1st Edition

Australian Perspectives on Global Air and Space Power Past, Present, Future

Edited By Nicole Townsend, Kus Pandey, Jarrod Pendlebury Copyright 2023
    250 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book surveys historical and emerging global air and space power issues and provides a multidisciplinary understanding of the application of air and space power in the past and present, while exploring potential future challenges that global air forces may face.

    Bringing together leading and emerging academics, professionals, and military personnel from Australia within the field of air and space power, this edited collection traces the evolution of technological innovations, as well as the ethical and cultural frameworks which have informed the development of air and space power in the 20th and 21st centuries, and contemplates the future. It covers topics such as the insurgents' use of drones, the ethics of air strikes, the privatisation of air power, the historical trajectory of air power strategy, and the sociological implications of an ‘air force’ identity. While many of the chapters use Australian-based case studies for their analysis, they have broader applicability to a global readership, and several chapters examine other nations’ experiences, including those of the United States and the United Kingdom.

    This accessible, illuminating book is an important addition to contemporary air and space power literature, and will be of great interest to students and scholars of air and space power, air warfare, military and international history, defence studies, and contemporary strategic studies, as well as military professionals.

    Introduction: An Australian Perspective on Air and Space Power

    Nicole Townsend

    Part One: Historical Perspectives

    1. Military Aviation in the British Dominions before the First World War

    Dr Michael Molkentin

    2. The Australian Prisoner of War Experience in Stalag Luft III, 1942–45

    Dr Kristen Alexander

    3. Sir James Rowland and the Changing Strategic Use of Air Power in Australia, 1942–1979

    Dr Peter Yule and Nicole Townsend

    4. Australian Air Power Strategy, Technologies, and Counter-insurgency in Malaya during the Cold War

    Dr Peter Hunter

    Part Two: Identity and Culture

    5. The Importance of Asking Why the Royal Australian Air Force Exists

    Air Commodore Jason Begley and Wing Commander Travis Hallen

    6. Identity as a Gatekeeper in Western Air Forces

    Dr Jarrod Pendlebury

    7. The RAAF and the Tyranny of Training

    Professor Tom Frame

    Part Three: Technology and Air Power

    8. Human, Organisational, and Technological Lessons from Air Power and Joint Operations in Major Conflict

    Dr Charles Vandepeer

    9. The Privatisation of Air Power

    Dr Peter Layton

    10. Hypersonic Propulsion as an Air Power Disruption or Disturbance

    Squadron Leader Michael Spencer

    11. Military Culture and Resistance to Technical Innovation

    Air Commodore Matt Hegarty, CSC

    12. Rubbery Assumptions: Anti-G Suits and Air Power in the Second World War

    Peter Hobbins

    Part Four: Air and Space Power in the 21st Century

    13. Ethics, Strategy, and Australian Air Power in the 21st Century

    Dr Deane-Peter Baker

    14. Manoeuvre in the 21st Century

    Group Captain Jo Brick

    15. An Overview of Australian Space Power, from Desert Rockets to New Beginnings

    Amy Hestermann-Crane

    Part Five: Future Directions

    16. Can the ADF become the Most Uncrewed and Autonomy-enabled Defence Force in the World?

    Wing Commander Keirin Joyce, CSC

    17. Space Power and the Vulnerabilities of Satellites

    Flying Officer James-Andre Galam

    18. Considering the Effects of Disruptive Technologies on Air and Space Power

    Lieutenant Chris Wooding


    Dr Jarrod Pendlebury


    Nicole Townsend is currently completing a PhD in History at the University of New South Wales, Canberra. Her thesis focuses on Australia’s war in the Mediterranean during the Second World War, and she has both presented and published more broadly on the Second World War. She currently works as a researcher on the Official History of Australian Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, based at the Australian War Memorial.

    Kus Pandey was the manager of the Australian Centre for the Study of Armed Conflict and Society (ACSACS) at the Australian Defence Force Academy campus of the University of New South Wales from 2018 to 2019. She was awarded an Australia Day Medallion by the Department of Defence for her contribution to ACSACS, with specific recognition of her support of the Sir James Rowland Seminars.

    Jarrod Pendlebury is an honorary research fellow with The King’s School Institute and a senior strategist in the Royal Australian Air Force. His research interests focus on the intersection of sociology and strategy, with particular emphasis on air power, and he has been published widely in Australia, Europe, and the United States.