5 March 2023
The Navy showcased technologically-advanced capabilities at the Australian International Airshow 2023 (AIA23), where Navy’s footprint included helicopters, camcopter, virtual reality simulations and much more.
The AIA23 – a biennial activity coordinated and run by the AMDA Foundation with the Royal Australian Air Force, other government agencies and non-government elements in support – is the premier showcase in the southern hemisphere for military aviation and the aerospace industry.
MH-60R pilot Lieutenant Commander Jordan Taylor said he was excited to showcase high quality, technologically-advanced capabilities to the public.
“We’re delighted to not only have a static display but to be flying throughout the show," he said.
"We’re out flying with a giant Australian national flag to open the show, conducting a solo handling display and participating in the larger ADF showcase.
"The MH-60R static display and EC-135 T2+ are in prime position alongside two United States Army Helicopters.”
Attendees were also treated to the Navy performing solo handling displays which demonstrated the manoeuvring capabilities of the MH-60R. It included a range of pitching and rolling manoeuvrers demonstrating how tightly the aircraft can turn and how quickly it can stop.
Members of the public were able to get firsthand accounts of what life is like in the Navy through a range of interactions with sailors at the RAN Exhibition.
Leading Seaman Maritime Logistics Supply Submariner Melissa Maconachie talked about the enthusiasm for the 360-degree virtual reality (VR) headsets.
“People are really interested in what life is like on a ship or a submarine. Not many people get to see a working submarine up close and 360 degree VR is an excellent way to give people a real life experience.”
The AIA23 and associated activities were conducted at Avalon Airport and select Melbourne CBD locations from February 24 to March 5.
The Trade and Defence Exposition was conducted from February 28 to 3 March 3, followed by the public air show between March 3-5.
AIA23 was the capstone engagement activity for Air Force after a four-year hiatus due to the COVID-related cancellation of the 2021 event.
AIA23 showed the ADF’s current capabilities and future concepts in a collaborative and integrated manner to government, military allies and partners, Defence industry and the Australian public.