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

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spazsinbad

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Unread post18 Feb 2013, 01:21

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...."
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count_to_10

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Unread post18 Feb 2013, 01:54

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.
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Unread post18 Feb 2013, 01:57

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...
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Unread post18 Feb 2013, 01:59

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.
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Unread post18 Feb 2013, 02:00

'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
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Unread post18 Feb 2013, 02:57

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:
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Unread post18 Feb 2013, 03:11

I thought the StruckEaglet was a 'mangy dog'? :D
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Unread post18 Feb 2013, 03:18

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...
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Unread post18 Feb 2013, 03:21

Me wonders him he now has a vendetta...
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Unread post18 Feb 2013, 03:44

gtx wrote:Me wonders him he now has a vendetta...


No, how can this be? They all have such great moral courage!
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Unread post18 Feb 2013, 04:50

Another TEASER with Pierre SPRAY:
Stroll down for the video:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-02-18/p ... etworknews
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Unread post18 Feb 2013, 05:14

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:

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Unread post18 Feb 2013, 08:37

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.
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Unread post18 Feb 2013, 08:47

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.
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Unread post18 Feb 2013, 15:29

So, the choice of SH over SE was jamming?
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