25 Aug 21. C-17A Globemaster III completes Antarctica mission. The aircraft has delivered supplies to Antarctica to support Australia’s ongoing research in the region.
Departing from Perth on 19 August, a Royal Australian Air Force C-17A Globemaster III air-dropped over nine tonnes of supplies in support of Operation Southern Discovery — the ADF’s contribution to Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) research.
Supplies carried by the Boeing-built aircraft, which travelled 11,000 kilometres on a 15-hour round trip, included vital equipment, fresh food, medical supplies, and mail and gifts from loved ones to the 18 scientists, researchers and staff at Mawson Station.
Co-pilot of the C-17A, Flying Officer Jack Palmer, outlined some of the challenges faced during the mission.
“One of the unique challenges was the night-time aspect of the drop, which we accounted for in our pre-mission planning with the AAD,” FLGOFF Palmer said.
“The mission was a unique experience and was very rewarding to be a part of.
“It was a great experience working with external agencies to Defence, as well as being involved in some more complex mission planning in order to get the job done.”
The mission required an in-flight refuelling over the Southern Ocean from a RAAF KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport.
“The refuelling component of the mission presented its own challenges,” FLGOFF Palmer said.
“One of them was the duration of the refuelling. We needed to be plugged to the aircraft for 22 minutes, which was quite a taxing ordeal.
“The captain flew that, and did it well.”
The air drop involved approximately three months of planning, complicated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with personnel from Army’s 176 Air Dispatch Squadron required to quarantine in Tasmania for two weeks.
“We make sure everything we use is clean or brand new because we don’t want to introduce creatures or foreign bodies into Antarctica as it disrupts the environment,” 176 Air Dispatcher Crew Commander Corporal Rachel Jordan said.
CPL Jordan said the crew had to be prepared to ensure a soft landing.
“First, we establish what needs to be dropped, so we take into account weight and then we build a base using plywood, glue and a material called energy dissipating material [EDM],” CPL Jordan said.
“The EDM basically absorbs the impact when it hits the ground. It is different per load and depends on what the weight is, so there is a bit of engineering that goes into it to ensure a safe landing.
“Over the top we add aerial delivery equipment, wrap it all together and put a parachute on top.”
AAD general manager operations and safety Charlton Clark lauded the success of the operation.
“This aerial delivery of 23 loads of essential cargo will now support the station until our next resupply mission,” Clark said.
“It truly was an amazing undertaking, involving considerable challenges with both weather and logistics and I’m thrilled it’s been a success.”
The cargo and parachutes were later recovered by expeditioners off the ice in low light, strong winds and minus 25-degree temperatures.
(Source: Defence Connect)
01 Mar 21. MoD Spares Framework Agreement worth £149m expected on August 29th. Sources close to BATTLESPACE suggest that 13 companies have been shortlisted for selection for the UK MoD Vehicle Support Capital Spares Multi-Supplier Framework Agreement Major Spares programme worth £150m a year – REFERENCE No. 700007835. The requirement is for the establishment of a Framework Agreement under which the Authority may procure Capital Spares in support of the DE&S Vehicle Support Team (VST) portfolio of wheeled and tracked platforms. Individual Call-Off contracts that may be placed under the Framework Agreement shall be subject to a competitive process between those Tenderers admitted to the Framework, noting that the Authority shall have no obligation to order or buy anything under this Framework Agreement. The anticipated date for the contract award decision is 30 June 2021. This is an indicative date and may change.
List of Tenderers Invited to Submit a Tender for ITT No. 700007835
AME AUTO Ltd, Aviation Spares And Repairs Ltd, Babcock Land Defence Ltd, Carwood Motor Units Ltd, EXSEL Design & Integration Ltd, GDUK, Hobson Industries Ltd, LEONARDO MW Ltd, NAVISTAR Defense LLC., NP AEROSPACE Ltd, RBSL, SUPACAT Ltd and TVS.
25 Aug 21. Lockheed Martin and Indian Air Force renew C-130J fleet support contract. Lockheed Martin teams will manage engineering support elements for IAF’s C-130J fleet sustainment. Lockheed Martin has secured a contract to provide support for the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) fleet of 12 C-130J-30 Super Hercules Aircraft.
Under the $328.8m, five-year Follow On Support II (FOS), Lockheed Martin will provide an integrated team and dedicated support to manage the logistics and engineering elements of the IAF’s C-130J fleet.
Lockheed Martin Air Mobility and Maritime Missions vice-president and general manager Rod McLean said: “As the C-130 OEM, Lockheed Martin brings forth an outstanding team of experts who offer deep knowledge and unmatched insights of the C-130 to our operators.
“It is an honour to continue to partner with the Indian Air Force to support one of the most active C-130J fleets in the world.
“Through an integrated team and dedicated support, Lockheed Martin ensures the IAF’s C-130J fleet is available and ready for every mission.”
The FOS II contract includes Lockheed sustainment efforts for the IAF’s entire Super Hercules fleet, as well as extended options, including the company’s support for the C-130J airframe, peculiar and common spare items, engines, propellers, software, publication services, and ground handling equipment (GHE).
Support services also include contractor furnished equipment (CFE), ground support equipment (GSE) and test equipment.
Under the latest FOS II contract, five C-130J Hercules aircraft will undergo 12-year servicing at a Lockheed-approved Heavy Maintenance Center, starting from next year.
In 2008, the Government of India announced the purchase of six C-130J Super Hercules airlifters via a foreign military sale (FMS) with the USAF.
The C-130J Hercules is the latest model of C-130, featuring a glass cockpit, digital avionics and a new propulsion system with a six-bladed propeller. The Hercules is the US Air Force’s principal tactical cargo and personnel transport aircraft. The C-130J-30 is a stretch version of the C-130J. The IAF has placed orders for additional aircraft. Tata Lockheed Martin Aerostructures Limited (TLMAL) delivered the 100th C-130J Super Hercules empennage from its manufacturing facility in Hyderabad, India, in February 2019. (Source: naval-technology.com)
23 Aug 21. Rapid Dragon conducts first system-level flight test of palletised munition. The tests demonstrated BLOS command and control of palletised weapon system. The US Air Force’s (USAF) Rapid Dragon programme has conducted its first system-level flight tests to assess the operational utility of the palletised munition deployment system.
The tests mark two more demonstrations of the capability to mass deliver long-range strike weapons from military cargo aircraft. It was performed at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.
Rapid Dragon programme, which was previously designated the Palletized Munitions Program, is an experimentation campaign led by the Air Force Strategic Development Planning and Experimentation (SDPE) office.
According to the Air Force Research Laboratory, the latest tests also showcased the ability for a beyond-line-of-sight (BLOS) Command and Control (C2) node to transfer Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range (JASSM-ER) cruise missile targeting data to airborne Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) and Air Mobility Command (AMC) aircraft.
The SDPE office and partners Air Force Futures, AFSOC, AMC, US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) Det 1, and the 412th Test Wing completed the first system-level flight tests on EC-130SJ and C-17A airlift aircraft.
The aircraft’s battle management system received new targeting data and uploaded it to the JASSM-ER simulator.
In a previous test of an instrumented JASSM-ER Palletized Weapon System at White Sands Missile Range in March, the SDPE used the Mills Manufacturing G-11 Cargo Parachute Assembly to establish an undisclosed deployment altitude deployment record for the Rapid Dragon programme.
A live-fire test with a production JASSM-ER from a cargo aircraft is expected to take place later this year. (Source: airforce-technology.com)