Are you saying there were no Aussie troops in the MEAO in 2003? It is not well known just what the Aussie Hornets did in the MEAO in their time there. One day when you find out I think you will be a little embarrassed by your regard for the fighter force contribution. The deployment to Diego was good fodder for a couple of years but they earned their keep in 02/03. You might also want to consider what may have been prepared to put into play in East Timor if things had gone bad there too. Just because there was no fighters in East Timor doesn't mean they were not primed and ready to strike if required. In regards to the F35 every fighter development program has had its issues. In fact I think we are probably looking at the last of the manned fighters. Having said that if you don't have the F35 then you are not in the game. The next 20-30 years of air warfare will revolve around 'network centric' concepts and the F22 and F35 are the main players. If you want to have a 2nd tier airforce again then buy something from Europe. In terms of national defence for what ever may come it is better to be over insured rather than watching enemy bombers pound your country and sending young men in Wirraways to die because you didn't think it was necessary to invest in defence.
I see now! The Australian taxpayer is funding our fighter squadrons to drop bombs, shoot things down, cause destruction and generally defend Australian shores from invasion by the Afghan and Middle Eastern hordes...
Q. Is there a country involved in the JSF program, that is not part of the manufacturing process? The reason behind my question, is that IIRC, the media made much hype about the number of australian businesses involved, and the technology access the whole project provided onshore to us.
I'll bite Which media reports say that the fighter force is not combat ready?
Edit - In regards to the source from the first post on this thread. ask yourself if this guy was complaining about the F35 when his party selected it as the replacement. By his own admission he doesn't know what the F35 is capable of and takes a demeaning attitude to the the experts he is asking the questions of.
That said: the whole notion of Australia being invaded by anyone is just laughable. The only ones that would be able to pull it off are not going to be deterred by a hundred F-35s
With the costs of this program spiralling upward, how many of these aircraft will we actually be able to afford....one hundred????? Or, are we likely to end up with a permanent force of more SH and less JSF?
My non-expert view is we are only buying capability simply to remain "compatible" with the USAF and NATO and other users of the F-35 with the networked battlefield concept. That is about the only good thing of this aircraft seeing as we are not getting STOVL and will have crippled stealth. The platform itself has low range for our needs, low weapons loads, the single engine aspect as above, it's expensive, not on time and most likely will be outperformed by current 4th gen aircraft.
On top of that any credible threat will be going the cheap and plentiful route (quantity has a quality of its own). I read of some pacific war simulation that focused on logistics, and showed the US would run out of AA missiles faster then they could realistically down Chinese aircraft, and then would still be vastly outnumbered. How much money do you throw after a better aircraft when dozens of good enough will prevail anyway?
The Rhinos for the most part at least keep us in step with other forces and at a price that is far more in line with our realistic needs. IMHO we need a core multirole force like the Rhinos, but we can augment it far more efficiently with cheap semi-disposable unmanned capability, especially with our coastline and distances. I really don't see what the F-35s give us other than maintaining our girl by the phone relationship with the US.
but.. I have the feeling Ive seen an aeroplane do all that before... like 40 years ago. Hawker 1127 Kestrel... forerunner of the highly succesful Harrier, Sea Harrier and AV-8. Many billions spent re-inventing the wheel.?? Not being the version we're getting/ will get/ maybe get..eventually.
Todays announcement of 3 x F35 @ $80 mil plus equals 10 more years of the the Trabant, sorry, Holden factory to go. Perhaps we can stem any invasion by giving them all a taxpayer funded car. Or bomb them with the older models that havent sold.
Seriously...it does look like a very nice aeroplane, and I'm sure it will be all "singing and dancing" techo as per the brochure ...BUT read the fine print, the legal disclaimers.. AND ponder the FINAL COST...if ever we are allowed to know what THAT is.! Remember, could be coming to you soon by the authors of the Sea Sprite fiasco @1.5 bill$s for nothing !!!!. An encore ???
US defence industries are like Big Pharma...HUGELY profitable. To share the load.....tax payers in China 1 billion plus, USof A 300 mill...and little old Oz 20 mill or less..? No contest. I'm for talking with India who want to build 200 + PAK-TF 50s under licence. Looks even better, and more capable than the F35 too Be cheaper!
Following the US Navy model, meaning Hornet, Super Hornet and the F-35 [A model for us] should work. Another two dozen Super Hornets and by then the F-35 might be a goer to provide the next element..
The concept that has plagued us in many recent purchases [MRH-90] is the one cap fits all approach which is supposed to save money/resources. That is totally flawed as has been shown with this helicopter. Finally Navy bought the helo that they need [MH-60R]. Now if only they had a fleet of Sierras to go with them they would be in good shape. Army could deploy their MRH-90's as required on the big boats for troop lift etc,,,,
One of the reasons I left what is now called the Army Reserve many many years ago was the absolute inability of Defence to offer any form of Naval or Air support for us poor grunts.
Oh the Government said they had the gear all right - it was paraded to journalists frequently.
Take the Stinger missile for instance - designed to be carried and used by the average infantryman. But not in Australia! We had stocks - assigned to some sort of air defence unit which we knew would be deployed in a tight ring around Canberra if TSHTF.
Same with almost every other bit of kit - for example anti tank missiles. "No, you can't have some! But in the event of a conflict we will get supplies from America very quickly!" Yeah, sure.
The only people who took close air support seriously was the Fleet Air Arm with their little Skyhawks and look what happened to them. Close air support with a Mirage? you have to be joking!
When I talked to a certain person intimately involved in the Navy a few years ago about its CIWS capability and the lack of Phalanx systems on some ships, I was introduced to the term "Fitted for, but not with". Same as me in the infantry years ago.
When the Airforce got their Chinooks years ago, I remember one of the Airships saying to another: "Now we can move our tarmac vehicles from base to base" - no mention of the Army support role at all.
I was a guest on the HMAS ANZAC a few years ago and discovered that:
(a) It had a list of defects a mile long.
(b) It was decertified for helicopter operations because of perished rubber deck seals.
Then of course there was the HMAS Westralia fire - any competent mariner engineer could have told you that flexible injector lines were a disaster waiting to happen. The Sulzer original parts are double walled Steel, The outer casing has a pressure gauge attached so you know when the inner pipe has cracked, and you still have a working engine. So much for naval engineering.
So much for our "defence" forces today. The current staff are just sacrificial lambs, just like they were in 1939.
The F35? Fits in well with the "Koala" mentality. Jealosly protected and never outside Australia. People will make a career out of it and retire long before we ever see one. Civil servants and officers will gorge themselves on overseas postings, conferences and visits to America to "supervise" our acquisition. Some time around 2030, one will appear at an airshow for us to marvel at.
The press will get to video one dropping a teeny little bomb at Woomera. We will then announce a program to modify the aircraft for "Australian conditions" which will take a further twenty years.
Why the heck we don't buy a reasonably mature airframe with proven capabilities in quantity I don't know.
...Well actually I do know. It was explained to me that even if Indonesia has 500 aircraft and we have only Fifty we will still win because one Australian pilot will kill Four Indonesian aircraft a day. The the Indonesian aircraft will become unserviceable while we can fix ours, so that by day Four we will still have 35 aircraft but Indonesia will only have Three still flying so we have won... or that is what the civil servants say... my brain hurts. All I can think of is all those useless oxygen thieves poncing around the Russell Offices.
Another article on Flight global re the F35. Talk already of a 6th generation F 18 Super-Dooper Hornet F-XX whatever. Should we save our bucks to carry on with the Rhinos and Growlers and its upcoming brother?
How quickly we all forget the Russians lost the Cold War because their kit was over-rated and didn't come up to western standards in battle...where it counts. And they have had less money since then. Their kit is cheap and cheerful, and that is most probably because they find it hard to sell.
Other than the F35, are there actually any other Gen 5 fast jets in production? Th F35 will be fine...in all models...and they will be bought in such large numbers that people here will be embarrassed they ever thought otherwise.
If what makes a plane "Generation 5" being the computer(s)
It's not, it's the stealth bit that makes it 5th gen, you can have all the computers and data links in 4th gen too; they have it now!
So I don't know how the JSF system is supposed to be better and obviously, for it to work, other aircraft need to be equipped too.
The main use for it obviously is that is allows any (not just stealth) fighters to keep their radars off and not present a huge target while still seeing the enemy on their screens, courtesy of an AWACS broadcasting this to them.
Now all we need is a boutique war for it to shine.
How about no war at all, that would be even better!