Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Australian Defence Chiefs Support $16Bn Joint Strike Fighter Purchase

  1. #1
    Defense Moderator
    Defense Professional
    Lei Feng Protege
    xinhui's Avatar
    Join Date
    17 May 06
    Posts
    7,980

    Australian Defence Chiefs Support $16Bn Joint Strike Fighter Purchase

    The Australian
    November 24, 2009
    Pg. 2

    Defence Chiefs Support $16Bn Joint Strike Fighter Purchase

    By Patrick Walters, National Security Editor

    Australia ’s defence chiefs have firmly backed the RAAF’s planned $16 billion investment in the joint strike fighter, with cabinet’s national security committee due to consider a go-ahead for the fifth generation aircraft today.

    A Defence Department submission recommending "second pass" approval for Australia ’s largest-ever defence purchase will be considered by Kevin Rudd and senior ministers, as the government searches for big budget savings over the next four years.

    Under Defence’s plan, the RAAF would acquire its first F-35 fighters for test and evaluation in 2014 but will not acquire an operational squadron until 2018-19 at the earliest.

    The RAAF wants to buy up to 100 F-35s to replace its F/A-18 "classic Hornets" and the soon-tobe-retired F-111 strike force, but the Rudd government’s initial acquisition approval is expected to be for as few as 14 aircraft.

    Senior government sources say an alternative proposal to buy an extra squadron of F/A-18 Super Hornet fighters and trim the planned number of F-35s has not been seriously considered by defence chiefs.

    The RAAF will get its first squadron of the Boeingmanufactured Super Hornets next year and proponents of the plan argue that buying up to 24 extra Super Hornets and cutting the planned F-35 buy from 100 to 50 aircraft could save the taxpayer at least $3bn.

    Andrew Davies, from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, says buying extra Super Hornets would also enable Australia to buy less expensive and more capable F-35 fighters later in the production cycle, as well as make big budget savings.

    "With the JSF production schedule slipping to the right, the lifetime of the existing 'classic' F/A-18 Hornets is also looming as a major risk," Dr Davies told The Australian. Under the RAAF’s current planning 72 F-35s will replace the RAAF’s ageing "classic" Hornets from later next decade, with the 24 Super Hornets making up a fighter combat arm of 100 aircraft.

    Senior government sources say the Rudd government’s budget problems remain the only serious obstacle to getting a green light for the F-35 fighter deal.

    But the Defence plan to delay the acquisition by at least two years will ease budget pressures over the current forward estimates period out to 2013.

    Both Defence Minister John Faulkner and Defence Materiel Minister Greg Combet remain fully committed to the joint strike fighter as the best choice for Australia ’s future air combat arm.

    Senior representatives from the F-35’s manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, gave a lengthy briefing on progress with the F-35 program late last week.

    Pentagon chiefs are currently reviewing progress on the joint strike fighter program, with an internal joint evaluation team pointing to a requirement for additional budget support if the F-35 is to meet its development and production milestones. The US military plans to buy up to 2450 F-35s.
    “the misery of being exploited by capitalists is nothing compared to the misery of not being exploited at all” -- Joan Robinson

  2. #2
    Military Professional
    Join Date
    16 Nov 05
    Posts
    2,224
    Brilliant, let's start a purchase of a completely different fighter as a stopgap to save money.

    At least the ultimate goal is still firmly set to the F-35.

  3. #3
    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
    Join Date
    12 Jan 07
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    9,446
    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy View Post
    Brilliant, let's start a purchase of a completely different fighter as a stopgap to save money.

    At least the ultimate goal is still firmly set to the F-35.
    Already happening - the decision was made by the last government when it became clear how long it would be until the F-35 would be available & how much more they might cost then was originally projected.

    Personally I thought it was a stupid decision, but then I thought the same about committing money to the F-35 while it was still in development (we have already given millions to the manufacturer in hopes of getting a better deal at the other end of the project. Yeah, right). Boys & their toys.


    Win nervously lose tragically - Reds C C

  4. #4
    Senior Contributor chakos's Avatar
    Join Date
    21 Apr 08
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    1,294
    The whole thing is a bit iffy to me. Lets just hope to god we dont get involved in a major war at any point between 2015 till about 2020 as i think about the only thing well have still combat capable by that point will be the superbugs and whatever handful of F35s have been delivered to the OCU.

    I still believe a much better plan would have been to buy 50 or so F35's and 85 superbugs (75 F's and 10G's), would have added another squadron and a half of capability for about the same money.

    Im of the opinion that for anything after first day combat where stealth would be required the superbug could do the job better, use the F35's as our door busters and then the superbugs for the general bombslinging.

    That way we could pretty much replace all the bugs immediatelly, have some capacity now the pigs are gone too and then receive the JSF when they finally do arrive.


    My 0.02c
    The best part of repentance is the sin

  5. #5
    Military Professional
    Join Date
    18 Nov 05
    Location
    Suburban Ohio, I commute to redneck land on the we
    Posts
    1,074
    Other than short legs, what is the problem with keeping the bugs in Aussie inventory? Seems like they aren't really that much less advanced than the earlier superbugs made. (If I remember right the initial avionics packages were pretty much the same and the airframe was the big difference.) I'm an airforce guy so my knowledge of those planes is a little iffy.

  6. #6
    Senior Contributor chakos's Avatar
    Join Date
    21 Apr 08
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    1,294
    Weve used up the crap out of them, we did a center barrel upgrade recently on them and that wasnt a complete success.

    Dont forget those babies are some of the earliest A models, theres only so much you can do to upgrade them before they completelly crap themselves.
    The best part of repentance is the sin

  7. #7
    Military Professional
    Join Date
    18 Nov 05
    Location
    Suburban Ohio, I commute to redneck land on the we
    Posts
    1,074
    Ah I didn't think the aussies had worn them out yet. I really hadn't heard of you guys knocking them about the world particularly much and they don't have to deal with the added stress of boat life with you, the RAAF. If they are worn out airframes by all means retire them.

  8. #8
    Senior Contributor chakos's Avatar
    Join Date
    21 Apr 08
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    1,294
    Its not that we have been treating them mega rough. We received them in the mid/late eighties, by the time we replace them the airframes will be 25-30 years old. We kept them online a lot longer than any other of our fighters, historically we upgrade every 15-20 years (apart from our pigs but theres no real replacement for them out there unless you guys feel like passing some B1s our way).

    We are a wealthy country with a small population in what can sometimes be a dangerous neighbourhood... we like to have the edge that would make any potential enemy think twice, that means an always up to date air combat force.
    The best part of repentance is the sin

  9. #9
    Global Moderator Defense Professional
    Join Date
    30 May 06
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    2,269
    Quote Originally Posted by Maxor View Post
    Ah I didn't think the aussies had worn them out yet. I really hadn't heard of you guys knocking them about the world particularly much and they don't have to deal with the added stress of boat life with you, the RAAF. If they are worn out airframes by all means retire them.
    the estimates on the wear and tear for the classic bugs has been revised downwards.

    the shornets are going back 2025 at this stage. there is no intention to keep them.

  10. #10
    Global Moderator Defense Professional
    Join Date
    30 May 06
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    2,269
    Quote Originally Posted by chakos View Post
    I still believe a much better plan would have been to buy 50 or so F35's and 85 superbugs (75 F's and 10G's), would have added another squadron and a half of capability for about the same money.
    One of the proposed 2025 ORBATs includes a squadron of UAV's. That's around the same time that the shornets get returned.

    by 2025 depending on how we construct our JSF buy there could be developments on single seat JSF to a level where they're controllers of unmanned assets.

  11. #11
    Senior Contributor chakos's Avatar
    Join Date
    21 Apr 08
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    1,294
    Quote Originally Posted by gf0012-aust View Post
    One of the proposed 2025 ORBATs includes a squadron of UAV's. That's around the same time that the shornets get returned.

    by 2025 depending on how we construct our JSF buy there could be developments on single seat JSF to a level where they're controllers of unmanned assets.
    I can handle that, as long as we dont go under the magic 100 mark of manned combat aircraft. 4 front line squadrons is what i consider to be a minimum for a country of our size. Actually i dont even consider that enough but realistically i cant see us with more than that unless a) the US goes isolationist and b) China goes expansionalist.
    The best part of repentance is the sin

  12. #12
    Colonist Senior Contributor
    Join Date
    02 Mar 08
    Location
    Adelaide, Australia
    Posts
    2,095
    Quote Originally Posted by chakos View Post
    I can handle that, as long as we dont go under the magic 100 mark of manned combat aircraft. 4 front line squadrons is what i consider to be a minimum for a country of our size. Actually i dont even consider that enough but realistically i cant see us with more than that unless a) the US goes isolationist and b) China goes expansionalist.
    We've been under that mark for awhile now with attrition and availability rate up the creek. The F-111's have been dead assets since the mid 90's really despite upgrades. The effective size of the RAAF's front line for awhile now especially just prior our involvemnt in OIF is / was around 50 a/c.

  13. #13
    Contributor NUS's Avatar
    Join Date
    29 Aug 08
    Posts
    581
    So, what's the cost of this "cheap" fighter? Do i get it right, it's $16 billion per 100 planes?

  14. #14
    Contributor StevoJH's Avatar
    Join Date
    25 Jun 09
    Location
    Newcastle, NSW
    Posts
    355
    Quote Originally Posted by NUS View Post
    So, what's the cost of this "cheap" fighter? Do i get it right, it's $16 billion per 100 planes?
    Including Infrastructure, Training, Spares, Probably some Weapons, and operating the things for x number of years.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. PLA's new battalion battlegroup reform
    By xinhui in forum East Asia and the Pacific
    Replies: 92
    Last Post: 03 Sep 09,, 00:39
  2. Australia ’s Hazard(ous) Frigate Upgrade
    By xinhui in forum Naval Warfare
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 27 Nov 08,, 21:41
  3. what is this ???
    By indianguy4u in forum East Asia and the Pacific
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 21 May 05,, 10:38
  4. A closer look at USN Fleet Structure
    By rickusn in forum Naval Warfare
    Replies: 51
    Last Post: 18 Apr 05,, 05:41
  5. Rumsfeld clashes with air force over Joint Strike Fighter
    By Franco Lolan in forum Military Aviation
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04 Jan 05,, 07:19

Share this thread with friends:

Share this thread with friends:

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •