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Australia embraces Boeing system

Sept. 8, 2010 at 9:09 AM   |   Comments

BRISBANE, Australia, Sept. 8 (UPI) -- A Boeing net-centric command-and-control system has entered service in Australia after excelling in a major multinational air combat exercise.

A Boeing Defense Australia news release says, the Australian air force on Sept. 2 began using the Vigilare Northern Regional Operations Center at its Base Tindal, Northern Territory, for surveillance and battlespace management operations across Australia.

"With the acceptance into operational service for NROC, the (air force) and Defense Materiel Organization have concluded that the enhanced capability provided by Vigilare provides a robust Air Defense Command and Control 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 defense, civil and foreign sources providing directed air surveillance and air battle management capabilities for the (air force)."

Vigilare proved itself in "Pitch Black 2010" -- one of the air force's largest and most complex air combat exercises, which also involved the air forces of Singapore, Thailand and New Zealand. During the exercise 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 Australian F/A-18 Hornets, F-111s, Hawks, forward air control PC-9s, and AP-3C Orions; Singapore air force and Thai air force F-16s; a Singaporean E2-C Hawkeye Airborne Warning and Control aircraft, and other air mobility and air-to-air refueling assets, the company said.

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 Center at the Australian air force base at Williamtown, New South Wales.

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