Page 17 - Australian Defence Magazine Oct 2018
P. 17

CASG 3rd Army Aviation Symposium
THE third Army Aviation Symposium, hosted by CASG, was held concurrently with Land Forces 18. Shane Fairweather, First Assistant Secretary of the division delivered the opening address followed by a range of speakers from across de- fence and industry. Themes included the future of manned rotary wing platforms, future unmanned platforms and tech- nology developments.
Status updates were also provided by Brigadier Stephen Jobson, Commander 16 Aviation Brigade (operations), Briga- dier Jeremy King, Director General Army Aviation Systems Branch, CASG (acqui- sition and sustainment), and Brigadier Scott Benbow, Director General Aviation, Forces Command (strategic programs).
The key themes of the status updates in- cluded the maturing capability of Army’s Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH), Taipan Multi Role Helicopter (MRH) and CH-47F Chinook plat- forms; the developing amphibious capa- bility and future acquisition programs.
BRIG Jobson provided some statistics to demonstrate the improved rates of ef- fort of both the Tiger and Taipan in recent times, noting that both helicopters are global fleet leader in terms of hours flown.
“Our rates of effort on those two combat systems in particular has expo- nentially increased,” he told symposium delegates. “Across the 5th Aviation Regi- ment the MRH-90 has doubled the rate of effort over the last two years and the Tiger at the 1st Aviation Regiment has increased by 25 per cent.”
BRIG Jobson also noted that the Chi- nook has enjoyed a smooth introduction into service and Army was able to execute its planned rate of effort on the type in the last financial year, but the S-70A-9 Black Hawk (due to retire in 2022) re- quires careful management to ensure Army derives the required levels of capa- bility through to life of type.
“I can also report to you that we’re see- ing very positive improvements in terms
of the maintenance burden across these systems. We are now seeing our mainte- nance man hour per flight hour on the MRH-90 halve from what it was two years ago (and) we are also seeing some very encouraging reductions in the main- tenance man hour per flight hour for our ARH’s operated out of Darwin,” BRIG Jobson said.
“I would like to acknowledge out indus- try partners who have toiled long and hard to achieve these metrics. I would particu- larly like to acknowledge the hard work and great efforts of the Airbus and Boeing teams, and all the men and women inside those organisations, with whom we work very closely, collegiately, openly and trans- parently, to achieve these outcomes.”
Looking to the future, BRIG Benbow said that a changing environment and rapidly advancing and cheaper technolo- gy will require Army Aviation to consider how it can adapt its capabilities to meet these challenges.
“Our vision for the future will include some sort of Future Vertical Lift capabil- ity [see PXX for more] (and) we’re going to continue the proliferation of nano and small UAS’,” he told delegates. “We are both capability and threat-led. We need to be thinking about the long-term pro- cesses for our capability acquisitions, but we also need to be thinking about chang- ing subsystems and keeping architecture open, so we can respond rapidly.”
Brigadier Scott Benbow presenting at the Army Aviation Symposium, hosted by CASG.
LEFT: The Hanwa AS21 Redback, BAE Systems CV90 and Rheinmetall Lynx on show at Land Forces 2018.
architecture standard that Australia is adopting) with massive growth potential, and deploy a 30mm cannon in a GDLS turret developed for an undisclosed US cus- tomer, and currently under trial.
Luck said GDLS would also be offer- ing its Apollo engineering repair vehicle, displayed at Land Forces 2018, among its proposals for the 17 manoeuvre support ve- hicles which are now to be included in the Land 400 Phase 3 tender response.
The AS21 Redback, a surprise entrant from South Korean conglomerate Hanwha, at 40 tonnes is a heavier and upgraded version of the company’s KT21 IFV which entered service with the South Korean Army in 2009.
The Redback accommodates eight dis- mounts and three crew, and is fitted with a 30mm cannon, a 7.62mm co-axial ma- chine-gun, and a 12.6mm remote weapon station. A two-round Spike anti-tank mis- sile launcher is located to the rear of the tur- ret and the vehicle is fitted with an undis- closed active protection system.
Although Hanwha is virtually unknown in Australia, its defence systems group pro- duces a wide range of tracked and wheeled armoured vehicles, including the tracked K-9 Thunderer 155mm self-propelled how- itzer that was in contention for an Austra- lian requirement under Land 17, eventually dropped, in 2010.
Hanwha executive Richard Cho de- scribed Hanwha as a cost-effective manu- facturer and integrator of platforms rather than a weapons producer, and said it was open to fitting the AS21 with any systems required by a potential customer.
BAE Systems displayed a rubber-tracked CV90 combat vehicle on loan from the Nor- wegian army, one of the seven countries with which it is in service in 15 different variants
The company stressed the CV90’s all- digital architecture and ongoing potential for upgrade, its ability to carry eight dis- mounts, the 70,000 combat days spent by the type in Afghanistan with Swedish and Norwegian units, and its low risk nature.
Speculation about its ability to meet the specified STANAG protection levels, pos- sibly sparked by its relatively-light combat weight of 35 tonnes, was quashed by BAE Systems-Hagglands president Tommy Gustaffson-Rose, who stated these had twice assessed and confirmed in indepen- dent reports. | October 2018 | 17

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