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Australian Air Combat Musings

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posted on Feb, 7 2007 @ 03:41 PM
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We already have AWACs on the way (though they have slipped in service entry time again, nice going Boeing...). Personally I think the current AMRAAM is fine for our current threat list, but I'd like to upgrade to the D when it becomes available on the FMS list (which it will). While Meteor is a good missile, I just don't think we need to go through the integration pain again (especially given the ASRAAM experience). With JASSM on the way as well, I just don't see the need to spend money on Super Hornets.




posted on Feb, 7 2007 @ 05:53 PM
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Originally posted by kilcoo316
A meteor and upgraded (to) AESA radar equipped F/A-18C with supporting AWACs (which, lets face it, will always be present) will be better than an E/F any day of the week.


You're making assumptions about the combat environment in which the Hornet will fight in and how it will be used. A nice way to cover for the fact that a legacy Hornet with a new radar and missile still wont hold a candle to the Super Hornet Block II/III with AMRAAM-D which would outperform it in virtually every category. The E/F version incorporates a lot more stuff than just a new radar.

[edit on 7-2-2007 by WestPoint23]



posted on Feb, 8 2007 @ 04:35 AM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
You're making assumptions about the combat environment in which the Hornet will fight in and how it will be used.


Do you honestly think airforces don't make assumptions about how their equipment will be used?


For instance, the ATF think-tank assumed fighter radar would not be strong enough to detect a VLO aircraft at useful ranges. Otherwise, they would not have made a VLO aircraft.


As I said, the legacy Hornet with a few upgrades will do the job, whilst saving billions which can be used more effectively elsewhere (like solving Australia's real problem - not invasion from Malaysia or somewhere, but future fresh water supply shortages).



posted on Feb, 9 2007 @ 05:54 AM
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Australia to Buy 24 Super Hornets As Interim Gap-Filler to JSF?


DID has covered the recent controversies over Australia's involvement in the F-35 Lightning II program, amid criticisms that the new aircraft will be unable to compete with proliferating SU-30 family aircraft in the region, lacks the required range or response time, and will either be extremely expensive at $100+ million per aircraft in early (2013-2016) production or will not be available until 2018 or later.



Feb 6/07: Australia has submitted a formal request. The US DSCA has announced the $3.1 billion request and its details. In addition to the 24 F-18Es, Australia has requested:Feb 6/07: Australia has submitted a formal request. The US DSCA has announced the $3.1 billion request and its details. In addition to the 24 F-18Es, Australia has requested:

- 48 installed and 6 spare F414 engines
- 24 AN/APG-79 AESA radar systems
- 24 AN/USQ-140 Multifunctional Informational Distribution System Low Volume Terminals (MIDS-LVT Link 16)
- 30 AN/ALR-67(V)3 Electric Warfare Countermeasures Receiving Sets, the same kind that will also equip Australia's other Hornets after the ALR 2002 project's failure.
- Integration of the AN/ALE-47 Electronic Warfare Countermeasures Systems
- 145 LAU-127 Guided Missile Launchers. These wingtip launchers allow the plane to launch AIM-9 Sidewinders or medium-range AIM-120 AMRAAM air-air missiles.
- 30 AN/PVS-9 night vision goggles
- 12 Joint Mission Planning Systems
- AN/ALE-55 Fiber Optic Towed Decoys
- System integration and testing, software development/integration, test sets and support equipment, spare and repair parts, maintenance and pilot training, software support, publications and technical documents.



LINK

Looks like the purchase is on



posted on Feb, 11 2007 @ 02:52 PM
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Looks like there is a growing chorus of discontent regarding the Australian Super Hornet purchase.

Press article

I agree with the sentiment regarding failure to follow proper procurement policies, but for different reasons than the agenda being pushed by the various group in the article - I actually think proper analysis, with classified information (rather than the open source crap these groups rely on) would show that any gap, if it does exist, could be sorted in other ways rather than the purchase of new fighters. These groups keep pushing the F-22 because of Australia's apparent lack of capability against Su-30s, but I haven't seen a single shred of threat analysis to indicate where this apparent threat is going to come from. There needs to be more analysis to back up their point of view from both sides, instead of snap decision and emotive diatribe. It is starting to get more than a little embarrassing.



posted on Mar, 12 2007 @ 11:37 AM
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In my romp around the net came across this from aviation week. Its a story on the F/A-18 E/F's new radar that they need in order to trully finish the planes. Its sounds like they are running into some problems with it and that its a little slow on locking on etc. Either way doesn't sound too good for what to sending these things into combat in 08.

One other part about the story struck me was the last lines about fifth gen planes and comparing the 22/35 to the 18 and it almost sounds like he thinks the 18 cna do a better job in someway? As i said its confusing.


In the wake of the evaluation, Gaddis alluded to fifth generation capabilities for the AESA-equipped F/A-18Fs. Such claims raise the hackles of F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter program officials.

"There is no tactical fighter flying that is more effective in both air-to-air and air-to-ground [missions] as a Block II Hornet with AESA," Gaddis says. "It is the finest radar bomber in the world today. That goes for little platforms and big platforms" - a reference to the B-1 and B-2. The F-22 program has not yet completed its development of air-to-ground capabilities.

Critics of Gaddis' claim contend that cobbling together some pieces of the capability won't result in a fifth generation aircraft like the F-22 or F-35. "The whole point to fifth generation is the synergy of stealth, fusion and complete situational awareness," says a veteran Air Force fighter pilot. The point about fifth generation aircraft is that they can do their mission anywhere - even in sophisticated integrated air defense [IADS] environments. If you fly into heavy IADS with a great radar and sensor fusion, but no stealth, you will have complete situational awareness of the guy that kills you."


link: www.aviationweek.com...



posted on Mar, 12 2007 @ 04:04 PM
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The Super Hornet has one of the finest radars in the world, when it comes to fighters that is, overall, in my view second only to the AN/APG-79 and the planned AN/APG-81. In terms of A2G performance I believe it is slightly better than the original AN/APG-77 in some respects, however given the gradual block improvement the F-22 is getting this will not be the case for long. The APG-79 gives you great A2A, A2G, EW, ELINT/SIGINT capabilities and can operate in multiple modes at the same time. The avionics and sensor on the Super Hornet (Block II) are amazing. I can't wait until they merge with the airframe and engine of the Block III Hornet. All those people talking about the "threat" from Flankers have no idea what the Super Hornet is capable of.

[edit on 12-3-2007 by WestPoint23]



posted on Mar, 12 2007 @ 04:06 PM
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From what I understand, the radar has had some problems, but these have been pretty much fixed. Part of the problem was to do with heat, especially in the higher power modes (Electronic Attack modes in particular caused problems).

As for the fifth generation fighter claim, well it's pretty much bollocks if you ask me. Sure, the radar, at this moment in time, is one of the better ones around, but as the counterpoint says, fifth gen is the fusion of a number of capabilities. Once the F-22's air to ground radar program is finished, it will assume the mantle as top all round dog (and considering it has already tested SDB it is arguably already superior to the Super Hornet in all respects). The Super Hornet doesn't have the penetration capability of a B-2. It isn't as good in a turning fight as a Classic Hornet (not that I think this is a big deal). The Super Hornet has good SA, but it won't be anywhere near as good as the F-35. The EA capes are nice, but unless you buy an EA-18, it isn't a force level capability. So, in short, it is all marketing spin by a company that is aggressively trying to sell its platform. And for anyone not getting a 22 or 35, it is a reasonable option.

To put it another way, you can put a 2.4L V8 engine in a Mini and wear a helmet, but that doesn't make it a Formula 1 car...



posted on Mar, 16 2007 @ 07:58 AM
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Attention all Aussies on this forum.

60 minutes (Australia) will be doing a story/promotion/propaganda piece on the F-35 this Sunday 18/03/07. As Im sure you will all agree, it will be an unbiased dollop of professional and imparitial journalism with indepth research... Therefore hopefully presented by Naomi Robson


There was also a story on the minister's decision to go with the Super Hornet on the ABC's Seven Thirty Report this week. Unfortunately I missed all but the last 30 sec's. Did anyone see it? as it seemed to be a little unflattering for the minister and the NACC program. The transcript is not yet available.

LEE.



posted on Mar, 16 2007 @ 02:13 PM
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Found a new photo in the airliners inventory that you guys may like. Just a for interest sake post as this seems to be the active Aus Airforce thread. Neat little bit of info that caught my attention.

Crashed, 25/10/78 in the Hauracki Gulf, northeast of Waiheke Island near Auckland, New Zealand during exercise Longex. The only part left of this aircraft is the escape module which is used these days for training. Seen here at the Australian War Memorial open day.




posted on Mar, 16 2007 @ 04:34 PM
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I've just got a copy of the 7:30 report story, so will post my thoughts later this weekend.

Also, another article talking about a cost increase of 12% on the price of the JSF. Man, bet the Defence Minister isn't having much of a weekend!


JSF cost blow-out



posted on Mar, 18 2007 @ 10:08 PM
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Some of the goodies available.

Yes i did catch 60 minutes on sun night.
He did seem rather coy about the purchase.



posted on Mar, 19 2007 @ 12:48 AM
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I was actually quite surprised by the 60 Minutes story. I thought they went quite lightly on him all things considered. And they didn't even mention the Super Hornet. As an aside, the reported was violently ill during the flight


From both the 60 Minutes and 7:30 reports stories, I'm getting a little sick of ex-serving members jumping up and down saying we shouldn't get this, or should get that, without providing an evidence or discussion. I'm not saying they are necessarily wrong, but I do think they need to give reasons for there point of view.



posted on Mar, 19 2007 @ 03:54 AM
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Any idea's on why our Minister for Defence suggested the F-35 would be better suited to our environment than the F-22?

Hypothetically, would the Yanks even have sold us the F-22?



posted on Mar, 19 2007 @ 08:58 AM
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Originally posted by Willard856
I was actually quite surprised by the 60 Minutes story. I thought they went quite lightly on him all things considered. And they didn't even mention the Super Hornet. As an aside, the reported was violently ill during the flight.
.



Hey its 60 Min's, not 4 Corners they were NEVER going to ask the hard questions, Im actually surprised they queried him at all. Like I said I wouldn't have been surprised if Chnl 9 had signed up Naomi Robson for the story. Would have LOVED... no paid! to see her barf all over the back of a Sqn leaders bang seat





From both the 60 Minutes and 7:30 reports stories, I'm getting a little sick of ex-serving members jumping up and down saying we shouldn't get this, or should get that, without providing an evidence or discussion. I'm not saying they are necessarily wrong, but I do think they need to give reasons for there point of view.
.



Yeah but without proper analysis by government these are the only forums these Ex brass have got to publicly voice there concern. Lets face it a 10 min story doesn't give you much time to get your point across and 3/4 of the interview ends up on the cutting room floor. And in any case the minister and current DoD leaders haven't done any better either. Although didnt AVM (retd) Peter Criss make submissions to the Senate standing committee on Defence over this? I seem to remember he or another retired RAAF leader detailing why the F-22 was better suited. He also had a story in "The Age" or "The Australian" in the last couple of days that outlines some of his reasoning. There appears to be a link to it on APA's website. But in general your right BOTH sides are not giving their arguments properly.

LEE.





[edit on 19-3-2007 by thebozeian]

[edit on 19-3-2007 by thebozeian]



posted on Mar, 19 2007 @ 09:30 AM
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Originally posted by kojac
Hypothetically, would the Yanks even have sold us the F-22?


As it stands right now No. Thats the simple answer it went to a vote if the 22 would be allowed to be exported and they turned down the idea. There was good and bad reasoning for why to keep it close the their hearts but I do think that Aus would of benifited if they had been allowed to purchase the 22. So its not even hypothetical at this point its already been answered.

[edit on 22/08/06 by Canada_EH]



posted on Mar, 19 2007 @ 09:31 AM
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Originally posted by kojac
Any idea's on why our Minister for Defence suggested the F-35 would be better suited to our environment than the F-22?


Thats the problem kojac, neither he or the brass will give real reasons because they broke the golden proccurement rule of not doing ANY real analysis in the first place. All he can offer is the following qoute.

"It's the five percent of this aircraft's capability that is classified to which I have had privileged access and, that's the five percent that really counts. And that's why this is the correct aircraft for us."

Oh well thats just comforting Dr Nelson you pull out the old "thats classified" crap and we should just trust you. Of course he didn't mention the classified 5% of the F-22's capabilities I note, nor any other aircraft.


Hypothetically, would the Yanks even have sold us the F-22?


The USAF did begin an analysis of export suitability to Australia between 99-01 under the LOEXCOM directive. It was cut short when we leapt into the F-35 decision, but the gist of it at the time was that the RAAF presented no greater risk of technology ending up in the wrong hands than the USAF. Therefore if a direct PM to President request was made it is likely to be looked on favourably. The USAF would be keen to see the build numbers increase to reduce per unit costs as this adds weight to there argument for more Raptors, so there are unlikely to be any stumbling blocks there.

The often quoted letter from US deputy defence secretary Gordon England claiming the US wont export the Raptor appears to be a Canberra spin job. I havent seen a copy of it but the handfull of journalists who did see it seem to indicate that what it was really talking about was the "Obey Ammendment". This was a bill that was passed in the US that denied the abillity for the Government to use taxpayer funds to market the aircraft. That is NOT the same thing as saying export is denied.

LEE.



posted on Mar, 19 2007 @ 04:47 PM
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Of course he didn't mention the classified 5% of the F-22's capabilities I note, nor any other aircraft.


Nelson wouldn't have a clue about 90% of the F-22s capabilities. He still gets it wrong in saying the F-22 isn't air to ground capable, despite the fact there is plenty of open-source info around proving otherwise.

While I understand there is some frustration regarding comments like "it's classified", the simple fact is that that is probably true, and no amount of cajoling will get an answer. The question I thought was more interesting in terms of the response was the one regarding which other aircraft were considered. I thought he would at least pull one or two out, I know that a few aircraft makers certainly marketed their wares as a Hornet replacement (it isn't exactly a surprise that the F/A-18s days are numbered), so why he was reluctant to at least mention this, is strange.

Also, in terms of understanding the JSFs appropriateness for Australia, while a detailed competitive process wasn't followed, there has certainly been analysis of the JSF within the Australian context.



posted on Mar, 19 2007 @ 10:03 PM
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Yeah I agree. Nelson's dodging on the question of what other aircraft were considered was very interesting (THAT is what surprised me for a 60mins story). If he had just bothered to throw one in it would have made his stance seem better. By publicly not answering like that, he has made his argument look suspicious to even the layman watching 60 mins. If any thing he is digging a bigger hole for himself.

I dont doubt that he would have received a classified briefing on F-35 capabilities, but if everthing in this saga is above board he should be able to say he or his predessor received classified briefings for the other contenders.

Buy the way, I have been looking at the ministers website for the mysterious letter from US Dpty Sec England regarding F-22 unavailability for export. So far I have found no trace here or on the Parliment house website, which is suspicious given they release just about everything else. I did however find this little gem from 2 yrs ago in a press conference given by then minister R. Hill. Check out the squirming routine he goes through when asked about pricing for the JSF program. He doesnt seem willing to explain the $4billion discrepancy between his total cost and Steven Gumley's other than they have to build hangars (gold plated ones I assume?).

www.minister.defence.gov.au...

It almost mirrors Nelsons "thats classified" dodging exactly 2 years later. Thats politics I guess?

LEE.



posted on Mar, 20 2007 @ 09:39 AM
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Originally posted by Willard856
The question I thought was more interesting in terms of the response was the one regarding which other aircraft were considered. I thought he would at least pull one or two out, I know that a few aircraft makers certainly marketed their wares as a Hornet replacement (it isn't exactly a surprise that the F/A-18s days are numbered), so why he was reluctant to at least mention this, is strange.

Also, in terms of understanding the JSFs appropriateness for Australia, while a detailed competitive process wasn't followed, there has certainly been analysis of the JSF within the Australian context.


These issues where one I raised in a JSF vs F/A-18F vs F-111 post a while back. It hinged more on what where the performance of the planes and how did it apply to the Aus requirements of range, payload etc. I'm going to have to hunt for the thread as a bunch of guys and gals had lots of good insight in the dissusion.


[edit on 22/08/06 by Canada_EH]




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