Air Power


Cold War Nuclear-Powered Hypersonic Missiles: A Successful Failed Innovation – Peter Layton

Russia’s testing of an SSC-X-9 Skyfall hypersonic weapon has rekindled interest in a largely forgotten Cold War technology: nuclear-powered air power. In this article, Peter Layton looks at the history of US development of nuclear-powered weapons in the 1950s and 1960s. In doing so, he highlights that successful innovation does not necessarily require a system [...]

By |May 3rd, 2020|Air Power, History|2 Comments

In Defence of a Balanced Force – Nathan Thompson

The bushfires, floods, and now COVID-19 will change the discussion of national security in Australia. The exact form of that change is still unclear; however, the subject matter experts in the Australian Defence Force must engage in and inform the debate early, consistently, and logically. This post is an example of how. Written before the [...]

Indian Ocean Air Power: Part Three – Consequences for Australia – Peter Layton

In this final of three posts on Indian Ocean air power, Peter Layton turns his attention to the importance of Australian air power in the region. Though the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) is a small force, there is more to Australia’s potential contribution to the region than the aircraft it operates. Other contributions include [...]

By |March 22nd, 2020|Air Force, Australian Defence Force, Royal Australian Air Force|Comments Off on Indian Ocean Air Power: Part Three – Consequences for Australia – Peter Layton

Planning to Win: Structuring the Force – Part 2 – Gus McLachlan

We welcome Major General Gus McLachlan (Ret’d.) AO, Director of the Sir Richard Williams Foundation, who shares his thoughts in a two-part series on how to best approach force structure to gain a winning advantage. In part one, McLachlan covers how defence forces plan to win using one or more force design approaches: size, platforms, [...]

#BookReview – From Kites to Cold War – Reviewed by Travis Hallen

Tyler Morton, From Kites to Cold War: The Evolution of Manned Airborne Reconnaissance. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2019. Illustrations. Notes. Bibliography. Index. Hbk. 328 pp. Hindsight tends to make the contingent seem predestined. This is why reading history is essential for those responsible for planning for the future. When military professionals engage with history [...]

By |February 2nd, 2020|Air Power, Book review, History|Comments Off on #BookReview – From Kites to Cold War – Reviewed by Travis Hallen

#5thgenmanoeuvre: More of the Same isn’t the Answer – Peter Hunter

On 24 October 2019, the Sir Richard Williams Foundation is holding a seminar examining the requirements of #5thgenmanoeuvre. The aim of the seminar, building on previous seminars and series looking at #jointstrike and #highintensitywar, is to examine the differences and potential gaps in how the Australian Defence Force must equip and organise for multi-domain operations. We are delighted to welcome Peter [...]

By |October 6th, 2019|#5thgenmanoeuvre, 5th Generation Air Power, Air Power, Royal Australian Air Force|Comments Off on #5thgenmanoeuvre: More of the Same isn’t the Answer – Peter Hunter

Still the Right Stuff? Air Force Leadership in the 21st Century – Alan Stephens

On 28 August 2019, the Air Power Development Centre in collaboration with the Australian Centre for Study of Armed Conflict and Society (ACSACS) hosted the Sir James Rowland Seminar at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA). The seminar focused on Australian Aviation Culture and the enduring Air-minded approach to Air Power. Among an impressive line-up [...]

Operation Carthage: Precise Inaccuracy – Damien Hare

We are very pleased to welcome Damien Hare to the Central Blue with his fascinating exploration of Operation Carthage and its implications for contemporary operations. The popular perception of bombing in World War II is of inaccuracy and indiscriminate destruction. Despite early intentions to conduct precision raids in Europe, both the Royal Air Force (RAF) [...]

By |June 23rd, 2019|Air Power, History, Royal Australian Air Force|Comments Off on Operation Carthage: Precise Inaccuracy – Damien Hare

#SelfSustain – Breaking the (recent) paradigm – Keirin Joyce

We welcome Keirin Joyce to the Central Blue to continue the conversation he began with his presentation at the Williams Foundation’s #selfsustain seminar in Canberra on 11 April 2019. At the seminar, Keirin challenged us to question our underlying assumptions and beliefs as to what it means to #selfsustain. He continues this logic in this [...]

By |May 19th, 2019|#Selfsustain, Air Power, Australian Army, Australian Defence Force, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles|Comments Off on #SelfSustain – Breaking the (recent) paradigm – Keirin Joyce

A different take: Staff work and sporting metaphors – Trav Hallen

  28 April 2019 The contest of ideas needed to drive Australian military concepts and capabilities into the future can take many forms. Unfortunately, most debate occurs in small groups, is cloistered away in hard-to-find directories, and, when it is available in open forums, can take the form of jargon-laden officialese, or be laced with [...]

By |April 28th, 2019|Air Force, Education, Royal Australian Air Force|1 Comment