The matter of a Flanker derivative for Australia is interesting, if only from the observation that it is spoken of on this forum as if it were
something that could happen purely by a (somewhat rogue) decision on the part of Kevin Rudd and his government.
What nobody has mentioned is the fact that Russia is about as likely to offer Australia anything with the capability of, say, India's Su-30 as they
would be to offer it to Britain, Canada, Israel, Japan or indeed the USA.
Let's be real here - the Indians are not using their radars in exercises with Western forces - and it is obvious that they would have agreed to that
sort of condition long before any agreement was reached on them receiving the aircraft.
Any such purchase by Australia would only be on the basis that there was nothing at all available for our needs, rather than any weakening of ties
with America (ie:- merely a trade matter rather than one of international political alignment).
So no matter how well it might suit our requirements, a Flanker derivative of any real capability is far less likely to be available to us that a full
Therefore any such political 'threat' on the part of the Rudd government as leverage to get hold of F-22 would be hollow in the extreme. I reckon
America would dearly love to see Australia with a couple of squadrons of Su-30s (mate, the US would pay for them on our behalf!) - I'm sure it would
boost 'tourism' from America to Australia, if only in the number of spooks arriving here for their vacations.
So banish any thought of Australian Su-30s from your minds, not only won't it happen - ideologically and politically, it simply is not possible!
Likewise, while we have very good economic ties with China (and probably better diplomatic ties with them that has America), I don't think anyone
would image that they would sell us J-10 for instance.
Aussies and Canadians have much in common, and not only our geographic situations and parallels, but our view of life, multi-cultural society and the
world. I would suggest that the vast majority of people here with an interest in the military/political world are very aware of the contributions by
Canada to NATO and UN peacekeeping operations around the world. May I say a contribution far in excess of what could be reasonably expected of a
nation of your size / economy / population. Go Canucks! (raises a Labatt in salute
The Winged Wombat
[edit on 11/1/08 by The Winged Wombat]