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bunumuring
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Raaf VIP Fleet Renewal

Wed Jan 15, 2014 3:10 pm

G'day fellow a.netters!
Well, my first post after a decade of loitering.
My first topic is simple: what is the latest with the renewal of the RAAF's VIP fleet? The leases on the BBJs and Challengers are up in the next 12-18 months I believe and yet there has been little said except a few vague remarks about [1] renewing the current leases and retaining the current fleet and [2] possibly leasing 'something bigger' to replace at least one BBJ to allow the press and hangers-on to travel with the PM/GG/whoever. Perhaps a VIP A330 which could also be used for training KC-30 crews?
Any info?
Keep smiling!
Bunumuring

[Edited 2014-01-15 08:03:15]
I just wanna live while I'm alive!
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Raaf VIP Fleet Renewal

Wed Jan 15, 2014 7:51 pm

Seems to me the most logical solution is to renew the leases the VIP fleet, or buy it outright. As far as getting something bigger, why not just charter an airplane from QF when a bigger or longer ranged airplane is needed? The UK PM charters from BA when he needs a bigger longer ranged airplane.
 
Legs
Posts: 267
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RE: Raaf VIP Fleet Renewal

Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:16 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 1):
renew the leases the VIP fleet, or buy it outright

Allegedly, the argument against this idea is that the BBJ's lack a proper communications suite, rendering the PM incommunicado while he is travelling. It should be an easy fix to retrofit a satellite transceiver, but thats another issue that needs to be considered.

As far as what is happening, there doesn't appear to be any tender documents out, and I've not seen anything from the RAAF about it, only from the media.
 
bunumuring
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RE: Raaf VIP Fleet Renewal

Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:35 pm

G'day fellow A.netters!
My understanding is that there has been chatter about a larger VIP jet able to carry all the press and hangers-on since the Garuda 737 crash a few years ago. I have heard too about the communication issues and the safety issues surrounding the PM travelling commercially. As far as I am aware, and please correct me on this, no PM has travelled commercially on state visits etc since the BBJs were delivered.
As to KC135TopBoom's suggestion of QF/VA charters, it makes sense but it doesn't appear to happen.
I for one believe that an A330-200 VIP would be a good buy, able to assist in training KC-30 crews in it's 'downtime'. Maybe updating the BBJs with newer BBJ2s or BBJ3s would also allow future P-8 crews to train on them, even though perhaps the range of the larger models might be less than that of the current BBJ1s. I am right that a BBJ1s range is greater than that of a BBJ2 or 3?
Keep smiling!
Bunumuring
I just wanna live while I'm alive!
 
Legs
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RE: Raaf VIP Fleet Renewal

Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:02 am

Quoting bunumuring (Reply 3):
has been chatter about a larger VIP

There has been inconsequential rumblings in the media about a new jet, but nothing remotely official. I assume (and hope, given how fast the cogs of procurement bureacracy turn) that someone is thinking about it, but thats it right now.

Quoting bunumuring (Reply 3):
training KC-30 crews in it's 'downtime'.

Don't forget that the current BBJ's are leased, to a set amount of hours if memory serves. Adding a training mission, be it P-8s or KC-30s or whatever, multiplies the cost, and extra dollars are pretty hard to come in the budget these days. Either the plane, or the pilots have to be transited to where they need to be.

The BBJ's are kept available for relatively short notice taskings, a job which gets much more difficult if theyre being used for training.

The KC-30 (and no doubt P-8 when its finalised) contracts follow with most recent ADF procurements; namely they are pretty well self contained in one big package. Spares, fuel, consumables, training, the whole shebang is rolled up and paid for out of one pot of money. With the simulators, the squadrons have more than adequate training hours available to keep the log books up to date.


If they were to replace them, two A330s makes the most sense. The pilot training pathway is already established and the airframe is easily supportable in Australia. It all comes down to cost and time; 12-18 months is a pretty short timeline to acquire the planes and get to FOC status.
 
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Devilfish
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RE: Raaf VIP Fleet Renewal

Thu Jan 16, 2014 7:28 pm

Quoting bunumuring (Thread starter):
[2]possibly leasing 'something bigger' to replace at least one BBJ to allow the press and hangers-on to travel with the PM/GG/whoever.
Quoting bunumuring (Reply 3):
even though perhaps the range of the larger models might be less than that of the current BBJ1s.

Something like this would be nice.....

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Bernie Leighton


Has the range PM, etc. would likely need...and big enough to carry a "reasonable" coterie of "hangers-on"...   ...
"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
 
bunumuring
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RE: Raaf VIP Fleet Renewal

Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:55 am

Hi Devilfish,
I agree that an RAAF Dreamliner would be awesome but I think the Australian public wouldn't like the price tag... The idea of two A330s would be more acceptable I think, considering that the RAAF already has them.
Keep smiling!
Bunumuring.
I just wanna live while I'm alive!
 
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Devilfish
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RE: Raaf VIP Fleet Renewal

Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:12 am

Quoting bunumuring (Reply 6):
I agree that an RAAF Dreamliner would be awesome but I think the Australian public wouldn't like the price tag.

Hi mate...what's not to like? Airbus' 2014 list has the A332 @ $221.7M, A333 @ $245.6M, A358 @ $260.9M and A359 @ $295.2M .....

http://www.airbus.com/newsevents/new...bus-aircraft-list-prices-for-2014/

Boeing meanwhile recently signed an order with TUI Travel for two B788s at $424M or $212M each.....

http://boeing.mediaroom.com/2013-11-...-PLC-Complete-Order-for-Two-787-8s

Allowing for size, generation, contractual differences and the date the order was placed...I'd say the B788 is definitely in the ring...if not punching above its weight...  .

And with the Wedgetails and Poseidons possibly coming along...that's a bunch of Boeings pilots, maintainers and technicians could cross-train on...and perhaps reduce inventory costs for the RAAF. 

[Edited 2014-01-16 18:27:32]
"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
 
columba
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RE: Raaf VIP Fleet Renewal

Fri Jan 17, 2014 6:21 am

Maybe to save cost they could acquire a second hand A330 and retrofit it similiar to the deal the German Luftwaffe did with 2nd A340s from Lufthansa.

2nd A340s should also be an option. They share commonality with the A330MRTT are cheap to acquire and have lots of range. I believe there are even some A340-500 available that nobody really wants.
It will forever be a McDonnell Douglas MD 80 , Boeing MD 80 sounds so wrong
 
Ozair
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RE: Raaf VIP Fleet Renewal

Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:42 am

Quoting bunumuring (Thread starter):
possibly leasing 'something bigger' to replace at least one BBJ to allow the press and hangers-on to travel with the PM/GG/whoever.

This is the part I don't like. Why should the Australian government cater for a bunch of journalists, most of whom are getting paid more than the politicians the BBJ is being used for. The BBJ never goes anywhere that a separate chartered 737 sized aircraft couldn't. If they want the news story, make them pay to get there.

Quoting legs (Reply 2):

Allegedly, the argument against this idea is that the BBJ's lack a proper communications suite, rendering the PM incommunicado while he is travelling. It should be an easy fix to retrofit a satellite transceiver, but thats another issue that needs to be considered.

Its a pretty weak excuse. The Australian PM doesn't need to launch the nuclear missiles while he is airborne. Just give him a sat-phone and a couple of codewords that tell him he needs to land soon and get to a secure phone.
 
Legs
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RE: Raaf VIP Fleet Renewal

Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:58 am

Quoting Ozair (Reply 9):
cater for a bunch of journalists,

Agreed, but such is the nature of the political beast that not having journos to report on your good deeds is simply not considered.

Quoting Ozair (Reply 9):
Its a pretty weak excuse

Totally agreed, as well, but I suspect that issue ties back to the journalists as well. We cant have them out of the loop while they're in the air either.

There is also this story that popped up a while ago: http://www.news.com.au/national/prim...-jets/story-fncynjr2-1226793311718
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Raaf VIP Fleet Renewal

Sat Jan 18, 2014 9:26 pm

Quoting bunumuring (Reply 6):
I agree that an RAAF Dreamliner would be awesome but I think the Australian public wouldn't like the price tag... The idea of two A330s would be more acceptable I think, considering that the RAAF already has them.

Of course the RAAF could also order a few B-767-2Cs and get them relatively quickly. All it would need is certification for pax and possibly a different engine choice then the PW-4062s, then install the VIP and COMM kits needed. They could also consider the B-767-300ER, it is already certified with P&W, GE, and RR engines In 2013, Boeing listed the B-767-300ER at $185M USD.
 
bennett123
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RE: Raaf VIP Fleet Renewal

Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:40 pm

If they already have A330's, why buy the B767?.
 
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Stitch
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RE: Raaf VIP Fleet Renewal

Wed Jan 22, 2014 3:31 am

Heck, just take one of QF's 767-300ERs when they retire them.
 
columba
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RE: Raaf VIP Fleet Renewal

Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:55 am

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 12):
If they already have A330's, why buy the B767?.

I think the RAAF should get the 767-400ER it is the best aircraft around  
It will forever be a McDonnell Douglas MD 80 , Boeing MD 80 sounds so wrong
 
Ozair
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RE: Raaf VIP Fleet Renewal

Wed Jan 22, 2014 9:28 am

Quoting Stitch (Reply 13):
Heck, just take one of QF's 767-300ERs when they retire them.

I wouldn't subject even Australian politicians to those, unless of course you figure we can do without a few. There is no life left in those 767s.
 
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seahawk
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RE: Raaf VIP Fleet Renewal

Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:24 am

A343 or A345 are obvious solution. Cheap to get second hand, 4 engines, plenty of range.
 
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Stitch
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RE: Raaf VIP Fleet Renewal

Wed Jan 22, 2014 3:21 pm

Quoting Ozair (Reply 15):
I wouldn't subject even Australian politicians to those, unless of course you figure we can do without a few. There is no life left in those 767s.

How much life do they need if they're used for VIP missions?

And since they'd have to gut the planes to reconfigure them with a VIP interior and the necessary support systems (comms, etc.), unless they are at their design cycle/hour limits, they should be able to be mechanically refurbished.
 
bennett123
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RE: Raaf VIP Fleet Renewal

Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:02 am

My understanding is that the A330-200 and B767-400ER have similar range and capacity.

However, the A330-200 is available used, and the B767-400ER is only available new, apart from Continental and Delta.

Furthermore with the A330-200, you have a cheap KC30 trainer, plus training and spares commonality.

I see no obvious advantage in buying a different type for the VIP role.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Raaf VIP Fleet Renewal

Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:39 pm

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 18):
I see no obvious advantage in buying a different type for the VIP role.

Price.

Then again QF is retiring their B-747-400s and there are plenty of them available from other airlines or parked in the deserts of Arizona and California.
 
bunumuring
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RE: Raaf VIP Fleet Renewal

Sat Jan 25, 2014 9:24 am

G'day fellow A.netters,
Thanks for your replies to my OP. Much appreciated!
With Australia taking on the presidency of the G20 this week, I wonder if this will stimulate renewed debate with the cabinet/RAAF about VIP jets. I presume that with the November G20 summit in Brisbane plus other demands of the presidency, the BBJs may get more action in 2014 than normal. Just a thought. maybe the G20 presidency won't make any difference at all to the usage of the VIP fleet...
Keep smiling,
And happy Australia Day,
Bunumuring
I just wanna live while I'm alive!

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