It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

F-111 early retirement .

page: 1
0
<<   2 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Apr, 16 2006 @ 04:33 PM
link   
Looks like the Australians are trying to further speed up the retirement of this venerable old bird .

Can't really blame them , so what do we think Tomahawks and a few years down the line JSF or what?


They have become less effective due to modern electronic warfare and stealth technology.

The aircraft must also be escorted by more up-to-date F/A-18 Hornet fighters.
Nine RAAF officers have died in F-111 crashes and statistics indicate the ageing planes are overdue for an incident.

Chief Defence Scientist Dr Roger Lough has told a parliamentary committee that the F-111 was "ancient" by combat aircraft standards.

He said he had a "whole division" of scientists at Fishermans Bend in Victoria devoted to keeping the machines flying.

Current plans have the strike aircraft retiring between 2010 and 2012, but military sources say top brass are increasingly concerned about ballooning costs and risks to aircrew

Full article here www.news.com.au...


Also It might be nice to here members views on what has been an eventful career for the F-111 (as a whole ) Taking in the vietnam era right through the cold war and up today with the RAAF in Iraq.


[edit on 16-4-2006 by buckaroo]




posted on Apr, 16 2006 @ 04:36 PM
link   
Plane age is just one of the problems. ill bet maintaing these old warbirds is costing quite a bit as well. The RAAF according to articles in AWST really know how to use thier F/A-18's I wonder if they will try to procure a few E/F models as a backstop till they can field several squadrons of the JSF? The F-22 would be a great aircraft for thier inventory and they no doubt are on the short list for importing it, but it may be cost prohibative. The E/F model with AESA would be an ideal platform that would cover air superiority and maritime strike at the same time.



posted on Apr, 16 2006 @ 04:44 PM
link   

Originally posted by FredT
Plane age is just one of the problems. ill bet maintaing these old warbirds is costing quite a bit as well. The RAAF according to articles in AWST really know how to use thier F/A-18's I wonder if they will try to procure a few E/F models as a backstop till they can field several squadrons of the JSF? The F-22 would be a great aircraft for thier inventory and they no doubt are on the short list for importing it, but it may be cost prohibative. The E/F model with AESA would be an ideal platform that would cover air superiority and maritime strike at the same time.


Yes , Im sure that the E/F would be a good match for the RAAF , however the cost of theese + JSF could be too much , would you say one for one with the F-111 or slightly less? , don't forget they are also funding currently or pending wedgetail and as far im still aware c-17 also.


* Forgot too add maybe a lease of some kind with the USN may be in order.


[edit on 16-4-2006 by buckaroo]



posted on Apr, 16 2006 @ 04:54 PM
link   
I don't think you will get a 1:1 replacement even with the JSF.

I think the wedgetail and the C-17 buy are already funded.

The C-17 is a must IMHO. They need to be able to transport thier M1A1's

[edit on 4/16/06 by FredT]



posted on Apr, 16 2006 @ 05:20 PM
link   

Originally posted by FredT

The C-17 is a must IMHO. They need to be able to transport thier M1A1's

[edit on 4/16/06 by FredT]


Agreed , A very prudent purchase , what with there geographic location aswell.



posted on Apr, 16 2006 @ 06:58 PM
link   
Maybe I'm mistaken but I thought the Aussies had sourced a load of the ex-USAF low-hours F and FB airframes/wings etc to completely rework most of their F-111's into a new standard (the 'G' wasn't it) with many hours ahead of them?

I'm sure I've seen stuff on TV about how they were stripped down completely and given a thorough up-dating and refurb.

Am I wrong, any Aussies here know the full ins and outs?

[edit on 16-4-2006 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Apr, 16 2006 @ 07:11 PM
link   

Originally posted by sminkeypinkey
Maybe I'm mistaken but I thought the Aussies had sourced a load of the ex-USAF low-hours F and FB airframes/wings etc to completely rework most of their F-111's into a new standard (the 'G' wasn't it) with many hours ahead of them?

I'm sure I've seen stuff on TV about how they were stripped down completely and given a thorough up-dating and refurb.

Am I wrong, any Aussies here know the full ins and outs?

[edit on 16-4-2006 by sminkeypinkey]


I was sure of that very same thing sminkeypinkey!

Lots here to read through www.ausairpower.net...

And also here



(Source : Australian Defence Organisation ; issued Oct. 31, 2000)


The Royal Australian Air Force's fleet of F-111G aircraft has been successfully updated with an advanced Digital Flight Control System.

The $32 million modification project, contracted to Lockheed Martin, follows a major avionics update for the C model aircraft in the F-111 fleet.

At a brief ceremony at the F-111 home base at Amberley Air Commodore Garry Bates, Director General Aerospace Combat Systems marked the completion of the project as a major achievement for the Defence Materiel Organisation and Defence Industry

from

www.defense-aerospace.com...



posted on Apr, 16 2006 @ 11:07 PM
link   
Buckaroo,

>>
Looks like the Australians are trying to further speed up the retirement of this venerable old bird .
>>

All product manufacturers encourage a view of 'preplanned obsolescence' in their wares. It's the only way they can interest the public in replacing them (and their spares pipes) with new. The MIC is no different and Oz is playing the game because that's how business for it's own sake is done to make the rich richer.

The fact of the matter is that I don't think the Aussies have deployed the F-111 to /any/ of the active conflicts they've recently participated in (ET? OEF/OIF? DS?). Nor am I sure that when they do go, they have not been dependent on U.S. tanking and ordnance.

At which point you have to face a logic bomb.

1. Why are you defending a need for independent power projection capability that is not in fact independent?
2. What has 'joint force' allied operations specifically brought Australia?
3. DO YOU HAVE A NEED to project force, independently, that must be built as much as recreated and if so, to what radii and sortie count per day?

That said, there are probably some pressing matters which must be covered up if you continue to espouse a desire to play in the JSF game.

Namely, that the F-35 is not going to cost 48-55 million. It's going to cost 70-130 million.

Indeed, the cost put before Congress _today_ for our versions is 104 million dollars each.

Now 'FMS discount' and 'Tier-X' guarantees (basically contractual price guaranteee obligations which the U.S. taxpayer will have to pay the difference for so that we can buy /fewer/ of our own models) may lower your price a bit. But I doubt that it will be anywhere's /near/ 16 billion dollars when you're through.

Given the history of the F-111, I would in fact expect that number to increase by 50% or more.

Whether an F-111 early retirement will give sufficient ops account/spares pipe shutdown to make up the difference I also doubt.

But the fact of the matter remains, you have not really justified the scenario pretext by which you need 700-1,000nm strike capability to hostage say Jakarta's behavior. Or to 'assist' in ASEAN type operations with Singapore and the like.

And until you analytically rather than cognitively/cybernetically proof the _environmental theorem_ by which you are making ANY military aircraft purchase; you should probably not count on being able to logically sustain any given decision.

Again, you have the perfect example of what a 'joint' fighter concept does to costs (R&D for three planes with one name) and mission performance in the Pig itself.

As such, I would recommend _Illusions Of Choice_ by Robert Coulam. Along with _The Pentagon Paradox_ (quality is achievable inverse of expectation) and _The Five Billion Dollar Misunderstanding_, both by James P. Stevenson, to any and all in the Australian electorate.

As a standing indictment of 'professional' defense procurement by a government whose democratic process begins and ends (in terms of accountability) at the ballot box. And all of whose subsequent decision making is typically based on reinforcing a justification of 'need' as a defense dole rather than well defined mission concept.

Spending 'while ya got it' (Oz defense surplus) just to gain the ability to empower your career in a weapon's systems development and operational life is seldom a good idea. It tends to make prejudicial any and all value judgments to the point of utter corruption of the process.

>>
Can't really blame them , so what do we think Tomahawks and a few years down the line JSF or what?
>>

The original purchase quantity for the U.S. services alone was stated to be on the order of 2,978 airframes, split between 2,000 for the AF. 680 for the Marines and 300 odd for the Navy. This was in turn supposed to be the baseline 'economies of scale' price guarantee (remember the JSF was the 'first fighter' for which cost was an indepedent variable that could not be traded down) for upwards of another 1,000 to 2,000 export sales.

We are now looking at numbers closer to 1,100 + 170 + 140 airframes for a total of about 1,410 airframes overall.

Meanwhile Vice Admiral Craig Steidle (current JSF program CMIC) has said that /any/ total below 1,600 airframes causes a dramatic diversion between numbers and overall program costs. Which is brushed over by saying that the 'overall price' (PAUC, or Program Acquisition Unit Costs) will be the same we just won't see tail end savings on a flyaway basis'.

The official justification for this changed posture is threefold:

1. Iraq.
We will have spent the better part of a trillion dollars by the time Bush is done and someone sane decides to stop giving handouts to Haliburton so that the wolf cubs in the ME can bite the hand that feeds them.

2. Opening up early blocks for 'massive export interest'.
Which, IMO, is on a hurry-up-and-wait-see HOLD MODE given that nobody has any incentive (the Tiered partnership discount and offset entry window having long since closed) to buy anything until the fighter has actually GOT a 'sticker shock' MSRP. Particularly in a relative time of peace.

3. The multi-off-few capabilities of small IAM and the abilities of 'stealth' in general to effect outcomes of 'Small Wars'.
Having rendered it less necessary to have massive numbers of airframes to net the same shock and awe effect. Of course this ignores the reality that the TOTAL FORCE effect is actually less because you are looking at single plane squadrons on our 'first responders' (Carrier air), none of which can be assisted by their landbased or STOVL cousins. Even as the expectation of 'supporting allied forces' is not born out by the penny ante numbers that the majority of even the Tier customers are expected to procure. Nor by their participation in operations of dubious political justification if not self-interest.

THE RESULT?

The JSF is a pyramid scheme waiting to collapse. Those in the bottom will be crushed and those at the top will lose all business model faith in their forecasts when promised export sales fail to emerge as a 'profit past baseline' justification for what has always been MIB pork. As the EU'ians continue to produce 60-80 million dollar Generation 4 platforms for airshow purposes. And bypass Generation 5's sole exponent to move onto Generation 6, as a 20-30 million dollar UCAV.

CONCLUSION:
I don't know if Congress will send us further into debt demanding that the USAF ruin it's own budget planning (a wonder to behold, being /forced/ to stay bloated) by sticking with the last 'official' cost:quantity figure of 1,763 airframes. If they do not, I would bail on JSF as fast as possible and move to a small compliment of a lightweight ADF (JAS or A-50) to guarantee local air sovereignity while awaiting the gen-after-next as well as geopolitical sea changes inherent to DEWS as much as economic power arising to strategic dominance via China and the East. Probably sometime after 2012.


KPl.



posted on Apr, 17 2006 @ 12:48 AM
link   
Wow, they are finally retiring it huh, too bad, it was a great plane...

It seems the time is up for swing-wing aircraft...pitty...I like them...

Didn't the Aussie's have Leo A5 or A6? then again they have alot of American equipment...



posted on Apr, 17 2006 @ 01:24 AM
link   
Pity we're finally retiring the bird.

I remember I was at an airshow, and as last feature - when it was dark - they had an F-111 do a low-altitude pass while venting fuel. For those of you who don't know, when an F-111 offloads fuel it comes out between the engine nacles, so it catches fire about 10 metres behind the plane, and has a fire streak about 50 metres long. That was a sight to behold! Lit the entire airfield up like the sun. Amazing.

Sure, you can pay the planes out here, but when you get up close to em and touch them, you find it hard to believe that there is a more worthy plane in any inventory.



posted on Apr, 17 2006 @ 08:42 PM
link   
An interesting chapter in the history of the Aussie F-111's has been it's use as a spyplane following an upgrade to a number of the Aussie F-111's to be able to carry out recon missions in the region. It may be some time before details of any of these missions are made public I suspect; it may even be possible that some of the F-111's are still being used in this capacity today.

Here's a link the the pigs homepage on the Aussie DoD site:

www.defence.gov.au...

[edit on 17-4-2006 by JamesinOz]



posted on Apr, 18 2006 @ 05:40 AM
link   
As others have said, time is starting to catch up to the Aardvarks! The reason I said maybe not in the title is because some of the Austraillian Aardvarks are older then people think. Their fleet is a mix of newer, costume built aircraft and some second hand ones that were retired from the US Air Force. In a recient artical in Air and Space they made refrence to the RAAF using several F-111G. In case anyone doesn't know the history of the "G", they weren't purpose built. The "G's" are old SAC FB-111A that were converted back to the tactical mission after they were retired from SAC in the 1990's

If it's the F-111G they are retireing, these aircraft probably had close to 20 years on the airframes before they ever arrived in Austrailla. We can check the accuracy of what I remember reading, but I think that's what's going on in a nutshell!

Tim



posted on Apr, 18 2006 @ 06:25 AM
link   
4 recon planes A8-126,A8-134,A8-143,A8-146 called RF-111C.

F-111G 68-259 A8-259
F-111G 68-264 A8-264
F-111G 68-265 A8-265
F-111G 68-270 A8-270
F-111G 68-271 A8-271
F-111G 68-272 A8-272
F-111G 68-274 A8-274
F-111G 68-277 A8-277
F-111G 68-278 A8-278
F-111G 68-281 A8-281
F-111G 68-282 A8-282
F-111G 68-291 A8-291
F-111G 69-6506 A8-506
F-111G 69-6512 A8-512
F-111G 69-6514 A8-514

15 F-111G's purchased.

F-111C 67-125 A8-125
F-111C 67-126 A8-126
F-111C 67-127 A8-127
F-111C 67-128 A8-128
F-111C 67-129 A8-129
F-111C 67-130 A8-130
F-111C 67-131 A8-131
F-111C 67-132 A8-132
F-111C 67-133 A8-133
F-111C 67-134 A8-134
F-111C 67-135 A8-135
F-111C 67-136 A8-136
F-111C 67-137 A8-137
F-111C 67-138 A8-138
F-111C 67-139 A8-139
F-111C 67-140 A8-140
F-111C 67-141 A8-141
F-111C 67-142 A8-142
F-111C 67-143 A8-143
F-111C 67-144 A8-144
F-111C 67-145 A8-145
F-111C 67-146 A8-146
F-111C 67-147 A8-147
F-111C 67-148 A8-148

24 F-111C's purchased.

Today the 17 F-111C (including 4 ex F-111A), 4 RF-111C and 14 F-111G form the RAAF's Strike Reconnaissance Group consisting of No. 82 Wing, No 1 Squadron (F-111C Strike and RF-111C Reconnaissance) and No.6 Squadron ( F-111G Strike and F-111C Training). Depot level maintenance is performed by No. 501 Wing (ex 3 Aircraft Depot and 482 Squadron). The F/RF-111C fleet has recently completed the AUP Block upgrade, and a potential Block upgrade for the F-111G fleet is in the wings.

www.f-111.net...

www.f-111.net... To find anything on all F-111's

There is certainly life left in the PIGS but they may be chopped for more
$$$$$$$$ for JSF but I hope not.



posted on Apr, 19 2006 @ 06:32 PM
link   
If anything should replace the F-111, It should be an F-15E Strike Eagle.

The F-111 is an old aircraft but still decent and has similar capabilities but it could make a decent supersonic bomber, Its like a Mini B-1 Lancer

The Aussies could use Leased F-15s until the arrival of the F-22



posted on Apr, 20 2006 @ 03:03 AM
link   
I agree, the RAAF should buy on the cheap as many of the old F-15's as they can afford, with one slightly used USS Kitty Hawk thrown in as the sweetener to close the deal.



posted on Apr, 20 2006 @ 06:07 AM
link   

Originally posted by Browno
The F-111 is an old aircraft but still decent and has similar capabilities but it could make a decent supersonic bomber, Its like a Mini B-1 Lancer


There was a strategic bomber version of the Aardvark! To learn more about it google FB-111! They were created for SAC.

Tim

P.S. F-111G were FB-111 converted back to the tactical mission!



posted on Apr, 20 2006 @ 08:56 AM
link   

Originally posted by Browno
If anything should replace the F-111, It should be an F-15E Strike Eagle.

The F-111 is an old aircraft but still decent and has similar capabilities but it could make a decent supersonic bomber, Its like a Mini B-1 Lancer

The Aussies could use Leased F-15s until the arrival of the F-22




My wish list would be F-15k's (with harpoon capability) maybe 40-50 odd.
5 to 10 years time maybe some F-22 RAPTORS maybe 20..



posted on Apr, 20 2006 @ 09:19 AM
link   
I would NOT replace the F-111 with the F/A-18 or F-35 JSF becouse they are medium fighters and replacing a Heavy fighter would CRIPPLE Australias air power, Just becouse its older it doesnt mean its rubbish.

Medium to Medium, Heavy to Heavy should be the regulation, I say the
F-15E Eagle should be the one IF the F-111 will be replaced

The F-111 has similar abilities to the F-15E

They are big and fly the same range and speed

Both 2 man crew

Carry loads of bombs n stuff like that

But the F-15s Bombs are exposed and cannot carry a Nuke like the F-111 that also has a bomb bay, Even has side by side seating which is better for long hour operations and the cockpit also turns into an escape pod instead of individual ejection seats, The escape pod also protects the pilots from the weather and protects them from sharks if they land in the sea.

I think the Aussies are just bored of this beauty becouse it has lasted so long and is still flying

If it is rubbish, then why is it still here?

ALSO: I dont even think the F-22A should really replace it, It should be this FB-23 since it is an F-111ish type of plane.

Would any foreign nation be able to revive the YF-23? The Iranians SHAFAQ was an abandoned Russian Project so why dont we do the same thing?



posted on Apr, 21 2006 @ 12:12 AM
link   
I personally loved the F-111. Great for strikes at naval vessels and the such. I imagine thats why the Aussies bought them. It is an old plane, but I dont think it is too old to serve yet. If they pay for these planes to be given new electronics and engines as well as other repairs necessary to basically refurbish them, they can at least serve for another 10-15 years IMHO. Its a great platform for striking your opponent.



posted on Apr, 23 2006 @ 07:36 PM
link   
The F-111 Entered service in 1964, Just if we look back what has happened since then and just think the F-111 is STILL flying.

As i said before, If it is rubbish why is it still here?

The Aardvark should well serve longer in Aussie Service, Just like the B-52 is more than half a century old and still effective today

REAL HEAVY METAL planes came from the 3rd/4th generation of Fighters such as the F-4 Phantom, F-14 Tomcat, F-15 Eagle and the F-111 Aardvark, They also happen to be my best fighters ever with the Tomcat as my personal favourite

Just an idea, Howabout the RAAF to use leased F-14 Tomcats? Well its better than leaving them collecting desert dust at AMARC



new topics

top topics



 
0
<<   2 >>

log in

join