Close sidebar

US flags sale of Growler kits to RAAF

written by australianaviation.com.au | May 23, 2012
The US Congress has been notified of the possible sale of 12 EA-18G conversion kits to the RAAF.

The US Congress has been notified of the possible sale of 12 EA-18G Growler conversion kits to Australia for $1.7 billion, another sign that the RAAF will move ahead with plans to convert half of its F/A-18 Super Hornets to the electronic warfare variant.

In a statement released today, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said the Australian Government had requested the possible sale of the kits, including 34 AN/ALQ-99F Tactical Jamming System Pods, 22 CN-1717/A Interference Cancellation Systems, 22 R-2674 Joint Tactical Terminal Receiver Systems, 30 LAU-118 Guided Missile Launchers and spare parts, training and support.

In late March, Australia ordered $19 million worth of electronic systems, antennas and other “long-lead” items for the potential Super Hornet-to-Growler conversion, though at the time Defence officials said no decision had been made on whether to move ahead with the conversions. The notification to Congress is a formal part of the US Foreign Military Sales process and doesn’t mean the deal is done, but the writing would increasingly seem to be on the wall.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Australia purchased 12 of its 24 F/A-18 Super Hornets pre-wired for Growler conversion.

The Growler, which is replacing the EA-6B Prowler in US Navy service, has seen action over Afghanistan and Libya. When fitted with ALQ-99 jammer pods, the EA-18G has the ability to either ‘close down’ an entire area over a wide electronic spectrum, or alternatively can target specific spectrums such as those used by mobile phone networks or radio bands. Even without the jammers pods, through its comprehensive receiver suite the Growler can impart additional electronic situational awareness via datalinks to other aircraft such as Super and classic Hornets, Wedgetail AEW&C, or even naval vessels.

Steer your own in-flight experience – available on print and digital Whether our classic glossy magazine in your letterbox, daily news updates in your inbox, peeling back a few layers in the podcast or our monthly current affair reports, you can count on us to keep you up to date. Sign up today for just $99.95 for more exclusive offers here. Subscribe now at australianaviation.com.au.

72 Comments

  • John N

    says:

    Well thats an interesting development!

    The link to the DSCA announcement is below:

    http://www.dsca.osd.mil/PressReleases/36-b/2012/Australia_12-27.pdf

    To me it opens up more questions that it answers, rather than going Growler “Lite”, it appears to be for a full Growler configuration, except for the fact that the “wing tip” ALQ-218 pods (which permantly replace the wingtip Sidewiders) are not included in the notification, bit stange?

    To my understanding, if the wing tip pods, and other mods, are done its at lease a Growler “Lite” configuration, and if the ALQ-99 pods are added its Growler “Full”. Can someone with the “knowledge” explain why the ALQ-218’s were not included in the notification?

    It also looks like the launch rails for HARM are included in the purchase, assume if approved, HARM will also be purchased.

    The next interesting thing, for me anyway, is that the notification is for the “possible” modification of 12 airframes, look don’t get we wrong, think that a “dedicated” Growler sqn will be great.

    But how does that affect the main task of the F/A-18F’s? 12 for 1sqn for the strike role and I assume 12 in 6sqn for the Electronic Attack role!

    How will 1sqn perform its role with 12 operational airframes, but what was the “training” sqn now possibly being the Electronic Attack sqn?

    Maybe this is part of opening the door for a possible follow on of more F/A-18F’s??

    Interesting!!

  • Peter

    says:

    Not much Grrrrrr! for the Growler. What’s so special about this turkey?

    The EA-18G Growler is also a wrong aircraft for Australia and its a waste. This aircraft is based on the F/A-18F variant which lacks the range, persistance and survivability to support the strike platforms that penetrate deep into contested airspace. In an assessment of a 2012 Major Combat Operations, the Institude for Defence Analyses determined that the EA-18G was not designed to survive with in defended airspace and thus must provide AEA from standoff distances, a concept of operations that is ill-suited for supporting penetrating strike platforms.

    Not only cannot the EA-18G keep up with a strike package, but it isn’t designed to survive combat against today’s 2012 benchmark threats of Su-30s / S-300s. So what about tomorrow’s threats like the Su-35S Super Flanker-E / S-400, T-50 PAK-FA / S-500 and the J-20 Mighty Dragon / HQ-9 in the near to mid term?

  • Greg

    says:

    Growler can’t keep up with the strike package?

    What’s the strike package comprised of?

    Oh, flights of F/A-18A and F/A-18F!

    Pull the other one!

  • ExRAAF

    says:

    Agree Greg…who’s this Peter guy? Peter, leave the armchair stats rubbish where it belongs. My money is on tried and actual warfare tested platforms and systems. Sheesh!

  • Observer

    says:

    A really smart play! Great decision.

  • Dane

    says:

    Any AEA capability for the RAAF is surely better than none at all. Hopefully more Supers will be ordered mid-decade to replace the Classics

  • Dane

    says:

    Oh, and another thing, I’ll believe the capabilites of the PAK-FA and the J-20 when the production aircraft flies. How many times have stats been released about an aircraft before the production model flies and they’ve been way off the mark.

  • Observer

    says:

    Is it really that crap Peter when a EA-18G was credited with two F-22 kills in air-air exercises in the red flag games couple years back?

  • Sam

    says:

    @Observer

    It’s not bad, its a great interim solution. It will give our pilots some invaluable experience using EW that wouldn’t be available otherwise in the leadup to the JSF aquisition. Peter is just a staunch Kopp supporter. If you want to see his reply visit ausairpower.net, it will be a direct quote.

  • Peter

    says:

    Remember the F/A-18 fleet cannot meet its peacetime fighter availability requirements, the remaining fatigue life in the F/A-18A/B fleet to expire over this decade, further costly structural and enhancement program to replace fuselage centre barrels has been initiated to stretch the life of these aircraft. APG-73 radar, electronic warfare, guided weapon and missile upgrades and software will diminish this availability even further. The acquisition of Russian designed Sukhoi Su-27/30 Flanker series by most regional nations now presents an environment where the F/A-18A/B and F/A-18F Super Hornet is outclassed in all key performance parameters, aerodynamic, large armament load, radar and sensor performance by widely available fighters.

    In some respects the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet Block 2 are not very good air combat planes and if the RAAF have to use them as a bridging capability gap to replace the A/B models in the mid-decade. This aircraft has similar performance and capability deficiencies to the F-35, and is equally incapable of credibly performing against modern regional threats. The F/A-18E/F has a missing sting in its tail and it’s certainly not their, which is why is called the “Super Dog” and there is no way the Super Dog can be expected to hold it’s own with the modern Russian sourced fighters coming into service now in our region. The aircraft is equipped with the APG-79 AESA which is a competitive design, however in its key metric of detection range performance it has already been outclassed by the Tikhomirov NIIP Irbis-E (Snow Leopard) radar designed for the Su-35BM/Su-35S-1 Super Flanker-E, Plus and available as an upgrade for the regional Su-30MKI and Su-30MKM Flanker-H.

    Its also been claimed that the Su-35 will possibly feature a rear warning radar. The ability for the Flanker to launch AAMs backwards as an effective protection against attack from behind.

    The F/A-18A/B Hornet Upgrade Program (HUG) / F/A-18F Super Hornet BACC (Bridging Air Combat Capability) has a poor survivability due to inferior acceleration, poor agility, short range and limited weapons payload vs Sukhoi Su-27/30/35 Flanker; significant dependency on AEW&C and tankers to provide useful capability, the Classic Hornet / Super Hornet are aerodynamically uncompetitive aircraft provides little useful capability in primary roles. The Classic Hornet / Super Hornet are unsuited for bomber and cruise missile defence, two or more aircraft required to match range/weapons payload of single F-111, F-15E or any high capability fighter (large airframes).

    Neither does the Joint Strike Failure which is also a wrong aircraft too.

  • Greg

    says:

    Peter,

    The center-barrel replacement program isn’t being initiated, it is long over. Suspended as it was determined by DSTO that classic hornets have lots of fatigue life left. Welcome to 2012.

    What sources are you using for sensor performance stats? Radome diameter from airshow photos alone is not an accurate comparison as any electronic engineer worth his salt will tell you.

  • Greg

    says:

    Hopefully your tactical sources are better than your structural management program sources! Doubtful considering the former are publically available and the latter are not.

  • Peter

    says:

    Greg

    The Growler can’t keep up with the strike package? Research about the AN/ALQ-99F Tactical Jamming System Pods which will be no match for “today’s” threat.

    Early in the last decade, the U.S. Navy was trying to justify funding for a dedicated jamming version of the Super Hornet known as the “Growler”. The U.S. Navy, in an effort to get the next generation jammer (NGJ) as the hardware of choice to put on the Super Hornet (Growler) had to state the obvious: the existing years-old ALQ-99 jamming pods were for the bin. U.S. Navy said in plain language that the ALQ-99 pods were too legacy, over-kill, too inefficient and couldn’t keep up with the emerging threats and were becoming more expensive to maintain for COIN warfare.

    You want to know what happened? When NGJ ran into funding problems, the U.S. Navy was forced to deploy their EA-18Gs with a majority ALQ-99 pod configuration.

    Take a look at the new report on airborne electronic attack (PDF) by the U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO). Label this a must-read. The report covers a wide range of current and future electronic attack (or jamming) solutions for the U.S. DOD.

  • ExRAAF

    says:

    Hey Greg. You’ve really stirred ol Peter the obvious Sukhoi salesman up a bit!
    Peter, I think you’ll feel safer sleeping at night if you move to one of these regional countries that’s getting the odd Flanker or two, probably from our tax dollars as so called “foreign aid” ….mmmmmm I’ll happily stay here with my tried and successfully tested fighting brothers and sisters and their obviously outclassed equipment.

  • ExRAAF

    says:

    Hey Greg. You’ve really stirred ol Peter the obvious Sukhoi salesman up a bit!
    Peter, I think you’ll feel safer sleeping at night if you move to one of these regional countries that’s getting the odd Flanker or two, probably from our tax dollars as so called “foreign aid”.
    I’ll happily stay here with my tried and successfully tested fighting brothers and sisters and their obviously outclassed equipment.

  • ExRAAF

    says:

    Greg. You’ve really stirred Peter the obvious Sukhoi salesman up a bit!
    Peter, I think you’ll feel safer sleeping at night if you move to one of these regional countries that’s getting the odd Flanker or two, probably from our tax dollars as so called “foreign aid”.
    I’ll happily stay here with my tried and successfully tested fighting brothers and sisters and their obviously outclassed equipment.

  • ExRAAF

    says:

    Greg. You’ve really stirred Peter the obvious Sukhoi salesman up a bit!
    Peter, I think you’ll feel safer sleeping at night if you move to one of these regional countries that’s getting the odd Flanker or two, probably from so called “foreign aid”.
    I’ll happily stay here with my tried and successfully tested fighting brothers and sisters and their obviously outclassed equipment.

  • ExRAAF

    says:

    Peter, I think you’ll feel safer sleeping at night if you move to one of these regional countries that’s getting the odd Flanker or two, probably from so called “foreign aid”.
    I’ll happily stay here with my tried and successfully tested fighting brothers and sisters and their obviously outclassed equipment.

  • Observer

    says:

    Peter still hasn’t explained the F-22 kills, it’s obvious RAAF want to be in on the NGJ this is a great place to start, to get knowledge on EW and get a real grip on future platforms. Contacts that I know also explained that the latest use of the Growler in strike missions over Lybia was above expectations and performed outstandingly, fair enough Lybia has not got the best tech going around either but those missions really impressed top brass…
    People have to stop comparing what previous platforms RAAF used to use compared to the ones we have chosen now, there is nothing out there that can do everything that we need to defend these shores, so we need everything we can get. MRTT’s, AWACS, EW platforms are all needed to safely protect and support strike missions where and when ever.

    This crap about Russian metal can do this and that and that the stuff we’ve got is obsolete, were not ever going to buy Russian so we’ve got to do best we can with what we have and what the budget will let us do..

  • ExRAAF

    says:

    Hear hear Observer…well said!
    One thing I do know from my past RAAF days and insider engineering knowledge… Russian, Chinese and even Indian platforms are not even close to the reliability levels of the USAF, RAF and even our own RAAF.
    Peter, there is more to modern warfare than impressive statistics on paper.
    An old saying… “actions speak louder than words!”

  • Richard

    says:

    All the above comments are very very interesting – but has anyone done the maths ? Since when does it cost 1.7 billion to ‘convert” 12 Fs to Gs ? 1.7 billion what….rupees ? If it’s 1.7 billion Au$ or US$, then maybe there’s more in this sale than 12 conversion kits – like maybe the conversion kits PLUS 12 more Supers. Maybe 1.7 billion is a typo, or maybe………DMO stuffed up again and is throwing taxpayers money around like ” drunken sailers “. Would that be a first ?

  • Tim

    says:

    Why the anti-Gowler views from Peter, I have nothing but praise from the guys who fly this for the US Navy and the RAAF can alway upgrade the jamming pods in the future to the Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) pod thus keeping “up with the game”.

    The Growler doesn’t need to go “in” with the strike package, the strike aircraft ECM gear will take care of the “Close in” treats and the Growler can do the “stand off” duty – and remember a EA-18G also “took out” a F-22A – TWICE.

    Su-35s may be a good aircraft but what happens Russia says no to sending spare parts?

  • Richard

    says:

    All comments as above very interesting. I totally support any additional skill to give the RAAF extra punch, but has anyone done the maths on this one ? $1.7 billion to “convert” 12 pre-wired Supers ? That’s $141 million each for the conversion ! The fly-away price on a new F/A-18F is about $60 million, so something wrong here. Maybe there’s a typo on the 1.7 Billion, or just maybe – there’s 12 additonal Supers + 12 conversion kits for the 6 Sqn pre-wired Supers. Or maybe DMO got it wrong, and is throwing around precious Defence $ like….drunken sailers ! DMO getting something wrong – is that likely to happen ?

  • Sam

    says:

    Good point Richard, that does seem very interesting. Maybe theres more to this than appears!

    @Tim: Australia will never buy a russian or chinese made aircraft. It would be a strategic nightmare. What would happen if the US went to war with one of them? Given our close relations i think its safe to assume we would side with the US, which would leave us up shit creek without a paddle in terms of being able to acquire any new parts or future upgrades, which would cripple our capability. It would be utterly stupid to make defence aquisitions from a potential enemy.

  • Peter

    says:

    @ ExRAAF

    I rather happily stay here with my tried and successfully tested fighting brothers and sisters with far better equipment such as the F-15 Eagle family, Sukhoi family of fighters and close air support assets like the A-10 Warthog, instead of the useless and outclassed equipment like the lemon F-35 and stingless Super Dog.

    @ Sam

    Again pal, Australia should buy a russian made aircraft. It would be a strategic nightmare for the RAAF equipped with useless, dud and obsolete turkey F-35s and stingless Super Dogs.

    With your question What would happen if the US went to war with one of the Sukhoi family of aircraft or J-20 Mighty Dragon?

    The USAF, USN and USMC armed with lemon JSFs and Super Dogs will get decimated in close combat and long range engagements,

    Also for Australia armed with lemon JSFs and thats if the RAAF keeps the Super Dogs which would unfortunately get decimated in close combat and long range engagements too.

    The F-35 Joint Strike Failure (by design) will not be able to take on emerging threats. Again, it is too expensive to own and operate for any other kind of threat already taken care of by today’s platforms and the aircraft is too defective (by the very nature of its design) to handle emerging threats which means this would cripple our capability.

    Of course given our close relations, I think its safe to assume if we would side with the US go for the advanced F-15, the Eagle is still in production and available, it would not be utterly stupid to make defence acquisitions from Russia, but China yes, but not the Russians. I certainly didn’t comment about Australia buying chinese fighters.

  • ExRAAF

    says:

    @ Peter
    Sorry, can’t let you have the last word on this.
    You’re obviously passionate about Russian aircraft. Nothing wrong with that. Just your stubborn attitude. Keep that to yourself and go back to Russia where you’re obviously from and get on your soap box there! Sianara comrade

  • Peter

    says:

    ExRAAF

    No no no no sorry, I can’t let you have the last word on this. You’re obviously too passionate about the stingless Super Dog and lemon F-35 aircraft. i reckon it’s just your stubborn attitude of not admitting of my facts.

    You should keep that to yourself and go back to con-artist and crook Lockheed Martin company where you’re obviously from and get on your soap box there pal!

  • Peter

    says:

    ExRAAF

    Again pal. I rather happily stay here with my tried and successfully tested fighting brothers and sisters with far better equipment such as the F-15 Eagle family, Sukhoi family of fighters and close air support assets like the A-10 Warthog, instead of the useless and outclassed equipment like the lemon F-35 and stingless Super Dog.

  • Peter

    says:

    ExRAAF

    If you have a big problem with that, go and explain your stubborn argument with Dr Carlo Kopp and Peter Goon of why these useless, dud, expensive F-35s and F/A-18E/Fs and Growlers are wrong aircraft for our country.

    Then you get the idea.

  • Peter

    says:

    ExRAAF

    Why are the APA contributors are more knowledgeable than the Air Force and the Department of Defence???

    Why should Australia and the US Allies deserve to be partners with Lockheed Martin to participate the failed JSF program that will never fulfil its mission requirements???

    What is wrong with our F/A-18A/B Classic Hornets and why can’t the RAAF keep them???

    Why choose the Joint Strike Failure as the RAAF’s future fighter when it cannot beat Russian designed Sukhoi family fighters and J-20 Mighty Dragon being purchased by regional nations???

    Why’s the JSF very badly designed with flaws in the aircraft???

    Why’s the JSF badly produced?

    Why’s the single engine a disadvantage for operations across the wide open spaces of Australia etc etc?

    Explain that.

  • ExRAAF

    says:

    Heh heh heh … Obviously an amateur!
    And it’s fun getting a reaction out of people so deluded like you Peter.
    Long live Lockheed Martin, Capatilism and true Aussie loyalty to their mates … aka our allies through numerous wars past and I’m sure those yet to come …. Pal !!!

  • Observer

    says:

    I’ll have the last word!
    Peter have you realized you have contradicted yourself?
    First: you say that the Grizzly can’t keep up with strike packages too slow compared to Russian birds on a typical mission, (second): that the grizzly is outclassed by modern defences

  • Observer

    says:

    Such as aircraft, SAMs radar and so on and so forth….

    Yet your choice of aircraft that you would have in your fleet of strike aircraft are F-15, Su 27-35 and a A-10 warthog….. This does not make sense and this is the contradiction since the A-10 and F-15 are also 4th gen aircraft and also could not compete with these Fighters/ SAMs / radar and other defences, they are too old too slow and are being withdrawn from service due to these failures.

    You forget not only are the yanks a strategic partner but also the most important economic partner Australia has, hence the need to buy American so there can be offshoot affects for our economy, from parts produced here and maintaining aircraft here as well, there is no strategic/ economic ties with Russia so no Suhkoi aircraft could ever wear a roundel with a roo in it.

    Warthog/ eagle are also outperformed by the Su-35 so there is two thirds of the fleet gone you are left with an aircraft that our enemy has probably got and has intamate knowledge of so that’s gone……. No fleet left..

  • Observer

    says:

    I love Russian aircraft too but these factors put these birds to a disadvantage.

    You forget how long it would take to get a new platform such as the eagle, silent or standard, being introduced into RAAF service. From buying to building to training to IOC to be fully combat ready would take years, and by that time the next gen defences you talk of would have been introduced, another contradiction.

    And most importantly
    The opinions you have are not yours they are from people who look at all soughts of factors and try and write something credible on something they really have no knowledge about. These people thought that a strike mix of F-111’s and F-22’s were the only way to go and anything else was inferior, look at what’s happend the Pig was too old too slow for today’s missions, the raptor too expensive/ not aloud for sale outside the U.S. and not right for Australia’s needs and as I said before was brought down from a aircraft that was a 4th gen, slow, under performed, out manuerved, outgunned outclassed lowly old EA-18G, twice…

    So why qoute from people who really have no idea and reject the advice

  • Observer

    says:

    That people in the know say,
    to start doing that you might find you start contradict yourself and that would make it a bit embarrassing and make yourself realize you really don’t know what the best is for this country.

  • Peter

    says:

    @ ExRAAF, Sam, Observer, Dane, John N and Richard

    I got number of friends and colleagues in the ADF that have engineering knowledge and also ex-RAAF fighter pilots mentioned the same issue like I’m discussing with you folks. They too support my conclusions with absolutely evidence to show that the F-35, the Super Dog and the Growler are a wrong aircraft.

    I can assure you guys this is not the best plan for all western nations that are leading the wrong direction with the United States. Cancelling the F-35 would be the best plan. Major design flaws show that for all the money invested, the F-35 will never be a leading-edge combat aircraft. It will be a terrible replacement for legacy aircraft.

    Upgrading the F-35 is not possible. The design is too flawed.

    People should never stop comparing what previous platforms RAAF used to use compared to the ones we have chosen now, there are other aircraft out their to consider and close air support aircraft that can do everything that we need to defend these shores, so Australia needs to start looking for alternatives that we can get.

    The MRTT’s, AWACS, platforms what we’ve got. Other aircraft needed to be looked at such as the F-15E+, F-15SE, Sukhoi family of fighters, A-10C or OV-10 to safely protect and support fighter/strike missions where and whenever.

    The F-35, F/A-18E/F and EA-18G can do the job. Absolutely not, the stuff we’ve got and soon to be equipped is going to be obsolete, again as stated before we should be looking into either buying Sukhois or F-15 jets so we’ve got to do best we can with what we have and what the budget will let us do…. Absolutely nothing wrong with the Russians, it’s the Americans that are in the wrong with their inferior, useless and overpriced JSFs and Super Dogs.

    For more info go to defense-aerospace.com you’ll find the F-35 Reality Check Ten Years On — Part 1: ‘Fifth-Generation’ and Other Myths.

    Hello Tim – You’re still around

    I reckon a better move if you ask me would be to altogether cancel the pre-wiring 12 out of the 24 F/A-18F variants into the Growler configuration because the U.S. Navy has stated on two occasions that the ALQ-99F Tactical Jamming System Pods are obsolete kits. Plus send back the remaining F/A-18Fs back to the US Navy where they belong.

    What you said was the RAAF can alway upgrade the jamming pods in the future to the Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) pod thus keeping “up with the game”. Unfortunately Tim the NGJ is running into funding problems.

    And what about the failed F-35, what do we do with this lemon?

    Junk it. The Australia deserve a much better aircraft, and the taxpayers deserve a much cheaper one. The dustbin awaits. Run and get away from Lockheed Martin, I don’t trust Tom Burbage and his colleagues is because they are giving us the F-35 that is going to be extremely difficult to maintain and operate that the F-35s can’t fly very much which means you’re spending around 100 hours on the ground applying stealth coatings etc etc and the pilots will not get enough flight hours to train properly. You need an aeroplane as much as the pilots can train with more hours on the real thing to exercise against dissimilar aircraft and refine their skills. Flight simulators have other uses, but they do not cut it. Pilots certainly need enough time in the air.

    Going ahead with the F-35 purchase will degrade the air force further, the pilots will fly worse, because they’ll get less training, which is certainly the most important role to train, they’ll be far less pilots is because the whole force will have to shrink and very soon you’ll just have a show piece air force that they can’t do anything. In fact the RAAF doesn’t deserve the inferior, useless, dud and over-priced equipment.

  • Peter

    says:

    ExRAAF and Observer

    I have not contradicted yourself?

    While outside analysts like Stratfor noted the F/A-18’s shortcomings. I propose the longer-ranger F-15E+ Strike Eagle or F-15SE Silent Eagle with higher ordnance capacity as a better F/A-18A/B replacement. I strongly disagree that statement from the former Defence Minister Brendan Nelson.

    “The F-15E+ or F-15SE costs about $100 m each. In comparison, some aspects of the Silent Eagle package make it a promising possibility. Boeing is talking about a $100 million price tag per aircraft, a significantly longer range than the F/A-18E/F and F-35, and a maintenance infrastructure that could be based on the one for Israel’s F-15 fleet.. The F-15 is not approaching the end of its life. The Silent Eagle has a low observable profile which is attractive to our country’s needs. The F-15 certainly doesn’t have a limited transferability in terms of weapons. We should be a Eagle country.”

    Plus the F-111 and F-15 are not slow. it does not matter how old they are ok. I totally disagree with statement.

  • Peter

    says:

    Excuse me I have not contradicted myself with my arguments?

  • ExRAAF

    says:

    Yes you have Peter. And as an ex RAAF pilot myself, I certainly can spot spoof and nonsense about a subject I devoted nearly half my life too. Have your say Peter, but don’t be belligerent towards other’s opinions where this forum is to respect the views and opinions of all.

  • Peter

    says:

    Ex RAAF

    I have not contradicted myself with my arguments. Why don’t you talk to Peter Criss and Chris Mills about this situation.

    I totally disagree

    The primary reason the F-15 should being considered to fulfill the RAAF’s requirements is because its a combat-proven aircraft this nation must be look at to replace the 71 F/A-18A/B Classic Hornet fleet.

    One thing I agree with Sam is the F-15 will be outclassed with the introduction of the Sukhoi T-50 PAK-FA and J-20 Mighty Dragon 5th gen fighters which will be sorely outmatched by those aircraft. But the F-15 still has a vital role to play that can handle the Su-27/30 Flanker family threat only and the US with F-22s can handle the PAK-FA and J-20 threats.

    The F-15 can be modified with the APG-82 AESA, either the F110-GE-132, F100-PW-232 or F119-PW-100 engines (with a modified conventional afterburner nozzles) with 2-D or 3-D thrust vectoring nozzles and supercruising mode (without using afterburners which saves fuel) which needs to be considered, DEWS (Digital Electronic Warfare System), NG (Next Generation) 3-D touch screen cockpit display, digital fly-by-wire flight control system, IRST sensor pod etc.

    The reason why the F-15 is a combat proven aircraft is because, during action in the Persian Gulf, Kosovo, Balkans and recently in Afghanistan the F-15 showed its superior ability to perform missions required of the F-X (Fighter Experimental).

    The F-15 family of aircraft has a perfect air-to-air combat record of more than 104 victories and zero defeats. F-15s shot down four MiG-29 fighters during the Balkan conflict and 33 of the 35 fixed-wing Iraqi Air Forces aircraft lost in air combat during Operation Desert Storm. During the Balkan conflict, the F-15E was the only fighter able to attack ground targets around the clock, in all weather conditions. The F-15 aircraft are used by the Air Force against terrorist targets.

    The F-15 has a fantastic long range endurance, bigger weapons payload and speed capabilities than its F-X competitors. The aircraft will get into a fight, strike with a lethal mix of air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons, and return more effectively than the other (small airframes with short range such as F/A-18 Super Hornet, Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault Rafale, F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-35 JSF) F-X aircraft.

    The F-15 is in production. Boeing has built more than 1,500 of all its F-15 models and the company has extended the F-15 production line well into the 2020s to attract and satisfy new and existing customers.

    Plus the F-35 JSF is still the wrong aircraft for any air force and navy’s requirements. Why does the Pentagon and the RAAF say the JSF is a true 5th Generation Fighter. Really? The F-35 is a dog, not a racehorse.

    Here are the facts:

    Cost of the program. $385 billion for development and production, and about $1 trillion or more to maintain and operate F-35 aircraft over decades.

    Range. The short range of the JSF means they would have to be refuelled several times to fly across Australia or anywhere.

    Please note: Australia is about 2,222 nm (4,000 km) wide. Aircraft designed for European use such as the Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault Rafale, MiG-35, SAAB JAS-39 Gripen and American F-16 Fighting Falcon, F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and F-35 JSF have too short a range for use by such a large country as Australia. Again those aircraft are unsuitable to cement Australia’s regional air power lead and the RAAF really needs a large airframe with high capability to fulfill the requirements. Small fighters with short range are only ideal for smaller air forces in Europe, some Asian countries and some South American nations to operate them is because their range is not as important and they are surrounded by the small vast land areas, and more surrounding air bases (for any emergency situations e.g. hydraulic and engine failures). They can be equipped with either single or two engines (Actual range varies with mission). Australia doesn’t have that environment is because our island is
    surrounded by the vast oceans and limited internal operational basing infrastructures which means small fighters with short range are ill-suited to our needs .

    Single-Engine. This makes the aircraft more vulnerable to engine failure which is totally ill-suited for overwater operations. Remember this makes the aircraft more vulnerable to engine failure that will cause heavy losses to the entire fleet and putting pilots lives in jeopardy. The Pratt & Whitney F135-PW-100 turbofan engine will cause damage to flight deck and runways with heat build-up and exhaust impedes the aircraft’s ability to conduct missions in hot environments. The F-35 engine and integrated power package exhaust may cause excessive damage to the flight deck environment and runway surfaces that may result in operating limits or drive costly upgrades and repairs of JSF basing options. The RAAF had 116 Mirage IIIO/IIID high altitude interceptors and lost 41 fatalities which was heavily utilised, operated at extremely low altitude in any weather, probably in saturated airspace infested with low flying birds, rolling hills, antennaes, many other high speed aircraft and gun firing which caused surges to the SNECMA Atar 9C turbojet which resulted an engine failure. To place the F-16V Viper, Gripen NG or lemon F-35 in the excat environmental circumstances as in any of the Mirage accidents, and it too would have as high an attrition rate. If you place the twin-engined aircraft in the same situation the rate would be at least halved.

    Thinned Skinned fuselage: Lockheed Martin has done very little with major safety pre-cautions on the Joint Strike Fighter to protect against fire. As an close air support asset which the F-35 is suppose to be (when it attempts to discriminate tanks, convoys, surface-to-air missiles and anti aircraft artillery) its totally incapable, the aircraft will be an very easy target to shoot down, because it’s a very delicate aeroplane which means the aircraft has a huge F135-PW-100 turbofan engine surrounded by fuel wrapped around entirely in the fuselage and engine. Very little they can do because the .22 Rifle or any form of gunfire can very easily penetrate the skin on the airframe and causes it to catch on fire like a “blow torch”. Plus the F-35 will expose more heat (in full afterburner, like an exploding volcano) this will make the adversaries to detect the F-35 at BVR range, using medium range AA-12 (R-77) Adder and AA-10 (R-27) Alamo heat seeking missiles. Its a very vulnerable aircraft.

    Speed. The top speed of the JSF is only Mach 1.6 placing it at a significant disadvantage to Mach 2.4 aircraft such as the super cruising Sukhoi. Wing and engine intake geometry is optimised for sub-sonic flight – so a more powerful engine cannot fix the problem even if one would fit in the small JSF airframe. In stealth combat configuration, the F-35 aerodynamically doesn’t and will never be able to outperform all other combat-configured 4th, 4.5, 4++ and 5th generation aircraft in top-end speed, loiter, subsonic acceleration and combat radius. This doesn’t allow unprecedented see/shoot first and combat radius advantages.

    This situation by relying only on stealth, AESA radar, advanced sensors, networking, data fusion capabilities, BVR AAMs and cruise missiles as stand-off while flying at straight and level with very gentle manoeuvres of presents of guns or missiles the JSF will be a “dead duck”. It doesn’t work that way which is absolute pathetic.

    Super Cruise: No (-1)

    Thrust Vectoring Control – TVC: No (-1)

    High Agility Supersonic / Subsonic: Neither (-1)

    Large Thrust to Weight Multi Engine Thrust Growth: Middling T/W One Engine Little Growth (-1)

    High Combat Ceiling (> 7 deg/sec turn rate, sustained): No 18 lbs (0) which the fuel flow is very inefficient.

    APG-81 AESA radar. The nose geometry of the JSF limits the aperture of the radar. This makes the JSF dependent on supporting AEW&C aircraft which are themselves vulnerable to long range anti-radiation missiles and jamming. Opposing Sukhoi aircraft have a massive 1 meter radar aperture enabling them to detect and attack at an JSF long before the JSF can detect the Sukhoi. It has Medium Power Aperture (0) (Detection range around 140 – 150 nm at BVR) compared to the Su-35S Super Flankers N035 Irbis-E (Snow Leapord) X-band AESA radar’s detection range at 217-248 miles (350-400km) and for tracking stealthy targets at an RCS of 0.11 sq.ft (0.01 sq.m) at 56 miles (90 km) and T-50 PAK-FA’s N036 BRLS AFAR/AESA (based on Tikhomirov NIIP N035 Irbis-E) with the same detection range characteristics at 217-248 miles (350-400km) and for tracking stealthy targets at an RCS of 0.11 sq.ft (0.01 sq.m) at 56 miles (90 km). The J-20 Mighty Dragon’s AESA radar’s detection range is unknown to clarify at the moment.

    “Partial Stealth”. It is argued that these disadvantages are offset by the JSF being “partially stealthy” in that it has low frontal visibility to millimetre-band radar. However, this is of little value against VHF radar using meter-long wavelengths. Russian engineers are now producing advanced VHF radar systems for the Sukhoi and for ground-based system such as Nebo SVU. As explained by my friends and colleagues in the defence, this exposes most fighter-sized ‘stealth’ aircraft. While the radar technology will only improve, the stealth characteristics of the JSF are locked-in with its flawed geometry.

    Unavailability. The JSF is not expected to be fully operational around 2018 or later.

    Weight. The JSF seems to have a serious weight problem and may be unable to take off with a full load of fuel and weapons making it even more dependent on air-tanker support.

    Only “Four” BVR Air-to-Air Missiles. The JSF can only carry four air-air missiles (AAM) for Beyond Visual Range (BVR) combat. By contrast late model Sukhoi Flankers can carry a wide range of AAM on twelve hard-points.

    Classified Components. The JSF is likely to have a range of components that are ‘off-limits’ to the Australia and can only be serviced in the US.

    Highly Integrated Avionics: Yes (0)

    Sidelooking ESA Apertures: No (-1)

    High Specific Excess Power – Ps: No (-1)

    High Situational Awareness (SA) – Onboard / Offboard: Yes (0)

    The world’s best air forces choose the world’s biggest failed project, inferior to the Sukhoi family of fighters, upcoming J-20 Mighty Dragon and advanced SAM systems which is not lethal and not survivable, extremely expensive to fly and maintain.

    It is very fortunate that there are so many representations and sortions of facts presented in the opinions offered by Winslow Wheeler, Pierre Sprey, Air Power Australia etc.

    The simple facts are as follows:
    –– The F-35 will never be the most lethal and survivable multirole fighter in history;
    –– The F-35 is not meeting or not exceeding every single one of the Key Performance Parameters that the services have mandated;
    –– The F-35’s capabilities are not being validated in their laboratories, and on ground- and flight-test programme today;
    –– The F-35’s procurement costs are not up to date and not meeting programme cost objectives, and certainly are not on track to meet the customers’ unit flyaway cost targets; and
    –– The F-35 programme is way behind schedule to deliver the first production-model aircraft from 2010.

    I’m not very pleased to see that many of the world’s most elite air forces – including the US Air Force, US Navy and US Marine Corps, Canadian Air Force, Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, Royal Australian Air Force and other NATO air forces – do not agree with the opinions and facts from Lockheed Martin, the Pentagon, Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta and pro-JSF advocates that recent endorsements of the F-35 programme both in the US and abroad underscore these convictions. In fact they should be kicked out and forgotton.

    I’m not the most proud of the fact that the F-35 is the system of choice for all participating nations to protect the freedoms that enable those with differing opinions to speak out.

    One of the guests on this website claims about the F-15SE Silent Eagle is a affordable aircraft than the F-35. What he said about this remarkable aircraft. ” In comparison, some aspects of the Silent Eagle package make it a promising possibility. Boeing is talking about a $100 million price tag per aircraft, a significantly longer range than the F-35, and a maintenance infrastructure that could be based on the one for Israel’s F-15 fleet. Delivery may begin by 2012.

  • Peter

    says:

    ExRAAF

    I’m choosing to believe credible sources. The information you have stated about this lemon (F-35) (as far as i know) is heresay and rumour and the APA contributers are far more knowledgable than the RAAF, Department of Defence, Federal Government and Australian Aviation – with facts etc than your pathetic reason statements about this turkey.

    There’s absolute NO WAY I have confidents flying this unsafe, useless, less capable, overpriced and behind schedule failed aircraft if I was a fighter pilot. Very dangerous and very vulnerable aeroplane.

  • Peter

    says:

    Ex-RAAF, Observer, Richard and John N

    Well, that’s your rubbish statement.

    How many times I’ve told you about this. I don’t care what you put your wish in your statement to claim the JSF is a right warplane is because you still have NO CLUE what you’re talking about. The JSF is certainly not a true 5th Generation Fighter, the lemon is a boondoggle. It’s now time to throw the turkey in the trash bin and see the rotten damn thing in the fire and see this rubbish burn for good.

    The United States is making a gigantic investment in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, billed by its advocates as the next — by their count the fifth — generation of air-to-air and air-to-ground combat aircraft. Claimed to be near invisible to radar and able to dominate any future battlefield, the F-35 will replace most of the air-combat aircraft in the inventories of the U.S. Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and at least nine foreign allies, and it will be in those inventories for the next 55 years. It’s no secret, however, that the program — the most expensive in American history — is a calamity.

    I’ve learned that the Pentagon has increased the price tag for the F-35 by another $289 million — just the latest in a long string of cost increases — and that the program is expected to account for a whopping 38 percent of Pentagon procurement for defence programs, assuming its cost will grow no more. Its many problems are acknowledged by its listing in proposals for Pentagon spending reductions by leaders from across the political spectrum, including Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), President Barack Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, and budget gurus such as former Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) and Alice Rivlin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office and Office of Management and Budget.

    How bad is it? A review of the F-35′s cost, schedule, and performance — three essential measures of any Pentagon program — shows the problems are fundamental and still growing.

    First, with regard to cost — a particularly important factor in what politicians keep saying is an austere defence budget environment — the F-35 is simply unaffordable. Although the plane was originally billed as a low-cost solution, major cost increases have plagued the program throughout the last decade. Last year, Pentagon leadership told Congress the acquisition price had increased another 16 percent, from $328.3 billion to $379.4 billion for the 2,457 aircraft to be bought. Not to worry, however — they pledged to finally reverse the growth.
    The result? This February, the price increased another 4 percent to $395.7 billion and then even further in April. Don’t expect the cost overruns to end there: The test program is only 20 percent complete, the Government Accountability Office has reported, and the toughest tests are yet to come. Overall, the program’s cost has grown 75 percent from its original 2001 estimate of $226.5 billion — and that was for a larger buy of 2,866 aircraft.
    Hundreds of F-35s will be built before 2019, when initial testing is complete. The additional cost to engineer modifications to fix the inevitable deficiencies that will be uncovered is unknown, but it is sure to exceed the $534 million already known from tests so far. The total program unit cost for each individual F-35, now at $161 million, is only a temporary plateau. Expect yet another increase in early 2013, when a new round of budget restrictions is sure to hit the Pentagon, and the F-35 will take more hits in the form of reducing the numbers to be bought, thereby increasing the unit cost of each plane.

    A final note on expense: The F-35 will actually cost multiples of the $395.7 billion cited above. That is the current estimate only to acquire it, not the full life-cycle cost to operate it. The current appraisal for operations and support is $1.1 trillion — making for a grand total of $1.5 trillion, or more than the annual GDP of Spain. And that estimate is wildly optimistic: It assumes the F-35 will only be 42 percent more expensive to operate than an F-16, but the F-35 is much more complex. The only other “fifth generation” aircraft, the F-22 from the same manufacturer, is in some respects less complex than the F-35, but in 2010, it cost 300 percent more to operate per hour than the F-16. To be very conservative, expect the F-35 to be twice the operating and support cost of the F-16.
    Already unaffordable, the F-35′s price is headed in one direction — due north.

    The F-35 isn’t only expensive — it’s way behind schedule. The first plan was to have an initial batch of F-35s available for combat in 2010. Then first deployment was to be 2012. More recently, the military services have said the deployment date is “to be determined.” A new target date of 2019 has been informally suggested in testimony — almost 10 years late.

    If the F-35′s performance were spectacular, it might be worth the cost and wait. But it is not. Even if the aircraft lived up to its original specifications — and it will not — it would be a huge disappointment. The reason it is such a mediocrity also explains why it is unaffordable and, for years to come, unobtainable.

    In discussing the F-35 with aviation and acquisition experts — some responsible for highly successful aircraft such as the F-16 and the A-10, and others with decades of experience inside the Pentagon and years of direct observation of the F-35′s early history — I learned that the F-35′s problems are built into its very DNA.
    The design was born in the late 1980s in the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Pentagon agency that has earned an undeserved reputation for astute innovation. It emerged as a proposal for a very short take-off and vertical-landing aircraft (known as “STOVL”) that would also be supersonic. This required an airframe design that — simultaneously — wanted to be short, even stumpy, and single-engine (STOVL), and also sleek, long, and with lots of excess power, usually with twin engines.

    President Bill Clinton’s Pentagon bogged down the already compromised design concept further by adding the requirement that it should be a multirole aircraft — both an air-to-air fighter and a bomber. This required more difficult trade-offs between agility and low weight, and the characteristics of an airframe optimised to carry heavy loads. Clinton-era officials also layered on “stealth,” imposing additional aerodynamic shape requirements and maintenance-intensive skin coatings to reduce radar reflections. They also added two separate weapons bays, which increase permanent weight and drag, to hide onboard missiles and bombs from radars. On top of all that, they made it multi-service, requiring still more trade-offs to accommodate more differing, but exacting, needs of the Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy.

    Finally, again during the Clinton administration, the advocates composed a highly “concurrent” acquisition strategy. That meant hundreds of copies of the F-35 would be produced, and the financial and political commitments would be made, before the test results showed just what was being bought.

    This grotesquely unpromising plan has already resulted in multitudes of problems — and 80 percent of the flight testing remains. A virtual flying piano, the F-35 lacks the F-15′s and F-16′s agility in the air-to-air mode and the F-111 and F-15E’s range and payload in the bombing mode, and it can’t even begin to compare to the A-10 at low-altitude close air support for troops engaged in combat. Worse yet, it won’t be able to get into the air as often to perform any mission — or just as importantly, to train pilots — because its complexity prolongs maintenance and limits availability. The aircraft most like the F-35, the F-22, was able to get into the air on average for only 15 hours per month in 2010 when it was fully operational. (In 2011, the F-22 was grounded for almost five months and flew even less.)

    This mediocrity is not overcome by the F-35′s “fifth-generation” characteristics, the most prominent of which is its “stealth.” Despite what many believe, “stealth” is not invisibility to radar; it is limited-detection ranges against some radar types at some angles. Put another way, certain radars, some of them quite antiquated, can see “stealthy” aircraft at quite long ranges, and even the susceptible radars can see the F-35 at certain angles. The ultimate demonstration of this shortcoming occurred in the 1999 Kosovo war, when 1960s vintage Soviet radar and missile equipment shot down a “stealthy” F-117 bomber and severely damaged a second.
    The bottom line: The F-35 is not the wonder its advocates claim. It is a gigantic performance disappointment, and in some respects a step backward. The problems, integral to the design, cannot be fixed without starting from a clean sheet of paper.

    It’s time for Defence Secretary Leon Panetta, the U.S. military services, the Congress, pro-JSF advocates and including YOU PAL to face the facts: The F-35 is an unaffordable mediocrity, and the program will not be fixed by any combination of hardware tweaks or cost-control projects. There is only one thing to do with the F-35: Junk it. America’s air forces deserve a much better aircraft, and the taxpayers deserve a much cheaper one. The dustbin awaits.

    “GET AWAY FROM THIS AEROPLANE ITS GOING TO RUIN OUR AIR FORCE”

    In fact Ex-RAAF, the Government and most RAAF personals are allowing the adversaries to destroy our air power that the lemon F-35s can’t take on high threat zones. The JSF team and them are just as worse than the enemy, by shrinking the size of our air force that is going to degrade very soon.

    Do you listen to Lockheed Martin and RAAF personals all day about the Super Hornet/JSF issues? I bet you do.

    I reckon it’s fun getting a reaction out of you people, so deluded like you folks.

    Yes I did say that the Grizzly can’t keep up with strike packages too slow compared to Russian birds on a typical mission, (second): also that the grizzly is outclassed by modern defences. Yes the EA-18G will be outclassed by both of these things.

    Plus the opinions are not mine yes. But they are from people who look at all soughts of factors and try and write something credible on something they really don’t believe the bureaucrats and most RAAF personals claims. The reason why I got that is because you folks don’t seem to understand the facts about why are these useless equipment to our needs and I’ve been in the defence industry for over 20 years and you’re telling me I have no knowledge-pathetic statement you idiots.

    I wish you luck of reading my credible and (based completely on heresay) truthful statements.

  • Peter

    says:

    Ex-RAAF, Observer, Dane and John N

    Australian, Canadian’s and other air forces deserve a much better aircraft than the lemon JSF and stingless Super Dog, and the taxpayers deserve a much cheaper one. The dustbin awaits.

  • Peter

    says:

    Ex-RAAF, Observer, Dane and John N

    NNIIRT 55Zh6M Nebo M Mobile “Counter Stealth” Radar.

    What about it?

    This radar is designed from the outset to detect stealth fighters (especially the lemon F-35 at any angles) and provide early warning and track data to missile batteries and fighters.

    The VHF component will provide a significant detection and tracking capability against fighter and UCAV sized stealth targets. High off-road capability permits placement well away from built up areas, enabling concealment.

    Rapid deploy and stow times permit evasion of air attacks by frequent movement, defeats cruise missiles like JASSM.

    Initial Nebo M builds for Russian Air Defence Forces, but expected like other “counter-stealth” radars to be marketed for global export to arbitrary clientele.

    The Nebo M Mobile is intended to be IOC in 2012-2013.

    The F-35 has no stealth advantage vs. PAK-FA and is grossly inferior to PAK-FA in sustained speed, altitude, agility, combat radius and weapons load payload;

    The F-35 is glossly inferior to a production J-20 in stealth shaping, sustained speed, altitude, agility, radius and weapons payload

    The F-35 is also completely inferior to the Su-35S in sustained speed, altitude, agility, radius and weapons payload.

    Plus read about the Aircraft Survivability 2012. Fire : Significant Threat. As with most aircraft, fire is the primary vulnerability to the F-35. Fire extinguishing is limited to the IPP (Integrated Power Package) bay. This system was installed primarily for ground safety reasons. Fuel, hydraulic, and PAO fluids are the primary sources of fire on the aircraft and are distributed throughout the aircraft. As one would expect, fire is a threat to Flight Critical Systems.

    If the aircraft suffers a electrical fire from one of the wiring systems or engine fire, how can the pilot put out the fires when the aircraft has no fire extinguishing system on board the aircraft???

    Plus the F-35 will expose more heat (in full afterburner, like an exploding volcano) this will make the adversaries to detect the F-35 at BVR range, using medium range AA-12 (R-77) Adder and AA-10 (R-27) Alamo heat seeking missiles. Its a very vulnerable aircraft.

    I’m telling you this failed project is never cheap, despite claim of the price $75-$85 million per aircraft to buy around 100 mistake jets what you folks, Lockheed Martin, the Government/RAAF say.

  • Observer

    says:

    All in all The eagle is still a 4th gen aircraft 4.5 when the silent edition is introduced.

    I do agree with some of your theories Peter, especially regarding the F-35 I don’t like the fact that it is a single engine machine for instance, but look at it this way the F-35 is a step up in tech even if you think it’s a Minor one it’s still a step up considering we have no expertise in low observables the list goes on so to speak.

    The RAAF have moved on they are getting this aircraft they know that and they are preparing for it’s arrival whenever that may be, they are now considering what the new F/A-XX has got to offer considering that this aircraft supposedly will blow the socks off the F-22. that is the aircraft the ADF are looking at, and the F-35 is just a steping stone in tech that the RAAF will need to to get expertise in so a smooth transition can happen.

    I wish Flankers were in our service my wishlist is Su-34, F-22 and and I haven’t thought about close air support maybe a AC-130J, but I also have to be realistic will any of these birds be in service with the RAAF? No

    But as for the Grizzly it still took out two Raptors that’s a fact and I can’t argue against that no matter how hard I try…. It might seem I don’t respect your views I do, but we have to be realistic about it because there is alot more to it than ringing the pentagon or kremlin and putting in a request for tender….

  • RussiaRules

    says:

    @peter
    Love you brother.
    Flanker better than F15 though. Maybe even super Typhoon!

  • Dane

    says:

    European and Russian aircraft will never fit the RAAF, or the ADF. Our major coalition partner is the US, we use equipment common to them because more often than not, we deploy our forces alongside theirs. A prime example of this is mixture of the ARH Tiger and the Hellfire missile (a little off topic, I know.). If we were to purchase European or Russian aircraft, there would be similar integration issues. Another example is the LAIRCMS system for the KC-30. The US wouldn’t let Airbus fit it, and we would have to fly the tankers over to have it fitted and maintained.

    Back on topic, What 5th Gen alternative is there available NOW to purchase into? The PAK-FA and J-20 are still in prototype stage and require much work to meet operational requirements. The PAK-FA isnt expected to be available for export until 2025. That leaves us with an even bigger capability gap than the F-35 currently does.

  • RussiaRules

    says:

    @Dane
    You’d like stupid exRaaf!
    Waiting for dog or F35, while Indonesian or Indian Flankers decimate RAAF.
    Need good tested and cheap made Russian or Typhoon. Maybe even Rafaele which all Europe know best 4.5 gen around.
    @exRAAF
    You’d pilot, then you pal know Russian technology superior to Mirage 3 or F18 Classic. Peter is right … YOU ARE WRONG pal!

  • ExRAAF

    says:

    @RussiaRules, Peter
    Look guys. You maybe right but I love my country that I was willing to give my life while I served as a pilot.
    Just saying in my own way that technology is only half the story.
    I’m just saddened by the lack of respect these days our armed forces serving members are receiving.
    I’ll leave it at that.

  • Dane

    says:

    @RussiaRules
    Do you really think the US would purchase and continue funding the F-35 if it was a total turkey? No. The costs that are being thrown around by LM, Washington and Canberra are all through life costs. The cost of maintaining the aircraft and its initial purchase price are always going to increase with inflation of currencies and the value of the AUD against the USD. It has been highly criticised for its problems, but find me one aircraft that has been designed, tested and produced in the manufacturers time frame and budget. Even the Russian and European aircraft you suggest experienced such problems and strong opposition to their development and some level.

    Isn’t it ironic that the Russians are always 5 or more years behind the US in bringing out fighter aircraft to match the current generation? The F-22 was developed in the 90’s and the Russians have only just flown a prototype 5th gen jet…so you can’t say the technology is better until it is proven on a production aircraft.

  • AA Cunningham

    says:

    The EA-18G is Mach limited to .95 with the pods hung which won’t be a problem providing the strike package is composed of an all Super Hornet fleet. The Super Hornet itself cannot exceed Mach 1 below 10,000 feet clean, let alone dirty. However, generate an ATO using other aircraft and you’ll have to coordinate TOT to ensure that the SEAD platforms arrive with the strike.

    Big mistake exporting the Prowler/Growler TJS, though. Soetoro and his cabal of buffoons don’t have any problem in diminishing the United States technological edge. That’s SOP for a communist.

  • Observer

    says:

    I’d lay money on the F35 being a phenomenal aircraft. Judging on what the pilots who’ve flown it say, it would be easy money. I am old enough to remember a long overdue, over-cost F111 arriving under claims it was a dud, after expensive interim aircraft filled the capability gap. History does tend to repeat and the notion that a Skunkworks produced aircraft this far into development being crap is laughable. As for the potential enemy combatants? History also shows us that while they fare well in a game of top trumps, they tend to come unstuck in the face of superior training and tactics.

  • The Big Fish

    says:

    Does not really matter anyway. The latest F22ski (T-50) has been delayed, pushed further back and costing more in latest news from India (partner in that) So when they eventually get it it will probably just as expensive and no where as stealthy as an F35 (as admitted by Russian sources) , and far less sopisticated sensor suite. And then lets not forget the engine reliability issues.
    Oh and Peter who continually posts is a known, well I wont say liar, but tends to say things untrue , such as the F35 failed it’s stealth test, when it did not. Also never he has struggled to understand the maximum speed of F35 is fully loaded and other planes will struggle to be the same , fully loaded since they are external stores. With correponding much larger RCS. But he is persistent, tell you that.
    Inteteresting info if people who do not know but because of the updated info of the RCS (better than expected) of the F35 they have improved its effectiveness ratios against other planes.

  • Peter

    says:

    @ The Big Fish

    My statements are true, the F-35 has failed it’s stealth test. I reckon you had struggled to understand the maximum speed of F-35 is fully loaded etc etc.

    Also read about the Nebo-M Anti Stealth Radar what’s been posted earlier.

  • Peter

    says:

    @ Observer

    Also read about the F-111 and JSF Programs of Record.

  • Roger

    says:

    Peter, Failed stealth test! Sources please.

  • Greg

    says:

    Peter, the F-35 max speed is 1.6 with full internal stores.

    When would it need to go faster than this? Why burn the fuel? Go talk to a fighter pilot about the realities behind fighting speeds.

    flankers don’t fly at Mach 2

  • Greg

    says:

    Nebo-M. Only reference tout is on aus airpower. Bad start.

    Ground based VHF radar with “limited amount of technical literature” (ie, everything APA says is a guess).

    Got any L-band RCS splats for f-35? No? Well now you’re making two things up. There are people that have these, they arethe USAF. They are buying the F-35 so you’re trying to argue against them is silly at best.

  • Foo

    says:

    @Russia rules
    Ex-raaf right u wong

  • Foo

    says:

    @Russia rules
    Ex-raaf right you wong

  • The Big Fish

    says:

    L-Band is used for tracking (if it can see) – It is not used for targetting which are the radars on planes. Then the F35 is again at the huge advantage. So the L band may be useful if it has not been obliterated previously since it is transmitting quite an amount of power.

    And Greg you are right nobody knows what tricks the F35 has against the L Band. And of course the partners are not gong to announce that.

    I suppose the ultimate testimony is that the Chinese and Russians are building there own (albeit less) stealthy planes. If it was not a game changer then why bother?

  • The Big Fish

    says:

    Oh Greg, do not bother asking Peter for sources. I still have not got a reply about the supposed failed stealth test from a older forum in feburary. We probably will get a (several) long drawn out posts with lots of “info” but he rarely actually engages in logical and rational discussions. Basically he is a blog TROLL.

  • Sam

    says:

    @ The Big Fish

    It took me a few posts to work out the same, lol. The big hint was when he started taking my posts word for word and bludgeoning them with his horrendous english trying to turn them into a negative.

    The bottom line is, without all of the classified information on the F35 everything is just speculation, and APA have had a vested political interest in shooting the F35 project (at least in australia) down. They are a joke.

  • The Big Fish

    says:

    Greg, On the Flankers, do you (or anyone else) have any reference for max speed when fully loaded with the AAMs.

    And then secondly how long could that top speed be maintained before Bingo?

    I suppose I am wondering what exactly can a flanker do to get a kinematic advantage over a F35 that is fully loaded but not disadvantaged by external stores? And also the RCS of the fully loaded flanker is significantly larger than a clean one. So the F35 should see it at quite a fair distance. Not to mention if the flanker is at full tilt the heating should show up nicely on the Non radar sensors, IRST, the F35 has. And that is full 360 view unlike the narrow radar field.

  • The Big Fish

    says:

    Sorry, Last post is way off topic.

  • Peter

    says:

    @ Greg – Yes I know the F-35 max speed is 1.6 with full internal stores. Again too slow, the Flankers can fly at Mach 2. Nebo-M. Only reference tout is on aus airpower. Good start.

    Ground based VHF radar with “limited amount of technical literature” (ie, everything APA says is never a guess).

    @ The Big Fish – The L-Band is used for tracking (if it can see) – It is used for targetting which they’ll be able to track LO/VLO planes such as the F-35 at any angle. The F-35 will be put in a huge disadvantage when detected. I certainly do know what tricks the F-35 has against the L Band. I suppose the ultimate testimony is that the Chinese and Russians are building there own (albeit far better or match) stealthy planes.

    The bottom line is, without all of the classified information on the F-35 everything is not speculation doesn’t matter, the APA have had a vested political interest in shooting the F-35 project (at least in australia) down. The Government / RAAF, JSF advocates and Lockheed Martin are a complete joke. You call me a blog TROLL. I just reckon you people are the blog trolls out their to even think the failed F-35 is a right aircraft – it just shows you folks are ignorant.

    @ Foo – Ex-Raaf is wrong, you are also wrong too.

  • Peter

    says:

    @ Greg, Roger, Foo, The Big Fish, Sam and Ex-RAAF

    When would you need to go faster than this? Why Mach 2+ acceleration?

    I certainly do know about the realities behind fighting speeds. Because Mach 2+ speeds enhances both engagements of flying into the target area and destroying the high threat targets, and escape from, known threats as to get out of the fight as quick as possible to survive.

    If the requirement is only Mach 1.6 you won’t be able to survive because you’ll be placed at a significant disadvantage to Mach 2.4 aircraft such as the super cruising Sukhoi. The wing and engine intake geometry is optimised for sub-sonic flight – so a more powerful engine cannot fix the problem even if one would fit in the small JSF airframe. In stealth combat configuration, the F-35 aerodynamically doesn’t and will never be able to outperform all other combat-configured 4th, 4.5, 4++ and 5th generation aircraft in top-end speed, loiter, subsonic acceleration and combat radius. This doesn’t allow unprecedented see/shoot first and combat radius advantages.

    The situation by relying only on stealth, AESA radar, advanced sensors, networking, data fusion capabilities, BVR AAMs and cruise missiles as stand-off while flying at straight and level with very gentle manoeuvres of presents of guns or missiles the JSF will be a “dead duck”. It doesn’t work that way which again you’ll be placed at a significant disadvantage of being shot down while being chased by a Mach 2 Sukhoi that the F/A-18E/F and F-35A can’t escape. Even though fighters are rarely used at mach 2 for air-to-air combat or ground attack, but I still believe it is still needed for survivability.

    The F-35A does have large internal fuel load at 18,500 lbs, its fuel flow is too inefficient which means the aircraft will be burning a lot of fuel while deploying afterburner for e.g. supersonic engagements. That is why the F-35 has a short range.

    You want the sources of truth.

    The back end of the F-35 in full afterburner is something like 1600 degrees (Fahrenheit). In terms of temperature, aluminium combusts at 1100. You are talking about something really, really hot. If you have got a dirty big sensor on the front of your Su-35 or your PAK-FA or whatever, it lights up like Christmas lights and there is nothing you can do about it. And the plume, because of the symmetric exhaust, is all over the place. It is not shielded, it is not ducted in any useful way.

    I’m all familiar with these effusive comments that I see in the media about how wonderful the JSF is—it is a stealth fighter; it is invisible to enemy radar—but the reality is that stealth is not as much about invisibility but much more about being harder to detect than an ordinary aeroplane.

    The typical measures that are applied are: what radars are you stealthy against and from what direction are you stealthy against that radar? There are various models, analogies or explanations that are used, but I think the simplest one is that different radars, because of how they are built, need different stealth characteristics to beat them. If we look at the current range of stealth aircraft out there, the ones that are difficult to see from nearly all directions and by a wide range of radars, are the big B-2A Spirit and the F-22 Raptor. The JSF really only has performance that would qualify as stealthy in the direction of over the aircraft’s nose. In other words, it is hard to see from the front but if you look at the aircraft from the sides or behind and below—looking up at it—the aircraft is in many instances only marginally better than a conventional aircraft.

    Failed stealth test! Sources please. Again the 55Zh6M Nebo M. It is a multi-band counter-stealth radar. The VHF band element in that radar will detect the F-35A at a distance of tens of miles. That is without a doubt. What that means is that the aircraft is going to be in great difficulty if it tries to deal with what I call a modern or contemporary threat. The same is also true when you deal with these newer stealth fighters, because they are designed to compete with the F-22. They fly higher; they are faster and more agile—much, much more agile. They have more powerful radars and much, much better antenna packages for other sensors. The lemon F-35 is not meeting its specifications and its specifications are inadequate to deal with the changed environment.

    If the F-35 was to be able to meet its specifications, the aircraft will have the ability of going up against a 1980s Soviet air defence system of the type that we saw destroyed very effectively in Libya 12 months ago, the F-35 would be reasonably be effective in that environment, because these older Soviet radars would not see it.

    But if you are putting F-35 up against the newer generation of much, much more powerful Russian radars and some of the newer Chinese radars, the aircraft is quite detectable, especially from behind, the upper side and from the lower sides as well.

  • Peter

    says:

    The JSF is a absolute complete failure and will be useless.

  • Roger

    says:

    Peter, Firstly start getting the responses to the right people. You are getting things/people/responses mixed up.

    Secondly, You said the F35 failed stealth test. Quoting a radar system is not answering this. Seriously. It is an easy question.
    Quoting you “F-35 has failed it’s stealth test”
    Please point me to read and digest the report/document you know that indicated that it failed? Was there a declassified test result that specificially stated that it failed? Please let’s just start with that.

  • rkapo7

    says:

    What Peter says in most areas is correct.
    I would not say the F-35 is useless just yet but I am certain if they could go back to the 1990’s and start again we would see a concept more like the Pak Fa.
    This forum has all the normal F-35 fan boy logic on it.
    e.g If stealth is no good why are the Russians copying it?
    They are not! – only to a limited degree. The Russians have not sacrificed one ounce of agility or speed for stealth. They are obviously trying to build a super agile fighter that is reasonably stealthy with range, payload, altitude and supercruise. They have not sacrificed anything in these areas for stealth.
    On the NEBO – VHF and others. Sure we only have what the Russians have released. That’s all we have on the F-35 also and Pilots who say it performs something like the Hornet when I finally found what they said.
    If you read some of the PDF’s by experts etc. on the net they say there is no doubt it will be able to detect aircraft such as the F35 well beyond there effective missile kill range. Figures are actually given for its accuracy in one of those released by a Russian source. At the moment it can provide mid course guidance they claim. They admit at 80km it can’t provide guidance to the target. Still not accurate enough but it can guide a missile very close to the target.
    Not a big problem if you have long range two stage missiles or missiles that at that range do not lose there terminal velocity and manouverability. The NEBO or equivalent guides the missile on a course close to the target. Its trajectory will be within a few hundred meters using the VHF guidance from the figures I have seen – not much at 10km out – a few degrees correction when its own guidance takes over. The other value of the VHF is its emissions will be virtually undetectable. Odds are the target will not even know it is targeted until it picks up the incoming missile. Sure that needs a data linked ground radar or AWAC to guide the missile initially. That’s all a VHF radar has to do – get the Missile close to the target undetected.
    The Russians from what I have read have already done tests with there new R37M long range missile. Guided by another Radar [AWAC] and launched by a Mig31 at 300km long before the MIg could even see the target. The truth is we don’t know what they are doing in these areas. They have had about 30 years to work out strategies to counter stealth and since about 2005 they have had the money to put them into practise and develop these systems. That if anything is what worries me about the F35. In 10-15 years if its stealth becomes virtually useless as systems that can detect it become available for $2-3m what have you got?
    Also those who try to argue the altitude and top speed advantage of the SU35s[limited supercruise] and Pak Fa [extended supercruise] are of no real value are talking absolute crap. At least they can run, launch from altitude at speed etc. They also will have the advantage close in if the situation arises.
    Just like the USA wants to keep its stealth secrets the Russians will want to keep there Anti-stealth secrets.
    The systems on the Pak Fa – we will just have to wait and see just how good they are. They claim they will equal and some Russians say they will surprise many of there Western rivals – who knows? I don’t. In the infra red detection area though I imagine they will be at least equal if not better – they have the experience and the Pak Fa should have good situational awareness even if they do not go about it exactly the same way as the F35.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

US flags sale of Growler kits to RAAF

written by australianaviation.com.au | May 23, 2012
The US Congress has been notified of the possible sale of 12 EA-18G conversion kits to the RAAF.

The US Congress has been notified of the possible sale of 12 EA-18G Growler conversion kits to Australia for $1.7 billion, another sign that the RAAF will move ahead with plans to convert half of its F/A-18 Super Hornets to the electronic warfare variant.

In a statement released today, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said the Australian Government had requested the possible sale of the kits, including 34 AN/ALQ-99F Tactical Jamming System Pods, 22 CN-1717/A Interference Cancellation Systems, 22 R-2674 Joint Tactical Terminal Receiver Systems, 30 LAU-118 Guided Missile Launchers and spare parts, training and support.

In late March, Australia ordered $19 million worth of electronic systems, antennas and other “long-lead” items for the potential Super Hornet-to-Growler conversion, though at the time Defence officials said no decision had been made on whether to move ahead with the conversions. The notification to Congress is a formal part of the US Foreign Military Sales process and doesn’t mean the deal is done, but the writing would increasingly seem to be on the wall.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Australia purchased 12 of its 24 F/A-18 Super Hornets pre-wired for Growler conversion.

The Growler, which is replacing the EA-6B Prowler in US Navy service, has seen action over Afghanistan and Libya. When fitted with ALQ-99 jammer pods, the EA-18G has the ability to either ‘close down’ an entire area over a wide electronic spectrum, or alternatively can target specific spectrums such as those used by mobile phone networks or radio bands. Even without the jammers pods, through its comprehensive receiver suite the Growler can impart additional electronic situational awareness via datalinks to other aircraft such as Super and classic Hornets, Wedgetail AEW&C, or even naval vessels.

Steer your own in-flight experience – available on print and digital Whether our classic glossy magazine in your letterbox, daily news updates in your inbox, peeling back a few layers in the podcast or our monthly current affair reports, you can count on us to keep you up to date. Sign up today for just $99.95 for more exclusive offers here. Subscribe now at australianaviation.com.au.

72 Comments

  • John N

    says:

    Well thats an interesting development!

    The link to the DSCA announcement is below:

    http://www.dsca.osd.mil/PressReleases/36-b/2012/Australia_12-27.pdf

    To me it opens up more questions that it answers, rather than going Growler “Lite”, it appears to be for a full Growler configuration, except for the fact that the “wing tip” ALQ-218 pods (which permantly replace the wingtip Sidewiders) are not included in the notification, bit stange?

    To my understanding, if the wing tip pods, and other mods, are done its at lease a Growler “Lite” configuration, and if the ALQ-99 pods are added its Growler “Full”. Can someone with the “knowledge” explain why the ALQ-218’s were not included in the notification?

    It also looks like the launch rails for HARM are included in the purchase, assume if approved, HARM will also be purchased.

    The next interesting thing, for me anyway, is that the notification is for the “possible” modification of 12 airframes, look don’t get we wrong, think that a “dedicated” Growler sqn will be great.

    But how does that affect the main task of the F/A-18F’s? 12 for 1sqn for the strike role and I assume 12 in 6sqn for the Electronic Attack role!

    How will 1sqn perform its role with 12 operational airframes, but what was the “training” sqn now possibly being the Electronic Attack sqn?

    Maybe this is part of opening the door for a possible follow on of more F/A-18F’s??

    Interesting!!

  • Peter

    says:

    Not much Grrrrrr! for the Growler. What’s so special about this turkey?

    The EA-18G Growler is also a wrong aircraft for Australia and its a waste. This aircraft is based on the F/A-18F variant which lacks the range, persistance and survivability to support the strike platforms that penetrate deep into contested airspace. In an assessment of a 2012 Major Combat Operations, the Institude for Defence Analyses determined that the EA-18G was not designed to survive with in defended airspace and thus must provide AEA from standoff distances, a concept of operations that is ill-suited for supporting penetrating strike platforms.

    Not only cannot the EA-18G keep up with a strike package, but it isn’t designed to survive combat against today’s 2012 benchmark threats of Su-30s / S-300s. So what about tomorrow’s threats like the Su-35S Super Flanker-E / S-400, T-50 PAK-FA / S-500 and the J-20 Mighty Dragon / HQ-9 in the near to mid term?

  • Greg

    says:

    Growler can’t keep up with the strike package?

    What’s the strike package comprised of?

    Oh, flights of F/A-18A and F/A-18F!

    Pull the other one!

  • ExRAAF

    says:

    Agree Greg…who’s this Peter guy? Peter, leave the armchair stats rubbish where it belongs. My money is on tried and actual warfare tested platforms and systems. Sheesh!

  • Observer

    says:

    A really smart play! Great decision.

  • Dane

    says:

    Any AEA capability for the RAAF is surely better than none at all. Hopefully more Supers will be ordered mid-decade to replace the Classics

  • Dane

    says:

    Oh, and another thing, I’ll believe the capabilites of the PAK-FA and the J-20 when the production aircraft flies. How many times have stats been released about an aircraft before the production model flies and they’ve been way off the mark.

  • Observer

    says:

    Is it really that crap Peter when a EA-18G was credited with two F-22 kills in air-air exercises in the red flag games couple years back?

  • Sam

    says:

    @Observer

    It’s not bad, its a great interim solution. It will give our pilots some invaluable experience using EW that wouldn’t be available otherwise in the leadup to the JSF aquisition. Peter is just a staunch Kopp supporter. If you want to see his reply visit ausairpower.net, it will be a direct quote.

  • Peter

    says:

    Remember the F/A-18 fleet cannot meet its peacetime fighter availability requirements, the remaining fatigue life in the F/A-18A/B fleet to expire over this decade, further costly structural and enhancement program to replace fuselage centre barrels has been initiated to stretch the life of these aircraft. APG-73 radar, electronic warfare, guided weapon and missile upgrades and software will diminish this availability even further. The acquisition of Russian designed Sukhoi Su-27/30 Flanker series by most regional nations now presents an environment where the F/A-18A/B and F/A-18F Super Hornet is outclassed in all key performance parameters, aerodynamic, large armament load, radar and sensor performance by widely available fighters.

    In some respects the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet Block 2 are not very good air combat planes and if the RAAF have to use them as a bridging capability gap to replace the A/B models in the mid-decade. This aircraft has similar performance and capability deficiencies to the F-35, and is equally incapable of credibly performing against modern regional threats. The F/A-18E/F has a missing sting in its tail and it’s certainly not their, which is why is called the “Super Dog” and there is no way the Super Dog can be expected to hold it’s own with the modern Russian sourced fighters coming into service now in our region. The aircraft is equipped with the APG-79 AESA which is a competitive design, however in its key metric of detection range performance it has already been outclassed by the Tikhomirov NIIP Irbis-E (Snow Leopard) radar designed for the Su-35BM/Su-35S-1 Super Flanker-E, Plus and available as an upgrade for the regional Su-30MKI and Su-30MKM Flanker-H.

    Its also been claimed that the Su-35 will possibly feature a rear warning radar. The ability for the Flanker to launch AAMs backwards as an effective protection against attack from behind.

    The F/A-18A/B Hornet Upgrade Program (HUG) / F/A-18F Super Hornet BACC (Bridging Air Combat Capability) has a poor survivability due to inferior acceleration, poor agility, short range and limited weapons payload vs Sukhoi Su-27/30/35 Flanker; significant dependency on AEW&C and tankers to provide useful capability, the Classic Hornet / Super Hornet are aerodynamically uncompetitive aircraft provides little useful capability in primary roles. The Classic Hornet / Super Hornet are unsuited for bomber and cruise missile defence, two or more aircraft required to match range/weapons payload of single F-111, F-15E or any high capability fighter (large airframes).

    Neither does the Joint Strike Failure which is also a wrong aircraft too.

  • Greg

    says:

    Peter,

    The center-barrel replacement program isn’t being initiated, it is long over. Suspended as it was determined by DSTO that classic hornets have lots of fatigue life left. Welcome to 2012.

    What sources are you using for sensor performance stats? Radome diameter from airshow photos alone is not an accurate comparison as any electronic engineer worth his salt will tell you.

  • Greg

    says:

    Hopefully your tactical sources are better than your structural management program sources! Doubtful considering the former are publically available and the latter are not.

  • Peter

    says:

    Greg

    The Growler can’t keep up with the strike package? Research about the AN/ALQ-99F Tactical Jamming System Pods which will be no match for “today’s” threat.

    Early in the last decade, the U.S. Navy was trying to justify funding for a dedicated jamming version of the Super Hornet known as the “Growler”. The U.S. Navy, in an effort to get the next generation jammer (NGJ) as the hardware of choice to put on the Super Hornet (Growler) had to state the obvious: the existing years-old ALQ-99 jamming pods were for the bin. U.S. Navy said in plain language that the ALQ-99 pods were too legacy, over-kill, too inefficient and couldn’t keep up with the emerging threats and were becoming more expensive to maintain for COIN warfare.

    You want to know what happened? When NGJ ran into funding problems, the U.S. Navy was forced to deploy their EA-18Gs with a majority ALQ-99 pod configuration.

    Take a look at the new report on airborne electronic attack (PDF) by the U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO). Label this a must-read. The report covers a wide range of current and future electronic attack (or jamming) solutions for the U.S. DOD.

  • ExRAAF

    says:

    Hey Greg. You’ve really stirred ol Peter the obvious Sukhoi salesman up a bit!
    Peter, I think you’ll feel safer sleeping at night if you move to one of these regional countries that’s getting the odd Flanker or two, probably from our tax dollars as so called “foreign aid” ….mmmmmm I’ll happily stay here with my tried and successfully tested fighting brothers and sisters and their obviously outclassed equipment.

  • ExRAAF

    says:

    Hey Greg. You’ve really stirred ol Peter the obvious Sukhoi salesman up a bit!
    Peter, I think you’ll feel safer sleeping at night if you move to one of these regional countries that’s getting the odd Flanker or two, probably from our tax dollars as so called “foreign aid”.
    I’ll happily stay here with my tried and successfully tested fighting brothers and sisters and their obviously outclassed equipment.

  • ExRAAF

    says:

    Greg. You’ve really stirred Peter the obvious Sukhoi salesman up a bit!
    Peter, I think you’ll feel safer sleeping at night if you move to one of these regional countries that’s getting the odd Flanker or two, probably from our tax dollars as so called “foreign aid”.
    I’ll happily stay here with my tried and successfully tested fighting brothers and sisters and their obviously outclassed equipment.

  • ExRAAF

    says:

    Greg. You’ve really stirred Peter the obvious Sukhoi salesman up a bit!
    Peter, I think you’ll feel safer sleeping at night if you move to one of these regional countries that’s getting the odd Flanker or two, probably from so called “foreign aid”.
    I’ll happily stay here with my tried and successfully tested fighting brothers and sisters and their obviously outclassed equipment.

  • ExRAAF

    says:

    Peter, I think you’ll feel safer sleeping at night if you move to one of these regional countries that’s getting the odd Flanker or two, probably from so called “foreign aid”.
    I’ll happily stay here with my tried and successfully tested fighting brothers and sisters and their obviously outclassed equipment.

  • Observer

    says:

    Peter still hasn’t explained the F-22 kills, it’s obvious RAAF want to be in on the NGJ this is a great place to start, to get knowledge on EW and get a real grip on future platforms. Contacts that I know also explained that the latest use of the Growler in strike missions over Lybia was above expectations and performed outstandingly, fair enough Lybia has not got the best tech going around either but those missions really impressed top brass…
    People have to stop comparing what previous platforms RAAF used to use compared to the ones we have chosen now, there is nothing out there that can do everything that we need to defend these shores, so we need everything we can get. MRTT’s, AWACS, EW platforms are all needed to safely protect and support strike missions where and when ever.

    This crap about Russian metal can do this and that and that the stuff we’ve got is obsolete, were not ever going to buy Russian so we’ve got to do best we can with what we have and what the budget will let us do..

  • ExRAAF

    says:

    Hear hear Observer…well said!
    One thing I do know from my past RAAF days and insider engineering knowledge… Russian, Chinese and even Indian platforms are not even close to the reliability levels of the USAF, RAF and even our own RAAF.
    Peter, there is more to modern warfare than impressive statistics on paper.
    An old saying… “actions speak louder than words!”

  • Richard

    says:

    All the above comments are very very interesting – but has anyone done the maths ? Since when does it cost 1.7 billion to ‘convert” 12 Fs to Gs ? 1.7 billion what….rupees ? If it’s 1.7 billion Au$ or US$, then maybe there’s more in this sale than 12 conversion kits – like maybe the conversion kits PLUS 12 more Supers. Maybe 1.7 billion is a typo, or maybe………DMO stuffed up again and is throwing taxpayers money around like ” drunken sailers “. Would that be a first ?

  • Tim

    says:

    Why the anti-Gowler views from Peter, I have nothing but praise from the guys who fly this for the US Navy and the RAAF can alway upgrade the jamming pods in the future to the Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) pod thus keeping “up with the game”.

    The Growler doesn’t need to go “in” with the strike package, the strike aircraft ECM gear will take care of the “Close in” treats and the Growler can do the “stand off” duty – and remember a EA-18G also “took out” a F-22A – TWICE.

    Su-35s may be a good aircraft but what happens Russia says no to sending spare parts?

  • Richard

    says:

    All comments as above very interesting. I totally support any additional skill to give the RAAF extra punch, but has anyone done the maths on this one ? $1.7 billion to “convert” 12 pre-wired Supers ? That’s $141 million each for the conversion ! The fly-away price on a new F/A-18F is about $60 million, so something wrong here. Maybe there’s a typo on the 1.7 Billion, or just maybe – there’s 12 additonal Supers + 12 conversion kits for the 6 Sqn pre-wired Supers. Or maybe DMO got it wrong, and is throwing around precious Defence $ like….drunken sailers ! DMO getting something wrong – is that likely to happen ?

  • Sam

    says:

    Good point Richard, that does seem very interesting. Maybe theres more to this than appears!

    @Tim: Australia will never buy a russian or chinese made aircraft. It would be a strategic nightmare. What would happen if the US went to war with one of them? Given our close relations i think its safe to assume we would side with the US, which would leave us up shit creek without a paddle in terms of being able to acquire any new parts or future upgrades, which would cripple our capability. It would be utterly stupid to make defence aquisitions from a potential enemy.

  • Peter

    says:

    @ ExRAAF

    I rather happily stay here with my tried and successfully tested fighting brothers and sisters with far better equipment such as the F-15 Eagle family, Sukhoi family of fighters and close air support assets like the A-10 Warthog, instead of the useless and outclassed equipment like the lemon F-35 and stingless Super Dog.

    @ Sam

    Again pal, Australia should buy a russian made aircraft. It would be a strategic nightmare for the RAAF equipped with useless, dud and obsolete turkey F-35s and stingless Super Dogs.

    With your question What would happen if the US went to war with one of the Sukhoi family of aircraft or J-20 Mighty Dragon?

    The USAF, USN and USMC armed with lemon JSFs and Super Dogs will get decimated in close combat and long range engagements,

    Also for Australia armed with lemon JSFs and thats if the RAAF keeps the Super Dogs which would unfortunately get decimated in close combat and long range engagements too.

    The F-35 Joint Strike Failure (by design) will not be able to take on emerging threats. Again, it is too expensive to own and operate for any other kind of threat already taken care of by today’s platforms and the aircraft is too defective (by the very nature of its design) to handle emerging threats which means this would cripple our capability.

    Of course given our close relations, I think its safe to assume if we would side with the US go for the advanced F-15, the Eagle is still in production and available, it would not be utterly stupid to make defence acquisitions from Russia, but China yes, but not the Russians. I certainly didn’t comment about Australia buying chinese fighters.

  • ExRAAF

    says:

    @ Peter
    Sorry, can’t let you have the last word on this.
    You’re obviously passionate about Russian aircraft. Nothing wrong with that. Just your stubborn attitude. Keep that to yourself and go back to Russia where you’re obviously from and get on your soap box there! Sianara comrade

  • Peter

    says:

    ExRAAF

    No no no no sorry, I can’t let you have the last word on this. You’re obviously too passionate about the stingless Super Dog and lemon F-35 aircraft. i reckon it’s just your stubborn attitude of not admitting of my facts.

    You should keep that to yourself and go back to con-artist and crook Lockheed Martin company where you’re obviously from and get on your soap box there pal!

  • Peter

    says:

    ExRAAF

    Again pal. I rather happily stay here with my tried and successfully tested fighting brothers and sisters with far better equipment such as the F-15 Eagle family, Sukhoi family of fighters and close air support assets like the A-10 Warthog, instead of the useless and outclassed equipment like the lemon F-35 and stingless Super Dog.

  • Peter

    says:

    ExRAAF

    If you have a big problem with that, go and explain your stubborn argument with Dr Carlo Kopp and Peter Goon of why these useless, dud, expensive F-35s and F/A-18E/Fs and Growlers are wrong aircraft for our country.

    Then you get the idea.

  • Peter

    says:

    ExRAAF

    Why are the APA contributors are more knowledgeable than the Air Force and the Department of Defence???

    Why should Australia and the US Allies deserve to be partners with Lockheed Martin to participate the failed JSF program that will never fulfil its mission requirements???

    What is wrong with our F/A-18A/B Classic Hornets and why can’t the RAAF keep them???

    Why choose the Joint Strike Failure as the RAAF’s future fighter when it cannot beat Russian designed Sukhoi family fighters and J-20 Mighty Dragon being purchased by regional nations???

    Why’s the JSF very badly designed with flaws in the aircraft???

    Why’s the JSF badly produced?

    Why’s the single engine a disadvantage for operations across the wide open spaces of Australia etc etc?

    Explain that.

  • ExRAAF

    says:

    Heh heh heh … Obviously an amateur!
    And it’s fun getting a reaction out of people so deluded like you Peter.
    Long live Lockheed Martin, Capatilism and true Aussie loyalty to their mates … aka our allies through numerous wars past and I’m sure those yet to come …. Pal !!!

  • Observer

    says:

    I’ll have the last word!
    Peter have you realized you have contradicted yourself?
    First: you say that the Grizzly can’t keep up with strike packages too slow compared to Russian birds on a typical mission, (second): that the grizzly is outclassed by modern defences

  • Observer

    says:

    Such as aircraft, SAMs radar and so on and so forth….

    Yet your choice of aircraft that you would have in your fleet of strike aircraft are F-15, Su 27-35 and a A-10 warthog….. This does not make sense and this is the contradiction since the A-10 and F-15 are also 4th gen aircraft and also could not compete with these Fighters/ SAMs / radar and other defences, they are too old too slow and are being withdrawn from service due to these failures.

    You forget not only are the yanks a strategic partner but also the most important economic partner Australia has, hence the need to buy American so there can be offshoot affects for our economy, from parts produced here and maintaining aircraft here as well, there is no strategic/ economic ties with Russia so no Suhkoi aircraft could ever wear a roundel with a roo in it.

    Warthog/ eagle are also outperformed by the Su-35 so there is two thirds of the fleet gone you are left with an aircraft that our enemy has probably got and has intamate knowledge of so that’s gone……. No fleet left..

  • Observer

    says:

    I love Russian aircraft too but these factors put these birds to a disadvantage.

    You forget how long it would take to get a new platform such as the eagle, silent or standard, being introduced into RAAF service. From buying to building to training to IOC to be fully combat ready would take years, and by that time the next gen defences you talk of would have been introduced, another contradiction.

    And most importantly
    The opinions you have are not yours they are from people who look at all soughts of factors and try and write something credible on something they really have no knowledge about. These people thought that a strike mix of F-111’s and F-22’s were the only way to go and anything else was inferior, look at what’s happend the Pig was too old too slow for today’s missions, the raptor too expensive/ not aloud for sale outside the U.S. and not right for Australia’s needs and as I said before was brought down from a aircraft that was a 4th gen, slow, under performed, out manuerved, outgunned outclassed lowly old EA-18G, twice…

    So why qoute from people who really have no idea and reject the advice

  • Observer

    says:

    That people in the know say,
    to start doing that you might find you start contradict yourself and that would make it a bit embarrassing and make yourself realize you really don’t know what the best is for this country.

  • Peter

    says:

    @ ExRAAF, Sam, Observer, Dane, John N and Richard

    I got number of friends and colleagues in the ADF that have engineering knowledge and also ex-RAAF fighter pilots mentioned the same issue like I’m discussing with you folks. They too support my conclusions with absolutely evidence to show that the F-35, the Super Dog and the Growler are a wrong aircraft.

    I can assure you guys this is not the best plan for all western nations that are leading the wrong direction with the United States. Cancelling the F-35 would be the best plan. Major design flaws show that for all the money invested, the F-35 will never be a leading-edge combat aircraft. It will be a terrible replacement for legacy aircraft.

    Upgrading the F-35 is not possible. The design is too flawed.

    People should never stop comparing what previous platforms RAAF used to use compared to the ones we have chosen now, there are other aircraft out their to consider and close air support aircraft that can do everything that we need to defend these shores, so Australia needs to start looking for alternatives that we can get.

    The MRTT’s, AWACS, platforms what we’ve got. Other aircraft needed to be looked at such as the F-15E+, F-15SE, Sukhoi family of fighters, A-10C or OV-10 to safely protect and support fighter/strike missions where and whenever.

    The F-35, F/A-18E/F and EA-18G can do the job. Absolutely not, the stuff we’ve got and soon to be equipped is going to be obsolete, again as stated before we should be looking into either buying Sukhois or F-15 jets so we’ve got to do best we can with what we have and what the budget will let us do…. Absolutely nothing wrong with the Russians, it’s the Americans that are in the wrong with their inferior, useless and overpriced JSFs and Super Dogs.

    For more info go to defense-aerospace.com you’ll find the F-35 Reality Check Ten Years On — Part 1: ‘Fifth-Generation’ and Other Myths.

    Hello Tim – You’re still around

    I reckon a better move if you ask me would be to altogether cancel the pre-wiring 12 out of the 24 F/A-18F variants into the Growler configuration because the U.S. Navy has stated on two occasions that the ALQ-99F Tactical Jamming System Pods are obsolete kits. Plus send back the remaining F/A-18Fs back to the US Navy where they belong.

    What you said was the RAAF can alway upgrade the jamming pods in the future to the Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) pod thus keeping “up with the game”. Unfortunately Tim the NGJ is running into funding problems.

    And what about the failed F-35, what do we do with this lemon?

    Junk it. The Australia deserve a much better aircraft, and the taxpayers deserve a much cheaper one. The dustbin awaits. Run and get away from Lockheed Martin, I don’t trust Tom Burbage and his colleagues is because they are giving us the F-35 that is going to be extremely difficult to maintain and operate that the F-35s can’t fly very much which means you’re spending around 100 hours on the ground applying stealth coatings etc etc and the pilots will not get enough flight hours to train properly. You need an aeroplane as much as the pilots can train with more hours on the real thing to exercise against dissimilar aircraft and refine their skills. Flight simulators have other uses, but they do not cut it. Pilots certainly need enough time in the air.

    Going ahead with the F-35 purchase will degrade the air force further, the pilots will fly worse, because they’ll get less training, which is certainly the most important role to train, they’ll be far less pilots is because the whole force will have to shrink and very soon you’ll just have a show piece air force that they can’t do anything. In fact the RAAF doesn’t deserve the inferior, useless, dud and over-priced equipment.

  • Peter

    says:

    ExRAAF and Observer

    I have not contradicted yourself?

    While outside analysts like Stratfor noted the F/A-18’s shortcomings. I propose the longer-ranger F-15E+ Strike Eagle or F-15SE Silent Eagle with higher ordnance capacity as a better F/A-18A/B replacement. I strongly disagree that statement from the former Defence Minister Brendan Nelson.

    “The F-15E+ or F-15SE costs about $100 m each. In comparison, some aspects of the Silent Eagle package make it a promising possibility. Boeing is talking about a $100 million price tag per aircraft, a significantly longer range than the F/A-18E/F and F-35, and a maintenance infrastructure that could be based on the one for Israel’s F-15 fleet.. The F-15 is not approaching the end of its life. The Silent Eagle has a low observable profile which is attractive to our country’s needs. The F-15 certainly doesn’t have a limited transferability in terms of weapons. We should be a Eagle country.”

    Plus the F-111 and F-15 are not slow. it does not matter how old they are ok. I totally disagree with statement.

  • Peter

    says:

    Excuse me I have not contradicted myself with my arguments?

  • ExRAAF

    says:

    Yes you have Peter. And as an ex RAAF pilot myself, I certainly can spot spoof and nonsense about a subject I devoted nearly half my life too. Have your say Peter, but don’t be belligerent towards other’s opinions where this forum is to respect the views and opinions of all.

  • Peter

    says:

    Ex RAAF

    I have not contradicted myself with my arguments. Why don’t you talk to Peter Criss and Chris Mills about this situation.

    I totally disagree

    The primary reason the F-15 should being considered to fulfill the RAAF’s requirements is because its a combat-proven aircraft this nation must be look at to replace the 71 F/A-18A/B Classic Hornet fleet.

    One thing I agree with Sam is the F-15 will be outclassed with the introduction of the Sukhoi T-50 PAK-FA and J-20 Mighty Dragon 5th gen fighters which will be sorely outmatched by those aircraft. But the F-15 still has a vital role to play that can handle the Su-27/30 Flanker family threat only and the US with F-22s can handle the PAK-FA and J-20 threats.

    The F-15 can be modified with the APG-82 AESA, either the F110-GE-132, F100-PW-232 or F119-PW-100 engines (with a modified conventional afterburner nozzles) with 2-D or 3-D thrust vectoring nozzles and supercruising mode (without using afterburners which saves fuel) which needs to be considered, DEWS (Digital Electronic Warfare System), NG (Next Generation) 3-D touch screen cockpit display, digital fly-by-wire flight control system, IRST sensor pod etc.

    The reason why the F-15 is a combat proven aircraft is because, during action in the Persian Gulf, Kosovo, Balkans and recently in Afghanistan the F-15 showed its superior ability to perform missions required of the F-X (Fighter Experimental).

    The F-15 family of aircraft has a perfect air-to-air combat record of more than 104 victories and zero defeats. F-15s shot down four MiG-29 fighters during the Balkan conflict and 33 of the 35 fixed-wing Iraqi Air Forces aircraft lost in air combat during Operation Desert Storm. During the Balkan conflict, the F-15E was the only fighter able to attack ground targets around the clock, in all weather conditions. The F-15 aircraft are used by the Air Force against terrorist targets.

    The F-15 has a fantastic long range endurance, bigger weapons payload and speed capabilities than its F-X competitors. The aircraft will get into a fight, strike with a lethal mix of air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons, and return more effectively than the other (small airframes with short range such as F/A-18 Super Hornet, Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault Rafale, F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-35 JSF) F-X aircraft.

    The F-15 is in production. Boeing has built more than 1,500 of all its F-15 models and the company has extended the F-15 production line well into the 2020s to attract and satisfy new and existing customers.

    Plus the F-35 JSF is still the wrong aircraft for any air force and navy’s requirements. Why does the Pentagon and the RAAF say the JSF is a true 5th Generation Fighter. Really? The F-35 is a dog, not a racehorse.

    Here are the facts:

    Cost of the program. $385 billion for development and production, and about $1 trillion or more to maintain and operate F-35 aircraft over decades.

    Range. The short range of the JSF means they would have to be refuelled several times to fly across Australia or anywhere.

    Please note: Australia is about 2,222 nm (4,000 km) wide. Aircraft designed for European use such as the Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault Rafale, MiG-35, SAAB JAS-39 Gripen and American F-16 Fighting Falcon, F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and F-35 JSF have too short a range for use by such a large country as Australia. Again those aircraft are unsuitable to cement Australia’s regional air power lead and the RAAF really needs a large airframe with high capability to fulfill the requirements. Small fighters with short range are only ideal for smaller air forces in Europe, some Asian countries and some South American nations to operate them is because their range is not as important and they are surrounded by the small vast land areas, and more surrounding air bases (for any emergency situations e.g. hydraulic and engine failures). They can be equipped with either single or two engines (Actual range varies with mission). Australia doesn’t have that environment is because our island is
    surrounded by the vast oceans and limited internal operational basing infrastructures which means small fighters with short range are ill-suited to our needs .

    Single-Engine. This makes the aircraft more vulnerable to engine failure which is totally ill-suited for overwater operations. Remember this makes the aircraft more vulnerable to engine failure that will cause heavy losses to the entire fleet and putting pilots lives in jeopardy. The Pratt & Whitney F135-PW-100 turbofan engine will cause damage to flight deck and runways with heat build-up and exhaust impedes the aircraft’s ability to conduct missions in hot environments. The F-35 engine and integrated power package exhaust may cause excessive damage to the flight deck environment and runway surfaces that may result in operating limits or drive costly upgrades and repairs of JSF basing options. The RAAF had 116 Mirage IIIO/IIID high altitude interceptors and lost 41 fatalities which was heavily utilised, operated at extremely low altitude in any weather, probably in saturated airspace infested with low flying birds, rolling hills, antennaes, many other high speed aircraft and gun firing which caused surges to the SNECMA Atar 9C turbojet which resulted an engine failure. To place the F-16V Viper, Gripen NG or lemon F-35 in the excat environmental circumstances as in any of the Mirage accidents, and it too would have as high an attrition rate. If you place the twin-engined aircraft in the same situation the rate would be at least halved.

    Thinned Skinned fuselage: Lockheed Martin has done very little with major safety pre-cautions on the Joint Strike Fighter to protect against fire. As an close air support asset which the F-35 is suppose to be (when it attempts to discriminate tanks, convoys, surface-to-air missiles and anti aircraft artillery) its totally incapable, the aircraft will be an very easy target to shoot down, because it’s a very delicate aeroplane which means the aircraft has a huge F135-PW-100 turbofan engine surrounded by fuel wrapped around entirely in the fuselage and engine. Very little they can do because the .22 Rifle or any form of gunfire can very easily penetrate the skin on the airframe and causes it to catch on fire like a “blow torch”. Plus the F-35 will expose more heat (in full afterburner, like an exploding volcano) this will make the adversaries to detect the F-35 at BVR range, using medium range AA-12 (R-77) Adder and AA-10 (R-27) Alamo heat seeking missiles. Its a very vulnerable aircraft.

    Speed. The top speed of the JSF is only Mach 1.6 placing it at a significant disadvantage to Mach 2.4 aircraft such as the super cruising Sukhoi. Wing and engine intake geometry is optimised for sub-sonic flight – so a more powerful engine cannot fix the problem even if one would fit in the small JSF airframe. In stealth combat configuration, the F-35 aerodynamically doesn’t and will never be able to outperform all other combat-configured 4th, 4.5, 4++ and 5th generation aircraft in top-end speed, loiter, subsonic acceleration and combat radius. This doesn’t allow unprecedented see/shoot first and combat radius advantages.

    This situation by relying only on stealth, AESA radar, advanced sensors, networking, data fusion capabilities, BVR AAMs and cruise missiles as stand-off while flying at straight and level with very gentle manoeuvres of presents of guns or missiles the JSF will be a “dead duck”. It doesn’t work that way which is absolute pathetic.

    Super Cruise: No (-1)

    Thrust Vectoring Control – TVC: No (-1)

    High Agility Supersonic / Subsonic: Neither (-1)

    Large Thrust to Weight Multi Engine Thrust Growth: Middling T/W One Engine Little Growth (-1)

    High Combat Ceiling (> 7 deg/sec turn rate, sustained): No 18 lbs (0) which the fuel flow is very inefficient.

    APG-81 AESA radar. The nose geometry of the JSF limits the aperture of the radar. This makes the JSF dependent on supporting AEW&C aircraft which are themselves vulnerable to long range anti-radiation missiles and jamming. Opposing Sukhoi aircraft have a massive 1 meter radar aperture enabling them to detect and attack at an JSF long before the JSF can detect the Sukhoi. It has Medium Power Aperture (0) (Detection range around 140 – 150 nm at BVR) compared to the Su-35S Super Flankers N035 Irbis-E (Snow Leapord) X-band AESA radar’s detection range at 217-248 miles (350-400km) and for tracking stealthy targets at an RCS of 0.11 sq.ft (0.01 sq.m) at 56 miles (90 km) and T-50 PAK-FA’s N036 BRLS AFAR/AESA (based on Tikhomirov NIIP N035 Irbis-E) with the same detection range characteristics at 217-248 miles (350-400km) and for tracking stealthy targets at an RCS of 0.11 sq.ft (0.01 sq.m) at 56 miles (90 km). The J-20 Mighty Dragon’s AESA radar’s detection range is unknown to clarify at the moment.

    “Partial Stealth”. It is argued that these disadvantages are offset by the JSF being “partially stealthy” in that it has low frontal visibility to millimetre-band radar. However, this is of little value against VHF radar using meter-long wavelengths. Russian engineers are now producing advanced VHF radar systems for the Sukhoi and for ground-based system such as Nebo SVU. As explained by my friends and colleagues in the defence, this exposes most fighter-sized ‘stealth’ aircraft. While the radar technology will only improve, the stealth characteristics of the JSF are locked-in with its flawed geometry.

    Unavailability. The JSF is not expected to be fully operational around 2018 or later.

    Weight. The JSF seems to have a serious weight problem and may be unable to take off with a full load of fuel and weapons making it even more dependent on air-tanker support.

    Only “Four” BVR Air-to-Air Missiles. The JSF can only carry four air-air missiles (AAM) for Beyond Visual Range (BVR) combat. By contrast late model Sukhoi Flankers can carry a wide range of AAM on twelve hard-points.

    Classified Components. The JSF is likely to have a range of components that are ‘off-limits’ to the Australia and can only be serviced in the US.

    Highly Integrated Avionics: Yes (0)

    Sidelooking ESA Apertures: No (-1)

    High Specific Excess Power – Ps: No (-1)

    High Situational Awareness (SA) – Onboard / Offboard: Yes (0)

    The world’s best air forces choose the world’s biggest failed project, inferior to the Sukhoi family of fighters, upcoming J-20 Mighty Dragon and advanced SAM systems which is not lethal and not survivable, extremely expensive to fly and maintain.

    It is very fortunate that there are so many representations and sortions of facts presented in the opinions offered by Winslow Wheeler, Pierre Sprey, Air Power Australia etc.

    The simple facts are as follows:
    –– The F-35 will never be the most lethal and survivable multirole fighter in history;
    –– The F-35 is not meeting or not exceeding every single one of the Key Performance Parameters that the services have mandated;
    –– The F-35’s capabilities are not being validated in their laboratories, and on ground- and flight-test programme today;
    –– The F-35’s procurement costs are not up to date and not meeting programme cost objectives, and certainly are not on track to meet the customers’ unit flyaway cost targets; and
    –– The F-35 programme is way behind schedule to deliver the first production-model aircraft from 2010.

    I’m not very pleased to see that many of the world’s most elite air forces – including the US Air Force, US Navy and US Marine Corps, Canadian Air Force, Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, Royal Australian Air Force and other NATO air forces – do not agree with the opinions and facts from Lockheed Martin, the Pentagon, Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta and pro-JSF advocates that recent endorsements of the F-35 programme both in the US and abroad underscore these convictions. In fact they should be kicked out and forgotton.

    I’m not the most proud of the fact that the F-35 is the system of choice for all participating nations to protect the freedoms that enable those with differing opinions to speak out.

    One of the guests on this website claims about the F-15SE Silent Eagle is a affordable aircraft than the F-35. What he said about this remarkable aircraft. ” In comparison, some aspects of the Silent Eagle package make it a promising possibility. Boeing is talking about a $100 million price tag per aircraft, a significantly longer range than the F-35, and a maintenance infrastructure that could be based on the one for Israel’s F-15 fleet. Delivery may begin by 2012.

  • Peter

    says:

    ExRAAF

    I’m choosing to believe credible sources. The information you have stated about this lemon (F-35) (as far as i know) is heresay and rumour and the APA contributers are far more knowledgable than the RAAF, Department of Defence, Federal Government and Australian Aviation – with facts etc than your pathetic reason statements about this turkey.

    There’s absolute NO WAY I have confidents flying this unsafe, useless, less capable, overpriced and behind schedule failed aircraft if I was a fighter pilot. Very dangerous and very vulnerable aeroplane.

  • Peter

    says:

    Ex-RAAF, Observer, Richard and John N

    Well, that’s your rubbish statement.

    How many times I’ve told you about this. I don’t care what you put your wish in your statement to claim the JSF is a right warplane is because you still have NO CLUE what you’re talking about. The JSF is certainly not a true 5th Generation Fighter, the lemon is a boondoggle. It’s now time to throw the turkey in the trash bin and see the rotten damn thing in the fire and see this rubbish burn for good.

    The United States is making a gigantic investment in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, billed by its advocates as the next — by their count the fifth — generation of air-to-air and air-to-ground combat aircraft. Claimed to be near invisible to radar and able to dominate any future battlefield, the F-35 will replace most of the air-combat aircraft in the inventories of the U.S. Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and at least nine foreign allies, and it will be in those inventories for the next 55 years. It’s no secret, however, that the program — the most expensive in American history — is a calamity.

    I’ve learned that the Pentagon has increased the price tag for the F-35 by another $289 million — just the latest in a long string of cost increases — and that the program is expected to account for a whopping 38 percent of Pentagon procurement for defence programs, assuming its cost will grow no more. Its many problems are acknowledged by its listing in proposals for Pentagon spending reductions by leaders from across the political spectrum, including Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), President Barack Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, and budget gurus such as former Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) and Alice Rivlin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office and Office of Management and Budget.

    How bad is it? A review of the F-35′s cost, schedule, and performance — three essential measures of any Pentagon program — shows the problems are fundamental and still growing.

    First, with regard to cost — a particularly important factor in what politicians keep saying is an austere defence budget environment — the F-35 is simply unaffordable. Although the plane was originally billed as a low-cost solution, major cost increases have plagued the program throughout the last decade. Last year, Pentagon leadership told Congress the acquisition price had increased another 16 percent, from $328.3 billion to $379.4 billion for the 2,457 aircraft to be bought. Not to worry, however — they pledged to finally reverse the growth.
    The result? This February, the price increased another 4 percent to $395.7 billion and then even further in April. Don’t expect the cost overruns to end there: The test program is only 20 percent complete, the Government Accountability Office has reported, and the toughest tests are yet to come. Overall, the program’s cost has grown 75 percent from its original 2001 estimate of $226.5 billion — and that was for a larger buy of 2,866 aircraft.
    Hundreds of F-35s will be built before 2019, when initial testing is complete. The additional cost to engineer modifications to fix the inevitable deficiencies that will be uncovered is unknown, but it is sure to exceed the $534 million already known from tests so far. The total program unit cost for each individual F-35, now at $161 million, is only a temporary plateau. Expect yet another increase in early 2013, when a new round of budget restrictions is sure to hit the Pentagon, and the F-35 will take more hits in the form of reducing the numbers to be bought, thereby increasing the unit cost of each plane.

    A final note on expense: The F-35 will actually cost multiples of the $395.7 billion cited above. That is the current estimate only to acquire it, not the full life-cycle cost to operate it. The current appraisal for operations and support is $1.1 trillion — making for a grand total of $1.5 trillion, or more than the annual GDP of Spain. And that estimate is wildly optimistic: It assumes the F-35 will only be 42 percent more expensive to operate than an F-16, but the F-35 is much more complex. The only other “fifth generation” aircraft, the F-22 from the same manufacturer, is in some respects less complex than the F-35, but in 2010, it cost 300 percent more to operate per hour than the F-16. To be very conservative, expect the F-35 to be twice the operating and support cost of the F-16.
    Already unaffordable, the F-35′s price is headed in one direction — due north.

    The F-35 isn’t only expensive — it’s way behind schedule. The first plan was to have an initial batch of F-35s available for combat in 2010. Then first deployment was to be 2012. More recently, the military services have said the deployment date is “to be determined.” A new target date of 2019 has been informally suggested in testimony — almost 10 years late.

    If the F-35′s performance were spectacular, it might be worth the cost and wait. But it is not. Even if the aircraft lived up to its original specifications — and it will not — it would be a huge disappointment. The reason it is such a mediocrity also explains why it is unaffordable and, for years to come, unobtainable.

    In discussing the F-35 with aviation and acquisition experts — some responsible for highly successful aircraft such as the F-16 and the A-10, and others with decades of experience inside the Pentagon and years of direct observation of the F-35′s early history — I learned that the F-35′s problems are built into its very DNA.
    The design was born in the late 1980s in the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Pentagon agency that has earned an undeserved reputation for astute innovation. It emerged as a proposal for a very short take-off and vertical-landing aircraft (known as “STOVL”) that would also be supersonic. This required an airframe design that — simultaneously — wanted to be short, even stumpy, and single-engine (STOVL), and also sleek, long, and with lots of excess power, usually with twin engines.

    President Bill Clinton’s Pentagon bogged down the already compromised design concept further by adding the requirement that it should be a multirole aircraft — both an air-to-air fighter and a bomber. This required more difficult trade-offs between agility and low weight, and the characteristics of an airframe optimised to carry heavy loads. Clinton-era officials also layered on “stealth,” imposing additional aerodynamic shape requirements and maintenance-intensive skin coatings to reduce radar reflections. They also added two separate weapons bays, which increase permanent weight and drag, to hide onboard missiles and bombs from radars. On top of all that, they made it multi-service, requiring still more trade-offs to accommodate more differing, but exacting, needs of the Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy.

    Finally, again during the Clinton administration, the advocates composed a highly “concurrent” acquisition strategy. That meant hundreds of copies of the F-35 would be produced, and the financial and political commitments would be made, before the test results showed just what was being bought.

    This grotesquely unpromising plan has already resulted in multitudes of problems — and 80 percent of the flight testing remains. A virtual flying piano, the F-35 lacks the F-15′s and F-16′s agility in the air-to-air mode and the F-111 and F-15E’s range and payload in the bombing mode, and it can’t even begin to compare to the A-10 at low-altitude close air support for troops engaged in combat. Worse yet, it won’t be able to get into the air as often to perform any mission — or just as importantly, to train pilots — because its complexity prolongs maintenance and limits availability. The aircraft most like the F-35, the F-22, was able to get into the air on average for only 15 hours per month in 2010 when it was fully operational. (In 2011, the F-22 was grounded for almost five months and flew even less.)

    This mediocrity is not overcome by the F-35′s “fifth-generation” characteristics, the most prominent of which is its “stealth.” Despite what many believe, “stealth” is not invisibility to radar; it is limited-detection ranges against some radar types at some angles. Put another way, certain radars, some of them quite antiquated, can see “stealthy” aircraft at quite long ranges, and even the susceptible radars can see the F-35 at certain angles. The ultimate demonstration of this shortcoming occurred in the 1999 Kosovo war, when 1960s vintage Soviet radar and missile equipment shot down a “stealthy” F-117 bomber and severely damaged a second.
    The bottom line: The F-35 is not the wonder its advocates claim. It is a gigantic performance disappointment, and in some respects a step backward. The problems, integral to the design, cannot be fixed without starting from a clean sheet of paper.

    It’s time for Defence Secretary Leon Panetta, the U.S. military services, the Congress, pro-JSF advocates and including YOU PAL to face the facts: The F-35 is an unaffordable mediocrity, and the program will not be fixed by any combination of hardware tweaks or cost-control projects. There is only one thing to do with the F-35: Junk it. America’s air forces deserve a much better aircraft, and the taxpayers deserve a much cheaper one. The dustbin awaits.

    “GET AWAY FROM THIS AEROPLANE ITS GOING TO RUIN OUR AIR FORCE”

    In fact Ex-RAAF, the Government and most RAAF personals are allowing the adversaries to destroy our air power that the lemon F-35s can’t take on high threat zones. The JSF team and them are just as worse than the enemy, by shrinking the size of our air force that is going to degrade very soon.

    Do you listen to Lockheed Martin and RAAF personals all day about the Super Hornet/JSF issues? I bet you do.

    I reckon it’s fun getting a reaction out of you people, so deluded like you folks.

    Yes I did say that the Grizzly can’t keep up with strike packages too slow compared to Russian birds on a typical mission, (second): also that the grizzly is outclassed by modern defences. Yes the EA-18G will be outclassed by both of these things.

    Plus the opinions are not mine yes. But they are from people who look at all soughts of factors and try and write something credible on something they really don’t believe the bureaucrats and most RAAF personals claims. The reason why I got that is because you folks don’t seem to understand the facts about why are these useless equipment to our needs and I’ve been in the defence industry for over 20 years and you’re telling me I have no knowledge-pathetic statement you idiots.

    I wish you luck of reading my credible and (based completely on heresay) truthful statements.

  • Peter

    says:

    Ex-RAAF, Observer, Dane and John N

    Australian, Canadian’s and other air forces deserve a much better aircraft than the lemon JSF and stingless Super Dog, and the taxpayers deserve a much cheaper one. The dustbin awaits.

  • Peter

    says:

    Ex-RAAF, Observer, Dane and John N

    NNIIRT 55Zh6M Nebo M Mobile “Counter Stealth” Radar.

    What about it?

    This radar is designed from the outset to detect stealth fighters (especially the lemon F-35 at any angles) and provide early warning and track data to missile batteries and fighters.

    The VHF component will provide a significant detection and tracking capability against fighter and UCAV sized stealth targets. High off-road capability permits placement well away from built up areas, enabling concealment.

    Rapid deploy and stow times permit evasion of air attacks by frequent movement, defeats cruise missiles like JASSM.

    Initial Nebo M builds for Russian Air Defence Forces, but expected like other “counter-stealth” radars to be marketed for global export to arbitrary clientele.

    The Nebo M Mobile is intended to be IOC in 2012-2013.

    The F-35 has no stealth advantage vs. PAK-FA and is grossly inferior to PAK-FA in sustained speed, altitude, agility, combat radius and weapons load payload;

    The F-35 is glossly inferior to a production J-20 in stealth shaping, sustained speed, altitude, agility, radius and weapons payload

    The F-35 is also completely inferior to the Su-35S in sustained speed, altitude, agility, radius and weapons payload.

    Plus read about the Aircraft Survivability 2012. Fire : Significant Threat. As with most aircraft, fire is the primary vulnerability to the F-35. Fire extinguishing is limited to the IPP (Integrated Power Package) bay. This system was installed primarily for ground safety reasons. Fuel, hydraulic, and PAO fluids are the primary sources of fire on the aircraft and are distributed throughout the aircraft. As one would expect, fire is a threat to Flight Critical Systems.

    If the aircraft suffers a electrical fire from one of the wiring systems or engine fire, how can the pilot put out the fires when the aircraft has no fire extinguishing system on board the aircraft???

    Plus the F-35 will expose more heat (in full afterburner, like an exploding volcano) this will make the adversaries to detect the F-35 at BVR range, using medium range AA-12 (R-77) Adder and AA-10 (R-27) Alamo heat seeking missiles. Its a very vulnerable aircraft.

    I’m telling you this failed project is never cheap, despite claim of the price $75-$85 million per aircraft to buy around 100 mistake jets what you folks, Lockheed Martin, the Government/RAAF say.

  • Observer

    says:

    All in all The eagle is still a 4th gen aircraft 4.5 when the silent edition is introduced.

    I do agree with some of your theories Peter, especially regarding the F-35 I don’t like the fact that it is a single engine machine for instance, but look at it this way the F-35 is a step up in tech even if you think it’s a Minor one it’s still a step up considering we have no expertise in low observables the list goes on so to speak.

    The RAAF have moved on they are getting this aircraft they know that and they are preparing for it’s arrival whenever that may be, they are now considering what the new F/A-XX has got to offer considering that this aircraft supposedly will blow the socks off the F-22. that is the aircraft the ADF are looking at, and the F-35 is just a steping stone in tech that the RAAF will need to to get expertise in so a smooth transition can happen.

    I wish Flankers were in our service my wishlist is Su-34, F-22 and and I haven’t thought about close air support maybe a AC-130J, but I also have to be realistic will any of these birds be in service with the RAAF? No

    But as for the Grizzly it still took out two Raptors that’s a fact and I can’t argue against that no matter how hard I try…. It might seem I don’t respect your views I do, but we have to be realistic about it because there is alot more to it than ringing the pentagon or kremlin and putting in a request for tender….

  • RussiaRules

    says:

    @peter
    Love you brother.
    Flanker better than F15 though. Maybe even super Typhoon!

  • Dane

    says:

    European and Russian aircraft will never fit the RAAF, or the ADF. Our major coalition partner is the US, we use equipment common to them because more often than not, we deploy our forces alongside theirs. A prime example of this is mixture of the ARH Tiger and the Hellfire missile (a little off topic, I know.). If we were to purchase European or Russian aircraft, there would be similar integration issues. Another example is the LAIRCMS system for the KC-30. The US wouldn’t let Airbus fit it, and we would have to fly the tankers over to have it fitted and maintained.

    Back on topic, What 5th Gen alternative is there available NOW to purchase into? The PAK-FA and J-20 are still in prototype stage and require much work to meet operational requirements. The PAK-FA isnt expected to be available for export until 2025. That leaves us with an even bigger capability gap than the F-35 currently does.

  • RussiaRules

    says:

    @Dane
    You’d like stupid exRaaf!
    Waiting for dog or F35, while Indonesian or Indian Flankers decimate RAAF.
    Need good tested and cheap made Russian or Typhoon. Maybe even Rafaele which all Europe know best 4.5 gen around.
    @exRAAF
    You’d pilot, then you pal know Russian technology superior to Mirage 3 or F18 Classic. Peter is right … YOU ARE WRONG pal!

  • ExRAAF

    says:

    @RussiaRules, Peter
    Look guys. You maybe right but I love my country that I was willing to give my life while I served as a pilot.
    Just saying in my own way that technology is only half the story.
    I’m just saddened by the lack of respect these days our armed forces serving members are receiving.
    I’ll leave it at that.

  • Dane

    says:

    @RussiaRules
    Do you really think the US would purchase and continue funding the F-35 if it was a total turkey? No. The costs that are being thrown around by LM, Washington and Canberra are all through life costs. The cost of maintaining the aircraft and its initial purchase price are always going to increase with inflation of currencies and the value of the AUD against the USD. It has been highly criticised for its problems, but find me one aircraft that has been designed, tested and produced in the manufacturers time frame and budget. Even the Russian and European aircraft you suggest experienced such problems and strong opposition to their development and some level.

    Isn’t it ironic that the Russians are always 5 or more years behind the US in bringing out fighter aircraft to match the current generation? The F-22 was developed in the 90’s and the Russians have only just flown a prototype 5th gen jet…so you can’t say the technology is better until it is proven on a production aircraft.

  • AA Cunningham

    says:

    The EA-18G is Mach limited to .95 with the pods hung which won’t be a problem providing the strike package is composed of an all Super Hornet fleet. The Super Hornet itself cannot exceed Mach 1 below 10,000 feet clean, let alone dirty. However, generate an ATO using other aircraft and you’ll have to coordinate TOT to ensure that the SEAD platforms arrive with the strike.

    Big mistake exporting the Prowler/Growler TJS, though. Soetoro and his cabal of buffoons don’t have any problem in diminishing the United States technological edge. That’s SOP for a communist.

  • Observer

    says:

    I’d lay money on the F35 being a phenomenal aircraft. Judging on what the pilots who’ve flown it say, it would be easy money. I am old enough to remember a long overdue, over-cost F111 arriving under claims it was a dud, after expensive interim aircraft filled the capability gap. History does tend to repeat and the notion that a Skunkworks produced aircraft this far into development being crap is laughable. As for the potential enemy combatants? History also shows us that while they fare well in a game of top trumps, they tend to come unstuck in the face of superior training and tactics.

  • The Big Fish

    says:

    Does not really matter anyway. The latest F22ski (T-50) has been delayed, pushed further back and costing more in latest news from India (partner in that) So when they eventually get it it will probably just as expensive and no where as stealthy as an F35 (as admitted by Russian sources) , and far less sopisticated sensor suite. And then lets not forget the engine reliability issues.
    Oh and Peter who continually posts is a known, well I wont say liar, but tends to say things untrue , such as the F35 failed it’s stealth test, when it did not. Also never he has struggled to understand the maximum speed of F35 is fully loaded and other planes will struggle to be the same , fully loaded since they are external stores. With correponding much larger RCS. But he is persistent, tell you that.
    Inteteresting info if people who do not know but because of the updated info of the RCS (better than expected) of the F35 they have improved its effectiveness ratios against other planes.

  • Peter

    says:

    @ The Big Fish

    My statements are true, the F-35 has failed it’s stealth test. I reckon you had struggled to understand the maximum speed of F-35 is fully loaded etc etc.

    Also read about the Nebo-M Anti Stealth Radar what’s been posted earlier.

  • Peter

    says:

    @ Observer

    Also read about the F-111 and JSF Programs of Record.

  • Roger

    says:

    Peter, Failed stealth test! Sources please.

  • Greg

    says:

    Peter, the F-35 max speed is 1.6 with full internal stores.

    When would it need to go faster than this? Why burn the fuel? Go talk to a fighter pilot about the realities behind fighting speeds.

    flankers don’t fly at Mach 2

  • Greg

    says:

    Nebo-M. Only reference tout is on aus airpower. Bad start.

    Ground based VHF radar with “limited amount of technical literature” (ie, everything APA says is a guess).

    Got any L-band RCS splats for f-35? No? Well now you’re making two things up. There are people that have these, they arethe USAF. They are buying the F-35 so you’re trying to argue against them is silly at best.

  • Foo

    says:

    @Russia rules
    Ex-raaf right u wong

  • Foo

    says:

    @Russia rules
    Ex-raaf right you wong

  • The Big Fish

    says:

    L-Band is used for tracking (if it can see) – It is not used for targetting which are the radars on planes. Then the F35 is again at the huge advantage. So the L band may be useful if it has not been obliterated previously since it is transmitting quite an amount of power.

    And Greg you are right nobody knows what tricks the F35 has against the L Band. And of course the partners are not gong to announce that.

    I suppose the ultimate testimony is that the Chinese and Russians are building there own (albeit less) stealthy planes. If it was not a game changer then why bother?

  • The Big Fish

    says:

    Oh Greg, do not bother asking Peter for sources. I still have not got a reply about the supposed failed stealth test from a older forum in feburary. We probably will get a (several) long drawn out posts with lots of “info” but he rarely actually engages in logical and rational discussions. Basically he is a blog TROLL.

  • Sam

    says:

    @ The Big Fish

    It took me a few posts to work out the same, lol. The big hint was when he started taking my posts word for word and bludgeoning them with his horrendous english trying to turn them into a negative.

    The bottom line is, without all of the classified information on the F35 everything is just speculation, and APA have had a vested political interest in shooting the F35 project (at least in australia) down. They are a joke.

  • The Big Fish

    says:

    Greg, On the Flankers, do you (or anyone else) have any reference for max speed when fully loaded with the AAMs.

    And then secondly how long could that top speed be maintained before Bingo?

    I suppose I am wondering what exactly can a flanker do to get a kinematic advantage over a F35 that is fully loaded but not disadvantaged by external stores? And also the RCS of the fully loaded flanker is significantly larger than a clean one. So the F35 should see it at quite a fair distance. Not to mention if the flanker is at full tilt the heating should show up nicely on the Non radar sensors, IRST, the F35 has. And that is full 360 view unlike the narrow radar field.

  • The Big Fish

    says:

    Sorry, Last post is way off topic.

  • Peter

    says:

    @ Greg – Yes I know the F-35 max speed is 1.6 with full internal stores. Again too slow, the Flankers can fly at Mach 2. Nebo-M. Only reference tout is on aus airpower. Good start.

    Ground based VHF radar with “limited amount of technical literature” (ie, everything APA says is never a guess).

    @ The Big Fish – The L-Band is used for tracking (if it can see) – It is used for targetting which they’ll be able to track LO/VLO planes such as the F-35 at any angle. The F-35 will be put in a huge disadvantage when detected. I certainly do know what tricks the F-35 has against the L Band. I suppose the ultimate testimony is that the Chinese and Russians are building there own (albeit far better or match) stealthy planes.

    The bottom line is, without all of the classified information on the F-35 everything is not speculation doesn’t matter, the APA have had a vested political interest in shooting the F-35 project (at least in australia) down. The Government / RAAF, JSF advocates and Lockheed Martin are a complete joke. You call me a blog TROLL. I just reckon you people are the blog trolls out their to even think the failed F-35 is a right aircraft – it just shows you folks are ignorant.

    @ Foo – Ex-Raaf is wrong, you are also wrong too.

  • Peter

    says:

    @ Greg, Roger, Foo, The Big Fish, Sam and Ex-RAAF

    When would you need to go faster than this? Why Mach 2+ acceleration?

    I certainly do know about the realities behind fighting speeds. Because Mach 2+ speeds enhances both engagements of flying into the target area and destroying the high threat targets, and escape from, known threats as to get out of the fight as quick as possible to survive.

    If the requirement is only Mach 1.6 you won’t be able to survive because you’ll be placed at a significant disadvantage to Mach 2.4 aircraft such as the super cruising Sukhoi. The wing and engine intake geometry is optimised for sub-sonic flight – so a more powerful engine cannot fix the problem even if one would fit in the small JSF airframe. In stealth combat configuration, the F-35 aerodynamically doesn’t and will never be able to outperform all other combat-configured 4th, 4.5, 4++ and 5th generation aircraft in top-end speed, loiter, subsonic acceleration and combat radius. This doesn’t allow unprecedented see/shoot first and combat radius advantages.

    The situation by relying only on stealth, AESA radar, advanced sensors, networking, data fusion capabilities, BVR AAMs and cruise missiles as stand-off while flying at straight and level with very gentle manoeuvres of presents of guns or missiles the JSF will be a “dead duck”. It doesn’t work that way which again you’ll be placed at a significant disadvantage of being shot down while being chased by a Mach 2 Sukhoi that the F/A-18E/F and F-35A can’t escape. Even though fighters are rarely used at mach 2 for air-to-air combat or ground attack, but I still believe it is still needed for survivability.

    The F-35A does have large internal fuel load at 18,500 lbs, its fuel flow is too inefficient which means the aircraft will be burning a lot of fuel while deploying afterburner for e.g. supersonic engagements. That is why the F-35 has a short range.

    You want the sources of truth.

    The back end of the F-35 in full afterburner is something like 1600 degrees (Fahrenheit). In terms of temperature, aluminium combusts at 1100. You are talking about something really, really hot. If you have got a dirty big sensor on the front of your Su-35 or your PAK-FA or whatever, it lights up like Christmas lights and there is nothing you can do about it. And the plume, because of the symmetric exhaust, is all over the place. It is not shielded, it is not ducted in any useful way.

    I’m all familiar with these effusive comments that I see in the media about how wonderful the JSF is—it is a stealth fighter; it is invisible to enemy radar—but the reality is that stealth is not as much about invisibility but much more about being harder to detect than an ordinary aeroplane.

    The typical measures that are applied are: what radars are you stealthy against and from what direction are you stealthy against that radar? There are various models, analogies or explanations that are used, but I think the simplest one is that different radars, because of how they are built, need different stealth characteristics to beat them. If we look at the current range of stealth aircraft out there, the ones that are difficult to see from nearly all directions and by a wide range of radars, are the big B-2A Spirit and the F-22 Raptor. The JSF really only has performance that would qualify as stealthy in the direction of over the aircraft’s nose. In other words, it is hard to see from the front but if you look at the aircraft from the sides or behind and below—looking up at it—the aircraft is in many instances only marginally better than a conventional aircraft.

    Failed stealth test! Sources please. Again the 55Zh6M Nebo M. It is a multi-band counter-stealth radar. The VHF band element in that radar will detect the F-35A at a distance of tens of miles. That is without a doubt. What that means is that the aircraft is going to be in great difficulty if it tries to deal with what I call a modern or contemporary threat. The same is also true when you deal with these newer stealth fighters, because they are designed to compete with the F-22. They fly higher; they are faster and more agile—much, much more agile. They have more powerful radars and much, much better antenna packages for other sensors. The lemon F-35 is not meeting its specifications and its specifications are inadequate to deal with the changed environment.

    If the F-35 was to be able to meet its specifications, the aircraft will have the ability of going up against a 1980s Soviet air defence system of the type that we saw destroyed very effectively in Libya 12 months ago, the F-35 would be reasonably be effective in that environment, because these older Soviet radars would not see it.

    But if you are putting F-35 up against the newer generation of much, much more powerful Russian radars and some of the newer Chinese radars, the aircraft is quite detectable, especially from behind, the upper side and from the lower sides as well.

  • Peter

    says:

    The JSF is a absolute complete failure and will be useless.

  • Roger

    says:

    Peter, Firstly start getting the responses to the right people. You are getting things/people/responses mixed up.

    Secondly, You said the F35 failed stealth test. Quoting a radar system is not answering this. Seriously. It is an easy question.
    Quoting you “F-35 has failed it’s stealth test”
    Please point me to read and digest the report/document you know that indicated that it failed? Was there a declassified test result that specificially stated that it failed? Please let’s just start with that.

  • rkapo7

    says:

    What Peter says in most areas is correct.
    I would not say the F-35 is useless just yet but I am certain if they could go back to the 1990’s and start again we would see a concept more like the Pak Fa.
    This forum has all the normal F-35 fan boy logic on it.
    e.g If stealth is no good why are the Russians copying it?
    They are not! – only to a limited degree. The Russians have not sacrificed one ounce of agility or speed for stealth. They are obviously trying to build a super agile fighter that is reasonably stealthy with range, payload, altitude and supercruise. They have not sacrificed anything in these areas for stealth.
    On the NEBO – VHF and others. Sure we only have what the Russians have released. That’s all we have on the F-35 also and Pilots who say it performs something like the Hornet when I finally found what they said.
    If you read some of the PDF’s by experts etc. on the net they say there is no doubt it will be able to detect aircraft such as the F35 well beyond there effective missile kill range. Figures are actually given for its accuracy in one of those released by a Russian source. At the moment it can provide mid course guidance they claim. They admit at 80km it can’t provide guidance to the target. Still not accurate enough but it can guide a missile very close to the target.
    Not a big problem if you have long range two stage missiles or missiles that at that range do not lose there terminal velocity and manouverability. The NEBO or equivalent guides the missile on a course close to the target. Its trajectory will be within a few hundred meters using the VHF guidance from the figures I have seen – not much at 10km out – a few degrees correction when its own guidance takes over. The other value of the VHF is its emissions will be virtually undetectable. Odds are the target will not even know it is targeted until it picks up the incoming missile. Sure that needs a data linked ground radar or AWAC to guide the missile initially. That’s all a VHF radar has to do – get the Missile close to the target undetected.
    The Russians from what I have read have already done tests with there new R37M long range missile. Guided by another Radar [AWAC] and launched by a Mig31 at 300km long before the MIg could even see the target. The truth is we don’t know what they are doing in these areas. They have had about 30 years to work out strategies to counter stealth and since about 2005 they have had the money to put them into practise and develop these systems. That if anything is what worries me about the F35. In 10-15 years if its stealth becomes virtually useless as systems that can detect it become available for $2-3m what have you got?
    Also those who try to argue the altitude and top speed advantage of the SU35s[limited supercruise] and Pak Fa [extended supercruise] are of no real value are talking absolute crap. At least they can run, launch from altitude at speed etc. They also will have the advantage close in if the situation arises.
    Just like the USA wants to keep its stealth secrets the Russians will want to keep there Anti-stealth secrets.
    The systems on the Pak Fa – we will just have to wait and see just how good they are. They claim they will equal and some Russians say they will surprise many of there Western rivals – who knows? I don’t. In the infra red detection area though I imagine they will be at least equal if not better – they have the experience and the Pak Fa should have good situational awareness even if they do not go about it exactly the same way as the F35.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

US flags sale of Growler kits to RAAF

written by australianaviation.com.au | May 23, 2012
The US Congress has been notified of the possible sale of 12 EA-18G conversion kits to the RAAF.

The US Congress has been notified of the possible sale of 12 EA-18G Growler conversion kits to Australia for $1.7 billion, another sign that the RAAF will move ahead with plans to convert half of its F/A-18 Super Hornets to the electronic warfare variant.

In a statement released today, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said the Australian Government had requested the possible sale of the kits, including 34 AN/ALQ-99F Tactical Jamming System Pods, 22 CN-1717/A Interference Cancellation Systems, 22 R-2674 Joint Tactical Terminal Receiver Systems, 30 LAU-118 Guided Missile Launchers and spare parts, training and support.

In late March, Australia ordered $19 million worth of electronic systems, antennas and other “long-lead” items for the potential Super Hornet-to-Growler conversion, though at the time Defence officials said no decision had been made on whether to move ahead with the conversions. The notification to Congress is a formal part of the US Foreign Military Sales process and doesn’t mean the deal is done, but the writing would increasingly seem to be on the wall.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Australia purchased 12 of its 24 F/A-18 Super Hornets pre-wired for Growler conversion.

The Growler, which is replacing the EA-6B Prowler in US Navy service, has seen action over Afghanistan and Libya. When fitted with ALQ-99 jammer pods, the EA-18G has the ability to either ‘close down’ an entire area over a wide electronic spectrum, or alternatively can target specific spectrums such as those used by mobile phone networks or radio bands. Even without the jammers pods, through its comprehensive receiver suite the Growler can impart additional electronic situational awareness via datalinks to other aircraft such as Super and classic Hornets, Wedgetail AEW&C, or even naval vessels.

Steer your own in-flight experience – available on print and digital Whether our classic glossy magazine in your letterbox, daily news updates in your inbox, peeling back a few layers in the podcast or our monthly current affair reports, you can count on us to keep you up to date. Sign up today for just $99.95 for more exclusive offers here. Subscribe now at australianaviation.com.au.

72 Comments

  • John N

    says:

    Well thats an interesting development!

    The link to the DSCA announcement is below:

    http://www.dsca.osd.mil/PressReleases/36-b/2012/Australia_12-27.pdf

    To me it opens up more questions that it answers, rather than going Growler “Lite”, it appears to be for a full Growler configuration, except for the fact that the “wing tip” ALQ-218 pods (which permantly replace the wingtip Sidewiders) are not included in the notification, bit stange?

    To my understanding, if the wing tip pods, and other mods, are done its at lease a Growler “Lite” configuration, and if the ALQ-99 pods are added its Growler “Full”. Can someone with the “knowledge” explain why the ALQ-218’s were not included in the notification?

    It also looks like the launch rails for HARM are included in the purchase, assume if approved, HARM will also be purchased.

    The next interesting thing, for me anyway, is that the notification is for the “possible” modification of 12 airframes, look don’t get we wrong, think that a “dedicated” Growler sqn will be great.

    But how does that affect the main task of the F/A-18F’s? 12 for 1sqn for the strike role and I assume 12 in 6sqn for the Electronic Attack role!

    How will 1sqn perform its role with 12 operational airframes, but what was the “training” sqn now possibly being the Electronic Attack sqn?

    Maybe this is part of opening the door for a possible follow on of more F/A-18F’s??

    Interesting!!

  • Peter

    says:

    Not much Grrrrrr! for the Growler. What’s so special about this turkey?

    The EA-18G Growler is also a wrong aircraft for Australia and its a waste. This aircraft is based on the F/A-18F variant which lacks the range, persistance and survivability to support the strike platforms that penetrate deep into contested airspace. In an assessment of a 2012 Major Combat Operations, the Institude for Defence Analyses determined that the EA-18G was not designed to survive with in defended airspace and thus must provide AEA from standoff distances, a concept of operations that is ill-suited for supporting penetrating strike platforms.

    Not only cannot the EA-18G keep up with a strike package, but it isn’t designed to survive combat against today’s 2012 benchmark threats of Su-30s / S-300s. So what about tomorrow’s threats like the Su-35S Super Flanker-E / S-400, T-50 PAK-FA / S-500 and the J-20 Mighty Dragon / HQ-9 in the near to mid term?

  • Greg

    says:

    Growler can’t keep up with the strike package?

    What’s the strike package comprised of?

    Oh, flights of F/A-18A and F/A-18F!

    Pull the other one!

  • ExRAAF

    says:

    Agree Greg…who’s this Peter guy? Peter, leave the armchair stats rubbish where it belongs. My money is on tried and actual warfare tested platforms and systems. Sheesh!

  • Observer

    says:

    A really smart play! Great decision.

  • Dane

    says:

    Any AEA capability for the RAAF is surely better than none at all. Hopefully more Supers will be ordered mid-decade to replace the Classics

  • Dane

    says:

    Oh, and another thing, I’ll believe the capabilites of the PAK-FA and the J-20 when the production aircraft flies. How many times have stats been released about an aircraft before the production model flies and they’ve been way off the mark.

  • Observer

    says:

    Is it really that crap Peter when a EA-18G was credited with two F-22 kills in air-air exercises in the red flag games couple years back?

  • Sam

    says:

    @Observer

    It’s not bad, its a great interim solution. It will give our pilots some invaluable experience using EW that wouldn’t be available otherwise in the leadup to the JSF aquisition. Peter is just a staunch Kopp supporter. If you want to see his reply visit ausairpower.net, it will be a direct quote.

  • Peter

    says:

    Remember the F/A-18 fleet cannot meet its peacetime fighter availability requirements, the remaining fatigue life in the F/A-18A/B fleet to expire over this decade, further costly structural and enhancement program to replace fuselage centre barrels has been initiated to stretch the life of these aircraft. APG-73 radar, electronic warfare, guided weapon and missile upgrades and software will diminish this availability even further. The acquisition of Russian designed Sukhoi Su-27/30 Flanker series by most regional nations now presents an environment where the F/A-18A/B and F/A-18F Super Hornet is outclassed in all key performance parameters, aerodynamic, large armament load, radar and sensor performance by widely available fighters.

    In some respects the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet Block 2 are not very good air combat planes and if the RAAF have to use them as a bridging capability gap to replace the A/B models in the mid-decade. This aircraft has similar performance and capability deficiencies to the F-35, and is equally incapable of credibly performing against modern regional threats. The F/A-18E/F has a missing sting in its tail and it’s certainly not their, which is why is called the “Super Dog” and there is no way the Super Dog can be expected to hold it’s own with the modern Russian sourced fighters coming into service now in our region. The aircraft is equipped with the APG-79 AESA which is a competitive design, however in its key metric of detection range performance it has already been outclassed by the Tikhomirov NIIP Irbis-E (Snow Leopard) radar designed for the Su-35BM/Su-35S-1 Super Flanker-E, Plus and available as an upgrade for the regional Su-30MKI and Su-30MKM Flanker-H.

    Its also been claimed that the Su-35 will possibly feature a rear warning radar. The ability for the Flanker to launch AAMs backwards as an effective protection against attack from behind.

    The F/A-18A/B Hornet Upgrade Program (HUG) / F/A-18F Super Hornet BACC (Bridging Air Combat Capability) has a poor survivability due to inferior acceleration, poor agility, short range and limited weapons payload vs Sukhoi Su-27/30/35 Flanker; significant dependency on AEW&C and tankers to provide useful capability, the Classic Hornet / Super Hornet are aerodynamically uncompetitive aircraft provides little useful capability in primary roles. The Classic Hornet / Super Hornet are unsuited for bomber and cruise missile defence, two or more aircraft required to match range/weapons payload of single F-111, F-15E or any high capability fighter (large airframes).

    Neither does the Joint Strike Failure which is also a wrong aircraft too.

  • Greg

    says:

    Peter,

    The center-barrel replacement program isn’t being initiated, it is long over. Suspended as it was determined by DSTO that classic hornets have lots of fatigue life left. Welcome to 2012.

    What sources are you using for sensor performance stats? Radome diameter from airshow photos alone is not an accurate comparison as any electronic engineer worth his salt will tell you.

  • Greg

    says:

    Hopefully your tactical sources are better than your structural management program sources! Doubtful considering the former are publically available and the latter are not.

  • Peter

    says:

    Greg

    The Growler can’t keep up with the strike package? Research about the AN/ALQ-99F Tactical Jamming System Pods which will be no match for “today’s” threat.

    Early in the last decade, the U.S. Navy was trying to justify funding for a dedicated jamming version of the Super Hornet known as the “Growler”. The U.S. Navy, in an effort to get the next generation jammer (NGJ) as the hardware of choice to put on the Super Hornet (Growler) had to state the obvious: the existing years-old ALQ-99 jamming pods were for the bin. U.S. Navy said in plain language that the ALQ-99 pods were too legacy, over-kill, too inefficient and couldn’t keep up with the emerging threats and were becoming more expensive to maintain for COIN warfare.

    You want to know what happened? When NGJ ran into funding problems, the U.S. Navy was forced to deploy their EA-18Gs with a majority ALQ-99 pod configuration.

    Take a look at the new report on airborne electronic attack (PDF) by the U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO). Label this a must-read. The report covers a wide range of current and future electronic attack (or jamming) solutions for the U.S. DOD.

  • ExRAAF

    says:

    Hey Greg. You’ve really stirred ol Peter the obvious Sukhoi salesman up a bit!
    Peter, I think you’ll feel safer sleeping at night if you move to one of these regional countries that’s getting the odd Flanker or two, probably from our tax dollars as so called “foreign aid” ….mmmmmm I’ll happily stay here with my tried and successfully tested fighting brothers and sisters and their obviously outclassed equipment.

  • ExRAAF

    says:

    Hey Greg. You’ve really stirred ol Peter the obvious Sukhoi salesman up a bit!
    Peter, I think you’ll feel safer sleeping at night if you move to one of these regional countries that’s getting the odd Flanker or two, probably from our tax dollars as so called “foreign aid”.
    I’ll happily stay here with my tried and successfully tested fighting brothers and sisters and their obviously outclassed equipment.

  • ExRAAF

    says:

    Greg. You’ve really stirred Peter the obvious Sukhoi salesman up a bit!
    Peter, I think you’ll feel safer sleeping at night if you move to one of these regional countries that’s getting the odd Flanker or two, probably from our tax dollars as so called “foreign aid”.
    I’ll happily stay here with my tried and successfully tested fighting brothers and sisters and their obviously outclassed equipment.

  • ExRAAF

    says:

    Greg. You’ve really stirred Peter the obvious Sukhoi salesman up a bit!
    Peter, I think you’ll feel safer sleeping at night if you move to one of these regional countries that’s getting the odd Flanker or two, probably from so called “foreign aid”.
    I’ll happily stay here with my tried and successfully tested fighting brothers and sisters and their obviously outclassed equipment.

  • ExRAAF

    says:

    Peter, I think you’ll feel safer sleeping at night if you move to one of these regional countries that’s getting the odd Flanker or two, probably from so called “foreign aid”.
    I’ll happily stay here with my tried and successfully tested fighting brothers and sisters and their obviously outclassed equipment.

  • Observer

    says:

    Peter still hasn’t explained the F-22 kills, it’s obvious RAAF want to be in on the NGJ this is a great place to start, to get knowledge on EW and get a real grip on future platforms. Contacts that I know also explained that the latest use of the Growler in strike missions over Lybia was above expectations and performed outstandingly, fair enough Lybia has not got the best tech going around either but those missions really impressed top brass…
    People have to stop comparing what previous platforms RAAF used to use compared to the ones we have chosen now, there is nothing out there that can do everything that we need to defend these shores, so we need everything we can get. MRTT’s, AWACS, EW platforms are all needed to safely protect and support strike missions where and when ever.

    This crap about Russian metal can do this and that and that the stuff we’ve got is obsolete, were not ever going to buy Russian so we’ve got to do best we can with what we have and what the budget will let us do..

  • ExRAAF

    says:

    Hear hear Observer…well said!
    One thing I do know from my past RAAF days and insider engineering knowledge… Russian, Chinese and even Indian platforms are not even close to the reliability levels of the USAF, RAF and even our own RAAF.
    Peter, there is more to modern warfare than impressive statistics on paper.
    An old saying… “actions speak louder than words!”

  • Richard

    says:

    All the above comments are very very interesting – but has anyone done the maths ? Since when does it cost 1.7 billion to ‘convert” 12 Fs to Gs ? 1.7 billion what….rupees ? If it’s 1.7 billion Au$ or US$, then maybe there’s more in this sale than 12 conversion kits – like maybe the conversion kits PLUS 12 more Supers. Maybe 1.7 billion is a typo, or maybe………DMO stuffed up again and is throwing taxpayers money around like ” drunken sailers “. Would that be a first ?

  • Tim

    says:

    Why the anti-Gowler views from Peter, I have nothing but praise from the guys who fly this for the US Navy and the RAAF can alway upgrade the jamming pods in the future to the Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) pod thus keeping “up with the game”.

    The Growler doesn’t need to go “in” with the strike package, the strike aircraft ECM gear will take care of the “Close in” treats and the Growler can do the “stand off” duty – and remember a EA-18G also “took out” a F-22A – TWICE.

    Su-35s may be a good aircraft but what happens Russia says no to sending spare parts?

  • Richard

    says:

    All comments as above very interesting. I totally support any additional skill to give the RAAF extra punch, but has anyone done the maths on this one ? $1.7 billion to “convert” 12 pre-wired Supers ? That’s $141 million each for the conversion ! The fly-away price on a new F/A-18F is about $60 million, so something wrong here. Maybe there’s a typo on the 1.7 Billion, or just maybe – there’s 12 additonal Supers + 12 conversion kits for the 6 Sqn pre-wired Supers. Or maybe DMO got it wrong, and is throwing around precious Defence $ like….drunken sailers ! DMO getting something wrong – is that likely to happen ?

  • Sam

    says:

    Good point Richard, that does seem very interesting. Maybe theres more to this than appears!

    @Tim: Australia will never buy a russian or chinese made aircraft. It would be a strategic nightmare. What would happen if the US went to war with one of them? Given our close relations i think its safe to assume we would side with the US, which would leave us up shit creek without a paddle in terms of being able to acquire any new parts or future upgrades, which would cripple our capability. It would be utterly stupid to make defence aquisitions from a potential enemy.

  • Peter

    says:

    @ ExRAAF

    I rather happily stay here with my tried and successfully tested fighting brothers and sisters with far better equipment such as the F-15 Eagle family, Sukhoi family of fighters and close air support assets like the A-10 Warthog, instead of the useless and outclassed equipment like the lemon F-35 and stingless Super Dog.

    @ Sam

    Again pal, Australia should buy a russian made aircraft. It would be a strategic nightmare for the RAAF equipped with useless, dud and obsolete turkey F-35s and stingless Super Dogs.

    With your question What would happen if the US went to war with one of the Sukhoi family of aircraft or J-20 Mighty Dragon?

    The USAF, USN and USMC armed with lemon JSFs and Super Dogs will get decimated in close combat and long range engagements,

    Also for Australia armed with lemon JSFs and thats if the RAAF keeps the Super Dogs which would unfortunately get decimated in close combat and long range engagements too.

    The F-35 Joint Strike Failure (by design) will not be able to take on emerging threats. Again, it is too expensive to own and operate for any other kind of threat already taken care of by today’s platforms and the aircraft is too defective (by the very nature of its design) to handle emerging threats which means this would cripple our capability.

    Of course given our close relations, I think its safe to assume if we would side with the US go for the advanced F-15, the Eagle is still in production and available, it would not be utterly stupid to make defence acquisitions from Russia, but China yes, but not the Russians. I certainly didn’t comment about Australia buying chinese fighters.

  • ExRAAF

    says:

    @ Peter
    Sorry, can’t let you have the last word on this.
    You’re obviously passionate about Russian aircraft. Nothing wrong with that. Just your stubborn attitude. Keep that to yourself and go back to Russia where you’re obviously from and get on your soap box there! Sianara comrade

  • Peter

    says:

    ExRAAF

    No no no no sorry, I can’t let you have the last word on this. You’re obviously too passionate about the stingless Super Dog and lemon F-35 aircraft. i reckon it’s just your stubborn attitude of not admitting of my facts.

    You should keep that to yourself and go back to con-artist and crook Lockheed Martin company where you’re obviously from and get on your soap box there pal!

  • Peter

    says:

    ExRAAF

    Again pal. I rather happily stay here with my tried and successfully tested fighting brothers and sisters with far better equipment such as the F-15 Eagle family, Sukhoi family of fighters and close air support assets like the A-10 Warthog, instead of the useless and outclassed equipment like the lemon F-35 and stingless Super Dog.

  • Peter

    says:

    ExRAAF

    If you have a big problem with that, go and explain your stubborn argument with Dr Carlo Kopp and Peter Goon of why these useless, dud, expensive F-35s and F/A-18E/Fs and Growlers are wrong aircraft for our country.

    Then you get the idea.

  • Peter

    says:

    ExRAAF

    Why are the APA contributors are more knowledgeable than the Air Force and the Department of Defence???

    Why should Australia and the US Allies deserve to be partners with Lockheed Martin to participate the failed JSF program that will never fulfil its mission requirements???

    What is wrong with our F/A-18A/B Classic Hornets and why can’t the RAAF keep them???

    Why choose the Joint Strike Failure as the RAAF’s future fighter when it cannot beat Russian designed Sukhoi family fighters and J-20 Mighty Dragon being purchased by regional nations???

    Why’s the JSF very badly designed with flaws in the aircraft???

    Why’s the JSF badly produced?

    Why’s the single engine a disadvantage for operations across the wide open spaces of Australia etc etc?

    Explain that.

  • ExRAAF

    says:

    Heh heh heh … Obviously an amateur!
    And it’s fun getting a reaction out of people so deluded like you Peter.
    Long live Lockheed Martin, Capatilism and true Aussie loyalty to their mates … aka our allies through numerous wars past and I’m sure those yet to come …. Pal !!!

  • Observer

    says:

    I’ll have the last word!
    Peter have you realized you have contradicted yourself?
    First: you say that the Grizzly can’t keep up with strike packages too slow compared to Russian birds on a typical mission, (second): that the grizzly is outclassed by modern defences

  • Observer

    says:

    Such as aircraft, SAMs radar and so on and so forth….

    Yet your choice of aircraft that you would have in your fleet of strike aircraft are F-15, Su 27-35 and a A-10 warthog….. This does not make sense and this is the contradiction since the A-10 and F-15 are also 4th gen aircraft and also could not compete with these Fighters/ SAMs / radar and other defences, they are too old too slow and are being withdrawn from service due to these failures.

    You forget not only are the yanks a strategic partner but also the most important economic partner Australia has, hence the need to buy American so there can be offshoot affects for our economy, from parts produced here and maintaining aircraft here as well, there is no strategic/ economic ties with Russia so no Suhkoi aircraft could ever wear a roundel with a roo in it.

    Warthog/ eagle are also outperformed by the Su-35 so there is two thirds of the fleet gone you are left with an aircraft that our enemy has probably got and has intamate knowledge of so that’s gone……. No fleet left..

  • Observer

    says:

    I love Russian aircraft too but these factors put these birds to a disadvantage.

    You forget how long it would take to get a new platform such as the eagle, silent or standard, being introduced into RAAF service. From buying to building to training to IOC to be fully combat ready would take years, and by that time the next gen defences you talk of would have been introduced, another contradiction.

    And most importantly
    The opinions you have are not yours they are from people who look at all soughts of factors and try and write something credible on something they really have no knowledge about. These people thought that a strike mix of F-111’s and F-22’s were the only way to go and anything else was inferior, look at what’s happend the Pig was too old too slow for today’s missions, the raptor too expensive/ not aloud for sale outside the U.S. and not right for Australia’s needs and as I said before was brought down from a aircraft that was a 4th gen, slow, under performed, out manuerved, outgunned outclassed lowly old EA-18G, twice…

    So why qoute from people who really have no idea and reject the advice

  • Observer

    says:

    That people in the know say,
    to start doing that you might find you start contradict yourself and that would make it a bit embarrassing and make yourself realize you really don’t know what the best is for this country.

  • Peter

    says:

    @ ExRAAF, Sam, Observer, Dane, John N and Richard

    I got number of friends and colleagues in the ADF that have engineering knowledge and also ex-RAAF fighter pilots mentioned the same issue like I’m discussing with you folks. They too support my conclusions with absolutely evidence to show that the F-35, the Super Dog and the Growler are a wrong aircraft.

    I can assure you guys this is not the best plan for all western nations that are leading the wrong direction with the United States. Cancelling the F-35 would be the best plan. Major design flaws show that for all the money invested, the F-35 will never be a leading-edge combat aircraft. It will be a terrible replacement for legacy aircraft.

    Upgrading the F-35 is not possible. The design is too flawed.

    People should never stop comparing what previous platforms RAAF used to use compared to the ones we have chosen now, there are other aircraft out their to consider and close air support aircraft that can do everything that we need to defend these shores, so Australia needs to start looking for alternatives that we can get.

    The MRTT’s, AWACS, platforms what we’ve got. Other aircraft needed to be looked at such as the F-15E+, F-15SE, Sukhoi family of fighters, A-10C or OV-10 to safely protect and support fighter/strike missions where and whenever.

    The F-35, F/A-18E/F and EA-18G can do the job. Absolutely not, the stuff we’ve got and soon to be equipped is going to be obsolete, again as stated before we should be looking into either buying Sukhois or F-15 jets so we’ve got to do best we can with what we have and what the budget will let us do…. Absolutely nothing wrong with the Russians, it’s the Americans that are in the wrong with their inferior, useless and overpriced JSFs and Super Dogs.

    For more info go to defense-aerospace.com you’ll find the F-35 Reality Check Ten Years On — Part 1: ‘Fifth-Generation’ and Other Myths.

    Hello Tim – You’re still around

    I reckon a better move if you ask me would be to altogether cancel the pre-wiring 12 out of the 24 F/A-18F variants into the Growler configuration because the U.S. Navy has stated on two occasions that the ALQ-99F Tactical Jamming System Pods are obsolete kits. Plus send back the remaining F/A-18Fs back to the US Navy where they belong.

    What you said was the RAAF can alway upgrade the jamming pods in the future to the Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) pod thus keeping “up with the game”. Unfortunately Tim the NGJ is running into funding problems.

    And what about the failed F-35, what do we do with this lemon?

    Junk it. The Australia deserve a much better aircraft, and the taxpayers deserve a much cheaper one. The dustbin awaits. Run and get away from Lockheed Martin, I don’t trust Tom Burbage and his colleagues is because they are giving us the F-35 that is going to be extremely difficult to maintain and operate that the F-35s can’t fly very much which means you’re spending around 100 hours on the ground applying stealth coatings etc etc and the pilots will not get enough flight hours to train properly. You need an aeroplane as much as the pilots can train with more hours on the real thing to exercise against dissimilar aircraft and refine their skills. Flight simulators have other uses, but they do not cut it. Pilots certainly need enough time in the air.

    Going ahead with the F-35 purchase will degrade the air force further, the pilots will fly worse, because they’ll get less training, which is certainly the most important role to train, they’ll be far less pilots is because the whole force will have to shrink and very soon you’ll just have a show piece air force that they can’t do anything. In fact the RAAF doesn’t deserve the inferior, useless, dud and over-priced equipment.

  • Peter

    says:

    ExRAAF and Observer

    I have not contradicted yourself?

    While outside analysts like Stratfor noted the F/A-18’s shortcomings. I propose the longer-ranger F-15E+ Strike Eagle or F-15SE Silent Eagle with higher ordnance capacity as a better F/A-18A/B replacement. I strongly disagree that statement from the former Defence Minister Brendan Nelson.

    “The F-15E+ or F-15SE costs about $100 m each. In comparison, some aspects of the Silent Eagle package make it a promising possibility. Boeing is talking about a $100 million price tag per aircraft, a significantly longer range than the F/A-18E/F and F-35, and a maintenance infrastructure that could be based on the one for Israel’s F-15 fleet.. The F-15 is not approaching the end of its life. The Silent Eagle has a low observable profile which is attractive to our country’s needs. The F-15 certainly doesn’t have a limited transferability in terms of weapons. We should be a Eagle country.”

    Plus the F-111 and F-15 are not slow. it does not matter how old they are ok. I totally disagree with statement.

  • Peter

    says:

    Excuse me I have not contradicted myself with my arguments?

  • ExRAAF

    says:

    Yes you have Peter. And as an ex RAAF pilot myself, I certainly can spot spoof and nonsense about a subject I devoted nearly half my life too. Have your say Peter, but don’t be belligerent towards other’s opinions where this forum is to respect the views and opinions of all.

  • Peter

    says:

    Ex RAAF

    I have not contradicted myself with my arguments. Why don’t you talk to Peter Criss and Chris Mills about this situation.

    I totally disagree

    The primary reason the F-15 should being considered to fulfill the RAAF’s requirements is because its a combat-proven aircraft this nation must be look at to replace the 71 F/A-18A/B Classic Hornet fleet.

    One thing I agree with Sam is the F-15 will be outclassed with the introduction of the Sukhoi T-50 PAK-FA and J-20 Mighty Dragon 5th gen fighters which will be sorely outmatched by those aircraft. But the F-15 still has a vital role to play that can handle the Su-27/30 Flanker family threat only and the US with F-22s can handle the PAK-FA and J-20 threats.

    The F-15 can be modified with the APG-82 AESA, either the F110-GE-132, F100-PW-232 or F119-PW-100 engines (with a modified conventional afterburner nozzles) with 2-D or 3-D thrust vectoring nozzles and supercruising mode (without using afterburners which saves fuel) which needs to be considered, DEWS (Digital Electronic Warfare System), NG (Next Generation) 3-D touch screen cockpit display, digital fly-by-wire flight control system, IRST sensor pod etc.

    The reason why the F-15 is a combat proven aircraft is because, during action in the Persian Gulf, Kosovo, Balkans and recently in Afghanistan the F-15 showed its superior ability to perform missions required of the F-X (Fighter Experimental).

    The F-15 family of aircraft has a perfect air-to-air combat record of more than 104 victories and zero defeats. F-15s shot down four MiG-29 fighters during the Balkan conflict and 33 of the 35 fixed-wing Iraqi Air Forces aircraft lost in air combat during Operation Desert Storm. During the Balkan conflict, the F-15E was the only fighter able to attack ground targets around the clock, in all weather conditions. The F-15 aircraft are used by the Air Force against terrorist targets.

    The F-15 has a fantastic long range endurance, bigger weapons payload and speed capabilities than its F-X competitors. The aircraft will get into a fight, strike with a lethal mix of air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons, and return more effectively than the other (small airframes with short range such as F/A-18 Super Hornet, Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault Rafale, F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-35 JSF) F-X aircraft.

    The F-15 is in production. Boeing has built more than 1,500 of all its F-15 models and the company has extended the F-15 production line well into the 2020s to attract and satisfy new and existing customers.

    Plus the F-35 JSF is still the wrong aircraft for any air force and navy’s requirements. Why does the Pentagon and the RAAF say the JSF is a true 5th Generation Fighter. Really? The F-35 is a dog, not a racehorse.

    Here are the facts:

    Cost of the program. $385 billion for development and production, and about $1 trillion or more to maintain and operate F-35 aircraft over decades.

    Range. The short range of the JSF means they would have to be refuelled several times to fly across Australia or anywhere.

    Please note: Australia is about 2,222 nm (4,000 km) wide. Aircraft designed for European use such as the Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault Rafale, MiG-35, SAAB JAS-39 Gripen and American F-16 Fighting Falcon, F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and F-35 JSF have too short a range for use by such a large country as Australia. Again those aircraft are unsuitable to cement Australia’s regional air power lead and the RAAF really needs a large airframe with high capability to fulfill the requirements. Small fighters with short range are only ideal for smaller air forces in Europe, some Asian countries and some South American nations to operate them is because their range is not as important and they are surrounded by the small vast land areas, and more surrounding air bases (for any emergency situations e.g. hydraulic and engine failures). They can be equipped with either single or two engines (Actual range varies with mission). Australia doesn’t have that environment is because our island is
    surrounded by the vast oceans and limited internal operational basing infrastructures which means small fighters with short range are ill-suited to our needs .

    Single-Engine. This makes the aircraft more vulnerable to engine failure which is totally ill-suited for overwater operations. Remember this makes the aircraft more vulnerable to engine failure that will cause heavy losses to the entire fleet and putting pilots lives in jeopardy. The Pratt & Whitney F135-PW-100 turbofan engine will cause damage to flight deck and runways with heat build-up and exhaust impedes the aircraft’s ability to conduct missions in hot environments. The F-35 engine and integrated power package exhaust may cause excessive damage to the flight deck environment and runway surfaces that may result in operating limits or drive costly upgrades and repairs of JSF basing options. The RAAF had 116 Mirage IIIO/IIID high altitude interceptors and lost 41 fatalities which was heavily utilised, operated at extremely low altitude in any weather, probably in saturated airspace infested with low flying birds, rolling hills, antennaes, many other high speed aircraft and gun firing which caused surges to the SNECMA Atar 9C turbojet which resulted an engine failure. To place the F-16V Viper, Gripen NG or lemon F-35 in the excat environmental circumstances as in any of the Mirage accidents, and it too would have as high an attrition rate. If you place the twin-engined aircraft in the same situation the rate would be at least halved.

    Thinned Skinned fuselage: Lockheed Martin has done very little with major safety pre-cautions on the Joint Strike Fighter to protect against fire. As an close air support asset which the F-35 is suppose to be (when it attempts to discriminate tanks, convoys, surface-to-air missiles and anti aircraft artillery) its totally incapable, the aircraft will be an very easy target to shoot down, because it’s a very delicate aeroplane which means the aircraft has a huge F135-PW-100 turbofan engine surrounded by fuel wrapped around entirely in the fuselage and engine. Very little they can do because the .22 Rifle or any form of gunfire can very easily penetrate the skin on the airframe and causes it to catch on fire like a “blow torch”. Plus the F-35 will expose more heat (in full afterburner, like an exploding volcano) this will make the adversaries to detect the F-35 at BVR range, using medium range AA-12 (R-77) Adder and AA-10 (R-27) Alamo heat seeking missiles. Its a very vulnerable aircraft.

    Speed. The top speed of the JSF is only Mach 1.6 placing it at a significant disadvantage to Mach 2.4 aircraft such as the super cruising Sukhoi. Wing and engine intake geometry is optimised for sub-sonic flight – so a more powerful engine cannot fix the problem even if one would fit in the small JSF airframe. In stealth combat configuration, the F-35 aerodynamically doesn’t and will never be able to outperform all other combat-configured 4th, 4.5, 4++ and 5th generation aircraft in top-end speed, loiter, subsonic acceleration and combat radius. This doesn’t allow unprecedented see/shoot first and combat radius advantages.

    This situation by relying only on stealth, AESA radar, advanced sensors, networking, data fusion capabilities, BVR AAMs and cruise missiles as stand-off while flying at straight and level with very gentle manoeuvres of presents of guns or missiles the JSF will be a “dead duck”. It doesn’t work that way which is absolute pathetic.

    Super Cruise: No (-1)

    Thrust Vectoring Control – TVC: No (-1)

    High Agility Supersonic / Subsonic: Neither (-1)

    Large Thrust to Weight Multi Engine Thrust Growth: Middling T/W One Engine Little Growth (-1)

    High Combat Ceiling (> 7 deg/sec turn rate, sustained): No 18 lbs (0) which the fuel flow is very inefficient.

    APG-81 AESA radar. The nose geometry of the JSF limits the aperture of the radar. This makes the JSF dependent on supporting AEW&C aircraft which are themselves vulnerable to long range anti-radiation missiles and jamming. Opposing Sukhoi aircraft have a massive 1 meter radar aperture enabling them to detect and attack at an JSF long before the JSF can detect the Sukhoi. It has Medium Power Aperture (0) (Detection range around 140 – 150 nm at BVR) compared to the Su-35S Super Flankers N035 Irbis-E (Snow Leapord) X-band AESA radar’s detection range at 217-248 miles (350-400km) and for tracking stealthy targets at an RCS of 0.11 sq.ft (0.01 sq.m) at 56 miles (90 km) and T-50 PAK-FA’s N036 BRLS AFAR/AESA (based on Tikhomirov NIIP N035 Irbis-E) with the same detection range characteristics at 217-248 miles (350-400km) and for tracking stealthy targets at an RCS of 0.11 sq.ft (0.01 sq.m) at 56 miles (90 km). The J-20 Mighty Dragon’s AESA radar’s detection range is unknown to clarify at the moment.

    “Partial Stealth”. It is argued that these disadvantages are offset by the JSF being “partially stealthy” in that it has low frontal visibility to millimetre-band radar. However, this is of little value against VHF radar using meter-long wavelengths. Russian engineers are now producing advanced VHF radar systems for the Sukhoi and for ground-based system such as Nebo SVU. As explained by my friends and colleagues in the defence, this exposes most fighter-sized ‘stealth’ aircraft. While the radar technology will only improve, the stealth characteristics of the JSF are locked-in with its flawed geometry.

    Unavailability. The JSF is not expected to be fully operational around 2018 or later.

    Weight. The JSF seems to have a serious weight problem and may be unable to take off with a full load of fuel and weapons making it even more dependent on air-tanker support.

    Only “Four” BVR Air-to-Air Missiles. The JSF can only carry four air-air missiles (AAM) for Beyond Visual Range (BVR) combat. By contrast late model Sukhoi Flankers can carry a wide range of AAM on twelve hard-points.

    Classified Components. The JSF is likely to have a range of components that are ‘off-limits’ to the Australia and can only be serviced in the US.

    Highly Integrated Avionics: Yes (0)

    Sidelooking ESA Apertures: No (-1)

    High Specific Excess Power – Ps: No (-1)

    High Situational Awareness (SA) – Onboard / Offboard: Yes (0)

    The world’s best air forces choose the world’s biggest failed project, inferior to the Sukhoi family of fighters, upcoming J-20 Mighty Dragon and advanced SAM systems which is not lethal and not survivable, extremely expensive to fly and maintain.

    It is very fortunate that there are so many representations and sortions of facts presented in the opinions offered by Winslow Wheeler, Pierre Sprey, Air Power Australia etc.

    The simple facts are as follows:
    –– The F-35 will never be the most lethal and survivable multirole fighter in history;
    –– The F-35 is not meeting or not exceeding every single one of the Key Performance Parameters that the services have mandated;
    –– The F-35’s capabilities are not being validated in their laboratories, and on ground- and flight-test programme today;
    –– The F-35’s procurement costs are not up to date and not meeting programme cost objectives, and certainly are not on track to meet the customers’ unit flyaway cost targets; and
    –– The F-35 programme is way behind schedule to deliver the first production-model aircraft from 2010.

    I’m not very pleased to see that many of the world’s most elite air forces – including the US Air Force, US Navy and US Marine Corps, Canadian Air Force, Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, Royal Australian Air Force and other NATO air forces – do not agree with the opinions and facts from Lockheed Martin, the Pentagon, Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta and pro-JSF advocates that recent endorsements of the F-35 programme both in the US and abroad underscore these convictions. In fact they should be kicked out and forgotton.

    I’m not the most proud of the fact that the F-35 is the system of choice for all participating nations to protect the freedoms that enable those with differing opinions to speak out.

    One of the guests on this website claims about the F-15SE Silent Eagle is a affordable aircraft than the F-35. What he said about this remarkable aircraft. ” In comparison, some aspects of the Silent Eagle package make it a promising possibility. Boeing is talking about a $100 million price tag per aircraft, a significantly longer range than the F-35, and a maintenance infrastructure that could be based on the one for Israel’s F-15 fleet. Delivery may begin by 2012.

  • Peter

    says:

    ExRAAF

    I’m choosing to believe credible sources. The information you have stated about this lemon (F-35) (as far as i know) is heresay and rumour and the APA contributers are far more knowledgable than the RAAF, Department of Defence, Federal Government and Australian Aviation – with facts etc than your pathetic reason statements about this turkey.

    There’s absolute NO WAY I have confidents flying this unsafe, useless, less capable, overpriced and behind schedule failed aircraft if I was a fighter pilot. Very dangerous and very vulnerable aeroplane.

  • Peter

    says:

    Ex-RAAF, Observer, Richard and John N

    Well, that’s your rubbish statement.

    How many times I’ve told you about this. I don’t care what you put your wish in your statement to claim the JSF is a right warplane is because you still have NO CLUE what you’re talking about. The JSF is certainly not a true 5th Generation Fighter, the lemon is a boondoggle. It’s now time to throw the turkey in the trash bin and see the rotten damn thing in the fire and see this rubbish burn for good.

    The United States is making a gigantic investment in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, billed by its advocates as the next — by their count the fifth — generation of air-to-air and air-to-ground combat aircraft. Claimed to be near invisible to radar and able to dominate any future battlefield, the F-35 will replace most of the air-combat aircraft in the inventories of the U.S. Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and at least nine foreign allies, and it will be in those inventories for the next 55 years. It’s no secret, however, that the program — the most expensive in American history — is a calamity.

    I’ve learned that the Pentagon has increased the price tag for the F-35 by another $289 million — just the latest in a long string of cost increases — and that the program is expected to account for a whopping 38 percent of Pentagon procurement for defence programs, assuming its cost will grow no more. Its many problems are acknowledged by its listing in proposals for Pentagon spending reductions by leaders from across the political spectrum, including Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), President Barack Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, and budget gurus such as former Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) and Alice Rivlin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office and Office of Management and Budget.

    How bad is it? A review of the F-35′s cost, schedule, and performance — three essential measures of any Pentagon program — shows the problems are fundamental and still growing.

    First, with regard to cost — a particularly important factor in what politicians keep saying is an austere defence budget environment — the F-35 is simply unaffordable. Although the plane was originally billed as a low-cost solution, major cost increases have plagued the program throughout the last decade. Last year, Pentagon leadership told Congress the acquisition price had increased another 16 percent, from $328.3 billion to $379.4 billion for the 2,457 aircraft to be bought. Not to worry, however — they pledged to finally reverse the growth.
    The result? This February, the price increased another 4 percent to $395.7 billion and then even further in April. Don’t expect the cost overruns to end there: The test program is only 20 percent complete, the Government Accountability Office has reported, and the toughest tests are yet to come. Overall, the program’s cost has grown 75 percent from its original 2001 estimate of $226.5 billion — and that was for a larger buy of 2,866 aircraft.
    Hundreds of F-35s will be built before 2019, when initial testing is complete. The additional cost to engineer modifications to fix the inevitable deficiencies that will be uncovered is unknown, but it is sure to exceed the $534 million already known from tests so far. The total program unit cost for each individual F-35, now at $161 million, is only a temporary plateau. Expect yet another increase in early 2013, when a new round of budget restrictions is sure to hit the Pentagon, and the F-35 will take more hits in the form of reducing the numbers to be bought, thereby increasing the unit cost of each plane.

    A final note on expense: The F-35 will actually cost multiples of the $395.7 billion cited above. That is the current estimate only to acquire it, not the full life-cycle cost to operate it. The current appraisal for operations and support is $1.1 trillion — making for a grand total of $1.5 trillion, or more than the annual GDP of Spain. And that estimate is wildly optimistic: It assumes the F-35 will only be 42 percent more expensive to operate than an F-16, but the F-35 is much more complex. The only other “fifth generation” aircraft, the F-22 from the same manufacturer, is in some respects less complex than the F-35, but in 2010, it cost 300 percent more to operate per hour than the F-16. To be very conservative, expect the F-35 to be twice the operating and support cost of the F-16.
    Already unaffordable, the F-35′s price is headed in one direction — due north.

    The F-35 isn’t only expensive — it’s way behind schedule. The first plan was to have an initial batch of F-35s available for combat in 2010. Then first deployment was to be 2012. More recently, the military services have said the deployment date is “to be determined.” A new target date of 2019 has been informally suggested in testimony — almost 10 years late.

    If the F-35′s performance were spectacular, it might be worth the cost and wait. But it is not. Even if the aircraft lived up to its original specifications — and it will not — it would be a huge disappointment. The reason it is such a mediocrity also explains why it is unaffordable and, for years to come, unobtainable.

    In discussing the F-35 with aviation and acquisition experts — some responsible for highly successful aircraft such as the F-16 and the A-10, and others with decades of experience inside the Pentagon and years of direct observation of the F-35′s early history — I learned that the F-35′s problems are built into its very DNA.
    The design was born in the late 1980s in the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Pentagon agency that has earned an undeserved reputation for astute innovation. It emerged as a proposal for a very short take-off and vertical-landing aircraft (known as “STOVL”) that would also be supersonic. This required an airframe design that — simultaneously — wanted to be short, even stumpy, and single-engine (STOVL), and also sleek, long, and with lots of excess power, usually with twin engines.

    President Bill Clinton’s Pentagon bogged down the already compromised design concept further by adding the requirement that it should be a multirole aircraft — both an air-to-air fighter and a bomber. This required more difficult trade-offs between agility and low weight, and the characteristics of an airframe optimised to carry heavy loads. Clinton-era officials also layered on “stealth,” imposing additional aerodynamic shape requirements and maintenance-intensive skin coatings to reduce radar reflections. They also added two separate weapons bays, which increase permanent weight and drag, to hide onboard missiles and bombs from radars. On top of all that, they made it multi-service, requiring still more trade-offs to accommodate more differing, but exacting, needs of the Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy.

    Finally, again during the Clinton administration, the advocates composed a highly “concurrent” acquisition strategy. That meant hundreds of copies of the F-35 would be produced, and the financial and political commitments would be made, before the test results showed just what was being bought.

    This grotesquely unpromising plan has already resulted in multitudes of problems — and 80 percent of the flight testing remains. A virtual flying piano, the F-35 lacks the F-15′s and F-16′s agility in the air-to-air mode and the F-111 and F-15E’s range and payload in the bombing mode, and it can’t even begin to compare to the A-10 at low-altitude close air support for troops engaged in combat. Worse yet, it won’t be able to get into the air as often to perform any mission — or just as importantly, to train pilots — because its complexity prolongs maintenance and limits availability. The aircraft most like the F-35, the F-22, was able to get into the air on average for only 15 hours per month in 2010 when it was fully operational. (In 2011, the F-22 was grounded for almost five months and flew even less.)

    This mediocrity is not overcome by the F-35′s “fifth-generation” characteristics, the most prominent of which is its “stealth.” Despite what many believe, “stealth” is not invisibility to radar; it is limited-detection ranges against some radar types at some angles. Put another way, certain radars, some of them quite antiquated, can see “stealthy” aircraft at quite long ranges, and even the susceptible radars can see the F-35 at certain angles. The ultimate demonstration of this shortcoming occurred in the 1999 Kosovo war, when 1960s vintage Soviet radar and missile equipment shot down a “stealthy” F-117 bomber and severely damaged a second.
    The bottom line: The F-35 is not the wonder its advocates claim. It is a gigantic performance disappointment, and in some respects a step backward. The problems, integral to the design, cannot be fixed without starting from a clean sheet of paper.

    It’s time for Defence Secretary Leon Panetta, the U.S. military services, the Congress, pro-JSF advocates and including YOU PAL to face the facts: The F-35 is an unaffordable mediocrity, and the program will not be fixed by any combination of hardware tweaks or cost-control projects. There is only one thing to do with the F-35: Junk it. America’s air forces deserve a much better aircraft, and the taxpayers deserve a much cheaper one. The dustbin awaits.

    “GET AWAY FROM THIS AEROPLANE ITS GOING TO RUIN OUR AIR FORCE”

    In fact Ex-RAAF, the Government and most RAAF personals are allowing the adversaries to destroy our air power that the lemon F-35s can’t take on high threat zones. The JSF team and them are just as worse than the enemy, by shrinking the size of our air force that is going to degrade very soon.

    Do you listen to Lockheed Martin and RAAF personals all day about the Super Hornet/JSF issues? I bet you do.

    I reckon it’s fun getting a reaction out of you people, so deluded like you folks.

    Yes I did say that the Grizzly can’t keep up with strike packages too slow compared to Russian birds on a typical mission, (second): also that the grizzly is outclassed by modern defences. Yes the EA-18G will be outclassed by both of these things.

    Plus the opinions are not mine yes. But they are from people who look at all soughts of factors and try and write something credible on something they really don’t believe the bureaucrats and most RAAF personals claims. The reason why I got that is because you folks don’t seem to understand the facts about why are these useless equipment to our needs and I’ve been in the defence industry for over 20 years and you’re telling me I have no knowledge-pathetic statement you idiots.

    I wish you luck of reading my credible and (based completely on heresay) truthful statements.

  • Peter

    says:

    Ex-RAAF, Observer, Dane and John N

    Australian, Canadian’s and other air forces deserve a much better aircraft than the lemon JSF and stingless Super Dog, and the taxpayers deserve a much cheaper one. The dustbin awaits.

  • Peter

    says:

    Ex-RAAF, Observer, Dane and John N

    NNIIRT 55Zh6M Nebo M Mobile “Counter Stealth” Radar.

    What about it?

    This radar is designed from the outset to detect stealth fighters (especially the lemon F-35 at any angles) and provide early warning and track data to missile batteries and fighters.

    The VHF component will provide a significant detection and tracking capability against fighter and UCAV sized stealth targets. High off-road capability permits placement well away from built up areas, enabling concealment.

    Rapid deploy and stow times permit evasion of air attacks by frequent movement, defeats cruise missiles like JASSM.

    Initial Nebo M builds for Russian Air Defence Forces, but expected like other “counter-stealth” radars to be marketed for global export to arbitrary clientele.

    The Nebo M Mobile is intended to be IOC in 2012-2013.

    The F-35 has no stealth advantage vs. PAK-FA and is grossly inferior to PAK-FA in sustained speed, altitude, agility, combat radius and weapons load payload;

    The F-35 is glossly inferior to a production J-20 in stealth shaping, sustained speed, altitude, agility, radius and weapons payload

    The F-35 is also completely inferior to the Su-35S in sustained speed, altitude, agility, radius and weapons payload.

    Plus read about the Aircraft Survivability 2012. Fire : Significant Threat. As with most aircraft, fire is the primary vulnerability to the F-35. Fire extinguishing is limited to the IPP (Integrated Power Package) bay. This system was installed primarily for ground safety reasons. Fuel, hydraulic, and PAO fluids are the primary sources of fire on the aircraft and are distributed throughout the aircraft. As one would expect, fire is a threat to Flight Critical Systems.

    If the aircraft suffers a electrical fire from one of the wiring systems or engine fire, how can the pilot put out the fires when the aircraft has no fire extinguishing system on board the aircraft???

    Plus the F-35 will expose more heat (in full afterburner, like an exploding volcano) this will make the adversaries to detect the F-35 at BVR range, using medium range AA-12 (R-77) Adder and AA-10 (R-27) Alamo heat seeking missiles. Its a very vulnerable aircraft.

    I’m telling you this failed project is never cheap, despite claim of the price $75-$85 million per aircraft to buy around 100 mistake jets what you folks, Lockheed Martin, the Government/RAAF say.

  • Observer

    says:

    All in all The eagle is still a 4th gen aircraft 4.5 when the silent edition is introduced.

    I do agree with some of your theories Peter, especially regarding the F-35 I don’t like the fact that it is a single engine machine for instance, but look at it this way the F-35 is a step up in tech even if you think it’s a Minor one it’s still a step up considering we have no expertise in low observables the list goes on so to speak.

    The RAAF have moved on they are getting this aircraft they know that and they are preparing for it’s arrival whenever that may be, they are now considering what the new F/A-XX has got to offer considering that this aircraft supposedly will blow the socks off the F-22. that is the aircraft the ADF are looking at, and the F-35 is just a steping stone in tech that the RAAF will need to to get expertise in so a smooth transition can happen.

    I wish Flankers were in our service my wishlist is Su-34, F-22 and and I haven’t thought about close air support maybe a AC-130J, but I also have to be realistic will any of these birds be in service with the RAAF? No

    But as for the Grizzly it still took out two Raptors that’s a fact and I can’t argue against that no matter how hard I try…. It might seem I don’t respect your views I do, but we have to be realistic about it because there is alot more to it than ringing the pentagon or kremlin and putting in a request for tender….

  • RussiaRules

    says:

    @peter
    Love you brother.
    Flanker better than F15 though. Maybe even super Typhoon!

  • Dane

    says:

    European and Russian aircraft will never fit the RAAF, or the ADF. Our major coalition partner is the US, we use equipment common to them because more often than not, we deploy our forces alongside theirs. A prime example of this is mixture of the ARH Tiger and the Hellfire missile (a little off topic, I know.). If we were to purchase European or Russian aircraft, there would be similar integration issues. Another example is the LAIRCMS system for the KC-30. The US wouldn’t let Airbus fit it, and we would have to fly the tankers over to have it fitted and maintained.

    Back on topic, What 5th Gen alternative is there available NOW to purchase into? The PAK-FA and J-20 are still in prototype stage and require much work to meet operational requirements. The PAK-FA isnt expected to be available for export until 2025. That leaves us with an even bigger capability gap than the F-35 currently does.

  • RussiaRules

    says:

    @Dane
    You’d like stupid exRaaf!
    Waiting for dog or F35, while Indonesian or Indian Flankers decimate RAAF.
    Need good tested and cheap made Russian or Typhoon. Maybe even Rafaele which all Europe know best 4.5 gen around.
    @exRAAF
    You’d pilot, then you pal know Russian technology superior to Mirage 3 or F18 Classic. Peter is right … YOU ARE WRONG pal!

  • ExRAAF

    says:

    @RussiaRules, Peter
    Look guys. You maybe right but I love my country that I was willing to give my life while I served as a pilot.
    Just saying in my own way that technology is only half the story.
    I’m just saddened by the lack of respect these days our armed forces serving members are receiving.
    I’ll leave it at that.

  • Dane

    says:

    @RussiaRules
    Do you really think the US would purchase and continue funding the F-35 if it was a total turkey? No. The costs that are being thrown around by LM, Washington and Canberra are all through life costs. The cost of maintaining the aircraft and its initial purchase price are always going to increase with inflation of currencies and the value of the AUD against the USD. It has been highly criticised for its problems, but find me one aircraft that has been designed, tested and produced in the manufacturers time frame and budget. Even the Russian and European aircraft you suggest experienced such problems and strong opposition to their development and some level.

    Isn’t it ironic that the Russians are always 5 or more years behind the US in bringing out fighter aircraft to match the current generation? The F-22 was developed in the 90’s and the Russians have only just flown a prototype 5th gen jet…so you can’t say the technology is better until it is proven on a production aircraft.

  • AA Cunningham

    says:

    The EA-18G is Mach limited to .95 with the pods hung which won’t be a problem providing the strike package is composed of an all Super Hornet fleet. The Super Hornet itself cannot exceed Mach 1 below 10,000 feet clean, let alone dirty. However, generate an ATO using other aircraft and you’ll have to coordinate TOT to ensure that the SEAD platforms arrive with the strike.

    Big mistake exporting the Prowler/Growler TJS, though. Soetoro and his cabal of buffoons don’t have any problem in diminishing the United States technological edge. That’s SOP for a communist.

  • Observer

    says:

    I’d lay money on the F35 being a phenomenal aircraft. Judging on what the pilots who’ve flown it say, it would be easy money. I am old enough to remember a long overdue, over-cost F111 arriving under claims it was a dud, after expensive interim aircraft filled the capability gap. History does tend to repeat and the notion that a Skunkworks produced aircraft this far into development being crap is laughable. As for the potential enemy combatants? History also shows us that while they fare well in a game of top trumps, they tend to come unstuck in the face of superior training and tactics.

  • The Big Fish

    says:

    Does not really matter anyway. The latest F22ski (T-50) has been delayed, pushed further back and costing more in latest news from India (partner in that) So when they eventually get it it will probably just as expensive and no where as stealthy as an F35 (as admitted by Russian sources) , and far less sopisticated sensor suite. And then lets not forget the engine reliability issues.
    Oh and Peter who continually posts is a known, well I wont say liar, but tends to say things untrue , such as the F35 failed it’s stealth test, when it did not. Also never he has struggled to understand the maximum speed of F35 is fully loaded and other planes will struggle to be the same , fully loaded since they are external stores. With correponding much larger RCS. But he is persistent, tell you that.
    Inteteresting info if people who do not know but because of the updated info of the RCS (better than expected) of the F35 they have improved its effectiveness ratios against other planes.

  • Peter

    says:

    @ The Big Fish

    My statements are true, the F-35 has failed it’s stealth test. I reckon you had struggled to understand the maximum speed of F-35 is fully loaded etc etc.

    Also read about the Nebo-M Anti Stealth Radar what’s been posted earlier.

  • Peter

    says:

    @ Observer

    Also read about the F-111 and JSF Programs of Record.

  • Roger

    says:

    Peter, Failed stealth test! Sources please.

  • Greg

    says:

    Peter, the F-35 max speed is 1.6 with full internal stores.

    When would it need to go faster than this? Why burn the fuel? Go talk to a fighter pilot about the realities behind fighting speeds.

    flankers don’t fly at Mach 2

  • Greg

    says:

    Nebo-M. Only reference tout is on aus airpower. Bad start.

    Ground based VHF radar with “limited amount of technical literature” (ie, everything APA says is a guess).

    Got any L-band RCS splats for f-35? No? Well now you’re making two things up. There are people that have these, they arethe USAF. They are buying the F-35 so you’re trying to argue against them is silly at best.

  • Foo

    says:

    @Russia rules
    Ex-raaf right u wong

  • Foo

    says:

    @Russia rules
    Ex-raaf right you wong

  • The Big Fish

    says:

    L-Band is used for tracking (if it can see) – It is not used for targetting which are the radars on planes. Then the F35 is again at the huge advantage. So the L band may be useful if it has not been obliterated previously since it is transmitting quite an amount of power.

    And Greg you are right nobody knows what tricks the F35 has against the L Band. And of course the partners are not gong to announce that.

    I suppose the ultimate testimony is that the Chinese and Russians are building there own (albeit less) stealthy planes. If it was not a game changer then why bother?

  • The Big Fish

    says:

    Oh Greg, do not bother asking Peter for sources. I still have not got a reply about the supposed failed stealth test from a older forum in feburary. We probably will get a (several) long drawn out posts with lots of “info” but he rarely actually engages in logical and rational discussions. Basically he is a blog TROLL.

  • Sam

    says:

    @ The Big Fish

    It took me a few posts to work out the same, lol. The big hint was when he started taking my posts word for word and bludgeoning them with his horrendous english trying to turn them into a negative.

    The bottom line is, without all of the classified information on the F35 everything is just speculation, and APA have had a vested political interest in shooting the F35 project (at least in australia) down. They are a joke.

  • The Big Fish

    says:

    Greg, On the Flankers, do you (or anyone else) have any reference for max speed when fully loaded with the AAMs.

    And then secondly how long could that top speed be maintained before Bingo?

    I suppose I am wondering what exactly can a flanker do to get a kinematic advantage over a F35 that is fully loaded but not disadvantaged by external stores? And also the RCS of the fully loaded flanker is significantly larger than a clean one. So the F35 should see it at quite a fair distance. Not to mention if the flanker is at full tilt the heating should show up nicely on the Non radar sensors, IRST, the F35 has. And that is full 360 view unlike the narrow radar field.

  • The Big Fish

    says:

    Sorry, Last post is way off topic.

  • Peter

    says:

    @ Greg – Yes I know the F-35 max speed is 1.6 with full internal stores. Again too slow, the Flankers can fly at Mach 2. Nebo-M. Only reference tout is on aus airpower. Good start.

    Ground based VHF radar with “limited amount of technical literature” (ie, everything APA says is never a guess).

    @ The Big Fish – The L-Band is used for tracking (if it can see) – It is used for targetting which they’ll be able to track LO/VLO planes such as the F-35 at any angle. The F-35 will be put in a huge disadvantage when detected. I certainly do know what tricks the F-35 has against the L Band. I suppose the ultimate testimony is that the Chinese and Russians are building there own (albeit far better or match) stealthy planes.

    The bottom line is, without all of the classified information on the F-35 everything is not speculation doesn’t matter, the APA have had a vested political interest in shooting the F-35 project (at least in australia) down. The Government / RAAF, JSF advocates and Lockheed Martin are a complete joke. You call me a blog TROLL. I just reckon you people are the blog trolls out their to even think the failed F-35 is a right aircraft – it just shows you folks are ignorant.

    @ Foo – Ex-Raaf is wrong, you are also wrong too.

  • Peter

    says:

    @ Greg, Roger, Foo, The Big Fish, Sam and Ex-RAAF

    When would you need to go faster than this? Why Mach 2+ acceleration?

    I certainly do know about the realities behind fighting speeds. Because Mach 2+ speeds enhances both engagements of flying into the target area and destroying the high threat targets, and escape from, known threats as to get out of the fight as quick as possible to survive.

    If the requirement is only Mach 1.6 you won’t be able to survive because you’ll be placed at a significant disadvantage to Mach 2.4 aircraft such as the super cruising Sukhoi. The wing and engine intake geometry is optimised for sub-sonic flight – so a more powerful engine cannot fix the problem even if one would fit in the small JSF airframe. In stealth combat configuration, the F-35 aerodynamically doesn’t and will never be able to outperform all other combat-configured 4th, 4.5, 4++ and 5th generation aircraft in top-end speed, loiter, subsonic acceleration and combat radius. This doesn’t allow unprecedented see/shoot first and combat radius advantages.

    The situation by relying only on stealth, AESA radar, advanced sensors, networking, data fusion capabilities, BVR AAMs and cruise missiles as stand-off while flying at straight and level with very gentle manoeuvres of presents of guns or missiles the JSF will be a “dead duck”. It doesn’t work that way which again you’ll be placed at a significant disadvantage of being shot down while being chased by a Mach 2 Sukhoi that the F/A-18E/F and F-35A can’t escape. Even though fighters are rarely used at mach 2 for air-to-air combat or ground attack, but I still believe it is still needed for survivability.

    The F-35A does have large internal fuel load at 18,500 lbs, its fuel flow is too inefficient which means the aircraft will be burning a lot of fuel while deploying afterburner for e.g. supersonic engagements. That is why the F-35 has a short range.

    You want the sources of truth.

    The back end of the F-35 in full afterburner is something like 1600 degrees (Fahrenheit). In terms of temperature, aluminium combusts at 1100. You are talking about something really, really hot. If you have got a dirty big sensor on the front of your Su-35 or your PAK-FA or whatever, it lights up like Christmas lights and there is nothing you can do about it. And the plume, because of the symmetric exhaust, is all over the place. It is not shielded, it is not ducted in any useful way.

    I’m all familiar with these effusive comments that I see in the media about how wonderful the JSF is—it is a stealth fighter; it is invisible to enemy radar—but the reality is that stealth is not as much about invisibility but much more about being harder to detect than an ordinary aeroplane.

    The typical measures that are applied are: what radars are you stealthy against and from what direction are you stealthy against that radar? There are various models, analogies or explanations that are used, but I think the simplest one is that different radars, because of how they are built, need different stealth characteristics to beat them. If we look at the current range of stealth aircraft out there, the ones that are difficult to see from nearly all directions and by a wide range of radars, are the big B-2A Spirit and the F-22 Raptor. The JSF really only has performance that would qualify as stealthy in the direction of over the aircraft’s nose. In other words, it is hard to see from the front but if you look at the aircraft from the sides or behind and below—looking up at it—the aircraft is in many instances only marginally better than a conventional aircraft.

    Failed stealth test! Sources please. Again the 55Zh6M Nebo M. It is a multi-band counter-stealth radar. The VHF band element in that radar will detect the F-35A at a distance of tens of miles. That is without a doubt. What that means is that the aircraft is going to be in great difficulty if it tries to deal with what I call a modern or contemporary threat. The same is also true when you deal with these newer stealth fighters, because they are designed to compete with the F-22. They fly higher; they are faster and more agile—much, much more agile. They have more powerful radars and much, much better antenna packages for other sensors. The lemon F-35 is not meeting its specifications and its specifications are inadequate to deal with the changed environment.

    If the F-35 was to be able to meet its specifications, the aircraft will have the ability of going up against a 1980s Soviet air defence system of the type that we saw destroyed very effectively in Libya 12 months ago, the F-35 would be reasonably be effective in that environment, because these older Soviet radars would not see it.

    But if you are putting F-35 up against the newer generation of much, much more powerful Russian radars and some of the newer Chinese radars, the aircraft is quite detectable, especially from behind, the upper side and from the lower sides as well.

  • Peter

    says:

    The JSF is a absolute complete failure and will be useless.

  • Roger

    says:

    Peter, Firstly start getting the responses to the right people. You are getting things/people/responses mixed up.

    Secondly, You said the F35 failed stealth test. Quoting a radar system is not answering this. Seriously. It is an easy question.
    Quoting you “F-35 has failed it’s stealth test”
    Please point me to read and digest the report/document you know that indicated that it failed? Was there a declassified test result that specificially stated that it failed? Please let’s just start with that.

  • rkapo7

    says:

    What Peter says in most areas is correct.
    I would not say the F-35 is useless just yet but I am certain if they could go back to the 1990’s and start again we would see a concept more like the Pak Fa.
    This forum has all the normal F-35 fan boy logic on it.
    e.g If stealth is no good why are the Russians copying it?
    They are not! – only to a limited degree. The Russians have not sacrificed one ounce of agility or speed for stealth. They are obviously trying to build a super agile fighter that is reasonably stealthy with range, payload, altitude and supercruise. They have not sacrificed anything in these areas for stealth.
    On the NEBO – VHF and others. Sure we only have what the Russians have released. That’s all we have on the F-35 also and Pilots who say it performs something like the Hornet when I finally found what they said.
    If you read some of the PDF’s by experts etc. on the net they say there is no doubt it will be able to detect aircraft such as the F35 well beyond there effective missile kill range. Figures are actually given for its accuracy in one of those released by a Russian source. At the moment it can provide mid course guidance they claim. They admit at 80km it can’t provide guidance to the target. Still not accurate enough but it can guide a missile very close to the target.
    Not a big problem if you have long range two stage missiles or missiles that at that range do not lose there terminal velocity and manouverability. The NEBO or equivalent guides the missile on a course close to the target. Its trajectory will be within a few hundred meters using the VHF guidance from the figures I have seen – not much at 10km out – a few degrees correction when its own guidance takes over. The other value of the VHF is its emissions will be virtually undetectable. Odds are the target will not even know it is targeted until it picks up the incoming missile. Sure that needs a data linked ground radar or AWAC to guide the missile initially. That’s all a VHF radar has to do – get the Missile close to the target undetected.
    The Russians from what I have read have already done tests with there new R37M long range missile. Guided by another Radar [AWAC] and launched by a Mig31 at 300km long before the MIg could even see the target. The truth is we don’t know what they are doing in these areas. They have had about 30 years to work out strategies to counter stealth and since about 2005 they have had the money to put them into practise and develop these systems. That if anything is what worries me about the F35. In 10-15 years if its stealth becomes virtually useless as systems that can detect it become available for $2-3m what have you got?
    Also those who try to argue the altitude and top speed advantage of the SU35s[limited supercruise] and Pak Fa [extended supercruise] are of no real value are talking absolute crap. At least they can run, launch from altitude at speed etc. They also will have the advantage close in if the situation arises.
    Just like the USA wants to keep its stealth secrets the Russians will want to keep there Anti-stealth secrets.
    The systems on the Pak Fa – we will just have to wait and see just how good they are. They claim they will equal and some Russians say they will surprise many of there Western rivals – who knows? I don’t. In the infra red detection area though I imagine they will be at least equal if not better – they have the experience and the Pak Fa should have good situational awareness even if they do not go about it exactly the same way as the F35.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Each day, our subscribers are more informed with the right information.

SIGN UP to the Australian Aviation magazine for high-quality news and features for just $99.95 per year