Page 14 - Australian Defence Magazine Aug 2019
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RAAF signs C-17 cross-servicing agreement with USAF
ADF personnel deploying on Operation APEC 18 Assist disembark a RAAF C-17 Globemaster.
THE US and Australia have agreed on a cross-servicing arrangement for the repair and maintenance of C-17A Globemaster transport aircraft.
The arrangement permits C-17A techni- cians from the US Air Force (USAF) and RAAF to conduct maintenance activities on each other’s aircraft.
Air Vice-Marshal Steve Roberton, Air Commander Australia, said the Aircraft Re- pair and Maintenance Service Implement- ing Arrangement (ARMS-IA) will provide greater flexibility to C-17A operations.
“Our C-17A workforce regularly shares a tarmac with American C-17As, whether we
are on exercise at home, or deployed across the globe,” Air Vice-Marshal Roberton said. “Whilst a USAF C-17A is no different from a RAAF C-17A, our air forces have different maintenance workforce struc- tures, which is what makes an arrangement like this essential.
“By making it easier to help one another, this arrangement provides flexibility and mission assuredness for USAF and RAAF C-17A missions.”
The signing of the ARMS-IA follows C-17A maintenance integration activities conducted in 2017 under the Enhanced Air Cooperation (EAC) program. This activity
involved C-17A technicians from both coun- tries gaining a better understanding of the maintenance practices of their counterparts.
“This arrangement focuses on the C-17A workforce, but will ultimately benefit the or- ganisations deployed across the globe who rely on a C-17A to sustain them,” AVM Roberton said. “In the Asia-Pacific, it makes sense for us to capitalise on our existing close relationship, pool resources where possible, and increase our C-17A capability even further."
A similar implementing arrangement for the C-130J Hercules is underway, with planned integration activities to cover the P-8A Poseidon and F-35A Joint Strike Fighter.
Unmanned surface vessels network off NSW
OCIUS Technologies' unmanned surface vessels (USVs) have successfully demon- strated their ability to work as an autono- mous team off the south coast of NSW.
In a statement, the company said that the tests of 'team behaviours' and 'intelligent net- working' involving Bluebottle USVs 'Bob'
and 'Bruce' occurred last week near Ulladul- la under a Defence Innovation Hub contract. "The first scenario completed last week, ‘Bob’ and ‘Bruce’ were joined by three simulated Bluebottle USVs to demonstrate how a team of 5 Bluebottles can patrol and guard an asset in the ocean," the statement said. "Ulladulla Marine Rescue greatly assisted by having one of their vessels act as a suspected illegal intruder driving at 12 knots in the vicin-
ity of the patrolled area. "When one team member, in this case ‘Bruce', detected the in- truder he broadcasts his ‘local view’ to the ‘team view’. Another member
Two Bluebottles heading out for ‘intelligent network’ testing off NSW coast.
of the team, in this case Bob, autonomously decided that he was the best positioned member of the team to go and ‘investigate’.
"Bob then broadcast his intention to ‘in- vestigate’ the suspicious vessel to his team- mates and began moving to intercept the intruder. The other members of the team on hearing Bob’s decision began moving to continue covering the area left in Bob’s absence.
"Finally, the network raised an alarm to a ‘human on the loop’ at mission con- trol. This all happened autonomously, without human intervention, and in less than a second."
The Bruce class of USV offer 300 kg of pay- load capacity, 50W of power with eight hours of sunlight, a 100m keel winch for undersea sensors, the ability to launch and recover from a conventional boat ramp, and more.
In late 2018, Ocius won a $1.7 million contract from Defence to determine the viability of an intelligent command and control network of persistent unmanned surface vessels.
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