6 RAAF Supers to Growlers (Fewer F-35s?)

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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rkap

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Unread post09 Feb 2013, 16:47

geogen wrote:Put me in the camp assessing that RAAF would have been more strategic and prudent in better calculating the future of Australia's Hornet/F-111 recap plan back during the early/mid-2000s, by deciding on an F-15AU.


You are correct - The problem was of course we were led to believe by LM and the US DOD the F-35 would be available and operational and coming off the production line by about 2010 or soon after from memory when we formulated our plans in the early 2000's.

Then about 5 years ago when it became critical we get replacements we were led to believe it would be well into production by 2013 and would be proven up and operational by 2015 and we could expect to receive them about then or soon after. Now it will be 2020 at least - more like 2022 or later before we have a chance of having an operational Squadron. About 10 years later than expected.

When we bought the SH's was our last chance of changing - the Government instead went for 24 of the less expensive SH's as an interim stop gap. There were many in Australia who would have preferred us to buy the best available proven and operational aircraft at that time and abandon the F35.

An F15 would have been the most likely aircraft we would have bought if we had a competition. It is all we needed to stay competitive with any potential adversary up until about 2030/2035.

In simple words we were "conned".
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XanderCrews

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Unread post09 Feb 2013, 19:33

rkap wrote:When we bought the SH's was our last chance of changing - the Government instead went for 24 of the less expensive SH's as an interim stop gap. There were many in Australia who would have preferred us to buy the best available proven and operational aircraft at that time and abandon the F35.


I thought the Australian Government Auditors already showed that you paid more for the SHs?
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Unread post09 Feb 2013, 19:52

Aaahh 'rkap' if there were 'many in Oz' then there are 'many in Oz' [no - not 'munny'] (those who make decisions about such matters) ready to wait for the good stuff. No?
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Unread post10 Feb 2013, 10:22

rkap wrote:You are correct - The problem was of course we were led to believe by LM and the US DOD the F-35 would be available and operational and coming off the production line by about 2010 or soon after from memory when we formulated our plans in the early 2000's.

Then about 5 years ago when it became critical we get replacements we were led to believe it would be well into production by 2013 and would be proven up and operational by 2015 and we could expect to receive them about then or soon after. Now it will be 2020 at least - more like 2022 or later before we have a chance of having an operational Squadron. About 10 years later than expected.

When we bought the SH's was our last chance of changing - the Government instead went for 24 of the less expensive SH's as an interim stop gap. There were many in Australia who would have preferred us to buy the best available proven and operational aircraft at that time and abandon the F35.

An F15 would have been the most likely aircraft we would have bought if we had a competition. It is all we needed to stay competitive with any potential adversary up until about 2030/2035.

In simple words we were "conned".


Some might argue that strategy has nothing to do with the individual platform type chosen, but anyway let's not bicker over semantics.

Have you priced F-15's of late? They're not so cheap. Go and ask Saudi Arabia.

You're right. They probably would have done us to 2030 or so. What then? Go back and have another look at F-35? Where's the massive pot of cash coming from to pursue such a project? RSAF's 180 odd F-15SA fleet is costing them about $29b. Price it down and you see our entire NACC budget going on such an F-15 fleet.

So given this fleet will have to sustain us beyond 2040 and likely up until 2050, perhaps it's understandable why RAAF has not taken the quick and easy path, that is so easily proposed by those who don't have to justify such decisions to the Australian public.

When in a mere 17 years they are coming back cap in hand and asking for the same amount to buy a new fighter, or flying our SOLE fighter aircraft in 2040 that is as old and outclassed by everything within our region as the F-111 was in 2010...

For people who argue about the advanced threats we face in our "region" you and Geo sure don't mind just tossing ideas about 30+ year old design fighters out there do you?

Albeit unlike Geo I haven't seen you proposing adding an IRST sensor to a fighter and describing such a decision as "strategic" but still, one does wonder why when we're discussing "strategy" one focuses on the short term delays of one fighter, rather than the long term sustainability of an entire fighter force?
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Unread post10 Feb 2013, 13:12

For people who argue about the advanced threats we face in our "region" you and Geo sure don't mind just tossing ideas about 30+ year old design fighters out there do you?


Interesting that isn't it. Similar to how these people conjur up some ridiculous scenario to defeat the F-35 but then fail to accept that the same scenario would have meant death for their preferred alternate much earlier.
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Unread post10 Feb 2013, 13:40

'Emerging Threats' are always going to be better than the F-35 dontcha know. The bogeyman will get you every time - huffin' and apuffin'. :D
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Unread post10 Feb 2013, 19:57

spazsinbad wrote:'Emerging Threats' are always going to be better than the F-35 dontcha know. The bogeyman will get you every time - huffin' and apuffin'. :D


And the only solution is from the disco era.

Its like when Germany debuted the Me-262. All the naysayers said "see I told you we should have stuck with the Sopwith Camel" :lol:
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Unread post10 Feb 2013, 20:55

XanderCrews wrote:
And the only solution is from the disco era.


Equipped and ready for action:

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Unread post11 Feb 2013, 20:50

Not only for Ozzies but for the internet (via 'iView') next Monday night 18 Feb 2013 at 2030 our local time 'Four Corners' our ABC public "T V channel" will broadcast a doco about the F-35. Content unknown at moment but likely to cover the items in this thread (more supers for oz). Go here: http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/

And go here for 'iView' over the intertrubbles: http://www.abc.net.au/iview/#/series/four%20corners

"Four Corners on ABC iview
You can catch up on episodes of Four Corners using the ABC iview service. Programs are available to watch online for a limited period after broadcast. Visit Four Corners on iview."

According to graphic the F-35 program will be available for a fortnight after 18 Feb 2013 online (subtract one day for international dateline time difference I guess - youse'll work it out).
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Unread post12 Feb 2013, 01:50

From what I understand they have not spoken to the NACC team but have made sure to speak to Goon and Kopp. Therefore, one can only imagine how balanced a view it will give...
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Unread post12 Feb 2013, 01:54

Oh. I guess we will see - have not seen any promos yet - only note at end of last program flagging the next 'about F-35' one.
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Unread post12 Feb 2013, 02:16

I was referring to some comments on it a few weeks ago by NACC
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Unread post14 Feb 2013, 05:35

UhOh. Blurberoonie for the ABC T V show mentioned above. I will guess that 4 Corners will have other views presented but whatever.

Reach for the Sky Blurb 14 Feb 2013 but program not shown until the 18th

http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/stories/ ... 690317.htm

"The JSF project could cost Australian taxpayers tens of billions of dollars. Is this plane a super fighter or a massive waste of money?

MONDAY 18TH FEBRUARY 2013
It's been billed as the smartest jet fighter on the planet, designed to strike enemies in the air and on the ground without being detected by radar. But after a decade of intensive development, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) is over budget, a long way behind schedule and described by one expert as "big, fat and draggy".

The JSF project could cost Australian taxpayers tens of billions of dollars. Is this plane a super fighter or a massive waste of money?

Next on Four Corners reporter Andrew Fowler travels to the United States in search of answers. He goes to Lockheed Martin's top secret factory in Texas. He also secured the first television interview with the Pentagon's new head man on the project, whose candid assessment of the JSF would chill many in the Defence Department:

"Well let's make no mistake about it. This program still has risks, technical risks, it has cost issues, it has problems we'll have to fix in the future."

The question is how and why did Australia lock itself into a project that both experts and senior US politicians say is dangerously flawed? Four Corners asks three crucial questions. Why was the plane chosen without an open and competitive tender? Why did the then head of the RAAF give the plane and the project his stamp of approval when it was barely off the drawing board? And will the aircraft's capabilities have to be downgraded before it gets into service?

Reflecting on the decision not to open the purchase of a new fighter jet to competition, one insider told the program:

"Now we were proposing that we buy something being developed for the US Air Force if you like, on a whim."

Last year the Canadian Government was rocked by revelations that it had severely under-estimated the cost of the 65 Joint Strike Fighters it had contracted to buy. As a result Canada has been forced to halt the purchase and re-assess it through an open tender process. This has major implications for Australia. It suggests we could be under-estimating the JSF's true cost and it means if the Canadians pull out of the program the price of each plane will rise yet again.

"Reach for the Sky", reported by Andrew Fowler and presented by Kerry O'Brien, goes to air on Monday 18th February at 8.30pm on ABC1. It is replayed on Tuesday 19th February at 11.35pm. It can also be seen on ABC News 24 at 8.00pm Saturday, on ABC iview and at abc.net.au/4corners.
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When the Super Hornet Saga Buy was at the height of noise we had one ex-RAAF AVM on a 4 Courners program calling the Super a 'Super Dog'. Why? Because he wanted F-111s. And of course he was a driver of same. Vaguely I recall the program was relatively even handed for and against at that time.
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Unread post14 Feb 2013, 17:48

Having seen too many 4 corners sensationalist pieces of crap, I am not holdin too many hopes for this one...especially if they call upon Kopp or Ggon or any others like that as so-called experts.
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Unread post18 Feb 2013, 01:04

Archive of that old Four Corners program in 2007 here (Supers as well as F-35As as I recall): http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/content/ ... rviews.htm

"Video On Demand: "Flying Blind"
Missing their sting...? Are the new $6.6 billion Super Hornet jet fighters up to the job of defending Australia? Andrew Fowler reports.
Watch the program in full, plus extended interviews."
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