27 April 2011
Vigilare, the RAAF's ground-based air defense system (photo : Australian Aviation)
Network centric command and control system participates in RAAF combat exercise
RAAF BASE WILLIAMTOWN, New South Wales -- The Boeing [NYSE: BA] Vigilare network centric command and control system has passed its last formal operational test. Testing took place at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Williamtown's Eastern Region Operations Centre (EROC) from March 28 to April 8.
The testing established that EROC is ready for operations as it demonstrated Vigilare's full range of functionality in preparation for conditional acceptance this month, the last milestone before final system acceptance by the Commonwealth of Australia.
Vigilare's second week of operational testing was incorporated into Exercise Aces South, a key combat exercise for pilots and air defense operators studying to become advanced fighter tactics instructors and controllers.
"Exercise Aces South provided an excellent opportunity to put the newly installed Vigilare system at EROC through its paces. We threw our best and brightest people into the exercise, and they worked the new system extremely hard through some complex and intense air battle scenarios," said Wing Commander Richard Pizzuto, Officer Temporary Commanding RAAF No. 41 Wing. "I've been impressed with how the Vigilare system performed and with the increased functionality it delivers. It's an exciting new capability for Air Force, and one which sets us up well for the future."
Vigilare combines information in near real-time from a wide range of platforms, sensors, tactical data links and intelligence networks to deliver tactical and strategic surveillance operations and battlespace management in the air and joint domains. The live inputs from these sources present a unified operational picture to the user at single or multiple operational centers.
"Vigilare demonstrated a new level of network centric capability for the RAAF by networking a broad range of RAAF assets into the battlespace through EROC," said Lee Davis, Vigilare project manager, Boeing Defence Australia. "RAAF operators' situational awareness was enhanced by their ability to connect to Vigilare's advanced surveillance and tactical management capabilities."
Platforms participating in the exercise included F/A-18 Classic Hornets, F/A-18F Super Hornets, Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft, Hawks, a 707 Tanker and a P-3 Orion.
Vigilare consists of two regional operations centers: EROC and the Northern Regional Operations Centre, which has been operational since September 2010 and is located at RAAF Base Tindal in the Northern Territory.