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AUS set to cancel Super Hornet order

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posted on Jan, 3 2008 @ 03:52 AM
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www.smh.com.au...


THE $6.6 billion purchase of 24 Super Hornets as a stop-gap fighter jet could be jettisoned by the Federal Government as it reviews all aspects of the program to give Australia a critical edge in regional air combat capability.

The Herald understands that Department of Defence planners have been asked to present an analysis on all the fighter jet options to the Federal Government and how they stack up against likely adversaries, the first time such a study has been done for at least five years.



I honestly htink they will cancel them - the aircraft was wanted by 1 person only so the money would be better spent on say getting the Navy combat capable




posted on Jan, 3 2008 @ 06:09 AM
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According to "The Age" newspaper in Melbourne, the new government is reconsidering the purchase of 24 Super Hornets as a stop-gap fighter jet. The decision could be jettisoned by the Rudd Government as it reviews all aspects of the program to give Australia an edge in air-combat capability in the region.

Defence Department planners are believed to have been asked to present a detailed analysis on all the fighter jet options to the new Federal Government and how they stack up against likely adversaries — the first time such a study has been done for at least five years.

All projects in the program will be carefully examined. That includes what aircraft are to be bought, in what numbers, when and at what price.



I am very glad to hear that the new Government is looking at carrying out a real and proper evaluation of both the so-called stop-gap F-111 replacement (the F/A-18E Super Hornet!) and the RAAF`s part in the JSF.

The decision by the late-Australian Federal Government was totally political!
Why did they not smartly and fairly evaluate all options for the 'Stop-gap' requirement?
Why was it that the 'Boeing Super Hornet' able to be picked out of the hat without a proper evaluation process?
I have only two words - 'Andrew Peacock'

Andrew Peacock was for many years the Federal Liberal Party's leader, he had his finger in the pie when it came to defence maters in more than one way!

And low and behold – after his so called political retirement, what does he become?????
- the ‘C.E.O' of Boeing Australia’

And who wins the multi-billion $ ‘Stop Gap’ fighter competition, without correct protocol, evaluation, that the RAAF has done for every previous aircraft before it?

You guessed it Boeing!

Unfortunately for the ADF and the personnel who serve in it, have been undermined by their top brass being overly subordinate to the bullish and stand over ways of the Howard Government for 13-years to long!

Bring on the investigation I say!
Bring on real evaluation of the best equipment that our servicemen deserve and should have to carry out their primary role – the defence of Australia!

I stand by my belief that the F-22 is what Australia needs
I stand by my belief that the F/A-18E Super Hornet is not the best stop-gap measure!

I personally belief that the RAAF should consider leasing the likes of the F-15E Strike Eagle, directly from the USAF (as we did with the McDonnell Douglas F-4E Phantom II’s, whilst waiting for our F-111C’s!!!)
For when compared to the Super Hornet, the F-15E is superior in:
- Range
- Warload
- An outstanding air-to-air combat record – ‘without loss’
- It is an established design that has been in service for many years (= minimal risk)
- Other Air Forces in the Pacific use or will be using it.

Why would the RAAF purchase a ‘stop-gap’ measure aircraft worth billions of $$$$.
When it is only to be replaced by another aircraft, why wouldn’t the RAAF simply just lease the stop-gap design????


Australia: 2.36 bn USD for 24 F/A-18F Block II Super Hornet aircraft
Singapore: 741 mln USD for 12 F-15SG
South Korea: 3.6 bn USD for 40 F-15K, 2.3 bn USD for additional 20 F-15K

Holy c**p Boeing screwed Australia.



posted on Jan, 3 2008 @ 07:01 AM
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Keep the F-111`s and actually use them in the ME - they are very very good bomb trucks so send them to Afghanistan and use them


and why not tornado`s over F-15`s?



posted on Jan, 3 2008 @ 07:43 AM
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Originally posted by Harlequin
and why not tornado`s over F-15`s?


What kinda airframe life would you be talking though?


The F-15E is an infinitely better prospect than the F-18, what chances the interim order will be swapped for -15s?

Although, with the current -15C problems, will the USAF be keen to loan out what are essentially American airframes at the moment?



posted on Jan, 3 2008 @ 08:03 AM
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Originally posted by Jezza
I stand by my belief that the F-22 is what Australia needs
I stand by my belief that the F/A-18E Super Hornet is not the best stop-gap measure!

Why would the RAAF purchase a ‘stop-gap’ measure aircraft worth billions of $$$$.
When it is only to be replaced by another aircraft, why wouldn’t the RAAF simply just lease the stop-gap design????


Mate the US WONT give us F-22's to buy.... It's been tried.
Thats why we are getting i believe F-35's.

But this stop gap measure is needed so we dont have no aircraft to defend ourselves with. Howvere i totally agreee that we should be leasing those planes not buying them and yes i also agree that they're not the best stop-gap measure also. I'm sure we coud get better planes. But would they cost heaps more too? Can you even lease military planes? or do you have to buy them?



posted on Jan, 3 2008 @ 09:09 AM
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Originally posted by DaRAGE
Mate the US WONT give us F-22's to buy.... It's been tried.


Thats why we are getting i believe F-35's.


That depends.

If you "threaten" to buy the F-35 instead of the F-22, they'll laugh at you and sell you the JSF.

If you threaten to buy the EF-2000, or Rafale... or the Su-35, then their palms may start sweating slightly, and congress may get a few e-mails and phone calls.


The US admin will (correctly) realise that its better for them to sell the Aussies something, even if its not what they (the US) would like to sell them - otherwise that (large) investment goes elsewhere, and will:

1. Reduce US influence in Australia
2. Reduce investment in US defense
3. Reduce employment in US aerospace suppliers




Originally posted by DaRAGE
But this stop gap measure is needed so we dont have no aircraft to defend ourselves with. Howvere i totally agreee that we should be leasing those planes not buying them and yes i also agree that they're not the best stop-gap measure also. I'm sure we coud get better planes. But would they cost heaps more too? Can you even lease military planes? or do you have to buy them?


You have the legacy Hornets for point defense, besides, you don't have a credible threat.

There is no need for an interim measure as far as I can see.



edit: Me grammar bad.

[edit on 3/1/08 by kilcoo316]



posted on Jan, 3 2008 @ 09:33 AM
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as an Island nation IMO , AUS needs a strong navy - but thats an aside really



posted on Jan, 3 2008 @ 09:13 PM
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Originally posted by Harlequin
as an Island nation IMO , AUS needs a strong navy - but thats an aside really


isnt that why it made an excellent prison

sorry couldnt resist.

i wouldnt be supprised if the US sold the f-22 and so on since the US would most likely selll anything these days to lower production costs



posted on Jan, 4 2008 @ 05:48 AM
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reply to post by kilcoo316
 


damm right

im sure if aus turned around and said 100 eurofighter,
rafale, su series and yes i know it wont happen,f-15k or f-16e/f.
they would think again



posted on Jan, 4 2008 @ 07:47 PM
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OK, let's get things into a little perspective, shall we.

Firstly, the F/A-18F purchase was a stop-gap replacement for the F-111 (without entering into any discussion about whether the F-111 can be maintained or not) in the long range strike role, while awaiting the F-35 which is intended to replace both the F-111 / F/A-18F in the strike role and the F/A-18A in the fighter role.

The fact is that Australia needs to find one, or more aircraft types to fill BOTH roles.

While it would be good to find a single platform to perform both roles, within our particular political/geographic/economic situation, there is probably only one choice here that 'advertises' to be able to do what we need. That's F-35. However, in this case, there is doubt concerning exactly when the bird will be in-service and exactly what capabilities it will have at that time. Considering that a contract has only recently been let to establish the configuration and capabilities of the 'customer version' of the F-35, I feel that there must remain some considerable doubt on Australia's part about whether the resulting aircraft will do what we want done - and whether we can afford to buy it.

So, alternatives - The F-22 would certainly be a good replacement for the F/A-18A in the fighter role, however, the US won't currently sell this bird and the strike version is still little more than a pipe dream. I agree, however, that if Australia were to order a combined long range strike/air defense aircraft from a non-US source (perhaps only a Flanker derivative would fit that bill), then there would be major pressure brought to bear upon US Administrators to change their stance on their 'no F-22 sales' policy - not least from the perceived flow on from such a decision by Australia.

In the long range strike role, the F-15E Strike Eagle is certainly an option. While I am highly critical of the over optimism which, I feel, abounds within the US aerospace industry, I have no doubt that any new build F-15s will have the problems solved with stronger structural elements incorporated into them. Furthermore, with the current negative publicity surrounding the F-15, it may be that there is an opportunity here for Australia to get the F-15E at a bargain price, thus re-establishing confidence in the aircraft for the manufacturer. This however, is dependent upon what the USAF does about its own F-15 problem. Obviously if there is a major rebuild program for USAF F-15s then that 'bargain price' may not eventuate. If more F-22s are the USAF solution then the 'bargain price' F-15 may be a real option.

OK, so that would look after the long range strike / F-111 replacement situation. The question then is would an upgraded F-15 be a suitable F/A-18A replacement in the air defense role for us?

Being realistic here, this is all dependent upon what is on offer, at what time scale and at what price.

Given that there could be a really good deal available, then we could possibly see Australia cancel F-35 and go for a mix of F-15E and an upgraded F-15 ADF airframe.

Delving into the world of 'what if' for a moment, just how would an F-15 ADF derivative with TVC (and an upgraded radar, etc) stack up ? It's been tested (as has F-15 with canards) so the data is available.

Obviously, if Australia were to abandon F-35 and buy this F-15 mix, then there would be major implications for the F-35 program. I would anticipate a mass exodus from the F-35 into upgraded F-15s and the possibility of cancellation of the F-35 program (or perhaps the US going it alone - possibly as a stop-gap to the next 'big thing' - after all, airframes need replacing in the US inventory). Therefore, there would be massive pressure placed upon the Australian government, firstly on behalf of the F-15 / F-22 lobby, and also against such a decision by F-35 program lobbyists.

It is also well to remember that Australia (in spite of the small numbers of aircraft that we purchase) is considered a pretty hard-nosed customer. We do not buy aircraft (up until that F/A-18F purchase) that we don't think will do the job for us. We are the country that refused the Phantom (even at give away prices) because we didn't reckon it would do what we needed done, and merely used 24 of them as a stop-gap pending delivery of the F-111. And then we sent them back to the US, in spite of the fact that we could have bought them for about $1 each!

Some say a purchase from 'the wrong side of the fence' won't happen. I would remind you that unlike most other close US allies, we bought the Mirage III when the US and UK didn't have what we wanted! We are the only non-US customer for the F-111. We even built the Sabre with an Avon engine because we didn't like the original! We know what will and won't do what we need, and we have a history of buying only what we need and not buying what we don't need just because it's available.

Interesting times.

The Winged Wombat


[edit on 4/1/08 by The Winged Wombat]



posted on Jan, 5 2008 @ 01:33 AM
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A USAF requirement for the F-35 was that it be only second to the F-22 in Air-Air combat. The disscussion here about the F-15E replacing F-35s has forgotten a important quality of the F-35, it is stealthy, and as the world moves further towards a world where the first to detect the enemy is the first to fire and the first ot fire is the first to kill, the F-35's low probability of being detected is an important attribute. The US isn't going to give us F-22, they won't even give them to Japan, and Japan is at least on par with australia in terms of alliances. The F-18F is not the best choice for a interem strike platform, but then it has special growth capabilities (F-18F can be convertecd to EA-18G's providing a strong electronic attack options australia sorley needs) and is low risk.

There iare no real current threats that would require a superduper strike platform. Malaysia and Singapore are allies, China's got its own problems (Tibet, Taiwan) and australia is a importatn trading partner, india is preoccupied with pakistan and china. Indoneshia is bursting at the seems and is starting to tech up, they still have to worry about keeping indonesia together as a country rather then it fragmenting into its indvidual islands, not to metion that the indonesian navy is a joke and its landing capacity, the thing which counts since you got to get the forces to australia before you can use them (Airpower is good but occuping forces are still need to guard and take land) ins virtually no existent. We don't the the top of the line Air Dominacne fighter which the US won't sell to US, we need a low-medium cost strike fighter untill whe get the F-35.

The F-35 is a capable aircraft and has had a little to much bashing by everyone. The F-35 is not respected because little is kown about it and its stealth qualites are always forgotten don't be more then a little surprised when more information, to the contray of what is often said about the F-35 is released closer to its Service Entry Date. The F-35 is the right option for Australai nad the F-18F is a sensible low cost options considering a relatively low threat enviroment

Hope my spellings right
Cheers



posted on Jan, 5 2008 @ 02:51 AM
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reply to post by thorpete
 


the F35 won`t be A2A capable for 6 years after its IOC - according to the DID report (citing developement team member(s) ) so A2A will be a sidewinder firing in wvr.



posted on Jan, 5 2008 @ 03:28 AM
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It was never a requirement of JSF to be second only to the F-22 in A2A. Where has that come from?

The JSF requirement was for a stealthy low cost (sic) strike platform with A2A capability 'at least' on a par with the F-16. A lot of people seem to have developed an overblown idea of how good a fighter the JSF is going to be, that is not to diss the F-35, its simply that A2A is not what is is for, except in a secondary role alongside dedicated A2A platforms ie F-22 and Typhoon. That is what the F-35 was created for and I'm sure it will do that job very well, eventually.



posted on Jan, 5 2008 @ 04:32 AM
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at todays prices the JSF will be the third most expensive fighter in the world after the raptor and typhoon - and at present rate will actually overtake the raptor in per unit cost before anyone gets any.

as of today:

raptor is $137 million each , typhoon is $122 million - and jsf 4 years before anyone can buy andy is allready up to $113 million.


cost effective stealth? have a giraffe

[edit on 5/1/08 by Harlequin]



posted on Jan, 5 2008 @ 05:16 AM
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reply to post by The Winged Wombat
 


Excellently put Wombat I couldnt have done any better myself. I believe it is high time that the entire smelly mess that was the Aus FA-18F decision was thoroughly investigated. You see it isnt just this decision that is the problem hanging in the balance, but the entire way in which Australia and indeed other western countries should be able make FREE informed choices when procuring defence equipment. For the last few decades we have seen a slow but never ending move towards defence equipment being designed built and sold by multinationals whose sole concern is not the defence of their respective motherland countries, but their respective annual profits and the jobs of their board members. And NO this isnt just a bit of pointless Yank bashing here because European countries/companies and many others (Australia included) have been doing the same self indulgent pig trough slurping exercise as well. It just happens that the US is the biggest supplier and the most powerfull western nation so it gets to make most of the rules.

This situation has led to the erosion of independant analysis of what defence a nation needs and precisely what equipment(s) it needs to effect this. Case in point is the scandal/debacle that became the still unfinished saga of the USAF's Boeing KC-767 tanker deal. It should worry any person with an IQ over 50 that a vitally important and enormous contract was "ALLOWED" to be effectively given to contractor whilst such obvious conflicts of interest went unchallenged. More worrying still and indicative of how bad things have got is the fact that it happened in broad daylight.

I wont even bother to get into the putrid morass that is the F-35 program, except to say that the US and LM may end up reaping what they have so arrogantly and stupidly sown. Case in point here is the recent decision to not bother bidding Typhoon in several European countries because of the enormous pressure being brought to bare on those nations to buy the F-35 even though Typhoon is probably a better fit for their needs.

All I can say is that if this new Australian government and new defence minister (Fitzgibbon) show some balls and stick to their guns, we may see not just Australia getting what it actually wants or needs but a few other nations sticking their ground as well. And in the end that can only be a good thing for the US itself and good for the wider defence industry, theres nothing like a good clean out now and again. A loss of key allied markets would cause a lot of badly needed soul searching in Washington and hopefully a lot of rolling heads when Congressmen have to start answering to their constituents a lot of awkward questions like "how come our allies stopped buying our stuff and it put me out of a job?" "What kind of dirty deals have you boys in Washington been doing?" Its questions like these along with cancelled orders that will see not just sweating palms as someone mentioned, but a whole lot of reform in the way the US and others, does defence business maybe finally coming to pass. And THAT to reiterate the point, is only good for everyone concerned.

LEE.



posted on Jan, 5 2008 @ 06:25 AM
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Originally posted by The Winged Wombat
So, alternatives - The F-22 would certainly be a good replacement for the F/A-18A in the fighter role, however, the US won't currently sell this bird and the strike version is still little more than a pipe dream.



Aside from the JSF or B-2, the F-22A can carry more A2G munitions whilst maintaining its radar profile.


That is something that is frequently missed.


4 wing pylons can go a long way to bring it up to a similar punching power as an F-15E, so the current F-22 version isn't bad by any means!



posted on Jan, 5 2008 @ 07:19 AM
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www.theage.com.au...


The Age believes the most up-to-date Defence Department assessment of what it will cost to get an F-35 in service is $131 million a plane.



thats as of todays prices - and given the 50% increase in 4 years - i believe that in 2012 when they get ordered they will cost


$200 million each.

and at that price - the US will be buying them alone.


buy 1 F35 or 2 typhonns or 3 rafale - or 4 SU 30`s.



posted on Jan, 6 2008 @ 02:27 AM
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Does anyone really think that the US will start selling Raptors to other nations at this point in time?

I don't see it happening for the next 5-10 years unless there is a major military crisis!



posted on Jan, 6 2008 @ 05:35 AM
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reply to post by Harlequin
 


It would be time for the countries involved to at least have a backup
solution to the F35.
New gov in aus anything could happen.


The F-22 will only be sold when the us economy craps itself.



posted on Jan, 7 2008 @ 04:10 AM
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The USAF want more F-22s, they've made that clear. And why wouldn't you?! Maybe a FMS of the Raptor, depending on numbers, would keep the production line open, which is in the USAF's interest? Given that the JSF IOC date is rubbery at best, it may give the USAF the leverage they need. And while many quote that the US has said they won't sell the F-22 to filthy foreigners, the question is whether anyone (read good ally) has asked (and I mean REALLY asked). That said, I think it would have been more likely with a Howard government than a Rudd government. And I'm still not convinced there is a substantial enough threat in the region for Australia to require a capability such as the the F-22. But if the price is right...

This is, of course, idle speculation over a surprisingly good glass of cheap red wine!




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