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Air & Space Power 2019

Air & Space Power 2019 | Multi-Domain Operations for the Next Generation Air Force

Multi-Domain Operations for the Next Generation Air Force


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Air & Space Power 2019 Multi-Domain Operations for the Next Generation Air Force

Editor Simon Michell Project Manager Group Captain James Beldon MBE, Director of Defence Studies (RAF) Editorial Director Barry Davies Art Director J-P Stanway Managing Director Andrew Howard Printed by Pensord Front cover image: Dane Wiedmann/Lockheed Martin

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Š 2019. The entire contents of this publication are protected by copyright. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means: electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher. The views and opinions expressed by independent authors and contributors in this publication are provided in the writers’ personal capacities and are their sole responsibility. Their publication does not imply that they represent the views or opinions of the Royal Air Force or Global Media Partners and must neither be regarded as constituting advice on any matter whatsoever, nor be interpreted as such. The reproduction of advertisements in this publication does not in any way imply endorsement by the Royal Air Force or Global Media Partners of products or services referred to therein.

Multi-Domain Operations for the Next Generation Air Force

AIR & SPACE POWER 2019

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Contents

Forewords

Addressing the challenge

15

38

Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP Secretary of State for Defence

21

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier KCB CBE DFC ADC MA RAF, Chief of the Air Staff

27

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach GBE KCB ADC DL, Chairman of the NATO Military Committee

28

Stuart Andrew MP Minister for Defence Procurement

32

41

Evolving strategy

42

45

Sir Brian Burridge

35

Simon Michell Editor, RAF Air & Space Power 2019

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The road to multi-domain operations Command and Control is the connective tissue in the modern battlespace, explains JD Hammond, Vice President C4ISR Systems, Lockheed Martin

Paul Everitt

Chief Executive, Royal Aeronautical Society

General David L Goldfein Chief of Staff, United States Air Force

Chief Executive, ADS Group

34

Multi-domain operations Air Commodore Phil Lister explains why multi-domain operations require agility and the appropriate doctrine

Combat Air Strategy Richard Berthon, Strategic Programmes Director at the UK Ministry of Defence, describes why the Combat Air Strategy is necessary, its key outcomes and how it is now being delivered

Multi-Domain Operations for the Next Generation Air Force


CONTENTS

48

Lieutenant-General Al Meinzinger

72

Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force

50

Number 11 Group reborn – multi-domain operations in action Air Vice-Marshal Ian Duguid, Commander of the re-formed Number 11 Group, explains the role and aspirations of the new multi-domain force

53

74

A progress report from Air Commodore Paul Godfrey, Head of Carrier-Enabled Power Projection at the Ministry of Defence

61

Air Vice-Marshal Simon Rochelle on how Team Tempest is driving behavioural change across the military and industry, as the RAF develops an affordable successor to the Typhoon

66

Major General Tonje Skinnarland

81

69

Lieutenant General Ingo Gerhartz Chief of the German Air Force

Global strategic airlift Air Commodore Dom Stamp tells how the RAF’s ability to deliver personnel, expertise, equipment and fuel at short notice worldwide is one of its principal strengths

Typhoon – in defence of the UK and Allies As the RAF’s Typhoon Force expands, it is growing not only in numbers, but also in capability

Enhanced protection Douglas Barrie, Senior Fellow for Military Aerospace at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, highlights the game-changing capabilities that will be delivered by the Protector remotely piloted air system

Chief of the Royal Norwegian Air Force

67

ISTAR evolution Air Commodore Nick Hay, the RAF’s ISTAR Force Commander, reveals how the transformation of the aircraft is progressing

77

Team Tempest

Major General Gregory L Masiello Program Executive Officer for Air ASW, Assault & Special Mission Programs

75

Carrier Strike

The future of Typhoon – the next generation Andy Flynn, Eurofighter and Centurion Capability Director, BAE Systems – Air, explains how Typhoon will be kept relevant and ready for the next 40 years

83

Defeating Daesh and projecting power Air Commodore Justin Reuter explains how the RAF continues to support the Global Coalition as it mops up the last remnants of Daesh in Syria

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CONTENTS

85

Anglo-French cooperation in Mali Group Captain Lee Turner, Station Commander at RAF Odiham, highlights the vital support that RAF Chinooks have given to French forces in Mali

87

General Philippe Lavigne Chief of the French Air Force

People first

88

90

Meeting the people challenge Air Vice-Marshal Chris Elliot explains how the Royal Air Force is addressing the recruitment and retention challenges that it faces in its second century

99

Investing in the conceptual component

100

Group Captain James Beldon, the RAF’s Director of Defence Studies, outlines how investing in the conceptual component helps to embed knowledge and understanding in the application of doctrine

92

Fighting fit – shaping RAF training

102

RAF Air Cadets: leaving a legacy As Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty CBE prepares to leave the stewardship of RAF Air Cadets in 2020, she highlights how the organisation is preparing for the future with confidence and excitement

Multinational collaborative training Wing Commander Mark Raimondo underlines the importance and relevance of exercising alongside trusted allies and partners

97

@CorpsSTEM Wing Commander Nick Weston discusses the RAF Air Cadets organisation’s plan to address the UK’s shortage of young people with science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills

Air Vice-Marshal Warren James, Air Officer Commanding 22 Group, describes how he is helping to generate the Next Generation Air Force

94

Air Vice-Marshal Andrew Clark Chief of the Royal New Zealand Air Force

The Trenchard Group – inspiring the Next Generation Air Commodore Mark Hunt, highlights the vision to ensure the Next Generation Royal Air Force will have the best people and skills to ensure its future

Innovation for multi-domain operations

103

Procuring Air Power to plan Air Marshal Julian Young provides an update on the key Royal Air Force aircraft programmes that will be critical for future multi-domain operations

105

Sustaining an innovative, thriving defence and security sector Mark Goldsack CBE, the new Director of the Department for International Trade Defence & Security Organisation, talks about his plans to grow UK defence exports

106

Air power and the resilient space layer Northrop Grumman highlights the increasing role that the space layer will play in future operations

108

Space – delivering the vision Group Captain Martin Ogden explains how the RAF will deliver Defence’s vision for space

111

Enhancing air defence How Project Guardian is bringing the RAF’s Air Surveillance and Control System into the 21st century, improving its ability to safeguard British skies

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Multi-Domain Operations for the Next Generation Air Force


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FOREWORD

Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP Secretary of State for Defence

2019

is an auspicious year for UK air and space power. Seventy-five years ago, the Royal Air Force (RAF) was performing heroic feats in the skies above Normandy. As D-Day approached, our brave aircrews, alongside their Allied colleagues, were targeting enemy submarines, attacking their road and rail networks, and dropping paratroopers behind the lines. D-Day itself witnessed a truly monumental effort, with more than 5,600 aircraft – from looming Lancasters to terrifying Typhoons maintaining a relentless bombardment that helped bring the Nazis to their knees. And on the Home Front, as our citizens slept, tireless aircrews guarded United Kingdom (UK) airspace, deflecting off course the infamous V-1 Doodlebug flying bombs, preventing mass casualties. That D-Day heroism remains a source of pride and inspiration for all those RAF personnel who follow in their flight path. Among them thousands who, for the past 37 years, have been operating our Tornados. In 2019, we finally said farewell to the faithful “Tonka”, drawing the curtain down on a glittering career that took it from being a Cold War warrior to the first Gulf War, Kosovo, the Second Gulf War, Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq and Syria. Against Daesh alone, our Tornado crews clocked up around 30,000 flying hours and approximately 5,500 operational missions. A truly exceptional effort. If we are to overcome the challenges of the future, we will need to emulate the Tornado’s swiftness, flexibility and

unmatched ability to get the job done, not least because the dangers our country faces are increasing in scale and sophistication. Global extremism is on the rise, Russia is resurgent, and new threats are emerging in the ‘grey zone’ between peace and war. But our message to allies and adversaries alike is that we are ready, determined and capable. That’s why 2019 won’t just be remembered as a year of commemorations, but as a year of modernisation – the year

Our message to allies and adversaries alike is that we are ready, determined and capable that the contours of our future Royal Air Force began to take shape. We now have fifth-generation F-35B Lightning strike fighters ready for action anywhere in the world. We have upgraded our Typhoons (which this year are policing Baltic and Icelandic skies). We have plans in the pipeline for the next-generation Tempest combat aircraft, armed with an array of advanced weaponry and equipped with flexible

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FOREWORD

The RAF’s F-35B Lightning strike fighters are ready for action anywhere in the world (PHOTO: CPL TIM LAURENCE/CROWN COPYRIGHT/MOD)

power and propulsion systems. Today’s Royal Air Force is not only preparing to patrol North Atlantic seas with its new P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, it is aiming for the stars. Our upcoming Space Strategy shows the scale of our ambition. This ambition is reflected in the creation of our new National Air and Space Operations Centre and in our willingness to launch smallsatellite constellations to improve our understanding of contested domains. Whatever the danger and wherever it comes from, our next generation Royal Air Force has what it takes to handle it. But we must have world-class talent to match our world-class kit. The RAF’s achievements have always flown on the back of its personnel. Men and women in the mould of D-Day veteran and Victoria Cross winner Squadron Leader Ian Bazalgette. Seventy-five years ago, despite devastating damage to his

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Lancaster and personal injury, Bazalgette cut through a hail of anti-aircraft fire to destroy a V-1 rocket storage cave. Thanks to one RAF hero, many lives were saved. The motto of Bazalgette’s 635 Squadron was “We lead, others follow”. Over the years, the whole of our air force has taken that motto to heart. In the case of one particular family, the Warings, an astonishing four generations have served in the RAF – from the Western Front to Afghanistan, from greatgrandfather to great-grandson, each giving their all for our nation. As Defence Secretary, I am determined to continue that fantastic tradition of recruiting, retaining and training the very best. Guaranteeing that the next generation of RAF personnel will continue leading our country to greater heights in the years to come.

Multi-Domain Operations for the Next Generation Air Force


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FOREWORD

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier KCB CBE DFC ADC MA RAF, Chief of the Air Staff

L

ast year, the Royal Air Force marked its centenary through a series of spectacular events and engagement activities that reaffirmed its relationship with the British public and our international friends. Just as importantly, throughout the past year the RAF has continued to deliver its vital operational outputs in the United Kingdom and overseas, securing our skies, supporting our NATO allies and bringing an end to Daesh’s self-proclaimed caliphate in Iraq and Syria. Sustained operational success is the ultimate measure of an air force’s capability, and the RAF has performed magnificently in that regard across every role of air and space power, from peace support operations, such as our Chinook deployment to Mali (page 85), and our enduring presence in the Middle East (page 83). But our hard-earned reputation for delivering decisive military effect from the air cannot be taken for granted, which is why we are making vital investments in the physical, moral and conceptual components of the RAF’s fighting power. Regarding the physical component, throughout this journal you will read of the enormous strides we are taking with our international and industry partners in advancing the equipment capabilities of the RAF: already this year, the Lightning Force has achieved initial operating capability for land-based operations and has just completed its first expeditionary deployment. The integration of a full suite of British-built airto-air and air-to-ground weapons on Typhoon has provided it with unmatched fourth-generation capabilities. And the

Government’s decision to procure the Boeing E-7A reinforces the importance we attach to airborne Air Command and Control and our relationship with NATO. Furthermore, in the autumn, we will take delivery of our first P-8A Poseidon, marking the restoration of our national airborne maritime patrol capability. Looking to the future, the Combat Air Strategy is gathering pace, with the RAF’s Rapid Capabilities Office corralling activity within the Ministry of Defence, UK industry and international partners to forge a world-class capability that, along with the Lightning, will form the bedrock of our combat air capability beyond Typhoon. It is an exciting programme, on which Mr Richard Berthon (page 45) and a number of industry contributors provide valuable comment. Regarding the moral component, the ongoing need to invest in our people – from air cadet to air marshal – continues to command my utmost attention. Sustaining our operational prowess depends on nurturing our superbly talented and committed workforce. We need to continue to attract and retain the very best people, whilst recognising that as people’s career aspirations are increasingly diverse, so the RAF needs to adapt to them. Air Vice-Marshal Chris Elliot’s article (page 88) offers a valuable insight into the ideas we are exploring to ensure that we foster talent in the Regular and Reserve uniformed Service, whilst examining ways in which we can respond to new requirements and access more diverse pools of expertise. Underpinning all our considerations is our investment in the conceptual component of our fighting power – an aspect

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FOREWORD

Sustaining our operational prowess depends on nurturing our superbly talented and committed workforce. We need to continue to attract and retain the very best people

Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier reviews graduating trainee airmen and women who will go on to form the backbone of the Next Generation Air Force (PHOTO: PAUL SAXBY/CROWN COPYRIGHT/MOD)

covered in depth by the Director of Defence Studies, Group Captain Jim Beldon (page 90). The conceptual foundations that we are laying – from initial training through to my academic Fellowship scheme and senior command training and education – will ensure that every person in the RAF will be prepared to think knowledgably and act flexibly in the complex environments in which the RAF will operate. Bringing together the power of our people with the excellence of our equipment will be part of the solution to our future needs; but organising them such that the RAF’s collective power can be brought to bear quickly and decisively

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across multiple domains is the ultimate goal. To achieve that, last year we re-formed Number 11 Group – the RAF’s multidomain operations Group – synergising the capabilities of our people and equipment to deliver effective deterrence and, when necessary, battle-winning effects at pace, not only in the air and space domains, but across all domains in support of our national objectives. In his article (page 50), the Air Officer Commanding Number 11 Group, Air Vice-Marshal Ian Duguid, explains the evolution of our thinking in this important area, which, in addition to being the focus of this journal, will also be at the heart of the RAF’s Air & Space Power Conference in July.

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FOREWORD

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach GBE KCB ADC DL, Chairman of the NATO Military Committee

I

was elected by my fellow Chiefs of Defence to become Chairman of NATO’s Military Committee and took over the position in June 2018. It is a great honour to serve as NATO’s most senior officer and as the principal military adviser to the Secretary General. The Military Committee, with the guidance of the 29 Allied Chiefs of Defence, provides military advice to the political decision-making bodies of NATO. I was privileged to attend the ceremony at Bayeux War Cemetery earlier this year marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day. One of the most important lessons that we learned from this period of global conflict was that we stand stronger together. The pledge of Article Five in the Washington Treaty, that an attack on one is an attack on all, continues to underpin everything we do at NATO today. Between 1949 and 1991, the world witnessed a dangerous and expensive arms race between great powers. This war of ideals was based on mutual tension and eventually was to be underpinned, and stabilised to some extent, by the concepts of the day – deterrence. NATO’s first Strategic Concept document, endorsed by the North Atlantic Council in 1950, set a very clear definition for the purpose of our Alliance – to deter aggression, with force only to be used if this primary function failed. NATO was and is a defensive alliance. The spirit of this concept remains unchanged. It is Deterrence and Defence that are driving forward NATO’s ongoing adaptation. From the outset NATO Air Forces provided a vital ingredient of deterrence and defence. Second World War vintage equipment was followed by early jet fighters and fighter-bombers. NATO’s role in the provision of air defence was essential from the start.

Soon the network of radars, sensors, command and control, missiles and fighters became a familiar sight, as did the sound (there were many sonic booms). As airmen, we continuously adapt to new technology. Advances in weapon systems have presented both opportunities and risks; as a novel system is developed, so countermeasure is developed and so on. The Alliance has evolved through our history, constantly adapting in the face of developing threats. We have seen this recently in the fields of both cyber and hybrid warfare, where NATO responded with Allies agreeing to create a new Cyber Command and to set up counterhybrid support teams, as well increase our cooperation with the European Union and our dialogue with industry. At the Defence Ministerial meeting in Brussels in June 2019, we saw real support for a strategy focusing on our role in space. This work will consider how NATO treats space as a domain, whilst looking at important elements such as resilience and protecting our communications capabilities. For the past 70 years, NATO has kept the countries of the Alliance and our people safe by continuously adapting to new security challenges. We understand these challenges, be they from state actors or from international terrorism, and are meeting them head on. By undertaking its biggest adaptation since the Cold War – militarily, politically and institutionally – NATO remains as relevant now as it was in 1949, with air power and air forces remaining vital to our mission. We are still achieving consensus on the most challenging issues. Our ability to address our differences together, in good faith, is our greatest strength and is something that we must cherish and protect.

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FOREWORD

Stuart Andrew MP Minister for Defence Procurement

W

hen I was appointed one year ago as Minister for Defence Procurement, the ink was not yet dry on the Combat Air Strategy. Since then, we have given real substance to that strategy, not least through the progress we have made with the Future Combat Air System Technology Initiative (FCAS TI), which will assure the Royal Air Force’s ability to provide the necessary ‘control of the air’ for all our operations for years to come. The importance to our national security of the FCAS TI programme cannot be overstated: in an era of persistent strategic competition, adversary weapon systems are swiftly advancing and proliferating, so it is vital to our national interest that the UK should continue to invest in the capabilities that will guarantee our future defence. The RAF will, of course, be the end user of the equipment, drawing on all its operational experience and the talent of its people to ensure that our new capabilities are exploited to the full. But whilst it will be the men and women of the RAF that will wield this new ‘sword of the skies’, it will be British industry and ingenuity that forge it. Generating, maintaining and exploiting the UK’s intellectual property in this cutting-edge field is essential if we are to maintain our sovereign ability to deliver world-class combat air capabilities. It is worth recalling that, even in collaborative projects like the F-35 Lightning, it was the UK’s unique technological expertise in fields such as vertical lift that secured our country’s position as a Tier 1 partner – a position that has given us a 15% stake in every F-35 sold. It is advantages such as these that make the British aerospace industry the envy of the world. Today, combat air technologies account for over 80% of UK defence exports in a field worth £6 billion – a great British

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success story. But we must continue to invest, which is why, together with industry, we are investing £2 billion in Team Tempest. Launched by the RAF’s own Rapid Capabilities Office in conjunction with Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems, MBDA and Leonardo, Tempest is drawing on the collective expertise of all parties to generate advances in airframe systems and integration, power and propulsion systems, sensors, electronics and avionics. Experience has shown that only through such investment will we reap the military and economic returns that our Armed Forces and industry deserve. Hence, the Combat Air Strategy is aimed not just at providing the very best future capabilities for the Royal Air Force, but also at investing in the intellectual property and technological know-how that feeds our national prosperity and maintains Britain’s advantage as a first-mover in the field of military technology. We could do this alone, but in an era in which Britain will increasingly broaden its horizons, we have put the notion of ‘international by design’ at the heart of our philosophy. So, whilst British sovereign expertise is a fundamental pillar of our approach, we recognise, too, the virtues of working in partnership with other nations whose interests coincide, as we did so successfully with Harrier, Jaguar and Tornado in the past, and continue to do with Typhoon and Lightning today. So, we will work hard to ensure that the modularity that our future systems will encompass provides the best possible platform on which to build new relationships with partner nations, ensuring that common requirements are exploited, whilst removing barriers to national requirements. Affordability and ‘upgradeability’ are core tenets of our approach. Economies of scale speak for themselves, so there

Multi-Domain Operations for the Next Generation Air Force


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FOREWORD

A Royal Air Force Typhoon, armed with the Meteor long-range air-to-air missile

is an obvious advantage to welcome international partners to the programme. The benefits to our national prosperity of making the system fit for export are similarly profound. Whilst the iconography of air power is represented by the physical form of aircraft such as the Spitfire and Vulcan, the beating heart of air power can now be found in the digital technologies that enable aircraft such as the Lightning. Future combat in an ever more complex and heavily contested operationing environment requires a phenomenal amount

We have put the notion of ‘international by design’ at the heart of our philosophy of data generation, processing and sharing. It is, therefore, of the utmost importance that, in addition to developing the technologies that will enable our future combat aircraft to fly further, faster and higher, we invest in the digitalisation that will enable pilots and commanders with the decision-grade information that will maintain our supremacy in the battlespace. So, there is much to be excited about for the future, but we already have much to celebrate this year. Shortly after we bade a fond farewell to the Tornado in March, we re-formed

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(PHOTO: SAC CHARLOTTE HOPKINS/CROWN COPYRIGHT/MOD)

9 Squadron with the Typhoon at RAF Lossiemouth, which will be joined by a second squadron, Number 12, at RAF Coningsby later this year. Under Project Centurion, the Typhoon continues to grow in capability, and will do so for the rest of its service life: in addition to adding the Meteor Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile to its arsenal, Typhoon has fully grasped the baton of precision strike from Tornado in the form of the Storm Shadow and Brimstone missiles. The famous 617 ‘Dambusters’ Squadron achieved initial operational capability for land-based operations with the Lightning in January, bringing to life this game-changing capability, for which BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin have started integration trials with British next-generation weapons, including the MBDA Meteor and SPEAR 3. In October, the RAF will receive its first Boeing P-8A Poseidon, marking the renaissance of the Service’s maritime patrol capability – an enterprise in which we will continue to work very closely with the US Navy and the Royal Norwegian Air Force. And, finally, we have committed to the replacement of the venerable E-3D Sentry with the world-leading E-7A Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft, which will give us the best possible longrange situational awareness of airborne and maritime threats. Altogether, we are entering an era of unprecedented capability for the RAF, which will keep our country safe whilst investing positively in the UK aerospace and technology sectors. We will continue to seek opportunities to work collaboratively with our international partners to ensure that we deter and, if necessary, defeat the increasingly dangerous threats that together we will face.

Multi-Domain Operations for the Next Generation Air Force


Protector RG Mk1

AIRSPACE ACCESS The world’s first certifiable Remotely Piloted Air System The RAF’s Protector RG Mk1 is based on the new generation MQ-9B SkyGuardian and will operate in non-segregated civilian and international airspace. It has been designed to the same stringent airworthiness standards as manned aircraft, will have a detect and avoid system and be certified by the UK Military Aviation Authority (MAA).

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Leading The Situational Awareness Revolution

5/10/2019 7:32:32 AM


FOREWORD

Paul Everitt Chief Executive, ADS Group

The future of the Royal Air Force will draw upon new industries for new domains

T

he Royal Air Force delivers world-leading air power to protect the United Kingdom’s national security and defend its interests overseas. The UK Defence and Aerospace industry plays a vital role in providing the first-class equipment, services and support that the RAF needs to carry out its duties. The RAF’s centenary in 2018 saw wonderful celebrations across the country, and this year we have seen further events to mark the retirement of the Tornado after 40 years of service. Looking to the future, the RAF faces new and demanding challenges. We can afford to lose no time in developing a nextgeneration combat aircraft that can defend the UK when current aircraft go out of service. The Armed Forces must also consider new and evolving areas in the defence of our national security and national interests, including space and cyber warfare. In the past 12 months, we have seen a new Combat Air Strategy launched, setting the direction for the future development of this critical area of UK defence industry capability. The Team Tempest programme is moving forward, with potential suppliers now being engaged on the project to design and build a new generation of UK combat aircraft, and industry partners have begun their research and technology work for the future system.

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The role of the RAF’s Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO) will be vital in making sure this programme delivers efficiently and effectively, and the work it is carrying out with industry partners is hugely encouraging. This model of strategic engagement between the Armed Forces and industry from the start of an equipment programme is vital to making sure the UK has access to the very best in defence capability. The RAF has been given responsibility for developing the UK military’s approach to space capabilities, an area that is becoming ever more important for the world’s leading military powers. The UK’s space industry is growing and offering more capabilities and expertise by the month, with key growth areas from civilian navigation to military situational awareness. We are working closely with the Government on this important area of defence and space, and look forward to future developments. Exploring the full range of capability and expertise that can be offered by UK SMEs (small and mediumsized enterprises) will be vital to the success of this partnership. Alongside space, the cyber domain has emerged as a heavily contested environment. From dominance of the electromagnetic spectrum to cryptographic protection, “cyber” encompasses a wide range of capabilities. We already see our Armed Forces defending from cyber attacks, both in the battlespace and supporting critical national infrastructure. As technology continues to advance, a long-term partnership between Government and industry to identify new challenges and develop new solutions together has never been more vital. In partnership with industry, the RAF has now been keeping the UK safe for more than 100 years, and we look forward to continuing and strengthening this partnership in the years ahead.

Multi-Domain Operations for the Next Generation Air Force


MARITIME ROLE-FIT OPTION The world’s first certifiable Remotely Piloted Air System Protector RG Mk1, based on the new generation MQ-9B SkyGuardian, provides a flexible multi-role capability with lightning protection, a de-icing system and a flight endurance of over 40 hours. The open architecture design enables rapid integration of sovereign payloads. A maritime role-fit option is available to provide long range, persistent wide area maritime surveillance in areas such as surface surveillance, submarine hunting, search and rescue and patrolling the exclusive economic zone.

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Leading The Situational Awareness Revolution

5/10/2019 7:32:37 AM


FOREWORD

Sir Brian Burridge Chief Executive, Royal Aeronautical Society

How elastic is the flexibility of air power? Everyday phrases that become rooted in the vernacular arguably lose their significance as time passes and their original context changes. Some would assert that this applies to the oft-heard phrase ‘the flexibility of air power’. However, there are ample examples to underpin this as a truism – ranging from the achievement of strategic effect, such as in policing the Empire in the 1920s (now almost a century ago), to the tactical flexibility of swing-role aircraft, such as Typhoon operating over Syria and which will remain in service through a period of immense change. To that end, while the conceptual ‘envelope’ in which air power is deemed to be relevant now includes the space and cyber domains, the nature of the battlespace itself is changing rapidly. The ‘grey zone’ is now a reality, with sub-threshold interventions that are difficult to attribute and hard to deter, ranging from the dissemination of fake news to the ‘badgeless’ application of low-level military violence. In response to these complex challenges, the term ‘military capability’ takes on a new breadth. It calls for the faster adoption of novel technology and greater agility in procurement in the search for highly flexible solutions that can be fielded quickly and applied across a range of scenarios within a defensible legal framework.

Future technology – help or hindrance? A number of the technologies embraced in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) are finding their way into defence-related research. Robotics, autonomous systems, big data analytics and artificial intelligence have now firmly entered the military technology lexicon: air power is already an early adopter. Equally,

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South Korea is introducing blockchain technology – primarily used today as a distributed ledger for cryptocurrencies – to streamline its procurement system. Further into the future, the developments in quantum science promise to be truly transformational. Among other aspects, timing accuracy of one second in 10 billion years will provide ultra-accurate navigation and constant synchronisation. Cryptography will be revolutionised, and quantum computing will allow huge strides in the fidelity of simulation, allowing high-speed solutioneering of complex problems. Such applications benefit from the investment that flows from their wider dual-use integration in civilian commercial sectors as varied as finance, agriculture and healthcare. But this type of exploitation is both an advantage and a threat. The accelerated integration that results works to de-risk future military applications and identifies some of the complex safety and ethical issues along the way. On the other hand, a characteristic of the 4IR technologies is that they are vastly more accessible globally than might have been the case with earlier industrial revolutions. Adding that to their increasing ubiquity in commercial systems results in proliferation into the hands of both state and non-state actors, who see operating in the ‘grey’ space as their preferred course of action and whose perception of legality is somewhat tenuous.

The ‘grey zone’ cannot be allowed to become a legal-free battlespace Fighting technology in the ‘grey zone’ – where are the rules? A purist military analyst might regard placing an adversary’s centre of gravity at risk in an unattributable way by fighting in the ‘grey zone’ as being the logical development of the manoeuvrist approach. But the ‘grey zone’ cannot be allowed to become a legal-free battlespace. The law of armed conflict still has applicability where novel technologies are concerned: military necessity, distinction and proportionality continue to have meaning in the artificial intelligence world. But subthreshold activity circumvents these strictures, so the collective application of the norms of the rules-based international order must be strengthened, and breaches addressed through sanctions. This will be a tough challenge to the alignment of the international community, given the difficulty we have seen so far in achieving a unified response to sub-threshold incursions in all three domains where air power now operates.

Multi-Domain Operations for the Next Generation Air Force


FOREWORD

Simon Michell Editor, RAF Air & Space Power 2019

Enhancing multidomain operations

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aving officially declared Initial Operational Capability (IOC), Land on 10 January 2018, the next milestone for the UK’s F-35B is to achieve IOC, Maritime. When this happens at the end of 2020, it will be an historic event and will place the final piece of the Carrier Enabled Power Projection (CEPP) jigsaw puzzle in position. The UK will have rejoined the select group of nations that operate the most complex multidomain combat system available – the aircraft carrier. The options such an advanced military capability offers are immense. The carrier Task Group, with its wide range of fixed- and rotary-wing, manned and unmanned aircraft can be deployed to address a multitude of situations across soft- and hard-power diplomatic and military challenges. It will be as effective in coming to the relief of a population struck by a natural disaster as it will be in the emergency evacuation of citizens trapped in a war zone. The F-35B in particular, once flying off one of the Queen Elizabeth-class carriers will be a game-changing addition to the UK’s expeditionary capability, ensuring its place at the top table of nations able to project influence and stability. Having already flown its first operational mission from land on 6 June 2019, the F-35B is now a major part of UK military influence. This capability will be further enhanced by the addition of a group of new aircraft types to the RAF’s inventory. The P-8A Poseidon remains on schedule to arrive in the UK in 2020 and will provide additional assurance to the nation’s

‘continuous at-sea deterrent’ (Operation Relentless). Beyond that critical role, P-8A will also deliver an ability to monitor the surrounding seas with a far greater efficiency than is currently the case. The Reaper’s replacement, Protector, will usher in another game-changing capability – that of being able to operate remotely piloted air systems alongside commercial air traffic. And the recent announcement that the UK will replace its venerable E-3D Sentry aircraft with the E-7A ushers in a truly digital capability that will be better able to deal with the advanced threats that the nation may face in the future. This future will not only see the introduction of groundbreaking capabilities through the Team Tempest and LANCA projects, it will also embrace multi-domain operations (MDO) across land, sea, air, space and cyberspace. Consequently, this year’s RAF Air & Space Power publication, along with highlighting how the introduction of improved equipment capability and the associated training endeavour is progressing, also examines the concept of MDO and what is required to ensure the RAF and its sister Services are able to become its foremost proponents. To this end, we are extremely grateful to the Chiefs of Staff of the air forces of Canada, Germany, New Zealand, Norway and the United States for their contributions outlining their perspectives of the importance of MDO and how the Royal Air Force and its partners should adopt MDO across all of its activities. General L Goldfein, head of the United States Air Force, who has long been at the forefront of promoting MDO, highlights the way forward in this publication, extolling his fellow airmen and women to put MDO front and centre of everything they do: “Achieving prowess in MDO as international partners is the central imperative for the modern air force and a tenet influencing almost every act, operation, plan and decision.”

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ADDRESSING THE CHALLENGE

Multi-domain operations In order to mount successful multi-domain operations, commanders will have to employ the appropriate doctrine, be agile enough to implement new ideas and processes, and utilise the relevant technologies that will improve lethality, accuracy and speed of decision-making. Their units will also require properly trained MDC2 (Multi-Domain Command and Control) specialists. Air Commodore Phil Lester, Head of Doctrine for Air, Space and Cyber at the United Kingdom’s Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre, explains

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world of persistent competition from states with hostile intent requires persistent engagement from the United Kingdom in order that we can protect our nation and our national interests. Hostile threats and challenges are manifest across all domains, and our response must meet these head-on. To achieve multi-domain and multi-dimensional competitive advantage, our capabilities need to be integrated and agile across all domains and in three dimensions. Multi-domain operations (MDO) have become a catchphrase for a potentially new conceptual operational approach. The term, derived in the United States, seeks to “shift from a

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model of interdependence to one of integration... including C2 designs, communication systems, and the development of tailorable and scalable units... that enable adaptability and innovation – true jointness”. This reflects a recognition, stateside, that it has yet to develop a fully crosscomponent, integrated and joint approach. In contrast, for the UK, Joint Action is our framework approach to integrate information activities with fires, manoeuvre and outreach to gain competitive advantage – placing influence as a primary outcome, and integration at its core as the principal enabling tenet. Tempo and the precision of effect will continue to be generated, predominantly

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ADDRESSING THE CHALLENGE

(but not solely) by a Joint Force, planning and executing operations within and across multiple domains rapidly, to maintain the initiative and pose the adversary with multiple insoluble dilemmas. And, of course, tactical activity conducted by the Maritime, Land and Air Components will need to adopt similar approaches. This model is, therefore, multi-domain in both its nature and character, and recognises that no domain is the sole preserve of any single warfighting component or Service. Yet, Joint Action will need to evolve – especially as technology develops – so that we can keep pace with, and ideally get ahead of, the specific challenges posed by hostile states. The continued drive towards the calibration of all multi-domain activities, whether they are conducted or owned by the Royal Navy, British Army or Royal Air Force, must be at the heart of such adaptation. In doing so, we can converge operational effect on our adversaries to generate competitive advantage over them physically, conceptually and morally through an integrated, multi-dimensional approach enabled by a distinctly British method to mission command and the ‘manoeuvrist approach’.

Space and cyberspace While our approach to multi-domain and multidimensional operations should continue to follow the

Joint Action model, there is merit in exploring what these terms should mean. First and foremost, we must determine whether the newest domains – space and cyber – are truly discrete warfighting domains in their own right, or whether they are domains that enable more effective operations in the air, on the land or at sea. In so doing, we must recognise that these new domains do not have boundaries in the same way as the land and maritime domains, and that the air and space boundary is no more than an arbitrary delineation. The outcome of these debates will have significant command and control ramifications. Despite what is written in UK doctrine, activities between domains requires more than integration. All components need to dominate and succeed in their principal domains, but to do so requires all components to gain access to, and achieve a degree of control of, the other domains to achieve truly Joint and integrated competitive advantage. This is true of space and cyberspace, too – so what access to, and control of, the land, maritime and air domains is required by space and cyberspace, and how is that achieved to deliver a truly integrated approach? The answer must begin with a realisation that these domains are different and should not be viewed in the same way we see and use the classical domains. The increased blurring of the edges between domains arising from the physical realities and new

Multi-Domain Operations for the Next Generation Air Force

Multi-domain operations will require MDC2 specialists to achieve maximum effect from assets such as the F-35B (PHOTO: CPL LEE MATTHEWS/CROWN COPYRIGHT/MOD)

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ADDRESSING THE CHALLENGE

The re-forming of No. 11 Group heralds a reborn focus on multidomain operations (IMAGE: CROWN COPYRIGHT)

Multi-domain operations demand the seamless integration of maritime, land and air forces – as well as space and cyber – to deliver battlewinning effects (PHOTO: LPHOT DAN ROSENBAUM/CROWN COPYRIGHT/MOD)

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technological developments mean that how, when and where military power is utilised to deliver effect below the surface, on the surface (at sea and on land) and above the surface of the earth, in, from and through space (as well as cyberspace) is increasing dramatically year on year. Thus, each warfighting component needs to understand the implications of these influences and factor them into its operating approaches, structures and how such multidomain and multi-dimensional effects are commanded and controlled, not only at the tactical level, but also how integrated effects at the operational level can be achieved and improved. The reformation of Number 11 Group is a very good example of progress here for the RAF and for UK Defence – but truly Joint and integrated approaches need to retain a degree of centralised command and control, if not execution, especially against the backdrop of hostile state activity pre-threshold or with near-peer adversaries during conflict.

Maximising Joint Action So, what next for Joint Action as an operating construct and MDO as a useful descriptor going forward? What are the opportunities for air and space power through the leadership role of the RAF? The RAF routinely applies a multi-domain approach in its delivery of air and space power for the UK – this is

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a reflection that the two domains are at least contiguous or, indeed, representative of an aerospace continuum. Our capabilities are equally adept, and battle-proven, at delivering effect at sea, on land, in the air, with and through space, as well as cyberspace. But this is not really at the heart of the challenge we face in the new strategic era. Fundamentally, the challenge facing the RAF and its sister Services is the need to assure delivery of the effects that are required to influence our adversaries, with precision at the required time, and across the maximum vertical and horizontal reaches required. The test for the RAF of doing so across arguably the largest three-dimensional warfighting span of all three Services should not be underestimated. Traditional combat mass is unquestionably important. Yet to be optimal in this blurred and interconnected world, agile and adaptive multi-dimensional ‘effectors’ from across the air-space continuum, as well as from cyberspace, are essential. Combined with resilient command, control, communication, computers and intelligence (C4I) capabilities that are capable of directing and orchestrating air and space tactical effect across all domains, these are key to delivering tempo and precision, and thereby maximising Joint Action, as the core approach to multi-domain and multi-dimensional operations. This requires a much-needed rebalancing of our approach to delivering combat power across the increasingly blurred air, space and cyber domains. This rebalancing should come in three mutually supporting approaches. First, we need to embrace and harness novel technologies that compete and deliver effect in the void between conventional air-breathing platforms in the lower atmosphere and satellites in space. Second, we must inculcate a philosophy and an application of integration and information-networking across all air and space programmes. Third, we need to adopt and develop the Joint Action model as the template for tactical-level multi-domain and multidimensional operations, while exploring novel ways of using it to dock with multi-domain activities delivered by the Land and Maritime components. Combined, such approaches will ensure we can increase accuracy, persistency, reach and ubiquity of air and space power to deliver our contribution to multi-domain and multi-dimensional Joint Action endeavours with precision in space and time, as well as in the minds of those whom we seek to influence.

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AIR CHIEF’S PERSPECTIVE

General David L Goldfein Chief of Staff, United States Air Force US multi-domain operations – anchored by new technologies and culture – form the cornerstone to successful national security

The idea of multi-domain operations (MDO) and its importance in successful warfighting is not new or unfamiliar. D-Day, after all, remains an exquisite example even today, 75 years after that heroic land, sea and air operation triggered the liberation of Europe. What is different is this: MDO has never been more important to the US, the UK and our other warfighting partners than it is today. MDO is an operational imperative to achieving our security priorities and, if necessary, fighting and winning. With the advent of space and cyber, it’s also true that MDO is far different and far more complex than ever before. Achieving prowess in MDO as international partners is the central imperative for the modern air force and a tenet influencing almost every act, operation, plan and decision. Our advantage in future battles depends on our ability to deftly harness

vast amounts of information, to fuse it quickly into decision-quality information that can be used, when necessary, to trigger simultaneous, coordinated responses from air, ground and sea as well as space and cyber. A multi-domain force generating flexible, dynamic, complex yet coordinated acts can constrain an adversary who knows any aggression on their part can be met with a range of capabilities that they are incapable of answering. This form of 21st-century deterrence leverages our combined nations’ military assets to create options in and from any domain that will yield the desired result with certainty and at the time and place of our choosing. Across the United States Air Force, we are confronting the challenge of

In order to win future wars, we must shed our misconceptions and “old thinking” on domain-specific warfighting concepts. We must develop and integrate technology much faster than the enemy, even if that means getting more comfortable with failure and risk in our acquisitions. MDO of the future will combine and synchronise hundreds of actions and decisions across every possible warfighting domain, creating simultaneous and unique problems for an adversary at an overwhelming operations tempo. The US Air Force is on the brink of a major cultural shift in its approach to warfighting. To succeed fully, however, we must be bold enough and confident enough to freely

Multi-domain operations (MDO) has never been more important to the US, the UK and our other warfighting partners than it is today modern-day MDO with clarity, hard work and innovation. We also recognise that success demands a cultural shift focused on the continuous development and integration of technology across our entire enterprise. It requires leadership that weans the Air Force from an aircraft-centric mindset and the pitfalls of stove-piped systems.

experiment with new technologies and develop new tactics, techniques and procedures for multi-domain command and control. This is what it means to deter in the 21st century, and what it will take to maintain our strategic advantages and win together in the era of great power competition.

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EVOLVING STRATEGY

The road to multi-domain operations Command and Control is the connective tissue in the modern battlespace, explains JD Hammond, Vice President C4ISR Systems, Lockheed Martin

Water shapes its course according to the nature of the ground over which it flows; the soldier works out his victory in relation to the foe whom he is facing. Therefore, just as water retains no constant shape, so in warfare there are no constant conditions. – Sun Tzu, The Art of War

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ince the time of Sun Tzu, commanders have continually addressed fundamental questions such as: “How is the battle shifting?”, “What is the enemy’s next move?” and “How can I capture the element of surprise?” The concept of multi-domain operations is not new, though the elements behind effective

Getting the right data to the right person at the right time will be crucial to defeating future adversaries (IMAGE: LOCKHEED MARTIN)

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multi-domain operations continue to evolve at breathtaking speed. How we understand and harness those elements will determine our success in the modern battlespace. War is no longer a linear event. Kinetic and non-kinetic weapons systems range from undersea to outer space and everything between, all with unique capabilities and operating constraints. Mastery of these individual domains has been the goal for decades, but to prepare for the next generation of conflict, we must master the integration of these domains and their synchronised effects. This is the key to multidomain operations – creating complex dilemmas for our adversaries at speeds they cannot match. The phrase “multi-domain operations” is becoming a catch-all word for any number of new operational concepts and technologies, but the bottom line is that effective multi-domain operations allows commanders to make the right decisions faster. The Royal Air Force understands this, as demonstrated by the decision to stand up Number 11 Group for multi-domain operations. Having done so, it must now decide what capabilities are necessary for the future battlespace, and which are just extensions of yesterday’s fight.

Turning data into information Future conflicts will be decided by the side with an information advantage. To gain this advantage, we need a more efficient integration of the assets across the air, space, land, sea and cyber realms. This amounts to much more than simply collecting more data – much of which, in any case, remains untapped in today’s human-powered analysis methods; modern systems must be capable of turning trillions of bits of data into meaningful information to speed up decision-making. This is not to say that the solution is to simply connect every deployed asset. The sheer volume of data in the spectrum today is overwhelming. Given the constrained bandwidth, fully interconnected platforms and unrestrained free flow of information is unrealistic. But, at a tactical level, sensors, communicators and effectors (kinetic and non-kinetic) should be able to share real-time information, allowing for a more nuanced and actionable picture of the battlespace. Getting the right data to the right person at the right time is key to defeating future adversaries. This challenge is immense, but it is attainable. It requires horizontally integrating numerous stovepiped systems, while simultaneously creating an architecture that can accommodate existing, as well as future, systems. This requires vision, careful planning and an appreciation for how critical access to information will be in the next-generation fight.

Multi-Domain Operations for the Next Generation Air Force


EVOLVING STRATEGY

Synchronised effects, synchronised dilemmas Twenty years ago, few of us envisioned a world in which we could share a photo with friends, make a dinner reservation and do some banking, all simultaneously on a wireless device in our hand. The power and flexibility to oversee and influence many events at once is precisely what the modern commander needs in the multi-domain battlespace. We’re investing in artificial intelligence, adaptive learning, advanced communications and architecture studies, among other things – all focused on how to speed up multi-domain operations. While today it can take hours or days to plan missions involving multiple domains, we are working to shrink the planning cycle to a matter of moments. Evolving methodologies in open architectures, predictive analytics, data fusion and machine learning are enabling a world in which the “human in the loop” becomes the “human on the loop” – a commander who can oversee the dynamic picture and take charge at will. To give one example, we have developed a system that links traditionally stove-piped resources across domains, such as air, space and cyber, allowing commanders to plan kinetic and non-kinetic effects across those domains. The Multi-Domain Synchronized Effects Tool (MDSET) allows operators to create synergistic effects and shorten the data-to-decision cycle by transforming

command and control into a collaborative crossdomain, decision-making framework. Assimilating essential information from stove-piped systems into one intuitive system, MDSET creates a comprehensive picture of the integrated plan, allowing decisions to be made based on concurrent (versus serial) situational awareness of activity in all domains.

More efficient integration of assets across air, space, land, sea and cyber will be vital to gain an information advantage during future conflicts (IMAGE:

Exploring the art of the possible

LOCKHEED MARTIN)

The problem in today’s environment is not a lack of technology. Understanding the elements needed to conduct multi-domain operations is a necessary prerequisite to acquiring systems. Here, experimentation is key. For example, MDSET was developed through a series of tabletop exercises, conducted with professional operators, exploring how to build an integrated, synchronised multidomain plan. Operators from all domains were given little more than a whiteboard, a spreadsheet and an integrated target list from which to build a comprehensive plan. The process preceded the tool.

In summary Warfare is becoming savvier and more technical, but more tools don’t necessarily equate to more success. A vision, an understanding of the power of data and an exploration of the processes and policies needed for true, integrated multi-domain operations are essential elements of success for the next generation of warfare.

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INDUSTRY PERSPECTIVE

Investing in Britain for capabilities and skills

Richard Daniel Chief Executive and Managing Director, Raytheon UK

How does Raytheon support the F-35 and Typhoon programme? To begin with, we’ve provided GPS antijam and strike capability for Typhoon since 2002. Raytheon is providing precision munitions for firepower, including Paveway IV, a system that delivers realtime information from six cameras to a pilot’s helmet, and an advanced landing system for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

What capabilities does Raytheon deliver in airborne ISR? Our airborne ISR site in Broughton, North Wales, is a hub of technological innovation, development and integration. It’s absolutely unique in the UK and supports over 90 Welsh firms. We’ve embedded truly world-leading special mission aircraft expertise into this significant military and civilian aerospace cluster. Since the start of the Second World War, Broughton has been home to an airfield and a group of aerospace

www.raytheon.co.uk

firms – all manufacturing, assembling and modifying commercial and military grade aircraft. Given this existing infrastructure, we chose Broughton to lead our work on airborne ISR technology, which is all about gathering and processing data in real time. Raytheon UK is the prime on the Sentinel R1 stand-off radar aircraft that provides a unique and highly flexible reconnaissance capability to the RAF, one that has been in high demand since it entered service. Sentinel delivers a capability that is admired by our allies and its phenomenal performance in theatres across the world shows why it is the UK’s contribution to NATO AGS. By undertaking the Sentinel programme, Raytheon invested in the know-how to successfully develop airborne ISR technology, imparting specialist skills to a sizeable workforce, which has in turn led to the Shadow R1 special mission tactical ISR system being developed at Broughton. We were awarded a further contract this past January to cover an 11-year support programme.

What new defence investments is Raytheon making in the UK? We continue to invest in Britain. Our R&D spend creates UK intellectual property to provide solutions for both domestic and international customers. We’re expanding both facilities and teams in England, Scotland, and Wales in all our areas of expertise, from ISR to weapons, from electronics to cyber. In just the past few years, we’ve opened

two major locations dedicated to cybersecurity, which house some of the country’s best cyber talent. Today, mission success is dependent on ensuring the data integrity and resilience of every system, platform and site. Raytheon defends every side of cyber for both the public and private sector. The company has focused on a multi-layered approach to information assurance for decades now. We know how to find vulnerabilities that can be exploited and how to characterise, prioritise and mitigate threats. We’ve also invested further in GPS anti-jam technology over the past eight years, including for land applications. It’s a fundamental capability in modern warfare and we’re pursuing nextgeneration solutions to address when GPS is denied or degraded, which is highly likely in future operations.

What innovations will Raytheon bring to the space domain in the future? Raytheon’s success is based on indigenous capability investment and hybrid US/UK technology. We focus on defence, aerospace, cyber and intelligence across England, Wales and Scotland, and the next phase will be to replicate this success in the Space domain. As we’ve done previously, we will utilise the global manufacturing we have in Scotland for components and systems in the space sector, as well as look at how we can leverage US technology for co-development.


EVOLVING STRATEGY

Combat Air Strategy The Combat Air Strategy, launched at the Farnborough International Air Show in 2018, set out an ambitious vision for the United Kingdom’s Combat Air sector, driving a comprehensive approach across Government, our industrial base and international partnering. Richard Berthon, Strategic Programmes Director at the UK Ministry of Defence, describes why the strategy is necessary, its key outcomes and how it is now being delivered

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The UK’s combat air acquisition programme will define and deliver the capabilities that will be needed when Typhoon is withdrawn from service at the mid-point of the century (PHOTO: CPL TIM LAURENCE/CROWN COPYRIGHT/MOD)

he UK’s long and successful history of worldclass Combat Air capability – nationally and internationally – has been underpinned by over 100 years of Government and Industry investment. By 2018, we reached the point where decisions were needed if the UK wanted to remain a world leader, and to retain sovereign choice in how we deliver future capabilities. Upgrading and extending Typhoon ensures that it remains a cutting-edge capability, forming the backbone of UK Combat Air power alongside the F-35 Lightning. The F-35 programme demonstrates UK expertise and industrial competitiveness, with our industry delivering 15% by value of every F-35 manufactured and winning contracts to become the global hub for maintenance, repair, overhaul and

upgrading of F-35 avionics and aircraft components. But the extended time gap before designing a major new air system in the UK placed critical engineering skills, which are key to sustaining choice, at significant risk. The 2018 Strategy reaffirmed the UK Government’s commitment to the Combat Air sector, identifying the resources and activities required to retain choice. The Strategy did not aim to define exactly how we will deliver the next generation of capability, but through investment in the sector it ensures the UK’s ability to choose. The Combat Air Strategy provides a clear roadmap for the future, aligning national programmes and investment decisions. It re-affirms our commitment to the Future Combat Air System Technology Initiative (FCAS TI), designed to retain

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EVOLVING STRATEGY

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier speaks at the launch of the UK’s Combat Air Strategy at the Farnborough International Air Show in July 2018, standing in front of a model of the next-generation combat aircraft (PHOTO: ROBERT CLAYTON/BAE SYSTEMS)

our national advantage and freedom of action and sustain our technical ability to deliver next-generation capability. These technologies – including open mission systems, signature management and sensor fusion – demonstrate the UK’s international credibility. Now firmly in the delivery phase, this initiative will deliver over £2 billion of joint Government and industry investment to keep the UK at the forefront of global Combat Air technology development. At the Strategy’s heart is the launch of the nextgeneration Combat Air Acquisition Programme, to define and deliver the capabilities required when Typhoon leaves service. Having delivered a Strategic Outline Case by the end of 2018, the Programme team is now working towards an Outline Business Case by the end of 2020 and a Full Business Case in 2025.

Team Tempest The Combat Air Strategy requires profound transformational change to the enterprise. The next generation of Combat Air offers an opportunity to break the old paradigm where new programmes cost ever more and take ever longer to deliver. Technology and partnering mean we really can change the dynamics between capability and cost. There are opportunities to improve existing processes in areas such as engineering management and certification. The innovative ‘Team Tempest’ partnership is already changing relationships and behaviours between Government and industry by aligning incentives, sharing costs and benefits, and creating common interest in pace and agility. This catalyses broader behavioural change across the enterprise.

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Technological building blocks, such as advanced manufacturing, synthetic qualification and open systems, also offer the potential to deliver and upgrade capability faster and cheaper. The strategy stresses the need for continuous development and re-use of capability to reduce cost and risk to future programmes, squeezing maximum return from investment and avoiding retiring systems at their peak. Investing in world-leading technologies and sub-systems such as the EJ200 engine, E-Scan Radar and SPEAR weapons means we are already building the basis of the next-generation system. The Strategy is fundamentally international. Since Farnborough 2018, we have conducted extensive international engagement, working with potential partners to explore shared interests and collaborative opportunities. This agile, ‘open system’ partnering approach builds on the UK’s unique pedigree of collaboration in Europe, with the US, and worldwide to jointly develop technology and build local capacity. Technology again offers the potential for more agile and flexible collaboration. Most importantly, it is our respect for our partners’ own objectives and our desire to share benefits that sets us apart. The Combat Air Strategy, supporting investments in Typhoon, F-35, FCAS TI and Team Tempest, enables national choice in how we deliver future capability. Exploring these opportunities and informing critical decisions on what, how and with whom we do so is the focus of work through to late 2020. The challenges to deliver a next-generation capability by 2035 are certainly not underestimated, but we do have the Strategy to succeed.

Multi-Domain Operations for the Next Generation Air Force


INDUSTRY PERSPECTIVE

Operational readiness in partnership

Paul Armstrong Senior Vice President, Cobham Aviation Services

Describe Cobham’s partnership with the RAF For almost 30 years, Cobham has been a very close partner of both the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, in what has become the increasingly critical and confidential arena of operational training in a highly contested environment. Throughout, Cobham has delivered over 100,000 hours of safe and effective operational training to the Ministry of Defence. The partnership is based on a high degree of trust and collaboration, in order to provide a safe and secure training environment that explores and exposes every aspect of the higher end of adversary training. Cobham’s approach and ethos has allowed for an unimpeachable bond of trust to be built with its military partners through the planning, execution and debriefing together of the most complex and sensitive areas of operational training. In addition, and in order to present a relevant threat and respond to the latest technologies and techniques, we have

continued to evolve our capabilities and offer service enhancements combined with efficiency initiatives within the bounds of the contract. The partnering approach has benefitted from the quality of our technical expertise and the ability of our aircrew, the majority of whom are highly experienced ex-military operators. This has allowed us to introduce new capabilities, harnessing innovation from our specialist engineers and operational crews. We also have a very close partnership with the RAF Air Warfare Centre (AWC) and Defence Intelligence, so that we can continually update our provision of real-world threats.

What can Cobham offer the RAF in terms of training support? Cobham delivers a complex, diverse and frequently evolving training service using its 16-strong aircraft fleet and wealth of highly experienced and specialist qualified aircrew, technical and ground support personnel to provide 6,000 hours of Electronic Warfare (EW) and 500 hours of full-motion video training annually. Specific examples include providing the Typhoon force basic through to advanced EW training and the simulation of adversary tactics and weapon employment as “Red Air”, both at home and abroad. Recently, we have begun to provide the same service to F-35 pilots, now that this aircraft has arrived in the UK at RAF Marham. Importantly, we have an in-house capability to design, build, modify, certify and deploy specialist EW pods and related equipment quickly, particularly as live jamming and threat simulation have become more prevalent. This has allowed us to integrate and blend our solutions into the increasingly vital live-virtualconstructive (LVC) environment in order to

provide safe and relevant training against current and emerging future threats. Rather than being a simple transactional relationship, ours is one of genuine partnership, where we develop and learn together, with each side safely pushing the boundaries and limits of the other to provide the very best training possible.

What training solutions does Cobham provide to other air forces? In addition to its primary customer in the UK, Cobham provides a variety of diverse but related training services to multiple allied forces globally, including the provision of EW services to NATO, the United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE), and Allies in the Middle East. Although we are home-based at our two UK operating bases of Bournemouth and Durham Tees Valley, we have a proven ability to deploy and deliver training worldwide. Routine deployments are conducted to Crete, Malaysia and Oman, as well as occasionally to the US and South Africa. Last year, Cobham operated from or transited through 36 countries in support of operational training delivery across all of our contracts. Our latest contract award was by NATO’s Joint Electronic Warfare Core Staff (JEWCS) to provide modern and realistic training technology to deliver the Air and NATO Anti-Ship Missile Defence Evaluation Facility (NASMDEF) systems. In the air environment here, the Cobham pods will provide complex and realistic EW training through radar and communications jamming, as well as threat simulation, whereas the NASMDEF system is the first of its kind within NATO to provide next-generation capability for anti-ship missile defence.

cobham.com


AIR CHIEF’S PERSPECTIVE

Lieutenant-General Al Meinzinger Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force Multi-domain operations for the Next Generation Air Force: a Royal Canadian Air Force perspective

The Armed Forces of the world are compelled to consider new and evermore synchronised warfighting concepts. This is due to the astonishing pace of change that is characteristic of today’s information age, manifest in the rapid development of increasingly advanced networked technologies and the growing importance of space and cyber in the modern world. These nascent ideas crystallise in the concept of multi-domain operations (MDO), replacing the trend of operating in loosely grouped silos under the guise of joint operations. Opinions on what MDO really means remain diverse. Some state that multidomain is simply a new term for what we have been doing all along. Others believe that it specifically defines the incorporation of space and cyber into established joint operations. Still, others understand it as something fundamentally

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greater. The United States Air Force Chief of Staff defines MDO as “much more than the ability to work in multiple domains. It is also more than operations in one domain supporting or complementing operations in another domain”. Although the definition of MDO is not settled, clarity is required to ensure that all nations share a concept from which to position our strengths to realise its potential benefits. Institutionally, the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) is contemplating what MDO means for the delivery of Canadian air and space power. Within the Canadian context, this is complicated by the fact that the RCAF does not control all of the essential functions of MDO; the cyber domain, for example, is managed by a separate organisation. What is certain, however, is that the current dialogue on MDO emphasises increased operational

obsolescence means that it cannot be relied upon to be a perpetual operational differentiator. In fact, the guarantor of increased operational agility remains innovative warfighters; mission command in operations ultimately relies on a leader’s ability to unleash and direct this innovative mindset in the battlespace. Our aviators must be capable of delivering precise operational effect even when – especially when – the network is attacked, the computers fail and the lights go out. This requires unparalleled training, professional mastery and an innovative culture. The need for increased operational agility inherent in MDO, coupled with the challenges of the modern battlespace, implies that no single Air Force can address it alone. The agility required to overcome such challenges requires increased cooperation and collaboration in capability development, interoperability and enhanced operational effects. Whether with our joint environmental partners, the Five Eyes Community, NATO or whole-of-government organisations, we must share our technologies, our data and our conceptual thinking, and deliver operational effects faster than ever before. As a consequence, while the RCAF continues to explore what MDO or pandomain effects might require, I am fully invested in increased operational agility of air and space power as an indispensable component of the joint force. To me, this is the key principle underscoring contemporary MDO debates, which informs my decision to continue leading

We must share our technologies, our data and our conceptual thinking agility (which, by inference, the MDO approach will deliver) to constantly drive our operational advantage. Two key factors underscore the operational agility of any Air Force. The first is an innovative mindset and culture. The second is a commitment to cooperative collaboration. The importance of technology to any contemporary Air Force is a given, but the ever-shortening cycle of technological

Multi-Domain Operations for the Next Generation Air Force

the RCAF towards an improved innovative culture, while seeking every opportunity to cooperate and collaborate with our allies. In these ways, the RCAF will continue its long tradition of being a capable and respected coalition partner, and an Air Force with disproportional strategic effect. The key to success is ensuring continued investment in our RCAF team to enable innovation, bold action and, ultimately, the greatest operational agility.


MILITARY ENGINES

OPERATIONAL READINESS TODAY. UNLEASHING CAPABILITY FOR TOMORROW. Pratt & Whitney’s F135 propulsion system for the fifth generation F-35 Lightning II continues to redefine what’s possible for our customers and their missions. And we’re not done innovating. With a suite of unmatched propulsion technologies that can enable capability growth for the F-35, we stand ready to help take the world’s most advanced fighter to the next level.

FLY FURTHER AT PW.UTC.COM

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EVOLVING STRATEGY

Number 11 Group reborn – multi-domain operations in action

The return of Number 11 Group brings the air, space and cyber domains under a single command. The Group’s new Commander, Air Vice-Marshal Ian Duguid, explains the role and aspirations of the new multi-domain force

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Number 11 Group will be at the forefront of the RAF’s defence role in space (PHOTO: © AIRBUS SAS 2017 – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)

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he complex and contested nature of today’s strategic and operational context requires the Royal Air Force to integrate and execute a broad range of effects in support of Defence and National objectives. Modern day warfighting will see adversaries operating across and through the traditional environmental domains. Equally, behaviours and threats operating across domains in the so-called ‘grey zone’ will generate subthreshold activities that challenge the conventional interpretation of hostile acts and mandate the need to better integrate non-kinetic effects. Number 11 Group was re-established on 1 November 2018 to lead the RAF’s development and implementation of multi-domain operations

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(MDO). At the heart of an MDO Group is the requirement to deliver a standing headquarters able to exercise robust Command and Control (C2) of Air Command’s operational outputs across the Air, Space, Cyber and Information domains. Recognising the importance of such command responsibilities, Number 11 Group’s mission is: “To plan and deliver air and space effects, synchronised and integrated with cyber and information activities, in support of Defence outputs.” Number 11 Group’s ability to execute C2 and facilitate timely decision-making relies on it achieving a position of strength in the Information domain, which we call Information Advantage. This is generated by timely and accurate intelligence

Multi-Domain Operations for the Next Generation Air Force


EVOLVING STRATEGY

and veracious information, which situates our thinking inside the adversary’s decision cycle. Thus, as part of the stand-up of Number 11 Group, new processes and governance activities – including the establishment of the Air and Space Intelligence Centre – were introduced that better integrate intelligence and information activity into MDO planning and execution. The formation of the Air Battle Staff and the National Air and Space Operations Centre (NASOC) was critical in establishing the necessary command relationships to undertake MDO. Today, the Air Battle Staff undertakes C2 of UK-based RAF operations through a single operational command chain, with the NASOC at its heart. This includes operations as diverse as Air Defence of UK Airspace to RAF support to civil authorities, such as counter-drone support to major UK airports. Over the longer term, the development of the NASOC and the broader Air Battle Staff will enable benefits in operational training through the production of a daily UK Air Tasking Order, which will deliver integrated training and readiness across HQ Air Command’s Force Elements. Operations today are wholly dependent on space and spacebased capabilities, and 11 Group leads on the RAF’s broader Defence role in the provision of space C2. This has precipitated the embellishment of HQ Air Command’s Space Operations Centre – the SPOC – to become a key node within the Five Eyes community, providing space situational awareness and space control in support of the collective mission.

Government Departments throughout the planning, execution and assessment phases of an operation to coordinate and synchronise cyber effects. In doing so, 11 Group acts as integrator, rather than tactical executor, using its network and expertise to engage specialist cyber organisations to generate the effects required. Embedding such a cyber capability at the heart of an operations Group, enables coherent operational planning and the synchronisation of effects across the domains that is starting to deliver a step-change in capability for the Service. This approach applies equally to Information Operations/ Warfare (IO/IW) activities, which, when combined with Space and Cyber operations, truly gets to the heart of

(Above left) The RAF’s support to NATO Baltic Air Policing comes under 11 Group’s remit (PHOTO: CPL ROB BOURNE/CROWN COPYRIGHT/MOD)

(Above) The Operations Room at No 11 Group headquarters in Uxbridge, 1942 (PHOTO: © IWM. ALL CROWN COPYRIGHT)

11 Group leads on the RAF’s broader Defence role in the provision of space C2

RAF cyber specialists The future operational context defines the requirement for the RAF to enhance its ability to undertake coordinated Non-Kinetic Effects, including Information Warfare, to provide the commander with integrated options throughout the planning and execution phases of an operation. Number 11 Group is developing cyber specialists to facilitate an expansion of HQ Air Command’s cyber network to reach into Ministry of Defence cyber organisations and Other

MDO. While it is still early days for the Group, current activities in support of the Northern Air Policing mission signal a nascent multi-domain capability. At full operational capability, Number 11 Group will provide a material change in how the RAF contributes to Defence’s operational outputs; and through the integration of Space, Cyber, Information and conventional air power, it will deliver genuine MDO in support of the next generation Air Force.

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INDUSTRY PERSPECTIVE

Regenerating the UK’s Carrier Strike Capability operational advantage over potential adversaries. The UK is one of the first non-US operators to declare IOC.

How are the F-35B sea trials progressing?

Peter Ruddock Chief Executive, Lockheed Martin UK

How significant is the recent declaration of UK F-35B Initial Operational Capability? The UK’s declaration of Initial Operational Capability (IOC) (Land) is a significant achievement, not only for the RAF and Royal Navy, but also for all those in Lightning Team UK who have worked tirelessly to deliver this milestone within the promised timescale. January’s event at RAF Marham was the first opportunity to see the sovereign, state-of-the-art facilities that will support the training of F-35 pilots and teams supporting the aircraft. Previously, this training required UK personnel to travel to Beaufort, South Carolina, to learn alongside the US Marine Corps, but now the UK will be able to do this independently. Crucially, IOC means the aircraft is ready for combat, and this represents a step change in the capability of British armed forces at home and abroad, ensuring that the UK maintains

www.lockheedmartin.com

The First-of-Class sea trials that took place in the autumn of 2018 were extremely successful and achieved more test points than originally planned, including aft-facing landings and the first-ever Shipborne Rolling Vertical Landing (SRVL). So, the F-35B now has a cleared capability to embark 17 Squadron aircraft this autumn and to progress to Operational Test – an essential step towards the achievement of IOC Maritime by December 2020. Some of 617 Squadron’s F-35B jets will also embark, representing the first real integration of frontline F-35B with the Queen Elizabeth-class carrier mission system and weapon magazines. With a second British aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales, starting sea trials this year, we have an exciting and challenging few years ahead of us! The first deployment of the Carrier Strike Group in 2021 will see the combined embarkation of 617 Squadron and US Marine Corps F-35Bs and the Merlin helicopter Airborne Early Warning (AEW) capability called ‘Crowsnest’. Having the US Marine Corps on board brings valuable experience from their first embarked operational deployments in USS Wasp and USS Essex, where they achieved availability rates of over 75%. Lockheed Martin is acutely aware of the political and operational importance of this deployment and we are working alongside other industry partners

to support our customer, as we build towards this hugely significant milestone in the regeneration of the UK’s Carrier Strike capability.

How might F-35B contribute to multi-domain operations? The F-35 is a genuine ‘force multiplier’, meaning that, in combination with other assets, platforms and capabilities, more can be achieved thanks to its presence, using advanced sensors to quickly establish an understanding of an ever more complex and dynamic battlespace – in and through the air, at sea and on land. The unique way that F-35 collects and fuses sensor information significantly accelerates the ability of the pilot to gain superior situational awareness and to use that ‘information advantage’ to make decisions that lead to operational success. We have recently seen the supremacy of F-35 at the world’s most complex large-scale training exercise, Red Flag, where the aircraft achieved an unprecedented 20:1 kill ratio. The F-35A is exceeding the US Air Force’s high expectations by some margin and the US Marine Corps has already demonstrated the game-changing capability that F-35B brings to its deployed combat operations from USS Wasp and USS Essex. In the future multi-domain battlespace, F-35 will achieve far greater levels of integration with Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and targeting systems, manned and unmanned, in the air and on the ground. The UK’s F-35B is already operating successfully alongside Typhoon and integrating with maritime and land assets.


EVOLVING STRATEGY

Carrier Strike The United Kingdom is within touching distance of a return to carrier-enabled power projection. Air Commodore Paul Godfrey, Head of Carrier-Enabled Power Projection at the Ministry of Defence, offers an update on progress

Royal Navy Commander Nathan Gray made history on 25 September 2018, becoming the first to land an F-35B on HMS Queen Elizabeth (PHOTO: LOCKHEED MARTIN)

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he first UK fixed-wing pilots to land on a Queen Elizabeth-class (QEC) aircraft carrier heralded a pivotal moment in the evolution of the nation’s Carrier Strike capability. The result of many years of hard work, after arriving on Tuesday 25 September 2018, the ease of flying the fifth-generation F-35B onto the 4.5-acre flight deck was noted by Commander Nathan Gray of the Royal Navy and Squadron Leader Andy Edgell. A milestone set more than five years before had been reached, and confirmed that the UK was on track

to return to large-deck carrier operations. By a twist of fate, the commander of flying operations on board HMS Queen Elizabeth as the F-35s conducted their inaugural vertical landings that day was Commander James Blackmore. He was the last fixed-wing pilot to fly from a UK aircraft carrier when he took off in a Harrier GR9 from HMS Ark Royal on 24 November 2010. Similar in size to the United States Navy Nimitz-class carriers, the UK’s QEC carriers – HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales – can each embark up to 36 F-35Bs and are a quantum leap in carrier capability, with highly automated on-board systems from firefighting to damage repair control. The only aircraft carriers in the World specifically designed for F-35, they are highly flexible, with the ability to exploit the varied capabilities that the fifth-generation low-observable, networked combat aircraft brings with its plethora of sensors.

Powerful deterrent The air power that can be projected from these vessels offers the UK Government a wide range of response options, including humanitarian

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EVOLVING STRATEGY

crises and protecting UK interests at home and overseas. It also represents a powerful conventional deterrent. When combined with a global reach that allows UK F-35B and the Carrier Strike Group of frigates, destroyers and submarines to operate, exercise and collaborate with many air and naval forces across the world, it is clear how important the journey back to UK Carrier Strike really is. Much has been written about the development and attributes of F-35, but how do its capabilities compare with older aircraft? Using a simple, everyday comparison, it is the fast-jet equivalent of a smartphone. In the same way that modern phones have evolved well beyond voice communications – with internet access, cameras, cellular connection and an almost limitless ability to upgrade and enhance through software-enabled apps – the same is true of the F-35 when compared with its predecessors. So, how and when will this world-leading capability embark on UK Carrier Strike operations for the first time? In February 2019, the Government committed to deploying HMS Queen Elizabeth to the Mediterranean, the Middle East and the Pacific region on its first operational mission, an endeavour that will see US Marine Corps F-35Bs also embarked on the aircraft carrier. More recently, the Prime Minister has pledged the Carrier Strike capability to NATO’s

HMS Queen Elizabeth offers unprecedented options to the UK Government in terms of hard- and soft-power options (PHOTO: PO(CIS) MATT BONNER/CROWN COPYRIGHT/MOD)

(PHOTO: LOCKHEED MARTIN)

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INDUSTRY PERSPECTIVE

F135 – Proven power for the F-35 Lightning What actions is Pratt & Whitney taking to meet the F135 production ramp-up?

Bev Deachin

Vice President, F135 Program, Pratt & Whitney

With approximately 400 F-35 aircraft operating around the world, how is the F135 engine performing in the field? The F135, which powers all three variants of the F-35 Lightning, is the most advanced fighter engine in the world, delivering more than 40,000lbs of thrust and unparalleled capability to the warfighter. The engine is performing exceptionally well in the field, with propulsion mission availability consistently above 95% in 200,000 flight hours and a number of successful combat deployments under its belt – including with the Israeli Air Force and U.S. Marine Corps, as well as the U.S. Air Force. The F135 is the most powerful fighter engine ever produced and we take great pride in knowing that this propulsion system is powering freedom around the world.

Over the past 10 years, we’ve delivered more than 450 F135 production engines and expect to deliver another 450 engines over the next 36 months. That’s how rapidly the F135 program is scaling. We are currently producing engines from three assembly and test sites – Middletown, Connecticut, West Palm Beach, Florida and a Final Assembly & Check Out (FACO) facility operated by IHI in Mizuho, Japan. Last year, we invested more than $200 million for additional capacity to meet the production increase and currently have over 100 Pratt & Whitney employees deployed to our supplier facilities in support of the ramp-up.

How is Pratt & Whitney driving down costs of the F135 engine? We’ve reduced the production cost of the F135 engine by more than 50% since 2009 and are now delivering exceptional fifth-generation propulsion capability at a great value for our U.S. and international customers. This successful cost reduction effort was the result of hundreds of affordability initiatives, which included everything from improved design changes, more efficient manufacturing processes and long-term agreements with our supply chain network. Now, Pratt & Whitney is targeting a 50% reduction in sustainment costs, with a goal to bring operating costs for the fifth-generation F135 engine down to the same level as fourth-generation fighter engines. We’re looking to drive down the propulsion cost per flight hour to approximately $3,500 by 2036

through the deployment of new repair processes, optimised work scopes and digital tools. The team will also be able to leverage learnings from the first scheduled depot overhauls in the early 2020s.

What capabilities does the F135 engine provide for the UK’s F-35B fleet? The F135 propulsion system for the F-35B includes the Rolls-Royce-produced lift system which provides short take-off and vertical landing capability (STOVL) to the RAF. Coupled with an adaptive control system that allows the aircraft to transition

We’ve reduced the production cost of the F135 engine by more than 50% since 2009 from hover to flight mode at the push of a button, these technologies enable the F-35B to operate from land bases as well as Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers and truly provides next-generation airpower capability to the RAF. With the UK declaring Initial Operating Capability for land-based F-35B operations earlier this year, the country’s armed forces have moved into a new era of strike capability that will be enhanced further once cleared for carrier-based operations.

www.pw.utc.com


EVOLVING STRATEGY

Significantly, all UK F-35B units are manned by both Royal Air Force and Royal Navy personnel, ensuring a truly joint force from the very outset

(Above) A Royal Navy Merlin Mk4 helicopter takes off from HMS Queen Elizabeth as an F-35B manoeuvres into position on the deck (Left) An F-35B takes off from HMS Queen Elizabeth (PHOTOS: LPHOT KYLE HELLER /CROWN COPYRIGHT/MOD)

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Readiness Initiative, announcing in June that “NATO will soon be able to call on the UK’s Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers and F-35B fighter jets to help tackle threats around the world”. The journey towards this inaugural Carrier Strike deployment will continue in the autumn of 2019. UK F-35Bs from both 17(Reserve) Squadron (the operational test and evaluation unit based at Edwards Air Force Base in California) and 617 Squadron (the UK’s first operational F-35B unit), will embark HMS Queen Elizabeth to continue development of operating procedures for the front-line pilots, engineers and support staff. Significantly, all UK F-35B units are manned by both Royal Air Force and Royal Navy personnel, ensuring a truly joint force from the very outset and building on the lessons learned from Joint Force Harrier. In 2020, 617 Squadron (of ‘Dambusters’ fame) will return to the ship to prepare for the maiden deployment alongside a squadron of United States Marine Corps F-35Bs. Initially, this will focus on getting pilots ‘carrier qualified’ through day and night landings on board HMS Queen Elizabeth in UK waters. The training will then step up to integrate the wider

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EVOLVING STRATEGY

The first operational mission of HMS Queen Elizabeth will include the Mediterranean, the Middle East and the Pacific region (PHOTO: AB CONOT CULWICK/CROWN COPYRIGHT/MOD)

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air wing. Key to this will be the Merlin helicopters, with their Crowsnest Airborne Early Warning system. The eyes and ears of the Carrier Strike Group, Crowsnest is the successor to the Sea King Airborne Surveillance and Control System, providing the task group with an early warning and command and control capability that can see over the horizon. The air wing will then move to strike operations as part of larger packages of land-based aircraft to exercise the entire mission process from planning, to execution, to debrief. This will include the movement of munitions from the deep magazine to the flight deck via the innovative ‘Highly Mechanised Weapon Handling System’; think Amazon warehouse processing for bombs and missiles and unique to the new class of carrier.

AIR & SPACE POWER 2019

Certification exercise The final element of the work-up will begin in early 2021, when the United States Marine Corps F-35Bs will once again embark with 617 Squadron in UK waters to conduct a certification exercise. This will test the entire Carrier Strike Group to ensure they are ready to deploy through an increasingly complex warfighting scenario, making use of air, sea and land ranges across the UK, whilst being assessed on performance by external representatives from the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and US Navy and Marine Corps. Once the Carrier Strike Group passes this final test, they will be ready to embark on the first UK largedeck carrier deployment since the decommissioning of HMS Ark Royal on 14 February 1979. Some 42 years in the making, it has been well worth waiting for.

Multi-Domain Operations for the Next Generation Air Force


INDUSTRY PERSPECTIVE

Strengthening UK and Europe presence

Nick Chaffey

Chief Executive UK and Europe, Northrop Grumman

Having joined less than a year ago, what is your impression of Northrop Grumman? I have been fortunate to join Northrop Grumman at a really exciting time, with the appointment at the beginning of the year of Kathy Warden as our President and CEO and, with that, a refresh of our strategy to become a truly global company. This has led to some important developments, such as the formation of the European P&L, led out of the UK, bringing decision-making closer to our customers and so enabling us to be more agile and responsive to their needs. Last year also saw the acquisition of Orbital ATK and the formation of a new Sector, Innovation Systems – this brings new capabilities, particularly in the space domain and in advanced munitions.

What is Northrop Grumman’s strategic vision for the UK and Europe? 2019 has seen some key new programmes in Europe, including the UK’s decision to

acquire E-7A with Northrop Grumman’s advanced MESA radar system; ongoing work to drive combat advantage from next-generation airborne networks; expansion of our UK cybersecurity business; and Poland’s acquisition of IBCS – the leading-edge battlespace command system. What’s more, 2019 will see the delivery of NATO AGS into Europe, bringing world-class ISR capability, and further F-35 purchases expand the deployment of the advanced, fifthgeneration sensor and communications suite delivered by Northrop Grumman. Our aspiration is to build on such capability and fully exploit these technologies and, in the process, build local capability. A key example of this is our joint venture with BAE Systems and DECA – Sealand Support Services Limited (SSSL) – focused on the sustainment of F-35 sub-systems. We are investing in SSSL at the same time as bringing world-class capabilities from Northrop Grumman in the US and UK.

What part do the air and space domains play? It is clear that the air and space domains are becoming both increasingly important and interconnected as space capabilities and the threat evolve. Our new sector, Innovation Systems, is a leading player in the space domain and, alongside Northrop Grumman’s legacy capabilities, we have a lot to offer – from advanced communications and sensing payloads, satellite development, in-space refuelling and upgrade solutions to new launch options. Such space capabilities are a powerful complement to the fifth-generation air

capabilities now coming to Europe, as these are increasingly leveraged. We are already seeing considerable interest in these capabilities from European customers, and so we are looking at how we best deploy, integrate and evolve solutions to meet the emerging threat.

What critical transformative technologies will evolve over the coming years? We are arguably at the cusp of seeing some of the biggest technological changes in defence capability. We are not only seeing more innovation, but also seeing the pace of innovation increasing. Many new technologies are coming to the fore, a number of which are coming from the commercial sector, and hence also have the potential to disrupt the defence industry. The key technologies that are already apparent include: – new propulsion and space technologies that have the potential to make access to space far faster and cheaper; – resilient and assured communications and development of nextgeneration C2 systems that can transform battlespace integration; – increasingly pervasive ISR and, with that, large data sets, requiring new techniques such as AI, machine learning and quantum computing to fully exploit; – next-generation precision navigation and timing solutions; – simpler and more valuable Autonomy, coupled with many of the technologies above.

www.northropgrumman.com/Europe


INDUSTRY PERSPECTIVE

Tempest is great news for UK engineering significantly in the next generation of technology. This will create intellectual property that is incorporated into our products and services sold worldwide. In this way, Leonardo is contributing at a national level to the economic success and resilience of the UK.

What is Leonardo contributing to Tempest?

Norman Bone MBE FRAeS Chairman and Managing Director of Leonardo in the UK

What does being part of Team Tempest mean to Leonardo? Tempest is a once-in-a-generation endeavour. It’s staggering to think that we’re working right now on an aircraft that will still be in RAF service well into the latter part of the century, protecting the UK for decades to come. Above all, we’re very proud that we’ve been chosen to play such an integral role in the project. Tempest is also great news for UK engineering. Leonardo has around 7,000 employees in the UK, the majority in highly skilled engineering jobs. Right now, we have an amazing opportunity for current and future employees to be part of an iconic national project that will define UK engineering in the same way that Concorde did for a previous generation, while inspiring the next wave of young engineers. There are wider benefits for the UK as well. This highly skilled development work requires us to invest

uk.leonardocompany.com

Each of the four industry partners is bringing a specific area of expertise to the project. Ours is in the Tempest integrated sensor mission system – a role we were chosen for based on our heritage as the UK’s biggest sensor provider for military aircraft. For example, we’re responsible for the development, provision and support of more than 60% of the avionics for the Eurofighter Typhoon, as well as the defensive aids suites for all UK military helicopters, including the Apache and AW159 Wildcat. Our contribution to Typhoon includes leading the international consortia

Will your work on Typhoon be superseded by work on Tempest? No, they are very complementary activities. One of the key tenets of the Eurofighter Typhoon programme is that it’s constantly evolving: the UK intends to deploy the aircraft on frontline operations for a long time to come. That means that, while the airframe may look very similar from one version to another, the electronics inside are getting ever more advanced. Also, because Leonardo is a key partner on both Typhoon and Tempest, we can spiral develop technologies from Typhoon to benefit Tempest, and reverse spiral technologies the other way, reducing risk and enhancing capability. This means we’ll be able to feed back technologies we’re developing for Tempest into Typhoon, to keep its capabilities at the leading edge, even as the operating environment and threats change. By looking at what

It’s staggering to think that we’re working right now on an aircraft that will still be in RAF service well into the latter part of the century responsible for the aircraft’s radar, its Infra-Red Search and Track (IRST) sensor and its defensive aids sub-system. In all cases, we’re developing upgrades for these systems to ensure they are fit for the future, such as the work we are currently doing on the Typhoon’s new ‘E-scan’ radar.

the future environment might entail and working out how we’ll be able to respond effectively to new threats, we can help ensure that the RAF has the freedom of action and the operational advantage it needs in the challenging decades to come.


EVOLVING STRATEGY

Team Tempest Air Vice-Marshal Simon (Rocky) Rochelle tells Simon Michell how Team Tempest is driving behavioural change across the military and industry, as the Royal Air Force develops an affordable successor to the Typhoon multi-role combat aircraft

I Team Tempest has been created to produce a replacement for the Typhoon, bringing together the military, government and industry into a single organism (PHOTO: BAE SYSTEMS)

n 1996, Colonel Phillip S Meilinger of the United States Air Force synthesised the relevance and purpose of air power into just 10 propositions. His final proposition, “Air Power includes not only military assets, but an aerospace industry and commercial aviation”, is fundamental to Air Vice-Marshal (AVM) Simon Rochelle’s approach to the future of RAF air power capability. As Chief of Staff for Capability, AVM Rochelle and his team have created Team Tempest to ensure that the United Kingdom has the wherewithal to produce a replacement for the Typhoon multi-role combat aircraft. According to AVM Rochelle, that system must not only be an affordable option, but it must also be able to attract international

partners, and the technology supporting it must be able to maintain the UK’s ability to join other international aircraft development projects in the future, particularly those emanating from the US. Team Tempest, therefore, has been created to integrate the military, government and industry into a single organism that acts not for the benefit of its individual members, but for the establishment and achievement of a national strategic air power goal. Colonel Meilinger is not the only air power ‘philosopher’ to espouse the symbiotic nature of the mutually beneficial interdependence between the military and civil aviation sectors. AVM Rochelle points to another American visionary, Brigadier General (posthumously promoted to Major General) Billy Mitchell, who constantly reminded the US Government that a strong civil aviation sector was crucial for the furtherance of national military air power. AVM Rochelle has also taken a lead from a British air power pioneer – Air Chief Marshal (ACM) Sir Wilfrid Freeman – who was responsible for gearing up the RAF’s capabilities in the Second World War. Notably, ACM Freeman pushed through the development of the de Havilland Mosquito in the face of almost overwhelming scepticism. Once built, the Mosquito, which had been disparagingly referred to as ‘Freeman’s Folly’, was to become

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arguably the most outstanding aircraft of the war, with more than 7,000 being built in Britain, Canada and Australia. The Mosquito epitomises AVM Rochelle’s approach to Team Tempest in that it met the requirements asked of it by utilising innovative design concepts, new manufacturing techniques and thinking the unthinkable – its structure was constructed out of wood (ash, balsa, birch, spruce and walnut) and the bomber and reconnaissance versions carried no self-defence weapon systems, using speed as their principal tactical advantage.

Team selection These great air power visionaries inspire Team Tempest’s vision, ethos and values. Based around a permanent core of members from the RAF, Civil Service, DSTL and DE&S, as well as representatives from BAE Systems, Leonardo, MBDA and Rolls-Royce, Team Tempest has grown quickly from its genesis in January 2018. As an offshoot of the Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO), which AVM Rochelle also oversees, it shares its basic premise that something is not quite right with the current system for developing, producing and procuring systems quickly and at an affordable price. Both the RCO and its offspring, Team Tempest, exist to challenge the status quo and to bring about behavioural change – in AVM

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Team Tempest will usher in advanced technologies in design and manufacture (PHOTO: BAE SYSTEMS)

Rochelle’s words, ”to supercharge, but not subvert” the system. “More than anything else, Team Tempest is an approach where civil servants, company executives and military personnel have to get in a room at Farnborough and be prepared to think about the very fundamentals of what it is that they are trying to achieve, as if they were one single organism. Above all, what the RCO has taught us is that you only make good progress if you have the right people with the right mindset in the room – the right financial, industrial, military and commercial construct,” explains AVM Rochelle. Not surprisingly, cost control lies at the heart of the Team Tempest philosophy, a fact that is helped

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Developing Tempest and Typhoon technologies that will make this possible – from reconfigurable communications systems and virtual cockpit technology to flexible payload configurations and next-generation flight control systems.

How has the project advanced since the launch at last year’s Farnborough Air Show?

Chris Boardman Group Managing Director, Air, BAE Systems

What capabilities will Team Tempest deliver to the RAF? The stated aim of Team Tempest is to ensure that the UK remains at the cutting edge of developing combat air systems, whilst also building partnerships that can promote prosperity for the nation. In a nutshell, that means creating and sustaining the right technologies and capabilities to ensure that the RAF has what it needs to carry out its job for decades to come, and that the UK has the skills and ability to continue to evolve to meet the threats of a rapidly changing world. In terms of what that means for the RAF, we are involved in around 70 technology projects, which will give us a steer not only around what we need, but how we deliver it in an agile and affordable way. We know the capability that we deliver needs to be able to adapt to what will be an ever-changing future battlespace, so we are looking for something more capable, connected, flexible, upgradeable and affordable than ever before. We are looking at the

Team Tempest is the public face of the Future Combat Air System Technology Initiative, which is an eight-year programme researching future combat air technology. These technologies could feed into a future fighter for the UK, but also into upgrades for the RAF’s front-line fleet, including Eurofighter Typhoon and F-35. Our present focus is on technology projects, which will give us a clear idea of what we need and how we are going to deliver it, and developing international partnerships that can deliver a next-generation capability. On the technology front, we are already making progress on a comprehensive open mission system architecture that brings together avionics, sensors, connectivity and command and control systems, and answering the challenge of handling the huge amounts of data that a future fighter will need to deal with. One of our main areas of focus at present is how we take this wealth of information, present it in a way it can be used effectively, and do that in a quicker, easier and more affordable way.

What has been happening to ensure that Typhoon has the capability to deliver for the RAF today and in the future? In January, the RAF declared the completion of Project Centurion, a project that delivered three major new weapons – Meteor, Brimstone and Storm Shadow

– to ensure Typhoon was ready to take over from Tornado when it went out of service. These three new weapons give Typhoon a huge capability advantage, and the success of the ‘sprint model’, which delivered them almost two years ahead of schedule, cannot be overestimated. The successful delivery of Centurion reconfirms Typhoon’s position as the most advanced multi-role aircraft on the market today – and one ready to take on any mission. Typhoon was designed to continuously evolve, and our job now is to use the latest technology to further unleash its potential. New investments in radar, communications, data management,

Typhoon will be the platform on which key future technologies will be developed weapons and connectivity will make Typhoon an even more survivable and interoperable platform, giving operators the edge they need to win in the complex and congested future battlespace.

What role does Typhoon have to play in delivering Tempest? For decades to come, Typhoon will be the platform on which key future technologies will be developed and deployed, technologies that will eventually be central to a future combat air system. In taking this approach, Typhoon becomes the ideal interoperable partner to fly alongside any future combat air system.

www.baesystems.com/air


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by the core team members match-funding the project. Cost growth, therefore, affects members equally. This helps to curtail mission creep and overspecification. Hence, one of the key behavioural changes that is being discussed at length is the tendency for exhaustive testing of new systems. For example, the Typhoon went through several thousand test points during its development phase, and yet, as AVM Rochelle points out, it only ever operates within a very tight envelope of those test points. Finding ways to safely reduce the test and evaluation phase could reap huge dividends in cost. AVM Rochelle is adamant that Team Tempest is not just about an aircraft per se: it is about the philosophy of how you think about the requirement and what you need to do to meet it. Key to this approach is an open architecture that readily accepts upgrades and allows others to join in seamlessly. “I don’t consider the Team Tempest endeavour as a platform, as such. It is more about information and an open architecture system. It is about designing something that is modular by design so that, as international partners join, there are ways for them to plug and play and be involved in the process without the traditional constraints. It will also allow those who want to go faster to do just that. In other words, we want it to be as common as possible, but not so common that it prevents partners pursuing their own needs.” Team Tempest is not being undertaken in a vacuum. A hugely relevant associated project that has been put out for tender by the RCO is the LANCA (Lightweight Affordable Novel Combat Aircraft)

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“I don’t consider the Team Tempest endeavour as a platform, as such. It is more about information and an open architecture system”

The Team Tempest model encapsulates a concept and vision that will safeguard the United Kingdom’s place at the top table of air power proponents (PHOTO: ANDREW LINNETT/CROWN COPYRIGHT/MOD)

contract. This low-cost, affordable, networked and autonomous air system will be fundamental to how Team Tempest produces a concept of operations for the Future Combat Air System and reintroduces mass to RAF operations, using both manned and unmanned aircraft. In terms of the unmanned element, AVM Rochelle is keen to point out that when Team Tempest was announced at the 2018 Farnborough International Airshow, it was showcased as a manned and optionally unmanned system. So, has Team Tempest succeeded in driving behavioural change? Well, it is a bit too early to judge, but AVM Rochelle hints at a successful start to the process: “It would be far too arrogant and confident to say that we have completely changed the acquisition process. What I would say, though, is that we have made significant changes and the culture is transforming.” The extent to which this is true and whether the changes are sustainable will inevitably feed the debate, which we will be doing much more of during the Air and Space Power Conference and RIAT.

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INDUSTRY PERSPECTIVE

Taking a leading role in the next generation of air power to sustaining and developing key skills and attracting future talent that will form the backbone not only of Team Tempest, but also our wider defence capability.

What power innovations will Rolls-Royce deliver to the nextgeneration combat aircraft?

Alex Zino Director, Business Development & Future Programmes , Rolls-Royce

Describe the importance of Rolls-Royce’s participation in Team Tempest. Rolls-Royce is integral to Team Tempest and is working collaboratively with the UK Government, the RAF and our industry partners – BAE Systems, Leonardo and MBDA – to take a leading role in the next generation of air power. Our ability to develop cutting-edge technologies to meet global power needs, teamed with our advanced power and propulsion systems, means we will play a major part in the next-generation fighter jet strategy to ensure Team Tempest leads the world in the combat air sector. Tempest represents a highly ambitious programme and will form a significant part of the Ministry of Defence’s new Future Combat Air Strategy, which will ensure that the UK remains a global leader in the sector. Over the next eight years, Rolls-Royce will continue its commitment

We are committed to delivering a range of high-density power systems to sit at the heart of a world-beating combat capability. While the gas turbine remains at the forefront of Rolls-Royce’s contribution, our focus will be on developing our capability as part of a wider power and propulsion system. Use of advanced composite materials and additive manufacturing will ensure lightweight, more power-dense configurations capable of operating at higher temperatures. Our increased focus on integrated power and thermal management will result in a more intelligent and more electric product. This will enable the operation of next-generation avionics and sensor systems, as well as delivering extended vehicle range and endurance.

What advanced technologies will Rolls-Royce bring to the project? Our participation in Team Tempest is very much about securing the future of our business, and technology development is already under way today. We have entered the next phase of testing using a more electric gas turbine demonstrator. It features optimised engine start, which is fully electric, faster and more controllable; simultaneous twin-shaft electrical generation, providing the next generation of power off take capability; power-sharing

between shafts, leading to mission optimisation/extension and surge margin recovery; and the ability to manage highly dynamic electrical loads and spikes, which have previously resulted in mechanical failures or caused the engine to surge.

How will Rolls-Royce help Team Tempest deliver enhanced electrical power? We are developing a game-changing capability in embedded generators, with electrical power literally coming from the heart of the engine. This approach not only allows for intelligent power management and dynamic systems health management, but the absence of any external gearbox or mechanically driven accessories results in a fully embedded and streamlined installation. This, in turn,

We are developing a game-changing capability in embedded generators enables higher levels of power off take, significant savings in volume and weight and, crucially, contributes to the overall survivability of the air platform. With the ability to deploy power for uses beyond propulsion, we will also enable a platform that can deliver next-generation sensing and communications and a weapon system capable of using directed energy, as well as better support to kinetic effects.

www.rolls-royce.com


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Major General Tonje Skinnarland Chief of the Royal Norwegian Air Force Multi-domain operations for the Next Generation Air Force: a Norwegian perspective

Being a small nation on the northern flank of NATO, bordering Russia and its Northern Fleet with its strategic nuclear forces, shapes Norwegian military thinking. Russia’s anti-access (A2) and area-denial (AD) systems and the everpresence of Russian forces operating in the air, sea and land domains are influencing our defence planning and daily operations. In addition, we see increased relevance of the space and cyber domains, exemplified by incidents of GPS-jamming and cyber attacks against Norway and allies. Hence, it is timely and necessary to address how all domains could be better integrated in order to release the full potential of our military capabilities. Therefore, the concept of multi-domain operations (MDO) and multi-domain command and control need to be developed further amongst allies as a framework for addressing the militarystrategic challenges of NATO.

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Norway is relying on her NATO allies for reinforcement in Article 5 scenarios, but also for various scenarios threatening the stability, integrity and security of other NATO nations that will have a spillover effect on the northern part of the European theatre. Cooperation with our NATO allies and partners is of paramount importance – both for rapidly integrating assistance if we should need it, but also to quickly “plug into” surfacing international operations abroad. That is why Norway invests in high-end capabilities relevant for our security requirements – such as F-35, P-8, submarines, air surveillance radars and surface-based air defence systems – in order to provide better ISR (intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance), ASW (anti-submarine warfare) and air defence capability to face current and future security challenges. The UK is one of Norway’s most important allies, and we now have the opportunity to develop closer ties when it comes to F-35 and maritime patrol aircraft operations. Sharing knowledge, training, procedures, experiences and a common outlook will be mutually beneficial. Norway considers itself as being NATO’s gatekeeper to the North. We have unique opportunities for ISR-operations in the Barents Sea area. For decades, Norway and Russia have had a professional relationship in the High North. We pursue the goals of predictability and stability from a position of strength through NATO deterrence. A set of standardised ‘patterns of life’ in daily operations allows Norway to operate without generating

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unnecessary friction in very sensitive areas that other nations using similar platforms would potentially generate. Thus, the P-8 bilateral cooperation with the UK, and ‘trilateral maritime security cooperation’ with the UK and the US, are agreements that will strengthen our operational capabilities and situational awareness in the North Atlantic in a balanced approach that communicates military strength and operational restraint. Next Generation Air Forces will have to prepare for classic challenges,

The UK is one of Norway’s most important allies, and we now have the opportunity to develop closer ties developing in a more agile and hybrid way than before, including the domains of space and cyber. There is urgent need for multi-domain concepts and mindsets to address more complex and multifaceted security challenges at shorter notice. New fifth-generation technology gives new opportunities that must be utilised. The concept of MDO fits nicely in order to fully integrate and exploit all our military capabilities in a more holistic and robust manner.


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Typhoon – in defence of the UK and Allies As the RAF’s Typhoon Force expands, it is growing not only in numbers, but also in capability. Alan Dron reports

P The RAF Typhoon is a regular visitor to Estonia, where it supports the NATO Baltic Air Policing programme (PHOTO: CPL ROB BOURNE /CROWN COPYRIGHT/MOD)

roject Centurion, a four-year programme to upgrade the Typhoon’s lethality, was signed off in December 2018, giving pilots a new suite of weapons and onboard systems that significantly improve what is already a formidable multi-role combat aircraft. “The best way to describe it is as a major upgrade to the platform,” says Typhoon Force Commander Air Commodore (Air Cdre) Mark Chappell. Both the weapons that can be seen externally – the Meteor, Brimstone and Storm Shadow missiles – and the unseen upgrades in the cockpit, involving the integration of display

systems and associated equipment, are equally important, according to Air Cdre Chappell. Meteor is a ramjet rocket-powered, beyondvisual-range air-to-air missile, the thrust from the motor of which, unlike most rockets, can be controlled, allowing it to conserve propellant until close to its target, at which point it accelerates to attack. This gives the Meteor a significantly increased ‘no-escape zone’ over the missiles it will replace when used in the aircraft’s primary ‘control of the air’ mission. Storm Shadow is a long-range, stealthy airto-surface deep-strike cruise missile used against

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“We always learn a tremendous amount when operating with nations such as Romania”

A Hungarian Air Force Gripen taxis past an RAF Typhoon. Since Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea, RAF Typhoons have been participating in air patrols over the Black Sea (PHOTO: CPL ROB BOURNE /CROWN COPYRIGHT/MOD)

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high-value targets, while the latest version of the aircraft’s software, the Phase 3 Enhancement (P3E), adds Brimstone. The latter missile is a low-collateraldamage precision weapon that can be used in the anti-armour role, giving the RAF’s Typhoons an ability to take out targets with clinical precision in areas where more powerful weapons would incur too much risk of collateral damage. It also gives the Typhoon the ability to engage moving targets.

Typhoon Force enlargement This new portfolio of weapons, plus their associated onboard systems, greatly increases Typhoon’s versatility. Together with these enhancements, the Typhoon Force is gradually growing in numbers. Numbers 1(F), 2(AC) and 6 Squadrons are already based at RAF Lossiemouth in Moray, Scotland,

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while 3(F) and 11(F) Squadrons are located at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire. Under the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR15), it was decided that two more front-line Typhoon squadrons would be added to the original five. In accordance with the direction contained in SDSR15, 9(B) Squadron was re-formed in April 2019 at RAF Lossiemouth, joining its three established stablemates there. Equipped with the earlier Tranche 1 version of Typhoon, 9(B) Squadron will also take on the additional role of an Aggressor unit to assist with training pilots in air-to-air combat. The second new unit is Number 12(B) Squadron, which will become the joint UK-Qatari Squadron to help the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) prepare for the arrival of its force of 24 aircraft. Under this arrangement, the UK will train Qatari pilots in the United Kingdom. The first cadre of QEAF personnel to be trained, says Air Cdre Chappell, will be experienced pilots, but subsequent groups will be young pilots that will undertake the RAF’s full ab initio flying training course. As they progress to the Typhoon, they will be trained not only in the aircraft’s Quick Reaction

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Lieutenant General Ingo Gerhartz Chief of the German Air Force A strong partnership on a new level

On 12 May 1949, after almost one year, the Soviet blockade of Berlin’s western sectors was finally lifted. With a significant contribution by the Royal Air Force, Allied air power overcame the blockade and provided supplies to Berlin’s population via the famous ‘Berlin Airlift’. The attempt to restrict the freedom of the West was successfully repelled. Today, 70 years later, the German Air Force’s Headquarters is located at the former Royal Air Force Gatow in Berlin. Together, the Luftwaffe and the Royal Air Force – wing by wing – defend our shared values and mutual interests. As partners within NATO, both Air Forces

protect the Transatlantic Alliance’s airspace on its eastern flank against new threats, fight together against terrorism in Iraq and Syria, and are supporting the build-up of the Afghan Air Force. Only in close collaboration with partners are we able to face today’s and future challenges and credibly ensure the protection of our populations. At present, the Luftwaffe and Royal Air Force are deepening their military cooperation in several fields. Luftwaffe officer candidates regularly attend officer training courses at the Royal Air Force College Cranwell; flying units are affiliated with one another on a partnership basis (twinning); and our exchange officers – ranging from force protection and maintenance officers to aircraft pilots – support our Air Forces’ daily operations. Common capabilities, such as the A400M and Eurofighter Typhoon, form a cornerstone of cooperation and interoperability between the Luftwaffe and Royal Air Force. However, the actual drivers of our cooperation will always be human; that is to say, the men and women who form the backbone of our Air Forces. The Royal Air Force and Luftwaffe have begun a new chapter in our long-lasting partnership since the

Common capabilities, such as the A400M and Eurofighter Typhoon, form a cornerstone of cooperation and interoperability between the Luftwaffe and Royal Air Force

bilateral ‘Arrangement on Eurofighter Interoperability Enhancement’ was made in September 2018. We will continue to increase the commonalities in operating our Eurofighter fleets wherever possible, guided by the mutual intent to perform future missions together and the desire to exploit effectiveness and efficiency. The Luftwaffe and Royal Air Force support each other in training our pilots, in certifying our weapon instructors, by exchanging flying, as well as technical, logistic expertise, and synchronising the development of Eurofighter weapon system capabilities.

Combined Air Policing Our bilateral cooperation is a leading example of how a trusting and integrated partnership strengthens the air power of the Transatlantic Alliance. By 2021, we will have implemented Combined Air Policing on NATO’s eastern flank together with the Royal Air Force in a stepped approach. We will establish a combined contingent to develop synergies, conserve resources and significantly increase our interoperability and combined strike power. It is my firm conviction that we should further broaden and deepen our bilateral cooperation. Suitable subjects such as the coordinated development of strategies and capabilities, future cooperation in space or establishing a Multi-Domain Command and Control (MDC2) capability bear great potential. The Luftwaffe is prepared and willing to proceed to the future – wing by wing – with our British comrades, for the good of our countries and for freedom and security within the Transatlantic Alliance.

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Pilots from 11 Squadron walk to their aircraft. Four Typhoons deployed to Estonia in April 2019 to take part in the Baltic Air Policing mission (PHOTO: SAC CIARAN MCFALLS/CROWN COPYRIGHT/MOD)

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Alert role, but also on a full suite of weapons. The intention is that this joint UK-Qatari Squadron will then deploy to the Gulf state in time to provide aerial protection for the 2022 World Cup. Apart from these units, Typhoons also equip 29 Squadron (the Operational Conversion Unit) and 41 Squadron (the Test and Evaluation Unit), both based at RAF Coningsby. Meanwhile, the Typhoon Force is also continuing to gain valuable experience in overseas deployments with NATO allies. These are typically two to three months in duration; last year, as part of Operation Biloxi, four aircraft flew alongside Lockheed Martin F-16s, but mainly with MiG-21s, of the Romanian Air Force. “We always learn a tremendous amount when operating with nations such as Romania,” Air Cdre Chappell confirms. Perhaps a sign that NATO deterrence is working, the Romanian deployment was relatively quiet.

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The RAF will be heading back to the northerly Baltic state this year, to help maintain a NATO presence there. Estonia has a small air force, with no combat fast jets like the Typhoon, so visiting NATO air forces provide a constant air defence capability in the region, with units rotating through every few months. While there, the RAF will fly ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ weeks: during the former, the aircraft will provide air defence, while in the latter, training will be the main activity, not least with the British Armyled Multinational Battlegroup that is deployed in Estonia as part of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence mission. Armed with their new Meteor missiles, the Typhoons will provide a small, but potent, force to help protect Estonian and NATO airspace, while the opportunity to practise AirLand Integration missions will help bolster NATO’s Joint capabilities in the air and on the ground.

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INDUSTRY PERSPECTIVE

Developing the next-generation engine flying hours now under its belt, the EJ200 has not suffered any negative in-service experiences. The Eurofighter, powered by the EJ200, is an aircraft that you can depend on when you need quick interception. That makes it a crucial factor and a very strategic choice for European security.

What developments are being planned for the EJ200 engine?

Clemens Linden Chief Executive Officer, Eurojet Turbo GmbH

How important is the Eurofighter to European security? The Eurofighter is a significant contributor to European security, both on an international and a national level. It is a part of the NATO Response Force (NRF), supplied by the United Kingdom and other nations as part of their commitment to making sure that the NATO Alliance can deploy quickly to wherever needed. The NRF was formed to provide a swift response to any emerging crisis anywhere in the world, and that is fundamental to security everywhere. In addition, the Eurofighter is also used in the UK and elsewhere for Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) duties, protecting nations’ airspace from intruders, because its capabilities are beyond those of other aircraft for this purpose, and it has the power to get to where it needs to be at incredible speed. The reliability of the twin EJ200 engines in the Eurofighter means that it can always perform when it needs to and, with over one million engine

We have a Long-Term Evolution plan already in place for the EJ200, which ensures that the engine will be able to deliver capability for the next 30 to 40 years. This includes, for example, a number of technological developments in areas such as thrust growth. One of the reasons for this is that, as the aircraft evolves with the installation of new systems and heavier weapons load, it will require more power. Another reason relates to fuel consumption, because there is a demand for the aircraft to be able to stay on mission longer. These are just two of many areas of development. So, in general, we are focused on sustaining the EJ200’s cutting-edge technology, keeping it current and able to fulfil the future requirements of our four core nations, export nations and future export customers for many years to come.

How is the RAF helping Eurojet develop the nextgeneration engine? The next-generation engine for future weapon systems, such as the Tempest in the UK, will need a completely new concept, including increased adaptability, an improved thrust/ weight ratio, super-cruise abilities and

variable cycles for less fuel usage while on mission. It, de facto, requires a new engine, but certain technologies that we foresee in the LTE plan for the EJ200 will provide the technology foundation for a next-generation engine. So, by implementing those into the EJ200, we can ultimately test these technologies in an existing and known finished product with outstanding reliability. As such, the EJ200 LTE will provide the technology bridge for programmes like Tempest. The RAF’s vision on future mission objectives is key in defining requirements to determine and evolve EJ200 capabilities, whilst the expertise gained during current operations, maintenance and overhaul is invaluable in understanding how the EJ200 delivers against RAF expectations.

Beyond additional thrust, what else is in the pipeline for the EJ200? We are aware that, in many nations, defence budgets are increasingly under scrutiny and that there is a need for higher cost savings. However, these should not sacrifice performance or function. Therefore, life-cycle cost is key. The longer that we can keep an engine operating on-wing, the lower these will be. At the moment the EJ200 has an excellent record, with the fleet leader engine – flown by the RAF – having accumulated over 2,400 engine flying hours without need for an unplanned engine test. That is a truly remarkable feat and we are aiming to make it even better. The EJ200 is not only a powerhouse of performance, it just keeps on performing time and again, exactly when you need it most.

www.eurojet.de


EVOLVING STRATEGY

The future of Typhoon – the next generation Andy Flynn, Eurofighter and Centurion Capability Director, BAE Systems – Air, tells RAF Air & Space Power how Typhoon will be kept relevant and ready for the next 40 years

D Project Centurion ensured the maintenance of a deep-strike capability when the Tornado was withdrawn in March 2019 (PHOTO: BAE SYSTEMS)

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ecember 18, 2018 was an important date in the evolution of the Eurofighter Typhoon. It was the date that the Royal Air Force declared its release to service of the package of upgrades delivered by Project Centurion. In essence, it delivered the capability to allow the RAF to retire its Tornado fleet on schedule after more than four decades of service, with Typhoon now equipped with three new weapons ready to take its place. The new weapons in Typhoon’s armoury – Meteor, Brimstone and Storm Shadow – saw the aircraft come of age as the most advanced and

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flexible multi-role combat aircraft on the market today. “The scale of what we had to deliver was incredible; integrating three major new weapons onto an aircraft at the same time, bringing together work divided in to 70 different contracts and doing it all in just 47 months,” says Andy Flynn, Eurofighter and Centurion Capability Director, BAE Systems – Air.

Whole-force approach “The consequences of not delivering on time were huge, not least because of the capability gap it would leave. But how we delivered it was probably the biggest thing because we had to

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EVOLVING STRATEGY

step up our game in how we worked with the customer; we had to take on a truly whole-force approach with everyone working together.” The “everyone” included the partner nations – Germany, Italy and Spain – that make up the Eurofighter partnership behind Typhoon, with Storm Shadow flight trials being undertaken by Italian test aircraft, whilst their counterparts from Spain were doing the same on Meteor. It was down to this combined effort, investment and expertise that the project was delivered almost two years ahead of schedule and, within weeks of Centurion being released to service, the RAF was flying its upgraded aircraft in Operation Shader over Syria.

UNLEASHING TYPHOON’S FULL POTENTIAL

Future-proof design But adding the capabilities delivered by Project Centurion to a jet with more than 500,000 flying hours under its belt and a reputation as being combat-proven and trusted by air forces across

“Project Centurion showed we are able to work together to keep Typhoon at the forefront of military technology and do it in an agile way” the globe is just another chapter in unleashing Typhoon’s potential. On the horizon there is its electronically scanned radar, new network-enabled weapons and the Striker II helmet, all part of the evolution that will keep Typhoon as the backbone of air defence for decades to come. “Typhoon’s design is future-proof, and by that we mean the latest technologies can be seamlessly integrated to ensure it has everything our customers need,” adds Flynn. “Project Centurion showed we are able to work together to keep Typhoon at the forefront of military technology and do it in an agile way, which meant we delivered what we said we would, when we said we would and for the price we said we would. “This pipeline of innovation and the ways of working with our customer that has got us to where we are today will continue to allow us to unleash the full potential of Typhoon – there is a lot more to come.”

The delivery of Project Centurion reconfirmed Typhoon’s position as the most advanced multi-role aircraft available on the market today – and one able to take on any mission. But, Typhoon was designed to continuously evolve and its still fully untapped potential offers further capability beyond that which it has today. New investments in radar, communications, data management, weapons and connectivity will make Typhoon even more survivable and interoperable, ensuring it provides air, land and sea forces with freedom of action and operational advantage to win in the complex and congested battlespace of the future. This next stage of evolution is part of a technological journey that future-proofs Typhoon well in to the 2060s and will see it evolve into the complete battlefield controller. It will also be the platform upon which key future technologies that will eventually be at the heart of a future combat aircraft will be developed and deployed, making Typhoon the ideal interoperable partner to fly alongside any future aircraft.

The new weapons in Typhoon’s armoury – Meteor, Brimstone and Storm Shadow – are part of the continuing evolution of the aircraft’s capabilities (PHOTOS: RAY TROLL/MARK WRIGHT, BAE SYSTEMS)

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GLOBAL INNOVATION PARTNER PERSPECTIVE

Major General Gregory L Masiello Program Executive Officer for Air ASW, Assault & Special Mission Programs P-8A Poseidon: working together to answer our nations’ call

Congratulations to our British ally as you prepare for receipt of the first of nine P-8A Poseidons. These are exciting times as we witness Nimrod MR2 capabilities recapitalised into the P-8A Poseidon. This blue water maritime patrol aircraft brings state-of-the-art voice and satellite communications, advanced radar and acoustics technology, and leverages the Boeing 737 global supply chain. This aircraft ensures technical interoperability and helps solidify a cooperative strategy for 21st-century sea power. In addition, this platform enables next-generation power projection and maritime security. Together we are stronger. Our collective P-8A employment will enhance global maritime patrol aircraft operations. The US and its cooperative partner Australia worked acquisition, design and build, while

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the United Kingdom has been instrumental in providing dedicated aircrew training and tactical analysis through Project Seedcorn and a team of skilled aircrew and tacticians. Project Seedcorn, a strategic initiative to preserve UK maritime patrol expertise, simultaneously allowed the US Navy to take advantage of the Royal Air Force’s jet-powered maritime patrol aircraft operating skills as the US transitions from the legacy four-engine propeller P-3C aircraft to the P-8A. For the US, we obtained unparalleled training, tactics, and testing support. For the RAF, I believe, they have strengthened their aircrew skills and expertise well in advance of the first UK aircraft delivery and are fully prepared to hit the deck running. This cooperation

range and endurance provided by an in-flight refuelling capability. The UK joined the US Navy and Australian Air Force Cooperative P-8A Program, establishing a foreign military sales (FMS) agreement back in July 2016. Additional FMS partners include the Royal Norwegian and Royal New Zealand Air Forces, as well as the recent announcement that the Republic of South Korea Navy will be transitioning to the P-8A. Additionally, the Indian Navy has flown its P-8I variant of the aircraft for some time now, which was procured as a direct commercial sale from Boeing. The P-8A has a proven operational track record, logging more than 190,000 flight hours since its initial US deployment back in 2013, and includes follow-on

Together we are stronger. Our collective P-8A employment will enhance global maritime patrol aircraft operations strengthens our commitments to quality and qualified training and trainers, while ensuring delivery of a fully enabled P-8A capability. The P-8A has drawn a lot of international interest with its proven performance, open architecture, ability to rapidly integrate emergent technologies, and the extended

Multi-Domain Operations for the Next Generation Air Force

incremental capability enhancements, with substantial improvements to Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), precision targeting and satellite communications in the years to come. I am certain this next-generation capability will ensure our combined ability to provide a globally responsive presence and answer your nation’s call.


EVOLVING STRATEGY

ISTAR evolution The Royal Air Force’s ISTAR Force Commander, Air Commodore Nick Hay, reveals how the transformation of the aircraft is progressing

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Reaper will continue to deliver armed unmanned ISR capabilities until it is replaced by Protector (PHOTO: SERGEANT ROSS TILLY/CROWN COPYRIGHT/MOD)

he RAF’s Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) Force mission is “to deliver understanding and force protection to commanders at every level” by the provision of near real-time information, world-leading intelligence products and by delivering precise, offensive and defensive effect in the air, land and maritime domains. The next five years will herald a significant number of capability upgrades to some of our current aircraft types, the drawdown and retirement of some of the ISTAR Force’s older ‘warhorses’ and transition to some new and exciting capabilities. Over the next year, the RAF will take delivery of the first of nine Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft and commence operations from Scotland in defence of the UK’s Nuclear Deterrent. Central to the declaration of Initial Operational Capability in 2020 will be the repatriation of experienced RAF personnel who, since the cancellation of the Nimrod MRA4 programme in 2010, have continued to hone their skills on Maritime Patrol Aircraft operated by our key allies, whilst the first engineers assigned to Number

120 Squadron commenced their initial training at US Naval Air Station Jacksonville earlier this year. Many RAF aircrew have been instrumental to informing the development of the Poseidon aircraft, mission systems and the tactics, techniques and procedures employed by our allies in the execution of Anti-Submarine and Anti-Surface Warfare missions. The Poseidon is also capable of executing long-range Search and Rescue (SAR) and maritime counter-terrorism operations; its imminent fielding is tangible evidence of the significant commitment made to expand our ISTAR capabilities during the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review. The RAF operates three of the global fleet of 20 Rivet Joint (RJ) aircraft and will take delivery of RJ18 (ZZ664) in the summer, following its upgrade to the new Baseline-C configuration; it will be the first of all 20 RJs to benefit from the integration of numerous cutting-edge technologies, including the embodiment of a new glass cockpit and significant upgrades to its sensors, and on- and off-board mission systems. Improved analytical tools are at the heart of this upgrade and will be pivotal to enabling Information Advantage in the realm of strategic signals intelligence (SIGINT) from today until well into the 2030s.

Protector programme Whilst the Reaper Remotely Piloted Air System (RPAS) continues to deliver daily on operations, the Protector programme is developing apace, with our personnel working closely with industry to ensure delivery of a world-class armed ISR (Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance) RPAS capability. Protector will be able to take off and land automatically (reducing the need to deploy aircrew to enable the launch and recovery element of the mission), fly for over 40 hours and employ British-designed and built weapons with precision. Configured with multiple redundant aircraft systems and with plans to integrate a detect-andavoid capability by circa 2025, Protector should be able to fly in all classes of airspace, both at home and overseas. This provides a significant opportunity to expand the mission set well beyond that delivered by Reaper on deployed operations today. The recent integration of the Army Air Corps’ 651 Squadron into the RAF’s ISTAR Force in April 2019 provides an ideal opportunity for synergising technological and tactical development across the breadth of our fixed-wing manned air systems aircraft types of Defender 4000, Islander and Shadow. The Shadow fleet is increasing from six to eight aircraft and is undergoing a major capability upgrade, based on the themes of modularity and connectivity, whilst, in parallel, there are plans to modernise the collection capabilities on our Defender and Islander fleets.

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The RAF operates three of the 20 Rivet Joints in the global fleet, one of which was the first to be upgraded to the new Baseline-C configuration (PHOTO: SGT SI PUGSLEY RAF/CROWN COPYRIGHT/MOD)

The ability to deliver Airborne Command and Control (Air C2) is a fundamental air power requirement, and the E-3D Sentry Fleet has provided the UK’s contribution to the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force for over a quarter of a century. Recent experience of flying alongside the Royal Australian Air Force E-7A Wedgetail fleet on overseas operations has informed our understanding of the potential of this aircraft’s ability to counter current and future threats, whilst providing a Recognised Air Picture (RAP) to both fourth- and fifth-generation combat aircraft in a contested environment. The Wedgetail possesses a very capable electronic surveillance suite that provides the discriminatory capabilities necessary for identifying and targeting adversarial air systems at a tempo that far exceeds that possible with Sentry today, whilst the integration of an Advanced Electronically Scanned Array Radar also offers opportunities for delivering improved situational awareness and targeting of assets in the space, maritime and land domains, too. With NATO remaining central to the UK’s defence going forward, the continued provision of a world-leading airborne Air C2 capability to NATO post-Sentry reaffirms the RAF’s commitment to collective deterrence and defence.

Information and intelligence Pivotal to any ISTAR Force is the ability to turn collected data into information and intelligence to provide commanders with decision advantage. This is currently delivered by a combination of intelligence analysts located in both the airborne and ground environments, and there remains an enduring need to combine the benefits of both options, given the insatiable appetite of commanders for the latest fused intelligence, the need to provide real-time threat warnings to operators

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engaged in high-tempo air, land, maritime and space operations, and the ability of our potential adversaries to target the broad array of networks upon which we rely to pass critical information. Joint Forces Command continues to develop capabilities to underpin the robustness and resilience of our networks, whilst also developing technologies, tools and processes to enable the analysts of Number 1 ISR Wing to provide the level of understanding our commanders need. The exploitation of big data, autonomy and machine-learning capabilities will enable a marked increase in 1 ISR Wing’s output, as will the mandating of common data formats to enable data retrieval and the planned growth of our analytical cadre by about 50% over the next few years. Significant work is also ongoing to understand how we might better exploit the terabytes of data that will be collected by our Typhoon and Lightning aircraft, which will operate deep into the most contested of environments on future operations. In sum, the ISTAR Force is embarking on a significant and exciting transformation programme. This period of change is likely unparalleled in the RAF’s 101-year history of flying ISTAR missions, but it provides the opportunity for the ISTAR Force to remain relevant well into the next decade and beyond. Our aircraft and intelligence systems will continue to be fully interoperable with NATO and key allies, be connected to a level not seen previously and be fed by data, information and intelligence spanning the unclassified to Top Secret security domains. This will undoubtedly require our personnel to think, train and fight differently, but the future remains exceedingly bright for those charged with enabling future commanders to exploit the data they need from whatever platform, wherever and whenever they need it.

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EVOLVING STRATEGY

Enhanced protection Douglas Barrie, Senior Fellow for Military Aerospace at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, highlights the game-changing capabilities that will be delivered by the Protector remotely piloted air system

Due in service at the mid-point of next decade, the Protector will revolutionise UAV operations (PHOTO: GENERAL ATOMICS AERONAUTICAL SYSTEMS INC)

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n the past, the United Kingdom underestimated the technical challenge of acquiring unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and was somewhat over-optimistic with regard to their development timelines. The procurement of Phoenix and Watchkeeper were examples of this mismatch. And, although the ambition is even greater with the Royal Air Force’s latest programme, Protector, there is now recognition of the technically demanding goals that the Ministry of Defence (MOD) has set.

The most challenging of these, arguably, is not to do with the Protector’s operational performance requirements, which build upon US company General Atomics’ tried-and-tested MQ-9A Reaper UAV. Rather, it is the aim of fielding a UAV that can be regularly flown in non-military airspace, with the end goal being a system that is treated no differently to a manned aircraft in non-segregated airspace.

Non-military airspace Pragmatism, in part, underpins the aim of operating Protector in non-segregated airspace. The Protector RG Mk1 will first be operated by 31 Squadron, based at RAF Waddington, and will be required to transit through non-military airspace to reach UK training areas. The UK will buy at least 16 of the Protector air vehicles. Developing and fielding a UAV – or what the MOD sometimes refers to as a Remotely Piloted Air System (RPAS) – with the necessary ‘Detect and Avoid’ equipment certified for operating in Class A-G airspace also has an additional military and commercial value. The MOD selected General Atomics to meet its Protector project in 2016. Protector is, in fact, the new name for the Scavenger programme of 2015 vintage. Scavenger was to

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Collision avoidance and identification systems (TCAS and ADS-B) along with a DRR (Due Regard Radar) will enable Protector to fly in non-segregated airspace alongside commercial air traffic (PHOTO: GENERAL ATOMICS AERONAUTICAL SYSTEMS INC)

provide persistent intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance as a successor to the General Atomics Reaper UAVs that the UK had acquired in 2007 to meet urgent operational requirements whilst engaged in operations in Afghanistan. The scale of the challenge for Protector in gaining the desired air space clearance is, in part, evident from the stakeholders alone: besides the RAF, the Military Airworthiness Authority (MAA), the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) organization, a cross-governmental UAV working group, General Atomics and subcontractors are all directly involved. Discussions have also included the

The Protector RG Mk1 will first be operated by 31 Squadron and will be required to transit through non-military airspace to reach UK training areas US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the US Department of Defense (DOD) to better understand their respective approaches to certification of General Atomics systems. Three systems will be key to the Protector’s ability to be ‘seamlessly’ operated in Class A-G airspace: Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B); a Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS); and a Due Regard Radar (DRR). The DRR is the last element of an overall capability to operate ‘freely’ in non-segregated airspace and will be the final

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element to be introduced on Protector in a staged process. ADS-B and TCAS provide the ability to operate in non-military airspace, but with additional coordination to clear and control the UAV flight. In January 2019, General Atomics signed a memorandum of agreement with BAE Systems to cooperate on the integration of Protector into UK airspace. The latter company is well versed in this complex field, having led elements of the UK’s Autonomous Systems Technology Related Airborne Evaluation and Assessment programme, which ran earlier this decade. Radar and electro-optical approaches to detect and avoid are being developed within the UAV community. The latter presents design challenges in terms of false-alarm rates and performance in cloud, while, with radar, the vehicle’s electromagnetic signature is affected by the need for the radar to emit signals. Type Certification Basis was agreed, and the Critical Design Review for Protector concluded, in 2018. The former provides the baseline on which Protector will be certified and amounts to some 1,000 requirements. The MAA and the CAA spent much of 2016 and 2017 ‘discussing’ how to establish a basis for the certification process. Back in 2016, the initial operational capability date for Protector was July 2021, with the full operational capability to follow in May 2023. The 2018 National Security Capability Review, however, stated that Protector would be ‘introduced by mid 2024’. The re-scheduling of the project has been attributed to the Ministry of Defence re-profiling spending on the programme. This shift will also provide a greater time for risk-reduction to ensure that, when Protector enters RAF service, it is ready to meet all the operational demands that will undoubtedly be placed upon it.

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INDUSTRY PERSPECTIVE

A revolution in unmanned aircraft missions Dr Jonny King Vice-President, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems UK Ltd

The RAF’s replacement for the Reaper remotely piloted air system (RPAS) will revolutionise the operational mission profiles of unmanned aircraft because it is the first one that can fly in the airspace reserved for commercial traffic. According to Dr Jonny King, VicePresident GA-AS UK, “Protector has been specifically designed and built to meet the stringent NATO airworthiness standards; it also has a detect and avoid system, comprised of a due-regard radar, a traffic collision avoidance system and an ADS-B transponder.” These features enable it to operate in non-segregated airspace, mixing with commercial air traffic in both national and international airspace. “The unique certifiability of this platform was a key discriminator for the RAF selecting this RPAS for their Protector programme,” Dr King confirms. Protector (based on MQ-9B SkyGuardian) has an impressive endurance capability of up to 48 hours, which proved invaluable in 2018, when it was flown across the Atlantic from North Dakota to RAF Fairford for the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT). In fact, it only consumed just over half its fuel load during the entire voyage. The RPAS that made that historic flight was the only one available, as the second prototype aircraft had not yet been completed, highlighting the confidence that GA-ASI have in their aircraft. This extraordinary flight was a foretaste of what the future holds for military aviation. “The flight path crossed airspace sectors in which

commercial traffic was also transiting. But more significantly than that, the complete trans-Atlantic flight, including initiating automatic landing in the UK, was piloted by a crew in North Dakota via a satellite link, with the crew communicating with air traffic control and the tower at RAF Fairford via onboard radios. Just before landing, the Fairford tower advised the Protector crew in Dakota of a change in wind direction, prompting them to approach the runway from the opposite direction. The entire ATC communication process was carried out exactly the same as if the aircraft had been manned,” says Dr King.

UK participation Although Protector is being developed by a US-based company, a wide range of UK companies are participating in the programme. For example, BAE Systems is helping to develop the concept of operations (CONOPS) for integrating large UAVs into UK airspace. GKN provides the fuel bladders and is an approved supplier of composite tails. MBDA is working on the integration of its Brimstone missile and Raytheon UK is doing the same

with its Paveway IV. In addition, Cobham, which is already involved in supporting Reaper’s Ground Control Stations at RAF Waddington, will lead on in-country through-life support and help to ensure the transition from Reaper to Protector is seamless. This is vital, as the RAF may be engaged in operations with both versions of the aircraft as the transition is carried out. GA-ASI will be exhibiting some of the associated technology to selected VIPs at this year’s RIAT with the Protector Ground Control Station connected to a flight simulator. Beyond monitoring activities on land and engaging land-based targets, Protector can also be re-roled by fitting a suite of maritime mission systems, which transforms it into a highly effective maritime patrol aircraft. Again, UK-based companies are involved in the provision of this maritime role capability through a self-funded project. Consequently, GA-ASI is working with Leonardo to integrate their SeaSpray maritime radar and SAGE electronic support measure. In addition, Protector can carry 80+ of Ultra Electronics miniature sonobuoys.

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INDUSTRY PERSPECTIVE

Supporting the UK E-7 programme

Alistair McPhee Chief Executive Officer, Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group

How will Marshall ADG support the UK E-7 programme? Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group is subcontracted through Boeing Defence UK to deliver platform modification of the Next-Generation 737 aircraft, with work expected to begin in 2021. Conversion to the E-7 will take place in our refurbished modification facility at Cambridge, sustaining over 200 highly skilled jobs in the UK. I can confirm that we have now signed a Risk Reduction Contract with Boeing for the conversion of the E-7 Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft for the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD). This will enable us to begin all of the preparation work for the arrival of the first aircraft in 2021. Boeing has significant experience converting the Next-Generation 737 to E-7, having previously done so for three other nations, and Marshall will benefit from this project-management expertise.

marshalladg.com

As you would expect, we are delighted that Boeing has chosen Marshall to undertake the conversion work on the E-7 and are proud to be playing a key role on such a strategically important programme for the RAF. This is a great step towards achieving our ambition to become the RAF’s heavy aircraft support and modification partner of choice. It’s a validation of the work that we are already doing to drive availability of the C-130 fleet, building on over 100 years of support to the RAF. We’ve already begun to assemble a core team to work on the Risk Reduction elements of the programme, which will ensure we meet the delivery schedule agreed with the MOD. We look forward to growing the team as we move towards 2021.

What other aircraft support does Marshall ADG offer the RAF? We have worked with the RAF to support its C-130 platform for more than five decades. During this time, we have helped to drive significant efficiency and cost savings. We are vastly improving the front-line availability of the fleet, more recently through the innovative HIOS (Hercules Integrated Operational Support) contract, which has now been in place for over 10 years. The HIOS contract brings together all the parties responsible for maintaining the fleet into a single performance-based logistics solution. This covers the maintenance, technical support and inventory management of the entire aircraft fleet. We are also contracted to install Enhanced Service Life (ESL) Centre Wing Box kits on 14 of the RAF C-130J Mk4 fleet. The units provide durability enhancements and allow a sustained centre wing service

life two-to-three times longer than the original centre wing boxes. With installation due to begin later this year, this is another example of our ability to continue to deliver, support and serve the RAF.

What services does Marshall ADG supply to partner nations? We have seen very rapid growth in our international C-130 customer base over the past few years. In addition to our long-standing operation based in country, supporting the Royal Canadian Air Force and our 20-year association with Royal Netherlands Air Force, we currently support 13 other nations, including

We have worked with the RAF to support its C-130 platform for more than five decades Bahrain, Bangladesh, France and Sweden. This is an area of our business that continues to develop and we expect to grow our customer base further this year. As you may be aware, we have also been working on two special mission aircraft for an overseas customer, the first of which has now been delivered to the end user. Whilst the sensitive nature of the project means we are not able to go into any specific detail, we are incredibly proud of having delivered such a feat of ground-breaking engineering.


EVOLVING STRATEGY

Global strategic airlift Air Commodore Dom Stamp tells Jim Winchester how the Royal Air Force’s ability to deliver personnel, expertise, equipment and aircraft fuel at short notice anywhere around the world is one of its principal strengths

A The A400M Atlas took over transport and SAR duties from the C-130J Hercules in the Falkland Islands in 2018 (PHOTO: PARK DALE/ALAMY)

s commander of the Royal Air Force’s Air Mobility Force (AMF), Air Commodore (Air Cdre) Dom Stamp is responsible for 62 aircraft of six types, from the airlifters and air-to-air refuelling tankers, based at RAF Brize Norton, to the VIP transports at RAF Northolt. According to Air Cdre Stamp, “The AMF has a golf-bag approach, choosing the right tool for each tasking. Most other air forces have one type of transport aircraft, but we have the ability to choose the best aircraft for each task, which gives us flexibility and also resilience.” Over the past 18 months, the AMF has concentrated on fuel and task efficiency, using techniques normally found in civil aviation. The former may involve selecting the best airport to use for fuel costs and the latter might be choosing an Atlas for a mission, rather than flying a half-loaded C-17, for example. So far, the RAF has received 20 of the 22 Airbus A400M Atlas transports it has on order. As they are delivered, each one is slightly different and they are being rotated into a programme to retrofit them all to a common standard. The aim is to enable each one to be able to undertake all missions, including

tactical low-level flying and air-drops, by the end of 2020. Consequently, a course is being developed to teach aircrews how to operate the Atlas in the low-level tactical environment. The aircraft’s utility is exemplified by its taskings in the Falkland Islands, where it replaced the Hercules in 2018. There, it performs transport, aeromedical and reconnaissance roles and supplies long-range SAR cover for the Islands with droppable air-sea rescue apparatus (ASRA).

C-130J life-extension programme The out-of-service date for the RAF’s 14 C-130J Hercules is now 2035. A wing centre-section replacement programme will take place over the next seven years to reset the aircraft’s fatigue life. “It could be done faster,” says Air Cdre Stamp, “but the proposed completion rate maintains the required output for Defence.” Although they have been primarily retained for specialised tasks, the C-130s are still used for regular transport missions, as the aircraft can carry smaller, but still meaningful, loads that would underutilise the larger Atlas or C-17. Like the rest of the AMF aircraft, the C-17 Globemaster IIIs are kept busy, with a recent

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Two F-35B aircraft from 617 Squadron, RAF Marham, refuel from an RAF Voyager (PHOTO: ALEX SCOTT/CROWN COPYRIGHT/MOD)

RAF C-17 Globemaster III transported Puma and Chinook helicopters to the Middle East to take part in Exercise Saif Sareea (PHOTOS: SAC WILL DRUMMEE/CROWN COPYRIGHT/MOD)

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highlight being the support to Exercise Saif Sareea in Oman and the wider Middle East. This exercise epitomised the AMF’s global capability and the importance that the United Kingdom places on security in the region. Overall, AMF aircraft from RAF Brize Norton transported and sustained more than 4,500 personnel and their equipment during the largest exercise that the British military has undertaken in the region in over 17 years. Not far from that part of the world, the AMF’s contribution to Operation Shader, the fight against Daesh, primarily entails the air-to-air refuelling of RAF Typhoons (since the last of the Tornados returned from Cyprus in February 2019) and other Coalition aircraft flying missions over Iraq and Syria. The Voyagers

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normally have two three-to-four-hour taskings a day, sustaining combat aircraft in the airspace much longer than would be possible without air-to-air refueling support, maximising the efficiency of the air power deployed there. One Voyager is kept in theatre constantly, but that is “only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the effort required,” says Air Cdre Stamp. AirTanker, the civilian contractor that supports Voyager and its infrastructure, will be preparing another to take over as the aircraft are rotated on a regular basis to even out airframe hours. The ‘frame-swap’ flights are not wasted, as the outgoing and returning aircraft are both filled with freight and personnel. “An hour or so after landing from the UK, a Voyager could be refuelled and be out on a tanker mission, so they truly epitomise the term multi-role aircraft ,” says Air Cdre Stamp. To support Operation Shader, several flights a week make regular resupply runs to Akrotiri, Cyprus and then on to the wider Middle East. A hub-and-spoke system distributes parts and people to other bases. The weight of effort changes on a weekly basis. All of the Brize Norton AMF fleet is involved, but the balance may shift between types; for example, Atlas one week, C-130J the next. Beyond support to deployed operations, the AMF supports the Ministry of Defence’s wider exercise programme, including UK personnel training in Kenya and Canada. “My force is tasked at 100 per cent all year round to maintain currency and competency of our crews,” adds Stamp. “It is an unusual day when I don’t have an aircraft in the air at any time, day or night.”

Multi-Domain Operations for the Next Generation Air Force


EVOLVING STRATEGY

Defeating Daesh and projecting power From bases in Cyprus and Middle East, the RAF continues to support the Global Coalition as it mops up the last remnants of Daesh in Syria. Typhoon and Reaper aircraft, equipped with precision munitions, are engaging the terrorists in clinical attacks designed to remove their ability and will to fight. Air Commodore Justin Reuter, Air Officer Commanding 83 Expeditionary Air Group, explains

RAF Typhoons prepare for an operational sortie as part of the fight against Daesh (PHOTO: CPL RICH DENTON/CROWN COPYRIGHT/MOD)

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n 23 March 2019, the Syrian Democratic Forces announced the end of the ISIS (Daesh) self-styled Caliphate; but the end of the Caliphate is not the end of Daesh. The fight continues, but Daesh and its ideology will only suffer a lasting defeat when the root causes of Sunni disaffection are tackled. However, the air power contribution to the defeat of the Caliphate has been decisive. Coalition air power makes it a very bad day for Daesh: ask our partner forces or, better still, ask our enemy.

Daesh has been tracked by our ISTAR (intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance) from domains that we dominate; they have been hunted relentlessly by armed remotely piloted aircraft systems and combat aircraft. We have killed their fighters, stopped their vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices and dismantled their unmanned aerial vehicle and bomb-making enterprises. Despite our successes, we must be careful to learn the right lessons and look ahead to future conflicts. In fighting Daesh, even ‘by, with and

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through’ partner forces, we have controlled the operational tempo. In the next campaign, we may not have that luxury. By operating in a theatre where great power competition is taking place, we have an opportunity to understand the need for multi-domain operations (MDO) and address our shortcomings in multi-domain command and control.

Considerable sacrifices Our partner forces have made considerable sacrifices and they have my complete respect. But, acting ‘by, with and through’ can reduce our own ability to synchronise effects in multiple domains. In this campaign it has not mattered, because with exceptional ISTAR and overwhelming combat power from the Air Component, an attritional fight against a now defensive foe has had a predictable outcome. Recently, the risks to defeating Daesh’s Caliphate have come from the intentions, interventions and actions of other regional actors. So, although we have operated in numerous domains (air, space, cyber, electromagnetic, human, land) simultaneously, we have rarely synchronised effects across multiple domains; when we have done so, the outcomes have been excellent, but we should not be too quick to congratulate ourselves. The enemy has mostly counter-attacked on land and in the information environment, but, in the main, the Coalition has dictated the tempo. The campaign has been challenging for the Air Component; many of the very congested environments have also been contested to a degree not previously encountered. RAF aircraft flying in

An RAF Sentinel R1 aircraft prepares for a night mission at RAF Akrotiri (PHOTO: CPL TIM LAURENCE/CROWN COPYRIGHT/MOD)

RAF aircraft flying in Syria are operating close to Russian and Syrian aircraft in airspace that is also utilised by other regional powers Syria are operating close to Russian and Syrian aircraft in airspace that is also utilised by other regional powers. Present in the operating area are significant threat capabilities, the intent of operators often being unclear. The Syrians possess a comprehensive integrated air defence system; their allies, the Russians, have deployed their latest, most capable surface-to-air missile systems. Daesh possesses mobile air defence systems and is willing to employ them against Coalition aircraft. Basing a number of ISTAR and

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Combat Air capabilities in the eastern Mediterranean, we often fly over numerous Russian warships before arriving on station in Iraq or Syria, where we operate in areas where the jamming of communications and navigation systems takes place. This congestion and competition could lead to miscalculation and unwanted escalation, factors of which our aircrew and tactical controllers are most aware. During the air operations to counter Daesh, we have identified and, in some cases, relearned the lessons of air-land integration, but, importantly, we have seen enough in this campaign to give us warning that we need to get match fit for MDO. Combat Air and ISTAR aircraft have been low-volume, high-demand assets, highlighting the requirement for flexibility, swing and multi-role capabilities. Inefficient use of this resource shows that our command and control (C2) methods and architecture look dated. In order to create unbearable pressure and impossible dilemmas for our foes through simultaneous and synchronised activity across all domains, we must embrace MDO and improve our C2. The recently completed UK F-35B Lightning deployment to the Eastern Mediterranean provided an opportunity to consider fifthgeneration capabilities and to explore how we embrace this extraordinary capability in future conflicts. There is more good news: as we look to MDO, we’ll need talented and flexible personnel to embrace new concepts and think laterally to exploit rapidly emerging advantages and opportunities. From my experience in command, I can say that we have all of that and more.

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EVOLVING STRATEGY

Anglo-French cooperation in Mali Group Captain Lee Turner, Station Commander at RAF Odiham, highlights how the RAF Chinooks have been a vital support for the French forces in Mali. Patrick Allen reports

S Once in Mali, the RAF Chinooks released French helicopters for combat duties (PHOTO: CROWN COPYRIGHT)

ince arriving at RAF Odiham in 1980, the RAF Chinook Force has been in constant demand supporting United Kingdom Defence, both at home and abroad. “The incredible utility of the Chinook has meant that the aircraft has always been in high demand and will remain so,” says Group Captain (Gp Capt) Lee Turner, the RAF Odiham Station Commander. “At present, the Chinook Force is committed to the defence of the UK through the national standby commitment, including supporting counterterrorism operations, whilst also deployed in Mali in support of our French allies. We are also

maintaining our commitments to UK contingent operations through our support to the British Army, the Lead Commando Group and, of course, the UK’s Joint Task Force Headquarters.”

Operation Newcombe – Mali June 2018 saw personnel of No 18(B) Squadron deploy to Mali with three Chinook HC5s on Operation Newcombe, to support French Forces undertaking counter-insurgency operations as part of their Operation ‘Barkhane’. For the UK Forces, this is a non-combat operation to provide logistical support moving French troops and equipment around the huge distances in this harsh operational environment. The Chinook HC5, with its external extended-range fuel tanks, was chosen for the initial deployment, as it can operate over long distances without the need for internal fuel tanks, which reduce the available cabin space for troops and equipment. Gp Capt Turner explains: “This was the first time that the Chinook HC5s have deployed on operations, although the airframes have been vital to sustain the Chinook Force’s training for operations over the course of the last decade. In preparation for the deployment, No. 18(B) Squadron familiarised themselves with similar environmental conditions in the military training areas in southern California. This region provides superb and highly costeffective training to both the Squadrons and their support personnel. Indeed, this unique combination of climate and advanced training estate simply can’t be replicated anywhere else

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in the world. The deployment also represented the first time that the Squadron had deployed on operations equipped with the new Digital Automatic Flight Control System (DAFCS).” The addition of DAFCS to the aircraft has significantly reduced the risk of an incident during the landing phase, when sand and dust cause a substantial reduction in visibility for the pilot, the ultimate manifestation being ‘brown out’, which can cause pilots to lose their orientation and endanger the aircraft. The Squadron also completed some UK bespoke training before deploying to provide noncombat logistical support to French Forces in Mali.

Key capability In Mali, RAF Chinooks are now moving troops and logistics. The underslung load-lifting capability of the aircraft has been in particular demand, with the requirement to transport outsized loads to distant forward-operating bases forming a key capability. The Chinooks are also being utilised to resupply French Forces in the field, and have proven particularly useful at recovering vehicles that have come into difficulty whilst on patrol. The aircraft are fitted with a forwardlooking infra-red (FLIR) turret and a defensive aids suite (DAS). They are also armed with M134 mini-guns for self-defence. The Squadron rotates its Flights using the ‘Fighting by Flight ‘system, and each Flight undertakes a three-lunar-cycle deployment equating to three-and-half months’ deployment each. Gp Capt Turner reveals the benefits of this system: “This allows our crews to arrive in good order during the ‘green’ illumination period, when there are excellent ambient light levels, so crews can complete their theatre acceptance before transitioning into the ‘red’ illumination period with no moon. This allows us to maintain operational output without increasing operating risk – a lesson from Afghanistan. The

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risk has been further reduced by the introduction of DAFCS, which has revolutionised the way we operate in a visually degraded environment.”

Deployment update According to Wing Commander (Wg Cdr) Timothy Brookes, the Chinook Detachment Commander who led the initial deployment, “Our presence made an immediate impact. The Chinooks significantly reduced the logistics pressure on the French helicopters, giving them more time to conduct combat operations.” Thanks to its size and power, the Chinook can rapidly move personnel and materiel by air, over long distances and in large quantities, reducing the threat of improvised explosive devices. “Missions have also included the Chinooks providing a Forward Arming and Refuelling Point (FARP) for French attack helicopters, enabling them to strike deeper into enemy territory,” Wg Cdr Brookes confirms. However, the harsh operational environment, with temperatures as high as 50 degrees celsius, and 90% humidity, makes things extremely difficult for both crews and aircraft engineers. “During the monsoon season, for example, we have to contend with massive thunderstorms on a daily basis. In the air, these cloudbursts cause significant turbulence and reduce visibility, and on the ground, tents get destroyed by the high winds.” Other occupational hazards also include snakes, mosquitoes and a new species of flying insect every day during the wet season. “Our Squadron engineers are the unsung heroes, keeping the aircraft serviceable in very harsh operational conditions,” says Wg Cdr Brookes.

“During the monsoon season, we have to contend with massive thunderstorms on a daily basis”

RAF Chinook helicopters made an immediate impact on French counterinsurgency operations (PHOTO: CROWN COPYRIGHT)

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AIR CHIEF’S PERSPECTIVE

General Philippe Lavigne Chief of Staff of the French Air Force Air and space power: a continuous prerequisite

While I was standing on parade next to the many heads of state during the ceremonies honouring the 75th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, not only was I overwhelmed by the immense debt we owe to our brave predecessors, but I also thought of continuity: indeed, far from seeing any anachronism in the flypasts of warbirds embedded with modern fighter jets and transport aircraft, I deeply felt the crucial necessity of air power then, as I feel it still is of vital importance today. History regularly tends to repeat itself: as France and the UK experienced together for the first time in the First World War, no battle on the ground can be won before gaining air superiority. Likewise, air assets were essential during the Normandy Campaign and played a key role in the overall Second World War strategy, whether in defending the UK against Nazi bombers or V1 flying bombs, in protecting the troops with early close air support in North Africa, or in attacking the heart of Nazi industry and in moving people and

equipment quickly in and out of the different theatres of operations. Those were the challenges of yesterday. They remain pertinent today, as we move into an era of more contested battlespaces where access can be more easily denied. New dimensions have arisen: warfare in the cyber and the space domains is not theoretical anymore: in this new environment, gaining and maintaining air superiority remains vital – as a prerequisite for any military operation in air, land and sea domains – while controlling the outer space and securing the cyberspace are essential to preserve our freedom of action. Failure in one domain might

Air superiority in 2030 will be part of a multi-domain battlespace now have cascading and dramatic effects in one or more of the others. These are the reasons why air superiority in 2030 will be part of a multi-domain battlespace where air, space and cyberspace actions need to combine to enable temporary windows of advantage across all domains. While improving both the survivability and the lethality of our platforms, network-centric operations will be key in identifying and exploiting the temporary flaws of our opponents. Air warfare, no less lethal, is now required

to integrate the real game-changer that information warfare has become, in the challenging context of ‘infobesity’. We feel that data is the basis of digital advantage, in order to be able to take the right decision and be the first to do so. Artificial intelligence and ‘Big Data’ processing might also help in optimising the use of existing forces. Nevertheless, this does not mean that this technological fight requires fewer assets. On the contrary, in the current context of massive military engagement becoming likely again, the number of assets will greatly matter, since no current technology can achieve ubiquity. Our forces need to come back to a thicker operational air forces format, which entails both manpower and equipment, to achieve resiliency while still dealing with the whole spectrum of threats, from highdemand low-density to high-density and more dangerous missions. The immensity of such challenges requires us to work together, as a team. The needed capabilities simply cannot be developed unilaterally. Interoperability of current and future air and space systems, and common training of airmen are, thus, vital. Fostered by the brotherhood of arms, born with military aviation itself, the long-lasting cooperation between the French Air Force and the Royal Air Force will be essential in overcoming these upcoming strategic challenges. Together, we will also persistently have to explain – some say advocate for – the importance of air and space power in complex and multi-domain operations, in which again, probably (to paraphrase Sir Winston Churchill), ‘so much will be owed by so many to so few’.

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Meeting the people challenge Air Vice-Marshal Chris Elliot explains how the Royal Air Force is addressing the recruitment and retention challenges that it faces in its second century

Maintaining the RAF’s reputation for excellence rests on the shoulders of its newest recruits (PHOTO: CROWN COPYRIGHT/MOD)

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s the RAF embarks upon its second century, the rapidly evolving nature of our operational capabilities set against the backdrop of the wider human resources (HR) landscape in the UK means that the required levels of innovation in the people space are greater than ever. Underpinning every objective within the RAF Strategy is a clear requirement for continuing excellence in our personnel. Thus, how we manage our people

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capability – through-career – remains one of the key challenges to building the Next Generation Air Force. A brief look at the characteristics of the modern recruiting and workplace environment provides useful context to the challenges we will face as we seek to generate a multi-domain operations workforce for the 21st century and beyond. With the vast majority of UK employers now reporting recruitment and retention difficulties, it is clear that the RAF cannot expect to build and shape tomorrow’s workforce in isolation from the wider supply constraints that now pervade the UK labour market. IT and technology-based professions are particularly hard to recruit for, and, by 2023, it is anticipated that there will be a shortfall of almost half-a-million people with STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) skillsets. Moreover, whilst many employers seek to address these shortfalls with wage increases, research suggests that the Generation ‘Z’ workforce values training opportunities and flexible working packages as highly as remunerative solutions. All this suggests that the HR approach to delivering the Next Generation Air Force will need to be particularly agile and responsive to meet the concurrent requirements of developing capabilities and the uniformed workforce that will deliver them. As the RAF seeks to build its competitive advantage in multi-domain operations, with domains

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such as space and cyberspace now emerging as key battle spaces, it provides an interesting challenge to some of our fundamental assumptions about how we build our uniformed workforce that will require some niche skill sets. For the first 100 years of its evolution, the RAF was a base-fed organisation, relying upon a world-class training system to internally grow the specialists it needed to deliver against a wide array of professional roles. And, whilst the ability to invest in, and train, our people remains critical to the attractiveness of the RAF’s brand as an employer, the start of our second century presents a timely opportunity for us to reconsider our structure and entry pathways into a Service career. As automation and digitisation becomes ever more ubiquitous within our capability lanes, it provides an opportunity to review the lower levels of organisational activity and challenge some of our assumptions about the role of the base ranks and progression within the organisation. Are we fully leveraging the skills currently available in the UK labour market by bringing all personnel into the organisation at a base rank, regardless of prior experience and level of qualification? Moreover, in doing so, can we expect to compete as an employer of choice in a ‘sellers market’, where individuals with the key skills we require are more likely to aspire to shorter careers with multiple employers? The RAF, and Defence more widely, are already taking their first steps on a journey that is likely to reshape the way in which we view organisational entry points. The Ministry of Defence’s Enterprise Approach is a collaborative venture with key industry

partners that will facilitate lateral movement between military service and the private sector to help tackle critical skills shortages for all parties. With cyber skills identified for initial trials, this is a good example of an area in which Defence can benefit from the currency and innovation within the private sector. Similarly, after the first year of industrialised recruiting of ‘Rejoiners’ into the RAF, early results suggest that the Service, the individual and our industry partners can benefit equally from a system that allows seamless transitions between

The UK is experiencing a period of very high employment making the search for RAF recruits more difficult, especially in the IT and cyber sectors (PHOTO: CROWN COPYRIGHT/MOD)

We must take this opportunity to face the challenges... and build a workforce fit for the future careers, enabling organisational entry points that leverage maximum benefit from skills gained from other workplaces. Add to that the recent formalisation of flexible working opportunities in the Service, and we have the foundations of a suite of modern HR policies that can help deliver the level of agility and differentiation that will be required to deliver our Next Generation workforce. These are exciting times in the people space, with a chance for us all to embrace and drive forward change. We must make use of this time to face the challenges, maximise the opportunities and build a workforce fit for the future.

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Investing in the conceptual component Group Captain James Beldon, the RAF’s Director of Defence Studies, explains how investing time and resources in the conceptual component helps to embed knowledge and understanding in the application of doctrine, thereby strengthening the moral and physical components of fighting power

The conceptual component provides the framework for understanding the exercise and purpose of military power and its role in the future (PHOTO: CPL LEE MATTHEWS/CROWN COPYRIGHT/MOD)

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t is the fighting power of a military organisation that ultimately defines its utility, effectiveness and credibility. In British Defence Doctrine, fighting power is considered to comprise three components: the physical, the moral and the conceptual. The first two components are reasonably well understood by anyone who has served in the armed forces or has an interest in the art of war: the physical component comprises the ‘means’ to fight, including manpower, equipment, the training that makes them effective and the ability to sustain the forces and respond quickly to contingencies; the moral component is more spiritual, but nevertheless easily recognisable as a vital constituent of military

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effectiveness, and includes attributes such as leadership, fighting spirit, morale and integrity. If the physical component of fighting power can be considered to be the ‘body’, and the moral component the ‘heart’, then the conceptual component can be aptly considered to be the ‘brain’. It provides a framework for thinking about all matters relating to fighting power and is the wellspring for creative and innovative thinking on which our concepts and doctrine are built. To that end, it is not just a co-component of the physical and moral components of fighting power, but, by definition, their parent, too, in that without the appropriate conceptual foundation, the

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As the RAF develops new capabilities, exemplified by the Tempest programme, new concepts must be sufficiently flexible to address both foreseen and unanticipated future threats (PHOTO: BAE SYSTEMS)

moral and physical components can swiftly lose synchronisation, leading to ineffective doctrine, poor morale and, ultimately, defeat. History is littered with heroic defeats and physical capabilities that were outmoded because the doctrines that underpinned them were ill-suited to the realities of combat in which they met their ultimate test: Bomber Command’s catastrophic daylight raids at the start of the Second World War were an example of the former, and France’s Maginot Line is perhaps the example par excellence of the latter. Adopting the right concepts and applying effective doctrine is just as important today as it has always been – perhaps it is even more important now during an era in which the character of warfare is changing so rapidly, equipment lifespans are increasing, and budgets are under constant pressure. The Royal Air Force invests heavily in ensuring that the conceptual foundations from which all of its capabilities are ultimately generated, are nurtured appropriately. To that end, the RAF Centre for Air and Space Power Studies, which I lead, maintains its focus on developing trends in technology, strategy and theory to suitably inform the development of RAF and Joint doctrine and concepts, in cooperation with the Ministry of Defence’s (MOD’s) Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre and the RAF’s Air Warfare Centre. It also plays a major role in identifying areas of research that promise to advance the application of air and space power into the future.

Chief of the Air Staff’s Fellowship Scheme A key mechanism through which this is achieved is the Chief of the Air Staff’s Fellowship Scheme, which gives the opportunity for members of the Service

at all ranks to compete for around 25 full- and part-time post-graduate placements each year at universities and think tanks. Each Fellowship place is heavily competed for, with candidates having to prove they have the academic ability and will to succeed, and a plan to research an area of interest that is of direct and immediate importance to the Service and Defence. Through their studies at some of the UK’s best universities, including Oxford and Cambridge, the Chief of the Air Staff’s Fellows provide a rich source of innovative thinking and insight into subjects as seemingly diverse as UK sovereign space capabilities, the effect of surveillance on behaviour, and military innovation in the ‘Grey Zone’. All of these, and many more, areas of research play an important role in informing our concepts and doctrine, ensuring that we build in capacity in the physical and moral components of fighting power to meet a wide spectrum of foreseen threats, with the flexibility to meet unanticipated challenges in the future. Engagement with the latest thinking in academia, coupled with the critical-thinking skills that the Fellows develop during their immersion, provide a talented pool of strategic thinkers who go on to play influential roles in the RAF, Joint Forces Command, the MOD and other Government Departments. All this helps RAF servicemen and women deliver the very best intellectual input into every aspect of our national fighting power. It ensures that air and space power is authoritatively articulated and that all three components of fighting power are balanced appropriately and referenced to the present, as well as fit to meet the future realities of conflict.

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Fighting fit – shaping RAF training Chris Aaron asks Air Vice-Marshal Warren James, Air Officer Commanding 22 Group, how he is helping to generate the Next Generation Air Force

“I Medium support helicopter aircrew training facility at RAF Benson. Simulated and virtual reality training systems will introduce new ways of preparing airmen and women for operations (PHOTO: CORPORAL TONY HAWKE/CROWN COPYRIGHT/MOD)

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don´t sell or make anything other than very flexible, very capable people who are able to adapt and do a job whenever we ask them, and then move on from the Service at the right time to contribute to society. That’s actually what we build.” Putting in place the suppliers, the systems, the software, the buildings and the platforms to ‘build’ the Royal Air Force’s next generation through training and education falls to Air Vice-Marshal (AVM) Warren James, Air Officer Commanding (AOC) 22 Group. “As the world seems to accelerate, it´s important that we can adapt more quickly than we have in the past. So, the direction for RAF training is to look more smartly at modularising how we train.” AVM James posits the ideal of a bespoke approach to training. “We would ask a student: ‘Who are you? What can you do? What do you want?’, and then

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customise a training programme to develop that student according to the RAF’s needs. Now, that sounds pretty difficult, but that’s the aspiration we have in our heads as we do our current design.” This overarching strategy is leading to new ways of managing the RAF training business. For example, a modular approach means students get training if and when they need it, rather than all students being taught everything. This means students can profit more easily from the skills, competences and qualifications they have already acquired, and that could reduce the burden on both the student and the training provider. However, to achieve that improvement, the RAF needs to give greater recognition to students’ existing competences – something at which the RAF has, historically, been rather poor, admits AVM James. So, the strategic aim of customisation is already leading to new ways of doing business.

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New aircraft, such as the Grob Prefect, are helping to make training easier and more relevant (PHOTO: CROWN COPYRIGHT/MOD)

Augmented and virtual reality systems A similar principle is at work when it comes to the modernisation of training platforms and infrastructure. AVM James points out that it is great to have new aircraft such as the Grob Prefect, advanced simulators with virtual and augmented reality systems, and superb training facilities like those provided through the Military Flying Training System (MFTS): all these things make training easier, more relevant and closer to the modern ‘offer’ that the RAF is making to the next generation. However, the real pay-off will come from the innovations in training that these modern systems permit. “We are modernising and bringing in new capabilities, but we’ve tended to replicate what we did before. With a little more thought we might be able to do things in a markedly different way,” says AVM James. “We need to ask: ‘Do I want to do something different with this technology? Will it replace something we’ve done in the past, or will it just replicate it?’ So, the idea of better exploitation of technological learning, alongside the way we pass on experience, is a much smarter way of blending the way we’ll develop our people in future,” he adds. MFTS is a case in point, says AVM James. “As we bring MFTS in, we see it could do things that we’ve not been able to do before. We can start to ask: ‘How can I change or add things to it that would make it even more interesting, or train for things in a quicker, cleverer way?’ For example, can I do pre-training and simulation on virtual reality or augmented reality, so when you get to MFTS you are able to go at it more quickly? Or can I select people and see before they even get to us that their particular skill would lend them to a certain stream?”

A focus on resilience Amid all the technology change, it is obvious that personal qualities remain a core issue. AVM James describes a “focus on student resilience, so the next generation of people can adapt better, faster and can look after each other, so that they are healthy and

robust while running at a high pace.” He describes work done with the RAF Survival School, identifying a chain linking spiritual resilience (core beliefs) to well-being and mental health, through to fitness, ability to face new challenges and, ultimately, survival. Fostering resilience, therefore, means reinforcing the links in this chain, understanding how such issues affect human learning, and making interventions from the outset, so that personnel are not overwhelmed, either during training or on operations. The pace of change has become a defining factor in how the RAF organises training. This will be the first generation in which students will probably be teaching their instructors in some areas of technology, says AVM James, because they are digital natives. Instructors are having to go back to school themselves to adjust to how the latest generation platforms operate. “That is the future of RAF training – a sophisticated, flexible system to build capable people who are equipped for rapid change,” AVM James concludes.

Multi-Domain Operations for the Next Generation Air Force

Physical fitness has a direct correlation to overall wellbeing and fosters mental resilience (PHOTO: CPL NEIL CHAPMAN/CROWN COPYRIGHT/MOD)

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Multinational collaborative training Wing Commander Mark Raimondo from A7 (Operational Collective Training) Number 11 Group explains the importance and relevance of exercising alongside trusted allies and partners

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Exercise Saif Sareea 3 saw RAF and Omani jets fly together to practise skills and share tactics (PHOTO: CPL ROB BOURNE/CROWN COPYRIGHT/MOD)

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o enable the RAF to protect UK interests globally, the Service places a high level of importance on operational training. Whilst all of our personnel are highly trained as individuals, it is collective training as a force that ensures our capabilities can respond quickly and credibly in support of UK national security objectives. Our collective training develops our units from being groups of individuals to effective operational squadrons and wings – and more than the ‘sum of their parts’. Overlaid onto this is the range of global commitments that the UK holds, and the importance of NATO as the cornerstone of British Defence. Therefore, collective training with our sister

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Services and international partners is an important way of ensuring that we can operate collaboratively and effectively together in times of crisis. In 2018, RAF units participated in 15 large multinational exercises, alongside many of our key international partners. To ensure RAF collective training is carefully matched to the Service’s operational needs and delivers maximum value for money, the annual exercise programme is carefully developed for each training year. The aim is to deliver a balanced programme, allowing RAF units to practise in the range of environments in which they could be expected to operate in support of national security objectives.

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EXERCISE SAIF SAREEA 3 Exercise Saif Sareea (Swift Sword) 3 was the third in a

to Group Captain (Gp Capt) Matt Radnall, the Officer in

At the strategic level, the RAF’s Saif Sareea 3 air element

series of exercises that take place about every 15 years,

Command of the RAF’s 140 EAW (Expeditionary Air Wing)

was led by Air Commodore Jez Attridge, who had a

with the previous exercises in 1987 and 2001. The concept

at the exercise, “This is not only about supporting an

very specific role to partner his Omani equivalent.

originates from a strategic agreement between the

ally: it also demonstrates UK expeditionary capability to

As Officer Commanding 140 EAW, Gp Capt Radnall’s

United Kingdom and the Sultanate of Oman in which

anyone who is paying attention.” Essentially, the Omanis

job was to deploy 140 EAW from RAF Lossiemouth to

the UK offered to help develop the Sultan of Oman’s

get an opportunity to train with a nation that regularly

Thumrait Air Base in Oman and work alongside the

military capability. This particular exercise focused

undertakes these sorts of exercises, and the UK forces

Sultan of Oman’s Air Force. “At the tactical level, we

on the Omani armed forces organising and leading a

are able to hone their own contingency operational

had Typhoons flying alongside Omani F-16s with an

relatively large-scale joint (air, land and sea) exercise.

preparedness. “It helps us improve our ability to conduct a

RAF E-3D Sentry controlling from above. In addition,

relatively large-scale joint and combined (multinational)

we had RAF Regiment and RAF Police working with

For the UK, exercises of this nature are important on a

operational activity with an important ally at reach. It

Omani security and ground-defence forces around

number of strategic and tactical levels. First and foremost,

is also important for us nationally to rehearse our joint

the Thumrait perimeter,” says Gp Capt Radnall.

it is vital to assist a close ally in a very significant part

capability so that we can integrate our air, land and sea

of the world. But its benefits are manifold. According

capabilities to greater effect,” explains Gp Capt Radnall.

In terms of lessons learnt, which can feed into future operations, the value of getting people away from their main base, overseas and working together in close proximity with and through other elements of their own and others’ air force, army and navy, is so diverse it is almost unquantifiable. Gp Capt Radnall points out that, “The general understanding of how Air power is delivered is now far greater among the cohort we had with us in Thumrait than it was at the start of the exercise – simply because of the opportunity to conduct that collective training. You just don’t get that experience in your day-to-day job on a main base. There were also a lot of tactical lessons learned about how we will employ that capability on a peer-on-peer kind of conflict, which is the setting

RAF Regiment 1 Squadron deployed on Saif Sareea 3 as part of 140 EAW (PHOTO: CPL ROB BOURNE/CROWN COPYRIGHT/MOD)

The first event in the 2018 exercise programme was Red Flag, a US Air Force (USAF) exercise conducted in the Nevada desert, with nearly 3,000 multinational personnel and just under 100 aircraft involved. As one of the largest exercises in which the UK participated last year, it allowed the UK Joint Force Air Component – along with elements of our Combat Air, ISTAR and Air Mobility Forces – to train for some of the most challenging scenarios that they could be expected to face. In May, Bersama Shield allowed us to operate in a completely different geographic environment in Malaysia, with a different set of challenges for our personnel. This Exercise was undertaken as part of the UK’s responsibility to the Five Power Defence Arrangements, a commitment shared with Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore, helping to protect our joint interests and security. Closer to home, Exercise Point Blank was run in the UK with US Air Forces Europe and French Armée de l’Air units. This exercise rehearsed complex

for the NATO CAPEVAL (Capability Evaluations)”.

multinational air operations in support of potential NATO operations, with the first involvement of the RAF’s fifth-generation F-35 capability. The largest RAF involvement in a multinational exercise came in the autumn in Saif Sareea 3, conducted in Oman. In particular, this exercise allowed us to practise the deployment of our Expeditionary Air Wing capability at scale, with a focus on testing interoperability with our Omani Sultanate Armed Forces partners.

Opportunity to learn The four exercises described above illustrate the breadth of RAF multinational training activity as a key means of practising interoperability and learning about the capabilities of others. In addition to developing our understanding of coalition operations, these multinational exercises provide the RAF with an opportunity to learn as a Service. Working closely with the USAF and other key NATO and Five Eyes partners in the challenging multi-domain scenarios at Red

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EXERCISE POINT BLANK 18-3 The November 2018 Exercise Point Blank 18-3 (PB 18-3)

Perhaps equally as significant, it was also the first to

time that we are going to be exercising the F-35B,

marked a step-change in the scope and ambition of

integrate fourth- and fifth-generation fast jets – in this

which is a fifth-generation aircraft, in an exercise

this recurring training event, hosted multiple times

case, fourth-generation American F-15E Strike Eagles,

of this nature. It’s a big milestone for the security

a year by the Royal Air Force and the United States

British Typhoons and French Rafales with the RAF’s newly

partnership between the three countries. To bring

Air Force’s 48th Fighter Wing, at RAF Lakenheath.

arrived fifth-generation F-35B of 617 Squadron (Sqn).

this capability into a simulated fight is a key moment for us and 617 Sqn. We have done other exercises over

Historically, the exercise has been bilateral and on a

the last few months but not one of this nature.”

smaller scale, but recent events in Syria prompted a

The flying element of this intense training scenario

radical overhaul of the concept, offering an opportunity

included 40 aircraft and 250 personnel, who planned

to enhance interoperability among three key allies.

and carried out attacks against simulated targets

For his part, the senior French representative, the Chief

out in the North Sea and along the eastern coast of

of Staff of the Air Defence and Operations Command,

After the French Air Force (FAF) participated in

the UK, whilst facing down adversary jets, concerted

Major General Luc de Rancourt, revealed one of the

cruise missile attacks on Syrian chemical facilities in

electronic jamming and simulated surface-to-air

key reasons the French had accepted the invitation to

April 2018 with US and UK forces, the heads of the

missiles attacks. As such, it was as close to a peer-on-

participate: “The arrival of the F-35s poses a significant

Tri-lateral Strategic Initiative (TSI), which includes

peer replication as is possible in the air domain.

challenge to the level of interoperability between our three nations. This is a concern for the Armée de l’Air,

France alongside the UK and US, decided to embed the lessons learned from those raids into the combined

Minutes before the exercise began, one of the

and we must grab any opportunity to explore the way

operational mindset by integrating the experience

participating pilots, Officer Commanding 617 Sqn,

the arrival of such an asset within the battlespace

into the next Point Blank exercise. Thus, Exercise

Wing Commander John Butcher (RAF), explained

could affect the way we work together and maintain

PB 18-3 became the first to include the FAF.

the exercise’s relevance as follows: “This is the first

the highest standard of interoperability among us.”

Flag allowed us to learn a number of key lessons on how we need to develop multi-domain capability. Operating at extended range, some 6,500 miles from the UK, during Bersama Shield, highlighted the importance of modifying elements of our logistical capabilities. Exercising an Expeditionary Air Wing in a contingency context during Saif Sareea 3 helped units and individuals to prepare for challenging operations from austere locations in a harsh environment. The challenges experienced in these complex collective training events, mirroring the potential operational employment of RAF units, allows us to glean important lessons and continually evolve our techniques and procedures. The opportunity

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A USAF KC-135 Stratotanker flies ahead of an RAF F-35B, USAF F-15E and FAF Rafale during Exercise Point Blank 18-3 (PHOTO: SENIOR AIRMAN LUKE MILANO/USAF)

to see how our international partners operate also helps us to learn from their approaches. The ‘Air Lessons’ process provides the backbone of this Organisational Learning activity for the RAF, where tactical lessons are captured by the operational front line, analysed centrally and passed to the relevant stakeholders to take the necessary improvement action. In a cyclical fashion, our participation in subsequent multinational training events presents the opportunity for the Service to test and refine our new procedures and continually practise and hone operational skills, whilst ensuring that we can operate efficiently with our partners and maintain our hard-won international reputation.

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The Trenchard Group – inspiring the Next Generation Air Commodore Mark Hunt, Director Ground Training, highlights the vision to ensure the Next Generation Royal Air Force will have the best people with the most appropriate skills to ensure its future

RAF Inspire

The Trenchard Group seeks to inspire more than 10 million young men and women using a structured framework of training and education (PHOTOS: CROWN COPYRIGHT)

The Royal Air Force’s centenary provided unprecedented opportunities to inspire the next generation. In 2018, two million young people benefited from our STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) activities. The aim is now to reach 10 million youngsters over the next 10 years through an integrated approach to youth engagement, as part of RAF Inspire.

academies across the United Kingdom – where young people can train for rewarding careers in aviation, space and cyber. Much of this training will be delivered in partnership with industry and academia by growing existing relationships. It is made up of three complementary elements – Youth Engagement, Ideas and Innovation and Educational Pathways – which, collectively, will build and sustain the Next Generation Air Force.

The Trenchard Group

Youth engagement

At the heart of RAF Inspire – and taking its inspiration from the RAF’s first Chief of the Air Staff, Lord Trenchard – the Trenchard Group is the umbrella name for the full spectrum of the RAF’s youth engagement and training to meet future education needs. It will harness ideas and innovation with world-class educational pathways and new

Our youth engagement strategy aims to inspire young people to consider exciting careers in aviation, space and cyber. By working with industry partners to provide clear pathways into further education and employment, we will help to meet the Government’s prosperity agenda and close the national skills gap with STEM-savvy young people.

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To achieve this, we will co-create networks of like-minded partners across the UK, including local government, industry, academia and professional bodies to share best practice and identify opportunities to pool resources. We will design scholarships, internships and fellowships to cover the range of disciplines needed to both build our Next Generation Air Force and support the wider UK aviation and Defence Enterprise.

THE TRENCHARD GROUP – World-class training and education development – Create a single gateway for Phase 1 training

Education pathways

– Develop state-of-the-art learning environment – Excel in human resilience, leadership, Air Command and Control, space and disruptive technologies

Ideas and innovation Our enduring operational success depends on us generating and developing innovative ideas and thinking at every level throughout the Whole Force and having the courage and conviction to see them through to delivery on the front line. The RAF Centre for Air and Space Power Studies (RAFCASPS) will help drive the ideas by sponsoring innovation initiatives and fostering academic engagement. In collaboration with the Tedder Academy, the Talent Management Scheme, Career Management and 22 Group – RAFCASPS will promote the principles of air, space and cyber power across the Whole Force. The accountability, however, for creating the right environment for innovation to flourish rests with all leaders throughout the Service – military and civilian. Every level of command must identify and nurture ideas and innovation – ensuring that they are given time to develop and are delivered from the lowest level, supported by appropriate and targeted training and education.

Educational pathways The pathways allow young people routes into exciting careers. While the Trenchard Group seeks to maximise opportunities for youth across the wider Defence Enterprise, we must also create a world-class training and development offer for the young people who aspire to join the RAF. Trenchard’s founding principles for the Service were predicated on it being a genuine meritocracy with opportunities for all. In keeping with his vision, we will create a single Phase 1 training gateway for airmen, airwomen and officers alike at RAF Cranwell – our spiritual home. Programme Portal has been set up to deliver this contemporary model of co-located training for our next generation. We are also transforming training through Programme Socrates, which will provide state-ofthe-art learning opportunities in a new, modern environment. We will blend the best approaches with more flexible virtual learning tailored directly to individual needs. Partnership and co-creation are at the heart of the Trenchard Group. We are working with the Aviation Skills Partnership, industry and academic

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Royal Air Force

Ideas and innovation

Youth engagement

– Sponsor innovation initiatives – Foster academic engagement

– Promote and use aerospace opportunities

– Identify and nurture ideas and innovation

– Encourage further education and employment pathways

– Provide and use research pathways

– Partner develop scholarships – Be an engine for social mobility and UK prosperity

partners to develop nine exciting new academies that will support young people to gain international, industry-standard qualifications to help meet demand. Our existing Robson Academy of Resilience and Tedder Academy of Leadership will focus respectively on the mental, physical, spiritual and social wellbeing of our people and their command, leadership and management aptitude to successfully deliver on operations now and in the future.

A legacy fit for the future As the RAF enters its second century, the Trenchard Group represents an integrated approach to attracting, training and retaining the Next Generation Air Force. It is a cornerstone of RAF Inspire – the legacy from our first 100 years that positions the RAF at the forefront of innovation across the domains for generations to come.

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AIR CHIEF’S PERSPECTIVE

Air Vice-Marshal Andrew Clark Chief of the Royal New Zealand Air Force

New Zealand’s defence context is unique. We are a geographically isolated country, comparable to the size of the United Kingdom, but with a population just over half that of London. We have an exclusive economic zone 15 times our land mass, and a search and rescue area three times the size of Europe. While challenging, our situation provides the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) with considerable opportunity and variety in our work within the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF). Above all, we must be agile. In addition to conventional security roles, we are frequently called upon to undertake humanitarian and peacekeeping missions, disaster relief, cooperative military training and education, maritime piracy and drug interdiction operations and other less conventional deployments. Because of our unique context, the NZDF is an expeditionary force, operating within an overarching ‘Community, Nation and World’ philosophy. On a daily basis, the NZDF contributes to the well-being of the community, protects New Zealand’s borders, and contributes to the international rules-based order.

New Zealanders understand that geographical distance does not equate to insulation; our multinational engagement is crucial to our capability and our security. And we cannot do it all ourselves. However, commonality of modern and versatile systems, such as the P-8A, ensure a continued international effort is possible in close cooperation with our partners. The addition of space and cyber to the three traditional domains of military operations has introduced greater complexity. The multi-domain concept

the world? It is the people, it is the people, it is the people (Māori proverb). Critical to any operations are the people. We need people who are specialists and yet have a broader understanding of the concepts, doctrine and ethos of multi-domain operations. Integrated, networked, informationenabled operations have the potential to transform our efforts in a similar way that air power transformed warfare 100 years ago. But it is the people and their relationships that will ultimately

On a daily basis, the NZDF contributes to the well-being of the community, protects New Zealand’s borders, and contributes to the international rules-based order divides the battlespace up into (at least) five domains and then demands greater fusion, rather than layering. In this sense it is a more complex form of hyperjointery. Cyberspace and space are critical elements of military operations globally; we will be increasing our attention and effort across these domains. ‘He aha te mea nui i te ao?’ Māku e kï atu, He tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata.’ What is the most important thing in

dictate the outcomes. Modern systems are essential, but without the right people and the right thinking they are worthless. The rapid development of a multi-domain environment affects New Zealand as it does others. If we can develop and network our people as much as our systems, we can have a real shot at mastering this new paradigm to pursue the peaceful and secure world we all want.

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PEOPLE FIRST

@CorpsSTEM The UK has a serious shortage of young people engaged in activities and education related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), so the Royal Air Force Air Cadets (RAFAC) organisation has devised a plan to address the situation. Simon Michell talks to their STEM Coordinator, Wing Commander Nick Weston – an adult volunteer

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Boeing’s Centennial Wings projects engage young people in STEM activities by helping cadets build their own aircraft (PHOTO: CROWN COPYRIGHT)

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he national STEM crisis is not just a problem for the UK’s industrial base, it also has serious implications for the armed forces, particularly the RAF, which relies on the latest technology to maintain its operational effectiveness. Another important aspect of this national scarcity is that, in addition to insufficient numbers of young people adopting STEM career paths to meet the national need, there is also an underrepresentation of women and people from minority ethnic backgrounds among the current STEM community. However, with a membership of over 40,000 (30% of whom are female) and members from ethnic groups living all around the nation, the RAFAC organisation wants to help solve both challenges. That is why it has appointed a national STEM Coordinator – a post that Wing Commander (Wg Cdr) Nick Weston has held for two years. During that time, he and his team have developed a

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comprehensive STEM strategy that is in the first stages of implementation. Part of this strategy involves modernising the RAFAC’s education and training syllabus and introducing new STEM qualifications. Wg Cdr Weston concedes that part of the problem of low uptake of STEM subjects is that they are considered to be a bit too academic – in other words, too difficult! To some degree, the perception of ‘difficulty’ is born of a lack of confidence in some youngsters to believe they can do it. That is why the STEM Coordinator wants to get everyone involved, including the RAFAC adult volunteers. “We know that not all cadets and, even the volunteers, will want to get involved with STEM, but we want to try and involve all of them, even if it is just at a basic level,” explains Wg Cdr Weston. “That is why we are trying to devise a route into STEM that is more practical, and less classroom-based. There are some really exciting activities on offer already.”

Build your own aeroplane Those who attended the 2018 Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) at RAF Fairford may well have seen one exciting project that gives practical and tangible substance to the RAFAC’s commitment to STEM. As part of its 100th anniversary activities, Boeing, in collaboration with the Air League and the RAFAC, launched a project, known as Centennial Wings, in 2016. The concept is simple, give young cadets the wherewithal, guidance and support to build their own aircraft – a Sting S4 Ultralight. The first phase, which took place in Northern Ireland, has been successfully completed, and it is this aircraft that was proudly displayed in the Techno Zone at RIAT 2018. The next phase of the project, whereby another group of cadets will support the build of a light aircraft, will get under way shortly – this time on the mainland. First indications are that it will be in Scotland. Another exciting activity, and one that includes a free trip to the United States for the overall winners, is a competition called CyberCenturion. In an effort to help fill the yawning gap in cybersecurity specialists, Northrop Grumman has partnered with Cyber

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PEOPLE FIRST

STEM PROGRESSION

Delivered by Industry

National Week-long camps/course

Regional

Work experience

RAF AC Outreach Team

Wings

Weekend courses

Competitions

r og

r es

sio

n

Target level

RAF Outreach Team

STE Mp

Visits

Sector

MTA kits Logistics Rocketry

SQN/DF

Unit Staff or RAF AC STEM Ambassadors Robotics Coding Drones

Classification syllabus

STEM PATHWAY National shortage (the need)

Create interest

Progressive STEM activities

Security Challenge UK and the United States Air Force Association (AFA) to run a competition open to students between the ages of 12 and 18. According to Wg Cdr Weston, “The aim of the competition is to engage young people with computer skills and show them the sorts of career opportunities that they could follow. Not surprisingly, air cadets have been keen participants and have even won it in the past.” Nick Weston also helps to coordinate a range of internships and apprenticeships with the Air League, open to cadets and students alike. People between the ages of 18 and 24 can apply for one- to two-week placements with leading aerospace companies, including Airbus and Marshall of Cambridge, in order to get a hands-on feel for working in the aerospace industry. For those who have their sights set a bit higher, the Air League also runs ‘Space’ scholarships for 17- and 18-year-olds at Leicester

Experiences and opportunities

Awareness of career paths

Leading to careers or apprenticeships

University. This scholarship also includes the chance of an internship with SES Satellites in Belgium. One of the most exciting STEM-related projects on the horizon is the establishment of the Aaron Aviation Academy at RAF Syerston in Nottinghamshire by the end of 2019. An initiative launched by the Aviation Skills Partnership, the state-of-the-art academy will offer pathways into aviation careers for young students, and its facilities will be available to air cadets. Combining the STEMrelated themes of aerospace, cyber and space, and open to older cadets from the ages of 16 to 20, the Academy will become a national hub for young aerospace talent. “Syerston will be open for both cadets and volunteer staff as a means to upskill and gain accreditation in STEM subjects that will be key to their future careers, whether in the military or in industry,” concludes Wg Cdr Weston.

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PEOPLE FIRST

RAF Air Cadets: leaving a legacy

PHOTO: LAURENCE PLATFOOT/CROWN COPYRIGHT/MOD

As Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty CBE prepares to leave the stewardship of RAF Air Cadets in 2020, she highlights how the organisation is preparing for the future with confidence and excitement

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s my extended tour as Commandant of the RAF Air Cadets draws to a close, I reflect on the many exciting initiatives that our cadets and volunteers have been involved with as part of our developing syllabus. We are blessed with some of the best of British youth and have an incredible cadre of adult volunteers whose skills range from nuclear safety to commercial aviation, security to logistics, personnel to media, and IT to the creative arts. That so many highly talented individuals are prepared to give us so much of their limited spare time to support the development of the Next Generation is quite extraordinary, and we simply could not deliver the extremely broad range of cadet activities without them. However, if we are to attract and retain not just the volunteers but the cadets themselves, we also need to keep our syllabus modern and relevant, and it has been highly rewarding to preside over some significant developments in the cadet syllabus, which keep us at the cutting edge of uniformed youth development. Cyber training has come on in leaps and bounds in recent years, and we are also embracing new and emerging technology such as robotics,

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artificial intelligence, drones and virtual reality. Cadets have competed in national cyber and engineering competitions, demonstrating outstanding STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) skills and a thirst for knowledge that transcends anything they may achieve in school or college. That a cadet team built a light aircraft as part of the RAF100 celebrations is evidence of the capability of these young people and the commitment of the adult staff who supervised their project. The popularity of STEM activities and camps such as the National Aerospace Camp are indicative of the way cadets are taking the lead from the parent Service and how our organisation seeks to prepare our young people for careers in the military, the Defence sector and in wider employment. And we don’t just focus on the STEM subjects – similar attention is paid to drill, sport and music, with cadets excelling in these disciplines, and many others, under the expert guidance of dedicated volunteers. Back in the day, when air cadets were referred to as ‘space cadets’, it was considered a derogatory term; today, I encourage our cadets to embrace the term as further evidence that the RAF’s Cadet Force is keeping pace with its parent Service and that where the RAF leads, we intend to follow. I have no doubt that this and the next generation of air cadets have the motivation, intelligence, selfdiscipline and leadership attributes to make a real and positive contribution to the future of the United Kingdom’s society and I will place a prediction here that Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier will not be the last to be a former air cadet, and that we will see former cadets engaged in the RAF’s emerging space strategy, as well as the other domains and areas of aerospace innovation explored in this publication. It has been an incredible privilege to command the RAF Air Cadets as the longest serving Commandant to date and, as I prepare to hand over this incredible organisation to the next lucky incumbent, I pay tribute to the staff, volunteers and cadets who maintain our world-class reputation for excellence.

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INNOVATING FOR MULTI-DOMAIN OPERATIONS

Procuring Air Power to plan Simon Michell asks Air Marshal Julian Young for an update on the key Royal Air Force aircraft programmes that will be critical for future multi-domain operations

F Future F-35B trials off HMS Queen Elizabeth are due in Autumn 2019 to bring it closer to IOC, Maritime (PHOTO: LOCKHEED MARTIN)

or Air Marshal (AM) Julian Young, Chief of Materiel (Air) at the MOD’s Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), Tuesday 18 December 2018 was a very special day. Not only was it his birthday, it was also the day that the UK’s F-35B Lightning Force achieved Initial Operational Capability (IOC) for land-based operations. Moreover, the task of introducing three new weapons onto Typhoon, under Project Centurion, was also declared to have reached IOC on the same day. According to AM Young, “Project Delivery is all about time, cost and performance, and thus schedule dates are important.” Achieving IOC for land-based operations for the F-35B is highly significant. “It means that 617 Squadron, now with its nine aircraft at RAF Marham, 14 sufficiently trained pilots – alongside a trained groundcrew that has access to the spares and equipment they require – is able to deploy to conduct land-based operations”, explains AM Young. Moreover,

the effort to achieve IOC, Maritime in December 2020 is progressing well. “Initial trials on HMS Queen Elizabeth took place last Autumn along the eastern seaboard of the United States, with more planned this coming Autumn. The trials were extremely successful, and all planned test points were met,” he confirms. So far, 17 F-35B Lightning aircraft have been acquired. The 18th is due off the production line in July 2019, and it and five others are planned to fly from the US to RAF Marham to form-up 207 Squadron, the UK’s Operational Conversion Unit. The process of acquiring further aircraft is under way, which will bring the total up to the currently approved fleet of 48 F-35Bs in the next six years. This is part of the overall UK plan for 138 F-35s.

Project Centurion The withdrawal from service of Tornado GR4 in March 2019 added immense time pressure to get a new suite of weapons – Brimstone, Meteor and Storm Shadow – certified onto Typhoon. The significance of the completion of this project in record time should not be underestimated. “This is the greatest capability uplift since Typhoon came into service. It means that all the fast jet airborne weapon systems in the RAF inventory can now be launched from the aircraft, making it truly multirole,” explains AM Young. Most notably, successfully transferring the Storm Shadow cruise missile onto Typhoon assured the maintenance of the RAF’s vital deep strike capability once Tornado retired.

P-8A Poseidon In 2016, two procurement projects were rescheduled to ensure that initial delivery dates could be met –

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Project Centurion has provided Typhoon with a formidable multirole capability and assured the RAF’s deep strike capability (PHOTO: CHRIS LONG PHOTOGRAPHY)

P-8A Poseidon and the MQ-9B Protector. Both programmes subsequently have stabilised and are fully expected to achieve their new schedules. “Some 21 months ago, the first flight for our initial P-8A aircraft was set at 1 October 2019,” says AM Young. “It is in build and I expect it to happen on schedule. Indeed, one of my team visited Spirit Aerosystems in Wichita, where the fuselages are manufactured, and she brought back the aluminiumalloy skin cut-out of a window from our first fuselage, which now sits proudly in my office.” In parallel, work is now ramping up quickly with the Military Aviation Authority to secure ‘type certification’. The initial aircraft will shake down with RAF crews at Jacksonville in Florida, alongside their US Navy colleagues, and then fly to RAF Lossiemouth in February 2020 in preparation for the Force’s IOC, set for April 2020.

MQ-9B Protector RPAS Although the IOC date for the Protector RPAS (remotely piloted air system) has been pushed back to November 2023, there has been considerable progress on design and development work by the DE&S on-location team and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc at its factory in San Diego. The second prototype aircraft was completed in February 2019, and trials on the first are proceeding well; indeed, this aircraft made history when it flew across the Atlantic from North Dakota to RAF Fairford, using a Satcom data link and its Autoland capability, in time to be exhibited at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) in July 2018. AM Young anticipates that other nations will opt for Protector (known as SkyGuardian by GA-ASI) as this would present opportunities for

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When it enters service, the E-7A will introduce a state-of-the-art digital airborne early warning and control capability to replace the ageing E-3D Sentry (PHOTO: CPL JESSICA DE ROUW/ © COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCE)

interoperability between allies and sharing costs for further future developments. “Protector will be a game-changing capability as the world’s first fullycertified RPAS, and we look to our allies to consider joining the future programme,” says the Air Marshal.

Boeing E-7A Approval to proceed with the procurement of the Boeing E-7A airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft as a replacement for the E-3D Sentry was given on 18 March 2019. This has delighted AM Young, whose team generated the detail behind the Business Case in rapid order for the new capability, which was quickly brought to contract, demonstrating the urgency of the requirement and the flexibility of DE&S to seize the initiative. “Time is of the essence, as the E-7A programme, with its digital radar technology being compatible with F-35 Lightning aircraft and boosting the UK’s overall warfare capability, is scheduled to deliver the first aircraft by the end of 2023,” he declares.

Multi-Domain Operations for the Next Generation Air Force


GLOBAL INNOVATION PARTNER PERSPECTIVE

Sustaining an innovative, thriving defence and security sector Simon Michell asks the new Director of the Department for International Trade Defence & Security Organisation, Mark Goldsack CBE, how he intends to grow UK defence exports

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aving run the Ministry of Defence’s Urgent Operational Requirement programme and been the Army Equipment Director, Mark Goldsack, the new Director of the Department for International Trade’s Defence & Security Organisation (DIT DSO) knows exactly what a customer wants from a sales organisation. According to Goldsack, “Above all it is trust in the partner and a very strong belief that he can truly deliver the capability he is offering.” Building on the trust that already exists between the DIT DSO and its customer base is going to be critical for Goldsack to sustain the impressive export levels that UK defence sector enjoys. But, as the new director points out, his remit is not to sustain revenues for industry, but to expand them. To do this, he has three key priorities: concentrate on what really works well; work out how to expand the customer base; and make the UK’s defence export offer more competitive. With products such as the Typhoon fast jet, Hawk trainer, A330 tanker and A400M transport aircraft and AW101 and AW159 helicopters, as well as the associated airborne systems and complex weapons, the air sector accounts for about 80% of overall UK defence exports. Consequently, the RAF will continue to play a very significant role in this process. This explains why DIT DSO has such a symbiotic relationship with the RAF. As Goldsack explains, “Key to concentrating on what we do well is gaining and keeping the customer’s trust by building an understanding between the seller and the vendor about what the requirement is and how it will be met. This is where the RAF is invaluable. Having participated in operations

The A400M is just one of a wide range of products that the DIT DSO has in its portfolio (PHOTO: CPL TIM LAURENCE/CROWN COPYRIGHT/MOD)

where much of the leading-edge technology on offer has been proven, RAF personnel are able to not only describe the capability, but also explain how it should be integrated into the customer’s military operational system.”

Building on relationships Expanding the customer base is a challenge that Goldsack thinks the UK is uniquely placed to achieve. Having spent the past two decades working closely with international partners in coalition operations, the UK is, he thinks, adept at rapidly forging relationships of equals based on trust and honesty. However, the DIT DSO needs to build on these relationships to create wider cross-government and cross-sector opportunities. “The challenge is to link defence deals within a wider opportunity, for example in the oil and gas, fintech and healthcare sectors,” Goldsack explains. “By doing this, the customer country

gets a much more rounded offer and deeper relationship with the UK rather than one anchored to a single sector.” Goldsack also thinks that making the UK offer more competitive is not necessarily complex. “It is about making the support and guidance you deliver to each company campaign specific to the size and experience of that company,” he says. This is particularly important for the small and medium-sized (SME) business community, many of whom have fantastic intellectual property (IP) and solutions, but which are not quite matched up to a commercial structure that can take advantage of them. It is also about sharing that IP and enabling the transfer of manufacturing expertise. “Sustaining an innovative, thriving defence and security sector is essential for the UK’s ability to sustain our own security. And, exports are essential in delivering the earnings that sustain our industry,” Goldsack concludes.

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Air power and the resilient space layer Northrop Grumman highlights the increasing role that the space layer will play in future operations

The Lunar Excursion Module (or LEM), the famed “Eagle” of the Apollo programme, was designed, assembled, integrated and tested by Grumman Corporation, now part of Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems (PHOTO: COURTESY OF NASA)

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uly marks the 50th anniversary of the first manned lunar landing, a moment of great pride for several Northrop Grumman legacy companies. Together, they played significant roles in this momentous technical achievement, including “Eagle”, the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM), and the engines for the Saturn V rocket. They built the cameras that captured the first steps of Armstrong and Aldrin as they explored the Sea of Tranquillity, and antennas that transmitted those historic images back to an audience of more than a billion people on Earth. Northrop Grumman has made major contributions since the dawn of the space age, including the first commercially built spacecraft to explore the solar system, the communications payloads for every major military satellite communication system and a wide range of

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scientific spacecraft that study the solar system, the Universe and the Earth itself. Building on that legacy, we are now developing cutting-edge space technologies with a portfolio of capabilities, stretching from terrestrial sensors and space launch systems, exquisite airborne sensors (such as those on both E-7 and F-35) and a wide variety of military and civil satellites and payloads.

Controlling the high frontier Space is becoming increasingly important, not only as an enabler of warfare in the air domain, but in its own right as a domain. To control the high frontier, we must be able to field a resilient space layer. Space-based precision navigation, sensing and communication capabilities are critical to warfighting in all domains. While capabilities such as GPS and

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INNOVATING FOR MULTI-DOMAIN OPERATIONS

satellite communications have been ubiquitous for some time, sensing and communication technologies must be able to operate in an increasingly hostile battlespace. The security of communications now relies on more than just encryption. To counter modern threats, features such as low probability of detection and interception are vital. The latest examples of these technologies include the Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) communications payload in the space layer, and in the airborne layer the Multi-function Advanced Data Link (MADL). However, sensors deployed in the air domain are struggling to meet the growing, almost insatiable, customer demand. As capability managers consider the next generation of ISTAR solutions, the opportunity exists to use the space layer as a basing option for sensing tasks previously accomplished by aircraft. This may see ISTAR aircraft fleets augmented or ultimately replaced by space-based sensors. As our understanding of space as a contested environment grows, so too will the demand for Space Situational Awareness (SSA). As a result, space-based ISR will be as much about surveillance of the space layer itself, as it will be about surveillance from space. Further challenges are the rapidly evolving requirements. Defence is emerging from an era of linear, long-term, platform-centric programmes with static and tightly defined requirements – to one where spiral upgrade of systems, and the ability to change is a necessity – forced by the rate of change of technology and the speed at which the threat is advancing. The satellite constellation of the future will be a hybrid one, with differing satellite types and classes being used to deliver multiple tasks. In the space layer, capability spiral can be achieved using technologies such as the Mission Extension

Vehicle (MEV). This system allows the repositioning of satellites that are running out of fuel. Future variants will allow the carriage and application of new payloads to satellites in orbit. Satellites of the future will be launched in the knowledge they will be modified in orbit. Resilience in the space layer will require the ability to manage, retask, refuel and refresh technology in orbit, with multiple launch options that provide flexibility of lead time and launch location. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has many potential warfighting applications. Amongst them is the ability to use AI to automatically route information throughout the battlespace, with the choice of bearer and waveform being intelligently selected depending on network health, enemy activity or geography. This will extend from the airborne layer to include space-based communications. This flexibility of the transmission path and the system learning the optimal routes will help instil further resilience of communications against threats. Building on this, a space-based surveillance asset, using AI to give an assured Automatic Target Recognition capability, would have the ability to transmit key target information directly to the deployed warfighter, considerably shortening the effect chain. The resilient space layer’s direct relevance to the RAF will, therefore, only increase. In the 50 years since the lunar landings, the space domain has become one that must be fully embraced as an extension to the air layer to truly benefit from the opportunities it represents. Technologies are becoming available that will assist the warfighter in this, and in countering and outpacing the contemporary threat. Northrop Grumman’s proud history in key space programmes will continue, as we produce truly revolutionary capabilities spanning the air and space domains.

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(Above left) Northrop Grumman’s MEV-1 undergoes vibration testing at the company’s satellite manufacturing facility in Dulles, Virginia (Above) Rendering of Northrop Grumman’s Mission Extension Vehicle (MEV) in orbit with client satellite (PHOTOS: NORTHROP GRUMMAN)

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Space – delivering the vision Group Captain Martin Ogden, responsible for Space, Airspace and Cyber Policy within the Air Staff, explains how the Royal Air Force will deliver Defence’s vision for space.

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ur vision encourages Defence to be fully prepared to operate, protect and develop our space assets and interests, and maximise opportunities with the rest of government, international partners and the private sector. We must, therefore, be able to identify and attribute threats to space assets and systems and then respond to those threats in a proportionate and coordinated manner. As the UK Space Agency draws together ‘Space’ strategies from all partners across government, our strategic direction becomes ever

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more important, if for no other reason than signalling our intent to international partners and industry.

Space-dependent warfare Since the end of the Cold War in the early 1990s, the emphasis on industrial age warfare, based on large fleets of aircraft, ships and tanks, has given way to a new age of information warfare where smaller numbers of network-enabled capabilities can achieve similar effect through greater precision and agility. This form of warfare is highly dependent on space; in particular, the capabilities in space that directly

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(IMAGE: NASA)

contribute to gaining and maintaining information advantage. However, access to space is no longer the unique preserve of state-sponsored organisations, with commercial interests blossoming rapidly and both the internet and social media providing powerful tools that can be harnessed by emerging nations, organisations and even individuals, who could never have competed effectively in industrial age warfare. Having the lead for space operations, the Royal Air Force’s primary tasks are to ensure that our own organic assets are secure and that we are best placed to exploit the opportunities that increased commercialisation of space presents, without limiting our aspiration to exploit this nascent domain. A programme of this nature cannot, however, be the sole preserve of a few dedicated specialists. It must be ingrained in our day-to-day business, whether we fly or maintain aircraft, or work in command, support or staff roles. Space-mindedness must become as important to all of us as Air-mindedness. For Air and Space Power in general, and for the RAF in particular, these changes represent both threat and opportunity. If we are to maintain our edge as a capable and credible force, respected by both allies and potential opponents, it is imperative that

we understand, adapt to and embrace new ways of doing business, working in partnership across Government, with industry and with the other frontline commands. Our vision is, therefore, to secure freedom of action through and within the Space Domain in order to support the other warfighting domains. This will be achieved by cooperating with allies and partners, as well as the UK’s industrial base.

SpOC – Space Operations Centre A major aspiration is to put in place a worldleading Space operations capability that meets both military and civilian Government needs, has integrated commercial partners and can provide back-up functions in support of collaborative initiatives (with the US Combined Space Operations Centre, Australian and Canadian Space Operations Centres, and the US National Space Defence Centre). Once operational, this could: provide foundational knowledge about the Space Domain and the events therein; provide the relevant space services to military and civilian customers; and deliver protect and defend missions for military customers and, where appropriate, civilian customers in support of CNI (critical national infrastructure).

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A view of Dubai Airport taken from the RAF’s Carbonite 2 demonstrator imaging satellite, launched in March 2018 (PHOTO: SSTL)

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To gain and maintain access to (and freedom to operate within) space, in precisely the same manner as we do for the Air Domain, the RAF’s goal is to lead in the operating environment and provide an essential enabling function on behalf of Defence. This is not a new endeavour for the RAF – we have been investing time and resources in space capabilities for the last 60 years. Our ever-increasing momentum and recent investments to enhance UK space capabilities, including radars, Carbonite 2, the SpOC, the establishment of Number 11 Group (No 11 Gp) and the Small Satellite Constellation, are a direct result of the Secretary of State for Defence’s mandate for the RAF to lead and manage the Space Environment on behalf of Defence. Whilst manifestly a joint endeavour, Defence output is best served through the clarity afforded by Air’s leadership, ably supported by Joint Forces Command, developing capabilities to contribute to space support and operations – such as satellite communications and precision navigation and timing.

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Space education As the national space capability is developed by the RAF, there needs to be an agreed and supported plan to provide education for all and specialist training where required to deliver sufficient suitably qualified and experienced personnel (SQEP) to carry out the future space mission. Space SQEP is critical to the operational output of the SpOC, RAF Fylingdales and the Space Assurance Test Training and Evaluation Unit, as well as roles across the Five Eyes community and all other future space-related endeavours. The RAF will generate Space SQEP for No 11 Gp, broader Defence roles and new capability programmes, such as ballistic missile defence (BMD) and the Joint Comms Unit. The Service is looking to deliver targeted training for personnel within the RAF, to baseline its understanding and execution of the space mission. Recognising increased internal training and education, as well as US and other allied professional space education, as a solution to an overall RAF deficiency in Space SQEP, is a foundational first step.

Multi-Domain Operations for the Next Generation Air Force


INNOVATING FOR MULTI-DOMAIN OPERATIONS

Enhancing air defence An £80 million programme, Project Guardian, is bringing the RAF’s Air Surveillance and Control System into the 21st century, improving the Service’s ability to safeguard British skies and link together its new generation of advanced airborne platforms

Project Guardian will enhance the RAF’s ability to protect the increasingly busy skies above the United Kingdom (PHOTO: NATS)

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titching together the myriad pieces of information that contribute to the Recognised Air Picture (RAP) – the overarching presentation of information that allows RAF controllers to guide fighter aircraft and other assets in protecting the United Kingdom – is the task of the Air Surveillance and Control System (ASACS) as part of the Battlespace Management (BM) Force.

Under Project Guardian, the ASACS is undergoing its first thorough modernisation for decades, with the aim of enhancing the UK’s security and allowing airborne assets – such as the Typhoon and Lightning fast jets, the Rivet Joint and the newly acquired Boeing E-7A airborne early warning and control aircraft – to operate to their full potential. The current ASACS, Cerberus, works on analogue connections,

Multi-Domain Operations for the Next Generation Air Force

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INNOVATING FOR MULTI-DOMAIN OPERATIONS

(PHOTO: NATS)

A new resilient entity will be based at the Swanwick National Air Traffic centre to provide back-up services when required

(PHOTO: SAC BEN TRITTA/CROWN COPYRIGHT/MOD)

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while Guardian is an IP-based (internet protocolbased) system. NATO partners with whom the UK shares airspace borders – Norway, Denmark, Iceland, France and Belgium – are also moving to a digital system, so it is essential for the UK to move forward. Guardian consists of two main elements, explains Group Captain (Gp Capt) Steve Blockley, Director Space Operations and BM Plans – the command and control system (CCS) and the voice communications system (VCS). IBM UK is providing all the coding processes, computers, display systems and human-computer interfaces on the CCS, while the VCS, subcontracted to Harris Australia, incorporates all the related ground-toground and ground-to-air communications. Guardian will provide a significant upgrade compared to Cerberus in its data exchange capability. Cerberus is based on Link 1 which, incredibly, was developed in the 1950s and has the ability to transmit only around 15 messages. NATO is moving to Link 16, which can send 1,600 messages: “The level of granularity and detail we’re able to pass between platforms is much enhanced,” says Blockley.

Multi-Domain Operations for the Next Generation Air Force


INNOVATING FOR MULTI-DOMAIN OPERATIONS

“I would equate Cerberus in aircraft terms as equivalent to a third-generation fighter,” notes Blockley. “Guardian takes us to a fourplus or even fifth-generation capability.”

Swanwick – Resilient Entity Under Project Guardian, the location of some of the ASACS infrastructure will change. At present, there are two Control and Reporting Centres (CRCs): the primary centre is at RAF Boulmer in Northumberland, while the back-up centre is at RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire. However, with Scampton due to close as an airfield in 2022, a new, ‘Resilient Entity’ will be located at Swanwick, near Southampton, in part of the National Air Traffic Centre used by the civilian air traffic control organisation NATS. Although a civilian establishment, Swanwick is on the Critical National Infrastructure Risk Register and already has high levels of security: “The levels of redundancy there are extremely impressive,” notes Blockley. Given the steadily increasing cyber threat, the requirement for protection against this has been strengthened. “We’ve conducted a number of studies to understand how the system is vulnerable and at the core level of Guardian, we’re confident the system is fit for purpose.” One potential vulnerability of the system comes from the fact that it necessarily has to be connected to external sources to enable the

exchange of information, so no matter how strong your own layers of protection are, the system is only as strong as its weakest link: “There are multiple entry points into the system and, once you connect, it’s about the vulnerabilities at the far end of the system. Obviously, we have to monitor the system to understand if there are any weaknesses in those connections.” Once installed, the level of cybersecurity on Guardian will be considerably higher than is available on the current Cerberus system. Work to install the new equipment at Boulmer will start next year and take 12 to 18 months before it is fully operational. The switchover to Guardian is one of the most complex aspects of the project: “We have to continue to provide the RAP while going into the transition. This is like a massive jigsaw puzzle.” It will necessitate living with a single CRC and, throughout much of 2020, the system will be heavily reliant on the back-up centre at Scampton, “which presents a number of challenges”, but that risk will be managed as carefully as possible, with detailed contingency planning having already started, some 18 months before transition commences. Guardian will also provide the ASACS for the Falklands. Equipment will be installed there at the back end of Project Guardian and is scheduled to go live in spring 2022. However, once the new system is fully installed, it is planned to be the RAF’s air command and control system out to 2040.

Multi-Domain Operations for the Next Generation Air Force

The new ASACS will enhance RAF quick reaction alert (QRA) operations protecting UK skies and the Falkland Islands (PHOTO: CROWN COPYRIGHT/MOD)

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Profile for Global Media Partners

RAF Air & Space Power 2019  

RAF Air & Space Power 2019: an official publication of the Royal Air Force

RAF Air & Space Power 2019  

RAF Air & Space Power 2019: an official publication of the Royal Air Force

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