Air Force highlights Jericho initiatives at Avalon

Jericho_trail1The Royal Australian Air Force has hosted an event inside a C-17A Globemaster heavy transport aircraft to demonstrate how it has been partnering with industry under Plan Jericho, which is helping transform the service for the information age.

Having identified obstacles to achieving the networked and integrated combat force envisaged by Plan Jericho, the RAAF partnered with industry to seek help in developing solutions.

The event held on Wednesday at the Avalon Airshow showcased some of the tangible things Air Force has done to rapidly acquire some existing capabilities and to explore the use of future technologies.

The RAAF’s partnership with BAE Systems is regarded as the most formal arrangement to have been established within the Jericho program.

BAE Systems is working with the RAAF to develop and trial what is referred to as the ‘acquisition sprint’ methodology, demonstrating a new way of rapidly acquiring capabilities.

This project involves the acquisition of Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) air traffic surveillance technology for the Hawk 127 lead-in fighter.

“At its heart, acquisition sprint is innovative in the sense that it is a design-led activity,” said Tony Grady, business winning team lead from BAE Systems Australia.

“It brings together industry and Air Force in this case to collaborate and to demonstrate those genuine partnership behaviours…prior even to the release of a formal request for tender to industry: that makes it innovative. In the past I think it is fair to say that Defence generally developed its requirements largely in isolation.”

Meanwhile, Mark Grollo of Grollo Aerospace described the development of Evader, which is an affordable supersonic aerial target that is intended to facilitate training against high-speed missiles.

“It is undergoing flight trials at the moment in various parts of Australia…and [we] hope to demonstrate a supersonic flight within the next 12 months,” Grollo said.

The target is intended to be launched from a fixed-wing aircraft.

“We are looking at up to Mach 1.5 as an initial speed; our idea is to try and keep it as affordable as possible and develop a basic vehicle that can do just that.”

Also highlighted at the Jericho demonstration event was the work of L3 in the provision of AirView 360, which gives personnel on military aircraft enhanced situational awareness.

Saab and the Defence Science and Technology Group displayed an augmented reality approach to providing the ability to interact with visualisations of battlefields using the Microsoft HoloLens.

And the development by AOS of the Intelligent Watch Dog autonomous base intrusion detection, threat evaluation and response system was also shown off.