Lumberton
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Australian Air Force Campaigns For 100 F-35s

Wed Dec 03, 2008 3:27 pm

Thread title taken from an article that appears today on the Aviation Week web site. It seems that the RAAF leadership is sold on the aircraft, even if some a.net posters are not....
http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/gener...0For%20100%20F-35s&channel=defense

Quote:
The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) is stepping up its lobbying efforts for a full order of 100 F-35 Lightning IIs, a number that has been officially endorsed but could easily be trimmed in a defense white paper due next year.

The chief of the air force, Air Marshal Mark Binskin, strongly defends the choice of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 as its next fighter, arguing that it will be part of an integrated airpower system and the country could not hope to find better.

He also endorses the Boeing 737 Airborne Early Warning & Control Wedgetail and Airbus A330 tankers – both on order for Australia but running late – as the best equipment available.

The F-35 will be the best multirole fighter in the world, Binskin says, and will be able to beat advanced Russian fighters because it will be backed by other superior equipment and superior personnel.

“It will have the best radar, the best defensive system of any of those aircraft in the world,” Binskin said in a speech reported by the Australian Associated Press.

“It will be supported by the best airborne early warning and control aircraft and the best tanker in the world and flown, maintained and supported by the best people in the world,” he reportedly said. “I’ve got to tell you: the system ain’t going to get any better than that.”

"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
Flighty
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RE: Australian Air Force Campaigns For 100 F-35s

Wed Dec 03, 2008 11:14 pm

That's a lot of firepower for 20 million people. But then, they have a big area and everything. Still seems like a lot.
 
Kent350787
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RE: Australian Air Force Campaigns For 100 F-35s

Wed Dec 03, 2008 11:40 pm

Not really that many - they're intended to replace the 20 F-111 and 71 F/A-18, so only a small increase in strength. Not sure what is intended longer term with the 24 stop-gap Super Hornets possibly being purchased. And the most recent talk is that any order will be for 75 only.

And Oz land area is similar to that of the continental USA....

Kent
 
MCIGuy
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RE: Australian Air Force Campaigns For 100 F-35s

Thu Dec 04, 2008 1:45 am



Quoting Kent350787 (Reply 2):
Not really that many - they're intended to replace the 20 F-111 and 71 F/A-18, so only a small increase in strength. Not sure what is intended longer term with the 24 stop-gap Super Hornets possibly being purchased. And the most recent talk is that any order will be for 75 only.

And Oz land area is similar to that of the continental USA....

Kent

Yeah, but this just gives me the feeling that Australia will be an even more potent power in the region. 100 would make it the 400 lb. gorilla in the room.  Smile
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bbaldwin09
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RE: Australian Air Force Campaigns For 100 F-35s

Thu Dec 04, 2008 2:54 am

I also heard about the RAAF cutting back to three squadrons (75 Aircraft) instead of four. But as the initial article states, all these decisions are pending the White Paper report.

The AEW&C Wedgetail has come too far along to be cancelled now, and the MRTT has a small agreeable delay but nothing that was not expected. This is according to Air Marshal Mark Binskin in the latest issue of Australian Aviation.

Of interest, what would be Australia's other options with regards to a lead fighter? How about more Super Hornets (Supplemented by some E/A-18 Growlers) or what about a Eurofighter Typhoon? Its the billion dollar question!
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Lumberton
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RE: Australian Air Force Campaigns For 100 F-35s

Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:21 am



Quoting BBaldwin09 (Reply 4):
Of interest, what would be Australia's other options with regards to a lead fighter? How about more Super Hornets (Supplemented by some E/A-18 Growlers) or what about a Eurofighter Typhoon? Its the billion dollar question!

Believe there are several threads on Mil Av where it's been discussed already.
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
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Mortyman
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RE: Australian Air Force Campaigns For 100 F-35s

Thu Dec 04, 2008 11:28 am



Quoting Flighty (Reply 1):
That's a lot of firepower for 20 million people

Well, Norway has'nt decided on final amount of F 35's yet, but it is said to be 56. Considering that Norway is only 4.7 million people, it's not so strange that Australia needs 100...
 
johns624
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RE: Australian Air Force Campaigns For 100 F-35s

Thu Dec 04, 2008 1:11 pm



Quoting Mortyman (Reply 6):

Well, Norway has'nt decided on final amount of F 35's yet, but it is said to be 56. Considering that Norway is only 4.7 million people, it's not so strange that Australia needs 100...

Meanwhile, over in New Zealand, which has a population almost the same as Norway's...
 
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Mortyman
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RE: Australian Air Force Campaigns For 100 F-35s

Thu Dec 04, 2008 4:55 pm



Quoting Johns624 (Reply 7):
Meanwhile, over in New Zealand, which has a population almost the same as Norway's...

Yes, but Norway has special obligations in NATO to survailance the North / arctic region and to intersept possible Russian agression.
 
Flighty
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RE: Australian Air Force Campaigns For 100 F-35s

Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:03 pm



Quoting Mortyman (Reply 6):
Well, Norway has'nt decided on final amount of F 35's yet, but it is said to be 56. Considering that Norway is only 4.7 million people, it's not so strange that Australia needs 100...

No, and Australia has really a whole quadrant of the globe that is their sphere of influence / protection. Plus they do participate in international missions. With tankers, Australia can cover a great amount of territory. There is a lot of unruly stuff to their north that is only going to get more troublesome. I am talking Indonesia, New Guinea etc. Australia does have some need to ensure they can have air superiority there. With this equipment, especially the tankers, they will have the reach to cover their whole homeland.

As for Norway and 56 fighters, Norway has lots of money and a tradition of a strong air force. Beyond that I don't know anything about them. Maybe to hold the Russians in a resource fight to the north.
 
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Mortyman
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RE: Australian Air Force Campaigns For 100 F-35s

Thu Dec 04, 2008 9:02 pm

Norway's fighters are for survailance of an ocean area 7 times larger than mainland Norway. To look after oil fields and uphold Norway's soverignety. The planes are used to identify, look after and intersept Russian agression and ifa possible attack to " hold the fort " until the calvery comes ( USA, NATO, EU ).


Since the end of the cold war, Norwegian fighters have also been participating in international operations ( Kosovo and Afghanistan ) , doing survailance, escort and air support ( protecting soldiers on the ground ).


Personally I think 56 planes is way to little. When we ordered f 16's in the 70's, I think we ordered around 75...



Will Australia have other fighters at hand, or will they scrap the old ones and just have F 35's ?


Norway will only have the one type. There are no plans for keeping the F 16's as back up. So other than a few for some museums, I think they will either be sold or scrapped.

[Edited 2008-12-04 13:05:51]
 
11Bravo
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RE: Australian Air Force Campaigns For 100 F-35s

Thu Dec 04, 2008 9:46 pm



Quoting MCIGuy (Reply 3):
Yeah, but this just gives me the feeling that Australia will be an even more potent power in the region. 100 would make it the 400 lb. gorilla in the room.

Good,… Australia has a proven track record of upholding the highest standards of international behavior, and they are, without question, a committed and loyal friend of the United States. I believe it is in almost everyone's interest to have them remain the preeminent political and military power in the SW Pacific.
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MCIGuy
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RE: Australian Air Force Campaigns For 100 F-35s

Fri Dec 05, 2008 5:55 am



Quoting 11Bravo (Reply 11):
Good,… Australia has a proven track record of upholding the highest standards of international behavior, and they are, without question, a committed and loyal friend of the United States. I believe it is in almost everyone's interest to have them remain the preeminent political and military power in the SW Pacific.

Oh I agree, the Lightning sale will only add stability to the region. Not to mention that they have neighbors in the region who aren't the friendliest.
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baroque
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RE: Australian Air Force Campaigns For 100 F-35s

Sat Dec 06, 2008 1:26 pm



Quoting MCIGuy (Reply 12):
Not to mention that they have neighbors in the region who aren't the friendliest.

Not sure who they might be. We do have some that do not like to be bombed - are they the same?

http://www.foreignminister.gov.au/releases/2008/9_aimf_statement.html

Of course you might be thinking of the time Keating called Mahathir recalcitrant, but that was a long long time ago.

Hell, even China is not going to be that unfriendly towards a country where it is rapidly becoming a significant owner in the resources industry.

Perhaps you mean the BRA? Or Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama?? Certainly, he is not too keen about Aus.
 
johns624
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RE: Australian Air Force Campaigns For 100 F-35s

Mon Dec 08, 2008 8:17 pm



Quoting Mortyman (Reply 8):
Yes, but Norway has special obligations in NATO to survailance the North / arctic region and to intersept possible Russian agression.

My point exactly. Norway participates in international missions and believes in the common defense.
 
cloudy
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RE: Australian Air Force Campaigns For 100 F-35s

Wed Dec 10, 2008 7:06 am



Quoting MCIGuy (Reply 12):
Oh I agree, the Lightning sale will only add stability to the region. Not to mention that they have neighbors in the region who aren't the friendliest.

Eastern Asia and the Pacific Rim are huge regions, and "neighbor" is a relative term. China, which seems to be the greatest long term worry, is actually pretty far away. Roughly, it can be compared to the distance between the US and Europe. One would need superpower capabilities to project significant power that distance.

Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore are relatively close to the North coast. None of these are anything close to a near term threat - though I suppose one could make a case that Indonesia could be someday. The North coast is lightly populated. The bulk of Australia's population is pretty far away even from Southeast Asia - at least in military terms.

Home defense, then, appears to be a secondary need at the moment. The greatest need would appear to be the ability to contribute forces to peacekeeping missions - particularly in Southeast Asia - in order to prevent a major threat from arising in the first place. Another major need is commerce protection, to protect the sea trade vital to the nation's economy. Also, it is helpful to have a base on which to build a larger force should a major long term threat arise.
 
baroque
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RE: Australian Air Force Campaigns For 100 F-35s

Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:19 am



Quoting Cloudy (Reply 15):
Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore are relatively close to the North coast. None of these are anything close to a near term threat - though I suppose one could make a case that Indonesia could be someday.

That is a lot more realistic. In fact, far from being a current threat:
http://livenews.com.au/articles/2008...caps_off_busy_year_with_Bali_visit
Rudd caps off busy year with Bali visit
9/12/2008 7:16:00 PM. | AAP
The two-day conference, initiated by Dr Yudhoyono, is aimed at promoting democracy and strengthening democratic institutions within the region and around the globe.

"The Bali Democracy Forum and the new Institute for Peace and Democracy in Bali are significant projects of President Yudhoyono and deserve the support of regional countries," Mr Rudd said in a statement.


Got to hand it to SBY attacking under a cover like that!! For good measure he agreed to hand over a people smuggler for prosecution in Australia.

Other leaders attending the forum include East Timorese President Xanana Gusmao and the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah.

Yup, the region is gripped by the crisis, send more bombers! Should have been a good time for spotters depending on which plane(S) the Sultan took with him.

The curious thing about most Indonesians is they do not like anywhere other than Indonesia very much. Not sure of current data but they used to show up regularly in the lowest (least frequent) part of the tables of visa overstayers in Aus - unlike the Brits I might say!!

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