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No Guarantee Australia Will Buy F35  
User currently offlineQuokka From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (3 years 4 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 4949 times:

Given the soaring cost and the delays in the F35 project, Australian Defence Minister Stephen Smith has refused to guarantee that Australia will purchase100 US-built F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.

Smith is at present in the US for talks with Leon Panetta and has stated that no firm commitment beyond 14 aircraft has been given. There is concern that the cost and delays were getting close to the margins built into the order by the Defence Dept.

There has been debate in Australia in the past over whether Australia should be ordering unproven technologies but there appears to be more concern in defence circles about the delay than the escalating cost as the ageing fleet will need to be replaced if Australia is to maintain its defence capability.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-07-2...h-on-joint-strike-fighters/2811034

20 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 1, posted (3 years 4 months 6 days ago) and read 4864 times:

I fully expect Australia to go for another buy of Super Hornets. I think the initial purchase was 24, so another 24 might be in the cards, with some of the order being for EF-18Gs. This would help maintain capability while pushing a final decision on the F-35 further into the future, when a more mature aircraft and a better idea of actual cost would be known.


Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 2, posted (3 years 4 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 4793 times:

Had to happen. Rather disappointed Smithy did not jerk the rope a bit earlier. Maybe he did and this is the first time he wants to say it happened. Hope the cure to the problem is not even worse. Might be better to borrow some of Indonesia's new toys than make a replacement purchase.

User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 3, posted (3 years 4 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 4770 times:

Quoting Baroque (Reply 2):
Had to happen. Rather disappointed Smithy did not jerk the rope a bit earlier. Maybe he did and this is the first time he wants to say it happened. Hope the cure to the problem is not even worse. Might be better to borrow some of Indonesia's new toys than make a replacement purchase.

Hi Alan-

Even at this point, no one can say definitively what the 'production' F-35 will cost or when it will achieve IOC. I realise that at least a couple have now been delivered to the USAF, but the recent news re further cost overruns is dismaying (to say the least) to countries still well up the queue - Australia and Canada to name two. As well, there still seem to be technical troubles bedevilling this thing (and a 'thing' it is, IMHO).

http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=5484169

http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htnavai/20101203.aspx

http://wethearmed.com/index.php?topic=13198.0

http://www.worldtribune.com/worldtri...WTARC/2011/me_israel0653_05_30.asp

Heck, if the Israelis are unhappy with it, before delivery, then it has real issues. I expect several countries currently in the buy stream to back out. Australia and Canada might be amongst them. Looks like Oz has signed on firmly for 14 a/c, so I wonder what the cancellation cost would be ?

There seem to be frequent references to problems in the avionics, which I know is written in C++. For anyone who has experience in it, it has it's uses, but, again IMHO, isn't the most efficient language in the world, and in the longer run, Lockheed might have been better served sticking with Ada (specifically the Ada95 or Ada2003 variants, which are net-capable).

Jeez, I know a guy working for the RAN who has been developing an anti-missile system in Fortran 2003 real-time - Fortran is still the fastest executing high-level language around. Why people get seduced by C++ is beyond me. "Oh, it's object-oriented". Well so is F2003. And it's faster.

But I know I'm in the minority.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlinebill142 From Australia, joined Aug 2004, 8465 posts, RR: 8
Reply 4, posted (3 years 4 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 4746 times:

Now will the US stand by and watch Australia go buy Sukhois or Eurofighters?

User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 5, posted (3 years 4 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 4725 times:

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 3):
definitively what the 'production' F-35 will cost

What is really mind boggling is:
Australia is paying $3.2 billion for the first 14 at $228 million per aircraft
You could buy A380s for that, and they would probably be about as much use too.

I guess re the heating problems on flight decks, they are just lucky they went to steel from the wooden ones!

Quoting bill142 (Reply 4):
Australia go buy Sukhois

Why not just borrow Indonesia's?

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 3):
Fortran is still the fastest executing high-level language around.

Now he tells me! I should have stuck with Fortran, but the compilers became so expensive.


User currently offlinecomorin From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4903 posts, RR: 16
Reply 6, posted (3 years 4 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 4558 times:

Quoting Baroque (Reply 5):
Quoting connies4ever (Reply 3):
Fortran is still the fastest executing high-level language around.

Now he tells me! I should have stuck with Fortran, but the compilers became so expensive.

C++ is popular because its what they teach in college and it is object-oriented. Once a language is object oriented, it means your programmers can bs you at a whole new level. A C++ programmer is differemt from a FORTRAN programmer because he can use complex words like Encapsulation, Inheritance, Polymorphism and so on for which he expects to get paid an extra $100K.

As a programmer to write a "Hello World" program in C++:

1. He will need to first define Use Cases.

2. Next step - the Great Object Model! He will use Rational Rose or something so that he can derive derive everything from the Superclass "Universe".

3. You will say, "Hang on, I can show you an easier way to do this!" but he will say sorry, not an approved Design Pattern.

4. After a month or so, when the design model is done, he will ask you for another programmer. Why? Because he has decided to partake in 'Agile Software Development".

5 At the first demo, you will see that "Hello World" is all in lower case. It's YOUR fault! Not only is it a change order, but he will have to Break Binary Compatibility. You take the guy out for lunch and get him a UI designer to help out.

6. Second Demo - the program is soo slow. Not his problem! First, Microsoft actually tells programmers not to code for performance, since you can always buy a bigger box. Second, our friend's object model is seven layers deep, enough to accommodate every known object in the universe but not enough to trap every error known to man. You leave the programmer, ashamed that you only gave him a Cray Supercomputer to develop this application. You hurry to get him a new machine before he lambasts you and your company on the Ars Technica and Stack Overflow sites.

OK, Rant over.

In Mil Av, there seems to be a move to contain costs by moving to COTS (Commercial Off the Shelf) components. I'm not onboard with that idea yet.


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1822 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (3 years 4 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 4554 times:

Quoting comorin (Reply 6):
In Mil Av, there seems to be a move to contain costs by moving to COTS (Commercial Off the Shelf) components. I'm not onboard with that idea yet.

It does help with upgradability; on the F-35, the avionics processors are COTS IBM 1GHz PowerPC processors. The design and the programming of the avionics will allow in the future, if there is a need for increased processing power, to readily swap the 1GHz CPU's for more powerful ones.


User currently offlinecomorin From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4903 posts, RR: 16
Reply 8, posted (3 years 4 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 4542 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 7):
It does help with upgradability; on the F-35, the avionics processors are COTS IBM 1GHz PowerPC processors. The design and the programming of the avionics will allow in the future, if there is a need for increased processing power, to readily swap the 1GHz CPU's for more powerful ones.

Point well taken, thanks. I was thinking about COTS software, but I'm sure the DoD would have put it through its paces.


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1822 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (3 years 4 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 4519 times:

Quoting comorin (Reply 8):
Point well taken, thanks. I was thinking about COTS software, but I'm sure the DoD would have put it through its paces.

You will be amazed at the amount of COTS hardware in the F-35; beyond the COTS PowerPC processors, the avionics system uses field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), DDR RAM, DDR2 RAM, flash memory, active matrix liquid crystal displays (AMLCDs), PCI, PCIe, PCI-X, RapidIO, openGL, Green Hills Integrity-178 real-time operating system (RTOS), IEEE-1394, and Fibre Channels.

There is a lot of movement within the military to move away from Mil-Spec hardware when COTS hardware is available for ease of upgrading to ward off obsolescence. The military can't have 10 year product cycles where by the time something gets rolled out, it is already obsolete.


User currently offlineBurkhard From Germany, joined Nov 2006, 4405 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (3 years 4 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 4448 times:

Quoting bill142 (Reply 4):
Now will the US stand by and watch Australia go buy Sukhois or Eurofighters?

Who is threatening Australia in a way that they could not defend themselves even with a dozen of F4 Phantom. These toys are not needed...

Quoting comorin (Reply 6):
C++ is popular because its what they teach in college and it is object-oriented. Once a language is object oriented, it means your programmers can bs you at a whole new level. A C++ programmer is differemt from a FORTRAN programmer because he can use complex words like Encapsulation, Inheritance, Polymorphism and so on for which he expects to get paid an extra $100K.

It also looks more serious when it takes a few minutes on a 12 core CPU than the second the old Fortran code took on a 1 GHz single core.


User currently offlinebill142 From Australia, joined Aug 2004, 8465 posts, RR: 8
Reply 11, posted (3 years 4 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 4399 times:

Quoting Burkhard (Reply 10):

Who is threatening Australia in a way that they could not defend themselves even with a dozen of F4 Phantom. These toys are not needed...

No one is. But with the long standing relationship between Australia and the US, the US could feel insulted even with the potential to damage relations between the two should Australia buy something else. Particularly the Sukhoi.


User currently offlineQuokka From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (3 years 4 months 5 days ago) and read 4382 times:

Quoting Burkhard (Reply 10):
Who is threatening Australia in a way that they could not defend themselves even with a dozen of F4 Phantom.

Some analysts suggest that China is a possible future threat given its increasing naval capacity and the extending of its area of operation. China has major investments in both Australia and some African countries, and those analysts argue that China may decide to take a more aggressive interest in those countries.

Quoting bill142 (Reply 11):
the US could feel insulted even with the potential to damage relations between the two should Australia buy something else.

The US may be understandably disappointed if they lost a customer but I don't think that relations would be damaged. There was no lasting fall-out when Australia decided on the Eurocopter Tiger ARH (Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter) to replace its OH-58 Kiowas and UH-1 Iroquois-based 'Bushranger' gunships. The delays with the Eurocopter is another story.


User currently offlineBurkhard From Germany, joined Nov 2006, 4405 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (3 years 4 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 4365 times:

Quoting Quokka (Reply 12):
China has major investments in both Australia and some African countries, and those analysts argue that China may decide to take a more aggressive interest in those countries.

China has so many major investments in Australia and in the US that it doesn't need any military toys to take interest - toys we see in Libya to be of no value. I think all countries, starting with the US, should rethink if it is wise to borrow their money from China and Saudi Arabia just to build weapons to defend against China and Saudi entities.


User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 14, posted (3 years 4 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 4325 times:

Quoting comorin (Reply 6):
OK, Rant over.

Excellent rant though!!    Must show it to a friend of mine who is in IT and drones on about how excellent C++ is.

Quoting Burkhard (Reply 10):
Quoting bill142 (Reply 4):
Now will the US stand by and watch Australia go buy Sukhois or Eurofighters?

Who is threatening Australia in a way that they could not defend themselves even with a dozen of F4 Phantom. These toys are not needed...

You are trying to set me off Burkhard, happily I don't need to go off like a frog in a sock as we have:

Quoting bill142 (Reply 11):
No one is. But with the long standing relationship between Australia and the US, the US could feel insulted even with the potential to damage relations between the two should Australia buy something else. Particularly the Sukhoi.

Very true.

Quoting Quokka (Reply 12):
The US may be understandably disappointed if they lost a customer but I don't think that relations would be damaged. There was no lasting fall-out when Australia decided on the Eurocopter Tiger ARH (Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter) to replace its OH-58 Kiowas and UH-1 Iroquois-based 'Bushranger' gunships. The delays with the Eurocopter is another story.

Usually agree with you furiously Quokka and again on this one, as Burkhard so elegantly puts it:

Quoting Burkhard (Reply 13):
China has so many major investments in Australia and in the US that it doesn't need any military toys to take interest - toys we see in Libya to be of no value. I think all countries, starting with the US, should rethink if it is wise to borrow their money from China and Saudi Arabia just to build weapons to defend against China and Saudi entities.

I mean when China attack us they are going to sink their own iron ore ships, set on fire rigs producing gas that they have bought and generally bugger up a country in which they probably hold about 20% of the "shares" - check on the beneficial ownership of Australian real estate and you may well get a shock.

Which brings us to Smithy on Lateline tonight solemnly assuring Ali Moore that we need this capability and that the F111s served us well. I must have missed something there, they actually did something other than dump and burn and injure hundreds of RAAF staff during seal and reseal mishaps?????

Someone ought to be brave enough to put the Line put so well by Burkhard. But of course all the "security" experts have an interest in expensive toys. I will cite the Smith interview but only for the record, absolutely NOTHING. You would be better informed by reading a.net. Mind you there was just a suggestion that his cost/wait fuse might have a limit.

If anyone found anything interesting in the Smith interview, please let me know, fascinated to know what it was.
http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2011/s3279611.htm
Only the vodcast at present. Transcript in about 4 hours.
That page asks for suggestions for interviews. How about one where Smithy is asked exactly what the F-35 could do and how it would fare in a fight with Sukhois?? Not to mention how the Super Hornets would go if they came up against Rafales or EFs???


User currently offlineQuokka From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (3 years 4 months 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 4315 times:

It is way past my bed tme but I will respond....

Quoting Burkhard (Reply 13):

Partly agree with you. China has some "influence" with the extent of of its holdings but in the case of the US, at high risk poker stakes, the US can at least make the Chinese bond holders cry. Why else the move by some countries to encourage the adoption of a different "reserve currency"? If the US can buy time (and nothing more) by simply printing extra dollars...

The problem over time is that as competition for resources, real or imagined, intensifies and states feel threatened rational thinking often goes out of the window.

My own wish is that the world spends just a fraction of what it currently spends inventing new ways to make killing more efficient on actually finding ways to limit the squabbles in the first place. But then, I have long been known as an idealist.  


If it is past my bedtime, it must be way beyond yours Baroque, or are you in a more western time zone?

My own question that arises from Smith's statement is how real is the possibility of cancelling the order and how much of his statement is geared to attempting to improve the terms of the original agreement? Is Australia still committed to buying the F35 or does the Government have some viable alternative purchase in mind?


User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 16, posted (3 years 4 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 4269 times:

Quoting Quokka (Reply 15):
If it is past my bedtime, it must be way beyond yours Baroque, or are you in a more western time zone?

Reading yrs 2 hrs 9 mins after posting and me being in the east, that brought a smile to my weary lips. Had tonight all planned, but had them wrecked by someone needing a swag more samples prepared. Which just goes to show about plans......!!! Do you suppose I should write to Mr Smith and tell him how MY plan fell apart?

Quoting Quokka (Reply 15):
The problem over time is that as competition for resources, real or imagined, intensifies and states feel threatened rational thinking often goes out of the window.

You could not call the situaton where China is so dependent on three of our resources, iron ore, coking coal and LNG a plan, but it has worked out that way. When all of those resources were being developed, the assumption was earmarked for Japan, and how to get to Europe with it being so far and all. Then Korea came along as light entertainment. Suddenly wham, China. And we are in bed with the giant panda.

I am all for believing rational thinking going out of windows (not here tonight though too cold in the E to have windows open) but why ever would China go to war with so many of its own companies? They have interests in many (not yet most, but that would have been the case had Rio made that awful deal) of our major companies in these fields. What interest would they have in attacking. They must have already worked out it is far far cheaper to buy us than to fight us. So you would have to take that line of thought way beyond where I think is even possible to get worried about China. All sorts of other reasons to worry about them mind you. Spratlys come to mind. But would Smith dare put a monster re-equipment plan up on the basis of defending the Spratlys?

Ok back to polish off (literally) the last 20! Off topic, I hear that quokkas do not transplant very well, one of those gems you get on ABC, apparently they tried to introduce quokkas to some area away from Rottnest but they succumbed to feral whatevers. You will have to give them fierceness training you know. Probably more effective than F-35s.


User currently offlinecomorin From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4903 posts, RR: 16
Reply 17, posted (3 years 4 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 4264 times:

XT6Wagon posted this on another F-35 related thread, brilliant!


Uh, Is it bad that I equate this with "LM to offer communicable diseases to India".

Has ANYONE gotten what they wanted with the F35 program?


User currently offlinestealthz From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 5724 posts, RR: 44
Reply 18, posted (3 years 4 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 4163 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting comorin (Reply 17):
Has ANYONE gotten what they wanted with the F35 program?

The deposit clerk at LM continues to take cheques(checks) to the bank!!



If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
User currently offlinewvsuperhornet From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 517 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (3 years 4 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 4130 times:

Quoting bill142 (Reply 4):
Now will the US stand by and watch Australia go buy Sukhois or Eurofighters?

I doubt australia will go with sukhois they have already dismissed the flanker saying it wouldnt have any technological advatages over their possible opponents. As far as the eurofighter I can see that being in the mix and with the current US administration who seems to be happy mediocracy I will say yes the US would stand by and wtch them buy another aircraft from another country. I dont think they have even convinced the US that the F-35 is the best aircraft for them from what I can gather the US airforce would be perfectly content with more F-22's along with some strike eagles.


User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 20, posted (3 years 4 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 4054 times:

Quoting wvsuperhornet (Reply 19):
current US administration who seems to be happy mediocracy

A bit tough to sheet that home to the current admin, if you shoot for one design and it goes a bit pear shaped, the F-35 program is what you get. That is why organisms with diverse genes survive the unexpected better than specialized beasties. The seeds of this mess go back a long long way. The only recent contribution has been dropping the alternate engine, and not sure Obama did that did he or if he did not entirely by himself, a few congressional helpers? And if the TB get their way dropping an engine would only be the start of it.


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