Moving Forward with the Automated Tanker Boom: The RAAF and Airbus Defence and Space Take the Next Step

07/16/2018
By Robbin Laird The RAAF was the launch customer for the A330MRTT. And the Aussies have been from the beginning key drivers of innovation working with Airbus Defence and Space in evolving the capabilities of the global tanker. Part of Tanker 2.0 is providing new capabilities for the combat fleet…

Raising the Bar on Maintainability: MAWTS-1 Focuses on the Challenge

07/02/2018
By Robbin Laird Maintainability is a key aspect to ensure aircraft availability to support combat operations. The readiness crisis of the past few years has also included the challenge of upgrading maintenance support efforts as well. The strategic shift from counter-insurgency to preparing for force-on-force conflict and a more rapid…

The Brits Work Sustainment for Their Combat Aircraft: Tornado as the Stepping Stone

06/25/2018
By Robbin Laird The UK MoD, the RAF and its industrial partners have been at the cutting edge in finding a path to enhanced combat aircraft availability through the evolution of its approach to performance based logistics. It has been and is a journey, one which started with parts support,…

The Strategic Shift: The Challenge of Mobile Basing

06/09/2018
By Robbin Laird The strategic shift is a crucial one for the liberal democracies. That strategic shift is from a primary focus on counter insurgency and stability operations to operating in a contested environment with high tempo and high intensity combat systems as a primary tool set. It is about managing conflict…

The Coming of TyTan: The UK Works its Typhoon Sustainment Strategy

06/06/2018
By Robbin Laird In past visits to the UK and to Spain, I have spent time with Eurofighter squadrons and have focused on the upgrade path for the aircraft. I have talked with various fighting forces about Typhoon operating in various allied operations as well to get a sense of…

Sustainable Combat Capabilities: The Case of the CH-53K

05/22/2018
A key element of building 21st century air systems is building in sustainability as part of the design. 21st century air systems are digital systems, built around software upgradeability. The digital capabilities of the aircraft are a key part of building out a more sustainable combat system. The CH-53K was…

The Next Chapter in the Evolution of the KC-30A: An Interview with Air Commodore Bill Kourelakos, Commander Air Mobility Group

04/16/2018
By Robbin Laird During my visit with Murielle Delaporte to RAAF Base Richmond we had a chance to discuss with the new Air Mobility Group (AMG) Commander his perspectives on the way ahead.  We focused primarily upon the KC-30A as well as the introduction of the new C-27J into the…

Providing Support to An Expeditionary Air Force: The Key Role and Challenges for the RAAF’s Combat Support Group

04/15/2018
By Robbin Laird During our latest visit to Australia, we had a chance to talk with the Commander of the RAAF’s Combat Support Group, Air Commodore Ken Robinson at his office at RAAF Amberley. With a country of the size of the United States but only about 25 million people…