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Boeing Vigilare Enters Service With RAAF

The system interacted with multiple assets, including RAAF F/A-18 Hornets, F-111s, Hawks, forward air control PC-9s, and AP-3C Orions; Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) and Royal Thai Air Force F-16s; an RSAF E2-C Hawkeye Airborne Warning and Control aircraft, and other air mobility and air-to-air refueling assets.
by Staff Writers
Brisbane, Australia (SPX) Sep 09, 2010
Vigilare, the Boeing Network Centric Command and Control System (NC3S) developed for the Commonwealth of Australia, has entered service with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) after excelling in a major multinational air combat exercise.

On Sept. 2, the RAAF began using the Vigilare Northern Regional Operations Centre (NROC) at RAAF Base Tindal, Northern Territory, for surveillance and battlespace management operations across Australia.

"With the acceptance into operational service for NROC, the RAAF and Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) have concluded that the enhanced capability provided by Vigilare provides a robust Air Defence Command and Control (C2) system for Australia," said Tim Malone, DMO project director for Project Air 5333 - Vigilare.

"NROC is now correlating a myriad of data feeds from sensors and information across Defence, civil and foreign sources providing directed air surveillance and air battle management capabilities for the RAAF. In my opinion, this capability, especially the sophisticated Tactical Data Link implementation, is arguably world-class."

"We're extremely pleased with the way Vigilare has transitioned into operational service at NROC," said Steve Parker, vice president and general manager of Network and Space Systems for Boeing Defence Australia.

"It's indicative of the considerable engineering and project management rigor we've applied and the pragmatic relationship between Boeing, our supplier partners and our Australian Defence Materiel Organisation and RAAF customers. Vigilare has set the benchmark for future complex systems integration within the Australian Defence Force by bringing several disparate systems together to create a true systems-of-systems environment."

Prior to service entry, Vigilare participated in "Pitch Black 2010" - one of the RAAF's largest and most complex air combat exercises, which also involved the air forces of Singapore, Thailand and New Zealand.

During the exercise, held July 16-Aug. 6, NROC was used as the central C2 node, providing continuous surveillance and battlespace management for offensive counter-air and offensive air-support operations.

The system interacted with multiple assets, including RAAF F/A-18 Hornets, F-111s, Hawks, forward air control PC-9s, and AP-3C Orions; Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) and Royal Thai Air Force F-16s; an RSAF E2-C Hawkeye Airborne Warning and Control aircraft, and other air mobility and air-to-air refueling assets.

"We proved at Pitch Black that Vigilare is able to provide a comprehensive picture of the skies above in a coalition environment," said Parker.

"This system is a game changer for the RAAF because of its fully integrated data link capabilities, multi-level communications, multisource correlator tracking, and advanced system management capabilities."

Vigilare is on track for final system acceptance in mid-2011. The next major milestone leading up to this is completion of the Eastern Regional Operations Centre at RAAF Base Williamtown, New South Wales.

NC3S works by combining 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 operator at single or multiple control centers. NC3S is currently part of a broader offering from Boeing to other countries, including the United Arab Emirates.

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