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Subject: JSF Overview
gf0012-aust    6/15/2010 1:07:35 AM
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Volkodav       6/21/2010 7:31:12 AM
On beautiful fighters ... I saw a Spitfire fly over today.  No airshow, just over town.  How cool, never seen one before in the air. Maybe in a 60 years someone could say the same about the JSF.  Hopefully it isn't still operational in the RAAF.
Used to be a Spitfire as well as a Mustang and Sea Fury turn up for airshows at the locak airport when I was a kid.
There was an exceptional variety of warbirds at Wanaka....still dribbling over the Corsair but prefer the Sea Fury I saw as a kid.
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Aussiegunneragain       6/22/2010 8:26:04 AM
For the sort of stuff the RAAF is likely to be doing in the coming decade, a silver bullet force of F-35 backed up by SH and HUG Bugs would suit us just fine.  Post 2020 F-35 is still the silver bullet, 12 Growlers and 3 or 4 dozen UCAV and / or Gen 4.5+ fighters.  Still leaves us with the most advanced and capable airforce in the region with the added flexibility to change direction towards a future Gen 6 optionally manned type should the strategic situation dictate so post 2030. 
Basically if we avoid spending all of our money on one type we also avoid block obsolescence, a single technical problem grounding the entire fleet, a single counter measure or tactic effectively countering our entire force etc.

The F-35, like the F/A-18, F-16, F-15, Typhoon, Gripen, SU-XX, Mig-XX will continue to evolve so buying 100 block 3 F-35s before 2020 will lock us into the early model without the potential to incrementally supplement the force with newer types as required.

I know the reasoning for wanting to stagger the purchase and used to agree with the logic, but given the size of our airforce I now don't think we can afford to. We cannot rely on the SH's providing any more than parity, if that, beyond 2015 or at the outside 2020. By then we have to expect that the SU-XX will have all of the avionics systems and weapons that the SH and Strike Eagle are getting now and probably with RCS reduction features, on top of an aerodynamically better airframe than the SH has. We cannot rely on significant numbers of those not being purchased in our Region. We also have to plan for offensive jammer versions being purchased. 
It is all very well to say that a "silver bullet" force of F-35s can handle that, but with only 40 or so we have very little reserve capability. For example, what do we do in this instance that a surprise strike on RAAF Tindal knocks out nearly half the
F-35 fleet in their hangers? We would be down to a force of maybe 24 F-35s as the only type that has a significant performance advantage over a potentially much larger number of enemy aircraft
I see that as being a conservative scenario, if the T-50 comes along quicker than we expect we could be caught short like we did with our Meteors against the Mig-15s in Korea. .

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Volkodav       6/24/2010 6:43:39 AM
I see that as being a conservative scenario, if the T-50 comes along quicker than we expect we could be caught short like we did with our Meteors against the Mig-15s in Korea. .
Interesting you should bring up the Meteor as I was actually thinking of it as an example as to why we should reduce our F-35 buy.  My thinking was that we had put all of our eggs in one basket with the Vampire post WWII which, supported by our remaining Mustangs, was what we had when Korea started.  The Meteor was a stop gap we acquired because although better options had been available prior to the onset of Korea, we had blown our cash on too many ultimately unnecessary (unsuitable) Mustangs and vampires.
By running three overlapping generations of fighters we could have continually replaced the oldest, least capable with the latest and greatest, without breaking the bank.
Had we gone for limited, silver bullet force of Vampires or Meteors capping a force made up of CAC CA-15s and Mustangs we would have been in a possition to be looking at the Sabre to replace the Vampire / Meteor as the silver bullet from 1950, with the older aircraft cascading down through to the retirement (or transfer to the reserves) of the Mustangs.
Intitially it would have been a new type (or updated model) every 5 years through the 40's and 50's, before stablising to 10 year intervals from the 60's.  i.e
1948 - Vampire, CA-15, Mustang
1950 - Sabre, Vampire, CA-15
1955 - Hunter, Sabre , Vampire 
1960 - Crusader, Hunter, Sabre
1970 - Phantom, Crusader, Hunter
1980 - Eagle, Phantom, Crusader
1990 - Hornet, Eagle, Phantom
2000 - Gripen, Hornet, Eagle
Not set in concrete as there were lots of options such as the F-16 instead of Hornet, but you get the idea.
We currently have the oportunity to start from here
2020 - F-35A, F/A-18F, F/A-18A
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