Australian lawmakers confident in F-35's future

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spazsinbad

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Unread post20 Sep 2016, 19:06

RAAF Air Commodore Michael Kitcher: International Fighter (London, UK)
Defence IQ Published on Feb 16, 2016

"Air Commodore Michael Kitcher, Director General Capability Planning (DGCP), Royal Australian Air Force, engaged with the talks at the most recent International Fighter conference in London, UK."



Major General Jerry Harris, ACC, USAF: International Fighter (London, UK)
Defence IQ Published on Feb 16, 2016

"Major General Jerry Harris, Vice Commander, Air Combat Command, U.S. Air Force, engaged with the talks at the most recent International Fighter conference in London, UK."

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Unread post08 Oct 2016, 17:11

Nothing heard yet about the interrupted Senate Enquiry into purchase of F-35As for Oz. Sometime in new year it may surface again but who knows with politicians and their shenanigans. As mentioned in 'SWP' post here: viewtopic.php?f=58&t=27952&p=353900&hilit=Block#p353900
Norway Wants 12 More F-35s, Plans Block Buy In 2019
06 Oct 2016 Lara Seligman

"...All of the partners that are buying F-35s in lot 12 are on board with the block buy, Bogdan says. Aside from the U.S. and Norway, the other partner countries are Australia, Canada, Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

“I know I have support from many of my partners to want to start in [LRIP] 12,” Bogdan says, though adding “not all of them are buying airplanes in lot 12, so they don’t have to make a choice yet.”

However, the other partner nations have been silent on any concrete plans for the block buy, and none have signaled their intent to participate in the first year.

Air Vice Marshall Leigh Gordon, Australia’s Joint Strike Fighter program chief, says his country is “very interested” in the block buy, but officials have some time before they need to make a final decision.

“Australia has 45 aircraft across the years that are being considered for the block buy, so we’re very interested,” Gordon said Oct. 6 during an event in Washington. “We don’t have to sign up to it quite yet but we’re working through the process, and to me it seems to be the smart thing to do.”..."

Source: http://aviationweek.com/defense/norway- ... k-buy-2019
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Unread post14 Oct 2016, 05:05

Australian Senate Committee recommends Plan B (i.e. buy more Super Hornets) to hedge against possible future delays of the F-35:

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articl ... lan-b.html

The good thing about that link (kudos to Alexandra Beech) is that it gives you a link to the report itself, so you can read through the report (raw info) by which the reporter wrote the article.

I should note that page 41-45 of the report (page 49-53 of the pdf) discusses what they thought of APA's submission, in particular its (in)famous Zero-One Comparative Technique table (which just seems like a Pugh matrix in my field of study).

It's a goldmine of the summary of submissions, reported credulously. For example, on page 46 (page 54 of the pdf):

"Mr David Archibald advised the committee that the Gripen would be even more effective than the F-22, asserting that it is the next most capable fighter aircraft and considerably cheaper."

There are many others, I'm still reading through the report myself.

Edit: Okay, I probably phrased it too strongly. The committee *does* recommend a hedging strategy to address a potential capability gap in case of further delays to F-35 acquisition. However, it *notes* but does not explicitly recommend ASPI's advice to get another tranche of Super Hornets as the hedging strategy, though it notes ASPI's logic for this (the "fixed costs" for the Super Hornet fleet are already paid for since Australia already has them, so getting more will be cost-effective). The committee's recommendations section also specifically calls out APA and says it found their arguments unpersuasive.
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Unread post14 Oct 2016, 07:04

Plan B would only kick in if the F-35 is late. The timeframe for Plan B is 2019 and the F-35 will not have any problem meeting that timeline. They need to have planes in LRIP 10 to have delivery in 2018. Too bad the LRIP 9/10 negotiations are taking so long. I don't think LM puts the numbers into the "fast facts" file till the negotiations are done.
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Unread post14 Oct 2016, 09:10

Thank you vanshilar for pointing out that. It seems like public handling of matters also creates a lot of clutter and unneeded work as people who really have no clue chime in. It sounds like me making recommendations on what medical equipment a brain surgeon needs... :shock:

I love these comparisons:

All F-35 aircraft operating across the world will have to update their mission data files and their ALIS profiles before and after every sortie, to ensure that on-board systems are programmed with the latest available operational data and that ALIS is kept permanently informed of each aircraft's technical status and maintenance requirements. ALIS can, and has,
prevented aircraft taking off because of an incomplete data file. Currently, downloading the data file from a 1.5 hour flight of the F-35 takes 1.5 hours. It is hoped to get that down to 15 minutes. By comparison, the Gripen E can be re-armed and refuelled after an air-to-air mission in 10 minutes.


I'm sure F-35 can also be re-armed and refuelled pretty quickly and in real need they can just refuel and re-arm quickly and send the F-35 to air again. Besides, it only takes 15 minutes now to download the data: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-lockh ... C720140915

AFAIK, the long download time is because the cockpit video takes some time to download. I really doubt that's really needed to be downloaded if situation was so time critical.

Just LOL:
While it may not have the stealth capabilities of 5th generation aircraft such as the F-35, the Gripen has many other attributes such as higher speed (up to Mach 2 I understand, as opposed to 1.6 for the F-35A), better manoeuvrability due to its canard-delta wing configuration, the ability to carry a greater weapons payload for sustained fighting, and perhaps most
importantly, a better range and combat radius, able to be extended even further through aerial refuelling with our fleet of KC-30A MRTT aircraft. As a complete package, it out-performs the F-35A in almost every arena, and would give our forces one of the best platforms with which to fight and win against the newest generations of Sukhoi, Mikoyan and various Chinese-built fighters which have been talked about already.3


OMG, I can't believe they are still trying to sell their crap:
APA asserted that the alternatives, whilst better than the F-35, were not viable:
…claims that upgraded variants of the Boeing F-15 and F/A-18, LM F-16, Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault Rafale or SAAB Gripen will be viable do not stand up to scrutiny. While all outperform the F-35 aerodynamically and aero/propulsively, and some have limited (~Mach 1.2) super-cruise, they lack the stealth capabilities of the PAK-FA, J-20 and J-3143
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Unread post14 Oct 2016, 11:43

Just for clarification, it was a senate private members bill that set up the committee. There was a bunch on tree huggers on it from the greens and independents. I'm surprised they didn't want to dismantle the air force and sell off its existing planes.

the real defence committee is a joint committee of both houses
http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Bus ... _and_Trade
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Unread post14 Oct 2016, 12:11

The OFFICIAL home page of the Enquiry says it 'HAS LAPSED'. [no longer valid; expired.]
Inquiry Status Inquiry lapsed

http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Bus ... nt_fighter
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Unread post14 Oct 2016, 17:00

The entire "plan B" is nothing more than appeasing those who are "nervous" and giving them warm fuzzy feelings instead.

Legit Loled at the Gripen comparisons. Clearly they are going off the sales brochures
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Unread post14 Oct 2016, 17:00

The entire "plan B" is nothing more than appeasing those who are "nervous" and giving them warm fuzzy feelings instead.

Legit Loled at the Gripen comparisons. Clearly they are going off the sales brochures
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Unread post14 Oct 2016, 18:58

In Oz slang these recommendations are 'warm beer'. Nobody is drinking or buying it. Report is weak as piss drivel indeed.
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Unread post18 Oct 2016, 12:04

XanderCrews wrote:The entire "plan B" is nothing more than appeasing those who are "nervous" and giving them warm fuzzy feelings instead.

Legit Loled at the Gripen comparisons. Clearly they are going off the sales brochures


The 'Plan B' isn't about F-35 failing. It's about our legacy Hornets failing and F-35 not being ready to take over from them...

From what I hear, we will be hearing very soon about Government's plan to cover that eventuality...

How this will work for F-35A purchases for Australia I'm not sure because 'Plan B' isn't going to be cheap, but the need to maintain four operational strike fighter squadrons is seen as more important than the capability difference between Super Hornet and JSF...

A situation may exist where JSF ends up 'quarterbacking' a Super Hornet / Growler force in RAAF service, purely because of the delays in the program and that is totally on L-M for failing to execute when we needed them to.

We can't wait for ever and there are rumblings already that the proposed '4th' squadron of JSF under AIR-6000 will never happen and we will look in other directions when the time comes. With 40+ New / newish Super Hornets and 12+ Growlers on the books, we won't be in a rush...
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Unread post18 Oct 2016, 14:25

If Plan B is to buy Super Hornets (and not adjust F/A-18A usage or do a partial SLEP, etc), they would likely buy a tranche of either 12 or 24-28 Super Hornets; the former adding another flight to 1 SQN, the latter meaning an early decision on AIR6000 Phase 2C and making the fourth fighter squadron be one of Super Hornets.

With all that said however, I don't think "Plan B" will happen; it's recommended that it be decided upon by 2019, at which point the government will be trying to make a prediction on how Lockheed will perform in 2023. It'll be CASG or Defence making or heavily informing the decision however, and Defence has recently been relatively "optimistic" towards the JSF program, meaning that, so long as Lockheed doesn't have a major screw-up that delays orders by a few tens of jets, Defence / CASG's decision would almost certainly support continuing with "Plan A".
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Unread post18 Oct 2016, 16:20

Conan wrote:
XanderCrews wrote:The entire "plan B" is nothing more than appeasing those who are "nervous" and giving them warm fuzzy feelings instead.

Legit Loled at the Gripen comparisons. Clearly they are going off the sales brochures


The 'Plan B' isn't about F-35 failing. It's about our legacy Hornets failing and F-35 not being ready to take over from them...

From what I hear, we will be hearing very soon about Government's plan to cover that eventuality...

How this will work for F-35A purchases for Australia I'm not sure because 'Plan B' isn't going to be cheap, but the need to maintain four operational strike fighter squadrons is seen as more important than the capability difference between Super Hornet and JSF...

A situation may exist where JSF ends up 'quarterbacking' a Super Hornet / Growler force in RAAF service, purely because of the delays in the program and that is totally on L-M for failing to execute when we needed them to.

We can't wait for ever and there are rumblings already that the proposed '4th' squadron of JSF under AIR-6000 will never happen and we will look in other directions when the time comes. With 40+ New / newish Super Hornets and 12+ Growlers on the books, we won't be in a rush...


Of course SHs are only getting more expensive, and may not even be in production by 2019. And when the times comes? When would that be? Late 2020s? What are the other options at that point?
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Unread post18 Oct 2016, 17:32

At least our RAAF will be kind to the baby seals. And BTW Montague Island in on the south SOUTH coast of NSW.... <sigh>

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Unread post18 Oct 2016, 18:06

The folks from Oz certainly know better than I do. But it seems to me that Australia has always been willing to look at low cost leases for short term glitches in procurement. I'm reminded of the F-4's while waiting for the 111's. If the US Navy doesn't have 18C/D's, or early traunch 18E/F's with some life for that, they could probably look at even used Typhoons or what ever.

The Super Hornets were F-111 followon's, not main fighter squadrons. They would want to keep long term impacts in mind.

One caution. The Aussies liked the Phantoms so much they almost cancelled the 111's, but lease bridge plan B's are probably viable.

definitely just MHO,
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