The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has flown its first Boeing C-17A Globemaster III, featuring a new advanced satellite communication (SATCOM) and imagery display system.
The new features will provide better situational awareness to crew and passengers.
The high-speed SATCOM system is aimed to support the RAAF’s ‘Plan Jericho’, which is an initiative intended to transform the country’s force into an integrated, networked force that is capable of providing air power in all operating environments.
Plan Jericho director Captain Robert Chipman said that the C-17 system offers live en route updates and video from their destination, including enemy positions and disaster damaged areas.
Chipman said: "The systems may also support other kinds of operations such as aeromedical evacuations by giving medical staff on board the ability to video conference with specialists on the ground."
The new solutions will enable video teleconferencing, instant messaging, e-mail, transfer of large graphics files, voice and radio over internet protocol as well as common operating picture capability.
Boeing C-17 Globemaster III military airlift aircraft is a high-wing, four-engine, T-tailed military transport vehicle capable of carrying payloads up to 169,000lb.
Boeing C-17 project manager Michael Pokorny said: "A lot can change between the time a C-17 takes off and when it arrives at its destination.
"These upgrades allow the crew to send and receive mission-critical information as easily as if they were in an office."
Currently the RAAF has six C-17s, while the force has ordered additional two aircraft.
Image: A Royal Australian Air Force C-17. Photo: courtesy of Amir Ahadi.