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#highintensitywar: A series introduction – Editors of The Central Blue and From Balloons to Drones

18 February 2018 During 2017, a major war on the Korean Peninsula became a distinct possibility. As the rhetoric over North Korea’s nuclear program heated up, the preparedness of Western militaries to engage in a major war, and the likely cost of such a conflict became regular features in the news cycle. This has had [...]

By |February 18th, 2018|5th Generation Air Power, Future Warfare|0 Comments

A month on from #DEFAus17: An Officer Cadet breakin’ it down – Brent Moloney

28 January 2018   #DEFAus17 is the key event for the Australian Defence Entrepreneurs Forum (DEF), affiliated with the US and UK branches as well as the Kiwi Defence Innovation Centre of Excellence. DEF-Aus is a network of serving military personnel who debate future concepts and progress ideas to tangible action. In this post, Brent [...]

Call for Submissions: High Intensity Warfare

  Welcome to 2018! As forecast in our 2017 wrap-up post, The Central Blue is collaborating with From Balloons to Drones on a series of posts on high intensity warfare, ahead of a Sir Richard Williams Foundation seminar on 'The Requirements of High Intensity Warfare' on 22 March 2018. Keen to get involved? Read on... [...]

Manned-Unmanned Teaming: “MUM-T’s the Word” — Donald Woldhuis & Michael Spencer

  The integration of manned and unmanned systems may be the next step in the evolution of air operations. In this post, Donald Woldhuis and Michael Spencer describe the US Army's approach to integrating tactical unmanned systems with the AH-64 Apache, referred to as Manned-Unmanned Teaming (MUM-T). Is this a capability that smaller forces should [...]

By |December 10th, 2017|Air Force, Army, Capability Development, Future Warfare, Technology|0 Comments

OSCAR-5: The First Australian-Built Satellite — Michael Spencer

  The last few months have seen a flurry of announcements relating to Australia's space industry. In July 2017, the Government commenced a review of the Australian space industry, and on 29 September they announced the intention to create an Australian space agency. On the same day, the RAAF and the University of New South [...]

By |November 26th, 2017|Air Force, History, Space|0 Comments

Other Peoples’ Air Power: Air Power With Chinese Characteristics — Peter Layton

  Peter Layton's series on other peoples' air power has included an examination of Islamic State's use of unmanned aircraft and the employment of air power in the Ukraine campaign. In this third post, Dr Layton considers the varied influences on China's approach to air power and it's focus on multi-domain 'firepower warfare'.  In late [...]

By |November 19th, 2017|Future Warfare, Strategy, Technology|Comments Off on Other Peoples’ Air Power: Air Power With Chinese Characteristics — Peter Layton

From Fourth to Fifth Generation: Enter the F-35A Lightning II — Brian Weston

. This is the third in a series of posts by Air Vice-Marshal Brian Weston (Retd.) describing the RAAF’s transition through five generations of fighter aircraft. In this post, Weston outlines how the RAAF plans to transition from the F/A-18A to the F-35A without the loss of combat capability.   Australia’s first Lockheed Martin, F-35A Lightning II [...]

By |November 12th, 2017|5th Generation Air Power, Air Force, Capability Development, History, Technology|Comments Off on From Fourth to Fifth Generation: Enter the F-35A Lightning II — Brian Weston

The Devil’s Advocate: Common Operational Picture (COP) — S.C. Collective

  In this post, S.C. Collective assumes the role of the 'devil’s advocate' and challenges the military's beatification of the Common Operational Picture (COP) as a concept and technology. The Advocatus Diaboli (Latin for Devil's Advocate) was formerly an official position within the Catholic Church: one who "argued against the canonization (sainthood) of a candidate [...]

By |November 5th, 2017|Technology|2 Comments

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|Comments Off on “Miss Shilling’s Orifice”: Simple solutions to technical issues can make all the difference — Michael Spencer