Home' Asia Pacific Defence Reporter : APDR May 2016 Contents USS CORONADO DEPLOYS
WITH NEXT-GEN UAV CONTROLS
Unmanned helicopter control system brings
flexible mission control to first US Navy littoral
SAN DIEGO, April 27, 2016, Raytheon Company
and the U.S . Navy's Naval Air Systems Command
have deployed advanced mission control for the
MQ-8 Fire Scout, an unmanned helicopter, aboard
the Littoral Combat Ship USS Coronado, which is
now underway. Navy control hardware and Raytheon
control software were combined for robust, flexible
command and control of Fire Scout missions in
The USS Coronado is one of the Navy's newest
Littoral Combat Ships, designed to operate close
to shorelines. Coronado's deployment of Fire Scout
extends the fleet's situational awareness.
"Raytheon's UAV ground controls help support
Navy missions without putting sailors' lives at risk,"
said Todd Probert, vice president of Mission Support
and Modernization at Raytheon IIS. "Our innovative
technology is helping the U.S . military evolve
standards of performance and reliability as they
accomplish their critical missions more efficiently and
Navy hardware and Raytheon's software are built
with an open architecture, maximizing flexibility to
add new technology as needed. Under a related
effort, the Navy's Common Control System, or NCCS,
will be able to control any air, ground, surface and
subsurface vehicles as they deploy with the fleet.
Built on the flexible foundation of Fire Scout MCS,
that capability will reduce Navy-wide implementation
costs and training requirements for unmanned
"Our new Fire Scout MCS enables Fire Scout to
bring more mission to more areas," said Captain
Jeff Dodge, U.S . Navy, Fire Scout program manager.
"Fire Scout is a proven capability in dynamic littoral
environments, and now provides the potential for
multiple platforms to be controlled from a single MCS
aboard the ship."
USS Coronado is the first Littoral Combat Ship to
use this upgraded Fire Scout MCS operationally, after
logging 600+ hours of testing.
MQ-9 Firescout (U.S. Navy / Abraham Essenmacher/Released)
10 Asia Pacific Defence Reporter MAY 2016
HALF-A-MILLION HOURS OF FLYING
A critical part of all Air Force pilot training, the Pilatus
PC-9/A aircraft has clocked over 500,000 flying hours,
a feat celebrated with an Interactive Flying Display by
the most recognisable PC-9/A user, the Roulettes of
Central Flying School, at the RAAF Museum, Point Cook,
Victoria, on April 17, 2016.
The display was also an exciting occasion for the
RAAF Museum, being the first flight it has hosted since
October 2015, when a major refurbishment of its
runway commenced. Following the Interactive Flying
Display, Commander Air Force Training Group Air
Commodore Geoff Harland CSC was presented with a
commemorative plaque by Pilatus representative Mr
Rob Oliver to mark this milestone.
Introduced into the Royal Australian Air Force in
1987, the Swiss designed aircraft has seen pilots
training on the PC-9/A since 1989.
AIRCDRE Harland said the PC-9/A’s half a million
flying hours was an achievement of note to be
celebrated by contributions from hundreds of personnel
involved with the aircraft since they came into service.
“The contribution of many talented people
including aeronautical and electronic engineers,
pilots and air combat officers have made this
milestone possible”, he said.
Trainee Australian Defence Force (ADF) pilots, after
successful completion of the Basic Flying Training
course, undertake Advanced Flying Training Course with
Number 2 Flying Training School at RAAF Base Pearce
typically completing around 130 hours in the PC-9/A.
The PC-9/A is also central to RAAF Base East
Sale where it is used to teach qualified RAAF pilots
to become flying instructors and qualified instructors
are eligible to fly the aircraft with the Air Force’s elite
formation aerobatic display team, the Roulettes.
Thirty percent of Air Force’s flying hours are
conducted in training at Air Force Training Group.
“With that amount of flying time it is not surprising
that the PC-9/A has achieved this milestone and not
only is it a testament to the people who contribute to
keeping the aircraft airborne, the people who fly them
and to the trainers who train our pilots, it also says a lot
about how Air Force selects its aircraft.
The Royal Australian Air Force Roulette Pilatus PC-9/A
aircraft Credit: CoA / Dove Smithett
29/04/2016 6:48 PM
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