Aircraft Armament Technicians maintain the aircraft weapon systems from the computers on board through to the actual missile or bomb and play a critical role in Australia's defence.
Other Ranks (Technical)
The Armament Trade is responsible for the ongoing handling & maintenance of Armament systems, weapons and equipment at either flightline or workshop level. Accordingly, within normal employment and supervisory guidelines, Armament Technicians are employed on duties which include aircraft flightline handling and replenishment; inspection, removal and installation of aircraft components under normal supervision at all levels of maintenance; employment in Armament workshops; disassembly and reassembly of aircraft components; preparation and use of aircraft support equipment; manufacture and repair of Armament based electrical looms; identification and demanding of aircraft spares; preparation and packaging of Armament & technical equipment for transportation and amendment and maintenance of technical publications; inspection, maintenance, servicing, repair test and fault diagnosis of electronic and mechanical armament components and systems, associated explosive ordnance and other weaponry.
You will be responsible for maintaining the aircraft weapon systems from the computers on board the aircraft through to the actual missile or bomb. As part of a team, you will also prepare, load and handle various aircraft weapons such as practice bombs, aircraft gun systems, unguided and guided bombs, air to air missiles, anti ship missiles and torpedoes. You'll also maintain ejection seats and aircraft fire extinguishing systems. With further training, you will learn how to become a Demolition Operator to safely dispose of unexploded or unserviceable ordnance and pyrotechnics. Demolition Operators can also go on to undertake more specialised training in Improvised Explosive Device Disposal and Explosive Ordnance Disposal.
Working Conditions. The working environment varies because of the nature of the work encountered. Members are often exposed to outdoor conditions and inclement weather, cramped or awkward working positions, confined working spaces, poor light conditions, and aircraft, machinery and equipment noise and vibration. Where possible, work is performed in shelters, hangars or workshops that offer protection from inclement weather. Workshops may be of the open structure or climate controlled type, depending on the maintenance performed. Work may involve being deployed to other bases in Australia and overseas. Work is often performed outside normal working hours.
Hazards. Inherent hazards exist in tasks associated with aircraft, Armament and engine operations, explosive ordnance, electrical supplies, toxic materials, Ionising and non-Ionising radiation and cryogenic liquids. Tasks require constant care and development of safe working habits to avoid injury. Minor cuts and bruises may be sustained, but the possibility exists of sustaining more serious injury from machinery, plant, equipment and operational aircraft systems. Personal protective equipment is provided where necessary, and its use is enforced.
Physical Effort. Some handling of both light and heavy tools and equipment is involved in daily tasks, with an occasional requirement for considerable strength for lifting and handling equipment, jigs, machinery, tools and components. While the physical effort required is normally low, on occasion, heavy and awkward objects must be manoeuvred in confined spaces.
Manual Dexterity and Physical Co-ordination. A high level of physical co-ordination and manual dexterity is required to perform tasks that involve the operation of hand and power tools, and machinery. Close tolerance fits of components, sometimes large and heavy, also requires that dexterity and co-ordination be of a high order.
Speed and Accuracy of Movement. A high degree of accuracy of movement is required for most tasks; however, rapid response or great speed of movement is not normally required.
Contact with Others. Armament Tradespeople are required to frequently interact with other technical trades, engineering officers, aircrew and civilian staff.
Probability and Consequence of Error. The probabilities of error normal to all engineering trades exist. High explosive weapons are designed to be safe to handle but equally, are designed to cause serious damage, injury and/or death if handled incorrectly. Errors in workmanship may also lead to expensive wastage of components and/or materials.
Responsibility for Money and Material. The job does not involve any responsibility for the care of money. However, accounting responsibilities require the custody and correct use of valuable technical equipment, tools, machinery, publications, materials, job items and other military assets.
Trade Criticality. The duties of an Armament Tradesperson are critical to the operational effectiveness of the RAAF. The trade performs a critical role in exercising judgement to ensure continued integrity of the Armament systems and equipment. A high standard of workmanship is necessary to satisfy airworthiness requirements with the RAAF.
Handling of Classified Documents and Equipment. During the course of duties, Armament Tradespeople will be required to handle classified documents and equipment.
Employment Areas. Armament Tradespeople are employed (almost exclusively) within areas that require dedicated Armament specialists to deal with explosive ordnance and the weapons systems that deliver them. There are also some specific supplementary support roles that require armament expertise in non-aircraft roles. Air weapons systems include:
• Fighter (F/A-18 Hornet, Hawk, PC9);
• Surveillance ( AP3C Orion); and
• Strike (F/A-18F Super Hornet)