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AUS set to cancel Super Hornet order

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posted on Jan, 13 2008 @ 03:39 AM
off topic i really would like to know why indian harriers are crashing when no uk ones have crashed (at least in 2007- was 1 GR9 in 2006)

but then again in 2006 10 F16`s crashed in the US and the figures arn`t out for last year but its said 18 crashe last year

posted on Jan, 13 2008 @ 06:12 AM
Another excellent series of points Wombat on why the US MUST resolve it's looming fighter crisis. Not only from it's own domestic operational point of view but also from an allies stand point. If all the US has to offer in the next few years are FA-18E/F's and F-35 then it is in real trouble. Both of these programs are rightly or wrongly suffering from rapidly and increasingly severe image problems and the whole "No F-22 for you !" stand point is only serving to amplify this. A telling problem with the F-35 occuping the replacement F-111 role appeared in Flight International on Fri when it was announced that before even ordering them the Israeli's are talking of adding conformal tanks to extend there range. Now given that Israel is the size of a couple of postage stamps compared to Australia or Canada that doesn't bode well for our needs. Particularly given that we will only have 5 KC-30's on hand anyway.

Of course the real problem here as I see it is that there is a myth that a country like Australia is incapable of operating more than one combat aircraft type for economic reasons. To which I say what a load of F@%$*!G Crap!! We have been, and are continuing to do so for decades, and at a time in the respective lives of the two current airframes in question when they should supposedly be at there most expensive. This I might add bearing in mind the continuing sales pitch from LM and Boeing about how their next gen aircraft a la F-22, F-35 and FA-18E/F should supposedly be less maintenance intensive and cheaper to run than their predessors. So the question is, what is the REAL snow job being pulled on us here? Is it that these new aircraft will NOT be cheaper to run, or that there is nothing prohibitively expensive about operating more than one type, just that our suppliers don't find it strategically or financially convenient? And am I going to be the only one to mention the elephant in the room regarding the SH purchase or has no one else remembered that the ENTIRE reason for ordering the F-35 for the RAAF was that it was supposed to be a SINGLE TYPE replacement for the F-111/FA-18 duo? So if there is going to be a defacto two tiered force why are we choosing just about the worst possible, most expensive missmatched combination we could incompetently achieve?

Yep, the US is definately going to have to loosen the shackles on the F-22 to a few select customers and as you stated get the F-15 program back on track. Otherwise it's going to in the years ahead, find itself increasingly a medium sized fish in a self evaporating pond!


[edit on 13-1-2008 by thebozeian]

posted on Jan, 13 2008 @ 06:33 AM
reply to post by thebozeian

link for you about the IAF making tanks for the F35

posted on Jan, 13 2008 @ 11:28 AM
reply to post by thebozeian

Certainly we have been operating two types in these roles since WWII and there is no reason why that shouldn't continue, but a 'multi-role' world (perhaps 'jack-of-all-trades.....' enabling reduction in defense budget would be a more apt description) there is savings to be had from using a single type for multiple roles (spares, training, etc), albeit balanced against the risk of any particular type being grounded, especially in a force as small as ours.

The fact that we've increased the number of types in service (Wedgetail, KC-30 and C-17, but losing only the 707s and offset to an extent by Qantas spares holding) has added to RAAF operating costs, so unless there are savings elsewhere we will have to increase the size of the defense budget and that's not going to be seen as a 'fun decision' by the electorate.

I'm definitely not a fan of Governments backed by 'the workers' (on philosophical grounds - I believe that the 'employers' have to be in power, but to ensure wealth distribution, the 'workers' must have the right to withdraw their labour - the right to strike - a balancing act that history tells me doesn't work the other way round), but let's give the guy a chance - he seems to be doing quite well so far - so let's hope he can achieve a logical and sensible conclusion on this one. I think as a Prime Minister backed by the unions, he must be creating quite a few doubts and headaches in Washington. On this particular matter, I see that as being to Australia's advantage.

The Winged Wombat

[edit on 13/1/08 by The Winged Wombat]

posted on Jan, 13 2008 @ 02:01 PM
No one is even saying that the IAF is getting the 35 lol. They keep chest beating that they will do thing with it too it etc but the US government hasn't even said they can have it lol. Don't get me wrong I like the IAF and their pilot training and pilots are some of the best and have proven how innovative they can be but there government doesn't have a good history of keeping tech out of the hands of Western "enemies".

posted on Jan, 14 2008 @ 12:51 AM
We were supposed to get Invinci in '82 to replace the Melbourne. It was a really popular idea back then, too, because Sharky Ward and co had just used it to kick Argentine butt. But Maggie had her brains given back to her and cancelled the sale.

On F22: Way back in the dim mists of time (about 2002 from hazy memory) Lockheed Martin released pics of what they called the FB-22 Raptor. Basically a Raptor with a full length wing and no tail plane, allowing for a bigger bomb-bay and slightly longer range. Where did the idea go? and who thinks 3 sqns of F22s and 1 of FB22s wouldn't be the perfect combination for RAAF? (and could F35 be "customised" the same way as LM were thinking?)

A bit like the Army driving 110 and 130 inch Land Rovers...

Personally I think Invincible and Ark Royal would be wonderful Christmas presents for the RAN. Crewing them could be a bit of a trick, 'though.

posted on Jan, 14 2008 @ 01:00 AM
reply to post by HowlrunnerIV

You mean this?

No one really knows. However, the 2 YF-23 Airframes are unaccounted for as well and are rumored to be also part of a strike bomber demonstrator.

The YF-23 that was at the Western museum of Flight is gone and not comming back anytime soon according to the museum, and the one that was on static display at Edwards AFB IS not there (I had a friend check for me who has access to the base)

posted on Jan, 14 2008 @ 01:30 AM
reply to post by FredT

Yes, that's it exactly. Thanks.

Anybody else sharing my gifts of insight honed by years of service and study?

posted on Jan, 14 2008 @ 02:56 AM
reply to post by FredT
Well that is interesting Fred I was under the impression that the missing YF-23's had been accounted for quite some time back. I can't remember who it was exactly (it may have been Zaphod?) but I remember a thread reference to this many months back. If I recall correctly somebody contacted the USAF museum and was told that the A/C were to be repainted and restored for display purposes. However it is quite well known that at least one of the aircraft had also been "borrowed" by Northrop for unspecified tests connected with the "FB" proposals. However if your info is recent and your contact has made enquiries in the last few weeks/months then this would indicate that something is indeed amiss and there are goings on. One can only hope!
. On the other hand perhaps paranoia about foreign agents taking close up inspections and photos for their own stealth projects has convinced the Pentagon to quietly hide them away and hope nobody notices?


posted on Jan, 14 2008 @ 03:12 AM
In a nice world of sharing where no designed lost.......
F-22s as fighters.
FB-23s as bombers.

F-22 would replace F-15s
FB-22 (modified to bomber) would replace F-111s and F-15Es in longer term

Now wouldnt that make life easy for any airforce commander.

posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 04:23 AM
What an un-innovative posts here

Why Australia don't consider buy Eurofihter? An excllent combat platform!

posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 05:36 AM
Even I don't reckon on the Typhoon as an F-111 replacement for Australia

Hmmmm, however, straight purchase of Typhoon FGR4's plus an upgrade including optional conformal tanks, such as have already been designed for it, and you might have the replacement for both the F-111 AND the F-18?

posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 06:32 AM
For your suspicion, my question is why Autralia need a bomber like F-111?

posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 08:25 AM
Because there's no point having a bomber at all if it can't reach any targets. In Australia's geographical position they need the F-111's range otherwise they might as well not bother having anything at all (like with New Zealand these days) . I've oversimplified that explanation but that's how it fits in my brain.

Serves them right anyway, they should have stuck with TSR 2 and forced us to carry on with it, then we would have all been happy

posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 08:31 AM
More news from FG about the F-18 E/F purchase and review.

The review needs to be rigorous and systematic and it should be conducted by an independent analyst with extensive experience in the aerospace industry, says Dr Andrew Davies, ASPI's operations and capability programme director.

If the government does cancel the Super Hornet order, Australia would be responsible for all costs accrued to the date of termination and a possible termination liability, with accrued costs increasing with time, says Davies.

Really nothing new other then to say they have gotten next to no where on the evaluation of the project. But they have at least looked into ramifications.

mod edit to use "ex" tags instead of "quote" tags
Quote Reference.

[edit on 17-1-2008 by sanctum]

posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 11:19 AM
reply to post by emile

Firstly emile, the F-111 in Australian service has maritime strike tasking as well as land strike. Australia is an island continent and any potential attacker either has to come by sea or air. And if the threat comes, it has to come from our North (unless we are to be under threat from penguins or kiwis, that is).

Indeed any potential aggressor (short of a ballistic missile threat) to Australia would have to come via Indonesia or PNG (it is doubtful if even the USA has a large enough maritime force to invade Australia without land bases in Indonesia or PNG). Without the ability to strike targets at that range from Australia, an 'enemy' would be free to build up supplies and bases in Indonesia or PNG unmolested and we would only be able to interdict incoming raids (either by land or sea). Almost by definition, any force attacking the Australian mainland has to have long range strike aircraft / bombers (otherwise they cannot reach us in force), therefore we have to be able to strike back over the same range.

Have a look at our recent (post-war) bomber aircraft (Lincoln, Canberra and F-111) and where we have based and employed them, and it should be self evident why we need a long range strike aircraft. Without them, in any future threat to Australia, we would be limited to purely tactical missions within a short distance of our own shores - we would be unable to conduct any strategic operations because we would be unable to reach any useful target. We would be in the situation of having to wait for each incoming raid rather than being able to strike their bases in retaliation.

So as has been mentioned, having a strike force that can't reach potential targets is pretty useless. This is why New Zealand got rid of its fighters and light strike aircraft - any aggressor would be engaged by long range maritime aircraft long before they come within the range of A-4s and Strikemasters (and having got that close a few A-4s and Strikemasters isn't going to stop them getting at the sheep anyway

The Winged Wombat

[edit on 17/1/08 by The Winged Wombat]

posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 10:46 PM
reply to post by waynos

My best man's father once told me that the Minister for Defence told the Parliament (or was it journos?) he had seen the completed TSR2 prototype and the others on the production line and that that would be Canberra's replacement. Turned out he'd seen the mock-ups on a factory visit and the press and opposition hed fun making him look a fool. But BM's dad cursed the fools in your MoD for cancelling everything except the Buccaneer and Harrier.

reply to post by WW

Hmm, maybe. But Heinemann's Hot-Rod is similar enough to SHAR that it compares with Operation Corporate...

New Zealand has two aircraft carriers, (HMNZS North Island and HMNZS South Island) which are somewhat larger than a through-deck cruiser. If even Sandy Woodward couldn't completely screw up the use of the Harrier (Sharky Ward is not kind in his assessment) to defend a maritime force, then surely the Kiwis can wear the loss of a few sheep to crazed GR jockeys while they wait to shoot the jets down on their return leg. And any approaching opfor, even a Nimitz, has the disadvantage of not choosing when it gets attacked.

Point taken about Strikemasters and numbers...but I had a Kiwi Major tell me that the people most pissed off about the sale of the combat air force (apart from the drivers) were the infantry. He said Strikemasters mightn't have been much, but they were a hell of a lot better than nothing. Which is how much CAS the New Zealand Regiment gets now.

Waynos, again,

How about turbofanning some Vulcans for us?...

posted on Jan, 18 2008 @ 03:45 AM
Sorry to jump in here late as usual - life is kinda hectic, and Australia need 400 odd to win there 17th test in a row. Waynos, many thanks to you chaps for shaking Australian cricket out of the slumber it was heading for and giving us an opportunity to break a world record...

On the topic of the Super Hornet giving us commonality, the simple fact is that you really have to view the SH as a whole new aircraft. Commonality of components is something like 10% (if my memory serves me correctly), so that certainly isn't a reason to get the Bug +. Training would be simplified, but this isn't especially arduous given any type. We could adapt quickly, certainly quicker than our Mirage to Hornet days given the access we now have to exchanges and information we didn't have back in those days. The biggest challenge will be getting used to having a guy in the back seat...

Personally, I'd much rather a Super Hornet to Typhoon. I've spoken to guys who have flown both, and my assessment is that the Super Hornet makes more sense for what Australia needs. On the 18F versus 15S debate, the Super Hornet gives some benefits in the WVR arena that the 15 doesn't have, while having a better signature (goes back to my comment earlier that you can't compare a classic with a super).

On this continuing theme of Australia needing a strike platform so we can smack the bad guys, I asked in another thread for someone to paint a scenario where this is needed. I didn't get a response. Who exactly is this threat that Australia needs to be able to hit with the F-111 that other options don't allow for?

Apologies for typos, but I need to get a score update...

posted on Jan, 18 2008 @ 05:52 AM

Originally posted by Willard856
Sorry to jump in here late as usual - life is kinda hectic, and Australia need 400 odd to win there 17th test in a row. Waynos, many thanks to you chaps for shaking Australian cricket out of the slumber it was heading for and giving us an opportunity to break a world record...
One can hope but its not looking good. Then again a loss would give us the motivation to stomp all over the Poms again, sorry waynos couldnt resist!

Yes good points on the generally touted commonality myths. Being able to use the same tires or hydraulic pumps isnt really all that much of a saving. On the subject of the Typhoon I generally agree as well although a later tranch may have an edge or two over the SH and I suspect (if its troubles continue), be on a closer par to the F-35. On the F-15 front the NCW capabillity of the SH is greater but then a Super Eagle type proposal would almost certainly negate this by incorporating any lessons learned from the FA-18E/F anyway. In addition it would because of its size be capable of taking some items from the F-22 via trickle down effect (engines immediately come to mind) and it will always be physically capable of taking a larger and thus more powerful radar package, and potentially other systems. There is probably not a great deal you can do for it's RCS but then I doubt that the SH can have that greater signature reduction anyway. And consider this, the FA-18E/F may have an appreciably reduced signature (against the classic Hornets, is I assume the metric. Dont know how it compares to an F-15) but given the Eagles greater performance is the gap necessarily that big anyway? That is to say, "you may see me coming first but can you catch me?" Yes I know this is simplistic and doesn't account for the possibly better element of surprise with the SH but it is a point to consider in this kind of "V's" debate.

On the F-111 debate you make a more than reasonable point, but I feel that it is more a case of the scenario we don't think of, rather than the ones that strategists, bean counters and think tanks cook up that we have to account for. Again I know it seems like not much of an argument and probably 98% of the time it isn't, but it's the ultimate options available in the future such a system as the F-111 allows for, that I feel justifies it's continuing relevance. And two distinctly different airframes, one of which has a greater range, speed and payload gives us more options. Remember how some rogue Indonesian generals baulked at intervening in East Timor when they were made aware that the RAAF F-111's were deployed to the North for "exercises" in 99? Point was made, no shots needed to be fired. Would they have reacted the same way to an all Hornet force?

In addition exactly what is the cost or practicality of an alternative peer system? Remember the idea of delivering Tomahawk's via the Collins that popped up every now and then over the last 10-15? Great idea just that it would be prohibitively expensive, limited in weight of fire/sustainment and give us only 6 launching platforms that can't move at more than about 20kts. Same goes for the Navy's surface assets, limited numbers particularly the forthcoming Hobart class, cost and area potentially covered.

Apologies for typos, but I need to get a score update...
Cricket is not an excuse for lazy typing or spelling mistakes, god knows I can't talk. But at 2/65 at stumps, its not looking good is it?


posted on Jan, 18 2008 @ 10:48 AM

I don't think it is a matter of 'who', but a matter of 'how'. Regardless of who may be a threat, the fact is there is really only one realistic route for a substantial attack upon Australia, and we 'must' (or at least desire to) retain the capability of striking an aggressor's bases and infrastructure. Otherwise we find ourselves in the New Zealand situation of only being able to intercept raids. Clearly with the size of our forces we would not be able to sustain defensive operations for very long without some means of hitting back. Of course this capability does not have to rest with the RAAF - as in the British situation, such a deterrent could be met by a suitably armed (but less flexible and possibly more expensive) Navy.

Ultimately, it may be that we cannot afford a strike force that can inflict sufficient damage (or act as a deterrent) at sufficient distance from our shores, and that would put us in a much more dangerous situation than New Zealand geographically.

They say a week is a long time in politics. Given that whatever we do buy now must last us for perhaps 50 years, it would be a brave person indeed who would predict the political leanings of our neighbours over such a time span. Who indeed would have seen the rise of the Taliban, or Bin Laden (and the possible flow on in Asia) in 1958? Can you say with any confidence who will be running Indonesia, or what their intentions might be in 2058? With the cost of military assets today, the time required to design and bring them into service and the service life that's expected of them, the practice of looking 5 years ahead at potential threats is long over - or at least it should be! Indeed the cycle of acquisition and replacement has far outstripped human ability to predict threats - a rather ridiculous situation militarily, don't you think?

Ignoring for a moment ultimate capabilities, if one is to pursue commonality of platforms (as apparently we are with F-35) then SH does make some sense (at least in training, if nothing else) in the short term, however, if we were then to withdraw from F-35, then we place ourselves in the situation that we would be 'forced' (continuing the commonality theme) into more SHs to replace F/A-18As.

While I take your point regarding signature differences between F-15 and SH in the Air Superiority role, I would consider that fully bombed up examples would be little different.

Therefore, to me, there seems to be some compelling reasons for us to pursue an upgraded F-15 package for both roles - and it doesn't have to be an F-15S clone either. It would give us greater flexibility regarding F-35, be advantageous to America (both industrially and politically) in re-establishing confidence in F-15 as an export, take the heat out of the 'foreign F-22 sales debate', and (perhaps) be available at a bargain price.

Alternatively, if we eventually decide F-35 is not for us (on financial grounds or even because of the single/twin engine debate) and we stick with SH, then what do we buy to replace F/A-18A - do we buy more SHs? If SH remains an 'orphan' on the international stage, we would be in a similar situation that now exists with F-111, in that, as the only operator of the type (regardless of how long we can maintain them) there is virtually no chance of upgrades being designed for them (unless we fund them ourselves) - the significant difference would be that this situation would occur very early in the life that we would reasonably expect from SH, rather than late in the life of F-111.

The Winged Wombat

PS:- Just for waynos, we could always ask Britain to produce a batch of TSR.2's for us - oops, sorry to get you all excited waynos, you burnt the drawings, didn't you?

[edit on 18/1/08 by The Winged Wombat]

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