History

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From Second to Fourth Generation: The RAAF’s transition from the Mirage IIIO to the F/A-18A Hornet – Brian Weston

  In his previous post, Brian Weston described the RAAF's transition from the Avon Sabre to the Mirage IIIO during the 1960s. The Mirage IIIO remained in operational RAAF service from 1965 to 1988. The transition from the second generation Mirage to the fourth generation Hornet began with the Government's selection of the Hornet in October [...]

“Miss Shilling’s Orifice”: Simple solutions to technical issues can make all the difference – Michael Spencer

  All too often air forces tend to associate solutions to capability problems with the use of high-tech, often expensive, fixes. In this post, Squadron Leader Michael Spencer uses the story of Beatrice Shilling to highlight that this should not be the case. Shilling's simple yet effective solution to an engine design flaw that limited [...]

By |September 15th, 2017|History, Technology|0 Comments

A Second Generation Force: The RAAF’s Transition from the Avon Sabre to the Mirage IIIO – Brian Weston

  The arrival of the RAAF's first F-35A will see a generational shift in Australia's air combat capability.  But this is not the first time that the RAAF has undergone a significant generational shift in capability.  In this post, Air-Vice Marshal Brian Weston (Retd.) reflects on the experience in transitioning from first to second generation [...]

A new attitude towards electronic warfare — Travis Hallen

  On Wednesday 23 August, the Williams Foundation hosted a seminar exploring A New Approach and Attitude to Electronic Warfare in Australia. In this post, Wing Commander Travis Hallen reflects on the seminar presentations, outlines the history of electronic attack in the RAAF, and proposes what a new attitude to electronic warfare in Australia may look like. [...]

War in the Sand Pit – Alexandra McCubbin

  The War in the Sand Pit conference was held 12-13 May 17 to examine perspectives and lessons from Australia’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq between 2001 and 2014. Hosted by Military History and Heritage Victoria and Australian National University’s Strategic & Defence Studies Centre, the conference addressed  a range of perspectives from speakers with [...]

By |May 19th, 2017|Air Force, Army, History, Navy, Strategy|3 Comments

Air Power Command and Control Part III: … People Determine – Chris McInnes

  This is the third in a three-part series on the development of Western operational-level air power command and control arrangements by Wing Commander Chris McInnes. The first post outlined the impact of ideas on command and control and the second post looked at the shaping role of technology in air power command and control. [...]

By |May 8th, 2017|Air Force, History, Organisational Culture|Comments Off on Air Power Command and Control Part III: … People Determine – Chris McInnes

Defending Australia in the Air-Sea Gap – Alan Stephens

  This month marks the 75th anniversary of one of Australia’s most important feats of arms, the defence of Port Moresby by the Royal Australian Air Force’s No. 75 Squadron in March/April 1942. Between December 1941 and March 1942, Japanese forces shocked Australians when they swept southwards, capturing Malaya, the Netherlands East Indies and Rabaul in [...]

By |April 10th, 2017|Air Force, History|Comments Off on Defending Australia in the Air-Sea Gap – Alan Stephens

The Hunter Killers: A Review – Squadron Leader Jimmy

  Talk of innovation and the need for cross-pollination to break down stove-pipes is widespread in today's Air Force, but it is sometimes difficult for those in the field to see beyond the strategic messaging to embrace the operational importance of these concepts. In this review of The Hunter Killers: The Extraordinary Story of the [...]

By |April 6th, 2017|History, Review|Comments Off on The Hunter Killers: A Review – Squadron Leader Jimmy

(Ro)Boots on the ground – Alan Stephens

  General Robert Scales argues that it’s time for the West’s armies to face-up to the full implications of the irresistible rise of robots in warfare “In war, boots on the ground are necessary, but we can do much more to reduce the body count” Robert Scales, 8 March 2017 The Past Retired US Army [...]

By |March 20th, 2017|Army, Ethics, Future Warfare, History, Strategy, Technology|Comments Off on (Ro)Boots on the ground – Alan Stephens

Can Air Force prioritise Jointness? – Stephen Edgeley

  When it comes to prioritising jointness, Air Force's history isn't great. Perhaps it's time for the RAAF to appreciate that, for its future combat capabilities to be fully effective, it must change. RAAF helicopters and Australian Army soldiers, Vietnam, c. 1967. Credit: RAAF In Air Force Strategy 2017-2027 Chief of Air Force, [...]

By |March 7th, 2017|Air Force, Army, Future Warfare, History|3 Comments