Rohde & Schwarz Australia rolls out first upgraded transportable air operations tower for RAAF

Leading Aircraftwoman Rebecca Hay and Corporal Thomas Geraghty raise the transportable air operations tower, at RAAF Base Scherger in Queensland, to commence operations on Exercise Talisman Sabre 2021.

Rohde & Schwarz Australia has completed upgrade work on the first of multiple Transportable Air Operations Towers (TAOTs) used by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), the company announced on 9 November.

The first TOAT unit, which was originally delivered to the service in 2012, has rolled out of Rohde & Schwarz Australia’s Systems Integration Facility following extensive enhancements.

The company noted that these include modern capabilities such as internet protocol (IP)-based voice communications and recording, airfield monitoring and control, network and time synchronization systems. Other enhancements include an upgrade to IP radios, security hardening, provisioning of new interfaces, and new uninterrupted power supplies, air conditioning, and smoke detectors.

The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) earlier awarded Rohde & Schwarz Australia a A$26 million contract with for three TAOTs in 2009.

“We delivered the TAOT’s impressive capability to Air Force as prime systems integrator so we’re very proud to be continuing our relationship, ensuring that capability remains at the cutting edge of air traffic control technology,” said Rohde & Schwarz Australia Managing Director Gareth Evans.

“The TAOTs will continue to be modernised as part of a spiral upgrade programme to assure the capability and extend their service life to 2030 and beyond,” added Evans.

According to the company, a TAOT unit was recently deployed to RAAF Base Scherger in northern Queensland during the biennial ‘Talisman Sabre’ 2021 multinational exercise.

A TOAT unit had also supported civilian and military aircraft conducting remote firefighting and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) efforts during Operation ‘Bushfire Assist’ from late 2019 to early 2020.

by Jr Ng