Royal Australian Air Force
The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) is the air force branch of the Australian Defence Force. The RAAF was formed in March 1921. It continues the traditions of the Australian Flying Corps (AFC), which was formed on 22 October 1912. The RAAF has taken part in many of the 20th century's major conflicts including the Second World War, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. More recently the RAAF participated in the 2003 invasion of Iraq and is still involved with the War in Afghanistan (2001–present). The motto on the RAAF's coat of arms is the Latin phrase Per ardua ad astra, which means "Through Adversity to the Stars".
- 1 History
- 2 Ranks and uniform
- 3 Roundel
- 4 Royal Australian Air Force badge
- 5 Current strength
- 6 Roulettes
- 7 Future procurement
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 Further reading
- 11 External links
The RAAF traces its history back to the Imperial Conference held in London in 1911, where it was decided aviation should be developed within the armed forces of the British Empire. Australia implemented this decision, the only country to do so, by approving the establishment of the Central Flying School at Point Cook, Victoria on 22 October 1912. The RAAF was the second air force to be officially formed.
First World War
Soon after the outbreak of war in 1914, the Australian Flying Corps sent aircraft to assist in capturing German colonies in what is now north-east New Guinea. However, these colonies surrendered quickly, before the planes were even unpacked. The first operational flights did not occur until 27 May 1915, when the Mesopotamian Half Flight was called upon to assist the Indian Army in protecting British oil interests in what is now Iraq.
The corps later saw action in Egypt, Palestine and on the Western Front throughout the remainder of the First World War. By the end of the war, four squadrons – Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4 – had seen operational service, while another four training squadrons – Nos. 5, 6, 7 and 8 – had also been established. A total of 460 officers and 2,234 other ranks served in the AFC, whilst another 200 men served as aircrew in the British flying services. Casualties included 175 dead, 111 wounded, 6 gassed and 40 captured.
The Australian Flying Corps remained part of the Australian Army until 1919, when it was disbanded along with the First Australian Imperial Force (AIF). Although the Central Flying School continued to operate at Point Cook, military flying virtually ceased until 1920, when the Australian Air Corps was formed. The Australian Air Force was formed on 31 March 1921. King George V approved the prefix "Royal" in June 1921 and became effective on 31 August 1921. The RAAF then became the second Royal air arm to be formed in the British Commonwealth, following the British Royal Air Force. When formed the RAAF had more aircraft than personnel, with 21 officers and 128 other ranks and 153 aircraft.
Second World War
Europe and the Mediterranean
In September 1939 the RAAF's Air Board directly controlled the Air Force via RAAF Station Laverton, RAAF Station Richmond, RAAF Station Pearce, No. 1 Flying Training School RAAF at Point Cook, RAAF Station Rathmines and five smaller units.
In 1939, just after the outbreak of the Second World War, Australia joined the Empire Air Training Scheme, under which flight crews received basic training in Australia before travelling to Canada for advanced training. A total of 19 RAAF bomber, fighter, reconnaissance and other squadrons served initially in Britain, and/or with the Desert Air Force located in North Africa and the Mediterranean. About nine percent of the personnel who served under British RAF commands in Europe and the Mediterranean were RAAF personnel.
With British manufacturing targeted by the German Luftwaffe, in 1941 the Australian government created the Department of Aircraft Production (DAP; later known as the Government Aircraft Factory) to supply Commonwealth air forces, and the RAAF was eventually provided with large numbers of locally built versions of British designs such as the DAP Beaufort torpedo bomber, Beaufighters and Mosquitos, as well as other types such as Wirraways, Boomerangs, and Mustangs.
In the European theatre of the war, RAAF personnel were especially notable in RAF Bomber Command: although they represented just two percent of all Australian enlistments during the war, they accounted for almost twenty percent of those killed in action. This statistic is further illustrated by the fact that No. 460 Squadron RAAF, mostly flying Avro Lancasters, had an official establishment of about 200 aircrew and yet had 1,018 combat deaths. The squadron was therefore effectively wiped out five times over. Total RAAF casualties in Europe were 5,488 killed or missing.
The beginning of the Pacific War—and the rapid advance of Japanese forces—threatened the Australian mainland for the first time. The RAAF was quite unprepared for the emergency, and initially had negligible forces available for service in the Pacific. In 1941 and early 1942, many RAAF airmen, including Nos. 1, 8 21 and 453 Squadrons, saw action with the RAF Far East Command in the Malayan, Singapore and Dutch East Indies campaigns. Equipped with aircraft such as the Brewster Buffalo, and Lockheed Hudsons, the Australian squadrons suffered heavily against Japanese Zeros.
During the fighting for Rabaul in early 1942, No. 24 Squadron RAAF fought a brief, but ultimately futile defence as the Japanese advanced south towards Australia. The devastating air raids on Darwin on 19 February 1942 increased concerns about the direct threat facing Australia. In response, some RAAF squadrons were transferred from the northern hemisphere—although a substantial number remained there until the end of the war. Shortages of fighter and ground attack planes led to the acquisition of US-built P-40 Kittyhawks and the rapid design and manufacture of the first Australian fighter, the CAC Boomerang. RAAF Kittyhawks came to play a crucial role in the New Guinea and Solomon Islands campaigns, especially in operations like the Battle of Milne Bay. As a response to a possible Japanese chemical warfare threat the RAAF imported hundreds of thousands of chemical weapons into Australia.
In the Battle of the Bismarck Sea, imported Bristol Beaufighters proved to be highly effective ground attack and maritime strike aircraft. Beaufighters were later made locally by the DAP from 1944. Although it was much bigger than Japanese fighters, the Beaufighter had the speed to outrun them. The RAAF's heavy bomber force was predominantly made up of 287 B-24 Liberators, equipping seven squadrons, which could bomb Japanese targets as far away as Borneo and the Philippines from airfields in Australia and New Guinea. By late 1945, the RAAF had received or ordered about 500 P-51 Mustangs, for fighter/ground attack purposes. The Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation initially assembled US-made Mustangs, but later manufactured most of those used.
The RAAF's main operational formation, the First Tactical Air Force, comprised more than 18,000 personnel and 20 squadrons; it had taken part in the Philippines and Borneo campaigns and was scheduled to participate in the invasion of the Japanese mainland, Operation Downfall. So too were the RAAF bomber squadrons in Europe, as part of the proposed Tiger Force. However, the war was brought to a sudden end by the US nuclear attacks on Japan. As a result of the Empire Air Training Scheme, about 20,000 Australian personnel had served with other Commonwealth air forces in Europe during the Second World War. A total of 216,900 men and women served in the RAAF, of whom 10,562 were killed in action; a total of 76 squadrons were formed.
Service since 1945
During the Berlin Airlift, in 1948–1949, the RAAF Squadron Berlin Air Lift aided the international effort to fly in supplies to the stricken city; two RAF York aircraft were also crewed by RAAF crews. Although a small part of the operation, the RAAF contribution was significant, flying 2,062 sorties and carrying 7,030 tons of freight and 6,964 passengers.
In the Korean War, from 1950–53, Mustangs from No. 77 Squadron RAAF, stationed in Japan with the British Commonwealth Occupation Force, were among the first United Nations aircraft to be deployed, in ground support, combat air patrol, and escort missions. When the UN planes were confronted by MiG-15 jet fighters, 77 Sqn acquired Gloster Meteors, which enabled some success against the Soviet pilots flying for North Korea. However, the MiGs were superior aircraft and the Meteors were relegated to ground support missions, as the North Koreans gained experience. The air force also operated transport aircraft during the conflict. No. 77 Squadron flew 18,872 sorties, claiming the destruction of 3,700 buildings, 1,408 vehicles, 16 bridges, 98 railway carriages and an unknown number of enemy personnel. Three MiG-15s were confirmed destroyed, and two others probably destroyed. RAAF casualties included 41 killed and seven captured; 66 aircraft – 22 Mustangs and 44 Meteors – were lost.
In 1953, a Royal Air Force officer, Air Marshal Sir Donald Hardman, was brought out to Australia to become Chief of the Air Staff. He reorganised the RAAF into three commands: Home Command, Maintenance Command, and RAAF Training Command. Five years later the commands were reorganised as Operational Command and RAAF Support Command. Support Command was made responsible for initial training, supply, administration and distribution of all aircraft, stores, and equipment, for maintenance, repair, and other administration.
In the Malayan Emergency, from 1950–1960, six Lincolns from No. 1 Squadron RAAF and a flight of Dakotas from No. 38 Squadron RAAF took part in operations against the communist guerrillas (labelled as "Communist Terrorists" by the British authorities) as part of the RAF Far East Air Force. The Dakotas were used on cargo runs, in troop movement and in paratroop and leaflet drops within Malaya. The Lincolns, operating from bases in Singapore and from Kuala Lumpur, formed the backbone of the air war against the CTs, conducting bombing missions against their jungle bases. Although results were often difficult to assess, they allowed the government to harass CT forces, attack their base camps when identified and keep them on the move. Later, in 1958, Canberra bombers from No. 2 Squadron RAAF were deployed to Malaya and took part in bombing missions against the CTs.
During the Vietnam War, from 1964–72, the RAAF contributed squadrons of Caribou STOL transport aircraft (RAAF Transport Flight Vietnam, later No. 35 Squadron RAAF), UH-1 Iroquois helicopters (No. 9 Squadron RAAF) and English Electric Canberra bombers (No. 2 Squadron RAAF). The Canberras flew 11,963 bombing sorties, and two aircraft were lost. One went missing during a bombing raid. The wreckage of the aircraft was recovered in April 2009, and the remains of Flying Officer Michael Herbert and Pilot Officer Robert Carver were found in late July 2009. The other was shot down by a surface to air missile, although both crew were rescued. They dropped 76,389 bombs and were credited with 786 enemy personnel confirmed killed and a further 3,390 estimated killed, 8,637 structures, 15,568 bunkers, 1,267 sampans and 74 bridges destroyed. RAAF transport aircraft also supported anti-communist ground forces. The UH-1 helicopters were used in many roles including medical evacuation and close air support. RAAF casualties in Vietnam included six killed in action, eight non-battle fatalities, 30 wounded in action and 30 injured.
Military airlifts were conducted for a number of purposes in the intervening decades, such as the peacekeeping operations in East Timor from 1999. Australia's combat aircraft were not used again in combat until the Iraq War in 2003, when 14 F/A-18s from No. 75 Squadron RAAF operated in the escort and ground attack roles, flying a total of 350 sorties and dropping 122 laser-guided bombs. Since August 2007, a detachment of No. 114 Mobile Control and Reporting Unit RAAF has been on active service at Kandahar Airfield in southern Afghanistan. Approximately 75 personnel deployed with the AN/TPS-77 radar assigned the responsibility to co-ordinate coalition air operations.
Ranks and uniform
The rank structure of the nascent RAAF was proposed in the context of pay scales prepared by then Acting Lieutenant Colonel Richard Williams, Director of Air Services in the Australian Army. It was based on RAF rates for officers and industrial awards for other ranks. The highest rank was Air Vice Marshal to be consistent with the Australian Army and Navy. The RAF ranks had been named in a way that showed equivalence with Royal Navy ranks, so that eventually the structure came to be: Aircraftsman, Leading Aircraftsman, Corporal, Sergeant, Flight Sergeant, Warrant Officer, Pilot Officer, Flying Officer. Flight Lieutenant, Squadron Leader, Wing Commander, Group Captain, Air Commodore, Air Vice Marshal, Air Marshal, Air Chief Marshal, Marshal of the RAAF.
In 1922, the colour of the RAAF winter uniform was determined by Williams on a visit to the Geelong Wool Mill. He asked for one dye dip fewer than the RAN blue (three indigo dips rather than four). There was a change to a lighter blue when an all seasons uniform was introduced in the 1970s. The original colour and style were re-adopted around 2005. Slip-on rank epaulettes, known as "Soft Rank Insignia" (SRI), displaying the word "AUSTRALIA" are worn on the shoulders of the service dress uniform. When not in the service dress or "ceremonial" uniform, RAAF personnel wear the Auscam DPCU, which has replaced the old working dress.
Originally, the air force used the existing red, white and blue roundel of the Royal Air Force. However, during the Second World War the inner red circle, which was visually similar to the Japanese Hinomaru, was removed after a No. 11 Squadron Catalina was mistaken for a Japanese aircraft by a US Navy Wildcat in the Pacific Theatre.
After the war, a range of options for the RAAF roundel were proposed, including the Southern Cross, a boomerang, a sprig of wattle, and the red kangaroo. On 2 July 1956, the current version of the roundel was formally adopted. This consists of a white inner circle with a red kangaroo surrounded by a royal blue circle. The kangaroo faces left, except when used on aircraft or vehicles, when the kangaroo should always face in the direction of travel. Low visibility versions of the roundel exist, with the white omitted and the red and blue replaced with light or dark grey. Australian Army helicopters sometimes use just the Kangaroo, either in black or in one of the camouflage colours.
Royal Australian Air Force badge
The RAAF badge was accepted by the Chester Herald in 1939. The badge is composed of the imperial crown mounted on a circle featuring the words Royal Australian Air Force, beneath which scroll work displays the Latin motto (shared with the Royal Air Force) Per Ardua Ad Astra. Surmounting the badge is a wedge-tailed eagle. Per Ardua Ad Astra is attributed with the meaning “Through Adversity to the Stars” and is from Sir Henry Rider Haggard's novel The People of the Mist.
As of June 2011, the RAAF has 14,573 permanent full-time personnel and 2,800 part-time active reserve personnel.
As of December 2012, the following aircraft are operated by the RAAF:
Country of Origin
|McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet||Fighter/Attack||F/A-18A
|71||Government Aircraft Factories. The F/A-18 fleet has been the subject of various upgrades since it entered service in the 1980s and remains capable, but fatigue issues mean that it may not remain a viable front-line air defence option until the planned retirement date of December 2020, although this is being mitigated through a centre barrel replacement program. They will be replaced by up to 100 F-35 Lightning II.Assembled in Australia by the|
|Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet||Fighter/Attack||F/A-18F
|24||24 two-seat F/A-18Fs were acquired as an interim measure until the introduction of the F-35As; avoiding a strike capability gap with the retirement of the F-111s in 2010 and to cover for any fatigue issues related to the legacy F/A-18 fleet. US Navy production slots were used with the first batch of five Super Hornets arriving at RAAF Base Amberley on 26 March 2010; a second batch of six arriving on 6 July 2010; and a third batch of four arriving on 7 December 2010. These include the first three modified to allow later conversion to EA-18G Growler, designated F/A-18F+, 12 of the 24 Super Hornets would be modified this way. The final batch of four to complete the order arrived on 21 October 2011. In August 2012, the RAAF announced that it would spend $1.5 billion outfitting 12 Super Hornets with "Growler" electronic warfare equipment. Australia was the first nation approved by the US to use the Growler technology. In May 2013, Australia announced it would keep all 24 F/A-18F Super Hornets and order 12 new-built EA-18G Growlers.|
|BAE Systems Hawk||Lead-in fighter trainer||Hawk 127||33||Fighter jet conversion trainer. Assembled in Australia at Williamtown, NSW|
|Pilatus PC-9||Advanced trainer||PC-9||65||Produced under licence in Australia by de Havilland Australia.|
|Beechcraft Super King Air||Navigational trainer||B350||8|
|Airborne early warning and control|
|Boeing 737 AEW&C||Airborne early warning and control (AEW&C)||E-7A Wedgetail||6||All aircraft delivered by July 2011.|
|Airbus A330 MRTT||Aerial refuelling||KC-30A||5||As of March 2013, all KC-30A are operational.|
|AP-3C Orion||Maritime patrol/Strike||AP-3C
|19||All aircraft to be withdrawn by 2019. Will probably be replaced by 8 Boeing P-8 Poseidon and 7 large UAVs.|
|IAI Heron||Reconnaissance Surveillance||Heron 1||3||Long term lease agreement with Canada. Two aircraft are operating in Afghanistan, while a third example has now been acquired for training in Australia.|
|Boeing C-17 Globemaster III||Strategic transport||C-17A||6||Four initially ordered in 2006, and a further two aircraft ordered in 2011. Deliveries completed in November 2012.|
|Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules||Tactical Transport||C-130J-30||12||First entered service in 1999|
|Boeing Business Jet||VIP transport||737–700 BBJ||2||Long term lease, transport for government leaders and senior executives travelling on official business|
|Bombardier Challenger 600||VIP transport||CL 604||3|
|Beechcraft Super King Air||Light transport||B350||8||Interim replacement for Caribou transports, 3 of which were transferred from Army Aviation.|
Current Flying Squadrons
|List of flying squadrons|
|No. 1 Squadron – Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet (Multi-Role Fighter)|
|No. 2 Squadron – Boeing E-7A Wedgetail (AEW&C)|
|No. 3 Squadron – McDonnell Douglas F/A-18A Hornet (Multi-Role Fighter)|
|No. 4 Squadron – Pilatus PC9/A (JTAC Training)|
|No. 5 Flight – Israel Aerospace Industries Heron (Unmanned Surveillance)|
|No. 6 Squadron – Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet (F/A-18F Conversion)|
|No. 10 Squadron – Lockheed AP-3C Orion (Maritime Patrol)|
|No. 11 Squadron – Lockheed AP-3C Orion (Maritime Patrol)|
|No. 32 Squadron – Beechcraft King Air 350 (School of Air Warfare Support)|
|No. 33 Squadron – Airbus KC-30A MRTT (Air Refueling/Transport)|
|No. 34 Squadron – Boeing 737 BBJ, Bombardier Challenger 604 (VIP Transport)|
|No. 35 Squadron – Alenia C-27J Spartan (Transport)|
|No. 36 Squadron – Boeing C-17A Globemaster III (Transport)|
|No. 37 Squadron – Lockheed C-130J-30 Super Hercules (Transport)|
|No. 38 Squadron – Beechcraft King Air 350 (Transport)|
|No. 75 Squadron – McDonnell Douglas F/A-18A Hornet (Multi-Role Fighter)|
|No. 76 Squadron – BAE Systems Hawk 127 (Lead-in Fighter Training/ADF Support)|
|No. 77 Squadron – McDonnell Douglas F/A-18A Hornet (Multi-Role Fighter)|
|No. 79 Squadron – BAE Systems Hawk 127 (Hawk Conversion/ADF Support)|
|No. 285 Squadron – Lockheed C-130H/C-130J-30 Hercules (C-130 Conversion)|
|No. 292 Squadron – Lockheed AP-3C Orion (AP-3C Conversion)|
|CFS – Pacific Aerospace CT4B, Pilatus PC9/A (Flying Instructor Training)|
|ADFBFTS – Pacific Aerospace CT4B (Basic Tri-Service Flying Training)|
|No. 2 FTS – Pilatus PC9/A (Advanced RAAF and RAN Flying Training)|
|No. 2 OCU – McDonnell Douglas F/A-18A/B Hornet (F/A-18A Conversion)|
|ARDU – Various Aircraft Types (Flight Testing)|
|List of non-flying squadrons|
|No. 1 AFDS – Airbase Defence (See Airfield Defence Guards)|
|No. 1 AOSS – Air Terminal Operations, Airfield Engineering|
|No. 1 EHS – Health Operations|
|No. 1 CCS – Combat Communications|
|No. 1 RSU – Wide Area Surveillance|
|No. 1 RTU – Airman Ab Initio Training|
|No. 2 AFDS – Airbase Defence (See Airfield Defence Guards)|
|No. 2 EHS – Health Operations|
|No. 3 EHS – Health Operations|
|No. 3 CRU – Air Defence Ground Environment|
|No. 4 EHS – Health Operations|
|No. 13 (City of Darwin) Squadron – RAAF Darwin Airbase Operations|
|No. 21 (City of Melbourne) Squadron – RAAF Williams Airbase Operations|
|No. 22 (City of Sydney) Squadron – RAAF Richmond Airbase Operations|
|No. 23 (City of Brisbane) Squadron – RAAF Amberley Airbase Operations|
|No. 24 (City of Adelaide) Squadron – RAAF Edinburgh Airbase Operations|
|No. 25 (City of Perth) Squadron – RAAF Pearce Airbase Operations|
|No. 26 (City of Newcastle) Squadron – RAAF Williamtown Airbase Operations|
|No. 27 (City of Townsville) Squadron – RAAF "Garbutt" Townsville Airbase Operations|
|No. 28 (City of Canberra) Squadron – Administrative Support Operations|
|No. 29 (City of Hobart) Squadron – Administrative Support Operations|
|No. 30 (City of Sale) Squadron – RAAF East Sale Airbase Operations|
|No. 31 (City of Wagga Wagga) Squadron – RAAF "Forrest Hill" Wagga Airbase Operations|
|No. 87 Squadron – Intelligence Operations|
|No. 114 MCRU – Air Defence Ground Environment|
|No. 278 Squadron – Operational Training|
|No. 321 ECSS – Expeditionary Airbase Operations|
|No. 322 ECSS – RAAF Tindal Airbase Operations|
|No. 323 ECSS – Expeditionary Airbase Operations|
|No. 324 CSS – Butterworth Airbase Operations|
|No. 325 ECSS|
|No. 381 ECSS – Expeditionary Airbase Operations|
|No. 382 ECSS – Expeditionary Airbase Operations|
|No. 452 Squadron – Aerospace Control Operations|
|No. 453 Squadron – Aerospace Control Operations|
|No. 460 Squadron – Intelligence Operations|
|No. 462 Squadron – Information Warfare Operations|
|ASCEA – Aircraft/Stores Compatibility Engineering Development|
|AMTDU – Air Movements Training and Development|
|ASES – Aircraft Systems Engineering Development|
|CSTS – Combat Survival Training|
|RAAF AIS – Aeronautical Information|
|RAAF BAND – RAAF Ceremonial Band|
|DEOTS – Exposive Ordnance Training|
|AVMED – Aviation Medicine Research and Development|
|JEWOSU – Electronic Warfare Operations and Development|
|OTS – Officer Ab Initio Training|
|RAAF MUSEUM – Royal Australian Air Force Museum|
|RAAF SFS – Security and Fire Training|
|SAW – Air Combat Officer and Observer Training|
|RAAFSALT – Administrative and Logistics Training|
|RAAFSATC – Air Traffic Control Training|
|RAAFSPS – Officer and Airman Post Graduate Professional Training|
|RAAFSTT – Air Technical Training|
|SACTU – Air Defence Training|
|Woomera Test Facility – Augmented Testing Range|
|List of current wings|
|No. 41 Wing (Surveillance & Air Battle Management)|
|No. 42 Wing (AEW&C)|
|No. 44 Wing (ATC)|
|No. 78 Wing (Lead-in Fighter Training)|
|No. 81 Wing (Multi-Role Fighter)|
|No. 82 Wing (Multi-Role Fighter)|
|No. 84 Wing (AAR & VIP transport)|
|No. 86 Wing (Airlift)|
|No. 92 Wing (Maritime Patrol)|
|No. 395 ECSW – Expeditionary Combat Support|
|No. 396 ECSW – Fixed Base Combat Support|
|Air Mobility Control Centre – central combat airlift tasking control centre|
|ATW – Flying Training|
|ASDTWG – Aerospace Systems Development|
|CSCC – Combat Support Coordination|
|GTW – Ground Training|
|HSW – Health Operations|
|IWWG – Information Warfare and Intelligence|
|RAAFCOL – Ab initio, career development, promotion and leadership training|
Current Force Element Groups
|List of current force element groups|
|ACG – Air Combat Capability|
|ALG – Air Lift Capability|
|AOSG – Information Warfare, Intelligence and Capability Development|
|CSG – Combat Support and Airbase Operations Capability|
|SRG – Surveillance and Reconnaissance Capability|
|AFTG – Air Force Training Capability and Development|
|List of current headquarters|
|AFHQ – Air Force Executive|
|HQAC – Air Force Combat Forces|
The Roulettes are the RAAF's formation aerobatic display team. They perform about 150 times a year around Australia and South-east Asia, and are part of the RAAF Central Flying School (CFS) at RAAF Base East Sale, Victoria. The Roulettes use the Pilatus PC-9 because it is an easy aircraft to fly and has excellent manoeuvrability and air power. A few small problems persist however, including a strong response to turbulence. At the moment, there are no plans to replace the PC-9 for the display team. Formations for shows are done in a group of six. The pilots learn many formations. Some of these include: loops, rolls, corkscrews, and ripple roles. Furthermore, most of the performances are done at the low altitude of 500 feet (150 metres).
This list includes aircraft on order or a requirement which has been identified:
- Up to 100 Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II (CTOL variant)—are scheduled to be delivered from 2014. In a first stage not fewer than 72 aircraft will be acquired to equip three operational squadrons. The remaining aircraft will be acquired in conjunction with the withdrawal of the F/A-18F Super Hornets after 2020 to ensure no gap in Australia's overall air combat capability occurs. On 25 November 2009, Australia committed to placing a first order for 14 aircraft at a cost of A$3.2 billion with deliveries to begin in 2014. In May 2012, the decision to purchase 12 F-35s from the initial 14 order was deferred until 2014 as part of wider ADF procurement deferments in order to balance the Federal Government budget.
- Twelve EA-18G Growlers. In May 2013, the Australian Government announced plans to supplement it's 24 F/A-18F Super Hornets with an additional 12 EA-18G Growlers.
- Eight maritime patrol aircraft to replace Lockheed AP-3C Orions. Australia is participating in the development of the Boeing P-8 Poseidon to fill this role, but has not committed to purchase the aircraft.
- Seven High-Altitude, Long-Endurance (HALE) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to expand the surveillance of Australia's maritime approaches.
- Ten C-27J medium transports to be delivered in 2015.
- Replacement aircraft for PC-9 training aircraft under Project AIR 5428, with a decision due between 2012–2015. Contenders include the Pilatus PC-21.
- Australian Air Traffic Control
- Airfield Defence Guards
- Australian Air Force Cadets
- Australian Defence Force ranks and insignia
- B-24 Liberators in Australian service
- Royal Australian Air Force VIP aircraft
- List of aircraft of the RAAF
- List of Royal Australian Air Force aircraft squadrons
- List of Royal Australian Air Force independent aircraft flights
- List of Royal Australian Air Force installations
- List of air forces
Memorials and Museums:
- Royal Australian Air Force Memorial, Canberra
- Royal Australian Air Force Memorial, Brisbane
- RAAF Museum
- List of Australian military memorials
- "The Inter-war years 1921 to 1939". Royal Australian Air Force. Retrieved 25 February 2010.[dead link]
- "Australian Military Aviation and World War One". Royal Australian Air Force. Retrieved 32 April 2010. [dead link]
- "Air Force Technology". Defence Force Recruiting. Retrieved 25 February 2010.
- "Royal Australian Air Force Badge". Australian Department of Defence. Retrieved 25 February 2010.[dead link]
- "Australian Military Aviation and World War One". Royal Australian Air Force. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
- "RAAF Museum Point Cook". Royal Australian Air Force. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
- Dennis, Peter; et al. (1995). The Oxford Companion to Australian Military History (1st ed.). Melbourne, Victoria: Oxford University Press Australia & New Zealand. pp. 67–69. ISBN 0-19-553227-9.
- Grey, Jeffrey (1999) A Military History of Australia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pages. 114–115.
- Beaumont, Joan (2001) Australian Defence: Sources and Statistics. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press. Page 214.
- "RAAF – The Inter-war years 1921 to 1939". Royal Australian Air Force. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
- Dr. Leo Niehorster. "Royal Australian Air Force, 03.09.1939". Orbat.com. Retrieved 2013-04-28.
- "Explore: 'The Angry Sky'". Department of Veterans' Affairs. Retrieved 24 July 2009.
- Dennis et al 2008, p. 277.
- Barnes 2000, p. 3.
- Stephens 2006, p. 96.
- Armstrong, p. 44.
- Armstrong, p. 45.
- "Chemical Warfare in Australia". Geoff Plunkett. Retrieved 24 July 2009.
- Dennis et al 2008, p. 81.
- Taylor and Taylor 1978, p. 48.
- "Consolidated B24 Liberator". Australian War Memorial. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
- "North American P51 Mustang". Australian War Memorial. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
- Eather 1995, p. 18.
- Eather, Steve (1996) Odd Jobs: RAAF Operations in Japan, the Berlin Airlift, Korea, Malaya and Malta 1946–1960. Point Cook: RAAF Museum, Page 38.
- Eather, Steve (1996) Odd Jobs: RAAF Operations in Japan, the Berlin Airlift, Korea, Malaya and Malta 1946–1960. Point Cook: RAAF Museum, Page 162.
- T.B. Millar, 'Australia's Defence,' Melbourne University Press, Second Edition, 1969, SBN 522 83917 5, 114–5.
- Eather, Steve (1996) Odd Jobs: RAAF Operations in Japan, the Berlin Airlift, Korea, Malaya and Malta 1946–1960. Point Cook: RAAF Museum, Pages 40 – 77.
- Coulthard-Clark, Chris (1995) The RAAF in Vietnam: Australian Air Involvement in the Vietnam War 1962–1975, The Official History of Australia's Involvement in the Vietnam War. St Leonards: Allen & Unwin, Page 215.
- Coulthard-Clark, Chris (1995) The RAAF in Vietnam: Australian Air Involvement in the Vietnam War 1962–1975, The Official History of Australia's Involvement in the Vietnam War. St Leonards: Allen & Unwin, Page 351.
- "Aussies to take Afghan plane control". The Sydney Morning Herald. 19 July 2007. Retrieved 25 February 2010.
- Williams, Air Marshal Sir Richard, These are the Facts, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1977.
- "Air Force Roundel". Australian Department of Defence. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
- Department of Defence (2011). Portfolio Budget Statements 2011–12: Defence Portfolio. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia. p. 39. ISBN 978-0-642-29739-6.
- "RAAF Hornet Centre Barrel program completed". Australian Aviation. 30 June 2010. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
- "First RAAF F/A-18F+ Flies". Retrieved 24 September 2010.
- Nicholson, Brendan, "$1.5Bn Growler Purchase Beefs Up Air Force's Strike Abilities", The Australian, 24 August 2012, p. 2
- "Smith Seeks Billion for More AWD and Super Hornets". April 29, 2013.
- Australia plans to buy 12 EA-18G Growlers – Washingtonexaminer.com, May 3, 2013
- Flight International, 5 March 2013, p.14
- "P-8A Project". Defence Materiel Organisation. October 2012. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
- "AIR 7000 Phase 1B/2B". Defence Materiel Organisation. June 2011. Retrieved 27 June 2011.
- "Air Force To Begin Operating Its First Unmanned Aerial System". Australian Department of Defence. 7 September 2009. Retrieved 25 February 2010.[dead link]
- McLaughlin, Andrew (April 2010). "Nankeen. The RAAF enters the UAV era with Heron lease". Australian Aviation (Fyshwick: Phantom Media) (270): p. 31. ISSN 0813-0876.
- "Upgrade for RAAF C-130Js approved, but no sign of extra Js". Australian Aviation. 25 February 2010. Retrieved 25 February 2010.
- Hercules Transport : Royal Australian Air Force
- "RAAF Museum: RAAF Aircraft Series 3 A36 Boeing BBJ". RAAF Museum. Retrieved 25 February 2010.[dead link]
- Walters, Patrick."Kevin Rudd signs off on purchase of 14 F-35 joint strike fighters." The Australian, 25 November 2009. Retrieved: 16 December 2009.
- "More Defence news: 23 November 2009 – 29 November 2009". Australian Defence Force Media. 27 Nov 2009. Retrieved 2012-11-23.
- Nicholson, Brendan (4 May 2012). "$4bn stripped from Defence". The Australia. Retrieved 8 May 2012. "The opposition ridiculed Julia Gillard's move to find savings through deferrals of spending, including a two-year postponement of the purchase of new Joint Strike Fighters, as a fresh attempt to "cook the books" and a "death gurgle from a dying government" that was feigning economic responsibility while retaining an addiction to spending. The Prime Minister and Defence Minister Stephen Smith confirmed they would delay the purchase of 12 multi-role Joint Strike Fighters for the RAAF by two years, which would save $1.6bn in the short term."
- "New plane to ease Defence cuts pain". Sydney Morning Herald. 11 May 2012. Retrieved 11 May 2012.
- Pittaway 2010, p. 20.
- Armstrong, John. "History of the RAAF: 20 Years of Warfighting 1939–1959, Part 2". Air Power International. Vol. 4 (No. 6): 42–48.
- Barnes, Norman (2000). The RAAF and the Flying Squadrons. St Leonards, New South Wales: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-130-2.
- Dennis, Peter; Grey, Jeffrey; Morris, Ewan; Prior, Robin; and Jean Bou (2008). The Oxford Companion to Australian Military History (Second ed.). Melbourne, Victoria: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-551784-2.
- Eather, Steve (1995). Flying Squadrons of the Australian Defence Force. Weston Creek, Australian Capital Territory: Aerospace Publications. ISBN 1-875671-15-3.
- Pittaway, Nigel (March 2010). "ADF pilot training under contract". Defence Today (Amberley: Strike Publications) 8 (2): 20–21. ISSN 1447-0446.
- Stephens, Alan (2006) . The Royal Australian Air Force: A History. London: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-555541-4.
- Taylor, Michael John Haddrick; Taylor, John William Ransom (1978). Encyclopedia of Aircraft. New York: Putnam. ISBN 0399122176.
- Ashworth, Norman (1999). How Not To Run An Air Force! The Higher Command of the Royal Australian Air Force During the Second World War. Australia: Royal Australian Air Force Air Power Development Centre. ISBN 0-642-26550-X.
- McPhedran, Ian (2011). Air Force: Inside the New era of Australian Air Power. Australia: Harper Collins Publishers. ISBN 978-0-7322-9025-2.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Royal Australian Air Force.|
- RAAF official site
- RAAF Air Power Doctrine[dead link]
- ADF Aircraft Serial Number
- RAAF YouTube channel
|Commissioned officer ranks of the Australian Defence Force|
|Australia-United States Rank Code||Officer Cadet||O-1||O-2||O-3||O-4||O-5||O-6||O-7
|Royal Australian Navy||MIDN||ASLT||SBLT||LEUT||LCDR||CMDR||CAPT||CDRE||RADM||VADM||ADML||AF|
|Royal Australian Air Force||OFFCDT||PLTOFF||FLGOFF||FLTLT||SQNLDR||WGCDR||GPCAPT||AIRCDRE||AVM||AIRSMHL||ACM||MRAAF|
|Other Ranks of the Australian Defence Force|
|Australia-United States Rank Code||E-1||E-2||E-3||E-4||E-5||E-6||E-7||E-8||E-9||Special|
|Royal Australian Navy||RCT||SMN||AB||-||LS||PO||-||CPO||WO||WO-N|
|Royal Australian Air Force||RCT||AC/ACW||LAC/LACW||-||CPL||SGT||-||FSGT||WOFF||WOFF-AF|