source:The CH-47F Chinook aircraft are now cleared for take-off from Australian Navy’s landing helicopter docks as the heavy lift helicopter has completed class trials onboard HMAS Adelaide.
One of two LHD ships in the Australian Navy, HMAS Adelaide embarked the helicopter in early August to assess all aspects of the ship, aircraft and equipment interface to develop recommendations for embarked operating envelopes.
Over seven weeks, Adelaide sailed from Tasmania to Darwin to conduct cold and hot weather aspects of the trial.
During that time, the aircraft flew a total of 119 hours and conducted 625 deck landings. The test team were also able to collect data from 1,342 test points.
Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer, said the results would be used to set operating limits for the aircraft onboard the Navy’s two Canberra class ships, HMAS Adelaide and Canberra.
“This data will facilitate the establishment of a comprehensive suite of enduring operating limits for the Chinook. It will provide a significant capability for Australia’s amphibious forces in ship to object manoeuvres and humanitarian aid and disaster relief.
“This is an excellent outcome and testament to the dedication of those involved. It is an impressive body of work by any measure.” Rear Admiral Mayer said.
During first of class flight trials, ship and helicopter operating limits are developed for all aspects of operations, including launch, recovery, degraded modes/recovery, vertical replenishment, transfer, helicopter in-flight refuelling and on-deck evolutions.
The process identifies conditions in which the ship, aircraft or equipment need to be modified to ensure safe flying activities.
they say Review: Improved maintenance makes Australian Collins-class submarines more effective
source:Improved strategies in the sustainment of Royal Australian Navy Collins-class submarines have allowed the Australian Navy to have two submarines available for operations 90% of the time, an independent review has shown.
The follow-up review on the progress made in addressing the findings of the original 2012 Coles Review identified an improvement to the availability and reliability of the submarines which means that they can spend more days at sea conducting exercises and operations.
Minister for Defence Senator the Hon Marise Payne said the follow-up review, Beyond Benchmark, completed by Mr John Coles found a remarkable improvement in the capability to successfully manage the sustainment of the Collins Class submarines.
“The review considered current Collins Class sustainment performance, plans for sustaining Collins performance during transition to the Future Submarine, and opportunities for improving Collins beyond international benchmarks,” Minister Payne said.
Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne said Beyond Benchmark also provides a number of observations and additional recommendations for sustaining and improving performance into the future.
“This report reiterates that we have the capability and skills to deliver large complex defence projects – a skills base that needs to be nurtured, expanded and then exported to the world.”
“Defence intends to adopt a tailored set of these observations and recommendations to assure the performance of the Collins Class submarine capability into the future,” he said.
“ASC’s turnaround in performance in relation to submarine sustainment demonstrates the significant progress this business has made in both experience and capability. The Government’s decision earlier this month to create a separate submarine sustainment business will ensure that these enhanced skills and expertise will continue to be deployed in the best possible way to support future submarine sustainment,” Minister for Finance, Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann said.
Third C-27J Spartan arrives in Australia
The third C-27J Spartan battlefield airlifter for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has arrived at RAAF Base Richmond northwest of Sydney.
A34-003 touched down on October 18 following a two-week delivery flight journey from Waco, Texas, that involved stops in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
35 Squadron is conducting operational test and evaluation of the C-27J, along with routine training, ahead of the type’s initial operational capability. Another aircraft is expected to arrive in Australia by the end of this year, with 10 being acquired in total.
source (dated November 1, 2016):Australia is considering an Indonesian invitation for joint maritime patrols in the South China Sea, Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said Tuesday.
According to Bishop, the option was discussed during last week’s meeting between her, Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne and Indonesian officials including Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu in Jakarta.
“We have agreed to explore options to increase maritime cooperation and of course that would include coordinated activities in the South China Sea and the Sulu Sea,” Bishop told ABC Radio.
Tensions between Indonesia and China heightened after the arbitration court in Hague issued the South China Sea ruling which said China’s claims to disputed territories in the South China Sea had no legal footing.
Vessels from Indonesia and China were involved in a
China also warned Australia to act “cautiously” regarding the South China Sea issue after Australia joined a statement with the US and Japan in July which called for China to abide by the ruling.
U.S. Navy vessel have already carried out a number of patrols in the region under the ‘freedom of navigation’ operation. Guided missile destroyers sailed close to China-claimed islands and reefs three times before and one time after the court ruling.
Indonesian officials, particularly in the Foreign Ministry, are sceptical of being seen as too closely aligned with the US or one of its major allies. Jakarta is likely to continue to pursue a ‘dynamic equilibrium’, as former foreign minister Marty Natalegawa put it, between Beijing and Washington.
Subtle cooperation on these issues is possible, but vocal Australian enthusiasm for security cooperation directed at China is likely to put Indonesia off. Thus the muted Australian reception this week to suggestions by Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu at the weekend that the two countries were considering a joint ‘peace patrol’ in the South China Sea. Ryamizard has a reputation for making statements to the press that have little relation to official policy, as now seems was the case here.
Only the commander of Indonesian military forces, General Gatot Nurmantyo, can approve such a patrol, and Gatot is known to be allergic to greater defence cooperation with Australia. Gatot leaves office next year, but even then, Indonesian diplomats have told me that while additional coordinated patrols between Australian and Indonesian forces are likely to be arranged in the Indonesian Western Fleet Command’s area of responsibility (a positive step in its own right), they are unlikely to be in the South China Sea.