In a first, an Army Tiger armed reconnaissance helicopter on Exercise Rogue Ambush provided laser target marking for GBU-12 laser-guided bombs dropped from Air Force Hawk lead-in fighters.
Eight bombs were dropped from No. 76 Squadron Hawks on to the Delamere Air Weapons Range in the Northern Territory, with support from 1st Aviation Regiment’s helicopters, with a 100 per cent success rate.
The GBU-12 can be deployed from the Hawk with guidance by any air asset such as an F-35A and F/A-18F Super Hornet using ‘buddy lase’ procedures, similar to those used by the Tiger during Rogue Ambush in June.
The program also assisted in validation of lasing for terminal guidance from ground-based joint terminal attack controllers (JTAC), either dismounted or using vehicle-based laser systems.
No.76 Squadron Rogue Ambush Detachment Commander Flight Lieutenant Colin Burrows said the program had significant joint force training benefits.
“With the evolving nature of joint capabilities within No. 78 Wing, this program was a significant stepping stone to further Hawk capability developments that support joint force training outcomes,” Flight Lieutenant Burrows said.
The No. 76 Squadron Hawks were deployed to RAAF Base Tindal for Exercise Rogue Ambush 21-1 to act as mission adversaries for pilots completing the F-35A Lightning II operational conversion course.
On the operational conversion course, pilots conducted full mission profiles from Darwin before graduating from No. 2 Operational Conversion Unit and being posted to operational squadrons.