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RAAF F-35, Growler to make Avalon debuts

written by australianaviation.com.au | February 7, 2017
AU-1 First Flight at Fort Worth, Texas.  Pilot Al Norman, the  F-35 Chief Test Pilot, flying Australia's first F-35.
RAAF F-35A AU-1 will be on display at Avalon. (Lockheed Martin)

The RAAF’s first two Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters will make their public debut at the Australian International Airshow at Avalon on Friday March 3, Defence Minister Senator Marise Payne and Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne announced on Tuesday.

The first two F-35A aircraft, AU-001 and AU-002 will arrive at the airshow on Friday 3 March, returning to the United States via RAAF Base Amberley allowing Australian pilots to continue their training,” the Ministers’ joint statement reads.

“The visit is a significant contribution by the United States Air Force Training Command, and Lockheed Martin to facilitate the deployment from Luke Air Force Base during their training period.”

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It will be the F-35’s first appearance in the Southern Hemisphere, with the aircraft on display at Avalon alongside the RAAF’s first Boeing EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft. Two Growlers are expected to be on display at the airshow after their delivery to RAAF Base Amberley in late February.

“Together, the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter and the EA-18G Growler represent a potent and technologically advanced air combat and strike capability that is essential to our ability to defend Australia and our national interests,” Senator Payne said.

AU-1 and AU-2 have been based at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona since late 2014 as part of the International Pilot Training Center there, while no fewer than six centre fuselage sections for the RAAF’s next batch of eight F-35s are currently in production at Northrop Grumman’s F-35 Integrated Assembly Line (IAL) at Palmdale, California.

The first RAAF Growler, meanwhile, was rolled out in July 2015. All 12 RAAF Growlers were placed in storage at Boeing’s St Louis facility while RAAF 6SQN aircrews and maintainers trained on the type with the US Navy at Whidbey Island. All 12 jets will be delivered to RAAF Base Amberley this year.

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The first RAAF Growler rolled out in July 2015.

52 Comments

  • Daryl Williams

    says:

    Awesome

  • Harry

    says:

    Noice!

  • Allan

    says:

    I wonder if the KC-30 will get the mission to drag the F-35s to Oz.

  • Peter Burgess

    says:

    But will the F-35s put on a flying display? I’m guessing no, just parked. Would be excellent if they did.

  • will the F-35s actually fly or will they be on static display only?

  • Ray E

    says:

    Will it be just a static display or aerial display as well? Would be awesome to see the JSF do an aerial display with the USAF F-22!!

  • Lucas

    says:

    Why fly them all the way here and not give us a flying display??????

  • Paul

    says:

    They will fly in on Friday.One will land and the other will do an overshoot.I heard they will depart on the Sunday arvo just before the end of the show.Dont know if that’s true tho.

  • Paul

    says:

    The airshow website says “See it as part of the Airshow’s extensive ground display of military aircraft.” Does seem a waste to bring it all this way and the sum total of its flying demonstration is its arrival and departure.

  • Jasonp

    says:

    I doubt there are any RAAF F-35 pilots qualified to conduct a flying display yet. Perhaps they’ll import a USAF pilot to do a display? Either way, it’s still early days folks, be grateful they’re here at all.

  • G3

    says:

    Glass half empty? At least they will be here!

  • CharleyA

    says:

    Growler puts on a better airshow.

  • Beepa

    says:

    Anyone near Amberley the week after the Air show might get to see a sortie or two, mabey even a flyover to welcome the Growlers.

  • Raymond

    says:

    Probably static as it’s their first time here and there’s unlikely to be a display qualified pilot.

    What I don’t understand however, is if this is the case, why they couldn’t just take off and fly around a bit / conduct a couple of circuits to at least show the aircraft off in flight. I think that would make a lot of people happy for the inaugural visit. Surely that could be done?

    Thankful anyway for the announcement. It’s been a long wait.

  • Paul

    says:

    Raymond,I think they might do a few burner and max rate turns.No display pilot so it will be static.

  • Paul

    says:

    Very impressive results at red flag from the F-35..Great news.

  • Smithy

    says:

    Not too fussed that the F-35 isn’t doing a display, it will be the bread and butter in our skies soon enough!

    To really make this airshow top notch i really wish they had either the F-15 or B1 doing some form of flying display. Would have truly put the icing on the cake for a memorable Avalon!

  • Mike

    says:

    While I would prefer it was flying, I’m not overly fussed as I’m sure we’ll get our fill of them in years to come.

    Although I do have a feeling there will end up being more disappointed punters than happy ones when they turn up after being lured by all the heavy promotion only to find out its “static” only.

    F-35s went to the UK and Netherlands last year and both times performed some form of public flying display (as benign as that may be this early in their service life). So I do think we are getting short changed slightly.

  • Paul

    says:

    The Avalon team put a fantastic show on most times.Even if the B-1 F-15 and JSF were flying,there would be other people saying,why didn’t this come or that come.Very impressive work done by the team.Im sure when it arrives it will do a few max burner runs.It departs on the Sunday public day at about 4 I think,so we should see something special.

  • Rocket

    says:

    Blah blah, bring back the REAL Fighter-Bomber, the F-111C and F-111G… no spectacle like those two doing a demonstration flyby (aside from the fact they they carry more weapons, further and faster). Just a pity they were retired, argument didn’t stack up… I remember the Air Force upper echelon making all sorts of excuses for the so-called interim ‘F-18F’ ‘replacement’ saying how “Range doesn’t matter anymore”, Then just a few years later seriously looking at conformal wing tanks for the F-18F because it’s combat radius so pathetic, like the F-35, seems range does matter after all. The thing is neither of these gargantuan wastes of money can get away from the latest generation of Russian aircraft but the F-111C/G could outrun them all. If we were serious we would have got the F-15SE.

  • Gary

    says:

    Rocket,

    I think we need to remember that current air warfare is about shooting your adversary first and not to get involved in a close in engagement. I think you will see that with a networked force, the F35 pilot’s SA will far outway combat manoeuvrability. Just look at the latest RF17-1 stats. Whilst I retain fondness for the ‘Pig’ it could certainly outrun the 60s/70s Soviet aircraft; however, I doubt it would be able to outrun the latest suite of Russian platforms.

  • PAUL

    says:

    Yeah they didn’t go for the F15SE as it might upset the balance of power in the region, well tell that to someone with an SU30MKI on their tail… But neither are stealthy

    Good to see the F35 at Avalon wasn’t expecting to see the RAAF ones until 2019- shame I cant make it this year… Look forward to some coverage on You tube. Would be good if they did a DVD like RIAT or Farnborough

  • Paul

    says:

    Rocket,the argument did stack up.They were a technical nightmare.Yes their range was fantastic and could carry a lot.Speaking to Rhino pilots and compared with the pig,the Rhino pilots fly every day.Range you say?We have brand new tankers!The latest generation of Russian jets?give me a break mate!They are ten years behind our tech,u don’t have to outrun,just outgun.With all our new platforms coming online,the Sukhois will be too scared to leave their base.What should we have done Carlo?Super duper stealth up the pigs?at what cost.I agree with you the F-15se is a ripper jet,but we bought the Rhino because we wanted the growlers as well.

  • Smithy

    says:

    Dear Rocket

    We don’t want a fighter that can simply run away faster than another

    We want something that can target and destroy a potential threat before its even been seen

    Cheers M8!

  • Harry

    says:

    What happens when shooting an adversary first requires significant range but using a tanker would put it at risk of an adversary using a carry with Su-30MKs!? An F-35 can’t even reach Xmas island. But an adversary with an aircraft can deploy fighters w/ greater range than a F-35… A handful of harpoons would be taken out by the battle groups air defences. I guess we would have to rely on the Collins-class… If there already in the vicinity… The US relies on ranged platforms all the time, there just no longer fighter/bombers, but B-2s etc

  • John N

    says:

    Rocket,

    The F-111c’s were a great aircraft, my personal favourite too, but it’s time had come and gone….

    If the USAF had still continued to operate their versions, and had come up with all the ‘wiz bang’ upgrades (at an affordable price), to keep the F-111 ‘relevant’ in the modern era, then yes, great! But that didn’t happen, we were left as the ‘sole’ operator of a very small fleet, unfortunately keeping them ‘viable’ was just too expensive and too hard (what we spend on Defence in a ‘year’, the US spends the equivalent in a couple of weeks, just unaffordable for us as a sole operator).

    And ultimately there is ‘no’ long range strike aircraft like the F-111 in operation or development anymore, that’s a fact, the future for the USAF appears to be F-35, F-22 at one end and eventually B-21 at the other, nothing in the middle.

    For the RAAF ‘long range’ strike will come down to F-35A, EA-18G and F/A-18F supported by the KC-30A fleet and being equipped with long range strike weapons such as JSM, LRASM, JASSM and JASSM-ER, not bad really.

    But ultimately ‘long range’ strike/deterrent for Australia, will become the RAN’s responsibility, the future submarines equipped with TLAM (or similar), something with an approx. 1600k range.

    Cheers,

    John N

  • the road runner

    says:

    Australia has qualified F-35 pilots and instructors …..am sure Squadron Leader Andrew Jackson will be flying the flag high for Australia come Avalon.

    As for long endurance sorties …Australia has half a dozen RAAF person’s flying long endurance sorties on MQ-9 Reapers embedded with the USAF 432D operations group. We have been flying Reapers since late 2015… even on operations Iraq. No F-111 will beat the endurance of a drone.. Sure an F-111 may fly faster ,but the pilots of Reapers are safe,,, can be swapped out on long endurance missions …and if they get shot down …well the pilot is safe..

    I wish we would hurry up and purchase a squadron or 2 of Reapers… ditch the ARH and cut our losses.
    And you all thought i was going to talk about F-35 🙂

  • Mick181

    says:

    Harry can you please tell us all about this adversary with an Aircraft Carrier we should be worried about, Russia and China are decades away from being able to threaten Australia with a Carrier Battle Group and that force would have to get by Australias new Submarine Fleet first.
    If the Flankers are so much better than the F-35s why are Russia & China spending so much moey and effort on 5th gen Fighters of there own.

  • Harry

    says:

    Nice argument John. I was thinking along the same lines. It’s a shame there’s nothing that specifically addresses long-range strike for Australia.

    Roadrunner, Reapers would be good!

    Mick… Please don’t twist my arguments! I never said Migs or Su-30s where better! I implied they had greater range. Because they do! And if China will have a carrier force in a decade (plus bases in the SCS) when do you think is a good time to start planning the RAAF w/ that in mind? Maybe now? Or yesterday? Remember China recently conducting military exercises in our EEZ off Xmas island not two years ago and the RAAF scrambled an Orion to watch over them. I didn’t find that to be sufficient. But anyway the point was to stimulate discussion, not to elicit straw man arguments or claims that I’m biased against F-35. Please read my posts properly.

  • Jasonp

    says:

    So many experts…

    The range of the F-111 in the past decade was exactly the same as its Classic Hornet escort, not one kilometre more! It was never going anywhere near contested airspace without dedicated SEAD and counter-air support.

    As for the Super Hornet range being “pathetic”, this is not what the CFTs are designed for. The CFTs are destined for use on Growler, and will either free up two wing stations to carry more ordnance/jammers, or to reduce the RCS, or to reduce drag, or to move the aux fuel closer to the aircraft’s centerline and thus increase its turn performance…or all three.

  • Paul

    says:

    Mick 181, I agree there mate.The problem with Russian T-50 is they have run out of money,that is why the Indians are so jacked off with it not being a true 5th gem jet.Same goes with China.Can all these people just please go away and think for a while ,that they will be at least 10-15 years away before they may even catch up.

  • Jasonp

    says:

    Reaper for long range strike, and MiG-29s with greater range than the F-35A?

    Just when you think you’ve heard and read it all… #alternatefacts

  • Harry

    says:

    Jason, yeah your right a Mig-29 doesn’t have significantly more than the F-35. My mistake, I dont know why I included that there. It was just a quick response to Mick. But a Su-30+ series does! I said reaper would be good but not for long range strike,… you must be referring to someone else.

    But the F-111 has way greater range it than a legacy hornets. Talk about alternative facts!

  • Jasonp

    says:

    Harry…go back and read my post. I said the F-111 had the same range as a Hornet, because the F-111 was not going to be operated in contested airspace without a Hornet escort. It doesn’t matter that it can fly further, because operationally it wasn’t going to.

  • Roger

    says:

    I was at Farnborough last year,and the F35 flying display was a disappointment to say the least. It did a couple of fly bys and went back to its base without landing. The airbus A380 was more exciting.

  • ESLowe

    says:

    This of the subject here…

    but does anybody know about the 9th and 10 C17s for the RAAF. The aircraft has been out of production since 2015. BUT, Congress approved the sale of up to 4 aircraft to Australia. The Americans regard the entire production of the C17 as a single worldwide fleet – and having 10 planes stationed in the Southern Hemisphere at somebody else’s expense would be too good to pass up.

    Abbott ordered two of the “white tails,” but did we put options on a further two? Turnbull alludes to two addition heavy planes for the future, sometime. YET our heavy lift aircraft need to carry the Abrams tank…something far beyond he ability of the A400 “Atlas.” AND anyway I couldn’t see us buying just two units of one aircraft type.

  • Mick181

    says:

    Harry you are concerned about the RAAF having to deal with the possibility of a Chinese Carrier group, you are forgettiing that the RAAF don’t operate in isolation. 1. The Navy is doubling it’s Sub fleet 2. The Army has a requirement for a Land based Anti-Ship Missile system, these will make trying to get through SE Asian waters very difficult.
    Having a couple of Stobar only Carriers will not give China the ability to threaten the Australian mainland, that would take 3-4 100,000 ton Catobar Carriers. Australia is far more worried about SSNs popping up close to the coast and firing SLCMs thus the decisions to increase the number of Subs, new ASW Frigates, Long Range UAVs and more P-8 Poseidons.

  • Harry

    says:

    Fi realise all that mick, and agree that these things are good. I’ve actually said as much above. But our naval capability is still limited in that it takes time to get on station. Air power is the most critical aspect in modern war. Something that’s fast w/ long range that can get on station in a timely manner would be good too

    Another post didn’t link up re F-111. Yes they operated without fighter escort. Otherwise why have nape of the earth ground mapping radar. Things like long range recon etc,

  • Harry

    says:

    Jason F-111 flew recon to ETimor and where ready to take out installations in Jakarta during the same period. I don’t believe your statement, especially when you use straw man arguments from my statements your not reading right in proper context

  • Peter Gregg

    says:

    Are they going to fly the F35 s to australia or stick a stick a airmail postage stamp on them? I don,t remember seeing them cleared for air to air refueling which wouldn’t be a problem after the amount of money we pay the Austtralia post boss

  • Paul

    says:

    Peter,F-35b flew to Japan,so I guess they are cleared.

  • Peter Gregg

    says:

    Paul., Have our pilots been cleared I know there hasn’t been much info on what they have done and you right the plane can but do the pilots need special clearance or is it the same as fill em pay later

  • Rocket

    says:

    OK. Fact… the F-111 DIDN’T need tankers and YES, they CAN outrun the Su-35.
    Secondly, they were NOT a technical nightmare at all, they were a mature platform and most of that rubbish was designed to ruin the aircraft’s reputation – even the wing carry through box failure at DSTO was the result of a faulty setting which put the airframe under 10 x as much pressure as it would ever be under normal circumstances.
    Thirdly, what happens if the Tankers get shot down, they are not stealthy – there have been several computer simulations that have pitted the F-35 and tankers/AWACS against the latest SU-35 and out of 24 F-35s, only one or two survived – get real, it’s NOT the F-22 Raptor, it’s a p-ss-poor alternative.
    Fourth, in every simulation against the likely Russian options, the F-111 still held it’s own. If the F-22 is anything to go by, it requires 100 hours of maintenance for every 1 hour of flight. Please do not try and tell us the F-111 required that level of maintenance. The ONLY reason the USAF agreed to retire them was because they had the B1B Lancer.
    Also, if an ‘older’ platform like the F-111 was so incapable, then tell me why the USAF still uses B-52s and plans to continue until 2030 when they will be 80 years old.
    Lastly – please don’t insult people’s intelligence, NO, the case didn’t stack up because there was NO case, neither the F-35 or the pathetic F-18F (the latter described by some in the US Defence establishment as a joke and of all the combat aircraft available, the ‘runt’ of the litter) = there was NO case because John Howard agreed on the spot to buy this rubbish with none of the normal defense procurement processes – the Dassault people had just arrived in Australia and rented houses, set up offices, etc. expecting to have a long 5 years of competition to try and sell their option, only to be told that Australia had committed to the F-35 without any evaluation.

  • Rocket

    says:

    BTW, re-reading a couple of posts, I do agree that the F-111 strike role will be taken by the Submarines but how long is that going to be… the fallacy that the F-18F fills the gap is just that. Also, the USAF will have B-52, B1B and F-1117 long range strike for a long time to come.

  • Paul

    says:

    Rocket,please mate,stay out of the medicine cabinet.

  • Paul

    says:

    Peter Greg,They will be dragged by a KC-135 or RAAF KC-30 I guess.

  • Paul

    says:

    Rocket,is there a new stealth platform?F-1117?One thing I do know is there was an F-117,but they retired them.There are 1 or 2 left flying in Nevada for training.

  • Paul

    says:

    Rocket,don’t forget the B-2(with its upgrade) and the LRSB-21 coming online.

  • Rocket

    says:

    Wasn’t necessary to ‘list’ all of them I meant to say…

  • Mike

    says:

    Any idea what time the F-35’s will arrive at Avalon on the Friday?

  • Paul

    says:

    Mike,no idea mate.

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RAAF F-35, Growler to make Avalon debuts

written by australianaviation.com.au | February 7, 2017
AU-1 First Flight at Fort Worth, Texas.  Pilot Al Norman, the  F-35 Chief Test Pilot, flying Australia's first F-35.
RAAF F-35A AU-1 will be on display at Avalon. (Lockheed Martin)

The RAAF’s first two Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters will make their public debut at the Australian International Airshow at Avalon on Friday March 3, Defence Minister Senator Marise Payne and Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne announced on Tuesday.

The first two F-35A aircraft, AU-001 and AU-002 will arrive at the airshow on Friday 3 March, returning to the United States via RAAF Base Amberley allowing Australian pilots to continue their training,” the Ministers’ joint statement reads.

“The visit is a significant contribution by the United States Air Force Training Command, and Lockheed Martin to facilitate the deployment from Luke Air Force Base during their training period.”

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It will be the F-35’s first appearance in the Southern Hemisphere, with the aircraft on display at Avalon alongside the RAAF’s first Boeing EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft. Two Growlers are expected to be on display at the airshow after their delivery to RAAF Base Amberley in late February.

“Together, the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter and the EA-18G Growler represent a potent and technologically advanced air combat and strike capability that is essential to our ability to defend Australia and our national interests,” Senator Payne said.

AU-1 and AU-2 have been based at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona since late 2014 as part of the International Pilot Training Center there, while no fewer than six centre fuselage sections for the RAAF’s next batch of eight F-35s are currently in production at Northrop Grumman’s F-35 Integrated Assembly Line (IAL) at Palmdale, California.

The first RAAF Growler, meanwhile, was rolled out in July 2015. All 12 RAAF Growlers were placed in storage at Boeing’s St Louis facility while RAAF 6SQN aircrews and maintainers trained on the type with the US Navy at Whidbey Island. All 12 jets will be delivered to RAAF Base Amberley this year.

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The first RAAF Growler rolled out in July 2015.

52 Comments

  • Daryl Williams

    says:

    Awesome

  • Harry

    says:

    Noice!

  • Allan

    says:

    I wonder if the KC-30 will get the mission to drag the F-35s to Oz.

  • Peter Burgess

    says:

    But will the F-35s put on a flying display? I’m guessing no, just parked. Would be excellent if they did.

  • will the F-35s actually fly or will they be on static display only?

  • Ray E

    says:

    Will it be just a static display or aerial display as well? Would be awesome to see the JSF do an aerial display with the USAF F-22!!

  • Lucas

    says:

    Why fly them all the way here and not give us a flying display??????

  • Paul

    says:

    They will fly in on Friday.One will land and the other will do an overshoot.I heard they will depart on the Sunday arvo just before the end of the show.Dont know if that’s true tho.

  • Paul

    says:

    The airshow website says “See it as part of the Airshow’s extensive ground display of military aircraft.” Does seem a waste to bring it all this way and the sum total of its flying demonstration is its arrival and departure.

  • Jasonp

    says:

    I doubt there are any RAAF F-35 pilots qualified to conduct a flying display yet. Perhaps they’ll import a USAF pilot to do a display? Either way, it’s still early days folks, be grateful they’re here at all.

  • G3

    says:

    Glass half empty? At least they will be here!

  • CharleyA

    says:

    Growler puts on a better airshow.

  • Beepa

    says:

    Anyone near Amberley the week after the Air show might get to see a sortie or two, mabey even a flyover to welcome the Growlers.

  • Raymond

    says:

    Probably static as it’s their first time here and there’s unlikely to be a display qualified pilot.

    What I don’t understand however, is if this is the case, why they couldn’t just take off and fly around a bit / conduct a couple of circuits to at least show the aircraft off in flight. I think that would make a lot of people happy for the inaugural visit. Surely that could be done?

    Thankful anyway for the announcement. It’s been a long wait.

  • Paul

    says:

    Raymond,I think they might do a few burner and max rate turns.No display pilot so it will be static.

  • Paul

    says:

    Very impressive results at red flag from the F-35..Great news.

  • Smithy

    says:

    Not too fussed that the F-35 isn’t doing a display, it will be the bread and butter in our skies soon enough!

    To really make this airshow top notch i really wish they had either the F-15 or B1 doing some form of flying display. Would have truly put the icing on the cake for a memorable Avalon!

  • Mike

    says:

    While I would prefer it was flying, I’m not overly fussed as I’m sure we’ll get our fill of them in years to come.

    Although I do have a feeling there will end up being more disappointed punters than happy ones when they turn up after being lured by all the heavy promotion only to find out its “static” only.

    F-35s went to the UK and Netherlands last year and both times performed some form of public flying display (as benign as that may be this early in their service life). So I do think we are getting short changed slightly.

  • Paul

    says:

    The Avalon team put a fantastic show on most times.Even if the B-1 F-15 and JSF were flying,there would be other people saying,why didn’t this come or that come.Very impressive work done by the team.Im sure when it arrives it will do a few max burner runs.It departs on the Sunday public day at about 4 I think,so we should see something special.

  • Rocket

    says:

    Blah blah, bring back the REAL Fighter-Bomber, the F-111C and F-111G… no spectacle like those two doing a demonstration flyby (aside from the fact they they carry more weapons, further and faster). Just a pity they were retired, argument didn’t stack up… I remember the Air Force upper echelon making all sorts of excuses for the so-called interim ‘F-18F’ ‘replacement’ saying how “Range doesn’t matter anymore”, Then just a few years later seriously looking at conformal wing tanks for the F-18F because it’s combat radius so pathetic, like the F-35, seems range does matter after all. The thing is neither of these gargantuan wastes of money can get away from the latest generation of Russian aircraft but the F-111C/G could outrun them all. If we were serious we would have got the F-15SE.

  • Gary

    says:

    Rocket,

    I think we need to remember that current air warfare is about shooting your adversary first and not to get involved in a close in engagement. I think you will see that with a networked force, the F35 pilot’s SA will far outway combat manoeuvrability. Just look at the latest RF17-1 stats. Whilst I retain fondness for the ‘Pig’ it could certainly outrun the 60s/70s Soviet aircraft; however, I doubt it would be able to outrun the latest suite of Russian platforms.

  • PAUL

    says:

    Yeah they didn’t go for the F15SE as it might upset the balance of power in the region, well tell that to someone with an SU30MKI on their tail… But neither are stealthy

    Good to see the F35 at Avalon wasn’t expecting to see the RAAF ones until 2019- shame I cant make it this year… Look forward to some coverage on You tube. Would be good if they did a DVD like RIAT or Farnborough

  • Paul

    says:

    Rocket,the argument did stack up.They were a technical nightmare.Yes their range was fantastic and could carry a lot.Speaking to Rhino pilots and compared with the pig,the Rhino pilots fly every day.Range you say?We have brand new tankers!The latest generation of Russian jets?give me a break mate!They are ten years behind our tech,u don’t have to outrun,just outgun.With all our new platforms coming online,the Sukhois will be too scared to leave their base.What should we have done Carlo?Super duper stealth up the pigs?at what cost.I agree with you the F-15se is a ripper jet,but we bought the Rhino because we wanted the growlers as well.

  • Smithy

    says:

    Dear Rocket

    We don’t want a fighter that can simply run away faster than another

    We want something that can target and destroy a potential threat before its even been seen

    Cheers M8!

  • Harry

    says:

    What happens when shooting an adversary first requires significant range but using a tanker would put it at risk of an adversary using a carry with Su-30MKs!? An F-35 can’t even reach Xmas island. But an adversary with an aircraft can deploy fighters w/ greater range than a F-35… A handful of harpoons would be taken out by the battle groups air defences. I guess we would have to rely on the Collins-class… If there already in the vicinity… The US relies on ranged platforms all the time, there just no longer fighter/bombers, but B-2s etc

  • John N

    says:

    Rocket,

    The F-111c’s were a great aircraft, my personal favourite too, but it’s time had come and gone….

    If the USAF had still continued to operate their versions, and had come up with all the ‘wiz bang’ upgrades (at an affordable price), to keep the F-111 ‘relevant’ in the modern era, then yes, great! But that didn’t happen, we were left as the ‘sole’ operator of a very small fleet, unfortunately keeping them ‘viable’ was just too expensive and too hard (what we spend on Defence in a ‘year’, the US spends the equivalent in a couple of weeks, just unaffordable for us as a sole operator).

    And ultimately there is ‘no’ long range strike aircraft like the F-111 in operation or development anymore, that’s a fact, the future for the USAF appears to be F-35, F-22 at one end and eventually B-21 at the other, nothing in the middle.

    For the RAAF ‘long range’ strike will come down to F-35A, EA-18G and F/A-18F supported by the KC-30A fleet and being equipped with long range strike weapons such as JSM, LRASM, JASSM and JASSM-ER, not bad really.

    But ultimately ‘long range’ strike/deterrent for Australia, will become the RAN’s responsibility, the future submarines equipped with TLAM (or similar), something with an approx. 1600k range.

    Cheers,

    John N

  • the road runner

    says:

    Australia has qualified F-35 pilots and instructors …..am sure Squadron Leader Andrew Jackson will be flying the flag high for Australia come Avalon.

    As for long endurance sorties …Australia has half a dozen RAAF person’s flying long endurance sorties on MQ-9 Reapers embedded with the USAF 432D operations group. We have been flying Reapers since late 2015… even on operations Iraq. No F-111 will beat the endurance of a drone.. Sure an F-111 may fly faster ,but the pilots of Reapers are safe,,, can be swapped out on long endurance missions …and if they get shot down …well the pilot is safe..

    I wish we would hurry up and purchase a squadron or 2 of Reapers… ditch the ARH and cut our losses.
    And you all thought i was going to talk about F-35 🙂

  • Mick181

    says:

    Harry can you please tell us all about this adversary with an Aircraft Carrier we should be worried about, Russia and China are decades away from being able to threaten Australia with a Carrier Battle Group and that force would have to get by Australias new Submarine Fleet first.
    If the Flankers are so much better than the F-35s why are Russia & China spending so much moey and effort on 5th gen Fighters of there own.

  • Harry

    says:

    Nice argument John. I was thinking along the same lines. It’s a shame there’s nothing that specifically addresses long-range strike for Australia.

    Roadrunner, Reapers would be good!

    Mick… Please don’t twist my arguments! I never said Migs or Su-30s where better! I implied they had greater range. Because they do! And if China will have a carrier force in a decade (plus bases in the SCS) when do you think is a good time to start planning the RAAF w/ that in mind? Maybe now? Or yesterday? Remember China recently conducting military exercises in our EEZ off Xmas island not two years ago and the RAAF scrambled an Orion to watch over them. I didn’t find that to be sufficient. But anyway the point was to stimulate discussion, not to elicit straw man arguments or claims that I’m biased against F-35. Please read my posts properly.

  • Jasonp

    says:

    So many experts…

    The range of the F-111 in the past decade was exactly the same as its Classic Hornet escort, not one kilometre more! It was never going anywhere near contested airspace without dedicated SEAD and counter-air support.

    As for the Super Hornet range being “pathetic”, this is not what the CFTs are designed for. The CFTs are destined for use on Growler, and will either free up two wing stations to carry more ordnance/jammers, or to reduce the RCS, or to reduce drag, or to move the aux fuel closer to the aircraft’s centerline and thus increase its turn performance…or all three.

  • Paul

    says:

    Mick 181, I agree there mate.The problem with Russian T-50 is they have run out of money,that is why the Indians are so jacked off with it not being a true 5th gem jet.Same goes with China.Can all these people just please go away and think for a while ,that they will be at least 10-15 years away before they may even catch up.

  • Jasonp

    says:

    Reaper for long range strike, and MiG-29s with greater range than the F-35A?

    Just when you think you’ve heard and read it all… #alternatefacts

  • Harry

    says:

    Jason, yeah your right a Mig-29 doesn’t have significantly more than the F-35. My mistake, I dont know why I included that there. It was just a quick response to Mick. But a Su-30+ series does! I said reaper would be good but not for long range strike,… you must be referring to someone else.

    But the F-111 has way greater range it than a legacy hornets. Talk about alternative facts!

  • Jasonp

    says:

    Harry…go back and read my post. I said the F-111 had the same range as a Hornet, because the F-111 was not going to be operated in contested airspace without a Hornet escort. It doesn’t matter that it can fly further, because operationally it wasn’t going to.

  • Roger

    says:

    I was at Farnborough last year,and the F35 flying display was a disappointment to say the least. It did a couple of fly bys and went back to its base without landing. The airbus A380 was more exciting.

  • ESLowe

    says:

    This of the subject here…

    but does anybody know about the 9th and 10 C17s for the RAAF. The aircraft has been out of production since 2015. BUT, Congress approved the sale of up to 4 aircraft to Australia. The Americans regard the entire production of the C17 as a single worldwide fleet – and having 10 planes stationed in the Southern Hemisphere at somebody else’s expense would be too good to pass up.

    Abbott ordered two of the “white tails,” but did we put options on a further two? Turnbull alludes to two addition heavy planes for the future, sometime. YET our heavy lift aircraft need to carry the Abrams tank…something far beyond he ability of the A400 “Atlas.” AND anyway I couldn’t see us buying just two units of one aircraft type.

  • Mick181

    says:

    Harry you are concerned about the RAAF having to deal with the possibility of a Chinese Carrier group, you are forgettiing that the RAAF don’t operate in isolation. 1. The Navy is doubling it’s Sub fleet 2. The Army has a requirement for a Land based Anti-Ship Missile system, these will make trying to get through SE Asian waters very difficult.
    Having a couple of Stobar only Carriers will not give China the ability to threaten the Australian mainland, that would take 3-4 100,000 ton Catobar Carriers. Australia is far more worried about SSNs popping up close to the coast and firing SLCMs thus the decisions to increase the number of Subs, new ASW Frigates, Long Range UAVs and more P-8 Poseidons.

  • Harry

    says:

    Fi realise all that mick, and agree that these things are good. I’ve actually said as much above. But our naval capability is still limited in that it takes time to get on station. Air power is the most critical aspect in modern war. Something that’s fast w/ long range that can get on station in a timely manner would be good too

    Another post didn’t link up re F-111. Yes they operated without fighter escort. Otherwise why have nape of the earth ground mapping radar. Things like long range recon etc,

  • Harry

    says:

    Jason F-111 flew recon to ETimor and where ready to take out installations in Jakarta during the same period. I don’t believe your statement, especially when you use straw man arguments from my statements your not reading right in proper context

  • Peter Gregg

    says:

    Are they going to fly the F35 s to australia or stick a stick a airmail postage stamp on them? I don,t remember seeing them cleared for air to air refueling which wouldn’t be a problem after the amount of money we pay the Austtralia post boss

  • Paul

    says:

    Peter,F-35b flew to Japan,so I guess they are cleared.

  • Peter Gregg

    says:

    Paul., Have our pilots been cleared I know there hasn’t been much info on what they have done and you right the plane can but do the pilots need special clearance or is it the same as fill em pay later

  • Rocket

    says:

    OK. Fact… the F-111 DIDN’T need tankers and YES, they CAN outrun the Su-35.
    Secondly, they were NOT a technical nightmare at all, they were a mature platform and most of that rubbish was designed to ruin the aircraft’s reputation – even the wing carry through box failure at DSTO was the result of a faulty setting which put the airframe under 10 x as much pressure as it would ever be under normal circumstances.
    Thirdly, what happens if the Tankers get shot down, they are not stealthy – there have been several computer simulations that have pitted the F-35 and tankers/AWACS against the latest SU-35 and out of 24 F-35s, only one or two survived – get real, it’s NOT the F-22 Raptor, it’s a p-ss-poor alternative.
    Fourth, in every simulation against the likely Russian options, the F-111 still held it’s own. If the F-22 is anything to go by, it requires 100 hours of maintenance for every 1 hour of flight. Please do not try and tell us the F-111 required that level of maintenance. The ONLY reason the USAF agreed to retire them was because they had the B1B Lancer.
    Also, if an ‘older’ platform like the F-111 was so incapable, then tell me why the USAF still uses B-52s and plans to continue until 2030 when they will be 80 years old.
    Lastly – please don’t insult people’s intelligence, NO, the case didn’t stack up because there was NO case, neither the F-35 or the pathetic F-18F (the latter described by some in the US Defence establishment as a joke and of all the combat aircraft available, the ‘runt’ of the litter) = there was NO case because John Howard agreed on the spot to buy this rubbish with none of the normal defense procurement processes – the Dassault people had just arrived in Australia and rented houses, set up offices, etc. expecting to have a long 5 years of competition to try and sell their option, only to be told that Australia had committed to the F-35 without any evaluation.

  • Rocket

    says:

    BTW, re-reading a couple of posts, I do agree that the F-111 strike role will be taken by the Submarines but how long is that going to be… the fallacy that the F-18F fills the gap is just that. Also, the USAF will have B-52, B1B and F-1117 long range strike for a long time to come.

  • Paul

    says:

    Rocket,please mate,stay out of the medicine cabinet.

  • Paul

    says:

    Peter Greg,They will be dragged by a KC-135 or RAAF KC-30 I guess.

  • Paul

    says:

    Rocket,is there a new stealth platform?F-1117?One thing I do know is there was an F-117,but they retired them.There are 1 or 2 left flying in Nevada for training.

  • Paul

    says:

    Rocket,don’t forget the B-2(with its upgrade) and the LRSB-21 coming online.

  • Rocket

    says:

    Wasn’t necessary to ‘list’ all of them I meant to say…

  • Mike

    says:

    Any idea what time the F-35’s will arrive at Avalon on the Friday?

  • Paul

    says:

    Mike,no idea mate.

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RAAF F-35, Growler to make Avalon debuts

written by australianaviation.com.au | February 7, 2017
AU-1 First Flight at Fort Worth, Texas.  Pilot Al Norman, the  F-35 Chief Test Pilot, flying Australia's first F-35.
RAAF F-35A AU-1 will be on display at Avalon. (Lockheed Martin)

The RAAF’s first two Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters will make their public debut at the Australian International Airshow at Avalon on Friday March 3, Defence Minister Senator Marise Payne and Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne announced on Tuesday.

The first two F-35A aircraft, AU-001 and AU-002 will arrive at the airshow on Friday 3 March, returning to the United States via RAAF Base Amberley allowing Australian pilots to continue their training,” the Ministers’ joint statement reads.

“The visit is a significant contribution by the United States Air Force Training Command, and Lockheed Martin to facilitate the deployment from Luke Air Force Base during their training period.”

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It will be the F-35’s first appearance in the Southern Hemisphere, with the aircraft on display at Avalon alongside the RAAF’s first Boeing EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft. Two Growlers are expected to be on display at the airshow after their delivery to RAAF Base Amberley in late February.

“Together, the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter and the EA-18G Growler represent a potent and technologically advanced air combat and strike capability that is essential to our ability to defend Australia and our national interests,” Senator Payne said.

AU-1 and AU-2 have been based at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona since late 2014 as part of the International Pilot Training Center there, while no fewer than six centre fuselage sections for the RAAF’s next batch of eight F-35s are currently in production at Northrop Grumman’s F-35 Integrated Assembly Line (IAL) at Palmdale, California.

The first RAAF Growler, meanwhile, was rolled out in July 2015. All 12 RAAF Growlers were placed in storage at Boeing’s St Louis facility while RAAF 6SQN aircrews and maintainers trained on the type with the US Navy at Whidbey Island. All 12 jets will be delivered to RAAF Base Amberley this year.

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The first RAAF Growler rolled out in July 2015.

52 Comments

  • Daryl Williams

    says:

    Awesome

  • Harry

    says:

    Noice!

  • Allan

    says:

    I wonder if the KC-30 will get the mission to drag the F-35s to Oz.

  • Peter Burgess

    says:

    But will the F-35s put on a flying display? I’m guessing no, just parked. Would be excellent if they did.

  • will the F-35s actually fly or will they be on static display only?

  • Ray E

    says:

    Will it be just a static display or aerial display as well? Would be awesome to see the JSF do an aerial display with the USAF F-22!!

  • Lucas

    says:

    Why fly them all the way here and not give us a flying display??????

  • Paul

    says:

    They will fly in on Friday.One will land and the other will do an overshoot.I heard they will depart on the Sunday arvo just before the end of the show.Dont know if that’s true tho.

  • Paul

    says:

    The airshow website says “See it as part of the Airshow’s extensive ground display of military aircraft.” Does seem a waste to bring it all this way and the sum total of its flying demonstration is its arrival and departure.

  • Jasonp

    says:

    I doubt there are any RAAF F-35 pilots qualified to conduct a flying display yet. Perhaps they’ll import a USAF pilot to do a display? Either way, it’s still early days folks, be grateful they’re here at all.

  • G3

    says:

    Glass half empty? At least they will be here!

  • CharleyA

    says:

    Growler puts on a better airshow.

  • Beepa

    says:

    Anyone near Amberley the week after the Air show might get to see a sortie or two, mabey even a flyover to welcome the Growlers.

  • Raymond

    says:

    Probably static as it’s their first time here and there’s unlikely to be a display qualified pilot.

    What I don’t understand however, is if this is the case, why they couldn’t just take off and fly around a bit / conduct a couple of circuits to at least show the aircraft off in flight. I think that would make a lot of people happy for the inaugural visit. Surely that could be done?

    Thankful anyway for the announcement. It’s been a long wait.

  • Paul

    says:

    Raymond,I think they might do a few burner and max rate turns.No display pilot so it will be static.

  • Paul

    says:

    Very impressive results at red flag from the F-35..Great news.

  • Smithy

    says:

    Not too fussed that the F-35 isn’t doing a display, it will be the bread and butter in our skies soon enough!

    To really make this airshow top notch i really wish they had either the F-15 or B1 doing some form of flying display. Would have truly put the icing on the cake for a memorable Avalon!

  • Mike

    says:

    While I would prefer it was flying, I’m not overly fussed as I’m sure we’ll get our fill of them in years to come.

    Although I do have a feeling there will end up being more disappointed punters than happy ones when they turn up after being lured by all the heavy promotion only to find out its “static” only.

    F-35s went to the UK and Netherlands last year and both times performed some form of public flying display (as benign as that may be this early in their service life). So I do think we are getting short changed slightly.

  • Paul

    says:

    The Avalon team put a fantastic show on most times.Even if the B-1 F-15 and JSF were flying,there would be other people saying,why didn’t this come or that come.Very impressive work done by the team.Im sure when it arrives it will do a few max burner runs.It departs on the Sunday public day at about 4 I think,so we should see something special.

  • Rocket

    says:

    Blah blah, bring back the REAL Fighter-Bomber, the F-111C and F-111G… no spectacle like those two doing a demonstration flyby (aside from the fact they they carry more weapons, further and faster). Just a pity they were retired, argument didn’t stack up… I remember the Air Force upper echelon making all sorts of excuses for the so-called interim ‘F-18F’ ‘replacement’ saying how “Range doesn’t matter anymore”, Then just a few years later seriously looking at conformal wing tanks for the F-18F because it’s combat radius so pathetic, like the F-35, seems range does matter after all. The thing is neither of these gargantuan wastes of money can get away from the latest generation of Russian aircraft but the F-111C/G could outrun them all. If we were serious we would have got the F-15SE.

  • Gary

    says:

    Rocket,

    I think we need to remember that current air warfare is about shooting your adversary first and not to get involved in a close in engagement. I think you will see that with a networked force, the F35 pilot’s SA will far outway combat manoeuvrability. Just look at the latest RF17-1 stats. Whilst I retain fondness for the ‘Pig’ it could certainly outrun the 60s/70s Soviet aircraft; however, I doubt it would be able to outrun the latest suite of Russian platforms.

  • PAUL

    says:

    Yeah they didn’t go for the F15SE as it might upset the balance of power in the region, well tell that to someone with an SU30MKI on their tail… But neither are stealthy

    Good to see the F35 at Avalon wasn’t expecting to see the RAAF ones until 2019- shame I cant make it this year… Look forward to some coverage on You tube. Would be good if they did a DVD like RIAT or Farnborough

  • Paul

    says:

    Rocket,the argument did stack up.They were a technical nightmare.Yes their range was fantastic and could carry a lot.Speaking to Rhino pilots and compared with the pig,the Rhino pilots fly every day.Range you say?We have brand new tankers!The latest generation of Russian jets?give me a break mate!They are ten years behind our tech,u don’t have to outrun,just outgun.With all our new platforms coming online,the Sukhois will be too scared to leave their base.What should we have done Carlo?Super duper stealth up the pigs?at what cost.I agree with you the F-15se is a ripper jet,but we bought the Rhino because we wanted the growlers as well.

  • Smithy

    says:

    Dear Rocket

    We don’t want a fighter that can simply run away faster than another

    We want something that can target and destroy a potential threat before its even been seen

    Cheers M8!

  • Harry

    says:

    What happens when shooting an adversary first requires significant range but using a tanker would put it at risk of an adversary using a carry with Su-30MKs!? An F-35 can’t even reach Xmas island. But an adversary with an aircraft can deploy fighters w/ greater range than a F-35… A handful of harpoons would be taken out by the battle groups air defences. I guess we would have to rely on the Collins-class… If there already in the vicinity… The US relies on ranged platforms all the time, there just no longer fighter/bombers, but B-2s etc

  • John N

    says:

    Rocket,

    The F-111c’s were a great aircraft, my personal favourite too, but it’s time had come and gone….

    If the USAF had still continued to operate their versions, and had come up with all the ‘wiz bang’ upgrades (at an affordable price), to keep the F-111 ‘relevant’ in the modern era, then yes, great! But that didn’t happen, we were left as the ‘sole’ operator of a very small fleet, unfortunately keeping them ‘viable’ was just too expensive and too hard (what we spend on Defence in a ‘year’, the US spends the equivalent in a couple of weeks, just unaffordable for us as a sole operator).

    And ultimately there is ‘no’ long range strike aircraft like the F-111 in operation or development anymore, that’s a fact, the future for the USAF appears to be F-35, F-22 at one end and eventually B-21 at the other, nothing in the middle.

    For the RAAF ‘long range’ strike will come down to F-35A, EA-18G and F/A-18F supported by the KC-30A fleet and being equipped with long range strike weapons such as JSM, LRASM, JASSM and JASSM-ER, not bad really.

    But ultimately ‘long range’ strike/deterrent for Australia, will become the RAN’s responsibility, the future submarines equipped with TLAM (or similar), something with an approx. 1600k range.

    Cheers,

    John N

  • the road runner

    says:

    Australia has qualified F-35 pilots and instructors …..am sure Squadron Leader Andrew Jackson will be flying the flag high for Australia come Avalon.

    As for long endurance sorties …Australia has half a dozen RAAF person’s flying long endurance sorties on MQ-9 Reapers embedded with the USAF 432D operations group. We have been flying Reapers since late 2015… even on operations Iraq. No F-111 will beat the endurance of a drone.. Sure an F-111 may fly faster ,but the pilots of Reapers are safe,,, can be swapped out on long endurance missions …and if they get shot down …well the pilot is safe..

    I wish we would hurry up and purchase a squadron or 2 of Reapers… ditch the ARH and cut our losses.
    And you all thought i was going to talk about F-35 🙂

  • Mick181

    says:

    Harry can you please tell us all about this adversary with an Aircraft Carrier we should be worried about, Russia and China are decades away from being able to threaten Australia with a Carrier Battle Group and that force would have to get by Australias new Submarine Fleet first.
    If the Flankers are so much better than the F-35s why are Russia & China spending so much moey and effort on 5th gen Fighters of there own.

  • Harry

    says:

    Nice argument John. I was thinking along the same lines. It’s a shame there’s nothing that specifically addresses long-range strike for Australia.

    Roadrunner, Reapers would be good!

    Mick… Please don’t twist my arguments! I never said Migs or Su-30s where better! I implied they had greater range. Because they do! And if China will have a carrier force in a decade (plus bases in the SCS) when do you think is a good time to start planning the RAAF w/ that in mind? Maybe now? Or yesterday? Remember China recently conducting military exercises in our EEZ off Xmas island not two years ago and the RAAF scrambled an Orion to watch over them. I didn’t find that to be sufficient. But anyway the point was to stimulate discussion, not to elicit straw man arguments or claims that I’m biased against F-35. Please read my posts properly.

  • Jasonp

    says:

    So many experts…

    The range of the F-111 in the past decade was exactly the same as its Classic Hornet escort, not one kilometre more! It was never going anywhere near contested airspace without dedicated SEAD and counter-air support.

    As for the Super Hornet range being “pathetic”, this is not what the CFTs are designed for. The CFTs are destined for use on Growler, and will either free up two wing stations to carry more ordnance/jammers, or to reduce the RCS, or to reduce drag, or to move the aux fuel closer to the aircraft’s centerline and thus increase its turn performance…or all three.

  • Paul

    says:

    Mick 181, I agree there mate.The problem with Russian T-50 is they have run out of money,that is why the Indians are so jacked off with it not being a true 5th gem jet.Same goes with China.Can all these people just please go away and think for a while ,that they will be at least 10-15 years away before they may even catch up.

  • Jasonp

    says:

    Reaper for long range strike, and MiG-29s with greater range than the F-35A?

    Just when you think you’ve heard and read it all… #alternatefacts

  • Harry

    says:

    Jason, yeah your right a Mig-29 doesn’t have significantly more than the F-35. My mistake, I dont know why I included that there. It was just a quick response to Mick. But a Su-30+ series does! I said reaper would be good but not for long range strike,… you must be referring to someone else.

    But the F-111 has way greater range it than a legacy hornets. Talk about alternative facts!

  • Jasonp

    says:

    Harry…go back and read my post. I said the F-111 had the same range as a Hornet, because the F-111 was not going to be operated in contested airspace without a Hornet escort. It doesn’t matter that it can fly further, because operationally it wasn’t going to.

  • Roger

    says:

    I was at Farnborough last year,and the F35 flying display was a disappointment to say the least. It did a couple of fly bys and went back to its base without landing. The airbus A380 was more exciting.

  • ESLowe

    says:

    This of the subject here…

    but does anybody know about the 9th and 10 C17s for the RAAF. The aircraft has been out of production since 2015. BUT, Congress approved the sale of up to 4 aircraft to Australia. The Americans regard the entire production of the C17 as a single worldwide fleet – and having 10 planes stationed in the Southern Hemisphere at somebody else’s expense would be too good to pass up.

    Abbott ordered two of the “white tails,” but did we put options on a further two? Turnbull alludes to two addition heavy planes for the future, sometime. YET our heavy lift aircraft need to carry the Abrams tank…something far beyond he ability of the A400 “Atlas.” AND anyway I couldn’t see us buying just two units of one aircraft type.

  • Mick181

    says:

    Harry you are concerned about the RAAF having to deal with the possibility of a Chinese Carrier group, you are forgettiing that the RAAF don’t operate in isolation. 1. The Navy is doubling it’s Sub fleet 2. The Army has a requirement for a Land based Anti-Ship Missile system, these will make trying to get through SE Asian waters very difficult.
    Having a couple of Stobar only Carriers will not give China the ability to threaten the Australian mainland, that would take 3-4 100,000 ton Catobar Carriers. Australia is far more worried about SSNs popping up close to the coast and firing SLCMs thus the decisions to increase the number of Subs, new ASW Frigates, Long Range UAVs and more P-8 Poseidons.

  • Harry

    says:

    Fi realise all that mick, and agree that these things are good. I’ve actually said as much above. But our naval capability is still limited in that it takes time to get on station. Air power is the most critical aspect in modern war. Something that’s fast w/ long range that can get on station in a timely manner would be good too

    Another post didn’t link up re F-111. Yes they operated without fighter escort. Otherwise why have nape of the earth ground mapping radar. Things like long range recon etc,

  • Harry

    says:

    Jason F-111 flew recon to ETimor and where ready to take out installations in Jakarta during the same period. I don’t believe your statement, especially when you use straw man arguments from my statements your not reading right in proper context

  • Peter Gregg

    says:

    Are they going to fly the F35 s to australia or stick a stick a airmail postage stamp on them? I don,t remember seeing them cleared for air to air refueling which wouldn’t be a problem after the amount of money we pay the Austtralia post boss

  • Paul

    says:

    Peter,F-35b flew to Japan,so I guess they are cleared.

  • Peter Gregg

    says:

    Paul., Have our pilots been cleared I know there hasn’t been much info on what they have done and you right the plane can but do the pilots need special clearance or is it the same as fill em pay later

  • Rocket

    says:

    OK. Fact… the F-111 DIDN’T need tankers and YES, they CAN outrun the Su-35.
    Secondly, they were NOT a technical nightmare at all, they were a mature platform and most of that rubbish was designed to ruin the aircraft’s reputation – even the wing carry through box failure at DSTO was the result of a faulty setting which put the airframe under 10 x as much pressure as it would ever be under normal circumstances.
    Thirdly, what happens if the Tankers get shot down, they are not stealthy – there have been several computer simulations that have pitted the F-35 and tankers/AWACS against the latest SU-35 and out of 24 F-35s, only one or two survived – get real, it’s NOT the F-22 Raptor, it’s a p-ss-poor alternative.
    Fourth, in every simulation against the likely Russian options, the F-111 still held it’s own. If the F-22 is anything to go by, it requires 100 hours of maintenance for every 1 hour of flight. Please do not try and tell us the F-111 required that level of maintenance. The ONLY reason the USAF agreed to retire them was because they had the B1B Lancer.
    Also, if an ‘older’ platform like the F-111 was so incapable, then tell me why the USAF still uses B-52s and plans to continue until 2030 when they will be 80 years old.
    Lastly – please don’t insult people’s intelligence, NO, the case didn’t stack up because there was NO case, neither the F-35 or the pathetic F-18F (the latter described by some in the US Defence establishment as a joke and of all the combat aircraft available, the ‘runt’ of the litter) = there was NO case because John Howard agreed on the spot to buy this rubbish with none of the normal defense procurement processes – the Dassault people had just arrived in Australia and rented houses, set up offices, etc. expecting to have a long 5 years of competition to try and sell their option, only to be told that Australia had committed to the F-35 without any evaluation.

  • Rocket

    says:

    BTW, re-reading a couple of posts, I do agree that the F-111 strike role will be taken by the Submarines but how long is that going to be… the fallacy that the F-18F fills the gap is just that. Also, the USAF will have B-52, B1B and F-1117 long range strike for a long time to come.

  • Paul

    says:

    Rocket,please mate,stay out of the medicine cabinet.

  • Paul

    says:

    Peter Greg,They will be dragged by a KC-135 or RAAF KC-30 I guess.

  • Paul

    says:

    Rocket,is there a new stealth platform?F-1117?One thing I do know is there was an F-117,but they retired them.There are 1 or 2 left flying in Nevada for training.

  • Paul

    says:

    Rocket,don’t forget the B-2(with its upgrade) and the LRSB-21 coming online.

  • Rocket

    says:

    Wasn’t necessary to ‘list’ all of them I meant to say…

  • Mike

    says:

    Any idea what time the F-35’s will arrive at Avalon on the Friday?

  • Paul

    says:

    Mike,no idea mate.

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