Saturday, September 24, 2011

Australia requests price info for 6th C-17

Australia has put in a request for price info for a 6th C-17.

The additional aircraft will probably be useful. As a United States Air Force C-17 pilot told me once, "We take a lot of business away from the C-130".

Additional C-17 buys were never mentioned in the joke that is the last Defence White Paper which some hold so dear. This points back toward the inability of Defence bureaucrats to consistently perform good long range planning.

Given the way that additional buys of C-17s now creep into budgets (just like the 5th one), it may be time for a top to bottom review of all ADF airlift needs; a clean sheet of paper.


Bonza said...

There is an on-going RAAF conducted airlift study that is attempting to determine the optimal mix between C-17's, Hercules and C-27J or whatever light airlifter is eventually chosen. Seems as if the study is showing the most benefit comes from the bigger, heavier aircraft, especially at a time when our amphibious capability is run down so much...

Albatross said...

I can't naysay the need for a 6th C17. Those who should know have been saying for some time now that six is the minimum we need to have a credible force of that type.

However, heaven help us if we ever need to put troops - or major civil aid - into the PNG Highlands or any number of the small island airstrips in the PNG/Solomons area, an area most Defence analysts would agree is Australia's primary area of interest.

Never mind - DoD could always borrow the two Caribous that they've recently given to the Historic Aircraft Restoration Society at Albion Park Rail.

I just hope that if (hopefully when) a decision is made to get a proper Caribou replacement, we follow the C17 example and NOT, NOT, NOT allow DMO anywhere near the buy.

Anonymous said...

The C17 was a decision by the Minister at the time.
The RAAF and DMO cannot organise anyhthing. Despite decades they still do not have a replacement for the Caribou. Classic.
Still if we did not have to pay 1.3 billion a year for DMO and 7,770 employees we could have done so many times over.
Oh,the expenditure must be justified, look at all the sucessful programs them have finalised, like the C17, Super Hornet, Largs Bay etc where their expertise was invaluable?

Anonymous said...

Albatross you are correct. Of course we always send an airconditioned King Air or two.
Lovely cloth seats, oh sorry, they are interim to keep up flying skills.Silly me. Should gain some good skills over the next decade.

Anonymous said...

The purchase of a 6th C17 is an absolute waste of taxpayers money. The original 4 have never been operated properly and have never reached their annual allocated flying hours. The RAAF flys them with minimum crew to save accomodation costs and this ensures that they cannot be retasked effectively whilst away base. The current four aircraft are under utilised, take away middle east tasking, repatriation tasks (using a C17 to carry a single body is a waste of assets) and they will spend even more time sitting on the Amberley tarmac than they do now. 5 is a logical number as it makes 3 tasking lines a given, but the purchase of a 6th is a blatant waste of money when we don't even use the 4 we currently have properly. Mismanagement at it's worst. The people making this decision should be investigated for their links to Boeing.

Gobsmacked said...

Have you ever heard of everything going shitfaced, eg Timor 1999?
In addition these things have a certain number of airframe hours, and will soon be out of production. They have to last for yonks.
The RAAF and Army do not have enough airframes of anything to be involved in a conflict. Ever heard of attrition?(eg Chinook lately)
In the scheme of things DMO spends more on entertainment and perks every year.

Anonymous said...

"There is an on-going RAAF conducted airlift study that is attempting to determine the optimal mix between C-17's, Hercules and C-27J or whatever light airlifter is eventually chosen. "
How many decades does it take?

Anonymous said...

For Gobsmacked, exactly why the 6th is a waste of money. We should be purchasing the things we need, like more chinooks, rather than spending 250 million on something extra when we don't even use the current ones to their maximum or even their estimated usage rate. Any commercial operator would look at increasing the number of aircrew and maintenance personnel before increasing the number of airframes, to maximise the aircraft usage. this is something the RAAF is terrible at.

Anonymous said...

DMO is a disgusting organisation and the entire procurement process is a disgrace. DMO are happy if the outcome is shite, provided all the processes were followed. They are process driven not results driven. Look at the helicopter purchases, we brought a utility derivative of a naval helicopter for the army (MRH90) and a naval derivative of a utility helicopter for the navy (SH60). Achieving absolutely zero commonality and buying less than ideal helicopters for their intended roles. It is like a monty python script.