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Erwin_Hans

RAAF Super Bug!

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Shame the Aussies went this route.

 

Why? This is only a temp until the JSF comes in.

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Well, I suppose it's better than if the Aussies chose a Sukhoi.

Edited by Viggen

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Why? This is only a temp until the JSF comes in.

 

Nah, it's not. Originally the MoD and the RAAF were thinking about leasing 24 SuperBugs to fulfill the capability gap the previous government was creating by exacerbating a climate of fear around the F-111. The big problem stems from the previous government being quite uninformed, cherry picking facts for their convenience and rushing into a private deal directly with Boeing themselves. The current government investigated the selection process, criticising the previous government for poor information and ill informed analysis of the F-111, not to mention the fact that the tender process was bypassed completely, something that annoyed several contractors considerably. The ALP government amended the deal to ensure that at least half of SuperBugs will have the necessary wiring and systems to convert them to the EA-18F EW variant.

 

But the big problem is that the F/A-18F's cons outweigh it's pros when compared to the aircraft it's replacing. While it is a capable aircraft, the new Hornet is not a long range, low level strike platform by any means. It doesn't come close in terms of range or payload. However what it does have is a fantastic radar and stealth... that is if you're dopey enough to believe the previous government. It it a good multirole combat aircraft, no question, and it will compliment our legacy Hornets. But it's not a dedicated strike platform. It's more like watching a kid stumbling around wearing his dad's boots.

 

What should have been on the table as well, IMHO, would have been aircraft such as a Modern variant of the F-15E Strike Eagle (something akin to Singapore's F-15SG or something) and the Dassault Rafale. In all likelihood, the Rafale would have been selected in a competitive tender process if only because through-life costs would have been slightly less than that of the Eagle. This has been one giant balls up... but it does look nice in RAAF markings though. :biggrin:

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I don't know, I kind of doubt that...based on the Rafale's track record so far!

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Well, I suppose it's better than if the Aussies chose a Sukhoi.

 

:rolleyes: Carlo Kopp...

 

also, the Su-32FN wouldn't be a bad deal....i'd be happy if Brazil could buy some to a decent coastal defense :ok:

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Well it is... Carlo Kopp's "influence", however, I've read some articles on the Austrailian views on it and Say What?! is right, compared to a late model Sukhoi... no comparison and no way to say the Supa Bug would come out on top. But if you want to throw it against an MKM I'm sure the Bug will come out on top due to pilot proficiency versus technology, and the AESA is far more capable than any Zhuk out there. But then again the Aussies relied on the Legacy Hornet for interception and the Varks for strike... so I don't see the logic in saying the Super Bug is inferior when a Legacy Hornet doesn't have the legs of a Sukhoi. And the Rafale? Yeah it doesn't look good when the Indians boot it out of the competition and if my mind serves me right, didn't they let it back in?

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so I don't see the logic in saying the Super Bug is inferior when a Legacy Hornet doesn't have the legs of a Sukhoi.

 

 

Bear in mind though that the legacy Hornet first came into service in 1985 (fully operational from around 1988ish), at the time, it was superior to anything in our neighbours' arsenals throughout the 90s and into the nought-ies (even though it was never upgraded to C standard). Now we're selecting something that clearly isn't superior to the means of interception our neighbours use. You could argue that this is the sign of a changing region, or that it's a sign of changing attitudes the Australian MoD has to warfare, but if that's the case, the rhetoric hasn't caught up because they're still using the "This plane is the best and Australia therefore must have the best" line. Thing is, we have must easier access to information now and can cut through some of the spin. The new bug isn't stealthy like the manufacturers and the coalition government's defence minister would have us believe, even if it does incorporate reduced RCS features. And so what if it's got AESA? Most aircraft on the market have AESA or a passively scanned electronic array these days, even the Eagles. The Super Hornet isn't special because of this.

 

Also, the only reason why I suggest the Rafale might have been chosen is that cost is an ever increasing nightmare for the MoD here (I guess like everywhere), so drawing the line between capability and cost is where the major focus would be. Remember, we're a country less than one tenth the size of the US. If our spending was one tenth the size of the US's spending on defence, it would be about triple what we're spending now. Probably more, I don't know the numbers exactly. Ideally, I think the Strike Eagle was the logical choice of strike platform to replace the Pig. It has a longer range than most, retains the air to air capability of the Eagle (reducing the need for independent escorts), has the dash speed comparable to the Pig, and it could, arguably, go toe to toe with the Su-30 and win... But this comes at a cost. A big cost. Approx US $100 million per unit (for the advanced F-15K/SG variants) which is about twice the unit price for the Super Hornet. The Rafale (I’m not 100% on this) comes in around US $70 million or so per unit and this isn't taking into consideration integration of weapons and systems used by the RAAF already. Now take into consideration the acuisition of the F-35 and it's unit cost increasingly looking like it's going to cost more than US $100 million per unit and that then makes the stop gap replacement rather costly indeed.

 

Selecting any of these would have introduced a marked increase in the RAAF's strike capability, all by degrees, but the introduction of the Super Hornet introduces different, force multiplying capabilities that haven't been addressed (such as EW platforms, light refuelling, non traditional ISR, etc) that make it a valuable platform, even if it's not much of a mud mover in comparison. Thing is, the F-111 is a difficult aircraft to replace anyways. The only aircraft I can think of in it's particular class would be the Su-24, Su-34, F-15E-SG Strike Eagle Family and the multirole/strike variants of the Su-30 family. And since you'll never see a Russian platform in RAAF service, that pretty much leaves just the Mudhen as a worthy strike replacement. While I'm not keen on the Super Hornet (and the dubious circumstances in which it was selected by the previous government), I can see how it will benefit the RAAF quite nicely. I just think the F-111 has been made out to be more of a lame duck then it actually is.

 

 

I've posted this link previously to the ABC current affairs program Four Corners previously, but it's still an interesting watch...

http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/special_eds...ets/default.htm

 

I don't think you'll have access to it Erwin because I think the Australian ABC is blacklisted in the PRC...

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That's what it was, Four Corners interview that discussed the Super Hornet versus Sukhois..

 

As for AESA versus non-AESA? While the F-22/Super Hornet/Eagles and maybe later model Sukhoi's.. I doubt any so far can do this:

 

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2006/...-as-jammer.html

 

So it's more special than most. Even the F-22. Of course that's a matter of tech transfer, but I don't see a Su-30 out radaring a Super Hornet, Raptor, or Eagle anytime soon until they develop their own. So with radars the Super Hornet is the way to go, as a 4++ will have slightly more capability than a fifth generation fighter.

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I've posted this link previously to the ABC current affairs program Four Corners previously, but it's still an interesting watch...

http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/special_eds...ets/default.htm

 

I don't think you'll have access to it Erwin because I think the Australian ABC is blacklisted in the PRC...

 

Hmmm...

 

No,luckly,I'm reading this.

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Guys, while this and the JSF are two subjects that hold particular interest for me since working for a governmental think tank a few years, but, if I go off like this again, can you guys remind me that it's a Friday night and that I should really be at the pub or something?? :biggrin:

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Kinda off topic (ok very much so) lets just hopes the IAF (Indians) dont go for ANY of the Teens. Period !

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