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March 14, 2013
GROUND-BASED air combat officers
are now 'controlling the fight' after the
Vigilare Command and Control System
achieved Final Operational Capability
for Air Force.
Defence Minister Stephen Smith
and Defence Materiel Minister Mike
Kelly made the joint announcement on
Mr Smith said the Vigilare system
would significantly enhance the effec-
tiveness of Australia's existing air sur-
veillance and battle management capa-
bilities, and "help Australia maintain an
advanced technical capability".
Vigilare has already changed the
way Surveillance and Response Group
operates with air battle management.
It allows the exchange of information
from the Jindalee Operational Radar
Network, E-7A Wedgetail aircraft, civil
and military microwave radars, fighter
and maritime patrol aircraft, Navy air
warfare-capable ships and various intel-
It is designed to produce a com-
prehensive picture of air activity over
Australia and throughout the near
region. Operators are then able to pass
surveillance information and instruc-
tions to aircraft operating across
OC 41WG GPCAPT Pizzuto said
Vigilare allowed the wing to remotely
access a range of fixed and deployed
Vigilare gets green light
communications and data link assets
dispersed around Australia.
"The system delivers unprecedented
flexibility and reach," he said. "It draws
in incredible amounts of data and infor-
mation -- from more than 240 sources
-- which is then correlated to produce
a comprehensive picture of the skies
above and around Australia. Vigilare is
very much the eyes of the Air Force."
The achievement of final opera-
tional capability marked the end of a
long and challenging period for prime
contractor Boeing Defence Australia
as it moved to deliver the biggest ever
command, control and communication
system for the ADF.
Vigilare will support national sur-
veillance and air battle management
tasks throughout Australia. It is oper-
ated by 3 Control and Reporting Unit
from the two Region Operations
Centres -- the Northern Region
Operations Centre (NORTHROC) at
RAAF Base Tindal and the Eastern
Region Operations Centre (EASTROC)
at RAAF Base Williamtown.
Vigilare was added to the Project
of Concern list in 2008 due to sched-
ule delays but Boeing, the Defence
Materiel Organisation and Air Force
worked closely together to address
the issues and got the project back on
track. In June 2011 the Government
announced that Vigilare had been taken
off the list.
It was first put through its paces
during Exercise Pitch Black in
2010, with air combat officers in
NORTHROC controlling the fighters
via voice and Link-16.
The system was installed at
NORTHROC first, and operations were
then conducted from there for nine
months while the system was installed
During this transition, Williamtown-
based personnel deployed on
month-long rotations in support of
Operations transitioned back to
EASTROC in April 2011.
LINK TO VIGILARE: LACs Joao Silva, left, of SACTU, and Valdi Chain, of 3CRU, provide critical liaison for
the Tactical Data Link operation between Navy and Air Force at RAAF Base Williamtown. Photo: LAC Mark Friend
System achieves Final Operational Capability
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