2015-02-24 Earlier, we highlighted the coming of Plan Jericho to the Australian defense forces.
As Air Marshal Brown noted on May 29, 2014:
I intend to release Plan Jericho, the RAAF transformation plan, in early 2015. It will guide our force transformation, enabled by our new 5th Gen capabilities, over the next decade.
I will also be engaging closely with industry in the development of the plan.
It is the technology that is being developed by industry that affords us the opportunity to transform our force. It is essential that we partner with industry to explore how we can maximize the opportunity offered by 5th Gen systems. I ask you to consider how you can work with us, not just at the platform level … but in helping us think through and design our overall future force using the 5th Gen capabilities you develop and will help us sustain in the future.”
And in an interview at the end of 2014, John Blackburn, the former Air Vice Marshall of the RAAF highlighted the nature of the transformation effort:
The RAAF are now looking at how not just to modernize the force; but to transform it. They are looking at the F-35 as a key to that effort. It is not a replacement airplane; it is a force for transformation. The focus is not just the airplane or its systems but the impact upon, and the transformation of, the whole force. This transformation will be guided by the RAAF’s Plan JERICHO.
The Air Force is anticipating already some of these transformatonal changes as a result of the radar and systems in the Wedgetail AEW&C aircraft; however, the F-35 is a whole new concept and level.
Air Commodore McDonald, the head of the Air Mobility Group, provided an example of the way ahead as seen from the standpoint of the AMG.
The Chief of Air Force has set the foundations for Plan Jericho, which looks at the interactivity and connectivity of key platforms in the RAAF and how best to transform Air Force to meet future operational needs.
Obviously, AMG is a key part of this effort.
We are looking not at just adding lift and tanking capabilities but are focused on how these traditional assets can connect to our forces in the battlespace and provided enhanced C2 and situational awareness for Australian and coalition warfighters.
We currently have disparate levels of communication capabilities across each platform within AMG.
To address this shortfall we are installing satellite links in 12 C-130Js by the end of 2016.
We are also working the ground station piece and are focused on having an AMG control center able to know where our aircraft are at all times in order to better support the force.
Similiarly, we are focused on shaping a more effective rapid air tasking capability across the fleet and to do so we are adding significant situational awareness capabilities across our aircraft.
In doing so we will provide a very wide range of options for decision makers.
Now at this year’s Avalon Air Show, the RAFF has officially released its transformation plan.
According to a story on the RAAF website published on February 23, 2015:
The Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Geoff Brown AO, today released a strategy to transform Air Force for the future.
Releasing Plan Jericho in Melbourne ahead of tomorrow’s Australian International Airshow at Avalon, he said that the much-anticipated plan will set Air Force on a path of transformation for the future.
“In the next ten years, the Royal Australian Air Force will have one of the most advanced aircraft fleets in the world.
This will make our Air Force operations fundamentally different.
“We cannot be complacent, by thinking that simply having the next generation of aircraft technology, will create an advanced Air Force.
The E-7A Wedgetail is already in service, and the F-35A Lightning II, P-8A Poseidon and EA-18G Growler are only a few years away.
“These aircraft will bring more data and situation awareness than ever before.
We need to be able to share this information across aircraft platforms through networking, and enable good decisions without being overwhelmed by the high volumes of data.
“We need to work across Defence, to create integration with Army and Navy’s technologies to deliver the best possible options for Government from these advanced aircraft.
“We need to transform ourselves into a truly integrated, networked force that can realise the potential of this technology, and maintain our position as masters of the air domain,” Air Marshal Brown said.
Plan Jericho is not the ‘final plan’ for the future.
Plan Jericho is the first step for Air Force to meet the challenges of the future.
More work will continue in 2015, to further develop the three themes – Harness the combat potential of an integrated force; Develop an innovative and empowered workforce;andChange the way we acquire and sustain capability.
Some of the outcomes that will flow from pursuing these themes will be the creation of an air warfare centre, development of new operational concepts and tactics and a greater focus on experimentation and testing.
“We cannot ignore the need to transform the Air Force to maintain our position at the leading edge of air power.
The changes we make under Plan Jericho will allow us to maintain our ability to deliver air power for Government, when and where it is needed.”
For a RAAF video outlining the Plan Jericho approach see the following: