Our assets and people shine at the Australian International Air Show
The airshow began on February 24 and was themed ‘Heroes of the Sky’ to commemorate the Centenary of Anzac.
It comprised two events – the Australian International Aerospace and Defence Exposition and three open days for the public to enjoy the best the ADF had to offer.
On the public days, crowds formed at the entry points more than two hours before the gates opened – a sign that the popularity of the airshow has not diminished.
Army had a high profile with some of its best assets on display on the ground and, more importantly, in the air.
Two Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopters (ARH) put on a dazzling flying display, along with an MRH-90.
An M1A1 Abrams, ALSAV, M113 AS4 APC, two M777 Howitzers, one Tiger and an MRH-90 were also on static display on the ground near the entrance.
Airshow director Air-Commodore (Air-Cdre) David Pietsch paid tribute to the ADF personnel who worked tirelessly before, during and after the event.
“They were magnificent,” he said.
“Their presentation, enthusiasm, professionalism and hard work were the reason the airshow was so good.”
Air-Cdre Pietsch said what was not understood was that the site was built every two years and it took a lot of work.
“It was similar to building up a bare base,” he said.
“The exposition days went really well, but for me the stand out moment was the way the ADF showcase came together.”
The showcase was an attack and extraction sequence, including an air-to-air combat scenario, assault scenario with Army parachutists jumping out of C-130s, a C-17A landing with a pair of Bushmasters and troops, Tiger ARHs in support, a ground engagement, air-to-air refuelling and an AP-3C sinking a mock submarine.
The airshow also saw many updates and announcements from the P-8A Poseidon and MQ-4C Triton UAS to Australia’s new OneSky initiative, which will bring civil and military air traffic control together under one air traffic management system for the first time to improve aviation efficiency and safety.
“Airshows like Avalon are critical for us,” Air-Cdre Pietsch said.
“We had the highlight of the Global Hawk flying in from Guam, the F-22, the full complement of RAAF aircraft, Royal Singapore Air Force F-16s, a French Air Force A400, as well as a Japanese KC-767.”
In another first for Avalon, re-enactors put on a brilliant ground battle display commemorating WWI and WWII battles, complete with tank attacks, mortars, artillery and parts of the ground being thrown high into the air from simulated artillery strikes.