Comment: Mixed Fleet Future for RAAF?

written by australianaviation.com.au | December 14, 2012
A file image of a RAAF Super Hornet. (Dept of Defence)

by Kristian Hollins

In the haze of further indecision by government yesterday, a few key points were lost in the ether which might give an indication of the way government is progressively thinking.

When Australia made the decision to buy-in to the ambitious Joint Strike Fighter program, it was with a view to resolving two fleets–one an air combat fighter/attack, one a tactical strike platform–into one. The JSF would be able to fulfil both roles, and a single fleet is cheaper and easier to maintain.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Fast forward eleven years and the Australian air combat capability is in a more precarious state. The F111 has been phased out, the classic fleet is slowly but surely doing the same, and the F-35 has experienced delays enough to make these other factors appear threatening.

With hindsight, the decision by then-Minister Brendan Nelson to purchase 24 Super Hornet aircraft as a short-term bridging capability, seems inspired.

The decision by Minister for Defence Stephen Smith to convert the 12 pre-wired Super Hornets into EA-18G Growler variant will have long terms consequences. With Super Hornets now increasingly ingrained in RAAF’s fleet structure, there seems little reason to maintain the argument of a ‘single-type’ future. The Minister’s comments yesterday indicate the same.

“So we are now not just looking at Super Hornets as transition but looking at the longer-term potential of Super Hornets and Growler and Joint Strike Fighters essentially as a mixed fleet … we’re now not just looking at transition, we’re looking at the longer-term potential use of Super Hornets, Growlers, and Joint Strike Fighters.”

PROMOTED CONTENT

And again: “So this is now not just a narrow gap in a transition from classic Hornets to Joint Strike Fighter. It is the longer term strategic merits of the utility of the Super Hornets together with Growler, in combination with Joint Strike Fighters.”

Once more with feeling: “Whether it’s 24 Super Hornets, 36 Super Hornets, or 48 Super Hornets, for the foreseeable future that would still give us a substantial edge in our part of the world. And the introduction here of Joint Strike Fighters would obviously also have a substantial edge.

“But we have no reservations about a potential combination of Super Hornets and Joint Strike Fighters because on any measure, that gives us a significant edge into the future in our part of the world, just as currently the combination of Classics and Supers gives us that edge.”

Despite the Minister’s gushing praise for Super Hornet, he said government remained committed to the F-35.

“The commitment so far as Joint Strike Fighter was concerned in the 2009 White Paper was that the previous Government and the current Government were committed to the Joint Strike Fighter program; that we would look to the purchase of up to 100 Joint Strike Fighters, but the precise number would be subject to advised Government decisions as we went. And the only decision that the Government has made with respect to purchase of Joint Strike Fighters is we’re contractually committed to two. We’ll receive those in the United States for training purposes still on the 2014 timetable. And we’ve indicated publicly that we will also purchase an additional 12, our first tranche. That will essentially give us a squadron.”

And the mixed fleet option may not be diminishing as quickly as first thought. Boeing’s Muti-Year Contract with the US Navy for Super Hornet production will see aircraft delivered out to 2015. Beyond that, AA understands Boeing will maintain the facility’s industrial base with additional single year contracts or other orders, perhaps even using company funds, as they have previously in the case of the C-17 production line.

Australia has, for many decades, operated mixed fleets. While not the ideal way to manage air combat capability, it may be the most logical, both in terms of avoiding a capability gap and for bespoke fighter/attack and tactical strike capabilities, and despite the cost overheads.

78 Comments

  • Sam

    says:

    It’s becoming harder and harder to maintain the view that this government isn’t jeopardising our future security for the sake of political posturing. This move looks like they’re gearing up for another SH buy, handballing the problems resulting from the operating costs associated with a mixed fleet to the next government while managing to look as though they’re investing in defence despite the extraordinary cuts made to the defence budget earlier this year. I for one cannot wait until the next federal election to vote Gillard and Smith out as soon as possible.

    Additional SH’s will diminish the force integration designed around the JSF and the capability it brings, as this was not a capability it was designed to have. The extra costs associated will also kill the budgets for any capability and development projects in the future. I sincerely hope that this buy doesn’t go ahead.

  • Wayne

    says:

    The F-35 and FA/18 Super Hornet combo works for the US Navy. Why not us? The concept of one type is fraught for other reasons including the possible grounding of an entire fleet due to a technical problem [F-22 being an example] leaving us with no air cover.

    The MRH90 program is symptomatic of buying a “one cap fits all” solution. Even Sweden has had to buy H-60’s to offset the NH90 failures to deliver.

    Don’t let accountants run the ADF…..

  • MJ

    says:

    Looks like Geoff Browns, and the RAAF’s dream of 100 F-35’s, and 12 EA-18G’s is about to go out the window…

  • Observer

    says:

    Why do the RAAF,s ALG (Airlift Group) need four different platforms, C-17/ C-27/ C-130J/ KC-30?
    To fulfill the tasks that are set out for each mission, you can’t just have a single aircraft fits all approach, you need a aircraft that is suited for a particular mission.

    Same should go for for the RAAF’s fighter group, they need in my opinion 2 different aircraft and in a perfect world 3 different platforms. A strike, a multi-role and a electronic jammer.

    Each platform assigned to fulfill there specific roles when required.

  • John N

    says:

    Wayne,

    Yes you are correct the USN does “currently” operate both the Classic and Super Hornets.

    Yes two different, related, but different aircraft, are operated, but you need to look back into history to see what they replaced to get to the point in time that the USN is currently at.

    The “two” Hornet aircraft replaced, A6, A7, F4, F14, KA6 Tankers and S3 Tankers, and lets not forget that the Growler version of the Super Hornet will replace the EA6 as well.

    Thats seven, count them, Seven different aircraft replaced by two airframes (plus Growler version), and lets not forget the cancelled A12 too.

    The USN fleet air arm is considerably larger than the RAAF, and yet they have also gone down the path of significantly cutting the types of aircraft flown.

    And that is the point today, as opposed to the past, aircraft are not just separate “A’s, F’s, K’s, E’s or R’s” they are “multi-role”, having the ability to take on many, many different roles out of the one airframe.

    And that’s one of the driving forces behind the RAAF’s plans too.

    Cheers,

    John

  • Observer

    says:

    I thought the F-14 replaced the F-4 not the F-18?

  • John N

    says:

    Observer,

    With the greatest of respect to your opinion, I disagree.

    Yes ALG has a variety of airframes for different tasks, a C17A will do a totally different job to that of a C27J, that is 100% correct.

    But the game has changed, dramatically for the Fighter Group.

    As I said to Wayne above, the need for specialised aircraft, for the most part, has changed, the USN has two versions of the Hornet performing the roles of 7 previous aircraft.

    As a matter of fact look at the F/A18 Classic Hornets, they were a game changer, with the flick of switch they can perform air combat, ground support/strike and also maritime strike. One airframe, different load outs of weapons all within the one airframe.

    The F35 should really be called the F/A35 for the roles it will be capable of performing.

    I think its going to be expensive enough to have two types of aircraft, F35’s and Growlers, in their separate roles, to maintain and support, let alone three.

    The Super Hornet and the F35 are both going to perform the same basic roles, air combat, land and maritime strike, the difference is that one is a 4th gen aircraft and the other is a 5th gen, one is going to be viable as a tier 1 aircraft a lot longer than the other.

    Having three dedicated aircraft for separate roles dramatically cuts down the flexibility of the RAAF, we are a large country, with a small population, trying to maintain our technology edge in the region, can we really afford to go down the path that you suggest?

    Cheers,

    John

  • Anon

    says:

    John, maybe you should start your own mag or blog? This is a comments section, not an article section… 😐

  • John N

    says:

    Observer,

    Actually both replaced the F4.

    F14’s started replacing F4’s in the mid 1970’s.

    And by 1986 the remaining F4S exchanged their aircraft for F/A18’s.

    Also the US Marines too, the last F4S being replaced by F/A18’s in the early 1990’s.

    Anyway, the point I was making, was that the US Navy (and also the Marines) replaced their many different types of aircraf for two different verisons of the Hornets, Classic and Super.

    John

  • Scott

    says:

    The replacement of f14’s in the USN was not by choice, the USN was happy to move forward with upgraded Tomcats, the SH situation was forced on the USN by the US government at the time specifically Cheney.

  • Peter

    says:

    John N

    With the respect to your own opinion, I disagree with your statement mate.

    The Federal Government/RAAF are a joke of acquiring more Super Dogs again. They absolutely have got no idea of considering other proven and better aircraft such as the late model F-15E+.

    The Strike Eagle is a superior next generation multi-role fighter that is available today. Its unparalleled long range, persistence and bigger weapons load make it the backbone of the U.S. Air Force (USAF). A complement of the latest advanced avionics systems gives the Strike Eagle the capability to perform air-to-air or air-to-surface missions at all altitudes, day or night, in any weather. This aircraft is at the top of the list, and I would suggest is the best choice for Australia. Why?

    1. Cost is lower than the F-35, with price and delivery certain

    2. It has two engines and is more reliable

    3. It has the longest combat range of the group and can cover Australian airspace from our two bases.

    4. Can reach to Jakarta in ferry range without mid air refuelling – We have our Airbus A330 MRTT tankers.

    5. More potent and survivable with a crew of two instead of one

    6. Has most advanced and most powerful radar of the group – Raytheon APG-82(V)1 AESA

    7. Has the lowest wing loading and can use short runways

    8. Can be fitted with Gen 5 large screen displays, and heads up displays – JHMCS II/h

    9. It is not compromised in design to take off and land from aircraft carriers (not overweight like the Super Hornet).

    10. Maintenance costs will be much lower and more certain than the F-35

    Again at $100M (est) per plane, it may seem expensive but when all costs vs performance are reviewed, X vs Y vs Z are not the same. As stated before by those in this discussion thread the F-15 provides, longer range, bigger weapons load and speed benefits that other small fighters a.k.a Typhoon, Rafale, Gripen and Super Hornet albeit less expensive cannot match. In turn, many of the new enhancements such as the fly by wire flight controls, and the availability of F110-GE-132 engines should keep operating costs at or below the known costs.

    What’s is so special about the F/A-18E/F? There was a damning report of the Super Hornet in areas of critical operational requirements, while praising it for its improved aircraft carrier capabilities when compared to the original F/A-18A-D Hornet – something not high on our list of essential criteria.

    Three sentences on page eight of the report say it all: “The consequences of low specific excess power in comparison to the threat are poor climb rates, poor sustained turn capability, and a low maximum speed. Of greatest tactical significance is the lower maximum speed of the F/A-18E/F since this precludes the ability to avoid or disengage from aerial combat. In this regard, the F/A-18E/F is only marginally inferior to the F/A-18C/D, whose specific excess power is also considerably inferior to that of the primary threat, the MiG-29.”

    The F/A-18E/F has a similar performance deficiences to the F-35 which the aircraft has a short range and does not have the performance envelope of a true air superiority fighter compared to the large fighters (with high capability). They will be outclassed by the Su-27/30 Flanker family of fighters by most regional nations in all key performance parameters, aerodynamic, bigger weapons payload, radar / sensor performance by widely available fighters.

    Apart from the new Sukhoi Su-27/30 Flanker family proliferating across the regions: the F/A-18E/F is acknowledged in the report as being no match for even the older and newer MiG-29 family. Space precludes quoting the report’s comments on the multitude of other areas where the Super Hornet is inferior to the 1970s-designed and 1980s-built original F/A-18 aircraft. Admittedly the Block II Super Hornet has a new APG-79 AESA radar and some electronic components not in the version Coyle gave evidence on, but the fundamental airframe and performance remain unaltered: it is heavier, slower, larger and uglier (its radar signature did not measure up to expectations) than the normal Hornet.

    Evidently the underwing aero-acoustic environment and resulting vibrations are so violent that some weapons are being damaged in transit to the target on a single flight – dumb bombs are fine in that environment but not long-range missiles containing sophisticated and relatively delicate components. To me there is nothing super about this Hornet; perhaps “Super Dog” is a better descriptor.

    For more information about why is the Super Hornet inferior to the Sukhoi Flanker family

    http://www.ausairpower.net/DT-SuperBug-vs-Flanker.html

    You can also go on YouTube type in Simulation Showing F/A-18F vs Su-35S Pt 3 of 6

    The simulation shows one of six scenarios over Taiwan between US Navy and PLAAF.

    Engagement includes OTH Radar, UAV’s, AWACS and tanker assets in addition to the F/A-18F Super Hornet and Su-35S Super Flanker-E

    H3 MilSim presentation created by RepSim Pty of Australia.
    See http://www.h3milsim.com for more information on the simulation used.

    How did the Super Hornets perform the engagement against the Su-35?

    Unfortunately, it was a appalling for the US Navy which they were seriously decimated against the Red Forces. The results are shown below.

    Status for USA

    Losses:

    – 2 AEW E-3F Sentry

    – 24 F/A-18F

    – 6 KC-10A Extender

    Status for China

    Losses:

    – 1 Su-35S Super Flanker-E

    So that was a very serious loss to the US Blue Forces in this particular engagement which shows why I’m concerned about Australia considers the more Super Hornets that is not able to do the job of dominating the skies.

    The F-35 is STILL a wrong aircraft for the RAAF’s requirement. It will be inadequate to deal with the changed threat environment which has shown that the aircraft has a lot of limitations and it cannot do a lot of things as expected to show and promise that is a true fifth generation fighter, because it does not meet all the requirements of partner nations. Its fuselage is too overweight which has too much cross section; the wings are too small which lacks the extreme manoeuvrability. The wing planform is optimised for subsonic cruise and transonic manoeuvre which doesn’t provide enough lift and drag to defeat Beyond Visual Range (BVR) and Within Visual Range (WVR) air-to-air missiles (AAMs) from enemy fighters in the dogfight and stand-off ranges, advanced surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) and ground fire during top end threats.

    The F-35 was defined during the mid-1990s to have “affordable” aerodynamic performance, stealth performance, sensor capabilities and weapons loads to be “affordably” effective against the most common threat systems of that era past – legacy Soviet Cold War era weapons, not for the 21st Century emerging threats. The F-35 is designed primarily to support ground forces on the battlefield with some self defence capabilities and is not suitable for the developing regional environment and, not suitable for close air support missions. The aircraft is unsuited for bomber/cruise missile defence and air superiority roles due to limited range/endurance, limited weapons load and limited supersonic speed. As its limitations are inherent to the design, they cannot be altered by incremental upgrades The F-35 will be ineffective against the current generation of extremely powerful advanced Russian and Chinese systems, as detailed above; In any combat engagements between the F-35 and such threat systems, most or all F-35 aircraft will be rapidly lost to enemy fire.

    If you have the F-35s that just aren’t capable of dealing with the high threat zones, it just doesn’t do you any good of going ahead with the failed program and sink the money. Because the F-35 will be increasingly expensive aircraft that will fail the air defence program.

    “Why will the F-35 fail the FX-III requirement? It has the ability to penetrate heavily defended airspace and hold targets of interest at risk any time you want to. That’s what the F-35 can do because it’s stealthy”.
    Well unfortunately there’s absolutely no point of selecting the F-35 because some hostile nations could well be purchasing the Nebo M Mobile “Counter Stealth” Radar, advanced S-400 and S-500 SAM systems which will make the F-35 obsolete.

    If anyone wants to find out more about this counter stealth radar, here’s a description if you’re interested.

    Development initiated late 1990s leveraging experience in Nebo SVU VHF-Band AESA radar;

    2012-2013 IOC intended;

    Designed from the outset to detect stealth fighters 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 VHF band element in that radar will detect the F-35 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 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.

    Also F-35 will also be detected by the L-Band AESA. It is used for targetting which they’ll be able to track LO/VLO stealth planes such as the F-35 especially from behind, the upper side and from the lower sides as well.

    Unfortunately the exhaust nozzle of the F-35 will be extremely hot. The back end of the F-35 in full afterburner is something like 1600 degrees (Fahrenheit). In terms of temperature, aluminum 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-35S 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. The Sukhois will be able to seek and destroy the F-35 when using the heat seeking BVR AA-12 (R-77) Adder AAMs.

    The APG-81 AESA radar. The nose geometry of the F-35 limits the aperture of the radar. This makes the F-35 dependent on supporting AEW&C aircraft which are themselves vulnerable to long range anti-radiation missiles and jamming. Opposing Sukhoi aircraft have a massive 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 which other aircraft’s radar?

    The N011 Irbis-E (Snow Leopard) for the Su-35S Super Flanker-E

    NIIP claims a detection range for a closing 32.3 square feet (3 square metre) coaltitude target of 190 – 250 NMI (350-400 km), and the ability to detect a stealthy aircraft while closing 0.11 square feet (0.01 square metre) target at ~50 NMI (90 km). In Track While Scan (TWS) mode the radar can handle 30 targets simultaneously, and provide guidance for two simultaneous shots using a semi-active missile like the R-27 series, or eight simultaneous shots using an active missile like the RVV-AE/R-77 or ramjet RVV-AE-PD/R-77M.

    The PAK-FA will feature the N050 BRLS IRBIS AFAR/AESA?, similar to the Su-35S N011.

    * Frequency: X-Band (8 – 12 GHz)

    * Diameter: 2 ft 4 in (0.7 m)

    * Targets: 32 tracked, 8 engaged

    * Range: 248 mi (400 km)
    EPR: 32.3 ft² (3 m²): 99.4 mi (160 km) and 0.11 sq.ft (0.01 sq.m) target at ~50 NMI (90 km)
    Azimuth: +/-70°, +90/-50°

    * Power: 4,000 W

    * Weight: 143 to 176 lb (65 to 80 kg)

    Again, the F-35 will be detectable from behind the fuselage, the upper side and from the lower sides as well, except for the front area, a conservative estimate for the frontal RCS of the F-35 would be 0.0015 square metre which is only stealthy in the front, this is what I call “Partial Stealth” which the F-35 does have. Because if the situation arises, the Sukhoi family of fighters, upcoming J-20 or J-60 can out-run, out-climb and out-manoeuvre, and be able to track the F-35 using L-band AESA, IRST sensor (from the upper and lower sides and aft fuselage) and launch their AAMs from any altitude at speed etc.

    The bad news is, with the changed environment the F-35 will be obsolete when the aircraft arrives in 2018 or later, the US as well the allies are armed with this aircraft will make their air power totally ineffective in the next 30 to 40 years. I’m complaining about Lockheed Martin lying and misleading to the military and the public what they state their facts what the F-35 can do etc etc. And I don’t see any contradiction with the way I’ve promoted these new Russian/Chinese radars etc.

    The F-35 is a boondoggle, nothing but a turkey of the program. I hope Geoff Browns, and the RAAF’s dream of 100 F-35′s, and 12 EA-18G’s is about to go out the window.

    Please no Super Dogs. It is an overweight and underpowered dog designed for US Navy. It is totally unsuitable for covering large country like Australia.

  • Peter

    says:

    Acquiring more stingless Super Dogs is just another waste – down the toilet. BTW the F/A-18E/F’s thrust to weight ratio is 0.93 lower than the Classic Hornet’s 0.96.

  • Observer

    says:

    I agree with you John, all I was saying is in my opinion, in a perfect world where budget cuts weren’t an issue and you had enough dosh, that 3 different airframes/ aircraft would be best.

    I class EA/-18G and a F-18F as two separate airframes. And even though we have force multipliers in particular the KC-30 I would like to see something with a little more range than the Rhino and Lightning as a strike aircraft. But that again is wishful thinking and the cost and and all associated support programs would cost a heap, and that’s money we don’t have.

    But don’t get me wrong I’m not against a decision to buy more Rhinos in fact I’m for it, I don’t like a single aircraft being the be all and end all, and the USN is looking more at F/A-XX program now and I reckon they will still have a two teir fighter composition not a single airframe.

  • Observer

    says:

    God here we go again!

  • John N

    says:

    Yes Observer,

    I agree, God, here we go again, the APA agenda!!

    Can’t wait to hear how we should be buying Russian and Chinese aircraft!!!

  • John N

    says:

    Hi Observer,

    Getting back to what we were discussing.

    Yes in a world where there would be many and multiple choices, having specialised aircraft for different roles, might be ideal, but those days are gone.

    It wasn’t that long ago, well maybe it was but doesn’t seem that long, that the US had as many aircraft manufactures as you could count on your fingers.

    Today its down to a choice between Boeing and LM (yes there is also NG, but they are basically a component suppiler to the big two these days).

    So what are the choices? If you want a large transport aircraft you get a C17 from Boeing, if you want a Herc size transport you go to LM and buy another Herc, and on it goes.

    If you want a 5th gen aircraft you go to LM and if you want to stay with a 4th gen you go to Boeing, or an F16 from LM, limited choices.

    Yes there are a few European choices, but …. anyway! The world has shrunk.

    And yes you are correct, the USN is operating two different types of aircraft and will no doubt do so for years to come (but it has significantly shrunk the variety over the last decade or so). But that also has to do with the fact that those aircraft are also “out of sync” as far as their replacement cycle goes too. Maybe that might ultimately change too, who knows.

    I’ve got nothing against the Super Hornet, great aircraft, its just that, if we can avoid it, I believe it would be better for the RAAF to have a single fleet of F35A’s and Sqn of Growlers in their specialised AEA role.

    We have different opinions, no problem, happy to agree to disagree with you.

    Cheers,

    John

  • Air Observer

    says:

    I believe the RAAF have barely scratched the surface on the Rhino’s capabilities. It really is the ultimate allrounder and along with the venerable classic is (so far) the only aircraft to truly deserve the F/A designation. As for the F35? I would wager that it will end up silencing many critics and exceed many expectations and will inevitably inspire a wave of retrofits once people realise that one of the biggest pluses for the 5th gens is their internal weapons carriage (Boeing have cottoned on good and early with the Silent Eagle). After the merge, those lovely Top Trump stats get a bit wobbly when you take into account all that Iron dragging on the airframe (Luftwaffe Typhoons have ‘killed’ Raptors but only at the expense of missiles and fuel tanks). Also, once aloft and tanked the Lightning has the option of accessing the theatre with droptanks and then lose them to run clean in the dirty zone.
    Whilst the Russian/Chinese 5th gens should be carefully monitored, they are merely rushed through frames (based on F117 stealth tech from the Serb conflict, far different tech to the F22/35) with 4th gen guts. In essence they are playing catch up.

  • Peter

    says:

    John N, Air Observer

    How many times did I mention Australia should consider the Chinese built fighters. I already told you guys that it’s not recommended for Australia.

  • Peter

    says:

    John N

    I want to go with the Boeing Co. with their 4.5 or 4++ Generation Fighter such as the late model F-15s. If LM had the F-22 a true 5th Generation Fighter I’ll go for that too, but now the F-22 production is now ceased and axed, I’ll only go for the 4th Generation jet.

  • Peter

    says:

    John N

    God, here we go again, acquiring more useless equipment and wasting more billions agenda!!

    “I’ve got nothing against the Super Hornet, great aircraft, its just that, if we can avoid it”

    Alright John if you have got nothing against the Super Hornet, why was the results for the Blue Forces being shown with heavy losses??? Can you explain that.

    This tells me John that the F/A-18E/F is inferior to the Su-35S in all particular engagement, the aircraft has proven useless and will certainly not be able to do the job of dominating the Australian skies.

    Air Observer

    If you would like to see something with a little more range than the Rhino and Lightning, I suggest you go with the F-15.

  • Peter

    says:

    Air Observer

    You don’t like a single-role being the be all and end all. Well I don’t like multi-role in some respects, for single services is terrible they don’t perform as well.

  • Peter

    says:

    Having two dedicated F/A-18E/F/F-35 or one dedicated F-35 aircraft for separate roles dramatically cuts down the flexibility of the RAAF, we are a large country, with a small population, trying to maintain our technology edge in the region, we can’t really afford to go down the path like that.

  • Peter

    says:

    John N

    Having two dedicated F/A-18E/F/F-35 or one dedicated F-35 aircraft for separate roles dramatically cuts down the flexibility of the RAAF, we are a large country, with a small population, trying to maintain our technology edge in the region, we can’t really afford to go down the path like that.

  • Peter

    says:

    Air Observer

    Multi-role degrades the air force further, the pilots will fly worse, because of less training, they’ll be far less pilots is because the whole force will have to shrink and you’re just having a show piece air force that they can’t do anything. How appalling is that.

  • Peter

    says:

    John N

    Oh yes, long live APA.

  • Peter

    says:

    BTW John N, the Super Hornet has a very short range on combat radius 390 nmi (449 mi, 722 km) compared to the late model F-15s.

  • Red Barron

    says:

    Australia aviation just love throwing a cat amongst the pigeons. I bet the editors sit back over a cold beer and have a good laugh at all the comments coming through. I find it all rather interesting seeing all the different points of view and arm chair experts.

  • NGF

    says:

    It is time for Government to stop making decisions on the run and start a rigorous competitive process to determine which aircraft should replace the RAAF’s Classic Hornets.

    Other nations in our region (eg India and South Korea) have run or are running such processes. They have invited manufacturers from around the world to present aircraft to be judged against the relevant criteria, broadly: strategic need, performance, cost and delivery.

    Unfortunately, such basic due diligence was not applied when the F-35 was selected as the RAAF’s long-term solution or when the Super Hornet was selected as an interim solution.

    If a rigorous competition were opened, a range of manufacturers would offer aircraft, eg: Typhoon, Rafale, Super Hornet, Gripen, late model F-16, F-15E, F-15SE – and the F-35.

    Let the best fighter win.

  • josh

    says:

    Just seems these days that the government pay for all these new jets cause they think it’s a good idea and spend millions of dollars, but then find out that there’s problems and issues. The government need to think smart and look at what jets would be best to fill spots in the defence force.

    If we are getting more super hornets, the government should get some single seaters so we aren’t limited to two seaters.

    And now we have a GAP and need to fill it cause of the F-35 paralysis…. And If the super hornet isn’t what we should get to fill the gap, then the government should broaden their search for a new fighter and look possibly at the eurofighter or possibly the silent eagle. Those jets may cost a little more, but are more advanced and manoeuvrable.

  • PHS

    says:

    Can the AA comments moderator restrict the lengthy comments? We are after ‘comment’ not monologue.

  • QSD

    says:

    A great discussion – but it really doesn’t matter what platform the Government chooses for the RAAF! The Air Force is chronically under prepared for the Information Technology (IT) requirements that come with operating any modern aircraft. Until CAF and ACAUST start taking CIS seriously any modern aircraft is as useless as a biplane for the RAAF. The data links, bandwidth requirements, and supporting IT infrastructure just don’t exist within the ADF to cope with operating a 5th generation aircraft. The ADF does not take CIS seriously, if they did their CIS senior officers would be the same rank as their administration and logistics peers at the decision making tables!

  • Air Observer

    says:

    @Peter
    Not only do i not mind single role i would prefer it. Hell, let’s have an air dominance fighter, strike, recon, interdictor, EW, and a long range bomber. Now go find me the money. The Rhino did alot of the things we needed… now. Simple as that. The only thing straight off the car lot that, given our existing relationship with the classic, could bed in very rapidly. In terms of air dominance we are reliant on the assumption that if we get in a real shooting war with large numbers of fighters, the US will be there along side us. Hopefully, that day will never come. China vs Oz? 100 f15s wouldnt make me sleep any tighter if that happened.

  • Dan

    says:

    Hi guys, I still think the Silent Eagle is better than the the Super Hornet but I don’t think the Silent Eagle will be as good as the F 35. I would rather see RAAF have the Silent Eagle as the GAP filler untill F 35 is ready to go rather than have the Super Hornet.

    Can anyone answer this question?, one on one, can a Super Hornet take on a Silent Eagle?

  • Sam

    says:

    Not familiar with any 1v1 DACT exercises involving the f-15 SE and the f-18, but regardless of how they would compete, we currently have the super hornet. This means that we already have the infrastructure in place to support an extra tranche of super hornets, which can’t be said for the F15. Selecting the F15 as an additional interim measure would be unnecessarily expensive, and commit the RAAF to moving further away from its goal of a single type fighter force, which just isn’t going to happen.

  • Dan

    says:

    Yeah that’s very true Sam, I guess there is no turning back now (although I still think the f-15 SE is a very neat aircraf)t. If we get our 48 Super Hornets and 50 F 35s this might not be such a bad idea considering the Gen 6 aircraft is 15 years away. Maybe the RAAF can sell the 48 Super Hornets in 2025-2030 and jump into 6th Gen aircraft to replace them with and keep the F 35s?

    Either way, I don’t think 100 aircraft is enough for the RAAF no matter wich aircraft we choose. We should go for 120 aircraft to allow for the following-crashers, aircraft lost to enemy fire and more range and deployment options for the RAAF.

    My personal thoughts anyway.

  • Mac Tucker

    says:

    In 1999 I attempted to advise Air6000 – The Hornet replacement project. The headshed (Russell) wanted little to do with the input of the Fighter Pilot’s…they knew it all.

    13 years later, and God knows how much money, the headshed still believe they have it all on the rails.They would have to be the last remaining group of individuals on the planet to admit the JSF is late, expensive and lacking capability.

    There are many people outside of this small group of delusionists who have told the emperor for some time now that he has no clothes.

    Sort out the ADF ‘leadership’ culture and you will sort out the ADF’s capability.

  • Sam

    says:

    I’m still of the opinion that an order of super hornets is going to be very bad fiscally and strategically in the medium-long term. It’s just too expensive and detracts from the advantage that the F35 is touted to provide. Where did you get your info on gen 6? Everything I’ve seen is that its still drawing-board, and that the term is still yet to be defined….. I would suggest that 15 years is a bit optimistic, given that the F22 only began development in 1986 and didn’t reach IOC until 2005. It is likely that a replacement for the F35 isn’t going to happen until ~2050…

  • SJ

    says:

    I think a few people need to realize that the F-15SE still has no firm orders, and it has a lot of development to undertake until it’s at a state to be sold. The reality is that while it’s a good aircraft, other 4.5 Gen Aircraft are available now… In many regards it might have great range, and speed, but the fact remains that RAF Typhoons have disposed of F-15E’s with ease, and Luftwaffe Typhoons have even bested F-22’s in close in dog fights at a ratio of 1 to 1. If the whole notion of stealth, and almost total devotion to BRV capabilities did not exist it would be the aircraft of choice.

    Remember that if things ever got ugly, we would need aircraft that can be replaced, and repaired quickly, “Australian-ised” Aircraft would be a logistical nightmare to replace, and repair. As much as I had a soft spot for the old F-111, in the end it was becoming something of a Mutant Orphan. Can you imagine if things hit the fan with next door? I would rather go “Ring, Ring, Hello Mr Gates we need 30 more Super Hornets ASAP” and they would start turning up in a week. With the F-111, it would be “To the bone yard quick! Find something not completely corroded, Fatigue test it, Re-wire it, Re-wing it, Flight test it, Re-Paint it, and get it here!” The F-15SE that is suggested could turn out the same, if we are the launch customer… so far no one wants it, everyone is after an F-35 or Typhoon…

    It looks more, likely now that a mix of 74 F-35’s, 36 F/A-18F, and the 12 EA-18G’s is the future.

  • Foo

    says:

    Our Superhornets performed very well in the recent Pitch Black exercises the Indoenesian Suhkois got hammered (they haven’t any weapons to put on them anyway and I think the Russians would be reluctant to sell them) and from what I have heard there are systems on the F35 which going to make them second only to the F22 all this crap you read on the Internet about how good the Russians/Chinese fighters are or are going to be is propaganda with the Growlers / Wedgetail combination and our training of our pilots we are in safe hands.Even with a reduced buy of F35s any airborne attack on Australia would pay a heavy/ expensive price

  • Anon

    says:

    F-15SE lower cost than F-35 and guaranteed delivery? How much did Singapore pay for their F-15SGs Peter?

    F-15SE is a marketing effort to demonstrate what is available on new build jets or for upgraded F-15E/I/S/K/SGs, but will not be offered without a substantial order from US or unless its development is underwritten by a wealthy new customer. The F-15SE has not even flown yet.

    You’re living in fairy land Peter…still. Try to get APA to set up a comments section so we don’t have to listen to your drivel!

  • Peter

    says:

    Even the Fedrel Government/RAAF have drank the F-35/F/A-18E/F Kool Aids that say they are the right aircraft etc etc.

  • Observer

    says:

    If APA set up a comments section then Peter would be the only one commenting. If APA were in charge of the RAAF we would have obsolete F-111 with F-22’s that weren’t aloud for export with 747 tankers that are overkill for the job.

  • Anon

    says:

    “Kool Aids”??

    HA HA HA HA…

  • Observer

    says:

    Everyone is forgetting about the strengthening military ties with the states now. There will be more and more military hardwhere being based here you can bet your life on it, wether USN will set up base in group of islands in the North West or the USMC will based here for more than 6 months in a year, whichever one it will be, there will be more military assets so it will outway whatever inconsistency’s or perceived failures in whatever airframes we get.

  • Me

    says:

    I think the moderators should start looking at some of the comments on here, this is no longer about Aircraft, News, or Opinions… Making derogative, and inappropriate comments towards people because they do not share you ideas, is not on. Everyone has a right to a opinion, but not one should be labelling others as “BS”, or “Brianless”….

    • australianaviation.com.au

      says:

      @Me – done

      @Peter – you’ve been warned before and this is your last warning. Argue your point all your like but personal abuse WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.

  • John N

    says:

    Peter,

    Your and Air Power Australia’s deeply ingrained negative view, it almost appears as hatred to me, of the F35A and Super Hornet are well known, “lemons, super dogs”, etc, etc, etc, etc.

    Regardless of what article is written about either of the above two aircraft, the same APA line is trotted out and repeated, over and over.

    And of course too, you and APA will trot out all the “techo stats too”, aircraft range, size of radar, power to weight ratio, it goes on and on, I even remember you quoting the distance from Sydney to Perth one time (never quite got what the point of that was!), the list is endless, as I said, it goes on and on, I havn’t got the time or space here to repeat them all.

    We can all “dig up” and produce interesting stuff, couple of my favourites are (easily searched for on the web):

    “In response to Air Power Australia’s criticisms, Australia’s Air Vice Marshal Osley said that “Air Power Australia (Kopp and Goon) claim that the F35 will not be competitive in 2020 and that Air Power Australia’s criticisms mainly centre around F35’s aerodynamic performance and stealth capabilities.” Osley continued with, “these are inconsistent with years of detailed analysis that has been undertaken by Defence, the JSF program office, Lockheed Martin, the U.S. services and the eight other partner nations. While aircraft developments such as the Russian PAK-FA or the Chinese J20, as argued by Airpower Australia, show that threats we could potentially face are becoming increasingly sophisticated, there is nothing new regarding development of these aircraft to change Defence’s assessment.” He then said that he thinks that the Air Power Australia’s “analysis is basically flawed through incorrect assumptions and a lack of knowledge of the classified F-35 performance information.” ”

    And of course this one too:

    “ Andrew Hoehn, Director of RAND Project Air Force, made the following statement: “Recently, articles have appeared in the Australian press with assertions regarding a war game in which analysts from the RAND Corporation were involved. Those reports are not accurate. RAND did not present any analysis at the war game relating to the performance of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, nor did the game attempt detailed adjudication of air-to-air combat. Neither the game nor the assessments by RAND in support of the game undertook any comparison of the fighting qualities of particular fighter aircraft”. ”

    You can quote endlessly and make all sorts of claims, so can anyone else too.

    Peter, APA can appear before as many Senate Estimate hearings as its wants, present as many stats and simulations as it wants, make all the claims it wants.

    But the point you and APA haven’t got and will never get is that the “powers that be” aren’t listening!!

    There will be no Strike Eagle, no Silent Eagle, no Eagle of any kind!, no Russian aircraft (even with Western avionics), No F22A (out of production) and certainly no F-111’s (buried and gone forever!), and anything else that may be trotted out as an alternative.

    If there is any group “living in fairy land” its APA.

    The RAAF will either be F35A’s + Growlers, or F35A’s, Super Hornets + Growlers, that’s it, nothing else, that Peter, is a fact.

    I personally, would prefer a F35/Growler force, others would also like to add Super Hornet too, either way, that is how it’s going to be, one or the other of the above options.

    It’s just a pity that APA can get its head out of it’s collective behinds and accept that fact.

    Peter, we live in a great democracy, we can all state our opinions, as we all do, and we all have a right to voice it, and I would never say that you or APA don’t have that right.

    But, just for once, just for a change, I’d love to see the day where APA says, “ok, we don’t agree, but YES, these are the two choices and this is our opinion of the best of those two choices”.

    I know that isn’t going to happen, but Peter, seriously, you have to admit that is the reality, true?

    Cheers,

    John

  • Sam

    says:

    @peter you completely ignore the fact that combat doesn’t take place in a 1v1 scenario. systems win engagements not individual platforms. The F35 is designed to optimise the use of the system, which will lead to success in engagements

  • Air Observer

    says:

    @PHS
    I would agree with reducing comments… alas this is the closest thing to a civilised aviation forum i have come across!
    @Peter
    Lets keep it that way please. 😉

  • Air Observer

    says:

    @Australian Aviation
    ENJOY YOUR BEERS!

  • Josh

    says:

    For what the F-35 has got, it will be a awesome jet. Just production is taking longer than predicted, but don’t worry hopefully their wont be a gap and we won’t need to spend anymore money. But if it did arise, and we had to, expanding out and looking at the eurofighter or F22… We could write a LOR for 2-3 squadrons of F22’s from LM and could be worth a try considering we have RAAF pilots flying the F22 over in America now….

    But if we go with the rhino again, we need single seaters and I don’t reckon we have seen the full capability of the rhino yet, so wouldn’t be a bad idea, and then send some rhinos to 2OCU and 77SQN to start with

  • John N

    says:

    Josh,

    The system doesn’t work like that, you don’t just send a Letter Of Request (LOR) to the aircraft manufacturer.

    The US Government doesn’t allow just anyone with a pocket full of $’s to go to say, LM, Boeing, etc, it places strict controls on who and how defence equipment is supplied to, eg, you wouldn’t allow Iran or Nth Korea to do that.

    LOR’s are sent to the US Government, they process through the Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), see link below:

    http://www.dsca.osd.mil/

    The sale of equipment has to be approved by the US State Department and is notified to the US Congress, anyway, when you get a chance have a look through the DSCA site.

    The next step is that the equipment is usually purchased through the US “Foreign Military Sales” (FMS) system, FMS facilitates sales of US arms, defense equipment, defense services, and military training to foreign governments.

    When Australia uses FMS, for example, the purchase of the 24 F/A18F’s, “technically” the US Navy is the customer of the aircraft, weapons, etc, they take delivery and then they are “signed” over to us.

    (AA, maybe one day you guys could publish an article in the mag of how the DSCA and FMS systems work in detail?)

    And not all US equipment is allowed to be “exported”, some is only available to the US Military itself.

    Yes there are Countries, such as Australia, who have a good relationship with Uncle Sam and are given access to equipment that others won’t be allowed access to.

    Getting back to your idea of going to LM for the F22A, it was banned from being exported, yes Australia and Japan, at least “internally” in those two countries showed interest, but as I understand it, never made a “formal” request to seek US approval to lift the export ban.

    The short answer, the aircraft is out of production anyway, the long answer is more complicated than that.

    And in any event Australia will either have a force of F35A’s + Growlers or have a mix of 35A’s, Super Hornets + Growlers.

    Cheers,

    John

  • Peter

    says:

    To Gerard Frawley (australianaviation.com.au)

    Hey, I’m not abusing anyone. Why don’t you for once listen to what I got to say Gerald, because the others seem to reject my explanation about the reasons why the F-35/Super Hornet/Growlers are not up to the job, so don’t you ever ever give me a last warning. From the very beginning I was civilised with my explanation from the start and all you people start to behave like I’m an idiot making up all the stories. Why don’t you next time Gerald warn the others. I’m sick of tired of you warning me for absoletely nothing.

    Cheers

  • Sam

    says:

    @Peter well if the shoe fits…

    @John: Just to clarify your use of the word “banned”: It has been legislated into U.S. Federal Law that there will be no exports of the F-22, in case there was any confusion of it being an informal agreement

  • Peter

    says:

    To Gerard Frawley (australianaviation.com.au)

    Excuse me I have done absolutely NOTHING WRONG so accusing me is not going to help. Ok if you want to know why I’m so frustrated is because most of you guys don’t get the fact that the three aircraft, the F-35, Super Hornet and the Growler are unable to stand up to emerging changed threats etc etc.You have a close look at my comments of why what my friends, myself, my colleagues and acquaintances are explaining these very specific reasons.

    That is why I’m trying to make you guys understand that these aircraft are inferior to the Russian/Chinese fighters, advanced SAMs/AAAs and the counter stealth radars can see them etc. You people are seem to be conned with LM and DoD bureaucratic reasons.

    John N, Pez, Sam, Air Observer, Anon, Steve, Dane and other pro-F-35 advocates really need to keep that in mind what I said about this issue, that includes you Gerard Frawley.

  • John N

    says:

    Hi Sam,

    Yes, regardless of the word I used, eg “banned”, I was making the point to Josh (and others) who talk or suggest that the F22A be purchased, that they are barking up the wrong tree.

    Not only is it out of production, but it also “wasn’t available” for export outside of the USA.

    Cheers,

    John

  • Peter

    says:

    Observer

    If APA were in charge of the RAAF we would have upgraded F-111 with F-22′s that should be aloud for export with 747 tankers that are certainly NOT overkill for the job.

    The obsolescent Super Hornet/Growler/upcoming lemon F-35As that are overkill for the job.

  • Peter

    says:

    Sam

    Of this being an informal agreement of not selling the F-22 to the Allies from the U.S. Federal Law is a complete insult.

  • John N

    says:

    Peter Peter Peter,

    What can I say?

    I can’t, and won’t, talk for Gerard, the rest of the AA team or anyone here, they, I’m sure are fully capable of answering for themselves.

    The issue, for me anyway, is that with the line that you and APA push, is well known, it is constantly repeated, without deviation.

    As I said to you before, regardless of the article that appears, if it has something to do with the F35A or the Super Hornet (lemons and super dogs as you continue to call them), is that we hear “exactly” the same points and arguments, they do not deviate one way or the other.

    It is just an endless commentary of every single thing that you and APA have said before, Ok, I get it, don’t need to hear exactly the same each and every time..

    Can I please ask you this one simple question? Please admit (and I know you don’t like or agree to it) that the current choice for the RAAF is between either the F35A and the Super Hornet, or a combination of both, is that true? Yes or No?

    If it is true, how about making some comments on the “specific” article or question?

    What is the point of constantly repeating the same thing? How about adding value to the specific discussion?

    If that is impossible for you, then why bother? Why?

    John

  • Peter

    says:

    John N

    LOR’s are sent to the US Government, they process through the Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA). Thats ok.

  • Sam

    says:

    @Peter: whats insulting? the law is that the F22 cannot be exported. why is that insulting to you? I didn’t make the law… lol

  • John N

    says:

    Sam,

    I’m with you, every country has the right to say what that country allows, or doesn’t allow, to be exported.

    If it is in their interest, they may well do it, if it’s not, well that is their right not to.

    It’s no different to here in OZ, we are one of the world’s largest producers of Uranium, if we decide it’s in our interest to ban a sale to a particular country, then that is our choice.

    If the US decided that it was in it’s interest to keep the F22A all to itself, well, fair enough, if you don’t like it, develop your own!

    John

  • Dane

    says:

    You know what I love John N? I have asked Peter time and time again about a suitable 5th Gen alternative available now, that is not Russian or Chinese built and compatible with our recent tanker purchase. The only real answer I’ve got is…well, nothing. The F-15SE has come a number of times, which, let’s face it is not even a real contender as it’s not even close to production at this point in time. The Sukhoi family of fighters have been mentioned, however, out ties with the US, our want to keep pilots alive, and the complete incompatibility with our ground and air support vehicles are all major hurdles to have to over come.

    So Peter, I put it to you. What are the realistic, available now or within a similar time frame to JSF, proven and effective alternatives to the so-called “lemon?”

  • Anon

    says:

    Peter

    Maybe “Gerald” is sick of you cutting and pasting stuff from the APA website.

    Why don’t you tell us what PRIMARY SOURCE information you have? Oh, and the guy in the hobby shop doesn’t count!

  • Air Observer

    says:

    @Peter
    The F35 was designed by fighter pilots for fighter pilots. That is not spin, it is fact. Despite politics the growing number of pilots who have flown it talk to pilots who haven’t and they are drooling over the Lightning. Get used to hearing the name. By all accounts, LM’s talking up of its many attributes have somewhat overshadowed its chances in a good old gunfight. That’s what we’re talking about isn’t it Peter? WVR.
    Skunkworks apparently didn’t forget that and apparently neither did Israel, the WVR always go for the gunkill obssesives who have made the least stink about it. The pilots are grinning. Maybe they know something you (or the rest of us) don’t.

  • Peter

    says:

    John N, Pez, Sam, Air Observer, Anon, Steve, Dane, Gerard Frawley (australianaviation.com.au) and other pro-F-35 advocates

    It is unlikely that the F-35 will meet its Joint Operational Requirement Document (JORD) minimum goals of having a “significantly” better sortie rate than the aircraft it is to replace. It has also failed the goal of being an instrument for affordable tacair recapitalisation.

  • Air Observer

    says:

    @Peter
    Oh, by the way the Aussie Superdogs didn’t just spank the Su’s, they did it whilst delivering two seperate strike packages before hightailing home for a cold one. Availability put the field to shame.
    If it’s a dog it’s a Red Heeler.

  • John N

    says:

    Hi Anon,

    Mate, I’m still laughing, “the guy in the hobby shop” that’s a winner!

    Wonder if they stock models of 5th gen Russian and Chinese aircraft??

    If I could buy you a Christmas drink I would.

    Yep, thats the winner!!

    Cheers,

    John

  • Josh

    says:

    Hey John, Yes I know you can’t just send a LOR to the aircraft manufacturer, just brainstorming on the subject. I still believe we will have super hornets and F-35’s and more super hornets….. Just saying it would be a good idea if USA start back up the F22 program and we could get some raptors.. We have some guys already flying them, wouldn’t be a bad thing….

  • John N

    says:

    Again, Peter Peter Peter,

    What can I say?

    All you did to reply to me was “cut and paste” my points to you, add little bits and twist them all around, that, to be honest is pretty pathetic and childish to say the very least.

    If AA doesn’t ban you, and that is up to them, well consider yourself banned from me ever ever replying to you.

    Have a nice life!!!

    John

  • Peter

    says:

    Anon, Air Observer

    What’s the guy from the hobby shop got to do with this issue? The APA have far more interesting information.

    The F-35 was not designed by fighter pilots for fighter pilots. That is spin, it is fact. Despite politics the growing number of pilots who have flown it talk to pilots who haven’t and they are drooling over the Lightning etc etc. Why don’t you get used to hearing the facts. By all accounts, LM’s talking up of its many poor rumour attributes have somewhat overshadowed its chances in a good old gunfight. the Good old gunfight is so much better.

    Skunkworks apparently didn’t forget that and apparently neither did Israel, the WVR always go for the gunkill obsesives who have made the least don’t stink about it. I’m grinning here. I know something you (or the rest of you guys) don’t.

  • John N

    says:

    Hi Josh,

    I wasn’t sure if you knew exactly how the process of LOR’s, etc worked, if you do, great.

    And yes “brainstorming” is ok, but you also have to look at the other side of the coin too.

    Sorry, but seriously, forget the F22A, it isn’t going happen, it’s gone, finished done, even some in the USA want more, and that isn’t going to happen, so what really are the chances of Australia getting them? The answer is none, ok?

    Yes there are/have been Australian exchange pilots flying them, but one or two does not equate to enough knowledge to transfer to the equivalent of an Australian based Sqn.

    The various “exchange” programs have been going for many many years between Australia, US, UK, NZ and Canada, and will continue well into the future.

    Just because an Aussie goes to the US and crews on a particlar system does not automatically mean that we acquire that exact same aircraft.

    For example we have guys, and I assume girls too, that have been working on the E3 Sentry aircraft, what they have learnt is then transferred to E7A’s (Wedgetail’s) here.

    Cheers,

    John

  • Peter

    says:

    Air Observer

    Do you know what a dog means?, its not a Red Heeler. A “dog” is a fighter which does not perform.

  • Air Observer

    says:

    @Peter
    I am aware of that Peter. I just don’t agree with you. I simply place my own opinion and then respect you for yours. In the right hands with the right tactics it performs just fine. Play to your strengths and shield your weaknesses that is true for every fighter, as dissimilar training proves time and again. The Tornado was an air to air dodo. Link 16 and a change of tactics later, an Eagle killer. I am old enough to remember the Harrier being called an underpowered, underarmed, snail, only for it to prove an extraordinarily adept dogfighter during the Falklands conflict… in the right hands, with the right tactics.

  • Sam

    says:

    What I’m curious to know Peter, is how you *know* the F-35 is so deficient in all of the areas you’ve identified. The APA have had nothing to do with the F-35; not in the development, testing or operation of the aircraft. The information they have is based on JPEGS and stat sheet information, which is hardly indicative of anything.. so we know they don’t *know* anything for fact, it’s all speculation. So how can you be sure?

  • Josh

    says:

    End of the day, the LOR has been sent…. Clearly we will be getting 24 more super hornets, hopefully some single seaters, and later on our F-35’s…..
    No debate really….

  • australianaviation.com.au

    says:

    @Peter – I did warn you. Thanks for playing, but calling someone “brainless” is abusive, and calling someone an “outlier” – presumably meaning an outright liar – is defamatory.

    To everyone else, thanks for contributing, but I think we’ll close of comments on this one now.

Comments are closed.

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