Wheels up for high tech


One of the most innovative and forward-looking projects under the Jericho Disruption Innovation Program is already assisting aviators and enhancing capability of Air Force.

Delphi is a cutting-edge aircraft fleet management system designed to rapidly respond to Air Force aviators’ needs for managing their fleets in a less complicated and more immediate fashion.

Wing Commander Mike Moroney, who leads the Jericho team developing Delphi at Air Force Headquarters in Canberra, said the program is already paying dividends on the ground.

“In October 2021 the P8 fleet at Edinburgh was hit by a massive hail storm so all the fleet plans they had meticulously put together were rendered unusable because suddenly a great portion of the fleet was significantly impacted,” Wing Commander Moroney said.

“Within three weeks, our team was able to re-engineer Delphi to assist the P8 workforce at Edinburgh and it was just the solution they were seeking. It was able to help them rapidly optimise aircraft availability to put the fleet back on track and reassure the crews that they would be able to fly missions when and where they needed to.

“Delphi is especially innovative in that it uses agile software methodology in order to give our aviators a solution that is specifically suited for them when they need it and being able to constantly respond to change.”

Wing Commander Moroney is also keen to emphasise that the agile approach pioneered through Delphi can be scaled across Air Force so that aviators have software that is fit-for-purpose and that the latest technology can be delivered right into their hands.

Through a long-term collaboration with Defence Science and Technology Group researchers, Delphi is incorporating cutting-edge science to help fleet planners make decisions to respond to the changing needs of their fleet. It is also showing how the use of rapidly evolving technology such as AI enhances Air Force capability.

Most importantly, implementation of intelligent applications such as Delphi shows how the responsible use of AI is enhancing the role of aviators, not replacing them.

“AI is not taking jobs away – instead the AI that has been delivered so far has removed the frustrations, limitations and things Air Force aviators don’t want to be doing so they can focus on high-value activities and improve performance. It is empowering aviators, which in turn strengthens Air Force’s capability,” Wing Commander Moroney said.

“Being National Science Week, it’s also opportune to highlight Jericho’s engagement of advanced technology and AI through Delphi because as we look ahead to future recruitment, Air Force will need the STEM skills of young Australians to enable it to keep up with a rapidly changing high-tech Defence environment”.

Wing Commander Moroney said. Moroney said Air Force also benefits from growing STEM talent in industry and the APS.

“As such, growing and leveraging STEM talent will empower our aviators to do their best work in demanding circumstances”.

/Public Release. View in full here.