F-35Bs Establishing potential of Australian aircraft carrier

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Conan

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Unread post20 Dec 2018, 14:36

spazsinbad wrote:You can be as dismissive as you wish of my interest in these matters, however if a RAAF bigwig says, as quoted in the Oz thread, that the F-35B is in the mix for the last tranche of aircraft to make the 'mythical 100 total' then YES numbers are important. I'll be dismissive of your laughable back of a napkin cost. It is ridiculous and you know it - there's the rub. You left out the 'inept' DefMin of the day also.


I understand exactly what your interest is in these matters and why you’re prepared to ignore all realities of life to push this barrow.

The cost wasn’t mine though. I think it is a bit under-estimated myself. The $13b figure came from DPM&C...
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ricnunes

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Unread post20 Dec 2018, 14:55

weasel1962 wrote:On the resource limitation, its not just monetary. RAN had issues crewing the 55 crew collins sub. Introducing a 680 crew PoW isn't exactly going to make things easier.

Converting the Canberras elicits the lowest number of issues (lowest risk) imho. Its already crewed. Even a 3rd canberra may provide some economies of scale i.e. rotating crews across the 3 vessels.


Absolutely and of course I fully agree with you!
"Resources" are indeed not only money (or even raw materials) to purchase and maintain the equipment but also the crew to man and maintain the same equipment.
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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Unread post20 Dec 2018, 15:13

ricnunes wrote:For starters I don't get your problem with the "few of anything" statement/term. Are you saying or implying that Australia never bought a "few" of anything? Because if you do then how about the EA-18 Growler?? You guys (Australia) purchased 12 (twelve) of them - that's IMO is a "few" of them.
The same would be if for example Australia purchased lets say 20-30 F-35Bs. Anyway, my point with the "few" regarding the F-35B is that they would always be fewer (and quite so) when compared to the F-35A.


The problem is that the term a ‘few’ implies that we simply buy a ‘few’ aircraft and that is it. We don’t do that. We buy a certain level of capability. Those 12 (11 for now) Growlers come with a huge amount of capability in the form of jamming pods, missiles and all sorts of things that don’t seem to be included in the ‘few’ description, yet are vital to standing up genuine capability.

And in the context of anyone besides the United States a squadron of fighter based tactical aircraft dedicated to EW/EA roles is hardly a ‘few...’ It is the ONLY fighter based EW squadron in the entire Asia Pacific region...

Then there's the "We don't have funding issues" comment of your, what you mean with this? Or really?


Absolutely. Feel free to point out a capability we have chosen to acquire that isn’t unbelievably well funded. Do we operate every possible military capability on Earth? No, of course not. That is a function of overall funding, but please feel free to show me a country in the Asia Pacific region, if not the world, that consistenly invests better in the capability level it chooses to acquire... Unlike many countries, particularly within our region, we deliberately limit our defence spending to ensure we do not increase tensions within the region.

As a quick example, we have the 13th largest GDP in the world (2017) but we don’t even make the top 20 of military spending per GDP... If we spent as others do at similar percentage levels, even you wouldn’t use the term ‘few’...

At first glance I'm starting to believe that you actually seem to believe that money grows on trees there in Australia. You see, not only you (Australia) are a developed first world country which like in any of such countries in the world obviously expends lots (and lots!) of money/resources on vital sectors such as Education, Health, Civilian Infrastructures (Roads, Bridges...), etc... and then you are also expending lots of money on lots and expensive military programs such as F-35, Frigates, Submarines and many other upcoming programs such as the Tiger gunship helicopter replacement, etc, etc, etc... and all of this coupled with the fact that Australia has a relatively low population which by itself doesn't generate that much of a huge GDP like for example the USA (this despite Australia being on the top 15 when it comes to GDP).


Well you’ve just answered your own question there. Yes, we have a very large defence capability investment program, but unlikely many, we have one that is actually completely funded in the budget forward estimates. As for our GDP, it is small compared to the US, but as a percentage we spend much lower on defence than the USA does too. Our USD $25B - AUD $32B a year (albeit growing) defence budget is paltry compared to the US budget, but still quite large compared to our neighbours, whomwe benchmark ourselves on. However this budget does not even equal the NATO standard 2% GDP. We are and have hovered around the 1.7% mark for the last few decades. We are growing however and aim to achieve that 2% mark in 2020-2021 financial year. The growth of the budget however between 1.7% and 2.0% equals a growth from AUD $32B to a projected 20-21 budget of AUD $52.6B... I’m sure even you’ll admit that is quite an advancement in under 3 years...

So no, I don’t believe money grows on trees, unlike yourself apparently I know exactly where our defence funding comes from and more or less how much we will be spending, short of some calamity in which case our funding base will rise, not fall...

So call me whatever you want but I don't believe for a second that Australia will have a combination of funds and political will to buy a new and dedicated ship to act as a F-35B carrier.


I don’t remember calling you anything, but per above, it isn’t funding that is holding back the acquisition of an F-35B capability. Simply defence priorities and government will.

If you think that you're special in the world then let me be the bearer of "bad news", you're not!
In order for Australia or any other nation to get back to the carrier business, IMO it must:
1- Decide if it really want to get back or into to the "carrier business"
2- If the answer to point 1- is yes then it must decide how it will get back to the carrier business. The way it will get back to the carrier business is fully dependent on how many resources are actually available which is fully dependent on the overall military budget and what's left of that budget which is not much if any if you're already in middle of some major military procurement programs which is exactly the case of Australia.

Or resuming, if Australia wasn't in the middle of some major restructure or more precisely having many and expensive military procurement programs running at the same time in progress (see above) then I would be inclined to believe in the possibility that Australia could get that "3rd ship"/dedicated carrier. But it is not (again, see above) so I don't believe in this possibility.
But who knows, maybe Santa and the Reindeers could bring one for Christmas :mrgreen:


This is my last comment on this, the resources are or would be, available as already shown. The Government will is not, which I have repeatedly stated already... I do not believe we will get back into the ‘carrier business’ but it is not for a lack of ‘resources’ but rather - priorities.

My point is that if we choose to get back into the ‘carrier business’ as you call it, I do not believe for the reasons already stated we will do so by impacting upon our hard won and still developing amphibious capability. It would be new capability and achieved through new vessel/s, instead.
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Unread post20 Dec 2018, 15:21

knowan wrote:For an Air Force the size of the RAAF, 12 EW platforms is considerable.

Further, the EA-18Gs were purchased only a few years after 24 F/A-18F, and 12 of those 24 were wired for possible conversion to EA-18G.


Independently of how considerable is a fleet of 12 EW aircraft for an air force like the RAAF they are still "few".
And the reason why they are "few" goes IMO beyond limitation fund issues: they are a "few" because they are a "specialized" fleet. And a fleet of aircraft with "specialized tasks" roles trend to be much lower in numbers than for example a fleet of front-line fighter aircraft.
If Australia decides to purchase the F-35B then this would also be a "specialized" fleet which would be dedicated to operate from ships and here I agree with element1loop and I echo here his reasons for this. As such any F-35Bs to be purchased by Australia (if any) would always be a "few" (my 2 cents, of course).

In the end the EA-18G was only a small example about Australia buying a few of anything with another well known example being the historical F-111 which Australia bought 24 of them (again a "few"). Of course we could also argue that this was because the F-111 was also part of a "specialized" fleet (this case a "pseudo-strategical bomber") like the EA-18G is and like a tentative Australian F-35B would be.



knowan wrote:
element1loop wrote:Operating from land, yes I'd be very surprised if Bs were part of a RAAF mix, we aren't in the same situation as Japan's Island basing option, Taiwan's base vulnerability or Finland's desire for dispersion, where the B would make more sense.

For Australia it makes more sense to stick with the A, and get the extra range and the extra internal hitting power, to hold an opponent back, and invest in runway repairs and regeneration (which we've done).

Sans the intent to use them on ships it makes as much sense for RAAF to buy 25% B as it would make for the USAF to buy 25% B. If we needed B we could buy them if a decision to use them on a ship is made.


A conflict with China is the biggest concern for the Australian military for the foreseeable future, which would almost certainly require deployment of Australian naval vessel far outside of range of F-35As based in Australia.

The more likely a conflict with China becomes, the more likely Australia will seek naval F-35B capability.


If Australia went into a conflict against China and had to deploy forces near China, this would be done together with a coalition of Allied countries such as the USA and UK and never, ever alone.
Actually and IMO it would resemble WWII where the opponent instead of being Japan it would be China.
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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Unread post20 Dec 2018, 15:36

Conan wrote:So no, I don’t believe money grows on trees, unlike yourself apparently I know exactly where our defence funding comes from and more or less how much we will be spending, short of some calamity in which case our funding base will rise, not fall...


Jeez, where did I say that Australian military programs weren't funded?? :roll:

What I said was that in light of all military programs that Australia has running that it IMO (for what's worth) it doesn't have much resources left to pursue a dedicated carrier or "3rd ship" option, period! Or if you prefer the resources left will only be enough to adapt the Canberras and buy the F-35Bs (I would even stay away from the "few" word this time). Or if you prefer, the Australian government will probably spend/use the resources left on something else.
And with "resources", here I echo what weasel1962 said in his last post - resources are not only money, you know? (they also include manpower to man and maintain the equipment)

For the rest of your points, I believe I already addressed them so I won't be over there again...
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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Unread post21 Dec 2018, 21:17

What about starting a "go fund me" page?
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Unread post21 Dec 2018, 22:36

optimist wrote:What about starting a "go fund me" page?


LOL!

Kickstarter - Aircraft Carrier for Australia

Pledge $10 or more - Gives access to the Carrier's Hull

Pledge $20 or more - Gives access to the Carrier's Bridge

Pledge $50 or more - Gives access to the Carrier's Air Defense Systems (CIWS)

Pledge $100 or more - Gives access to the F-35B

:mrgreen:
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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Unread post22 Dec 2018, 05:42

This 92 page PDF about SHOL Ship Helicopter Operating Limits, Dummy Decks (not 'Decks for Dummies') with hints of an LHD crew computer sim training warehouse, give one an idea of what it might take to train for F-35Bs on LHDs one day.
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Unread post22 Dec 2018, 12:07

One day? Okay...

I’ll see ya back here in 5 years by when there will have been precisely zero forward progress on such a capability.
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Unread post22 Dec 2018, 13:04

Back on page three of this thread on 16 Dec 'Conan' said this (and I asked for clarification on the price - not received):
"...F-35B onto Australian ships won’t happen in any form. The Abbott led government a few years back looked into it and there was a AUD$13b price tag to be paid IF we were going to do it..." viewtopic.php?f=61&t=54736&p=407403&hilit=Abbott#p407403

On page 94 of the recent 'Oz F-35Bs on Oz LHDs' PDF from AviationWeak there is a story with this said about it:
"...Australia is considering establishing two F-35B squadrons, says analyst Ben Schreer of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, adding that probably 18-24 aircraft would be needed. Including modifications to the ships, the cost would exceed AUS$5 billion ($4.4 billion)…." http://awin.aviationweek.com/ArticlesSt ... 417bbfd80d OR PDF: download/file.php?id=29146 (PDF 9.2Mb - page 6 of this thread)
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Unread post22 Dec 2018, 13:44

spazsinbad wrote:On page 94 of the recent 'Oz F-35Bs on Oz LHDs' PDF from AviationWeak there is a story with this said about it:
"...Australia is considering establishing two F-35B squadrons, says analyst Ben Schreer of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, adding that probably 18-24 aircraft would be needed. Including modifications to the ships, the cost would exceed AUS$5 billion ($4.4 billion)…." http://awin.aviationweek.com/ArticlesSt ... 417bbfd80d OR PDF: download/file.php?id=29146 (PDF 9.2Mb - page 6 of this thread)



Thanks for posting the above spaz.

With a planned number of aircraft (F-35B) around 18-24 aircraft you basically confirmed what I meant with a "few", a term which oddly (IMO) seems to have puzzled or even "offended" some here :mrgreen:
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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Unread post22 Dec 2018, 14:21

Because quotes or comments about the thread title are scattered all over this F-35 forum I thought to amalgamate some:
[the articles or excerpts from articles may be found in the PDFs posted in this thread - 'against' arguments are there also]
Australia’s Maritime Strategy
Jun 2004 Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade

"...Recommendation Four... 5.70 The Government is not required to commit to the purchase of the F-35 until 2006. The Government should give consideration to purchasing some short take-off and vertical landing aircraft (STOVL)....

...Conclusions...
...5.88 In the previous conclusions, the committee suggested that if the Government, in 2006, confirms the decision to purchase the F-35, it should consider purchasing some short take-off and vertical landing aircraft (STOVL). This could provide the ADF with some organic air cover while it is engaged in regional operations. It is assumed that the F-35 STOVL version will be able to meet its design specifications. The committee is aware of reports that the STOVL version is subject to weight problems....

...Recommendation 9
5.91 If in 2006 the Government confirms that it will purchase the Joint Strike Fighter (F-35) then it should consider purchasing some short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) F-35 variants for the provision of organic air cover as part of regional operations...."

Source: http://www.aph.gov.au/parliamentary_bus ... report.pdf (0.8Mb)

&
Navy keeps very quiet while it waits for the last laugh
04 Aug 2007 Sydney Morning Herald Newspaper

"WHEN Brendan Nelson announced last month a $3 billion order for two giant amphibious landing ships, it was widely seen as a victory for the “expeditionary force” school of strategy, emphasising overseas punch for the Australian Army....

...“There’s a lot of chuckling behind the sleeves,” said Derek Woolner, an expert on defence technology at the Australian National University’s Strategic and Defence Studies Centre. “The joke around is Navy’s being very, very careful. They’ve got almost total discipline: no one in Navy is saying anything about Harriers.” Woolner expects the subject to come up once the air force starts getting its new F-35 aircraft. “They’ll say how about buying some V/STOL versions, they’ll be really cheap because we can get the maintenance and support done out of the RAAF fleet, they wouldn’t be like a little orphan fleet, we’d only need a few, and gee, it would add so much to our power projection. “People are fully aware of it, it’s just that the politics of the thing are such that Navy is shutting up,” Woolner said...."

Source: http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/navy-k ... 56129.html

&
Aircraft carrier on navy's secret $4bn wish list
25 Mar 2008 Ian McPhedran

"THE Royal Australian Navy has produced a secret $4 billion "wish list" that includes an aircraft carrier, an extra air warfare destroyer and long-range Tomahawk cruise missiles for its submarine fleet. The RAN wants a third 26,000 tonne amphibious ship equipped with vertical takeoff jet fighters, a fourth $2 billion air warfare destroyer and cruise missiles that could strike targets thousands of kilometres away....

...Taxpayers will spend more than $11 billion to provide the RAN with the two 26,000-tonne amphibious ships and three air-warfare destroyers equipped with 48 vertical launch missiles.... The RAN wants a third ship to carry vertical take-off fighter jets....

...They [Oz LHDs] will each cost more than $1.7 billion. The fighters [F-35Bs] would cost about $100 million each. The destroyers will cost about $2 billion each, taking the total cost to more than $4 billion. Tomahawk cruise missiles cost about $1 million each and can carry a 450kg conventional or 200 kiloton nuclear warhead more than 2500km...."

Source: http://www.news.com.au/national/aircraf ... 1115876869

&
F-35B JSF for the ADF—a viable option in the 2015 White Paper? (Part 1)
30 May 2014 Malcolm Davis

“...It’s the defence of Australia principal task, which includes ensuring control of Australia’s air and maritime approaches that seems more relevant to any decision to purchase the F-35B. The 2013 Defence White Paper reinforced the importance of controlling Australia’s sea and air approaches. That requires a ‘credible force with effective capabilities for sea and air control and denial, strike and power projection’, according to the white paper, and operational demands might require the ADF to operate well beyond the combat radius of the land-based F-35A JSF. In such a scenario, a Joint Task Force would be completely dependent on the naval surface combatant’s area air defence capabilities to counter air and missile threats.

In considering acquiring the F-35B, the Joint Task Force would have an added layer of air defence, and the aircraft would provide options for the Joint Task Force Commander in terms of anti-ship and land-strike, as well as reconnaissance. In addition, such a capability could also support operations under Principal Tasks Three & Four as part of a coalition. But it’s also important to frame any debate over whether the F-35B could be a viable option for the ADF in the future by realistically considering the operational environment in which the F-35B will undertake operations....”

Source: http://www.aspistrategist.org.au/f-35b- ... er-part-1/

&
F-35B JSF for the ADF—a viable option in the 2015 White Paper? (Part 2)
30 May 2014 Malcolm Davis

“...it’s becoming clear that China’s rapid military modernisation, its assertive behavior in the East and South China Sea, and the growing regional security dilemmas emerging in the form of regional military modernisation, will increase the risk of conflict in the future. In that future, the risk must be that Australia will be drawn into a regional conflict involving the United States and China.

In that scenario it’s likely that US military forces would have access to Australian military facilities in the north and west. It also seems plausible that the ADF, working alongside US air and naval forces, would be required to respond to Chinese attempts to deny US forces a sanctuary in Australia from which to conduct operations against China. That could involve Chinese forces seeking to contest Australian air and sea approaches, and launch attacks on US forces operating from Australian facilities. Based on language in the 2013 White Paper, the ADF’s response to such a challenge would be to ‘...deter attacks or coercion against Australia by demonstrating our capability to impose prohibitive costs on potential aggressors and deny them the ability to control our maritime approaches'. Furthermore, the ADF might also ‘...undertake operations against adversary’s bases and forces in transit, as far from Australia as possible. ...using strike capabilities and the sustained projection of power by joint task forces, including amphibious operations in some circumstances'....

...It’s in countering the advantages bestowed by strategic geography on an adversary practising anti-access operations where a small force of F-35Bs deployed on LHDs might play a significant role. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter’s key advantages are purported to be stealth, integrated avionics and an ability to network with off-board sensors—all of which contribute to the pilot in the F-35 having an information advantage over an opponent, whether that opponent is in the air, on land or on the sea. If the F-35B is seen as a key node in an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) network that contributes towards an expeditionary force gaining a know-ledge advantage at the tactical level, then a force of F-35Bs on board LHDs will add to the joint task force survivability. Information gathered by the sensor systems can be exploited by the F-35B to attack detected targets, or the F-35B can act as a sensor in a ‘sensor to shooter’ link, with the ‘shooter’ being a naval vessel or a submarine. Furthermore, the F-35B can exploit austere bases on land—known as forward arming and refuelling points (FARPs)—to operate in support of naval task forces in archipelagic waters, thus easing operational challenges and risks for the LHDs....

...Only a small number could be carried onboard the LHDs, [shades of FOUR A4Gs aboard HMAS Melbourne, 1969-72 for Air Defence of the Fleet] and at the expense of other important capabilities. But an F-35B acquisition could offer the ADF a more flexible way to undertake the Principal Tasks, even in the face of growing threats from an adversary’s anti-access ability.”

Source: http://www.aspistrategist.org.au/f-35b- ... er-part-2/
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Unread post22 Dec 2018, 15:21

Does the RAN still have issues with un-marinized helos operating off the Canberra’s? Also, what about helos with manual-folding rotor blades and Chinooks that cannot fit into the Canberra hangar spaces? If so, then thay would seem to contradict conan’s assertion that Australia buys “capability” and would seem to be a bigger issue than F-35B’s — after all, if the RAN (or ADF) cannot afford a proper amphibious helo force, what’s the point of Killer Bees onboard the ships?
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post22 Dec 2018, 20:49

The trouble with having posts scattered about over the years means much searching - so here goes....
"...For the transfer of aircraft between the hanger and the flight deck, the Juan Carlos I has two elevators, each with a capacity of 25 tonnes and sufficient size to be able to carry up to the new F-35B Lightning II, or a helicopter the size of a Chinook...." http://www.navantia.es/ckfinder/userfil ... pr/folleto LHD_marzo_para navantia_ingles.pdf OR viewtopic.php?f=22&t=12631&p=295254&hilit=Chinook+Australia#p295254

Blades will have to be manually folded (I guess) there is at least one photo somewhere....
"...the ADF already states that the Canberras will be able to support Romeos as well as the ground-support MRH-90, Chinook and Tiger aircraft...." http://www.aspistrategist.org.au/the-lh ... -response/ OR viewtopic.php?f=22&t=12631&p=287036&hilit=Chinook+Australia#p287036

Tigers also have flotation devices fitted - photo/info in the PDFs? I'll have to look..... Last pages of this PDF have the ARH Tiger flotation devices. OzLHDmaterial18dec2018pp187prn.pdf (10.7Mb) download/file.php?id=29136

Cutaway Graphic shows helos / vehickle stowage inna dinks. CHOOK blades removed: http://www.navantia.es/ckfinder/userfil ... pr/folleto LHD_marzo_para navantia_ingles.pdf
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Unread post22 Dec 2018, 21:23

This GargleSerchURL should give you plenty of images of 'lookie lookie lookie here comes chookie' aboard our LHDs:

https://www.google.com/search?q=Chinook ... wpx2nKja4M:
Foxtrot Chinooks undertake deck handling trials on board Navy LHD
23 May 2016 Australian Aviation

"The Navy’s Aircraft Maintenance and Flight Trials Unit (AMAFTU) has commenced deck handling trials with the Army’s new CH-47F Chinook heavy lift helicopters on board the LHD amphibious assault ship HMAS Canberra. Two Foxtrot Chinooks, A15-304 and -307, from C Squadron, 5 Aviation Regiment landed on board the Canberra for the first time while it was alongside at Garden Island, Sydney on May 17.

The deck handling trials are a prelude to first of class flight trials, expected to be held later this year, and checked that flightdeck markings, securing fittings, associated ground equipment, hangar arrangements and procedures are suitable for the Foxtrots when they are embarked on the LHDs.

The trials also assessed the removal of the Chinook’s six giant blades and lowering the helicopter below to the hangar deck via the LHD’s rear aircraft lift…."

Photie: https://i1.wp.com/australianaviation.co ... 38_028.jpg

Image

https://i1.wp.com/australianaviation.co ... 38_003.jpg

Image

Source: http://australianaviation.com.au/2016/0 ... -navy-lhd/
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