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Army October 29, 2009
DEFENCE will save $50 million
after a decision to scale back modi-
fications to the Black Hawk fleet
under Project Echidna's AIR 5416
Defence will modify 12 Black
Hawks with a basic level of electronic
warfare self-protection but discon-
tinue work on a more advanced suite,
including the Australian-developed
ALR-2002 radar warning receiver.
Defence Personnel, Materiel
and Science Minister Greg Combet
announced the update on September
18 after recommendations from
He said Defence had advised the
return on investment for completing,
installing and sustaining the advanced
electronic warfare suite would not be
justified given the remaining life of
the Black Hawk fleet.
"Defence has reassessed the oper-
ational requirement and has deter-
mined the fitting of additional elec-
tronic warfare self-protection capa-
bilities would have an adverse effect
on aircraft availability," he said.
"Black Hawk helicopters are cur-
rently being utilised for a wide vari-
ety of roles for the ADF and it is vital
they continue to be available to fulfil
Mr Combet said Project Echidna
had already enhanced the survivabil-
ity and protection of the Australian
Chinook fleet for operations in
This included warning systems
coupled to flare dispensers to counter
heat-seeking missiles and ballistic pro-
tection against direct-fire weapons.
"The 12 Black Hawks fitted will
have similar levels of electronic war-
fare self-protection and ballistic pro-
tection to that fitted to the Chinooks,"
Mr Combet said.
Five Black Hawks had been modi-
fied and the remaining seven would
be updated by mid next year.
Project Echidna has also included
the modification of all 12 C-130H
aircraft to provide a missile warning,
radar warning and counter-measures
Mr Combet said Project Echidna
had increased knowledge and capa-
bility in aircraft electronic warfare
Career path: Gnr Scott Perry shows career advisers how an obstacle course is
negotiated at Woodside Barracks.
Photo by LCpl Glenn Power
By Sara Tennant
THANKS to a joint ven-
ture with Defence Force
Recruiting (DFR), numbers
at 16 AD Regt are swelling.
Career advisors from
around Adelaide were
invited to Woodside Barracks
recently to check out the
facilities and equipment, and
talk to the soldiers about the
unit and the Army in general.
Jason Wright, DFR, said
the aim was to give advisers
an insight into the unit and
the Army. "We want them to
present the Army as a great
As part of a year-long
campaign with DFR, 16AD
Regt has set up a website
and hands out cards to can-
didates, who now contact the
unit directly and speak to the
soldiers. They can tour the
unit and test their skills on
the RBS70 simulator.
The enquiry rate in South
Australia in the past financial
year was 65, up from 13 the
Jayne Shortt, a career
advisor at Kildare College,
appreciated the close-up view
of the unit. "It's very difficult
to talk to students about jobs
when you have no opera-
tional knowledge of them ...
[this] is so much better than
talking from a pamphlet."
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