Talk:RAAF Woomera Range Complex

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Woomera has a long history (as stated Cold War to present) and certainly needs some of that to be added to the article. I'll be looking for appropriate stuff to add. -- (talk) 12:02, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Data from this news report HERE seems worthy of inclusion, though more official sources probably better.
International allies flock to Woomera testing range
KIM WHEATLEY November 17, 2009 12:01am from ‘The Advertiser’
"A FEDERAL Government commitment of up to $500 million to restore the Woomera test range to its position as a crucial defence asset is starting to reap rewards.", "Federal Government in May....indicated up to $500 million would be set aside....spend on new tracking systems and infrastructure ", "At the time,(Cold war) Woomera was second only to Cape Canaveral in the US in terms of the rate and number of rocket launches." -- (talk) 12:20, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

A lot of relevant information in the Woomera article especially here, Evolution of the Test Range and here Air and Space Research. Should this info. be moved to this article or just relevent sections? Maybe merge Woomera and "Woomera Test Range"?
* Adding "See also" links for now -- (talk) 12:57, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Personally I think that it might be best to have two subjects e.g. Woomera Rocket Range and Woomera Test Range. I suggest this because comparisons are being made on what took place at the Woomera Rocket Range and what "supposedly" has occured or "might" occur at the Woomera Test Range. [1][2]e.g. a wider range of activities at the Woomera Test Range than at the Woomera Rocket Range. The two are chalk and cheese with the former being an R & D establishment building and testing new technologies from the electronic valve to IC age and the latter a Test and Evaluation organisation which is in the main testing technologies that have been purchased "off the shelf". History runs the risk of being reinvented if information published on the current Woomera Test Range site is RAAF biased or otherwise inaccurate. I state this with the benefit of almost 30 years working on the Range. Charliebarsby (talk) 11:24, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

Blast from the past
Words(?) Penelope Debelle, The Advertiser, July 25, 2009 12:30am,22606,25829735-5018662,00.html
-- (talk) 14:47, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Information at Woomera, South Australia[edit]

The article Woomera, South Australia had large blocks of information relating to the test range. I've merged in some of it, but culled the rest because it was either unsourced, unreliably sourced, or of a level of nitty-gritty unsuitable for either article. The content was removed from the article in this edit; anyone willing/able to recover some of the other information can go to previous versions of the article. -- saberwyn 23:19, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

Woomera Test Range - Introduction[edit]

Regarding the statement "Woomera village has a standard population of 150 to 200 Australian Defence Force personnel," Comment:- The permanent population as opposed to transient population of the Woomera Village consists of Defence Contractors, a small number of Defence Civilians and Civilians not contracted to Defence. Due to recent management changes there may now also be a very small uniformed Defence presence.)[3] Charliebarsby (talk) 10:37, 20 May 2013 (UTC)


With regard to this paragraph on Rocketry I would like to make some corrections and provide a more appropriate account of "rocketry" at Woomera.

Black Knight was not a component of the Blue Streak rocket. The Blue Streak Rocket was the British first stage of the Europa 1 (ELDO) SLV launched from Launcher 6A at AREA 6. The inital purpose of the Black Knight was to test some of the Blue Streak components however the Blue Streak project was cancelled circa 1960 and the role of Black Knight changed to accommodate other projects. See Fire Across the Desert for the details. There were 25 Black Knight rockets launched with BK01 launched on 7 September 1958 and BK25 launched on 25 November 1965. These launches were conducted on Launchers 5A and 5B at Area 5. None of the Black Knight rockets were designed to launch satellites. The first Skylark rocket was launched on 13 February 1957 and the last satellite launch was Black Arrow R3 which launched the Prospero satellite in 1971. There were many rocket variants launched from the Woomera Rocket Range - Skylark, Aerobee, Aero High, Long Tom, Jabiru, HAT, HAD, Cockatoo, Kookaburra and Black Brant to name just a few. [4]These were all Upper Atmospheric Research rockets. None of these were military guided missile projects. [5]On 25 August 1987 the German research agency DFVLR launched a Skylark rocket to study the Supernova 1987A. [6]This was to be the last Skylark rocket to be launched from Woomera and it had to be launched from a launcher installed by the German team as the original Skylark launcher had been "felled" and cut up for scrap metal. In late 1987 early 1988 NASA launched 6 Black Brant rockets also to study the Supernova 1987A. In 1995 NASA launched a further six Black Brant rockets for astronomy research. Since 1995 there have been a small number of launches to study Scramjet technology however the last two launches of rockets carrying Scramjet experiments had to be launched in Norway because they could not be launched from Woomera. Since 1997 the Australian Space Research Institute (ASRI) has launched more than 100 ZUNI and Sighter rockets carring experimental payloades for Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Students. [7] Charliebarsby (talk) 23:01, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

Maralinga Atomic Tests. The Prohibited Area west of the Woomera Village in which the seven Atomic Tests were conducted (1956 and 1957) is a separate Proclaimed Area not included within the boundary of the Woomera Prohibited Area (WPA). The Emu Atomic Test Area west of Coober Pedy in which the two Totem Tests were conducted in 1953 is not referenced yet it was a proclaimed area contained within the boundary of the WPA. Both the Maralinga and Emu Proclaimed areas have been handed back to the Traditional Owners - the Maralinga Tjarutja People [8][9] Charliebarsby (talk) 23:01, 24 May 2013 (UTC)


  1. ^ The Woomera Test Range in 2020 - SETE 2011 Workshop 5 May 2011
  2. ^ Woomera Test Range - A Year in Review by Director WTR - Gibber Gabber Annual 2012 - A Woomera Board Publication
  3. ^ Personal experience
  4. ^ Encyclopedia Astronautica -
  5. ^ Fire Across the Desert ISBN 0 644 06068 6 Parameter error in {{isbn}}: Invalid ISBN. and Space Australia - The Story of Australia's Involvement in Space ISBN 1 86317 034 0
  6. ^ Encyclopedia Astronautica - DFVLR
  7. ^ Small Sounding Rocket Program - Launch Log
  8. ^ SA Maralinga Tjarutja Land Rights Act
  9. ^ 1:1,250,000 Scale South Australian Pastoral Map published by the South Australian Department of Natural Resources, Resource Information Group
I have removed several references from the introduction to the main article, as they do not appear to comply with Wikipedia policy regarding sources of information. Specifically, the references were from a fact sheet published by Headquarters of Woomera Test Range, not from secondary sources. This is not to imply that the information is wrong, simply that references should be from sources removed from the subject of the article. see WP:SPS.Summerdrought (talk) 00:39, 25 July 2013 (UTC)


I've removed some refs to the SA Tourism Commission website - the SATC annual reports are far too corporate and don't provide any specific information on visitation, even to the regional level. The ref to the SATC document on tourism figures for the Flinders Ranges and Outback Region covers a huge area, and doesn't give a sub-regional breakdown. I've left the figure of 65,000 visitors to Woomera for the moment, but we need a better reference to back it up. Cheers, Bahudhara (talk) 05:04, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

Concur with your edit.Summerdrought (talk) 21:32, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

I propose that RAAF Woomera Airfield be merged into RAAF Woomera Range Complex. According to the RAAF, effective January 2015, the RAAF Woomera Range Complex was established as the official name replacing the former name of RAAF Woomera Prohibited Area. There are two direct references:

  • From – RAAF Base Woomera provides the essential operational support to the Range, and includes the Woomera airfield, hangars, technical areas and village; and
  • From australian aviation – The Woomera range in South Australia will be known as the Woomera Range Complex from January next year, bringing together the Woomera Test Range and the newly established RAAF Base Woomera.

I think that the content in the RAAF Woomera Airfield article can easily be explained in the context of RAAF Woomera Range Complex, and the RAAF Woomera Range Complex article is of a reasonable size that the merging of RAAF Woomera Airfield will not cause any problems as far as article size or undue weight is concerned. Further, by merging the two articles there will be clarity in the operations at Woomera in one central location. Feedback is welcome. I guess the other questions is, should Woomera Test Range also be merged into the RAAF Woomera Range Complex article? Rangasyd (talk) 07:08, 20 August 2017 (UTC)

I feel like you've highlighted a really valid problem but that a total merge isn't an ideal solution. There seems to be a lot of confusing content overlap between Woomera Test Range and RAAF Woomera Range Complex, and I wonder if a lot of the former shouldn't instead be in the latter. RAAF Woomera Range Complex is also really quite brief and could do with a large expansion. However, the airfield has quite a bit of decent content that might be lost in a merge (e.g. the already merged section on Evetts Field) and the Test Range has a long and interesting history that wouldn't comfortably fit into an article on the current overall base. I think it needs a big reorganisation and then a later conversation about merging if there isn't enough left to sustain articles on the facilities within the complex rather than just trying to mash the current articles together. The Drover's Wife (talk) 11:04, 20 August 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, The Drover's Wife. The problem gets worse when one reviews Woomera, South Australia, that has a mix of content relevant to the settlement and a whole lot of stuff relevant to the defence facilities and test range. I don't think the brevity or length of content should be the issue over whether we choose Woomera Test Range or RAAF Woomera Range Complex (or some other title). As to the Events Field content, this would be incorporated as part of the merged article, in a section that deals with the airfield. The critical issue about coming to a decision is what title do we want to give the main article, and then structure the article(s) accordingly. This link is relevant to naming the article:
  • Defence News & Media Release, November 2014 – From January 2015, the entire Woomera capability will be termed the ‘Woomera Range Complex’, comprising both the Woomera Test Range and the newly established RAAF Base Woomera.
Perhaps the following editors may wish to provide input: ScottDavis, Danimations, Supcmd, Ian Rose, Anotherclown. Thanks. Rangasyd (talk) 14:14, 20 August 2017 (UTC)
I think the airfield is sufficiently different scale to the range complex to sustain its own article. So is the village/settlement/locality. I'm less certain about separate articles for the Range Complex and the Test Range. The Test Range and Airfield are both mentioned in RAAF Base Edinburgh too. --Scott Davis Talk 23:06, 20 August 2017 (UTC)
I feel like the way to go there would be to start moving all the overarching content out of Woomera Test Range and into RAAF Woomera Range Complex so that the Test Range article is actually just about the Test Range - I think you'd probably have enough to keep it separate (although maybe not) but in any case its scope needs to be reined way in because much of it has been written on the assumption it also covers the whole complex. The Drover's Wife (talk) 00:01, 21 August 2017 (UTC)
OK. I've started that; just on the Etymology section to help provide a bit of structure to the article. I'll copy/paste/edit until I cut the WTR article down. In the meantime, I've added a merge to tag to that article. I'll review the Airfield article once I complete the WRC/WTR merge. Rangasyd (talk) 14:28, 21 August 2017 (UTC)
And now finished it; with appropriate redirects from WTR to WRC. Any comments/feedback? The previous article at Woomera Test Range had a 'B classification'. I've removed that classification and reverted it to start. Scott Davis & The Drover's Wife, would you please review and provide input? Many thanks. Rangasyd (talk) 16:41, 21 August 2017 (UTC)
I think it looks pretty good: now that you've done it I'm totally on board with merging the test range. It could still do with a fair bit of reorganising:
a)I think the Woomera Prohibited Area stuff needs to be broken out into its own section (including the current advisory board section) and not mashed in with etymology
(b) I reckon the first paragraph of "etymology" could even go in the lede since it covers all the names the place has been known by and it isn't that huge (also, it shouldn't start by talking about the Pither dude)
(c) It should probably tie in a little better with the Woomera and airfield articles - maybe summary-style sections for one or both
(d)"Land management and administration" could do with a bit of a rework for clarity.
Still, good job! The Drover's Wife (talk) 07:51, 22 August 2017 (UTC)
Thanks. So, my answers are:
(a) I will get to this, although not a priority. I assume that you saw this section on the current Woomera Prohibited Area Advisory Board that covers the land area and the administration of same.
(b) Done. Thanks. Good feedback.
(c) Started. Did you notice this section on the RAAF Base Woomera? It needs more references. I've just revised RAAF Base Woomera, so that may help a little.
(d) Hmmm; what are you suggesting specifically?
Cheers. A break for now. Thanks for your feedback. Rangasyd (talk) 11:14, 22 August 2017 (UTC)

RAAF Base Woomera (as merged with the airfield article) does not match the RAAF website. I really don't think it should be merged in either context: the article is sprawling enough as it is, and the RAAF Base is a distinct enough topic to remain separate. The Drover's Wife (talk) 12:24, 22 August 2017 (UTC)

I am ok with either ... merger or separation, if we can maintain the content and the article is manageable ... thanks for consulting. :). Supcmd (talk) 21:16, 17 September 2017 (UTC)