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RAAF deploys transportable air traffic tower for Talisman Sabre

The Royal Australian Air Force No. 44 Wing Deployable Defence Air Traffic Management and Control System (DDATMCS) Operations Cabin and Transportable Air Operations Tower (TAOT) set up at RAAF Base Curtin, Western Australia, during Exercise Talisman Sabre 2023. Photo: LACW Annika Smit.

Australian Defence Force personnel have set up the Deployable Defence Air Traffic Management and Control System during Exercise Talisman Sabre.

Australian Defence Force personnel have set up the Deployable Defence Air Traffic Management and Control System during Exercise Talisman Sabre.

The transportable air operations tower was installed at RAAF Base Curtin by Royal Australian Air Force No. 44 Wing to support complex air operations.

The system uses an approach cell, communications links and support equipment to project air power from remote bases and austere airfields. The equipment can be set up and packed down in 72 hours.

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The Deployable Defence Air Traffic Management and Control System is built in Indra, while Rohde & Schwarz Australia built the Royal Australian Air Force Transportable Air Operations Tower.

Air Traffic Control Detachment Commander and RAAF No. 44 squadron leader Vanessa Stothart said No. 44 Wing assigned both an approach and tower service this year, bringing the Curtin’s air traffic control capability closer to what would be provided at an established airfield.

“The equipment for Exercise Talisman Sabre 2023 has included a new approach service, the Deployable Defence Air Traffic Management and Control System, which arrived as part of the first convoy to reach Curtin,” SQNLDR Stothart said.

“This system enables us to provide coverage out to around 100 nautical miles from the airfield, which means we have greater situational awareness of the air space surrounding Curtin.”

The transportable tower provides important, real-time experience for controllers and technicians as it is deployed into a remote environment like RAAF Base Curtin.

“It’s important that our controllers and technicians have the opportunity to exercise this process to ensure that we know our timelines to become operationally ready in a location and start providing air traffic control capability,” SQNLDR Stothart said.

“The team have benefited from the environment and practices here at RAAF Base Curtin which can be different from the way we operate from our home base locations.”

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