Australian lawmakers confident in F-35's future

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spazsinbad

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Unread post05 Jan 2016, 03:51

OOps - needed a space between the MILLS PDF URL and Info about PDF - corrected now.
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Unread post05 Jan 2016, 04:51

spazsinbad wrote:Source: http://www.aph.gov.au/DocumentStore.ash ... bId=407251 (PDF 2.8Mb)


I see Mills is taking this angle, again, ignoring the fact Gen. Hostage has budgets and programs to cover in Feb 2014.

Chris Mills wrote:... In an interview with the Commander of the USAF Air Combat Command, currently the Service with the most powerful air combat capability on earth, General Michael Hostage said on 3 February 2014:

‘If I do not keep that F-22 fleet viable, the F-35 fleet frankly will be irrelevant. The F-35 is not built as an air superiority platform. It needs the F-22.’


Such comments by Gen Hostage are not all that definitive or final in my estimation, namely:

General Hostage wrote:“The F-35 doesn’t have the altitude, doesn’t have the speed [of the F-22], but it can beat the F-22 in stealth,” Hostage told me, “The F-35 is geared to go out and take down the surface targets.” In fact, it takes eight F-35s to do what two F-22s can accomplish in the early stages of a war. The F-35’s radar cross section is much smaller than the F-22’s, but that does not mean, Hostage concedes, that the F-35 is necessarily superior to the F-22 when we go to war.

http://breakingdefense.com/2015/07/f-16 ... whos-best/


The main advantage (other than kinematic) 2 x F-22A have is missile numbers per 12 x AIM-120D (plus new BVR range AIM-9X Block II+ to be delivered post 2017).

Current 4 x F-35A carries 8 x AMRAAM, so of course the current F-35As would need 2 x (4 x F-35A) to obtain 16 x AMRAAM, for a roughly equivalent BVR capability, "in the early stages of a war.". i.e. when the enemy BVR fighters will be most active.

However a late Block-4 flight of 4 x F-35A may in fact carry 16 or 24 AIM-120D internally. So the 4 x F-35A will actually be at BVR missile number parity with the 2 x F-22A from that time. And with the right loft angle, even from Mach 0.95, 33 to 45 degrees nose-up through FL450, most of the kinematic advantage of the F-22A also won't matter much, at least in terms of terminal range, especially if late mid-course update is the real pk leverage and killer. Comms and passive SA then is the advantage you want. Who has the EOTS?

Thus I think it reasonable that after about 2023 the 4 x 35A will in fact be at least as equivalent in BVR capability to 2 x F-22A. In fact the 4 x F-35s may be more formidable than 2 x F-22A in VLO BVR, simply because of better SA sensor integrations and datalink (though I'm sure the F-22A will be on the same page by then) and the tactical flanking capability and cooperative-engagement multi-axis attack of 4 flanking F-35A makes aggressive BVR very possible and effective.

So that balance is going to swing the F-35 way with block upgrade.

Scenario:
Imagine you're lead of a flight of 4 x J-31 operating off a Chinese carrier (far fetched maybe, but let's go with it) and flying toward air-sea gap - declared hostile.

Q:
Would a flight of E-7A controlled cooperatively engaging 4 x F-35A with 24 x AIM-120D be more of a worry to you than a flight of 2 x F-22A with only 12 x AIM-120D, and only two firing axis directions?

General Hostage is currently correct in his statements but by mid next decade it will be a very different long-range capability developing. At that time US and allied F-35A air forces will be fairly rapidly building up a formidable VLO BVR support to the F-22A, and a stand alone capability as well, and it will keep growing as AIM-120D gets into FMS production and planned updates.

It seems to me the ~180 F-22A will cease to be a significant issue, at that point, and it's not clear why the F-15s would be necessary for A2A role after that. They would become more liability than safety net (or deterrent), at that point.

Take the brass's comments with a grain of salt sometimes Mr. Mills, or at least think about its validity. RAAF implicitly ruled-out the WVR fight envelope ten years ago, when AVM Houston said (paraphrased) the IR missile fight was 50 : 50 gamble. Why go on and on about gun fights within a parliamentary submission, in 2016?

It's long-range datalinked (V-LPI) VLO BVR tactics from here.

And if you think a decidedly non-low Su35 Flanker is competitive with VLO F-35A signature at >100 km range (radar or thermal), or that the OLS-35 will save the day for the Su35, you are mistaken.


edit: removed sharp remark in last sentence
Last edited by element1loop on 05 Jan 2016, 06:24, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post05 Jan 2016, 05:19

element1loop wrote:re subs. We may know they're there, but will we do anything? No. They'd be able to operate in close, and in grim moments we'd have nothing to realistically respond to if fired on with LAMs.

Do you mean long range cruise missiles? Overall, there's not much we can do against those if they get close; the ADF's advantage is it's long range maritime ISR and strike capabilities, via things like our subs, Super Hornets and AP-3Cs, and soon, our P-8s and F-35s.

But at the moment the bases seem to geographically concentrated. Dispersing assets to avoid that sort of grim day news would require smaller squadrons.


We have many bare bases around the country that we could shuffle our fighters amongst in the event of serious war (and while it pales in comparison to that of the US, we also have a considerable air-lift capability to facilitate the moving of resources), but in the mean time, part of the reason that the RAAF can afford things like P-8s, MQ-4Cs, F-35s, SHs, Growlers, etc is because it somewhat neglects it's airbases, with some long overdue to receive hangars.

So what do you make of the Abbott comment stating the option of a squadron of 18 more? Why say squadron if it was not meant? (yeah I know, nit picking, but still, it look indicative to me.)


I suspect that 18 was chosen for one of three reasons, or some mix of them.

1. It reflects roughly what the budget of buying 28 A variants (to bring the total fleet to 100) would allow if they were B variants (with some of that funding presumably going towards the Navy for LHD upgrades).

2. Although the LHDs can operate 12 aircraft off of them, they might only want to operate at half-capacity in order to operate more cost-effectively and to afford more space for humanitarian / Army operations. In such a case, you have a squadron of 18 split into 3 flights of 6, rotating through a raise, train, sustain process (6 deploy, 6 are for training, 6 are in repair / spares).

3. The plan wasn't fully developed.

Remember, squadrons don't have to be the same size throughout the RAAF; while the F-35Bs would only be a different variant, it's different enough that it'd be akin to the Growler - the Growler is different enough to the Super Hornets that 6 SQN will be handing all it's Super Hornets over to 1 SQN and only operating Growlers.

Interesting idea re Marines co-operating LHD, I like it. Only issue is role preoccupied with the actual raison-detre of amphibious capability and helicopters. I'm sure the Army regard the spaces as their turf - rightly so too. 5th gen, but joint first.


I agree; the Army's pretty keen to get their feet wet, but perhaps they can appeased by doing more joint ops on USMC LHDs as well.

On a side note; I'm not very concerned by those submissions (although they make me interested in submitting one of my own); the first one is hot-headed enough that it'll be largely dismissed, the second will be taken more seriously, but the quotes being used have already been brought up in senate hearings, so they'll be dismissed quickly enough as well.

Edit: the link for submission and to find T&Cs: http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Bus ... nt_fighter
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Unread post05 Jan 2016, 07:17

Dragon029 wrote:Do you mean long range cruise missiles? Overall, there's not much we can do against those if they get close; the ADF's advantage is it's long range maritime ISR and strike capabilities, via things like our subs, Super Hornets and AP-3Cs, and soon, our P-8s and F-35s.


Yes, sorry, sub-launched land attack missiles.

Dragon029 wrote:We have many bare bases around the country that we could shuffle our fighters amongst in the event of serious war (and while it pales in comparison to that of the US, we also have a considerable air-lift capability to facilitate the moving of resources), but in the mean time, part of the reason that the RAAF can afford things like P-8s, MQ-4Cs, F-35s, SHs, Growlers, etc is because it somewhat neglects it's airbases, with some long overdue to receive hangars.


We'll that's the problem you see, are we going to start it, or will the other guy? I think you'd agree we're unlikely to start it, which means if it occurred it would mean we're attacked (by you know who). And of course that's a high-intensity fight right off the bat, so a concerted attack is what I mean, at three or more fixed major operating bases, sans prior hostilities.

So would we in fact disperse aircraft, as we ideally plan to? Would we have AWD or ANZAC in between, close in to shore to be effective if we knew a sub was near? Could a long-range SLCM just fly around the frigate or DDG to the target, despite the RAN? Or have a slow boat to China Collins in place? Look where they're based. I don't think we can or will be responsive enough, or reliable in seeing it coming (as you agree).

In which case you ultimately need a high capability point-defense (either ours, or someone else's).

But before going down the path to missile on missile, during a period of rapid RAAF and ADF transformation and new platforms with stretched budget, we can disperse them with more and smaller squadrons, which makes it much harder to be successful at such a strike required on a larger number of targets.

Then work on a scaleable AEGIS ashore, and put whatever missile type is required in that system, as the region evolves, for the main operating bases.

But just having more and smaller squadrons in more places means the attractiveness of that sort of knock out attack drops off. Plus it becomes much easier to notice an opponent's sub force setting up for such an attack, and to do something, hmm, passive-aggressive about it, earlier.

So I would welcome a smaller squadron structure, that moves around more.

Dragon029 wrote:I suspect that 18 was chosen for one of three reasons, or some mix of them.

1. It reflects roughly what the budget of buying 28 A variants (to bring the total fleet to 100) would allow if they were B variants (with some of that funding presumably going towards the Navy for LHD upgrades).

2. Although the LHDs can operate 12 aircraft off of them, they might only want to operate at half-capacity in order to operate more cost-effectively and to afford more space for humanitarian / Army operations. In such a case, you have a squadron of 18 split into 3 flights of 6, rotating through a raise, train, sustain process (6 deploy, 6 are for training, 6 are in repair / spares).

3. The plan wasn't fully developed.

Remember, squadrons don't have to be the same size throughout the RAAF; while the F-35Bs would only be a different variant, it's different enough that it'd be akin to the Growler - the Growler is different enough to the Super Hornets that 6 SQN will be handing all it's Super Hornets over to 1 SQN and only operating Growlers.


Interesting thoughts, especially #2.

I must say people here seem more positive about B being acquired, I've all but given up on that occurring soon. Though in the context of deploying a non-BS amphib capability there is the requirement of RAAF to provide RAN deployed air cover, so it must have meat on its bones for that force to deploy globally. Isn't that what we're told the new build structure is to do? Perhaps you and Spaz are right to be optimistic or expectant on that score.

Dragon029 wrote:I agree; the Army's pretty keen to get their feet wet, but perhaps they can appeased by doing more joint ops on USMC LHDs as well.

On a side note; I'm not very concerned by those submissions (although they make me interested in submitting one of my own); the first one is hot-headed enough that it'll be largely dismissed, the second will be taken more seriously, but the quotes being used have already been brought up in senate hearings, so they'll be dismissed quickly enough as well.


Now there's a very attractive interoperability proposition on the face of it.

As for the submissions, I'm familiar with how those go, all those egos splashing their noise about, a choice example is given below for a wee parting giggle:

"Dr [Carlo] KoppTo put this into context, I am one of the few people in Australia who has performed genuine academic research on network-centric warfare and also the technology from which these networks are built, to the extent that my doctoral thesis was actually on the adaptation of fighter radars for long-range networking. I am probably the best qualified person in Australia to comment on this." - Inquiry into Australian Defence Force Regional Air Superiority - Official Committee Hansard of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade - Defence Subcommittee, 2006, Canberra.

I think you'd call that an appeal to authority, among other things.

And it's all taarruuuue! :D
Last edited by element1loop on 05 Jan 2016, 07:42, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post05 Jan 2016, 07:36

element1loop wrote:Would a flight of E-7A controlled cooperatively engaging 4 x A with 24 x AIM-120D be more of a worry to you than a flight of 2 x A with only 12 x AIM-120D, and only two firing axis directions?


Don't forget about the hundreds of SM-6s from "somewhere" over the horizon.
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Unread post05 Jan 2016, 07:51

SpudmanWP wrote:
element1loop wrote:Would a flight of E-7A controlled cooperatively engaging 4 x A with 24 x AIM-120D be more of a worry to you than a flight of 2 x A with only 12 x AIM-120D, and only two firing axis directions?


Don't forget about the hundreds of SM-6s from "somewhere" over the horizon.


Calculate fly out time of SM6 from 'somewhere', to location of BVR fight targets, and compare it to the fly out time of the AMRAAM to the likely engagement radius, from an F-22A. It'll be over minutes before the SM6 gets there. Or not at all, over the interior. Probable null result expended SM6 from a VLS cell that can't be reloaded embarked. :)
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Unread post05 Jan 2016, 08:11

Use the SM-6s first (when they don't know it's coming) and the AMRAAMs for mop-up (when engagement times are time critical).
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Unread post05 Jan 2016, 08:18

element1loop wrote:We'll that's the problem you see, are we going to start it, or is the other guy. I think we would agree we're unlikely to, which means if it occurred it would mean we were attacked. And of course that's a high-intensity fight right off the bat, so a concerted attack is what I mean, at three or more fixed major operating bases, without prior hostilities.


It's a possibility, but I think it's unlikely - just consider how much surveillance the United States has just in the form of the NSA. Now consider what the United States would be doing against foreign nations where it doesn't need legal approval. Also consider all the satellites that are being used in orbit, the ELINT assets that have in the region, their submarines, etc. While we don't have 100% access to what they do, we do have a fair bit of access as a member of the Five Eyes, especially with us being in such a geographically important location.

On to of that, we also have our own capabilities; our subs undoubtedly get up to mischief, we have air assets capable of ELINT, our frigates have their own capabilities as well. We also have assets like JORN, which is quite an impressive piece of kit (the fact we've been continuing to invest in it for 40 years should speak to that; I myself have heard some stories which also advocate for it's range and capabilities).

So would we in fact disperse aircraft, as we ideally plan to? Would we have AWD or ANZAC in between, close in to shore to be effective if we knew a sub was near? Could a long-range SLCM just fly around the frigate or DDG to the target, despite the RAN? Or have a slow boat to China Collins in place? Look where they're based. I don't think we can or will be responsive enough, or reliable in seeing it coming (as you agree).


If we have enough intel, we might just do something like schedule extra training for that day (or week, etc), or perhaps we'd schedule an exercise that splits the jets up and sends some of them to other airbases (send some up to Darwin and Townsville for something like Pitch Black for example).

As for RAN interception; I'm not entirely sure - the biggest challenge would be detecting it. If we know it's coming in advance, we could put AWDs / FFGs near Williamtown and Amberley, but it's still theoretically possible to swoop around elsewhere and attack from the west. Tindal is also exposed, although being in the middle of nowhere gives 75 SQN ample opportunity to scramble if the missile is detected near the coast.

Back to the intel part above though - what this also means is that the only reasonable tactic that includes subs launching missiles at RAAF bases, is a massive attack sub-launched attack, followed immediately by a massive air offensive. Trying to attack by sea is made highly ineffective by simply how far removed we are, combined with where our major cities and assets are. What this also means is that by the time they're able to land the few troops they were able to airlift over, the United States is already on the way with a superior number of assets.

Personally, I don't see our national defence as being an issue so long as the United States is our ally and so long as the enemy doesn't built massive container subs or something; even then, seeing tens of thousands of troops, trucks, tanks, etc move to hidden coastal sub bases, then not ever leave is pretty damn suspicious.

Then work on a scaleable AEGIS ashore, and put whatever missile type is required in that system, as the region evolves, for the main operating bases.


Another alternative could be to just put up some JLENS aerostats around the bigger bases and have some interceptors to go with it; such a solution would likely be cheaper than AEGIS Ashore and be a bit more flexible (less land is required, etc).

Something you have to remember out Australia and the ADF is that we're very heavily reliant on global stability and imports / exports. That means that as per the ADF's mission statement, we need to be capable of assisting in taking care of interests abroad. Spending large amounts of money on things like base developments, admin overhead, point defences, etc to combat the hypothetical threat isn't terribly cost effective. That's not to say we ignore national defence, but rather that we go for "multirole" capabilities. For example, our Triton UAVs will be used for maritime surveillance, as well as ISR in international hotspots and over low intensity combat zones.

Interesting thoughts, especially #2.

I must say people here seem more positive about B being acquired, I've all but given up on that occurring soon. Though in the context of deploying a non-BS amphib capability, there is a requirement of RAAF to provide RAN deployed air cover, so must have meat on its bones, for that force to deploy globally. Isn't that what we are told the new build structure is for? Perhaps you and spaz are right to be optimistic and expectant on that score.

The AWDs are pretty advanced and by being an amphibious force, our LHDs are quite unlikely to go places that our F-35As can't also via KC-30.
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Unread post05 Jan 2016, 08:56

Dragon029 wrote:Back to the intel part above though - what this also means is that the only reasonable tactic that includes subs launching missiles at RAAF bases, is a massive attack sub-launched attack, followed immediately by a massive air offensive. Trying to attack by sea is made highly ineffective by simply how far removed we are, combined with where our major cities and assets are. What this also means is that by the time they're able to land the few troops they were able to airlift over, the United States is already on the way with a superior number of assets.


I'm not actually concerned about invasion or anything like that, I don't want to give that impression. I am thinking more in terms of a limited objective pre-emptive knockout strike. Something that paralyses, and removes RAAF from a regional response equation, so other enemy operations can happen within SEA. And thus RAN's presence is also removed i most part from the equation, if amphibs need to operate with F-35A, Growler and KC-30A support from Amberly and W/town.

Dragon029 wrote:
Then work on a scaleable AEGIS ashore, and put whatever missile type is required in that system, as the region evolves, for the main operating bases.


Another alternative could be to just put up some JLENS aerostats around the bigger bases and have some interceptors to go with it; such a solution would likely be cheaper than AEGIS Ashore and be a bit more flexible (less land is required, etc).


I'm not attached to Aegis Ashore, I only mention it as it will work, and is scale-able, and is a fixed installation (not an army SAM that's needed elsewhere) that can evolve to higher levels of capability if required, plus can be extended in a unitary expansion. But anything that works would be better than almost nothing.

The other point is such a knockout blow would of course have support from forces in place domestically. Tethers can be cut, etc. Something with minimal exposure is called for I think, just to make it a wee bit too hard to pull it off.

Dragon029 wrote:Something you have to remember out Australia and the ADF is that we're very heavily reliant on global stability and imports / exports. That means that as per the ADF's mission statement, we need to be capable of assisting in taking care of interests abroad. Spending large amounts of money on things like base developments, admin overhead, point defences, etc to combat the hypothetical threat isn't terribly cost effective. That's not to say we ignore national defence, but rather that we go for "multirole" capabilities. For example, our Triton UAVs will be used for maritime surveillance, as well as ISR in international hotspots and over low intensity combat zones.


Tritons are great, but only if they don't burn on a SA hardstand.

Taking that option out of the equation is what needs to be done.

As for the style of Australia's proactive interaction, I entirely agree with it. Downsizing the military to the minimum needed for the past 70 years has freed resources to invest in the infrastructure and national development, to build a bigger economy and revenue base, faster, that could one day support a larger more viable defence force when the next large power arose.

And in our region its been since WWII coming. As I see it, that power has arrived on the scene and it's time to put certain things beyond its reach, so it knows it will have a fight on its hands. It's good if our major allies know that too. And it means the ADF, as a whole, can be confident that if challenged it will not suddenly be undercut at the core of its enabling capabilities.
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Unread post05 Jan 2016, 09:03

SpudmanWP wrote:Use the SM-6s first (when they don't know it's coming) and the AMRAAMs for mop-up (when engagement times are time critical).


:doh: I'm slow. :D
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Unread post05 Jan 2016, 11:39

element1loop wrote:I'm not actually concerned about invasion or anything like that, I don't want to give that impression. I am thinking more in terms of a limited objective pre-emptive knockout strike. Something that paralyses, and removes RAAF from a regional response equation, so other enemy operations can happen within SEA. And thus RAN's presence is also removed i most part from the equation, if amphibs need to operate with F-35A, Growler and KC-30A support from Amberly and W/town.


Fair enough, although such an attack would mean outright war.

The other point is such a knockout blow would of course have support from forces in place domestically. Tethers can be cut, etc. Something with minimal exposure is called for I think, just to make it a wee bit too hard to pull it off.


The tethers would likely be located in secure locations on land; you could probably even put them in the airbases themselves so long as you have collision beacons on the tether and set them a fair enough distance from the runway. Then, if the enemy wanted to sabotage the platform, they'd have to go to roughly the same lengths required to sabotage the jets themselves, or detonate the airbase fuel reserves.

Tritons are great, but only if they don't burn on a SA hardstand.

Taking that option out of the equation is what needs to be done.


Sorry, but I'm not sure what you mean by SA hardstand. As for the option; you want that option, unless you can afford to increase Defence spending to something like 3 or 4% of GDP. Even then, having that flexibility in your assets gives you the ability to do things like surge deploy. For example, if we spent the money for a long-range SAM system on mobile platforms instead (more E-7s perhaps, more AWDs or new frigates, maybe software upgrades to the Triton to give it cruise missile detection (if it doesn't have it already), etc) you have the ability to either have it here defending Australia, or you can send it to where it's needed more (to assist in the defence of an ally against an unnamed protagonist).

As for the style of Australia's proactive interaction, I entirely agree with it. Downsizing the military to the minimum needed for the past 70 years has freed resources to invest in the infrastructure and national development, to build a bigger economy and revenue base, faster, that could one day support a larger more viable defence force when the next large power arose.

And in our region its been since WWII coming. As I see it, that power has arrived on the scene and it's time to put certain things beyond its reach, so it knows it will have a fight on its hands. It's good if our major allies know that too. And it means the ADF, as a whole, can be confident that if challenged it will not suddenly be undercut at the core of its enabling capabilities.


I agree; as said above though, I think it's important to have that flexibility when we're talking about acquisitions that endure for 20-50 years. The RAAF has been sometimes described as an expeditionary air force; in my opinion, that applies and should continue to apply to the ADF as a whole, even if we don't operate on the same scale as the United States (after all, who does?).
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Unread post05 Jan 2016, 13:23

Dragon029 wrote:Fair enough, although such an attack would mean outright war.


Yes. That is what such subs and SLCMs are built to do (also). If such outright war started I would rather Aust be in position where we're not already at a great disadvantage after the first hour. Being ready is a deterrent also, as well as a limiter on the opportunities to exploit an easy target. As you said earlier, not much we can do about them (SLCMs) in that situation (yet).

Dispersal is something we can do first though, and to also produce the structure to scale and expand, in such a situation. It increases survivability and flexibility, and also presence.

Is it worth paying for?

I would say yes, at this point.

SA = South Australia :)

Dragon029 wrote:As for the option; you want that option, unless you can afford to increase Defence spending to something like 3 or 4% of GDP.


I don't see it that way, it can be done much cheaper than that. It's false economy to propose to buy more platforms if you have not adequately secured what you've got. Yes a Triton probably can detect SLCMs, but what's going to shoot them down?

I suggested an ESSM BkII system, not a long-range King-Kong SAM network. I don't want overkill. It could be a development of the CEAFAR AESA ANZAC approach. I'm only talking about point defense, but a high performance networked one and preferably one that will scale compatibly as required. We can also look more closely as what some of the Scandinavians are doing with GBAD developments based on AIM-9X BKII or AMRAAM as a bare-base networked deployable capability.

And yeah, sure, linked to Triton, over the littoral - done! :D

Dragon029 wrote:I agree; as said above though, I think it's important to have that flexibility when we're talking about acquisitions that endure for 20-50 years. The RAAF has been sometimes described as an expeditionary air force; in my opinion, that applies and should continue to apply to the ADF as a whole, even if we don't operate on the same scale as the United States (after all, who does?).


We are on the same wavelength here. I'm not suggesting any fortress mentality. I'm only saying make sure the enablers are all going to be intact, as then everything else will still be available. The ADF will have the capability enablers that can be used at whatever level required, and maintain the survivability and effects that have been developed.

In other words, the initial attempt to degrade it via submarine attack must fail. That is all I want it to do.

As for cost, it is progressive restructuring for a more resilient arrangement, that's defended and physically deterring to sub attack, plus much harder to strike, or strike successfully.

Right now RAAF's core is relying on the deterrent effect of being closely allied with US forces, rather than on being able to put down such a sub attack physically, and still be able to then rapidly find and sink the attacker(s). I'd want such an attack to not just fail, but be a resounding defeat. I'd want to be on the front foot immediately, not trying to rebuild lost core capability.

The dominant method of deterrence we're currently using, of relying on and being very close to Great Power friends that we trust as the main mechanism of national security, did not work out in 1941. I don't expect it will work out well if our latest Great Power friend is like wise challenged, or ends up in conventional conflict. Since WWII we were more remote from any genuinely large expeditionary power who was not also our ally, and that is not true any more.

So one way or another we're going to pay more. I would rather it was done in a managed progressive way now, and thus provide the best possible fighting chance to maintain effective forces.

But the first interim step is to disperse what a capable sub would consider undefended high-value target concentrations. And that isn't going to take 3 to 4% of GDP. :)
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popcorn

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Unread post05 Jan 2016, 14:34

All thd RAAF need do to refute any criticism is expound on Plan Jericho and explain how the F-35 enables the creation of a networked and joint combat capability to meet whatever security challenge that may arise. By elevating the discussion to a strategic level and highlighting how the F-35 will integrate with other advanced systems eg. Poseidon, Triton, Growler, Wedgetail, AEGIS, etc. the critics are relegated to irrelevant nitpickers.
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Unread post06 Jan 2016, 01:08

popcorn wrote:All thd RAAF need do to refute any criticism is expound on Plan Jericho ... the critics are relegated to irrelevant nitpickers.


The present situation is a vast improvement though popcorn and the system being built is a cracker. My concern is for its proper basic kinetic hardening. The isolated mindset about that simply has not changed in concert.

If it's a Joint force, the Collins class are designated SSGs, so maybe RAAF should listen to what RAN Sub commanders have to say about hardening requirements. Has anyone asked them? It is a Joint force, right? Are they game to speak up and formalize a requirement to harden? Are the Collins themselves hardened against such base attack?

Nope.

That's the real test (outside combat) of ADF as a Joint force and capability development. The Joint overlay of project Jericho transformation will in fact still be 'awesome!'. :)

However, I'm still wondering when a strategic bomber will be delivered and can't believe a continent surrounded by three oceans is populated by people dopey enough to still not have SSGN n-propulsion in 2016, let alone 2036, so a few major deterrence issues are still at the head-in-the-sand stage. Hope we don't learn the hard way.
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Unread post06 Jan 2016, 03:22

Back in 2008 Kopp asked Oz to 'harden up': Hardening RAAF Air Base Infrastructure 5th February, 2008
A Monograph by Dr Carlo Kopp, MIEEE, MAIAA http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-2008-02.html

In 2016 NAS Nowra gets long needed upgrades - helos fall apart if you look sideways at 'em - so no need for shelters. :mrgreen:

http://www.southcoastregister.com.au/st ... -facelift/

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