimes used as a jumping-off point for other aircraft engaged in overseas deployments and support flights.
This is the first redevelopment planned for RAAF Base Pearce, and it will include a combination of new construction and refurbishment works for engineering services, a fuel farm, aircraft hangars and maintenance facilities, training and operational facilities, a combined mess, and office and living-in accommodation. The project is expected to generate significant employment and business opportunities for small and medium sized enterprises, and construction worked is expected to commence around late 2007 – early 2008 if Parliament approves the expenditure. The upgrades are expected to be complete in mid-2011. Australian DoD release.
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May 30, 2007 08:18 UTC
The current roster
“Australian Air Power Controversy: F-35 and Super Hornets Under Fire” discussed the latest rounds of a rising controversy swirling around Australia’s selection of the F-35A as the foundation of its future airpower, and of the F-18F Super Hornet as an interim gap filler until the F-35s arrive. Australia’s Liberal Party government has begun to respond to its detractors, which include a number of unaffiliated critics, foreign policy/defense think tanks, and the opposition Labor Party, who are demanding “an immediate review of the Government’s air capability plan… and… press the US Administration for access to the F-22 Raptor to expand our air capability options…” DID has updated our collection point article for the controversy with updated links from all sides.
Underneath procurement decisions, however, lie the more fundamental issues of doctrine and threat assessments. The one cannot be understood without the other, and so it’s worth paying attention to the revised airpower doctrine Air Marshal Geoff Shepherd unveiled during the recent Chief of Air Force Conference in Melbourne, Australia. See release | “AAP 1000 – Fundamentals of Australian Aerospace Power, 4th edition” documents. On the same day, Liberal Party defence minister Dr. Brendan Nelson’s offered a speech to that same conference re: “Australia’s Future Air Power.”
Back on March 26, 2007, DID noted that an assessment of potential threats, including capability projections for expected armaments in the region given current trends, were a critical component of the most-referenced independent analysis by by Air Power Australia [6.9MB, PDF format], and heavily shaped their differing recommendations. We asked our Australian readers to help finding documents that offered this element for the current Australian Liberal Party/DoD position, and received some assistance in April 2006. A recent speech by the Chief Of The Defence Force, which accompanies the new DoD document “Joint Operations for the 21st Century,” adds more background – but may not fully agree with some earlier statements. Relevant transcript/documents can be found at…
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May 30, 2007 06:52 UTC
AB Class: DDG-100
Northrop Grumman Ship Systems in Pascagoula, MS won a cost-plus-award-fee contract for follow-yard services for the USS Arleigh Burke Class AEGIS destroyer program. It covers technical and engineering support services, including AEGIS destroyer design upgrades, planning and technical support, crew orientation, and crew systems proficiency training. The $20.7 million contract consists of a base year and 4 option years, with a total potential contract value of $75 million if all options are exercised. Work will be performed in Pascagoula, MS and is expected to be complete by September 2011. The contract was not competitively procured by the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington, DC (N00024-07-C-2302).
Northrop Grumman is one of the two major builders of the DDG-51 Arleigh Burke class (General Dynamic Bath Iron Works is the other); NGSS has delivered 24 ships of class, and has 4 more under construction. NGC’s Pascagoula facility will christen Truxtun [DDG 103] on June 2/07, while the Kidd [DDG 100] will become USS Kidd at its commissioning on June 9/07 in Galveston, TX. Northrop Grumman release.
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