Australian lawmakers confident in F-35's future

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optimist

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Unread post18 Nov 2022, 01:11

WE may finish up with the final order of 28 next year, for the total 100 F-35
https://the-riotact.com/raaf-set-to-dec ... aft/612744
The Royal Australian Air Force will decide in 2023 on the next tranche (28) of combat aircraft.
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Unread post18 Nov 2022, 03:07

Thanks. That is a great overview of the RAAF fast jet history. I'll throw in a WOBBLY dream of 28 F-35Bs? Yeah right.
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Unread post18 Nov 2022, 14:17

A lesser man, would be medicated with those delusions :mrgreen:
AS you would know, Andrew McLaughlin is a well known aussie jurno. To nitpick the article, the F-35 isn't to replace the F-111. I don't recall the FA-18f on a 10 year fill in. Early on it was decided to review in 2025 keeping the FA-18f. with retiring them in 2025-2030. Other than that it was good. I recall the RAAF didn't want them and were happy to just have the hornets. They also didn't want the growlers counted as fast air. They are financed under another item. It is possible we keep the FA-18f/G as a marine gap filler with the subs. Currently the FA-18f retire 2030 and the growler 2035.
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Unread post18 Nov 2022, 15:48

By "marine gap filler" do you mean load them up with LRASM's and/or JSM's dedicated to interdicting surface ships?

Does that get you Aussies a different dollar bucket from which to finance them?
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 post18 Nov 2022, 18:51

optimist wrote:A lesser man, would be medicated with those delusions :mrgreen:
AS you would know, Andrew McLaughlin is a well known aussie jurno. To nitpick the article, the F-35 isn't to replace the F-111. I don't recall the FA-18f on a 10 year fill in. Early on it was decided to review in 2025 keeping the FA-18f. with retiring them in 2025-2030. Other than that it was good. I recall the RAAF didn't want them and were happy to just have the hornets. They also didn't want the growlers counted as fast air. They are financed under another item. It is possible we keep the FA-18f/G as a marine gap filler with the subs. Currently the FA-18f retire 2030 and the growler 2035.

Yeah nitpicking can go on and on however he seems to have this idea fixed: "...The Super Hornet was initially acquired as a Bridging Air Combat Capability (BACC) through Project AIR 5439 after concerns the RAAF’s F-111C strike fleet was becoming increasingly costly to operate and was experiencing some fatigue issues. At the same time, the replacement F-35 JSF program was experiencing developmental and programmatic delays, and the RAAF determined that the F-111 couldn’t be extended beyond 2010.... A Super Decade March 26, 2020 Andrew McLaughlin https://adbr.com.au/a-super-decade/ [still there - probably all these quotes are referenced already in this thread at the time]

“...When we have an effective maritime strike weapon onboard the F-35, we will look to retire our Super Hornets, with the exception of the Growler. Flying the Super Hornet has prepared us for F-35 in some key ways, notably in terms of the security requirements necessary to manage data generated by the aircraft.”... & ...“You fly a legacy asset you cannot drive the kind of change the ADF needs in the near to mid-term..." Crafting a Fifth Generation Combat Force: The Perspective of Air Marshal (Retired) Geoff Brown 24 Nov 2018 Robbin Laird https://sldinfo.com/2018/11/crafting-a- ... off-brown/

"...One factor must be the RAAF’s argument that EA-18Gs are support , not combat, aircraft. "While they do attack [electronically], that is a fraction of their role and they cannot do all of the roles of a strike fighter,” says the senior officer. The Growlers will spend much of their time collecting electronic intelligence, not attacking, the officer says. Using them for conventional attacks would be beyond the training of their crews, specialists in the techniques of electronic warfare.

If Growlers are not combat aircraft, then the air force can argue that, despite their induction, it still needs 100 fighters—a mix of Super Hornets and Lightnings, at least at first. The government has made no comment on that possibility, and it
is struggling to get its budget back into surplus....- RAAF Classifies Growlers As Support Aircraft 18 March 2013 By Bradley Perrett - Aviation Week & Space Technology http://www.aviationweek.com/Article/Pri ... tView=true
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Unread post23 Dec 2022, 06:48

Keeping up the PACE [6 page PDF of article attached]
Jan 2023 Tim Fish

"...As China's influence expands across the Indo-Pacific region and its military forces are modernised at an ever-increasing rate, Australia and New Zealand have tough decisions to make about the future force structure of their military, writes Tim Fish....

...While the [RAAF] Squadrons started to receive the new F-35s and undertake conversion training, the RAAF's older F/A-18A/B Super Hornets were gradually retired [along with this author who needs to be edumuckated about Legacy Hornets]. After more than 35 years of service, the last F/A-18A/B Super Hornets completed their final flights on November 29, 2021....

...One RAAF Growler was lost after it caught fire in an accident at the Nellis air base in the US in January 2018. However, No 6 Squadron, which operates the Super Hornet and Growler fleet from RAAF Base Amberly [spelt AMBERLEY you know] in Queensland, will receive a replacement from one of Boeing's production lots under the US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program for about $125 million....

...The next big decision facing the RAAF is whether to continue its acquisition for an additional 28 [F-35A] planes under AIR 6000 Phase 7 to increase to 100 jets or to spend the money elsewhere....

...New Zealand alignment...
...Johanson [Terence Johanson, a lecturer at Massey University's Centre for Defence and Security Studies] said there is still some residual feeling within the older RNZAF community that it needs to reacquire a combat capability that was lost in 2001 when the A-4 Skyhawk aircraft were retired. However, he added, it would take "too much time and money to reinvigorate it."..."

Source: AIR International January 2023 Vol 104 No 1
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RAAF & RNZAF Future Air International Jan 2023 pp6.pdf
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Unread post05 Feb 2023, 04:20

Australia now fields almost 60 F-35As
Feb 2023 AIRFORCES Monthly Magazine

“A FURTHER five Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF)-operated Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning IIs have arrived at RAAF Base Williamtown in New South Wales, bringing the total Australia now fields almost 60 F-35As number in service to 59 aircraft out of 72 on order.

These five new F-35As (serials A35-055; A35-056; A35-057; A35-058 and A35-059) were accepted by the base’s resident No 81 Wing, part of the RAAF’s Air Combat Group...”

Source: AIRFORCES Monthly Feb 2023 #419
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Unread post07 Feb 2023, 07:54

RAAF Growlers get $2bn for jammer upgrades to run better interference
06 Feb 2023 Julian Bajkowski

"The Albanese government has hit the afterburners on Australia’s airborne electronic warfare capability, revealing the Australian Defence Force’s standout radar-systems developer CEA Technologies will upgrade Australia’s EA-18G Growler to the most current US capabilities as part of the $6 billion Project AIR 5349 Phase 6 project.

The selection of the local firm to help perform the upgrades squares away the well-anticipated capability boost and reaffirms a broader focus on keeping Australia’s air power as sharp as possible as part of a wider quick readiness posture that allows cooperation with other airforces, particularly the US Air Force.

Currently approved funding for AIR 5349 Phase 6 sits at around $2 billion, with CEA’s cut coming in at $277 million....

...Jamming aircraft are primarily used to interfere with and deny an adversary’s ability to get guided missiles away by making electromagnetic and radio frequency soup out of signals and communications used for targeting, guidance and communications.

The aircraft work by carrying pods that contain electrical generators (often assisted by small propellers to help the generators spin) that produce enough interference to swamp enemy systems. A typical scenario is jamming, and electronic warfare aircraft are sent in ahead of, or with, bombers or other strike aircraft tasked with eliminating targets.

They also have non-lethal uses, including the denial of communications, that can impair an adversary or prevent an effective attack from being launched....

...According to Defence, the list of upgrades coming to Australia’s Growlers includes a “Next-Generation Jammer weapon system” to replace the ALQ-99 Tactical Jamming System; sensor upgrades; anti-radiation missile war stock; and new longer-range and more advanced anti-radiation missiles.

Upgrades to the electronic warfare training ranges and facility upgrades at Queensland’s Amberley base and the Delamere Air Training Area near Katherine in the Northern Territory are also part of the deal."

Photo: "EA-18G Growler get an aircraft jamming software upgrade. (Defence)" https://www.themandarin.com.au/wp-conte ... rowler.jpg


Source: https://www.themandarin.com.au/211298-r ... erference/
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