Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 2 2013 Contents Work done quietly in the background over
14 years has earnt welcome recognition for
engineer Graham Akroyd. Defence talks
to the Public Service Medal recipient.
By Sergeant Dave Morley
with the job
A RAAF Base Edinburgh Defence engineer has been
recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for his
work over many years.
Graham Akroyd was awarded the Public Service Medal
(PSM) for “outstanding public service in the defence
field of weapon/missile computational and simulation
Graham, from Aerospace Operational Support Group,
says he is extremely honoured.
“It’s not often that engineers get recognition for their
work, which is a pity because there are many good
engineers working in the ADF that deserve it,” he says.
“They just get on with the job, working quietly in the
background, often under enormous pressure.”
The award was not for any one particular project, but
for a body of work over 14 years supporting many
Some of those were:
The Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile
(ASRAAM) integration on the F/A-18
AGM-142 on the F-111; and most recently,
The integration of Joint Air-to-Surface Stand-off
Missile (JASSM) on the F/A-18
Graham says his colleagues are also happy to see this
level of recognition.
“It’s also recognition for all of Aircraft Stores
Compatibility Engineering (ASCENG) Squadron and
the rest of Development and Test Wing at Aerospace
Operational Support Group,” he says.
“The work we do is very complex and demanding and
is not possible without the professionalism, dedication
and support they provide every working day.”
Through Graham’s work and that of the Defence
Science and Technology Organisation, the ASCENG
Squadron has developed tools and capabilities
to support the integration of new weapons,
countermeasures and other stores onto the ADF’s
“Our capabilities are every bit as good as those of the
US Air Force or the US Navy, or Original Equipment
Manufacturers, and in some areas maybe even slightly
superior,” Graham says.
“Aircraft Stores Compatibility covers many engineering
disciplines, and is basically a process to ensure that the
store and aircraft can co-exist for carriage and the store
can be released safely and effectively when required.”
Graham’s area of expertise covers stores release –
the release of weapons from an aircraft – which until
recently was carried out by test flights.
This was expensive, time consuming, and posed a risk
to aircrew under certain conditions.
Graham says computer-based modelling and
simulation is now able to be used to determine the
release envelopes, with the computer simulation
validated against only a few flight tests.
“This obviously saves a lot of money, especially with
some modern missiles such as JASSM costing over
$1 million each,” he says.
The medal citation says Graham had reduced the
cost and time when testing new munitions through his
modelling and analysis tool.
He says the next major project is the integration of the
production version of the Joint Direct Attack Missile-
Extended Range (JDAM-ER) – a JDAM with wings –
onto the F/A-18.
“We are also developing international collaborations to
position ourselves to support the Joint Strike Fighter,”
“I take my hat off to the pilots we send out to do our
tests, but the stress is pretty high for the engineers
too, until the test is over and the aircrew have
returned safely. The Public Service Medal is some
acknowledgment of these pressures.”
Through his work over
many years, Graham
Akroyd has developed
compare and predict
weapons behaviour. He
has reduced the cost
and time when testing
new munitions through
his modelling and
analysis tool. This was
particularly evident with
the recent introduction
of the Joint Air-Surface
Standoff Missile where
it would have been
expected to undertake
about 10 weapon
release missions as part
of the test program.
the required number of
missions was ultimately
reduced to just four,
not only saving tens
of millions of dollars
but also resulting in a
reduction in associated
time, risk and other
expertise also flows
into the certification
of new airborne
such as flares for use
on aircraft where his
modelling tool negates
the need for any flight
tests, again saving
considerable time and
money and permitting
early operational status
for these aircraft.
Graham is considered a
world-leading expert in
Issue 2 2013
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