Page 14 - Australian Defence Magazine Dec 2018 - Jan 2019
P. 14

Reaper chosen as ADF’s first armed UAS
“The aircraft will be operated under the same laws of armed conflict, international human rights law and rules of engagement as manned aircraft.”
“We look forward to providing our world-leading RPAS to meet the Air 7003 requirements,” Linden Blue, CEO of GA- ASI, said. “We’ll work closely with Team Reaper Australia partners to provide a highly capable and affordable RPAS to the ADF, while creating meaningful and en- during Australian jobs.”
Team Reaper Australia consists of Cob- ham, CAE, Raytheon, Flight Data Systems, TAE Aerospace, Quickstep, AirSpeed, Rockwell Collins Australia, Ultra, and SentientVision. In a statement, Quickstep said it “looks forward to negotiations with General Atomics on substantial composite manufacturing packages.”
The Commonwealth will now request pricing and availability data from the US on Reaper variants to support future decision- making on the acquisition.
ADM Comment: It seems that a com- petition between the Reaper and the IAI Heron TP never really took place. ADM understands that government directed the RAAF to look at the competing Israeli ca- pability but decided to go down the famil- iar US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) path. There have been significant investments in training with the Reaper platform for some time, with Australian pilots working with US partners for years, flying the Reaper on US operations from Nevada.
ADM will be exploring the AIC elements of the deal under the Team Reaper Austra- lia banner as they come together.
MINISTER for Defence Christopher Pyne and Minister for Defence Industry Steven Ciobo have announced the selection of the General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper variant as Australia’s first armed remotely piloted air- craft system (RPAS) under Air 7003.
The aircraft will be used to watch and protect ADF and coalition land forces, and provide reconnaissance support for search and rescue, humanitarian assistance and di- saster relief operations.
Minister Pyne confirmed that between 12 and 16 aircraft would be acquired for be- tween $1 and $2 billion, pending negotia- tions, to be based at RAAF Edinburgh, SA to be delivered in the 2020s.
Minister Pyne said the medium altitude long endurance aircraft can be integrated within the ADF and would be fully in- teroperable with allies.
“These new aircraft will provide en- hanced firepower and intelligence, surveil- lance and reconnaissance support to a range of missions,” Minister Pyne said.
“Medium altitude, long endurance, re- motely piloted aircraft have a far greater range than smaller remotely piloted aircraft and can continuously observe an area of in- terest for much longer than manned recon- naissance aircraft.
“Remotely piloted aircraft allow military commanders to make more informed deci- sions faster whilst providing the option to conduct strike and reconnaissance opera- tions without risking the safety of aircrew.
Combat systems providers chosen for Hunter class
BAE has selected Lockheed Martin and Saab to deliver the Combat System integra- tion on the Hunter class frigates.
The combat system is the eyes and ears of the warship, able to detect and identify air- craft, submarines and ships to offer the frig- ate’s command team maximum situational awareness and the capability to defend itself against or engage with an enemy.
The Combat Management System for the new Hunter class frigate fleet will be the Aegis System, together with an Aus- tralian tactical interface to be developed by Saab Australia.
“The nine anti-submarine warfare frig-
ates are a new generation of major surface combatants which will replace the current eight Anzac class frigates,” Minister for De- fence Christopher Pyne said.
“I would like to congratulate Lockheed Martin Australia and Saab Aus-
tralia for being named the pre-
ferred tenderers to partner with
BAE Systems Australia to deliver the Combat System Integration on the Hunter class frigates.”
According to BAE, Lock- heed Martin and Saab were se- lected because they each offered strengths and technical expertise
which will best complement BAE Systems’ capability. The decision will create and sus- tain 100 highly skilled combat systems en- gineering jobs, which will grow to over 200 as the ship goes into production.
14 | December 2018 – January 2019 |

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