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

Unread postPosted: 22 Feb 2012, 10:44
by spazsinbad
$200m refit to give fighter jets growl by: Ian McPhedran Feb 22, 2012

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/nati ... 6277576058

“THE Federal Government will spend more than $200 million to transform six air force fighter jets into hi-tech electronic warfare planes. The RAAF purchased 24 Boeing Rhino fighters under a $6 billion deal with the US Navy to fill the gap between the retirement of the F-111 fighter bomber and the expected delivery of the first batch of 14 Joint Strike Fighter stealth jets later this decade....

...Meanwhile, Mr Smith is facing criticism from air force brass for his move to buy 12 more Rhinos to cover the likely delay into service of up to 70 Australian JSFs. A decision is due by September this year, but the RAAF is arguing against more Rhinos because they fear that will leave less funds for Joint Strike Fighters.

"The RAAF doesn't want to run two types of fighter jets," a source said.
...”

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

Unread postPosted: 22 Feb 2012, 12:21
by thebigfish
"The RAAF doesn't want to run two types of fighter jets"

SO what happens to the Rhinos we (Oz) just recieved? Do they get retired? I thought they all become Growlers?

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

Unread postPosted: 22 Feb 2012, 12:32
by spazsinbad
If the plan comes to fruition at some future point when 100 F-35As in RAAF service all the Super/Growlers will be sold off. Perhaps the Growlers will be the last to leave. I guess it all depends on future developments. However the plan is not to have a mix of fast jets but then again who knows the future.

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

Unread postPosted: 22 Feb 2012, 12:33
by munny
From memory only 12 of the 24 have all the equipment built in to enable them to be converted to growlers. The 24 we have are to stay in service for 15 years or so until they are replaced by F-35's. That being said, we really should keep the growlers on with the F-35's for as long as they're viable.

I think moving ahead with the EW upgrade now is a good call. We'll see if it sticks after Ruddy quits totally, forcing a bi-election and the Libs get in.

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

Unread postPosted: 22 Feb 2012, 15:11
by Conan
The Growlers "if" purchased will stay on in RAAF as a sub-unit, no matter what happens to the other 18 aircraft. If the additional 12 Super Hornets are purchased as outlined above, 6 Sqn will come up to full strength and we may see one of the Hornet squadrons lose it's jets with the remaining aircraft rotated through the Hornet squadrons until they can be replaced.

If that happens and it's likely under this Minister, the RAAF will continue to operate two fast jet types for the forseeable future and Government will just have to pony up the funds for them to do so.

The only effect it will have on JSF is down the track. This will mean RAAF is likely to only ever acquire 3 squadrons of JSF (3 squadrons plus an Operational Coversion unit) and operate about 72 aircraft.

Thus it may not be such a bad idea. Super Hornet will be fine until 2030 or so and we might be able to get a replacement aircraft, whether unmanned or otherwise at that point to supplement JSF, no doubt relieving many of the concerns some have expressed about an "all" JSF force.

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

Unread postPosted: 22 Feb 2012, 19:21
by spazsinbad
Australian Growler Decision Due This Year Feb 22, 2012 By Robert Wall wall@aviationweek.com LONDON

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/ ... Australian Growler Decision Due This Year

"...“In the course of this year, and I choose my words advisably and carefully and say not at the end of this year, but in the course of this year, we’ll make a range of judgments. We’ll make a range of judgments about whether there’s a risk of a capability gap and what steps we need to take in that respect,” Smith says, with buying more Super Hornets an obvious fallback.

At this point, Smith will not rule out F-35s reaching an initial operational capability in Australia before 2020, although that judgment is likely to be made within the coming months."

Amazing choice of words to say nothing - must have been a former FornMin. :D

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

Unread postPosted: 24 Feb 2012, 02:13
by navy_airframer
thebigfish wrote:"The RAAF doesn't want to run two types of fighter jets"

SO what happens to the Rhinos we (Oz) just recieved? Do they get retired? I thought they all become Growlers?


Since the wiring is done, which is the hard and expensive part, it would be relatively easy to do the conversion. 90 percent of the jets are identical F to G wise. The LAU's can be removed and replaced by the wing tip pods and most of the rest of the electronics go in the gun bay. Im not really sure what it would take to put the antennas on the engine doors but that should be strait forward and those are about the only differance i think. I would have to look at the two jets tomarrow at work to be sure. Most of the cost should be wrapped up in purchasing the electronics and spares not the work doing the conversion.

Unread postPosted: 24 Feb 2012, 03:05
by popcorn
Seeing as the Growler will host the NGJ down the road, it appears that the SH will remain relevant to the RAAF for many years to come in the EW role.

Unread postPosted: 24 Feb 2012, 06:47
by destroid
popcorn wrote:Seeing as the Growler will host the NGJ down the road, it appears that the SH will remain relevant to the RAAF for many years to come in the EW role.


I don't believe the Australian Growlers are allowed access to the top end current ECM gear (export restrictions).

Unread postPosted: 24 Feb 2012, 07:12
by popcorn
I can only surmise that the Australian Government was provided some assurance that they would have access to the ALQ-99 when they specified that a dozen of the SHs they ordered incorporate the necessary wiring for a Growler conversion. The RAAF was also aware at the time that the ALQ-99 was getting long in the tooth and the long term solution would be it's replacement, the NGJ. All speculation on my part but the Aussies have been entrusted with sensitive tech in the past e.g. AEGIS, Virginia sensor tech, .. so why not the latest EW for optimum interoperability with their primary ally?

Unread postPosted: 24 Feb 2012, 08:44
by spazsinbad
Yeah why not eh....

US ratifies agreements for exporting arms to Britain and Australia | Jorge Benitez | October 01, 2010

http://www.acus.org/natosource/us-ratif ... -australia

“From Hillary Clinton, U.S. Department of State: We welcome the Senate’s approval of the U.S.-UK and the U.S.-Australia Defense Trade Cooperation Treaties and the passage of implementing legislation by the House and Senate. These treaties recognize and support the long-standing special relationship between the United States and two of its closest allies and support U.S. national security interests by furthering cooperative efforts to meet shared security challenges.

The treaties accomplish this by creating a system that allows for a more streamlined and efficient movement of defense articles and services, thereby enhancing our ability to equip our armed forces with the best technology available in the most expeditious manner possible....."

Unread postPosted: 24 Feb 2012, 08:58
by munny
destroid wrote:
popcorn wrote:Seeing as the Growler will host the NGJ down the road, it appears that the SH will remain relevant to the RAAF for many years to come in the EW role.


I don't believe the Australian Growlers are allowed access to the top end current ECM gear (export restrictions).


Those growlers are now protecting US troops in Australia, so not out of the question.

Unread postPosted: 24 Feb 2012, 13:32
by Conan
destroid wrote:
popcorn wrote:Seeing as the Growler will host the NGJ down the road, it appears that the SH will remain relevant to the RAAF for many years to come in the EW role.


I don't believe the Australian Growlers are allowed access to the top end current ECM gear (export restrictions).


Australia was cleared through the USN's TTSARB and the US State Dept nearly 2 years ago.

There are no effective export controls (apart from the standard end user licences) restricting us acquiring the full capability.

Unread postPosted: 24 Feb 2012, 14:25
by destroid
Thanks for clearing that up, it's pretty hard to get information on this and I had read some articles stating that Boeing was marketing a reduced capability version, but I guess those must have been older.

Unread postPosted: 27 Jan 2013, 20:24
by spazsinbad
AAaaahhh..... The OzSillySeasonNewsExtravaganza continues....

Defence set to buy Super Hornets over cutting-edge fighter 28 Jan 2013

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/nationa ... 2df02.html

"AUSTRALIA will almost certainly be forced to buy 24 new Super Hornet fighter planes at a cost of about $2 billion to plug a looming gap in its air defences amid delays in the purchase of the cutting-edge Joint Strike Fighter.

According to a leaked draft of the 2013 defence white paper, just two Lockheed Martin JSFs will be delivered to Australia by 2020.

This strongly indicates that the government will need to buy rival Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornets, which are cheaper but older and less stealthy than the JSF.

''By the end of this decade, the ADF will take delivery of three Air Warfare Destroyers, two Landing Helicopter Dock amphibious ships and the initial two F-35A Joint Strike Fighter aircraft,'' the white paper states.

Advertisement While switching to the Super Hornets would not be a blow to the budget - each plane costs about $40 million less than each JSF - it may mean money is wasted because the government would lose economies of scale on training and maintenance by operating two different types of fighters. And experts say the Super Hornet would be challenged by the growing air combat capabilities of some of Australia's neighbours.

The white paper draft states that the government ''remains committed'' to acquiring the JSF but makes no mention of the next batch of 12 planes, expected about 2020. This appears to confirm what the Defence Minister, Stephen Smith, has hinted at and many experts have suspected: that Defence will replace some of the retiring Hornet aircraft with Super Hornets and end up with a mixed fighter fleet rather than the 100 Super Hornets originally proposed....

...But Peter Goon, a former RAAF engineer now with the independent think tank Air Power Australia, said Australia was "already outmatched in the region" on air combat. "If you send out Super Hornets against the Sukhoi Su-35s, few if any of them will come back," he said. [So sending out the 'NOT superdog' is better right?]

Mr Smith said last week the leaked draft was out of date. The final paper will be released by June."

More tooing and froing at the URL. But hey - don't laugh. :D

Unread postPosted: 27 Jan 2013, 20:24
by spazsinbad
AAaaahhh..... The OzSillySeasonNewsExtravaganza continues....

Defence set to buy Super Hornets over cutting-edge fighter 28 Jan 2013

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/nationa ... 2df02.html

"AUSTRALIA will almost certainly be forced to buy 24 new Super Hornet fighter planes at a cost of about $2 billion to plug a looming gap in its air defences amid delays in the purchase of the cutting-edge Joint Strike Fighter.

According to a leaked draft of the 2013 defence white paper, just two Lockheed Martin JSFs will be delivered to Australia by 2020.

This strongly indicates that the government will need to buy rival Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornets, which are cheaper but older and less stealthy than the JSF.

''By the end of this decade, the ADF will take delivery of three Air Warfare Destroyers, two Landing Helicopter Dock amphibious ships and the initial two F-35A Joint Strike Fighter aircraft,'' the white paper states.

While switching to the Super Hornets would not be a blow to the budget - each plane costs about $40 million less than each JSF - it may mean money is wasted because the government would lose economies of scale on training and maintenance by operating two different types of fighters. And experts say the Super Hornet would be challenged by the growing air combat capabilities of some of Australia's neighbours.

The white paper draft states that the government ''remains committed'' to acquiring the JSF but makes no mention of the next batch of 12 planes, expected about 2020. This appears to confirm what the Defence Minister, Stephen Smith, has hinted at and many experts have suspected: that Defence will replace some of the retiring Hornet aircraft with Super Hornets and end up with a mixed fighter fleet rather than the 100 Super Hornets originally proposed....

...But Peter Goon, a former RAAF engineer now with the independent think tank Air Power Australia, said Australia was "already outmatched in the region" on air combat. "If you send out Super Hornets against the Sukhoi Su-35s, few if any of them will come back," he said. [So sending out the 'NOT superdog' is better right?]

Mr Smith said last week the leaked draft was out of date. The final paper will be released by June."

More tooing and froing at the URL. But hey - don't laugh. :D

Unread postPosted: 27 Jan 2013, 20:32
by KamenRiderBlade
My question is who is Australia's major threat in defending it's territory.

Outside of China which has 1 operational carrier & 2 operational planes on board which I don't consider a threat for quite a while until they get a fully loaded carrier.

Unread postPosted: 27 Jan 2013, 21:26
by spazsinbad
Have a look at a map. New Zealand? :D Nope. Tasmania (anything with 'mania' in it has got to be weird - right?).

Unread postPosted: 27 Jan 2013, 21:44
by hobo
.But Peter Goon, a former RAAF engineer now with the independent think tank Air Power Australia, said Australia was "already outmatched in the region" on air combat. "If you send out Super Hornets against the Sukhoi Su-35s, few if any of them will come back," he said.


There are Su-35s in the region? I am thinking you would have to take a pretty expansive view of what constitutes the region...

Unread postPosted: 27 Jan 2013, 21:58
by spazsinbad
Peter Goon is omniscient - everyone knows that - that is why he is quoted in Oz media - Goon is the equivalent of Wheeler in US. :D

Unread postPosted: 27 Jan 2013, 22:54
by neurotech
spazsinbad wrote:...But Peter Goon, a former RAAF engineer now with the independent think tank Air Power Australia, said Australia was "already outmatched in the region" on air combat. "If you send out Super Hornets against the Sukhoi Su-35s, few if any of them will come back," he said. [So sending out the 'NOT superdog' is better right?]

Mr Smith said last week the leaked draft was out of date. The final paper will be released by June."

More tooing and froing at the URL. But hey - don't laugh. :D

I'll resist being too much of a smart a** :D

I seriously doubt that the AESA LPI-Mode range of a Su-35 detecting a EA-18G exceeds the passive detection range of that same EA-18G fitted with ALQ-218s

There is also the possibility of a "Growler-Lite" version of a F/A-18F being fielded in the RAAF with a full complement of AIM-120Ds. The F/A-18F could easily detect a Su-35 at 20-30 miles, which would be the likely limit for a Russian/Chinese medium-range IR AAM. Beyond that, a Radar-Guided AAM would be detected by the standard RWR, but most likely the ALQ-218s.

Unread postPosted: 28 Jan 2013, 02:20
by count_to_10
Wouldn't China have to get through Indonesia to send Su-35s against Australia?
Or, are people worried that Indonesia will send Su-35s themselves?

Unread postPosted: 28 Jan 2013, 02:33
by spazsinbad
Currently Australia gets along well with both Indonesia and China. However - as mentioned earlier - New Zealand and Tasmania (and PNG if they get cranky) are a worry.

Unread postPosted: 28 Jan 2013, 04:42
by geogen
to Kamenrider- an Air Force such as RAAF does not necessarily identify and name one particular 'threat' to air sovereignty as a consideration for when recapping the Tactical force structure. I think it's a flaw then, whenever I hear this argument to simply debate; 'who is the regional threat to air sovereignty', when debating how to most prudently recap a retiring Tactical force structure for the next-gen and 25-year outlook, etc.

That said, I'd probably agree with you if you are also implying that the original expectation and plan for 100 RAAF F-35s will simply not be sustainable, prudent or realistic.

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 (eg, F-15SG-similar) w/incremental upgrade path strategy. Perhaps 60-72(?) airframes on an upgrade path could have sufficed combined with a small fleet of say, Super Tucano, plus future mix of unmanned platforms for long-endurance mutli-mission patrols/sorties. A 'next-gen' replacement plan to this F-15AU-path could have further been estimated to commence then, around 2035, completed by 2040?

Likely more reliable, more affordable... yes, more capable... and more doable. Could have called it a day.

With respect to the context of future, 'EW/EA-enhanced Supers'.. I'm curious if a future stopgap batch of Supers could further include a force-flexible-multiplying F-18E/F variants equipped with next-gen Type IV computer, at least plumbed for the proposed CFT (kick start the international path in exchange for additional offsets) and at least some of these new-batch jets integrating a next-gen, all-in-one 'Escort/Support/EA jammer' on the centerline? Maybe not quite as capable as a future NGJ-equipped Growler, but still enabling flexible and sufficient EW capabilities in a support role (eg, to F-35s and when operating autonomously from F-35s?)

Unread postPosted: 28 Jan 2013, 07:26
by neurotech
geogen wrote:That said, I'd probably agree with you if you are also implying that the original expectation and plan for 100 RAAF F-35s will simply not be sustainable, prudent or realistic.
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 (eg, F-15SG-similar) w/incremental upgrade path strategy. Perhaps 60-72(?) airframes on an upgrade path could have sufficed combined with a small fleet of say, Super Tucano, plus future mix of unmanned platforms for long-endurance mutli-mission patrols/sorties. A 'next-gen' replacement plan to this F-15AU-path could have further been estimated to commence then, around 2035, completed by 2040?

Likely more reliable, more affordable... yes, more capable... and more doable

Could have called it a day..

I don't think the F-15AU would have been a good idea, its not that much of airframe upgrade from the F-111s, and would still need completely separate logistics and training programs. The F/A-18F can take advantage of existing support channels, and parts suppliers. The parts themselves may not be common between series, but the suppliers are mainly the same.
geogen wrote:With respect to the context of future, 'EW/EA-enhanced Supers'.. I'm curious if a future stopgap batch of Supers could further include a force-flexible-multiplying F-18E/F variants equipped with next-gen Type IV computer, at least plumbed for the proposed CFT (kick start the international path in exchange for additional offsets) and at least some of these new-batch jets integrating a next-gen, all-in-one 'Escort/Support/EA jammer' on the centerline? Maybe not quite as capable as a future NGJ-equipped Growler, but still enabling flexible and sufficient EW capabilities in a support role (eg, to F-35s and when operating autonomously from F-35s?)

I would assume that Boeing will do certain things differently, including Type IV computers, and wiring for possible upgrades, such as internal FLIR/EOTS, even if not fitted. Plumbing for CFTs would also be a good idea. There is also an F414 EPE engine upgrade available.

One upgrade Australia may not go for is the wide-screen cockpit display, as this would splinter training between old and new jets. The US Navy haven't requested the wide-screen upgrade for the same reason.

Unread postPosted: 28 Jan 2013, 09:16
by Conan
hobo wrote:
.But Peter Goon, a former RAAF engineer now with the independent think tank Air Power Australia, said Australia was "already outmatched in the region" on air combat. "If you send out Super Hornets against the Sukhoi Su-35s, few if any of them will come back," he said.


There are Su-35s in the region? I am thinking you would have to take a pretty expansive view of what constitutes the region...


Of course. Russia is in our region dontcha know?

So Peter (despite the underwear he wears on his head and his predeliction for having two pencils up his nose) Goon is completely correct.

If we ever sent our 24x Super Hornets against the only SU-35's in the entire world we WOULD have few come home...

Unread postPosted: 28 Jan 2013, 09:28
by spazsinbad
Conan says: "...So Peter (despite the underwear he wears on his head and his predeliction two having two pencils up his nose) Goon is completely correct...." Does he also run with sharp scissors? :D

Unread postPosted: 28 Jan 2013, 09:51
by Conan
geogen wrote:to Kamenrider- an Air Force such as RAAF does not necessarily identify and name one particular 'threat' to air sovereignty as a consideration for when recapping the Tactical force structure. I think it's a flaw then, whenever I hear this argument to simply debate; 'who is the regional threat to air sovereignty', when debating how to most prudently recap a retiring Tactical force structure for the next-gen and 25-year outlook, etc.


Australia does not identify any particular threats in our strategic outlook. We base our air combat capability on a long standing requirement to be capable of generating 4x air combat squadrons, plus appropriate supporting elements, including 2 Operational Conversion Unit.

Only those with an agenda identify a particular threat (unfortunately in this case, one that doesn't even exist) and use that "threat" to scare-monger their way into the news.

That said, I'd probably agree with you if you are also implying that the original expectation and plan for 100 RAAF F-35s will simply not be sustainable, prudent or realistic.


For crying out loud, how many times does it have to be explained? Australia has never had a plan to acquire "100" F-35's.

We have a plan to acquire 4x air combat squadrons of 18x aircraft, an operational conversion unit (OCU) with 12x aircraft, plus attrition, maintenance and test and development aircraft (around 6-12 extra). That gets us to about 90-96 aircraft, hence the CONSTANT language from Defence since 2002 when this plan was approved has been "up to 100" aircraft.

The final decision which had to be made, was whether 6 Squadron would also maintain a small OCU, however with a single type in-service 6 Squadron doesn't need to provide that capability. With Super Hornet AND F-35 in-service, 6 Squadron does maintain an extra OCU capability. That's where the "up to 100" figure comes from. Just because L-M or whoever has interpreted that as "100 aircraft" isn't our concern.

So, given we have supported and maintained this force structure within RAAF since 1972 and have budgeted $16b to acquire an F-35 capability how can you say such isn't "sustainable or realistic"?

The only reason we haven't largely implemented this structure already is the delays in the project. The cost increases are within the contingency "wedge" we factor into our military acquisitions (the no win, no loss financing Defence often refers to).

Our financing works like this: if defence projects come under budget the surplus money goes back to Treasury, if it comes in over-budget Treasury covers the difference. Whatever approved budget Defence therefore has, is sufficient to acquire the planned capability. Fortunately unlike many nations, we buy defence capability well within our means and could afford far more if our strategic circumstances dictated.

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 (eg, F-15SG-similar) w/incremental upgrade path strategy. Perhaps 60-72(?) airframes on an upgrade path could have sufficed combined with a small fleet of say, Super Tucano, plus future mix of unmanned platforms for long-endurance mutli-mission patrols/sorties. A 'next-gen' replacement plan to this F-15AU-path could have further been estimated to commence then, around 2035, completed by 2040?

Likely more reliable, more affordable... yes, more capable... and more doable. Could have called it a day.


No it would not have sufficed. We have to fight Russia and China's SU-35's, J-20's and PAK-FA's remember?

On top of which and not even counting that type's limited future against alleged 5th Gen types, just meeting our basic air combat needs means such a force structure is completely inadequate. We need 4 operational strike fighter squadrons just to meet minimum peacetime fighter coverage, to meet our "strategic strike" requirement, to meet our training requirements AND give us the capability to deploy a single fighter squadron on "expeditionary operations," a capability EVERY Australian Government has required of RAAF since 1972.

With respect to the context of future, 'EW/EA-enhanced Supers'.. I'm curious if a future stopgap batch of Supers could further include a force-flexible-multiplying F-18E/F variants equipped with next-gen Type IV computer, at least plumbed for the proposed CFT (kick start the international path in exchange for additional offsets) and at least some of these new-batch jets integrating a next-gen, all-in-one 'Escort/Support/EA jammer' on the centerline? Maybe not quite as capable as a future NGJ-equipped Growler, but still enabling flexible and sufficient EW capabilities in a support role (eg, to F-35s and when operating autonomously from F-35s?)


Our Super Hornets are funded to retain a common configuration with USN Super Hornets. Basically whatever enhancement they get, we will acquire also. Ditto for the Growlers.

We are also funded for NGJ and AARGM...

Unread postPosted: 28 Jan 2013, 09:53
by Conan
spazsinbad wrote:Conan says: "...So Peter (despite the underwear he wears on his head and his predeliction two having two pencils up his nose) Goon is completely correct...." Does he also run with sharp scissors? :D


Safety scissors I believe and corks on his forks...

:wink:

Unread postPosted: 28 Jan 2013, 09:56
by spazsinbad
Conan said: "...We are also funded for NGJ and AARGM..." Cool. It is an unusual Defence funding arrangement in Oz - often forgotten.

Goon needs to 'get some pork on his fork' - you know it makes sense... (Sam Keckovich)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wt5bTCKIks

Australia Day 2012- (HD) Barbie Girl Video (FT Justice Crew and Sam Kekovich)

Unread postPosted: 28 Jan 2013, 10:55
by Conan
spazsinbad wrote:Conan said: "...We are also funded for NGJ and AARGM..." Cool. It is an unusual Defence funding arrangement in Oz - often forgotten.

Goon needs to 'get some pork on his fork' - you know it makes sense... (Sam Keckovich)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wt5bTCKIks

Australia Day 2012- (HD) Barbie Girl Video (FT Justice Crew and Sam Kekovich)


Nice, yep the mid-band jammers need replacement first for EA-18G so that's what we're funded for.

As for AARGM, RAAF is planning on developing it's full operational capability with that weapon, however given it's developmental issues (and the fact that we already have multiple developmental weapons programs with JASSM, JSOW-C1 and JDAM-ER at present as well as issues with AMRAAM-C7) we're going to let AARGM mature a bit before buying it.

IOC for the Growler therefore will occur with a small inventory of HARM-B to introduce RAAF to ARM capability, develop TTP's etc and maintain a limited operational capability until AARGM is ready for service and RAAF is ready for AARGM...

Unread postPosted: 28 Jan 2013, 14:06
by SpudmanWP
Conan, the 100 F-35 number for Australia was on the MOU as the estimated number of F-35s that will be bought, which they signed.

The Participants’ estimated procurement quantities in Annex A (Estimated JSF Air Vehicle Procurement Quantities) will be used in production planning. Actual procurement of JSF Air Vehicles by the Participants will be subject to the Participants’ national laws and regulations and the outcome of the Participants’ national procurement decision-making processes. Each Participant’s actual procurement quantities of JSF Air Vehicles and propulsion systems will be established in Participant Procurement Requests (PPRs), which will be submitted by that Participant through the procedures described in Section VI (Contracting Provisions).


http://www.jsf.mil/downloads/documents/ ... 4_2010.PDF

Unread postPosted: 28 Jan 2013, 17:02
by vilters
Air defence against what or who??
The Hobbits? :-)

Unread postPosted: 28 Jan 2013, 18:09
by Conan
SpudmanWP wrote:Conan, the 100 F-35 number for Australia was on the MOU as the estimated number of F-35s that will be bought, which they signed.


Precisely - "estimated" that number was for planning purposes only. Our requirement was never for any specific number of aircraft, but rather for 4x operational strike fighter squadrons, 1x full operational conversion unit, 1x "short" operational conversion unit as well as maintenance, attrition and test and development aircraft. Hence the nominal "up to 100x" aircraft description for the F-35A's, when you consider our squadron and OCU sizes.

This was then specifically broken down into 72x confirmed aircraft to replace the F/A-18A/B Hornets within 3 Squadron, 75 Squadron, 77 Squadron, 2 Operational Conversion Unit and AOSG (Aerospace Operational Support Group - our Operation Test and Evaluation organisation) and the remaining "up to 28x" aircraft to give us the "100x" figure, which was to replace the 21x F/RF-111 aircraft within 1 and 6 Squadrons, our strategic strike capability if you will.

The final number purchased was always and remains to this day, flexible. It was and is to be determined based on the operational role of the aircraft, with the need for 1 and 6 squadrons to maintain their own "Operation Conversion Unit" the deciding factor in exactly how many aircraft are to be purchased.

With Super Hornets, that "short" OCU, has to be maintained because Hornet drivers can't go straight to the Super Hornet, they need a bit of conversion training first. 6x Super Hornet airframes currently provide that capability within RAAF, with 18x aircraft allocated to the "operational" squadron - 1 Sqn.

If F-35A is chosen, that "short" OCU role becomes debatable, thus the number was included as a possibility, in case RAAF was able to argue that it needed a specific strike/recon OCU.

The plan therefore remains that the initial 72x are to replace our Hornets in the air defence and strike roles. The final "28x" are to replace our F-111 and now Super Hornets in the air defence, strike and reconnaissance roles, with primary focus on strike and reconnaissance.

Unread postPosted: 28 Jan 2013, 18:19
by Conan
vilters wrote:Air defence against what or who??
The Hobbits? :-)


The same threat that Belgium faces. External actors, with a capability to do so, may wish to do us harm at some point...

As a point of interest in the last 12 years, RAAF fighter aircraft have undertaken 4 major operational deployments, with a 5th coming up for the G20 forum in Brisbane in 2014. They've also been placed on standby for deployment on operations over East Timor in 1999 and Afghanistan multiple times between 2003 and 2012, though not deployed due to final Government decision. They have in addition provided operational support to US Presidential visits and a few "other" special visitors...

The fighter operations we have conducted have been:

Air defence operations - Diego Garcia - 2002.

Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting - Queensland 2002.

Operation Falconer - Iraq - 2003.

Operation Deluge - APEC forum - Sydney - 2007.

Unread postPosted: 28 Jan 2013, 23:27
by southernphantom
vilters wrote:Air defence against what or who??
The Hobbits? :-)


Mr. Obama's friends, I figure :wink: :wink:
Flankers...

Unread postPosted: 04 Feb 2013, 10:37
by gtx
kamenriderblade wrote:My question is who is Australia's major threat in defending it's territory.

Outside of China which has 1 operational carrier & 2 operational planes on board which I don't consider a threat for quite a while until they get a fully loaded carrier.


As others have mentioned, Australia does not detail specific threats such as China.

I would argue that the purpose of the RAAF is, as part of the ADF, to provide the Australian Government with a military option to defend its interests.  The most obvious part of this is undoubtedly the defence of the immediate Australian Airspace and littorals.  This however not the end of the Australian interests.  I believe we also have a distinct interest in also supporting like-minded governments/societies around the world.  Often this is via the UN or our alliances.  We also have an interest in defending those aspects that have an indirect impact upon the Australian economy or way of life.  Examples of this may include, defending trading interests (so if a radical, extreme vegan regime took over one of our key customers for sheep or cattle exports, we may have an arguable justification to take military action to remove that regime).  Similarly, if there was a foreign non-government group that declared cricket to be satan’s game and thus all cricket players/supporters needed to be eradicated, we may similarly wish to prevent such a group from operating anywhere in the world.

Interestingly, this argument could be adapted for other F-35 partner nations, which makes many of the arguments that the F-35 is not sufficient for defending the sovereign airspace of country X (e.g. Canada), quite amusing.

Unread postPosted: 04 Feb 2013, 17:46
by geogen
Very relevant points, gtx ^^. Indeed, Australian recapitalization policy (as an example) is not (should not be) about signaling out or implying any ONE specific threat country... that would not be responsible, would be rather provocative (as would be if some other country signaled out Australia in particular) and would be an actual detriment to capacity for future contingencies anyway, if singly focused on any one such rigid strategy.

Rather, replacing RAAF's retiring Tactical force structure is scheduled to fulfill a normal set of requirements which would include maintaining past level capability/deterrence and balance of modernized, next-gen capabilities. In relative terms, it's a natural policy to maintain a modern, effective, Reliable, flexible capability and deterrence as part of Australia's modern historical position. At least until the diplomats can finally sort things out, once and for all, and the world can disarm collectively and proceed to deal with the true global threats facing us as a world people in the imminent future.

That said, as a precedent, one can certainly look back to WWII where by the end of the World's crisis, Australia had ordered (including license built) 500 +/- P-51 Mustang multi-role fighters as her contribution to air power requirements.

Since then, Australia has notched up in global relevance as world economic contributor and example of modern social leader. As such, there's perfect legitimacy in continuing Australia's historic role in contributing capacity for world wide security, balance and stability as a significant and modern world community member.

With respect to procuring actual modern day Tactical fighter jets of today and tomorrow, there's unfortunately not the same luxury had of course during the 1940s or 1950s, when an Air Force suddenly found itself with a requirement during time of national emergency and could just order a couple hundred of the dang fighters and have them delivered the next year, on demand. It just doesn't work that way. Unfortunately, one has to have the entire infrastructure and force structure set up for long-term plan, trained and ready, in the event of any unforeseen future contingency facing down (or contributing to an effort facing down) an actual significant hypothetical threat (needing to be verified by govt decision), or any significant national emergency which would hopefully never hit Australia, or greater world, blindsided again.

Unread postPosted: 05 Feb 2013, 02:48
by mk82
Ahh Peter Goon, such comedy gold. I verily suspect that not many SU 35 will be flying back home if they encountered a formation of Growlers and Super Hornets flown by competent pilots (eg RAAF) with good appropriate tactics and effective teamwork. Reminds me of the awe surrounding the MIG 25 during the cold war...potentially a dangerous advesary but hardly invincible.

Unread postPosted: 05 Feb 2013, 03:59
by neurotech
mk82 wrote:Ahh Peter Goon, such comedy gold. I verily suspect that not many SU 35 will be flying back home if they encountered a formation of Growlers and Super Hornets flown by competent pilots (eg RAAF) with good appropriate tactics and effective teamwork. Reminds me of the awe surrounding the MIG 25 during the cold war...potentially a dangerous advesary but hardly invincible.

The MiG-25 has only one "confirmed" kill against a US built fighters, compared to how many US built fighters have downed MiG-25s?

The Su-27 has seen very little combat. The F-15, F-16 and F/A-18 have significant combat experience A/G and at least one MiG-25 shot down for each of them.

Unread postPosted: 05 Feb 2013, 05:14
by KamenRiderBlade
I can envision an opponent like China eventually downing one of our top F-35's / F-22's at some point, but they would have to use very bad tactics that would ensure them to potentially have tons of friendly fire on their side and many losses of their own forces through war of attrition to even down 1 of our F-35's / F-22's.

Our AIM-120D AMRAAM has a range of >180 km
The AIM-54 Phoenix had a range of 190 km.

Those are awfully close figures.

We could potentially just take out their air wing long before they ever get close to us.

The only way they'd be able to down even 1x F-22 / F-35 is if they keep sending wave after wave of pilots in cheap Russian clone Mig's / Su's and just fire at the first radar lock that looks like an American jet.

Eventually they'll get lucky after loosing so many planes / pilots.

That's the only tactic I can think of for China to even knock out 1x F-35 / F-22 using the resources they have.

If China has one resource that other militaries don't have, it's a very large supply of older generation aircraft and probably a large supply of badly trained and inexperienced pilots to go along with them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ac ... y_aircraft

Giving China a best case scenario of every aircraft quantity that is listed is in flying condition with a pilot behind it.

China's Airforce has
- 1632 Combat Aircraft
- 30 critical support Aircraft
- Unknown # of UAV's

China's Navy has
- 288 Combat Aircraft

China's Army has
- 272 Combat Choppers

That's alot of targets for the US to down. We'd probably need to mass produce more missiles since we probably don't have enough in stock to reliably take out every one of their Combat / Significant support aircraft should we ever get into an Airwar with China.


That's my PoV.


In the end, the F-22 / F-35 is the tool we need to prevent losses on our side and rack up losses on the enemy side should we ever get into an air war.

From my PoV, China is the biggest threat when it comes to Air Power.

No other country in the world has the military might to challenge the US / NATO.

China is also the country that I think is the most likely to start the next World War.

All they have to do is get arrogant once they get a few full carrier fleets, then plan & execute the invasion of Taiwan.

Taiwan's military might is pretty bad from my knowledge.

They are a easy target for China should they ever get fool hardy.

And that will be the day when WW3 starts.

Unread postPosted: 05 Feb 2013, 06:55
by neurotech
kamenriderblade wrote:I can envision an opponent like China eventually downing one of our top F-35's / F-22's at some point, but they would have to use very bad tactics that would ensure them to potentially have tons of friendly fire on their side and many losses of their own forces through war of attrition to even down 1 of our F-35's / F-22's.

Our AIM-120D AMRAAM has a range of >180 km
The AIM-54 Phoenix had a range of 190 km.

Those are awfully close figures.

We could potentially just take out their air wing long before they ever get close to us.

The only way they'd be able to down even 1x F-22 / F-35 is if they keep sending wave after wave of pilots in cheap Russian clone Mig's / Su's and just fire at the first radar lock that looks like an American jet.

Eventually they'll get lucky after loosing so many planes / pilots.

That's the only tactic I can think of for China to even knock out 1x F-35 / F-22 using the resources they have.

If China has one resource that other militaries don't have, it's a very large supply of older generation aircraft and probably a large supply of badly trained and inexperienced pilots to go along with them.

Large supply of inexperienced pilots and older jets doesn't work. A F-22 has at least 6 missiles in A/A configuration.

Not necessarily, the Chinese don't have MiG-25s and the J-11 (aka Su-27) is not in huge supply. The F-22 can supercruise quite well, which means compared to even the Su-27 or Su-35 class fighter, hostile jets would run out of gas pretty quickly at supersonic speeds.

Of course, the J-20 could be a threat to 4.5th gen fighters, but against a F-35 or F-22, especially when flying together (EODAS on the F-35, APG-77 radar on the F-22), the J-20 would have a tough time.

Unread postPosted: 05 Feb 2013, 12:24
by KamenRiderBlade
Who said anything about sending in only single digit at a time.

I'm talking about 100+ planes at once just to down 1-4 F-22's or F-35's

Do what China does best, Zerg rush.

Unread postPosted: 05 Feb 2013, 14:08
by popcorn
kamenriderblade wrote:Who said anything about sending in only single digit at a time.

I'm talking about 100+ planes at once just to down 1-4 F-22's or F-35's

Do what China does best, Zerg rush.


http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=9KpjgHYj ... KpjgHYjcA4

Have you seen this series of videos? I think they capture what the unclassified, prevailing wisdom is re how the F-22s and F-35s may fare in future combat scenarios. I don't propose that these are to be taken as gospel or,written in stone but they do seem to reflect what is available in the public domain.

Note that these videos,were created years ago and assume future scenarios. Also allow for some,creative license eg. there are no,B-1R missile,mules but their roles could,easily be filled by legacy jets each loaded,with a dozen or more,AMRAAM-Ds which could be cued to targets by F-22s or F-35s. As an aside, Raptors have been put to the fire over the years in Red Flag on how to,fight and defeat swarming tactics by numerically superior adversaries. The results have been lopsided in it's favor.

At the very least, good entertainment value.

Unread postPosted: 05 Feb 2013, 16:06
by neptune
vilters wrote:Air defence against what or who??
The Hobbits? :-)


The Hobbits are going to attack?, then you must call on your wizards for your defense! :lol:

Unread postPosted: 05 Feb 2013, 16:32
by neptune
geogen wrote:....
.... In relative terms, it's a natural policy to maintain a modern, effective, Reliable, flexible capability and deterrence as part of Australia's modern historical position. .....


One thing not to overlook is the mutually beneficial exposure to the S.E. Asian international trade routes (ITR) by the new ISR capable a/c and the tactics and analysis that would be shared by allied programs. Having that platform (Growler) and having access to the military shipping that travels in the ITR can provide much needed ISR data for updating the analyst databases; "Tip of the Spear", so to speak. Having to deploy strategic assets (aka CVNs) to provide the range for those same ISR assets would be a bit overt, rather than one that is flying a common home surveillance flight of those same ITRs. Those same resources, tactics, and analysis are the development basis for the the EA/EW capabilites in the eventual transition to the ISR F-35s. Regardless of how many F-35s the Aussies buy, these new Growlers can work in tandem with them to provide additional follow-on capabilities in both weapons and ISR systems. :wink:

Unread postPosted: 05 Feb 2013, 23:11
by popcorn
neptune wrote:
vilters wrote:Air defence against what or who??
The Hobbits? :-)


The Hobbits are going to attack?, then you must call on your wizards for your defense! :lol:


This guy would be top of my list to see action ..


http://www.businessinsider.com/bct-dril ... ate-2013-2 :D

Unread postPosted: 06 Feb 2013, 01:18
by KamenRiderBlade
popcorn wrote:
kamenriderblade wrote:Who said anything about sending in only single digit at a time.

I'm talking about 100+ planes at once just to down 1-4 F-22's or F-35's

Do what China does best, Zerg rush.


http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=9KpjgHYj ... KpjgHYjcA4

Have you seen this series of videos? I think they capture what the unclassified, prevailing wisdom is re how the F-22s and F-35s may fare in future combat scenarios. I don't propose that these are to be taken as gospel or,written in stone but they do seem to reflect what is available in the public domain.

Note that these videos,were created years ago and assume future scenarios. Also allow for some,creative license eg. there are no,B-1R missile,mules but their roles could,easily be filled by legacy jets each loaded,with a dozen or more,AMRAAM-Ds which could be cued to targets by F-22s or F-35s. As an aside, Raptors have been put to the fire over the years in Red Flag on how to,fight and defeat swarming tactics by numerically superior adversaries. The results have been lopsided in it's favor.

At the very least, good entertainment value.


I've seen those videos, they make for some entertaining shows.

But I can't see China going in with such few numbers given what they know of US air power / tech.

Unread postPosted: 06 Feb 2013, 03:54
by popcorn
kamenriderblade wrote:
popcorn wrote:
kamenriderblade wrote:Who said anything about sending in only single digit at a time.

I'm talking about 100+ planes at once just to down 1-4 F-22's or F-35's

Do what China does best, Zerg rush.


http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=9KpjgHYj ... KpjgHYjcA4

Have you seen this series of videos? I think they capture what the unclassified, prevailing wisdom is re how the F-22s and F-35s may fare in future combat scenarios. I don't propose that these are to be taken as gospel or,written in stone but they do seem to reflect what is available in the public domain.

Note that these videos,were created years ago and assume future scenarios. Also allow for some,creative license eg. there are no,B-1R missile,mules but their roles could,easily be filled by legacy jets each loaded,with a dozen or more,AMRAAM-Ds which could be cued to targets by F-22s or F-35s. As an aside, Raptors have been put to the fire over the years in Red Flag on how to,fight and defeat swarming tactics by numerically superior adversaries. The results have been lopsided in it's favor.

At the very least, good entertainment value.


I've seen those videos, they make for some entertaining shows.

But I can't see China going in with such few numbers given what they know of US air power / tech.


I think the point is that the US has developed tactics vs. swarm attacks and would bring the appropriate level of assets commensurate to any threat.

Unread postPosted: 06 Feb 2013, 04:29
by bigjku
kamenriderblade wrote:
popcorn wrote:
kamenriderblade wrote:Who said anything about sending in only single digit at a time.

I'm talking about 100+ planes at once just to down 1-4 F-22's or F-35's

Do what China does best, Zerg rush.


http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=9KpjgHYj ... KpjgHYjcA4

Have you seen this series of videos? I think they capture what the unclassified, prevailing wisdom is re how the F-22s and F-35s may fare in future combat scenarios. I don't propose that these are to be taken as gospel or,written in stone but they do seem to reflect what is available in the public domain.

Note that these videos,were created years ago and assume future scenarios. Also allow for some,creative license eg. there are no,B-1R missile,mules but their roles could,easily be filled by legacy jets each loaded,with a dozen or more,AMRAAM-Ds which could be cued to targets by F-22s or F-35s. As an aside, Raptors have been put to the fire over the years in Red Flag on how to,fight and defeat swarming tactics by numerically superior adversaries. The results have been lopsided in it's favor.

At the very least, good entertainment value.


I've seen those videos, they make for some entertaining shows.

But I can't see China going in with such few numbers given what they know of US air power / tech.


Does China have hundreds of aircraft to just throw away trying to mob 5th generation platforms? I don't see where they really do. Sure, they have some older platforms that they could afford to lose in numbers but no one has SU-27's or better in huge numbers to just casually toss them away.

More than that there are some real practical problems in trying to mob someone that everyone seems to overlook.

Unread postPosted: 06 Feb 2013, 06:57
by KamenRiderBlade
They have those numbers in total.

And I do predict potential and intentional friendly fire in my assessment of their tactic that has a high probability of scoring a kill at a huge cost to their ranks.

Unread postPosted: 06 Feb 2013, 08:10
by neurotech
kamenriderblade wrote:They have those numbers in total.

And I do predict potential and intentional friendly fire in my assessment of their tactic that has a high probability of scoring a kill at a huge cost to their ranks.

Intentional or unintentional??

Also, the thing about the F-22 is its FAST, and can fly at Mach 1.8 (Supercruise) longer than any other jet fighter in service. So what would happen is the F-22 would evade the 100s of hostiles, keeping them BVR, and wait for them to run out of gas.

Any idea how long a MiG-21 can stay supersonic? Apparently less than 10 minutes before becoming critically low on gas.

Unread postPosted: 06 Feb 2013, 08:19
by KamenRiderBlade
Even then the F-22 can't go Supersonic forever.

I'm sure the Chinese has their own version of a AMRAAM that is comparable to the AIM 120D in terms of range.

With enough planes, the will power to intentionally accept friendly fire, the will power to fire lots of missiles and potentially waste lots of ammo.

There is a real threat there, the question is the Chinese Military leaders willing to incur massive losses to do minimum damage to the US.

Unread postPosted: 06 Feb 2013, 09:23
by popcorn
Seems like a replay of Northern Edge 2006 where the F-22 force, by itself and in combination with F-15Cs, demolished a numerically superior Red force. With the passage of time, expect advances in tactics and training and technology (e.g. AIM-120D, BACN, etc.) to result in an even more effective and capable force.

Unread postPosted: 07 Feb 2013, 03:05
by count_to_10
There is also that "Aegis is my wing-man" thing. Ships tend to have a lot missiles than fighters do.

Unread postPosted: 08 Feb 2013, 06:12
by Beazz
Conan wrote:
hobo wrote:
.But Peter Goon, a former RAAF engineer now with the independent think tank Air Power Australia, said Australia was "already outmatched in the region" on air combat. "If you send out Super Hornets against the Sukhoi Su-35s, few if any of them will come back," he said.


There are Su-35s in the region? I am thinking you would have to take a pretty expansive view of what constitutes the region...


Of course. Russia is in our region dontcha know?

So Peter (despite the underwear he wears on his head and his predeliction for having two pencils up his nose) Goon is completely correct.

If we ever sent our 24x Super Hornets against the only SU-35's in the entire world we WOULD have few come home...


I'm sorry Conan, but I just don't agree with that. Yea I have read all thaT the in the know people on these boards say about the capabilities of the SU35's. But there is simply more to it then that. The Aussies are no doubt some of the best fighter pilots in the world. They will have at their disposal other assets to aid them and even though the enemy may also have other types of support, again they will not match the Aussies in their abilitys and I don't care if it is even the Russians flying them. And for that matter, by and large, the Russians are simply no match for the Aussie pilots and the assets they will bring to the table.

The US Navy will be flying these same Shornets for at least the next 25-30 years as well and the only air force in the entire world I see that could handle the USN is the USAF!! And that would be a blood bath on both sides!! *I guess all I am saying is what looks good on paper don't really mean a whole lot. I honestly believe the Aussies would bring the vast majority of their Supers home and the SU35 community would be short practically every plane they sent up except the ones that figured out once agin that their Russian super plane on paper was way outgunned and got their butts out of there while they still could.

JMHO,
Beazz

Unread postPosted: 09 Feb 2013, 01:27
by neptune
count_to_10 wrote:There is also that "Aegis is my wing-man" thing. Ships tend to have a lot missiles than fighters do.


Unless they can prove (in combat) that the F-35 can provide tracking and guidance to the Aegis system, shooting missles near an allied fighter may be a bit "dicey"(BoB).
:cry:

Unread postPosted: 09 Feb 2013, 01:48
by maus92
neptune wrote:
count_to_10 wrote:There is also that "Aegis is my wing-man" thing. Ships tend to have a lot missiles than fighters do.


Unless they can prove (in combat) that the F-35 can provide tracking and guidance to the Aegis system, shooting missles near an allied fighter may be a bit "dicey"(BoB).
:cry:


The theoretical ability of the F-35 to que Aegis is redundant to existent aircraft.

Unread postPosted: 09 Feb 2013, 02:18
by popcorn
neptune wrote:
count_to_10 wrote:There is also that "Aegis is my wing-man" thing. Ships tend to have a lot missiles than fighters do.


Unless they can prove (in combat) that the F-35 can provide tracking and guidance to the Aegis system, shooting missles near an allied fighter may be a bit "dicey(BoB).
:cry:

Not really. F-22s,have been playing with AEGIS for years now and the F-35 will leverage this knowledge in addition to bringing it's superior sensors suite providing 360-degree SA, better than any legacy jet's.

The primary AAW missile will be SM-6 due to it's launch-on-remote capability allowing launch on distant targets using third-party cueing. It's seeker is based on,AMRAAM tech and when it goes active, it would likely perform an IFF interrogation just like AMRAAM prior to engageme

Unread postPosted: 09 Feb 2013, 03:45
by Conan
Beazz wrote:
I'm sorry Conan, but I just don't agree with that. Yea I have read all thaT the in the know people on these boards say about the capabilities of the SU35's. But there is simply more to it then that. The Aussies are no doubt some of the best fighter pilots in the world. They will have at their disposal other assets to aid them and even though the enemy may also have other types of support, again they will not match the Aussies in their abilitys and I don't care if it is even the Russians flying them. And for that matter, by and large, the Russians are simply no match for the Aussie pilots and the assets they will bring to the table.

The US Navy will be flying these same Shornets for at least the next 25-30 years as well and the only air force in the entire world I see that could handle the USN is the USAF!! And that would be a blood bath on both sides!! *I guess all I am saying is what looks good on paper don't really mean a whole lot. I honestly believe the Aussies would bring the vast majority of their Supers home and the SU35 community would be short practically every plane they sent up except the ones that figured out once agin that their Russian super plane on paper was way outgunned and got their butts out of there while they still could.

JMHO,
Beazz


I think you missed the sarcasm in the post... People like the Eric Palmer / APA brigade (led by the nose by Goon aka "Horde") like to state that the F-35 and Super Hornet aircraft are out-classed when compared against the "reference threat" which they've unilaterally declared to be the SU-35.

So my point was simple. As Russia is the ONLY SU-35 user at present (and even it only has developmental aircraft) and if RAAF Super Hornets and JSF's have to go up against SU-35's (by virtue of the Russian airforce being the ONLY user) completely by itself as is considered reasonably by ELP and the APA brigade (because you know, America is mired in Iraq or something and therefore has no ability to help) than RAAF's tiny little force, WILL come off second best.

When you look at it from their crazy point of view, it makes perfect sense. Of course the REAL fact is that it's RAAF's limited ability to fight all alone (based on it's small size) that makes the difference, not the individual quality or otherwise of it's aircraft, is completely irrelevant, to them...

Unread postPosted: 09 Feb 2013, 16:47
by rkap
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".

Unread postPosted: 09 Feb 2013, 19:33
by XanderCrews
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?

Unread postPosted: 09 Feb 2013, 19:52
by spazsinbad
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?

Unread postPosted: 10 Feb 2013, 10:22
by Conan
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?

Unread postPosted: 10 Feb 2013, 13:12
by gtx
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.

Unread postPosted: 10 Feb 2013, 13:40
by spazsinbad
'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

Unread postPosted: 10 Feb 2013, 19:57
by XanderCrews
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:

Unread postPosted: 10 Feb 2013, 20:55
by gtx
XanderCrews wrote:
And the only solution is from the disco era.


Equipped and ready for action:

Image

Unread postPosted: 11 Feb 2013, 20:50
by spazsinbad
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).

Unread postPosted: 12 Feb 2013, 01:50
by gtx
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...

Unread postPosted: 12 Feb 2013, 01:54
by spazsinbad
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.

Unread postPosted: 12 Feb 2013, 02:16
by gtx
I was referring to some comments on it a few weeks ago by NACC

Unread postPosted: 14 Feb 2013, 05:35
by spazsinbad
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.
_________________

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.

Unread postPosted: 14 Feb 2013, 17:48
by gtx
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.

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2013, 01:04
by spazsinbad
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."

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2013, 01:21
by spazsinbad
This is the Super Dog comment scenario made by a retired RAAF Air Vice Marshal Peter Criss former F-111 pilot... I forgot he had subsequently upped the ante to 'super dog squared' :D :roll:

Australia's multi-billion dollar defence dilemma ABC TV Broadcast: 18/Feb/2008

http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2007/s2165833.htm

"MARK BANNERMAN (ABC TV interviewer):...Last year, the then Defence Minister Brendan Nelson made a decision to purchase 24 Super Hornet jet fighters. It left defence experts stunned.

Last year, you effectively said this plane was a dog. Have you changed your view in any way about that?

PETER CRISS: I said it was a super dog and it's a super dog squared as far as I'm concerned. As we found out more and more about it, it's abysmal in every area that is so critical to buying a fighter strike type aircraft. It cannot perform.

MARK BANNERMAN: The former chief of Australia's operational Air Force isn't just worried about the choice of the Super Hornet that he believes is slower and more vulnerable than the plane it replaces, what really concerns Peter Criss most is that no one inside the Defence Force or the department was prepared to stand up and argue against the decision.

PETER CRISS: I know there's a bunch of them that know the Super Hornet is a dog, alright. They've told me, they've told acquaintances of mine, friends of mine that they are terribly concerned about it. But it was the decision taken by the Minister at very short notice for whatever reasons and foisted on them...."

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2013, 01:54
by count_to_10
I am somewhat curious as to why Australia went with the Super Hornet rather than a Strike Eagle. I really don't know anything about whatever competition decided the whole thing.

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2013, 01:57
by gtx
Ah yes, I remember that. Interesting how in service the crews and RAAF have been very happy. Mind you, AVM Peter Crsss, was removed as Air Commander Australia IIRC. Read into that what you will...

Anyway, These guys such as Criss, Kopp, Goon and Co. are amusing to watch because they keep declaring that anything other then the F-111 (usually in one of their fanciful super modified versions) and F-22 is unacceptable. Their lack of understanding of the realities of the situation (especially the economics) makes their arguments and those who subscribe to them irrelevant. They might as well be arguing that anything other then F-302s would be unacceptable...

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2013, 01:59
by gtx
count_to_10 wrote:I am somewhat curious as to why Australia went with the Super Hornet rather than a Strike Eagle. I really don't know anything about whatever competition decided the whole thing.


The Super Hornet has more development potential then the Strike Eagle, it's systems are a closer match (thus a better stepping stone) to the F-35 and most of all, the Super Hornet better matched the requirement at hand.

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2013, 02:00
by spazsinbad
'count_to_ten' asked a question above: ... Probably because there was not a public competition is the cause for your ignorance about such a competition. The Super Hornet saga for Oz has been mentioned many times now on this forum. IF there was no competition (you could guess there were in house looks at potential competitors) and IF the RAAF is already flying Hornets and IF the Super Hornets are available (what other country has Super Hornets) then given the similarity of Hornet to Super Hornet it seems to be clear. But hey I get a bit tired of typing things that are already on the forum if you search it. So do not be dismayed no more. :D

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2013, 02:57
by neptune
count_to_10 wrote:I am somewhat curious as to why Australia went with the Super Hornet rather than a Strike Eagle.....


Other than the Strike Eagle is a dog... not much! :lol:

Growler, conversion; E/A-18G is hard to make out of a -15. :wink:

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2013, 03:11
by spazsinbad
I thought the StruckEaglet was a 'mangy dog'? :D

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2013, 03:18
by Conan
gtx wrote:Ah yes, I remember that. Interesting how in service the crews and RAAF have been very happy. Mind you, AVM Peter Crsss, was removed as Air Commander Australia IIRC. Read into that what you will...

Anyway, These guys such as Criss, Kopp, Goon and Co. are amusing to watch because they keep declaring that anything other then the F-111 (usually in one of their fanciful super modified versions) and F-22 is unacceptable. Their lack of understanding of the realities of the situation (especially the economics) makes their arguments and those who subscribe to them irrelevant. They might as well be arguing that anything other then F-302s would be unacceptable...


Criss's comments are the most ironic out of that whole bunch. He was one of the project managers for the Hornet Upgrade Project, which was chosen instead of an earlier purchase of a new-generation fighter.

What I find funny is how "out-classed RAAF" is now that he is no longer directly involved in the capability development decision making process.

Interesting that he only found his "moral courage" once he was sacked and removed from duty within RAAF. He never said boo about how out-classed the Hornet was, when HE was working on the HUG Project...

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2013, 03:21
by gtx
Me wonders him he now has a vendetta...

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2013, 03:44
by Conan
gtx wrote:Me wonders him he now has a vendetta...


No, how can this be? They all have such great moral courage!

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2013, 04:50
by spazsinbad
Another TEASER with Pierre SPRAY:
Stroll down for the video:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-02-18/p ... etworknews

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2013, 05:14
by XanderCrews
Conan wrote:
Criss's comments are the most ironic out of that whole bunch. He was one of the project managers for the Hornet Upgrade Project, which was chosen instead of an earlier purchase of a new-generation fighter.

What I find funny is how "out-classed RAAF" is now that he is no longer directly involved in the capability development decision making process.

Interesting that he only found his "moral courage" once he was sacked and removed from duty within RAAF. He never said boo about how out-classed the Hornet was, when HE was working on the HUG Project...


Its called "courageous waiting" Its when the people in power make a decision and then in retrospect after its too late, bring up that they never really liked the idea even though they voted for it. :lol:

http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colber ... -in-timing


"its never too late to take a stand, after its too late"

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2013, 08:37
by neurotech
Am I missing something here? Maybe if I write an op-ed piece describing the positive features of the F-35, they'll let me borrow one for a quick test flight :D Boeing F/A-18F test pilots were giving rides to RAAF pilots/engineers quite regularly during visits, and sometimes the ground crews from the RAAF too. I spent a large amount of time in the F/A-18E simulator, for various purposes, so flying a F-35 can't be that hard :D

The RAAF HUG wasn't exactly textbook smooth sailing either. The F/A-18F Block I jets had very similar avionics to the USN F/A-18Cs and the package was export cleared while the F/A-18 HUG was being planned. Someone high up in the RAAF decided they should "design" there own to save costs. By the late 90s, Boeing/McDonnell-Douglas had a roadmap plan for upgrading the jets from A to A+(C) and C++(E) configuration avionics. Many USN/USMC jets were upgraded relatively cheaply, sometimes using surplus F/A-18E/F Block I components.

The fact is that the RAAF F-111s used every resource available, including surplus boneyard jets to maintain there relatively small fleet. A "Super F-111" upgrade was physically impossible, as the jets were worn out, and substantial structural component replacement needed. I almost wonder if the plan was really to get the RAAF into a spot where they can't cancel the further upgrades, because alternatives are unavailable.

All this talk about the magic of the Su-35 is misguided. When was the last time a long-range fighter actually engaged in a dogfight? Most dogfights have taken place a relatively short distance from base, not 1000 miles+ like they seem to claim will make the F/A-18F and F-35 inferior in a dogfight.

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2013, 08:47
by geogen
rkap wrote:
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".


I'd unfortunately have to concur with that synopsis.

2001-2002 (post 9/11) was indeed the green light for foreign customers and partners to sign up once it was clear that USAF budgets were to get plump, at least for long enough to kick-start the Program to ensure a point of too big to fail and no option but to push onward. Pre-9/11, there was a slight Procurement budget issue, in which no way could the envisioned 80+ FRP USAF units per year could be procured (or advertised/estimated in an official scheme to be procured).

And of course, without the estimate/business model to produce over 3,000 total units and top off at an estimated 220 units annually under peak FRP as a requirement for the Program to offer affordable jets, then the business model and Program as an entity could not be sustainable or viable as being 'proposed/sold' to partners.

Kind of a circular, round-about acquisition scheme and process, one could contend.

Moreover, I concur with your 2007-2008 timeframe too, as probably being the final point of no return for selecting an alternative recap strategy with F-35 only being placed as a potential 'down the road'.

In 2007, it was still being reassured to foreign govts and USG, that F-35 was pre-conceived as being 'on schedule' to hit SDD completion by Oct of 2012 and achieve IOC by 2013. With those expectations and 'estimates', who would argue to their respective policy makers to back out in dissent, when everything was to be fine...and all the costs and schedules would ensure everyone best to stay on track and keep focus on those lucrative 4-30x returns on every dollar invested into Program!?!

Ironic how what was a sure bet is now one of the most speculative and risky gambles in Tacair recapitalization history with possibly significant and potentially catastrophic consequences to maintaining force structure capability and deterrence in a highly uncertain post-Cold-War era, in staying on track as is.

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2013, 15:29
by count_to_10
So, the choice of SH over SE was jamming?

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2013, 15:31
by spazsinbad
Yes/No?! false choice - the Super Hornet has a future as a Super Dog Squared (the Growler version).

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2013, 15:35
by gtx
Yes. As a Growler, it definitely has a future.

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2013, 15:44
by Conan
count_to_10 wrote:So, the choice of SH over SE was jamming?


No. It was a combination of capability, price, availability and ease of introduction into service.

Capability - SH has most of the capability of the Strike Eagle and several new capabilities for RAAF they haven't experienced before but will need to ahead of F-35 that F-15 didn't offer in-service at the time we considered them. These being primarily fighter LO technology, AESA radar, towed radar decoys and much more advanced weapon systems, sensors and avionics then were in the inventory of RAAF at the time.

Price - SH was about $30m per plane cheaper than the Strike Eagle ($720m in savings up front) and vastly cheaper over the long term to sustain.

Availability - SH was available to us at an IOC level in less than 3 years, due to USN giving up production slots already planned for themselves and the overall maturity of the platform. We went from placing an order in May 2007 to IOC in December 2009. No other aircraft in the whole world could have provided this.

Ease of introduction into service - RAAF pilots, ACO's and maintainers were able to transition onto the Super Hornet easier than in any other aircraft in the world and focus on delivery capability from the aircraft, not just training on it. That's how we managed to get to IOC (a deployable and sustainable squadron sized formation) from contract placement to IOC in only 2 years and 6 months.

USN gave us and continues to provide great support to RAAF that would have been unavailable on any other aircraft due to configuration issues. If we'd bought Strike Eagle, they'd have been of a similar configuration to Singapore's and of significant difference to those operated by the USAF. Building up a capability would have required greater investment in time and resources by us, not having the same degree of "reach-back".

These advantages should not be sneezed at when considering that the Super Hornet was and is RAAF's interim combat aircraft. They aren't as sexy as issues like acceleration, turn rates and so on, but they make REAL differences to aircraft combat capability, not just the paper stats...

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2013, 15:51
by Conan
gtx wrote:Yes. As a Growler, it definitely has a future.


I think Super Hornet has a future in RAAF even in it's vanilla variety. Many have said that not all combat capability has to be the very highest end and I, and many others agree.

The F model Super Hornets will retain significant combat capability for decades, in roles beyond EW including anti-ship strike, standoff weapons strike, close air support in slightly more benign air environments, the wartime FAC role (as a twin seater, having an ACO on board will always be a benefit) and even in OCA / DCA roles.

RAAF only ever sought a single type combat fleet because of Government direction and future budget issues. Thinking that the full range of tasks is best served by a single type, I don't think was the overwhelming priority.

An expanded RAAF fleet of say 36-48x Super Hornets / Growlers and 72x F-35A's would serve us extremely well in any likely scenario we'll ever face.

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2013, 15:53
by count_to_10
Conan wrote:
count_to_10 wrote:So, the choice of SH over SE was jamming?


No. It was a combination of capability, price, availability and ease of introduction into service.

Capability - SH has most of the capability of the Strike Eagle and several new capabilities for RAAF they haven't experienced before but will need to ahead of F-35 that F-15 didn't offer in-service at the time we considered them. These being primarily fighter LO technology, AESA radar, towed radar decoys and much more advanced weapon systems, sensors and avionics then were in the inventory of RAAF at the time.

Price - SH was about $30m per plane cheaper than the Strike Eagle ($720m in savings up front) and vastly cheaper over the long term to sustain.

Availability - SH was available to us at an IOC level in less than 3 years, due to USN giving up production slots already planned for themselves and the overall maturity of the platform. We went from placing an order in May 2007 to IOC in December 2009. No other aircraft in the whole world could have provided this.

Ease of introduction into service - RAAF pilots, ACO's and maintainers were able to transition onto the Super Hornet easier than in any other aircraft in the world and focus on delivery capability from the aircraft, not just training on it. That's how we managed to get to IOC (a deployable and sustainable squadron sized formation) from contract placement to IOC in only 2 years and 6 months.

USN gave us and continues to provide great support to RAAF that would have been unavailable on any other aircraft due to configuration issues. If we'd bought Strike Eagle, they'd have been of a similar configuration to Singapore's and of significant difference to those operated by the USAF. Building up a capability would have required greater investment in time and resources by us, not having the same degree of "reach-back".

These advantages should not be sneezed at when considering that the Super Hornet was and is RAAF's interim combat aircraft. They aren't as sexy as issues like acceleration, turn rates and so on, but they make REAL differences to aircraft combat capability, not just the paper stats...

That makes a lot of sense.
I was wondering more about the range issue that APA made such a big deal about.

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2013, 16:11
by XanderCrews
geogen wrote:
Ironic how what was a sure bet is now one of the most speculative and risky gambles in Tacair recapitalization history with possibly significant and potentially catastrophic consequences to maintaining force structure capability and deterrence in a highly uncertain post-Cold-War era, in staying on track as is.


I only wish that saying all these things made them true.

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2013, 16:25
by Conan
count_to_10 wrote:That makes a lot of sense.
I was wondering more about the range issue that APA made such a big deal about.


Cheers, APA's issues with range was just them doing what they are best at. Cherry-picking facts to suit their agenda.

It should have been obvious even to a lay person, how F-111's were headed from the mid-80's onwards. It's major user employed F-111 operationally with substantial refuelling and EW assets, standoff weapons support and fighter escorts.

It's minor user could only provide fighter escorts, with limited refuelling in some instances for the fighters. No EW support, no standoff weapons support and no refuelling for the strikers. That was the strategic reality of our "strategic striker".

We effectively had long range strikers with short ranged weapons, no refuelling, no EW and no standoff weapons (until the very last years of the capability). These long ranged strikers however in operational configuration were limited to whatever range could be managed by it's fighter escort with limited refuelling.

Now we have shorter ranged strike fighters, but ones with with very long ranged weapons, decent refuelling and decent EW support. Plus we get a much improved air combat capability, more tactical reconaissance capability, a much better wartime FAC capability and plenty of twin seaters, able to give the all important politicians a backseat ride of their life (thus keeping RAAF in the politicians good books to a degree).

A pretty good tradeoff if you ask me...

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2013, 16:31
by XanderCrews
Conan wrote: able to give the all important politicians a backseat ride of their life (thus keeping RAAF in the politicians good books to a degree).



When the F-22 was "going to decision" That was one of the things I told my brother at the time "You know whats going to kill the F-22 is its one man ride, they forgot the seat for the guy who votes on funding"

:lol:

(just a joke)

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2013, 22:43
by neurotech
XanderCrews wrote:
Conan wrote: able to give the all important politicians a backseat ride of their life (thus keeping RAAF in the politicians good books to a degree).



When the F-22 was "going to decision" That was one of the things I told my brother at the time "You know whats going to kill the F-22 is its one man ride, they forgot the seat for the guy who votes on funding"

:lol:

(just a joke)


I don't think its a joke. I mean NASA had Mission Specialist Congressman/Senators, and there have been a few pilots who flew for the USN/USAF/ANG while in Congress.

Giving rides to help sell a program. Tell AVM Criss that I'm sure Boeing will happily give him a ride in a EA-18 or Block III demonstrator.

I don't think any of the Congressman/Senators have flown an F-22 though.

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2013, 23:04
by spazsinbad
Maybe said pollies (politicians/movers/shakers) will get a ride in the 'tunnel of love' F-35 FMS somewhere? They'll be used to all the blackness at the beginning to enter into the light! :D

Scroll to end of page: http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopic-t-20642.html

Unread postPosted: 19 Feb 2013, 00:47
by count_to_10
So, if they are giving reporters joy rides in the F-35 sims, I have a sneaky suspicion that every congressman on the armed forces committee has taken a turn.

Unread postPosted: 19 Feb 2013, 17:35
by spazsinbad
The 'Reach for the Sky' Four Corners transcript:

http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/stories/ ... transcript

Unread postPosted: 21 Feb 2013, 22:20
by spazsinbad
Oz Minister for Defence – Interview with Karina Carvalho, ABC News Breakfast 21 February 2013

http://www.minister.defence.gov.au/2013 ... eakfast-2/

"TRANSCRIPT: INTERVIEW WITH KARINA CARVALHO, ABC NEWS BREAKFAST

TRANSCRIPTION: PROOF COPY E & OE

DATE: 21 FEBRUARY 2013

TOPICS: Afghanistan; whaling; Joint Strike Fighter; Defence Budget; Federal Election

...KARINA CARVALHO: I want to ask you about the F-35 Strike Joint Fighter program. That purchase has been the subject of much criticism. Now the man heading the US F-35 program, he’s told Four Corners it’s been put into production before proper testing has been done. Is the Government still confident with the purchases it’s made?

STEPHEN SMITH: We have committed ourselves contractually to two Joint Strike Fighters. We’ll receive those in 2014 in the United States for training purposes. We’ve announced that we will take another 12, effectively our first squadron, but we have not made a judgment as to when we will place the orders for those. I’ve made it clear since the time I’ve become Defence Minister that we won’t allow delays in the Joint Strike Fighter project to leave us with a gap in capability and at the end of last year, we placed a letter of request with the United States authorities to enable us to investigate the potential purchase of up to 24 more Super Hornets.

We’ve now got a fleet of 24 Super Hornets, 12 of those can be wired up for the electronic warfare capability Growler, and we’ve got about 70 Classic Hornets. But the delays in the Joint Strike Fighter project do raise a risk of gap in capability and I’ve made it clear we won’t allow that to occur. We’ve always been confident that in the end the plane and the project would get up but it has been subject to very serious scheduling delays and that’s what’s causing us to risk a gap in capability.

KARINA CARVALHO: Because the former Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon, he says that Defence officials were running interference to protect the program. Have you ever felt pressured by Defence officials to continue with this program?

STEPHEN SMITH: The only pressure I feel is the pressure to make sure that we make judgements which are in our national and national security interests, and it’s not in our national security interests to allow a gap in our air combat capability to occur. To his great credit, Brendan Nelson made sure that we purchased 24 Super Hornets. Joel Fitzgibbon, as one of my predecessors, made sure that that purchase was fully effected.

I’ve made sure that we’ve been able to acquire the electronic warfare capability Growler, which is linked to Super Hornets, and I’ll also made sure that we don’t leave any risk that delays in the Joint Strike Fighter project will see a gap in our capability and that conjures up, which we’re investigating, the potential for purchase of more Super Hornets.

Now, I’ve also made it clear at the end of last year that we’re now looking not just to the Super Hornets being a gap in capability, but whether into the longer term it makes sense for Australia to have a mixed fleet, a mixed fleet of Super Hornets, Growler and Joint Strike Fighters, which is what you essentially see the United States Navy and Air Force now embarking upon.

KARINA CARVALHO
: Given the precarious position the Government finds itself in ahead of the budget, you expect Defence to be hit further by spending cuts?

STEPHEN SMITH: Defence made a substantial contribution to the 2012 Budget, as part of our fiscal responsibilities. Defence has not been called upon since that time. I never speculate about budgets, so those interested in the budget and the Defence budget should turn up on budget night.

I’ve also made the point that the leader of the Opposition, Mr Abbott, at his first outing at the Press Club this year, essentially committed himself to no further reductions which means the Opposition has the same four-year forward estimates fiscal position as the Government. So there’s an outbreak of bipartisanship on Defence spending, but when it comes to the next budget I’m not proposing to speculate. People should just turn up and examine the budget on budget night...."

That is it.

Unread postPosted: 21 Feb 2013, 22:47
by spazsinbad
$2bn Triton drone plan to track asylum boats off Australia 22 Feb 2013 IAN McPHEDRAN

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/n ... 6583044954

"...The government is also expected to soon announce that it will spend at least $4 billion on another 24 Boeing Super Hornet jet fighters from the US Navy [?] to prevent any air power capability gaps.”

Unread postPosted: 21 Feb 2013, 23:14
by SpudmanWP
That's 166mil each.... which is more than a WSC FY2014 F-35A. Why do they keep dragging their feet on pulling the trigger on the F-35?

Just commit already :(

Geesh.

Unread postPosted: 22 Feb 2013, 00:15
by maus92
Of course we don't know what is included in the $4B reference (likely more than simply the F/A-18E/F WSC,) but in any event 24 Supers will cost less to acquire and operate than 24 F-35As.

Unread postPosted: 22 Feb 2013, 01:43
by quicksilver
maus92 wrote:Of course we don't know what is included in the $4B reference (likely more than simply the F/A-18E/F WSC,) but in any event 24 Supers will cost less to acquire and operate than 24 F-35As.


Really? Show us the numbers.

Re:

Unread postPosted: 22 Feb 2013, 02:27
by weasel1962
Acquisition cost may be lower but operating cost is unlikely to be. 2 seater vs 1 = half the crew cost. The maintainer numbers per F-35 numbers are touted to be lower than legacy aircraft. 2 engines vs 1 = more servicing cost. Fuel cost will depend on specific consumption but newer engines tend to be more fuel efficient esp if clueless observers think the F-35s fly slower than F-18s. Higher internal fuel loads = less support cost eg tanker flights.

Per canada numbers, acquisition cost = C$9b but operating cost over 30-40 years = C$36b or 4 times acquisition cost. Using the same matrix, how would Hornet operating costs be lower except if one makes unrealistic assumptions like no bonus or pay increments for Hornet pilots ever, no servicing required, no munitions purchased etc. Current legacy aircraft operating cost is lower only because pay is lower 10 years ago compared to 10 years later.

Unread postPosted: 22 Feb 2013, 05:04
by geogen
SpudmanWP wrote:That's 166mil each.... which is more than a WSC FY2014 F-35A. Why do they keep dragging their feet on pulling the trigger on the F-35?

Just commit already :(

Geesh.


Spud -

$4Bn would include MORE than the WSC for 24 Supers and you know it.

Average Unit WSC for say FY14-FY15 buys (not including initial spares at around $2m each jet) would probably be around $82-$86m per F-18E/F.

Compare that to a retrofitted FY14 F-35A WSC cost. (post-redesign fixes).

Unknown, would be if this prudent capability gap-fill acquisition decision would include a mix of F-18E and F variants? They've got 24 F variants so perhaps some E variants would suffice to replace some of the retiring C Hornets?

Unread postPosted: 22 Feb 2013, 15:09
by SpudmanWP
I know.. just venting frustration at indecision.

That and with every non-F-35 they buy, the price to purchase, maintain, & upgrade what F-35s they do buy goes up.

Unread postPosted: 22 Feb 2013, 16:12
by XanderCrews
geogen wrote:
SpudmanWP wrote:That's 166mil each.... which is more than a WSC FY2014 F-35A. Why do they keep dragging their feet on pulling the trigger on the F-35?

Just commit already :(

Geesh.


Spud -

$4Bn would include MORE than the WSC for 24 Supers and you know it.

Average Unit WSC for say FY14-FY15 buys (not including initial spares at around $2m each jet) would probably be around $82-$86m per F-18E/F.

Compare that to a retrofitted FY14 F-35A WSC cost. (post-redesign fixes).

Unknown, would be if this prudent capability gap-fill acquisition decision would include a mix of F-18E and F variants? They've got 24 F variants so perhaps some E variants would suffice to replace some of the retiring C Hornets?


The article says:

"The government is also expected to soon announce that it will spend at least $4 billion on another 24 Boeing Super Hornet jet fighters from the US Navy to prevent any air power capability gaps."

Does that mean they are "used" or "previously owned"?

Unread postPosted: 22 Feb 2013, 20:21
by gtx
No. It is just that they would be an FMS deal and thus theoretically are acquired via the USN.

Unread postPosted: 24 Feb 2013, 05:52
by spazsinbad
Half-inch crack blamed for F-35 fighter jet grounding: sources By Andrea Shalal-Esa | Reuters 23 Feb 2013

http://news.yahoo.com/half-inch-crack-b ... nance.html

"...It was the second engine-related grounding of the $396 billion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter in two months, and came on the eve of a big air show in Australia, which is considering reducing its planned purchase of 100 F-35 jets.

The Pentagon's top F-35 official and executives from prime contractor Lockheed Martin Corp are attending the air show in hopes of convincing Australia that the F-35 program is on track after three restructurings, and Australia does not need to buy 24 more Boeing Co F/A-18 Super Hornets.

Australia is expected to make a decision within the next three to six weeks, said a fourth source familiar with the matter.
The program is also bracing for reductions in U.S. orders if Congress fails to avert across-the-board cuts due to take effect on March 1...."

Crack info reported elsewhere where there is crack info.

Unread postPosted: 24 Feb 2013, 15:23
by quicksilver
geogen wrote:
SpudmanWP wrote:That's 166mil each.... which is more than a WSC FY2014 F-35A. Why do they keep dragging their feet on pulling the trigger on the F-35?

Just commit already :(

Geesh.


Spud -

$4Bn would include MORE than the WSC for 24 Supers and you know it.

Average Unit WSC for say FY14-FY15 buys (not including initial spares at around $2m each jet) would probably be around $82-$86m per F-18E/F...


Hmmm...makes one wonder what happened to those ~50M E/F URFs that everyone wants to quote from the P-1 sheets in the budget, doesn't it? :wink:

Geo, notably in support of your number -- during 2012 the Naval Safety Center estimated the cost of an aircraft loss for F-18F at $84.7M.

Unread postPosted: 24 Feb 2013, 16:49
by maus92
quicksilver wrote:
geogen wrote:
SpudmanWP wrote:That's 166mil each.... which is more than a WSC FY2014 F-35A. Why do they keep dragging their feet on pulling the trigger on the F-35?

Just commit already :(

Geesh.


Spud -

$4Bn would include MORE than the WSC for 24 Supers and you know it.

Average Unit WSC for say FY14-FY15 buys (not including initial spares at around $2m each jet) would probably be around $82-$86m per F-18E/F...


Hmmm...makes one wonder what happened to those ~50M E/F URFs that everyone wants to quote from the P-1 sheets in the budget, doesn't it? :wink:

Geo, notably in support of your number -- during 2012 the Naval Safety Center estimated the cost of an aircraft loss for F-18F at $84.7M.


Apples to apples.... URF to URF, WSC to WSC. The equation still works out to the same result.

Unread postPosted: 24 Feb 2013, 17:08
by quicksilver
Sure does. $166M a pop for 24 E/Fs which is more than F-35A in the budget years Oz wants to buy jets.

Unread postPosted: 24 Feb 2013, 18:34
by quicksilver
The point is, if we accept the idea (spin) that E/F URF is ~50M, that means the 'additional' costs (call em what you want) are another ~200% of the URF for a type that they already have in operational service (and has been in MYP for the US customer...a heck of a deal for Oz, eh?).

By comparison, if we accept a ~90M URF for F-35A in 2015, 'additional' costs are roughly anothr 46% of the URF -- for a new jet just being introduced into service where those kinds of costs are typically higher. Go to 2017 and F-35A drops by ~11M/jet but the 'additional' costs remain constant as a percentage of URF. By 2019, F-35A URF decreases another 8M per jet but the 'additional' costs are only another 24% of the URF. And these numbers don't consider the URF reductions that come with the international buys that ramp up during that period. (see SAR 2011)

So, are E/F support costs an additional 200% on top of procurement or is the real E/F URF being significantly understated? Take your pick.

Unread postPosted: 24 Feb 2013, 19:20
by neurotech
maus92 wrote:Of course we don't know what is included in the $4B reference (likely more than simply the F/A-18E/F WSC,) but in any event 24 Supers will cost less to acquire and operate than 24 F-35As.

Probably a few new hangars, expanded maintenance facilities, etc. at the F/A-18 facilities like RAAF Williamstown and RAAF Tindall bases.

The $84m figure cited by the Navy Safety Center involves extra equipment like pods, tanks, GFE black-box equipment upgrades etc.

I suspect the RAAF WSUC is going to be $90m-$100m, not including things like hangars, full mission simulators, long-term support contracts etc.

Unread postPosted: 24 Feb 2013, 20:08
by neurotech
quicksilver wrote:The point is, if we accept the idea (spin) that E/F URF is ~50M, that means the 'additional' costs (call em what you want) are another ~200% of the URF for a type that they already have in operational service (and has been in MYP for the US customer...a heck of a deal for Oz, eh?).

By comparison, if we accept a ~90M URF for F-35A in 2015, 'additional' costs are roughly anothr 46% of the URF -- for a new jet just being introduced into service where those kinds of costs are typically higher. Go to 2017 and F-35A drops by ~11M/jet but the 'additional' costs remain constant as a percentage of URF. By 2019, F-35A URF decreases another 8M per jet but the 'additional' costs are only another 24% of the URF. And these numbers don't consider the URF reductions that come with the international buys that ramp up during that period. (see SAR 2011)

So, are E/F support costs an additional 200% on top of procurement or is the real E/F URF being significantly understated? Take your pick.


The $50m Unit Reoccurring Cost is the cost of the materials + labor for one aircraft, as per a Boeing Offer for an Extended MYP purchase to the US Navy.
e.g If the DoD/USN buy between 48 and 60 jets combined (Navy SH, Navy G, RAAF FMS) we'll be able to reduce costs to $Y dollars.

One possibility is the USN allow the RAAF to buy the jets already in MYP, in order to accommodate the current Sequestration SNAFU, without penalty or cost to the DoD.

As for the F-35A $90m UFC, I still think that is doable, but the future WSUC is always distorted depending on what side of the debate you're on. F-22 program is a classic example of the cost of planned spiral upgrades, making the jets seem insanely expensive on paper ($350m+ each) when in reality, each aircraft still cost ~ $200m UFC, and increase of ~40% not quadrupled like some people claim.

In FMS purchases, its a total package, which is not always proportional to the cost of the jet itself. If the RAAF want 50 AN/ASQ-228s and 500 AGM-74 SLAM-ER missiles and 2000 JDAMs for Australia's defense, then so be it, but Congressional approval is needed, via the FMS package orders. Remember that FMS packages are not binding orders, and they often put things like "up to 2000 JDAMs" but then reduce the numbers in the actual sale.

Unread postPosted: 25 Feb 2013, 01:37
by Conan
neurotech wrote:
quicksilver wrote:The point is, if we accept the idea (spin) that E/F URF is ~50M, that means the 'additional' costs (call em what you want) are another ~200% of the URF for a type that they already have in operational service (and has been in MYP for the US customer...a heck of a deal for Oz, eh?).

By comparison, if we accept a ~90M URF for F-35A in 2015, 'additional' costs are roughly anothr 46% of the URF -- for a new jet just being introduced into service where those kinds of costs are typically higher. Go to 2017 and F-35A drops by ~11M/jet but the 'additional' costs remain constant as a percentage of URF. By 2019, F-35A URF decreases another 8M per jet but the 'additional' costs are only another 24% of the URF. And these numbers don't consider the URF reductions that come with the international buys that ramp up during that period. (see SAR 2011)

So, are E/F support costs an additional 200% on top of procurement or is the real E/F URF being significantly understated? Take your pick.


The $50m Unit Reoccurring Cost is the cost of the materials + labor for one aircraft, as per a Boeing Offer for an Extended MYP purchase to the US Navy.
e.g If the DoD/USN buy between 48 and 60 jets combined (Navy SH, Navy G, RAAF FMS) we'll be able to reduce costs to $Y dollars.

One possibility is the USN allow the RAAF to buy the jets already in MYP, in order to accommodate the current Sequestration SNAFU, without penalty or cost to the DoD.

As for the F-35A $90m UFC, I still think that is doable, but the future WSUC is always distorted depending on what side of the debate you're on. F-22 program is a classic example of the cost of planned spiral upgrades, making the jets seem insanely expensive on paper ($350m+ each) when in reality, each aircraft still cost ~ $200m UFC, and increase of ~40% not quadrupled like some people claim.

In FMS purchases, its a total package, which is not always proportional to the cost of the jet itself. If the RAAF want 50 AN/ASQ-228s and 500 AGM-74 SLAM-ER missiles and 2000 JDAMs for Australia's defense, then so be it, but Congressional approval is needed, via the FMS package orders. Remember that FMS packages are not binding orders, and they often put things like "up to 2000 JDAMs" but then reduce the numbers in the actual sale.


It works the other way too. When you open up FMS cases for things like JDAM etc, you can make additional purchases down the track within that same "case."

It's why you often see DSCA announcements for things like 17x AGM-65 Maverick missiles for country X. That Country to maintain a reasonable inventory is going to need more than 17x missiles and FMS allows them to purchase more, without having to announce it every time or open a new case each time.

Countries are understandably sensitive about their warstocks, this system provides a degree of uncertainty over how many weapons are in an inventory. The price included in the DSCA announcement may or may not cover extra purchases, that aren't necessarily announced in that notice...

Unread postPosted: 26 Feb 2013, 03:56
by spazsinbad
Here is wot AVM Criss had to say back in 2006...

AVM Criss: Does Groupthink Power Australia’s JSF? Nov 01, 2006 by Defense Industry Daily staff

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/avm ... jsf-02759/

"...As for the JSF decision, one can only hope that a return to the formal acquisition process will still happen, where all credible options can be evaluated in a rigorous, analytical, impartial and transparent manner.

At present I am observing a Defence organisation that has illusions of invulnerability, one that is suffering from collective rationalisation, a self-determined morality that quickly reverts to denial if challenged, and where serving members are subjected to an over-imposed requirement for conformity. In this context “self-censorship is prevalent, leading to a false appearance of unanimity, all being supervised by mindguards.” These are not my words, Professor Janis (1973) warned of such systemic organisational failings 33 years ago it is termed ‘groupthink’.

For the sake of our future generations, these behavioural traits must be excised.

Air Vice-Marshal Peter Criss, AM, AFC, (Retd) joined the RAAF in 1968 and flew over 5000 hours in Sabre, Mirage and F-111 aircraft. At the tactical level he was both a squadron and wing commander. At the operational level he was Air Commander Australia in 1999 and early 2000 during the successful East Timor operation. Before involuntary redundancy in late 2001 he headed a study for CDF into the management of preparedness in the ADF."

Last paragraphs excerpted above only so best JUMP to the URL for it all.
_____________

There is an unusual (to me anyway) PDF print function wot I tried out so here is result: http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/avm ... jsf-02759/

Unread postPosted: 26 Feb 2013, 10:10
by spazsinbad
DejaVu AllOverAgain...

Australia says will make a decision on Super Hornet purchase by mid-year 26 Feb 2013 (Reporting By Jane Wardell; Editing by Paul Tait)

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/02/2 ... 2F20130226

"(Reuters) - Australia will decide whether to buy 24 more Boeing Co (BA.N) F/A-18 Super Hornets by the middle of this year, Defence Minister Stephen Smith said on Tuesday, amid setbacks to Lockheed Martin's Corp's (LMT.N) F-35 warplane.

Australia, a close U.S. ally, has requested information under its foreign military sales agreement with the United States for the potential purchase of the extra Super Hornets, which would double its fleet of the aircraft.

"No decision has been made, no judgment has been made," Smith told reporters at the opening of the Australian International Airshow in southern Victoria state.

"We'll make that decision in the course of this year, I expect by the middle of this year," he said. "But one thing I won't allow to occur is a gap in our air combat capability."...

...Smith said Australia is committed to the purchase of an initial two F-35s, but the timing of options for a further 12 and an initial plan to buy a total of 100 remains unclear.

Smith noted the Australian government's decision last year to purchase [repurpose 12 Supers already in service to] 12 EA-18G Growlers with radar-jamming electronic weapons that are compatible with the Super Hornet.

"Just as the United States is now effectively operating on a mixed fleet to 2030/35 of Super Hornets, Growlers and F-35s, that potential is there for Australia as well," he said."

Don't bother.

Unread postPosted: 27 Feb 2013, 06:13
by maus92
Australia Begins Super Hornet Study As F-35 Slide Continues
Guy Norris / AvWeek / 25Feb2013

"Amid continuing uncertainty over delays to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the Australian government has opened up a long-anticipated study with the U.S. into the “potential purchase” of 24 additional Boeing F/A-18E/F aircraft.

Although the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) remains officially committed to the Lockheed Martin F-35, the Australian government plans to consider doubling the size of the Super Hornet fleet, signaled in a letter of request to the U.S. government. This is expected to raise fresh questions over Australia’s level of commitment to the F-35 and the final number of aircraft it will acquire.

Confirming the request in comments made to the Australian Broadcasting Corp., Defense Minister Stephen Smith says, “We placed a letter of request [LOR] with the United States authorities to enable us to investigate the potential purchase of up to 24 more Super Hornets.” Smith adds the F-35 “has been subject to very serious scheduling delays and that’s what’s causing us to risk a gap in capability…. We’re now looking not just to the Super Hornets [covering a] gap in capability, but whether into the longer term it makes sense for Australia to have a mixed fleet — a mixed fleet of Super Hornets, Growlers and Joint Strike Fighters, which is what you essentially see the United States Navy… embarking upon.”"

http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.asp ... 552782.xml

Unread postPosted: 28 Feb 2013, 16:23
by maus92
quicksilver wrote:
maus92 wrote:Of course we don't know what is included in the $4B reference (likely more than simply the F/A-18E/F WSC,) but in any event 24 Supers will cost less to acquire and operate than 24 F-35As.


Really? Show us the numbers.


"The Super Hornet currently sells for about $55 million US apiece; the Pentagon expects the F-35 to cost twice as much — about $110 million. But only 20 per cent of the cost of owning a fighter fleet is the actual sticker price of the planes. Eighty per cent is the operating cost — what it takes to keep them flying. That means everything from pilots and fuel to maintenance and spares.

Psst! Wanna save $23B?
And that's where the difference between the F-35 and the Super Hornet rockets into the stratosphere.

"The current actual costs to operate a Super Hornet are less than half the cost that the F-35 is projected to be once it's in operation, just to operate," says Mike Gibbons, vice-president in charge of the Super Hornet program.

Less than half? But how can he know that, since the F-35s are not yet in service?

Gibbons is ready for the question. "No one knows actually how costly that jet will actually be, once it's in operation. We do know how affordable the Super Hornet is currently because we have actual costs." The Super Hornet costs about $16,000 an hour to fly, he says — and the F-35 will be double that.

Really? That sounded too good to be true — so CBC News dug into Boeing's figures to see how credible they are.

According to the GAO, the Super Hornet actually costs the U.S. Navy $15,346 an hour to fly. It sounds like a lot — until you see that the U.S. Air Force's official "target" for operating the F-35 is $31,900 an hour. The GAO says it's a little more — closer to $32,500.

CBC also asked Lockheed Martin to say if it had any quarrel with these numbers — and it did not."

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2 ... ewski.html

Unread postPosted: 28 Feb 2013, 20:55
by neurotech
@maus92: Do you know which GAO report they used? The $15,346 is closer to the figures I'd heard,but the Comptroller says $10,584 for a F/A-18F model, presumably with two crew :D That same report claims a F-22 CPFH of $21,860, even though the figure is higher than that by about 50%. I suspect that Comptroller O&M budget doesn't cover depot visits or something like that.

Here is the FY2013 rates http://comptroller.defense.gov/rates/fy ... 13_f_h.pdf

Note: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d10717.pdf gives the $15,346 as the CPFH and reports the breakdown of the cost components.

Unread postPosted: 01 Mar 2013, 00:08
by maus92
neurotech wrote:@maus92: Do you know which GAO report they used?


Sorry, I do not. Sadly, news articles rarely footnote sources. Would make it easier to factcheck.

Unread postPosted: 01 Mar 2013, 01:01
by quicksilver
maus92 wrote:
quicksilver wrote:
maus92 wrote:Of course we don't know what is included in the $4B reference (likely more than simply the F/A-18E/F WSC,) but in any event 24 Supers will cost less to acquire and operate than 24 F-35As.


Really? Show us the numbers.


"The Super Hornet currently sells for about $55 million US apiece; the Pentagon expects the F-35 to cost twice as much — about $110 million. But only 20 per cent of the cost of owning a fighter fleet is the actual sticker price of the planes. Eighty per cent is the operating cost — what it takes to keep them flying. That means everything from pilots and fuel to maintenance and spares.

Psst! Wanna save $23B?
And that's where the difference between the F-35 and the Super Hornet rockets into the stratosphere.

"The current actual costs to operate a Super Hornet are less than half the cost that the F-35 is projected to be once it's in operation, just to operate," says Mike Gibbons, vice-president in charge of the Super Hornet program.

Less than half? But how can he know that, since the F-35s are not yet in service?

Gibbons is ready for the question. "No one knows actually how costly that jet will actually be, once it's in operation. We do know how affordable the Super Hornet is currently because we have actual costs." The Super Hornet costs about $16,000 an hour to fly, he says — and the F-35 will be double that.

Really? That sounded too good to be true — so CBC News dug into Boeing's figures to see how credible they are.

According to the GAO, the Super Hornet actually costs the U.S. Navy $15,346 an hour to fly. It sounds like a lot — until you see that the U.S. Air Force's official "target" for operating the F-35 is $31,900 an hour. The GAO says it's a little more — closer to $32,500.

CBC also asked Lockheed Martin to say if it had any quarrel with these numbers — and it did not."

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2 ... ewski.html


Wow, Canadian news media -- there's a credible source.

Apparently a CPFH 'study' has been making its way around 'the building' for about a year that -- shock of all shocks -- features a 15K v 31K number. No one in uniform (ie flag) would attach his or her name to it as an originating sponsor because it wasn't just 'not credible' -- it was specious. Among other things, it conspicuously ignored the 900 lb gorilla sitting in the corner -- grossly unaccounted for USG overhead costs.

So, failing to get USG advocacy, the CPFH claim miraculously finds its way into the Canadian press accompanied by an unsubstantiated claim that it came from that font of all truth -- the GAO.

And, lo and behold, it shows up here. More shock... :roll:

Unread postPosted: 01 Mar 2013, 01:24
by XanderCrews

Re:

Unread postPosted: 01 Mar 2013, 02:29
by weasel1962
1 over-used engine blade = entire fleet grounded. It may not be the last issue and no guarantee that such issues won't crop up after LRIP. Would it be a good idea to maintain 2 types of fighters to avoid entire fleet grounding risks? Might be.

RE: Re:

Unread postPosted: 01 Mar 2013, 02:33
by spazsinbad
Pentagon approves Super Hornets for Australia 28 Feb 2013 By Jim Gallagher

http://www.stltoday.com/business/local/ ... f7150.html

"The Pentagon on Thursday notified Congress of plans to sell 12 Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet fighters and 12 EA-18G Growler electronic warfare jets to Australia.

The deal would be worth $3.7 billion, and comes as a boost to Boeing's efforts to expand its foreign military sales in light of an expected decline in Pentagon spending.

Pentagon approval does not mean that Australia will place a final order for the planes, which are built in the St. Louis County. That decision is expected at mid-year [2013]...."

RE: Re:

Unread postPosted: 01 Mar 2013, 02:56
by spazsinbad
Where the money goes...

Transmittal No. 13-05
Australia – F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler Aircraft
28 Feb 2013

http://www.dsca.mil/PressReleases/36-b/ ... _13-05.pdf (60Kb)

"WASHINGTON, February 28, 2013 – The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress Feb. 27 of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Australia for up to 12 F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft and 12 EA-18G Growler aircraft and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $3.7 billion.

The Government of Australia has requested a possible sale of up to 12 F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft, 12 EA-18G Growler aircraft, 54 F414-GE-402 engines (48 installed and 6 spares) 2 engine inlet devices, 35 AN/APG-79 Radar Systems, 70 AN/USQ-140 Multifunctional Informational Distribution System Low Volume Terminals (MIDS-LVT) or RT-1957(C)/USQ-190(V) Joint Tactical Radio Systems, 40 AN/ALQ-214 Integrated Countermeasures Systems, 24 AN/ALR-67(V)3 Electronic Warfare Countermeasures Receiving Sets, 72 LAU-127 Guided Missile Launchers, 15 M61A2 Vulcan Cannons, 32 AN/AVS-9 Night Vision Goggles or Night Vision Cueing Device System, 40 AN/APX-111 Combined Interrogator Transponders, 80 AN/ARC-210/RT-1990A(C) Communication Systems, 100 Digital Management Devices with KG-60’s, 36 Accurate Navigation Systems, 30 AN/AYK-29(V) Distributed Targeting Systems (DTS), 4 AN/PYQ-21 DTS Mission Planning Transit Cases, 24 AN/ASQ-228 Advance Targeting Forward Looking Infrared (ATFLIR) Pods, 40 AN/PYQ-10 Simple Key Loaders (SKL), 80 KIV-78 Mode 4/5 Module, 48 COMSEC Management Workstations (CMWS), 24 AN/ALE-47 Electronic Warfare Countermeasures Systems, 80 Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems (JHMCS), and 400 AN/ALE-55 Fiber Optic Towed Decoys. Also included are system integration and testing, tools and test equipment, support equipment, spare and repair parts, publications and technical documents, personnel training and training equipment, aircraft ferry and refueling support, U.S. Government and contractor technical assistance, and other related elements of logistics and program support. The estimated cost is $3.7 billion...."

Re:

Unread postPosted: 01 Mar 2013, 09:18
by neurotech
weasel1962 wrote:1 over-used engine blade = entire fleet grounded. It may not be the last issue and no guarantee that such issues won't crop up after LRIP. Would it be a good idea to maintain 2 types of fighters to avoid entire fleet grounding risks? Might be.

True. When the F-15Cs got grounded, that put a major shortfall in the NORAD air patrols. The Canadian CF-18s helped patrol certain parts of US Airspace.

The F404 engines have shown signs of fatigue related failures at various times, but the F/A-18E/F/G aircraft with F414s have been relatively trouble free, with only a few engine related mishaps. Eating too much seagull doesn't count.

@Spazsinbad: $3.7Bn is a good price for 12 F/A-18Fs and 12 EA-18Gs with all the related equipment and pods included.

Unread postPosted: 01 Mar 2013, 15:12
by maus92
"Also included are system integration and testing, tools and test equipment, support equipment, spare and repair parts, publications and technical documents, personnel training and training equipment, aircraft ferry and refueling support, U.S. Government and contractor technical assistance, and other related elements of logistics and program support. "

A lot of money tied in this vague paragraph. What is this refueling support? Delivery or operational?

Interesting that they are buying 12 Growlers - does this mean the Australians are not going to convert some of their -Fs, or are they adding 12 more to the fleet? And the request is not specifying only -Fs, so are they going to purchase -Es?

How many Super Hornets are in a typical Australian squadron?

Unread postPosted: 01 Mar 2013, 17:43
by spazsinbad
The Australian way of buying stuff is vague eh. One day we will get it right for the satisfaction of the number wonders. As for the new build 12 Growlers I would suggest that will leave the distinct possibility that in the future 12+12 Growlers will fly on with the F-35As whilst the 12+12 Supers will be sold back to USN or another authorised buyer. Perhaps six of these will be retained as 'trainers'. Dunno. As for purchasing Es? I guess this will be clear in June WHEN & IF any are bought.

Re: RE: Re:

Unread postPosted: 01 Mar 2013, 17:48
by quicksilver
spazsinbad wrote:Where the money goes...

Transmittal No. 13-05
Australia – F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler Aircraft
28 Feb 2013

http://www.dsca.mil/PressReleases/36-b/ ... _13-05.pdf (60Kb)

"WASHINGTON, February 28, 2013 – The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress Feb. 27 of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Australia for up to 12 F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft and 12 EA-18G Growler aircraft and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $3.7 billion.

The Government of Australia has requested a possible sale of up to 12 F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft, 12 EA-18G Growler aircraft, 54 F414-GE-402 engines (48 installed and 6 spares) 2 engine inlet devices, 35 AN/APG-79 Radar Systems, 70 AN/USQ-140 Multifunctional Informational Distribution System Low Volume Terminals (MIDS-LVT) or RT-1957(C)/USQ-190(V) Joint Tactical Radio Systems, 40 AN/ALQ-214 Integrated Countermeasures Systems, 24 AN/ALR-67(V)3 Electronic Warfare Countermeasures Receiving Sets, 72 LAU-127 Guided Missile Launchers, 15 M61A2 Vulcan Cannons, 32 AN/AVS-9 Night Vision Goggles or Night Vision Cueing Device System, 40 AN/APX-111 Combined Interrogator Transponders, 80 AN/ARC-210/RT-1990A(C) Communication Systems, 100 Digital Management Devices with KG-60’s, 36 Accurate Navigation Systems, 30 AN/AYK-29(V) Distributed Targeting Systems (DTS), 4 AN/PYQ-21 DTS Mission Planning Transit Cases, 24 AN/ASQ-228 Advance Targeting Forward Looking Infrared (ATFLIR) Pods, 40 AN/PYQ-10 Simple Key Loaders (SKL), 80 KIV-78 Mode 4/5 Module, 48 COMSEC Management Workstations (CMWS), 24 AN/ALE-47 Electronic Warfare Countermeasures Systems, 80 Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems (JHMCS), and 400 AN/ALE-55 Fiber Optic Towed Decoys. Also included are system integration and testing, tools and test equipment, support equipment, spare and repair parts, publications and technical documents, personnel training and training equipment, aircraft ferry and refueling support, U.S. Government and contractor technical assistance, and other related elements of logistics and program support. The estimated cost is $3.7 billion...."


All of which are part of what we would call here in the states either an APUC, or if it included some other things not clear in the paragraph, a PAUC. Both are 'unit' costs that F-35 critics like to toss around as evidence of 'excessive' costs. Apparently not so excessive when used in reference to SH it seems. Even if the 3.7B is a PAUC-like number, that is ~155M/jet for a mature weapon system already in Oz service.

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Unread postPosted: 01 Mar 2013, 18:28
by blindpilot
Long time lurker, first time poster. Can any one wade through the Boeing speak for me. It seems that they quote, engineless, and radarless F18 E airframe per unit prices, and then compare combat performance of a fully equipped EF-18G with wings laden with separately priced systems.
Unless I am wrong the imbedded F-35 systems are included in the prices. I'm not so sure even the $155M per price is not low if they were all Growlers?

Blind Pilot
(PS. a long time ago I used to fly KC135Q's and those associated missions, and sometimes used to chat with the chicks, as we took the long trip across the pond. ) :lol:

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Unread postPosted: 01 Mar 2013, 18:45
by blindpilot
Another note on system prices, based on my humble experiences. The SR-71 had a "price." The support infrastructure for that price did not include a great many things, down to and including, additional MP security, and hangar support, on the ground. We "lugged in a lot of stuff for forward operating locations" etc. etc. A "mission" required about 4-5 KC135 Q's with the associated crews of 4 or 5 each, plus spare crew. The A's couldn't be used as the Q's had lotsa extras. We once were short Q's and I had to fly 165 hours over ten days... "wear and tear," etc.

The price for the SR-71 was considerably understated, which is why it was retired. So when we talk about F-35 vis a vis F-18E/F/G "systems," there are costs, and then there are costs, and apples ain't oranges ...
just saying ...

Blind Pilot

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Unread postPosted: 01 Mar 2013, 23:58
by spazsinbad
Pinch of salt may be required but here is one recent Oz Newspaper article with 'THE PRICE' as indicated...

Super Hornets considered amid fears about JSF by: Cameron Stewart and Brendan Nicholson
From: The Australian December 13, 2012

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/nationa ... 6535732600

"THE Gillard government will consider buying up to 24 new F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter-bombers in a decision that would sharply reduce reliance on the troubled Joint Strike Fighter.

The possible Super Hornet purchase, expected to cost well over $100 million each, is part of a range of multi-billion-dollar air-power options due to be revealed today by Defence Minister Stephen Smith....

...Andrew Davies of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute has estimated the cost of an additional 24 Super Hornets at between $2.5bn and $3bn.

Those ordered by the Howard government in 2007 cost over $6bn but that included "through life" expenses and new facilities to house and operate the aircraft."

http://resources0.news.com.au/images/20 ... ornets.jpg

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Unread postPosted: 02 Mar 2013, 00:54
by blindpilot
So I can't get one of those $55M ones they told the Canadians they had on the shelf ... bummer, that's as much as I had in my wallet. Guess I need to save up... :) :cry: :cry:

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Unread postPosted: 02 Mar 2013, 03:46
by maus92
Ah, the obfuscation continues... try $33.2M each w/o engines, guns and electronics.

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Unread postPosted: 02 Mar 2013, 05:00
by spazsinbad
Obsfucation - it is a growing industry. Whatever. IF only... Conundrum Industry flourishes in Oz about the WillThey Won'tThey get more Supers. The deadline is always 6 months away until it isn't. But pollies like delay - let someone else make the decision and let them take the blame - or not. No one gives credit for being correct. We expect that ALL THE TIME. Article below is long so I think it is OK to excerpt the beginning paras. However there is a lot of good stuff about pilot reports liking the Super in Oz so don't blame me that the ENTIRE article cannot be cut/pasted here. It is a great OVERVIEW article showing the twists and turns with NO DECISION made but hey I'll find the DefMin quote about 'exhaustive' examinations. This guy can talk under wet cement. :D He is between the HORNets of a DILEMMA. :roll: Maybe we should tag the F-35 the DILemma?

Canberra's fighter conundrum 19 Feb 2013 Greg Waldron

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articl ... um-381903/

"One day before the opening of the Avalon air show in 2011, US Navy Vice Adm Dave Venlet, then-newly appointed executive officer of the Lockheed Martin F-35 programme, gave his first press conference after assuming the role. The notoriously tough Australian defence journalist corps hammered him with questions about development delays and aircraft software releases. Venlet ended the conference forecasting that the F-35 would gain another customer by the end of 2011. This prediction ultimately came true with Tokyo's December 2011 decision to buy 42 F-35As, choosing the stealthy type over the Boeing F-18E/F Super Hornet and Eurofighter Typhoon.

Venlet has since been replaced by US Air Force Lt Gen Christopher Bogdan. Nonetheless, questions about the F-35 will again be paramount at this year's Avalon. Although the F-35 made good progress during flight testing in 2012, concerns about costs and other issues persist.

A little over one year after the last iteration of Avalon, in May 2012, Canberra dealt a blow to the F-35 programme when it decided to reduce costs by ordering just two F-35As and delaying the acquisition of an additional 12 F-35As until 2014-2015. Australian media reports at the time suggested that Canberra hoped for savings of A$1.6 billion ($1.67 billion) from the postponement.

"When we embarked upon the project, we did a couple of very sensible things: firstly, we chose the conventional Joint Strike Fighter, and secondly, we put a fair amount of padding in our cost and in our timetable," said minister for defence Stephen Smith at the time of the announcement. "On the timetable, we have been making sure that we don't end up with a capability gap. We'll make that decision formally by the end of this year in terms of the capability gap, but my current advice is that the life of our 71 F-18 Classic Hornets and our 24 Super Hornets is sufficient for our air combat capability, but we'll make an advised judgement before the end of this year."

The May 2012 announcement marked an abrupt reversal from Canberra's stated intentions in 2009, when it approved the acquisition of the original 14 F-35As for A$3.2 billion (AIR 6000 Phase 2A). The original plans also called for Canberra to place a massive order for 58 aircraft (AIR 6000 Phase 2B) in 2012, followed by a decision on an additional 28 aircraft in 2015. Had this course been followed, Canberra would have committed to 100 F-35As by 2015.

The three planned orders would have set the stage for the Royal Australian Air Force to operate a single fighter type and thus enjoy significant economies of scale in acquisition and long-term sustainment. While inducting this massive fleet of F-35s, Canberra would retire its aging F/A-18 A/B Hornets in 2020, followed by its Super Hornets in 2025.

The May 2012 announcement also said Canberra would "launch a transition plan to assess options to ensure that a gap does not emerge in the RAAF's air combat capability". This foreshadowed a December 2012 letter of request (LOR) to Boeing asking for more information about 24 additional Super Hornets.

"The sending of this LOR does not commit Australia to purchase more Super Hornets," said a department of defence statement. "It is being sent so that the Australian government can consider all options in 2013 with the latest cost and availability information."

This is not the first time Canberra has looked to the Super Hornet to fill a capability gap. Canberra's current fleet of Super Hornets was obtained between March 2010 and October 2011, making it the second user of the type after the US Navy. The Super Hornet purchase was intended as an interim measure to cover the gap between the retirement of the General Dynamics F-111 and the delayed introduction of the F-35A...."

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Unread postPosted: 02 Mar 2013, 07:39
by blindpilot
maus92 wrote:Ah, the obfuscation continues... try $33.2M each w/o engines, guns and electronics.


Cool, so I can do that, ...
and get an old J79 from Davis Mon, (which according to 1965 data used just pennies for $.25 a gallon gas) and an old SUU 16 pod, (proven reliable!) pull some analog stuff on... I can do this !!!!

And there was some gun footage of my J79 SH shootin down a Flanker on youtube ! (wait a minute.. can't afford the hud never mind ... ) Equal to anything else out there!! Boeing is right! They are cheaper!!!
/sarcasm off. :lol: :lol:

Blind Pilot

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Unread postPosted: 02 Mar 2013, 20:51
by neurotech
blindpilot wrote:So I can't get one of those $55M ones they told the Canadians they had on the shelf ... bummer, that's as much as I had in my wallet. Guess I need to save up... :) :cry: :cry:

There is the possibility that Boeing re-acquire certain Block I USN jets, refurb them and sell them cheap to the Canadians, while the USN gets discounted Block II/III jets. I've heard the option is being considered by the USN/DoD, but nothing announced before an official request for the Block Is, and the budget for the USN to replace them is confirmed.

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Unread postPosted: 02 Mar 2013, 22:07
by maus92
neurotech wrote:There is the possibility that Boeing re-acquire certain Block I USN jets, refurb them and sell them cheap to the Canadians, while the USN gets discounted Block II/III jets. I've heard the option is being considered by the USN/DoD, but nothing announced before an official request for the Block Is, and the budget for the USN to replace them is confirmed.


Is this idea meant to be an interim or permanent solution? Would a rework return them to 8000 hours? Block I implies no AESA unless we're talking major refurbishment, right?

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Unread postPosted: 02 Mar 2013, 23:37
by neurotech
maus92 wrote:
neurotech wrote:There is the possibility that Boeing re-acquire certain Block I USN jets, refurb them and sell them cheap to the Canadians, while the USN gets discounted Block II/III jets. I've heard the option is being considered by the USN/DoD, but nothing announced before an official request for the Block Is, and the budget for the USN to replace them is confirmed.


Is this idea meant to be an interim or permanent solution? Would a rework return them to 8000 hours? Block I implies no AESA unless we're talking major refurbishment, right?

It would be a somewhat interim solution. Obviously, brand new would be preferred if they want to keep them until 2030+ so this could actually be a lease deal.

Some of the F/A-18E/F Block I jets got AESA upgrades and other avionics updates, with the parts going into F/A-18A+/B+/C/D jets, but not all the structural changes for Block II.

Apparently, the reasoning is that some of the early F/A-18E/F jets have a surprisingly high number of traps and higher than expected airframe fatigue. Its easier and less expensive to refurbish those jets for land-based use, than extend their life for use on a carrier. Not all the Block I jets are assigned to a training squadrons, and there are quite a few early Block I jets in the combat fleet.

There is also the politics of a win-win for Boeing (selling more jets, which they are lobbying for), USN (new jets) and RCAF (cheaper jets).

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Unread postPosted: 03 Mar 2013, 00:12
by spazsinbad
Down the track some dozen or perhaps more (if more are bought sometime soon) Supers will become available for the USN (no cats or traps on the RAAF aircraft).

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Unread postPosted: 03 Mar 2013, 00:27
by neurotech
spazsinbad wrote:Down the track some dozen or perhaps more (if more are bought sometime soon) Supers will become available for the USN (no cats or traps on the RAAF aircraft).

The RAAF claim they'll send them back, but I'll believe that when I see it.

I don't think the RAAF will give up their EA-18s or F/A-18Fs unless something better comes along, like the F/A-XX. The F-35 is a great jet and will have its roles, but isn't designed to be a F-15 replacement. I realize the F-22 has a limited internal range, but it is a bigger jet than the F-35. The F-15 can carry more weapons and fuel, for longer than a F-35 or F/A-18F. The F-15 is a relatively expensive jet to fly, too.

Remember that there was a time when the RAAF were quite dismissive of the F/A-18Fs, when Boeing brought them out to Australia. Times have changed.

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Unread postPosted: 03 Mar 2013, 00:32
by spazsinbad
The Growlers were not mentioned because I think it has become clear that they will be retained now (12 Supers upgraded to Growler status). Where does the F-15 fit?

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Unread postPosted: 03 Mar 2013, 01:01
by neurotech
spazsinbad wrote:The Growlers were not mentioned because I think it has become clear that they will be retained now (12 Supers upgraded to Growler status). Where does the F-15 fit?

The F-111 was not a lightweight fighter, it was a long-range strike aircraft. The F-15C is the USAFs main long-range fighter aircraft, with the F-22 complementing them, but not replacing the F-15Cs, and the F-15E is the closest in the strike role to the F-111. The F-35 isn't a long-range strike aircraft, nor is the F/A-18F.

I don't think the RAAF will replace the F/A-18F "strike" wings with more F-35s, but will wait for something better, such as the F/A-XX.

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Unread postPosted: 03 Mar 2013, 01:07
by gtx
neurotech wrote:
I don't think the RAAF will replace the F/A-18F "strike" wings with more F-35s, but will wait for something better, such as the F/A-XX.


What sort of timeframe are you talking about here? If in the next 20yrs it will be more F-35s. If out further then you might have other options such as UCAS though I strongly doubt it will involve some mythical manned F/A-XX.

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Unread postPosted: 03 Mar 2013, 01:28
by spazsinbad
Late last year this is what the RAAF thought (no mention of second batch of 24 Super/Growlers in this briefing): http://www.raaa.com.au/convention/2012/ ... y-RAAF.pdf

Follow on info soonish.... Now see the END of the next thread entry... repeated here but with the context in next thread:

"......AIR 6000 Phase 2C New Air Combat Capability – 4th squadron
Scope

AIR 6000 Phase 2C is the final acquisition phase for the AIR 6000 project and will comprise a fourth operational squadron of F-35A aircraft, associated support and enabling capabilities, and attrition aircraft to support the planned fleet life. The decision to acquire the fourth operational JSF squadron will be considered in conjunction with a decision on the withdrawal of the F/A-18F Super Hornet in the FY 2015-16 to FY 2017-18 timeframe...."

Where today it seems obvious that AT LEAST the 12 original modified Supers to Growlers will be retained with the other 12 Supers??? Notwithstanding any mythical/chimera-like buy of extra Super/Growlers.

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Unread postPosted: 03 Mar 2013, 01:30
by spazsinbad
DEFENCE CAPABILITY PLAN | PUBLIC VERSION 2012 May-July 2012

http://www.defence.gov.au/publications/ ... an2012.pdf (3Mb) pp 54-61

AIR COMBAT | AIR 6000
Background

"AIR 6000 will deliver a New Air Combat Capability (NACC) comprising around 100 Conventional Take Off & Landing (CTOL) F-35A Joint Strike Fighters (JSF) and all necessary support, infrastructure and integration to form four operational squadrons and a training squadron.

Australia joined the System Development and Demonstration phase of the JSF Program in October 2002 and through AIR 6000 Phase 1B (approved), undertook a program of detailed definition and analysis activities leading up to Government Second Pass
(acquisition) approval for Phase 2A/2B Stage 1, in November 2009.

Phase 2A/2B will acquire no fewer than 72 F-35A to form three operational squadrons and a training squadron, with first deliveries in 2014. Stage 1 (approved) will acquire 14 F-35A and associated support and enabling elements necessary to establish the initial training capability in the US and to allow conduct of Operational Test in the US and Australia. Stage 2 (unapproved) plans to acquire the remaining (at least) 58 F-35A and support and enabling elements, bringing the total to 72 aircraft. Stage 2 is planned for approval in 2014-15.

Australia’s first JSF will remain in the US for a number of years for initial conversion training of Australian pilots and maintainers, and also participation in operational test activities. Australia’s initial JSF are planned to commence arriving in Australia in 2018. They will commence dedicated Australian operational test activities, primarily to ensure effective integration with other ADF air and ground systems.

Phase 2C (unapproved) is the planned acquisition of a fourth operational JSF squadron to bring the total number of aircraft to around 100. The decision to acquire the fourth operational JSF squadron will be considered in conjunction with a decision on the withdrawal of the Super Hornet. A decision on this final batch of JSF is not expected before 2015....

...AIR 6000 Phase 2A/2B New Air Combat Capability – 3 squadrons
Scope

AIR 6000 Phase 2A/2B is the first acquisition phase for the New Air Combat Capability (NACC) project and will comprise three operational squadrons, a training squadron, associated support and enabling capabilities. Initially the JSF will be complemented by a squadron of F/A-18F Super Hornets, and together they will fulfil the functions of air dominance and strike provided by Air Force’s F/A-18A/B aircraft....

...AIR 6000 Phase 2C New Air Combat Capability – 4th squadron
Scope

AIR 6000 Phase 2C is the final acquisition phase for the AIR 6000 project and will comprise a fourth operational squadron of F-35A aircraft, associated support and enabling capabilities, and attrition aircraft to support the planned fleet life. The decision to acquire the fourth operational JSF squadron will be considered in conjunction with a decision on the withdrawal of the F/A-18F Super Hornet in the FY 2015-16 to FY 2017-18 timeframe...."

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Unread postPosted: 03 Mar 2013, 01:43
by neurotech
gtx wrote:
neurotech wrote:I don't think the RAAF will replace the F/A-18F "strike" wings with more F-35s, but will wait for something better, such as the F/A-XX.


What sort of timeframe are you talking about here? If in the next 20yrs it will be more F-35s. If out further then you might have other options such as UCAS though I strongly doubt it will involve some mythical manned F/A-XX.

Some reports say the RAAF will return the F/A-18Fs after 10 years, which I doubt. The F/A-18Fs would likely last 20+ years in non-carrier service, at which point the F/A-XX or other 5.5th generation fighter interceptor becomes an option. Will the RAAF buy the N-UCAS and replace the F/A-18Fs, possibly but unlikely.

@gtx: Fix your quoting Spazsinbad has far different experience and opinions than I do.

@spazsinbad: Those squadrons mentioned above are all F/A-18A/B squadrons. It's probable if they do buy another 24 F/A-18E/F/Gs, then it's likely they'll reduce the F-35 numbers. The 3 active F/A-18 squadrons have around 15-20 jets each from memory, so its possible they could reduce the numbers by a few jets, and stand up another F/A-18E/F squadron.

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Unread postPosted: 03 Mar 2013, 02:31
by spazsinbad
The graphic was an indication of disbursement of the F-35As for the RAAF. The last paragraph [repeated again below] makes it clear (notwithstanding a future extra buy of Super/Growler which is unlikely IMHO) that the decision about 'what to do with the Super/Growlers' already in country is yet to be made. In Oz we do things differently, we blab about stuff until a decision is made (supposedly in secret etc.) and announced. We do not divulge the detailed information that the US may provide about their aircraft costs but like to lump things together and money is put aside with provision for delay and cost overruns. None of these benchmarks have been breached. You will see no further buy of Super/Growlers. We will buy 75 odd F-35As eventually with perhaps more to follow.

"...AIR 6000 Phase 2C New Air Combat Capability – 4th squadron
Scope

AIR 6000 Phase 2C is the final acquisition phase for the AIR 6000 project and will comprise a fourth operational squadron of F-35A aircraft, associated support and enabling capabilities, and attrition aircraft to support the planned fleet life. The decision to acquire the fourth operational JSF squadron will be considered in conjunction with a decision on the withdrawal of the F/A-18F Super Hornet in the FY 2015-16 to FY 2017-18 timeframe...."

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Unread postPosted: 03 Mar 2013, 03:51
by Conan
neurotech wrote:
@gtx: Fix your quoting Spazsinbad has far different experience and opinions than I do.

@spazsinbad: Those squadrons mentioned above are all F/A-18A/B squadrons. It's probable if they do buy another 24 F/A-18E/F/Gs, then it's likely they'll reduce the F-35 numbers. The 3 active F/A-18 squadrons have around 15-20 jets each from memory, so its possible they could reduce the numbers by a few jets, and stand up another F/A-18E/F squadron.


RAAF fighter squadrons nominally have 18x jets assigned to them. 6 Squadron is the exception to this rule at present, having only 6x jets on-board.

If the Super Hornet purchase goes ahead, the Super Hornet squadrons will most likely have a nominal strength of 16x jets per squadron with 1, 6 and probably 75 Squadron taking on the Supers and Growlers.

6 Squadron are pegged to run all the Growlers. It isn't clear yet (because no decision has been made) as to whether the 12x Growlers in the DSCA request will replace the conversion of the pre-wired F/A-18F's, but it is certain we won't be running 24x Growlers.

If the decision goes ahead it's likely that 1 and 75 Squadron at Tindal will run 16x F/A-18F's a piece and 6 squadron will run 4x F/A-18F's and 12x EA-18G to provide an OCU capability and EW capability for RAAF.

In practice the jets are allocated to squadrons as needed, as they're only parked 100 metres away from each other at Amberley, but that will be the nominal allocation again, if it goes ahead.

The F/A-18A/B's will then consolidate at Williamstown with a reduced fleet maintained from the best of the remaining Hornets (in FLEI terms) until they can be replaced by F-35 in years to come.

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Unread postPosted: 03 Mar 2013, 05:09
by gtx
neurotech wrote:@gtx: Fix your quoting Spazsinbad has far different experience and opinions than I do.


Done. Sorry guys - miss one little bit and it changes the story :D

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Unread postPosted: 03 Mar 2013, 07:40
by spazsinbad
Photo release: Celebrating the evolution of the F/A-18 Feb 28, 2013

http://www.navair.navy.mil/index.cfm?fu ... ry&id=5274

"MELBOURNE, Australia – This year, the U.S. Navy is commemorating the 35th anniversary of the F/A-18 Hornet’s first flight. Operated by the U.S. Navy and seven international partners, the F/A-18 Hornet has evolved into two new aircraft -- the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler. Presently, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) is the only international partner that flies the Super Hornet and, in the near future, the Growler. From left, Mike Gibbons, vice president of the F/A-18 and EA-18 Programs for Boeing Military Aircraft; Air Marshal Geoff Brown, chief of the RAAF; Rear Adm. Donald Gaddis, of the U.S. Navy’s Program Executive Officer for Tactical Aircraft; John Munare, Northrop Grumman Co., F/A-18 program manager; and Michael Wilking of General Electric; stand behind a model of the EA-18G Growler presented to the RAAF during the Senior Partnering Board on Feb. 27. For more information about the Legacy Hornet, Super Hornet and Growler, visit www.navair.navy.mil/hornet. (Photo courtesy of Boeing)"

BIGPIC: http://www.navair.navy.mil/img/uploads/ ... 13_081.JPG

LOGO: http://www.navair.navy.mil/img/uploads/ ... go-250.png

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Unread postPosted: 06 Mar 2013, 03:07
by quicksilver
maus92 wrote:Ah, the obfuscation continues... try $33.2M each w/o engines, guns and electronics.


Obfuscation...it sure does.

See page 61 at http://www.gao.gov/assets/160/155498.pdf.

GAO said $53.2M avg URF in FY96 bucks. Then-year dollars looking more like the current reality hidden by not counting all the items provided GFE.

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Unread postPosted: 06 Mar 2013, 08:41
by neurotech
quicksilver wrote:
maus92 wrote:Ah, the obfuscation continues... try $33.2M each w/o engines, guns and electronics.


Obfuscation...it sure does.

See page 61 at http://www.gao.gov/assets/160/155498.pdf.

GAO said $53.2M avg URF in FY96 bucks. Then-year dollars looking more like the current reality hidden by not counting all the items provided GFE.

I think your slightly mislead by what figure is what. The budget docs clearly state what is GFE vs CFE for each aircraft. FY1996 figures are only for accountants as FRP/MYP figures are more representative of actual procurement costs.

There is a Unit Recurring Cost, which is the cost of materials and labor to build each jet. There is the Unit Flyaway Cost, which is the cost of each jet to flyaway, and includes GFE. Then there is the Program Unit Cost, which includes R&D, Support equipment, spares etc. This figure goes up when less jets are built, and can be misleading when production is changed from initial numbers.

FY2006 MYP F/A-18E/F
Airframe Cost $36.3m
Unit Reoccurring Cost $54.4m
Unit Flyaway Cost $62.4m
Weapons System Unit Cost $75.8m

That same GAO report indicated that a production rate of 72 aircraft could result in a URC(FY1996) of $43.6m vs $53.2m for 42 jets. The GAO report doesn't mention the savings as a result of the MYP purchase. IF the Navy decides to go for an extended MYP purchase, most likely with FMS purchases included, a significant reduction in the Unit Recurring Cost would be expected.

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Unread postPosted: 06 Mar 2013, 09:37
by Corsair1963
gtx wrote:
neurotech wrote:
I don't think the RAAF will replace the F/A-18F "strike" wings with more F-35s, but will wait for something better, such as the F/A-XX.


What sort of timeframe are you talking about here? If in the next 20yrs it will be more F-35s. If out further then you might have other options such as UCAS though I strongly doubt it will involve some mythical manned F/A-XX.



I hear more and more people talk about the proposed F/A-XX (NGAD). Like it was in development and near to starting production. The true is its just a concept of a possible future aircraft to replace the current Super Hornet. Like the USN could find funding for its development anytime soon regardless.

Even if it was approved today and a design was selected. It would be 25-30 years before it would enter service! By guess is the NGAD will merge with a future USAF Requirement and maybe even partner with another country or both....


So, ladies in the short-term we will very likely see Super Hornets replaced by a number of F-35's. (and/or UCAV) As a matter of fact I know of one USN Fighter Squadron that has already been told it will swap its current Super Hornets for Lightning's!

Remember, the Super Hornet has been is service for 10 plus years now. At a heavy tempo. So, in another 10-15 years many will be in need of replacement. Just about the time the USN has replaced all of its F/A-18C Hornets. :wink:

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Unread postPosted: 07 Mar 2013, 02:02
by quicksilver
neurotech wrote:
quicksilver wrote:
maus92 wrote:Ah, the obfuscation continues... try $33.2M each w/o engines, guns and electronics.


Obfuscation...it sure does.

See page 61 at http://www.gao.gov/assets/160/155498.pdf.

GAO said $53.2M avg URF in FY96 bucks. Then-year dollars looking more like the current reality hidden by not counting all the items provided GFE.

I think your slightly mislead by what figure is what. The budget docs clearly state what is GFE vs CFE for each aircraft. FY1996 figures are only for accountants as FRP/MYP figures are more representative of actual procurement costs.

There is a Unit Recurring Cost, which is the cost of materials and labor to build each jet. There is the Unit Flyaway Cost, which is the cost of each jet to flyaway, and includes GFE. Then there is the Program Unit Cost, which includes R&D, Support equipment, spares etc. This figure goes up when less jets are built, and can be misleading when production is changed from initial numbers.

FY2006 MYP F/A-18E/F
Airframe Cost $36.3m
Unit Reoccurring Cost $54.4m
Unit Flyaway Cost $62.4m
Weapons System Unit Cost $75.8m

That same GAO report indicated that a production rate of 72 aircraft could result in a URC(FY1996) of $43.6m vs $53.2m for 42 jets. The GAO report doesn't mention the savings as a result of the MYP purchase. IF the Navy decides to go for an extended MYP purchase, most likely with FMS purchases included, a significant reduction in the Unit Recurring Cost would be expected.


The GAO was very clear about what is was counting in the various 'unit' costs -- there's even a chart in the document depicting same. The $53.2M is the average URF in 1996 dollars -- 1996 dollars...1996 dollars. Bring that total to current year dollars and it ranges from $54.8M in 1997 to $96M in 2016 (see page 61 if you missed it the first time). The GAO also made clear in several places in the doc that the Navy's story about costs hardly passed the giggle test. Quote --

"The $43.6 million (fiscal year 1996 dollars) unit recurring flyaway cost
estimate for the F/A-18E/F is understated. The estimate is based on a
1,000-aircraft total buy that is overstated by at least one-third because the
Marine Corps does not plan to buy the E/F and an annual production rate
that the Congress has stated is probably not possible due to funding
limitations. Reducing the total buy and annual production rate will
increase the unit recurring flyaway cost of the F/A-18E/F from $43.6 to
$53.2 million (fiscal year 1996 dollars)."


When the estimated E/F development costs increased nearly 30% in one year, Congress put a $5.8B billion dollar cap on E/F development costs and also mandated a unit cost cap as a ratio (1.25) versus a later Lot C/D. The Navy simply moved some development items off the program and incorporated some into the C/D. Voila!

The Navy has long been the best of the services at hiding the real costs of weapons systems in budget docs -- and of course, has to pay the fiddler later on when the product is actually delivered. Hence all the hoopla in recent years within the NAE about "Total Ownership Costs" because, until now, they have been dramatically underestimated in the up-front analysis coming out of the acquisition system.

The SH is a fine aircraft, but it was the Navy's mercy date to the prom after A-12 and A/F-X. Hard to believe that it is now rationalized as the CVN's 'first day of the war' asset. :(

Re: RE: Re: RE: Re:

Unread postPosted: 07 Mar 2013, 02:15
by maus92
quicksilver wrote:
maus92 wrote:Ah, the obfuscation continues... try $33.2M each w/o engines, guns and electronics.


Obfuscation...it sure does.

See page 61 at http://www.gao.gov/assets/160/155498.pdf.

GAO said $53.2M avg URF in FY96 bucks. Then-year dollars looking more like the current reality hidden by not counting all the items provided GFE.


Dead link...

Re: RE: Re: RE: Re:

Unread postPosted: 07 Mar 2013, 02:19
by maus92
quicksilver wrote:
The Navy has long been the best of the services at hiding the real costs of weapons systems in budget docs -- and of course, has to pay the fiddler later on when the product is actually delivered.


Are the Navy's F-35B/C numbers suspect as well? Should we expect similar GAO analysis rooting out Navy subterfuge / lowballing? To be fair to all, the budget documents are the only publicly available resource that approaches a line item comparison of cost between aircraft and programs. Yet I'm sure that there are multitudes of ways to hide actual costs - of any aircraft or program.

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re:

Unread postPosted: 07 Mar 2013, 03:40
by spazsinbad
Take Away any full stops at the end of URLs or any punctuation for that matter and links will work usually. Try this: http://www.gao.gov/assets/160/155498.pdf

Unread postPosted: 21 Mar 2013, 18:55
by maus92
RAAF Classifies Growlers As Support Aircraft
By Bradley Perrett | AvWeek ARES blog

"Is an electronic attack aircraft a combat aircraft? Not according to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), which is classifying its forthcoming squadron of Boeing EA-18G Growlers as a support force distinct from its air combat units.

Its move is raising the possibility that the 12 electronic attack aircraft will add to its fast-jet fleet instead of substituting for part of it—although the move may not persuade the government to pay for more fast jets than it has planned.

The defense department, assessing the possibility of buying a second batch of 24 Boeing Super Hornets, is considering the type in all three of its versions, says a spokeswoman: the F/A-18E single-seater, F/A-18F two-seater and the EA-18G two-seat electronic attack configuration. A senior air force officer says -Es are unlikely to be acquired, however."

"Twelve of the original batch of Super Hornets were built with the wiring needed to turn them into Growlers, but the department's comments reveal that the EA-18Gs, due to achieve initial operational capability in 2018, may be newly built as part of the second batch."

"Australia will not use its Growlers in exactly the same way as the U.S. Navy does, says the senior officer, declining to give details except to note that the RAAF will not fly the same types available to U.S. electronic attack units.

F/A-18Es in any second Super Hornet batch are unlikely because it would be cheaper and more flexible to operate only two-seaters, says the senior officer. If a second crewmember is not needed, the Australian Super Hornets will fly with one seat empty."

Long post covers several issues:
http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.asp ... 62.xml&p=2

Unread postPosted: 22 Mar 2013, 08:42
by gtx
It is obvious that Es are not likely

Unread postPosted: 22 Mar 2013, 15:02
by Conan
Growlers have a bright future here though and getting brighter from all reports...

Unread postPosted: 22 Mar 2013, 20:15
by gtx
Agreed. They will be in service to something like 2035 IMHO

Unread postPosted: 23 Mar 2013, 08:33
by Conan
gtx wrote:Agreed. They will be in service to something like 2035 IMHO


I'd suggest possibly even longer. Govt and RAAF are getting nervous about our contingency buffer being increasingly eroded by the delays and extended development.

It's getting to the point where 3 Sqn's of Shornets and Growlers and 24x JSF's is becoming an increasingly likely force structure.

L-M left Canberra recently VERY unhappy.

Boeing OTOH... :cheers:

Unread postPosted: 23 Mar 2013, 20:53
by gtx
Conan wrote:It's getting to the point where 3 Sqn's of Shornets and Growlers and 24x JSF's is becoming an increasingly likely force structure.


I doubt that. I suspect you will see that the only SHs are the current ones.

Unread postPosted: 24 Mar 2013, 02:17
by Conan
gtx wrote:I doubt that. I suspect you will see that the only SHs are the current ones.


I wish that were the case, but that's not what I'm hearing. The push for it isn't coming from RAAF but it's becoming increasingly accepted within ADF circles, that the larger SH/Growler fleet is going to become a reality.

I don't presume that we will abandon F-35 entirely, but the case against primarily investing in it is getting weaker as the years go by, as our Hornets increasingly run out of airframe life and no useable F-35 product is within sight.

A change of Govt may not necessarily change that perception either. Senator Johnson is an unabashed fan of FMS acquisitions that have little to no risk attached to them...

Unread postPosted: 24 Mar 2013, 04:40
by gtx
I have been hearing otherwise: that both Govt and Opposition are more comfortable with the F-35 status and that more SHs are seen as less of a need. However that said it is an election year...

Unread postPosted: 24 Mar 2013, 12:10
by Conan
gtx wrote:I have been hearing otherwise: that both Govt and Opposition are more comfortable with the F-35 status and that more SHs are seen as less of a need. However that said it is an election year...


If that were the case I doubt we'd have seen the LOR or the following DSCA announcement...

Unread postPosted: 24 Mar 2013, 21:03
by gtx
That is all part of the process...

Unread postPosted: 31 Mar 2013, 10:22
by spazsinbad
FnA18E/G Sustained G Flight Envelopes Graphic: http://defense-update.com/wp-content/up ... velope.jpg FROM:

Australian Growler Crews Have A Heavy Workload Ahead 07 Sep 2012 Richard_Dudley

http://defense-update.com/20120907_ausi_growlers.html

Graphic Caption: "Comparison of the Super Hornet and Growler flight envelopes with and without the ALQ-99 pod. Chart: NAVAIR"

Unread postPosted: 31 Mar 2013, 15:08
by count_to_10
Does that mean that Growlers are non supersonic capable?

Unread postPosted: 31 Mar 2013, 17:09
by linkomart
on military.

Unread postPosted: 31 Mar 2013, 17:53
by XanderCrews
count_to_10 wrote:Does that mean that Growlers are non supersonic capable?


purely anecdotal on my part, but when loaded, no they are not supersonic capable according to the Growler pilot I talked to. They are also a much heavier aircraft than the SH in general.

Unread postPosted: 31 Mar 2013, 19:06
by spazsinbad
The propellor electricity generators at the front of the underwing pods do not allow supersonico (when they are turning I'll guess - when feathered [according to NATOPS? high Mach is possible?). New jamming pods in the works may have these propellors in a tunnel which will allow more stealth? and more speed AFAIK.

http://www.navy.mil/management/photodb/ ... 0X-003.jpg

Graphic and following text from Preliminary Growler NATOPS here:

http://info.publicintelligence.net/E18-G-000.pdf (22Mb)

Stores on Stations 3 and 9 have the props in front.
______________

Interesting RELEVANT to CURRENT LIMITATION on F-35s (until cleared later on):

4.1.9 Prohibited Maneuvers [GROWLER NATOPS
Environmental -
1. Flight in lightning or thunderstorms....
&
3. Flight above 650 KCAS and below 18,000 feet MSL (as shown in figure 4-2).

4.2 EXTERNAL STORES LIMITATIONS
The NTRP 3-22.4-EA-18G (EA-18G Unclassified NATIP) defines the stores limitations for all EA-18G authorized suspension equipment and external stores, including external fuel tanks.

Unread postPosted: 31 Mar 2013, 19:33
by count_to_10
From the image, it looks like the outer hard points are blocking the jammers. How does that work?

Unread postPosted: 31 Mar 2013, 19:51
by spazsinbad
Not having other store limitation information (although it may be available IF found) here is the clean aircraft limits (making the colour graphic on previous page [repeated below] more relevant).

4.1.3 Airspeed Limitations. The airspeed limitations for the basic aircraft (with or without empty pylons) in smooth or moderately turbulent air with the landing gear retracted and flaps in AUTO are 650 KCAS at and below 18,000 feet, and 700 KCAS/2.0 IMN (whichever is less) above 18,000 feet, as shown in figure 4-2.....

....4.2 EXTERNAL STORES LIMITATIONS
The NTRP 3-22.4-EA-18G (EA-18G Unclassified NATIP) defines the stores limitations for all EA-18G authorized suspension equipment and external stores, including external fuel tanks.

http://www.f-16.net/attachments/f_18egs ... ir_766.gif [original from: http://defense-update.com/20120907_ausi_growlers.html ]

Image

Unread postPosted: 31 Mar 2013, 20:10
by spazsinbad
Nope - no can find 'store limit' info so here is some consolation info:

EA-18G Growler
"Description
The EA-18G Growler is a variant of the combat-proven F/A-18F Super Hornet Block II, and will fly the airborne electronic attack mission. The EA-18G combines the capability of the combat-proven Super Hornet with the latest AEA avionics suite evolved from the Improved Capability III (ICAP III) system. The EA-18G’s vast array of sensors and weapons provides the warfighter with a lethal and survivable weapon system to counter current and emerging threats.

Capabilities
Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses: The EA-18G will counter enemy air defenses using both reactive and pre-emptive jamming techniques.
Stand-off and Escort Jamming: The EA-18G will be highly effective in the traditional stand-off jamming mission, but with the speed and agility of a Super Hornet, it will also be effective in the escort role.
Non-Traditional Electronic Attack: Dramatically enhanced situational awareness and uninterrupted communications will enable the EA-18G to achieve a higher degree of integration with ground operations than has been previously achievable.
Self-protect and Time-Critical Strike Support: With its Advanced Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, digital data links and air-to-air missiles, the EA-18G will have self-protection capability and will also be effective for target identification and prosecution.
Growth: High commonality with the F/A-18E/F, nine available weapon stations and modern avionics enable cost-effective synergistic growth for both aircraft, setting the stage for continuous capability enhancement.

Specifications
Crew: Two
Length: 60 ft 1.25 in (18.31 m)
Wingspan: 44 ft 8.5 in (13.62 m) (including wingtip-mounted pods)
Height: 16 ft (4.88 m)
Wing area: 500 ft² (46.5 m²)
Empty weight: 33,094 lb (15,011 kg)
Loaded weight: 48,000 lb (21,772 kg) (recovery weight)
Max takeoff weight: 66,000 lb (29,964 kg)
Powerplant: 2× General Electric F414-GE-400 turbofans
Dry thrust: 14,000 lbf (62.3 kN) each"

http://www.navair.navy.mil/index.cfm?fu ... 0A1B32BEE9

http://www.navair.navy.mil/img/uploads/ ... g%2041.jpg

Unread postPosted: 31 Mar 2013, 20:21
by spazsinbad
Australian Growler Crews Have A Heavy Workload Ahead 07 Sep 2012 Richard_Dudley [colour graphic source on previous page & above - repeated]
"...The Growler shares 90 percent commonality with the Super Hornet and has a similar flight performance giving it the ability to deliver escort jamming along with more traditional standoff jamming. Because of its flight characteristics, the Growler is expected to accompany F/A-18s throughout the duration of assigned attack missions.

The Super Hornet and the Growler have a shared airframe; both carry the Raytheon AN/APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar and the AN/AYK-22 stores management system. Most of the Growler’s airborne electronic attack components are housed in the space reserved for the 20 millimeter gun mounted in the Super Hornets and on the wingtip rails.

The wingtip rails are designed to carry AN/ALQ-218 wideband receivers. The nine external hardpoints can accommodate additional weapons or jamming pods to include as many as five ALQ-99 high and low-band tactical jamming pods. A typical combat load would also include two AIM-120 AMRAAM (Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile) or AGM-88 HARM (High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile) missiles. The Growler is also equipped with the INCAS Interference Cancellation system that makes it possible for Growler crews to retain voice communication while actively jamming enemy communications, a capability not available on the EA-6B Prowlers....

...The report also determined that the addition of external jamming pods, weapons, and external fuel tanks reduced the aircraft’s speed to the point where it might be unable to keep pace with the strike aircraft it was designed to support...."

http://defense-update.com/20120907_ausi_growlers.html

As always BEST to go read the entire article at URL above.

Unread postPosted: 01 Apr 2013, 17:36
by maus92
count_to_10 wrote:From the image, it looks like the outer hard points are blocking the jammers. How does that work?


The emitting antennae are located in the ventral area of the pod, and are steerable to some extent.

Unread postPosted: 03 May 2013, 01:01
by meatshield

Unread postPosted: 03 May 2013, 01:14
by spazsinbad
Same info here posted earlier - stroll down: http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopi ... rt-15.html

Right now 1000 East Oz Time the OzDefMin is speaking so we will know soon enough.

Unread postPosted: 03 May 2013, 01:28
by popcorn
As of 10 minutes ago..

http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/201 ... e-released

Defence to get new jets, patrol boats
10:08am May 3, 2013

Australia will buy an additional 12 Super Hornet combat aircraft and replace the Navy's hard-working patrol boat fleet.

The 2013 Defence White Paper, released on Friday, also says the federal government remains committed to the advanced Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter due to enter service around 2020.

But as a hedging strategy, the RAAF will acquire 12 additional Super Hornets with potent electronic warfare Growler technology taking its fleet to 36.

Unread postPosted: 03 May 2013, 01:33
by spazsinbad
Yep same info here (if worded 'different') :-)

China still the key to future Defence strategy 03 May 2013 By Eliza Borello
"...The key spending changes include the purchase of 12 EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft, which are basically F/A-18 Super Hornets fitted with technology capable of scrambling enemy aircraft systems.

"The cost of this purchase is estimated at around $1.5 billion over the next four years, and will be contained in the forthcoming budget and included in Defence's four-year forward estimates," Prime Minister Julia Gillard said as she unveiled the white paper at a Canberra RAAF base today.

Australia already has 24 Super Hornets, and in December the Government announced it was asking the US government for a quote for another 24.

At that stage one plan being considered was fitting the extra Super Hornets with Growler technology, but purchasing 12 jets already fitted with it means the existing fleet does not have to be suspended because of a refit.

The new Growlers are an attempt to avoid an air capability gap caused by the delays in rolling out the Joint Strike Fighter program, which has been plagued with delays, technical problems and cost blow-outs.

The Government says the Joint Strike Fighter program will proceed on its current schedule...."

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-05-03/r ... er/4667084

Unread postPosted: 03 May 2013, 01:55
by popcorn
So this should put the RAAF in a position to retire the 24SHs at the appropriate time, retain the 12 Growlers and derive maximum benefit from operating and sustaining a single leading-edge 5G fighter platform that will be fully interoperable with those of it's friends and allies.. nice.

Unread postPosted: 03 May 2013, 02:00
by spazsinbad
OR the already wired original Supers (or some of them) could be upgraded to Growler status at some point to increase GROWLing numbers?

Unread postPosted: 03 May 2013, 03:49
by popcorn
spazsinbad wrote:OR the already wired original Supers (or some of them) could be upgraded to Growler status at some point to increase GROWLing numbers?

That too.. or, down the road, the F 35's onboard EW capabilities will be further enhanced, perhaps even with some NGJ tech, Moore's Law and stuff.. crystal ball doesn't see that far ahead though :D just gratified that the F-35 prospects Down Under appear to have sorted themselves out quite nicely.

Unread postPosted: 03 May 2013, 03:55
by meatshield
popcorn wrote:
spazsinbad wrote:OR the already wired original Supers (or some of them) could be upgraded to Growler status at some point to increase GROWLing numbers?

That too.. or, down the road, the F 35's onboard EW capabilities will be further enhanced, perhaps even with some NGJ tech, Moore's Law and stuff.. crystal ball doesn't see that far ahead though :D just gratified that the F-35 prospects Down Under appear to have sorted themselves out quite nicely.


APA will be pissed!

Unread postPosted: 03 May 2013, 06:47
by neurotech
@popcorn: Enhanced, yes. "Better" is debatable. The problem for the F-35 EW is time and money. Adding a few low RCS NGJ pods for low-band power is pretty straight forward hardware wise, assuming they are self-powered (RAT or APU). The problem is mission software integration. That is why the EA-18 is still the leading EA platform in the US Navy, going forward along side the F-35.

As I've previously stated, the ICP architecture on the F-35 isn't really optimal. It's just a couple PowerPC processors. DSP is actually quite limited with that. The EA-18 uses programmable FPGA chips to augment the PowerPC processors. The ICP boards themselves are not insanely expensive, and so swapping them out with quad core PowerPC with DSP Acceleration versions that are backward compatible would be pretty easy, when the time comes.

Another little detail, each APG-81 AESA element is capable of less than 5W transmit peak power, and there is only 1200 modules in the whole array, so its not really a "software" limit on the baseline jet.

Unread postPosted: 03 May 2013, 09:03
by popcorn
We shall see how the tech evolves. I see a need for a LO platform that can penetrate into hostile airspace then open it's EW bag of tricks.. Maybe it may be something based on a F-35 or maybe something unmanned..

Unread postPosted: 03 May 2013, 10:21
by gtx
meatshield wrote:
popcorn wrote:
spazsinbad wrote:OR the already wired original Supers (or some of them) could be upgraded to Growler status at some point to increase GROWLing numbers?

That too.. or, down the road, the F 35's onboard EW capabilities will be further enhanced, perhaps even with some NGJ tech, Moore's Law and stuff.. crystal ball doesn't see that far ahead though :D just gratified that the F-35 prospects Down Under appear to have sorted themselves out quite nicely.


APA will be pissed!


That's a nice added bonus... :lol:

Unread postPosted: 03 May 2013, 13:18
by popcorn
APA believes that the F-35 and SH are nothing but meat and gravy for the latest Russian and Chinese designs so they knew they were going to be pissed off whichever way the decision went.. and yet they persist..gluttons for punishment? :D

Unread postPosted: 03 May 2013, 15:08
by SpudmanWP
neurotech wrote:Another little detail, each APG-81 AESA element is capable of less than 5W transmit peak power, and there is only 1200 modules in the whole array, so its not really a "software" limit on the baseline jet.
Apples and Oranges

The horn transmitters on the ALQ-99 have a much larger arch than the APG-81 which means that the amount of jamming energy per square meter of targeted areas should be more than the ALQ-99.

Unread postPosted: 03 May 2013, 16:58
by maus92
popcorn wrote:So this should put the RAAF in a position to retire the 24SHs at the appropriate time, retain the 12 Growlers and derive maximum benefit from operating and sustaining a single leading-edge 5G fighter platform that will be fully interoperable with those of it's friends and allies.. nice.


Why retire almost brand new jets? They won't. The Supers will be flying into the 2030s like their USN counterparts, with some converted to Growlers. The stated intent is to purchase 100 F-35s, just like the US intends to buy 2,400+. Whether that will happen depends on acquisition and sustainment costs down the road. Hit the ~FY12$75M URF and CPFH ~FY12$23K numbers, then it has a good chance. In any event, it will be a mixed fleet.

Unread postPosted: 03 May 2013, 23:09
by popcorn
maus92 wrote:
popcorn wrote:So this should put the RAAF in a position to retire the 24SHs at the appropriate time, retain the 12 Growlers and derive maximum benefit from operating and sustaining a single leading-edge 5G fighter platform that will be fully interoperable with those of it's friends and allies.. nice.


Why retire almost brand new jets? They won't. The Supers will be flying into the 2030s like their USN counterparts, with some converted to Growlers. The stated intent is to purchase 100 F-35s, just like the US intends to buy 2,400+. Whether that will happen depends on acquisition and sustainment costs down the road. Hit the ~FY12$75M URF and CPFH ~FY12$23K numbers, then it has a good chance. In any event, it will be a mixed fleet.


Who says they should retire brand new jets? Note the "appropriate time" in my post retire them,when it makes sense to do so.

Unread postPosted: 03 May 2013, 23:09
by popcorn
Deleted

Unread postPosted: 04 May 2013, 14:37
by maus92
popcorn wrote:
maus92 wrote:
popcorn wrote:So this should put the RAAF in a position to retire the 24SHs at the appropriate time, retain the 12 Growlers and derive maximum benefit from operating and sustaining a single leading-edge 5G fighter platform that will be fully interoperable with those of it's friends and allies.. nice.


Why retire almost brand new jets? They won't. The Supers will be flying into the 2030s like their USN counterparts, with some converted to Growlers. The stated intent is to purchase 100 F-35s, just like the US intends to buy 2,400+. Whether that will happen depends on acquisition and sustainment costs down the road. Hit the ~FY12$75M URF and CPFH ~FY12$23K numbers, then it has a good chance. In any event, it will be a mixed fleet.


Who says they should retire brand new jets? Note the "appropriate time" in my post retire them,when it makes sense to do so.


Glad you agree that the "appropriate time" is when the airframes time out in the 2030s.

Unread postPosted: 04 May 2013, 14:41
by maus92
Some clarification about the conversion of existing -Fs to Growlers. The RAAF will retain the original 24 Super Hornets as F/A-18Fs:

"The government announced last year that its air force will equip 12 of Australia’s F/A-18 Super Hornet jet fighters with Growler radar-jamming equipment and other gear.

But the reviewed defense strategy released Friday said the government now plans to buy 12 new Growlers and to keep Australia’s existing 24 Super Hornets as they are. Australia will be the only country other than the United States to operate Growlers, which are to be replaced eventually by F-35s.

“We’ve made decisions to protect our own air combat capability with the previous acquisitions of Super Hornets and now additional Growlers,” Defense Minister Stephen Smith told reporters.

“It is quite clearly the case on our one analysis but also on U.S. analysis that the joint strike fighter project … has improved, but there are still risks associated with that and we’re not prepared to … take the risk of a gap in our air combat capability or superiority,” he added."

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/05/03 ... rylink=cpy

Unread postPosted: 04 May 2013, 15:02
by spazsinbad
I like the way some Americans are condescending. However it was made clear from the get go but I guess some dumb Yanks have trouble with English.... :D

http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopi ... rt-15.html

Australian Defence Force to get new jets, patrol boats 03 May 2013 Lanai Scarr [SCROLL DOWN]

" AUSTRALIA will purchase 12 new electronic warfare fighter planes to cover the delays in the Joint Strike Fighter project, Julia Gillard has announced....

http://www.news.com.au/national-news/fe ... 6634494277
_______________________

Scroll to the end of the same page on this forum to find this gem straight from the DEFmin... [ http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopi ... rt-15.html ]

TRANSCRIPT: SPEECH AT THE LAUNCH OF THE 2013 DEFENCE WHITE PAPER TRANSCRIPTION: PROOF COPY E & OE DATE: 3 May 2013
"STEPHEN SMITH: [DefMin]...the Government today announces that it will purchase 12 new Growler aircraft....

...This will give us a mixed fleet of 12 Growlers, 24 Super Hornets, and over time into the 2030s, 72 Joint Strike Fighters. In the 2030s, the Government of the day will be able to make a decision whether the 24 Super Hornets can be replaced by Joint Strike Fighters. But in the end, we have always said that to maintain our air combat capability and superiority, we need to draw from a fleet of about 100. That remains the case...."

http://www.noodls.com/viewNoodl/1847242 ... of-the-201

Unread postPosted: 04 May 2013, 15:20
by count_to_10
Are the growlers being fitted with CFTs?

Unread postPosted: 04 May 2013, 18:48
by neptune
[quote="spazsinbad"]I like the way some Americans are condescending. However it was made clear from the get go but I guess some dumb Yanks have trouble with English.... :D....

...are we (again) being divided by a common language, Oscar Wilde?? :lol: :cheers:

Unread postPosted: 04 May 2013, 20:31
by neptune
[quote="spazsinbad"]... purchase 12 new Growler aircraft.......This will give us a mixed fleet of 12 Growlers, 24 Super Hornets, .....quote]

Spaz,

Has there been any speculation on initial service of the future Aussie Growlers?? This later purchase of 12 Growlers will "set back" my hoped for initial service date.

I have speculated that the data acquisition and tactics provided by the Aussie Growlers would be a best preparation for the F-35 EA/EW suites.

I am recollecting recent USN Growlers in Oz on joint service activities.

Possible updates; Conformal Fuel Tanks??, InfraRed Search and Track system, Type IV Advanced Mission Computer; any others?

:)

Unread postPosted: 04 May 2013, 20:35
by southernphantom
spazsinbad wrote:I like the way some Americans are condescending. However it was made clear from the get go but I guess some dumb Yanks have trouble with English.... :D

http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopi ... rt-15.html

Australian Defence Force to get new jets, patrol boats 03 May 2013 Lanai Scarr [SCROLL DOWN]

" AUSTRALIA will purchase 12 new electronic warfare fighter planes to cover the delays in the Joint Strike Fighter project, Julia Gillard has announced....

http://www.news.com.au/national-news/fe ... 6634494277


Hey, some of us south of the Mason-Dixon line take offense at being called Yankees

:wink: :lol:

Unread postPosted: 04 May 2013, 20:51
by gtx
neptune wrote:
spazsinbad wrote:... purchase 12 new Growler aircraft.......This will give us a mixed fleet of 12 Growlers, 24 Super Hornets, .....quote]

Spaz,

Has there been any speculation on initial service of the future Aussie Growlers?? This later purchase of 12 Growlers will "set back" my hoped for initial service date.

I have speculated that the data acquisition and tactics provided by the Aussie Growlers would be a best preparation for the F-35 EA/EW suites.

I am recollecting recent USN Growlers in Oz on joint service activities.
Advanced Mission Computer; any others?

:)


I understand some crew training has already commenced. Given the similarities in systems (excepting of course the EW key bits), I would assume that introduction to service could be relatively quick. Maybe less then 5yrs.

Unread postPosted: 04 May 2013, 21:38
by spazsinbad
'neptune' asked: "...Has there been any speculation on initial service of the future Aussie Growlers??..."

Top-secret Growler warplane bound for RAAF 03 May 2013 Max Blenkin
"...Officially named the Boeing EA-18G Growler, this very advanced variant of the Super Hornet should be gracing the flight line at RAAF bases by the end of the decade...."

http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/breakin ... public_rss
OR
Go here for the rest: http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopi ... rt-30.html [page top]

Unread postPosted: 04 May 2013, 22:22
by popcorn
maus92 wrote:
popcorn wrote:
maus92 wrote:
popcorn wrote:So this should put the RAAF in a position to retire the 24SHs at the appropriate time, retain the 12 Growlers and derive maximum benefit from operating and sustaining a single leading-edge 5G fighter platform that will be fully interoperable with those of it's friends and allies.. nice.


Why retire almost brand new jets? They won't. The Supers will be flying into the 2030s like their USN counterparts, with some converted to Growlers. The stated intent is to purchase 100 F-35s, just like the US intends to buy 2,400+. Whether that will happen depends on acquisition and sustainment costs down the road. Hit the ~FY12$75M URF and CPFH ~FY12$23K numbers, then it has a good chance. In any event, it will be a mixed fleet.


Who says they should retire brand new jets? Note the "appropriate time" in my post retire them,when it makes sense to do so.


Glad you agree that the "appropriate time" is when the airframes time out in the 2030s.


I'm glad the powers that be did the smart thing and are investing the bulk of the money in a platform that will remain relevant and viable for decades longer, one that has a growth path into the future. Maybe there's hope for politicians after all.

Unread postPosted: 05 May 2013, 17:02
by maus92
spazsinbad wrote:I like the way some Americans are condescending. However it was made clear from the get go but I guess some dumb Yanks have trouble with English.... :D


I love the passive-agressiveness of some Aussies :)

There was some confusion a few months ago about whether 12 of the existing SHs that had been pre-wired would be converted to Growlers, but now it is clear that they will not be converted at this time, and additional airframes built as Growlers will be procured instead. That leaves the option to convert the some of the original SHs if needed.

Unread postPosted: 05 May 2013, 20:56
by spazsinbad
Yep - you are still at it.

Unread postPosted: 06 May 2013, 19:48
by maus92
From Defense Industry Daily:

"May 3/13: White Paper. Australia’s Labor government releases its 2013 Defence White Paper. It commits Australia to 3 F-35 squadrons (72 planes), which is pretty meaningless from a government that will be long gone before those larger buys become reality. It is a good way of spending less now by promising more later, knowing all the while that the promise isn’t likely to be kept. The Labor government adds that any decision on a 4th F-35 squadron to replace the Super Hornet fleets won’t be made until “around 2030.” Given budgetary entitlements and demographic realities, we wouldn’t bet on that, either.

As a matter of more immediate interest, Australia’s plans for their Super Hornet fleet have changed:

“…the Government has decided to retain the current 24 F/A-18F Super Hornets (one operational squadron) in their current air combat and strike capability configuration. The Government has also decided to acquire 12 new-build EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft instead of converting 12 of Australia’s existing F/A-18F Super Hornet aircraft into the Growler configuration.”

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/aus ... nuereading

Unread postPosted: 06 May 2013, 19:53
by gtx
maus92 wrote:It commits Australia to 3 F-35 squadrons (72 planes), which is pretty meaningless from a government that will be long gone before those larger buys become reality.


Not really meaningless given the current opposition (likely future Govt later this year) are also supportive of the F-35 for Australia.