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technology-oriented successes. The ability for commanders to mission plan while airborne has been demonstrated by streaming sensor video live from a Heron UAS into the cargo compartment of a C-17A Globemaster III. More recently, a Northrop Grumman system provided an airborne gateway, translating datalink protocols between aircraft that would otherwise have had incompatible data systems. These examples highlight the art of the possible. The Plan Jericho work programme also includes organisational initiatives such as the formation of an Air Warfare Centre, achieved in early 2016, whose structure would be familiar to those aware of the RAF’s centre. Through this particular initiative the RAAF intends to benefit from the world’s best practice and structure to optimise international engagement with allies. People are fundamental to delivering Jericho. In the top-down view, the work programme is devolved to an accountable Air Commodore. From the bottom up, and a thread woven into the fabric of Jericho, is the empowerment of the workforce to innovate and be heard by their superiors. In preparing for the introduction of the P-8A into service later in 2016, the operating Wing explored options for improving the connectivity of the current AP-3C



A JERICHO demonstration of live imagery datalinked from a Heron UAS into a C-17 cargo bay

allies and partners. While access to the high-fidelity training offered by exercises such as Red Flag are opportunities we value highly, the RAAF also welcomes its contacts through all modes of interaction, including its valued programme of exchanges. The personnel exchange programme between the RAAF and RAF continues to foster the sharing of operational experiences that have assisted in the concept development for new capabilities, including for the P-8A Poseidon. Like

BY THE END OF THE DECADE, THE RAAF WILL JOIN THE VANGUARD OF FIFTH GENERATION AIR FORCES aircraft. A number of datalink protocols were trialled, with the IBS/CIB system being successfully installed. As a result, the AP-3C force’s operational capability has been improved and the workforce is accumulating valuable experience which will be immediately applicable to operating the Link 16 equipped Poseidon. The RAAF does not purport to hold a monopoly on good ideas. Working in a coalition has become the way of 21st century operations, and we have much to learn from the diverse experience of our

the F-35, the P-8 is configured with next-generation systems of sensors, situational awareness, decision support and network communications. RAF exchange officers (experienced RAF tactical coordinators and acoustics operators), with their complementary skills developed in maritime operations in different environments to their RAAF counterparts, have supported the RAAF to both meet preparedness requirements and expand its appreciation of the current and future needs of maritime patrol aviation

through exchanging RAF operational and training experiences against conventional and nuclear submarine systems. Eighty years ago an aircraft was introduced that was to evolve to become a mainstay of the RAF of World War II and remains synonymous with air power: the Supermarine Spitfire. For all that has been written, both of the aircraft and the men who flew it, it was the air defence system of radars, observers and C2 structures which grew around it, and of which it was a pivotal component, that allowed its performance attributes to prevail. By the end of the decade, the RAAF will join the vanguard of fifth-generation air forces, an assertion embodied in the entry into service of the F-35A Lightning II. As I stated at RUSI last year, the F-35 replaces nothing, but it changes everything. Its innate capabilities must be networked into, distributed throughout, and integrated with, the wider air force and Australian Defence Force, if we are to realise its full potential. Therefore, it stands as a compelling motivator to stay the course with the implementation of Plan Jericho. In this way, the introduction of the fifth-generation combat aircraft into an effectively networked and integrated air force will herald the creation of a truly fifth-generation air force. Information on the RAAF’s Plan Jericho, including details of related demonstrations and experimentation, can be accessed at: Pages/Welcome.aspx


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RAF Air Power 2016 – Inspiration and Innovation  

An official publication of the Royal Air Force

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