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Australian Super Hornet purchase under a Parlimentary inquiry cloud.

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posted on Aug, 23 2007 @ 12:09 PM
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Originally posted by The Winged Wombat
But then the SH's become redundant with only a remote possibility of selling them back to the USN, who would presumably be retiring theirs in favour of F-35B.


As far as I know the USN will not operate the F-35B, only the USMC will and there are rumors the USAF is interested in a few. The USMC is not as enthusiastic about buying the Super Hornet as the USN is. They want the next generation STOVL Lightning and are reserving their funds for it...




posted on Aug, 23 2007 @ 12:15 PM
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Westy,

From what you say regarding the qualifications, am I to assume that the RAAF pilots will have to do some T-45 time, or do you think they will just do their qualifications on the SH? I guess it's a rather strange situation for the USN as well.

The Winged Wombat



posted on Aug, 23 2007 @ 12:28 PM
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I really don't know. First they have to be introduced to the Super Hornet, so I assume some flight time in a sim coupled with a two seater is likely before they go solo in the Rhino. Then they have to learn how to do landings in it. I think the USN will play it safe and just go with sim, T-45 and eventually Super Hornet. To go straight into a solo Super Hornet landing would be too much, in my opinion.



posted on Aug, 23 2007 @ 12:54 PM
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Of course, one must not assume that these pilots are all coming off the F-111, many may be current F/A-18A jocks (albeit without carrier training). It just seems like a lot of expense and time to train them on the T-45 just to give them carrier qualifications on the SH, when we don't have the facility to make use of those qualifications.

The Winged Wombat



posted on Aug, 23 2007 @ 01:00 PM
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Even if they are former Hornet drivers they still have to get introduced into the Super Hornet. Maybe they can go from sim to solo or just skip the sim and do two seater then solo. I still don't think they would directly fly solo in the Super Hornet. And as for the expense, well the USN is a large organization with new pilots coming online all the time. Fitting a few RAF pilots into the rotation each year may not be such a big deal. However that still does not explain the need for this type of training.

[edit on 23-8-2007 by WestPoint23]



posted on Aug, 23 2007 @ 01:14 PM
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I wasn't suggesting that they would go solo on the SH without a full conversion onto the type (just the same as a USN pilot going from say F/A-18C to SH - sim, classroom, dual, solo). But, we are not talking about people coming straight out of flight school, either.

While the USN training system would have no problem fitting these pilots into the system, what I'm wondering is who pays for all the extras required to give these guys the carrier qualifications. If they have to do a T-45 conversion as well, then that all adds to the cost. Like I said, there's no such thing as a free lunch.

So it's not a matter of doing the T-45 to do a conversion onto SH, but rather if they would have to do the T-45 to get the carrier qualifications.

If there is no real plan or purpose to them gaining carrier qualifications, it all sounds like a waste of time and money really, especially if they have to do a second conversion in order to gain the qualifications.

I guess what I'm asking is, while say, an ex-Tomcat pilot converting onto the SH has already gone through all the basic training associated with carrier landings and would presumably not have to go back to the T-45 to learn it all over again, the RAAF pilots while as competent on their previous aircraft as the Tomcat jock, have never done the basics of carrier landings, so just where in the system do they get that training. Presumably, as with your own pilots, the carrier qualifications, when converting to a new type, come towards the end of the conversion, after the student is thoroughly competent to fly the bird, so I'm not suggesting in any way that they would jump into a SH and go looking for a carrier on day one.

The Winged Wombat


[edit on 23/8/07 by The Winged Wombat]



posted on Aug, 23 2007 @ 05:26 PM
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There won't be any T-45 training. The initial aircrew will be ex-classic Hornet aircrew, who will do a conversion onto type with the US in an abbreviated course. They then become the instructors that teach at the OCU back here in Aus. F-111 pilots will have to go through a comrehensive conversion, classic Hornet guys will do an abridged course. As not all aircrew are getting the carrier qual, the conversion process isn't a difficult one. Also remember, we're not getting that many Rhinos, and the HUG jets will still be flying.

Where things get interesting from my perspective will be in the development of tactical procedures to account for the new radar, as well as the introduction of an ACO in the back seat. It is a fundamentally different way of fighting compared to what we are used to here in Aus.

And Westy - please stop calling us the RAF. We're so much cooler than them.


EDIT - Sorry Lee, just read the previous page and your question. Your sequence is pretty much correct, except their is a period between the PC-9 and 76 SQN at 79 SQN (still a Hawk, but basically a conversion onto type focus, whereas 76 SQN is the foundations of tactical employment). It is upon graduation from 76 SQN that you go your seperate ways to either Hornets or Pigs.

OPCON onto Hornet is broken into four phases - general conversion, air to air, air to ground, then High Sierra (typically in Townsville). The general conversion phase is six weeks. So for a guy who is familiar with fighter flying, converting onto the Super Hornet I'd imagine would be a little less than this. As I said above, it is the tactical employment of the aircraft that will take the most time to adapt to. Going from the Mirage to the Hornet involved learning a totally different way of flying and fighting. For the Super Hornet, it is really only the fighting that is vastly different.

Hope this all makes sense (I need some coffee).

[edit on 23-8-2007 by Willard856]



posted on Aug, 23 2007 @ 09:11 PM
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Originally posted by Willard856
And Westy - please stop calling us the RAF. We're so much cooler than them.


I know you are mate, anyway what's one tiny little A amongst friends...
Thanks for the info, so even the guys that carrier qualify will not go into the T-45?



posted on Aug, 23 2007 @ 09:20 PM
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For the carrier qual I'm not sure - given that it will only be a handful of guys that get it. I'll ask around and find out. But certainly for the overall conversion, it will be straight from Classic to Sim to Rhino.

One little A? Dude, you're calling me a Pom. And that is clearly unacceptable to every red-blooded Aussie on this site (in fact I'm sure the T&Cs explicitly state that this is not permitted). If it keeps up, I'll start calling you Canadian. I mean, you're both on the same continent, what's one little border between friends?



posted on Aug, 24 2007 @ 12:46 AM
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What about the Tornado? Would that suit replacing the F-111 well?



posted on Aug, 24 2007 @ 12:51 AM
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Nothing (in it's class) can "replace" the F-111 in terms of long range strike ability. There are "good" and "bad" replacement options if you truly want to at least maintain some forward force projection (via aircraft) after the PIG is retired. The Tornado would be considered one of the "good" options...

[edit on 24-8-2007 by WestPoint23]



posted on Aug, 24 2007 @ 09:14 AM
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Westy may be challenged by a double vowel but at least he has got the local lingo down pat ("mate", "Pig") and showing more knowledge of outside affairs and allies then certain Americans I won't name(Psst.. anyone wanna run a failed baseball team? Cause the last guy went to Washington for a big job and..... oops.)


Seriously this is a most perplexing scenario re: the carrier qualifications. Willard you raise a very good point in regards to the "back seater", I just assumed (incorrectly), that they would mostly try and shift across "Pig" crews and therefore the Nav would retrain as a WSO. However given what is in the press and what you are saying, it would seem that at least the first batch of instructors will be Hornet jocks. Given the time frames there is going to be some pretty intense retraining going on in 2010 (assuming if Labour win the election they don't choose to cancel the contract). I think we would all be interested if you can share any non embargoed info you come across as to why carrier training is being undertaken as well.

LEE.



posted on Aug, 24 2007 @ 09:45 AM
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The LHA-6 sounds like a very good option for the future RAAF F-35Bs.
A couple of those would do wonders for the RAAF.

And this OCU..
Operational Capability Upgrade or Operational Conversion Unit?
The latter I believe is a very 'RAF' term



posted on Aug, 24 2007 @ 05:41 PM
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The latter I believe is a very 'RAF' term



Daedalus, I used to like you...

Kidding, it is Operational Conversion Unit.

Lee,

The bulk of the backseaters will be ex-Pig navs I'd imagine, though the I'm sure other ACOs will try to shift across for the opportunity to fly in the Rhino. And of course, new ACOs will be born as well. While the Pig guys will have the advantage of good air to ground knowledge, the improvement of the radar and other sensors over what they currently have in the Pig will take a bit of getting used to. Hell, I remember when the APG-73 replaced the APG-65, and the difference that made to air to ground. But the ACO will also have new responsibilities in the air to air arena as well, which will be new. And crew resource management will be important, with clear delineation of responsibilities between front and back seat. Such as who gets the first beer.



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