F-35 Joint Strike Fighter - Abbott agrees to buy more, more, more.

Do you agree with the Aus gov's decision to purchase F-35s?


  • Total voters
    42
  • Poll closed .

Smiling Buddha

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And Fairfax have published the press release verbatim. Peta Credlin ftw.
Australia will make one of its biggest ever military purchases with a $12 billion order for 58 Joint Strike Fighters in a move that will lift the nation's air combat power to among the world's most advanced.

On top of the two fighters that Australia has already paid for, and a further 12 that have been ordered, the large new purchase will deliver the Royal Australian Air Force three squadrons of the planes and cement its place as the dominant air power in the region.

The first Joint Strike Fighter – also called the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II – will be delivered in 2018 and begin service with the RAAF in 2020.
http://www.theage.com.au/federal-po...-58-joint-strike-fighters-20140422-zqxvr.html

We have a few threads on this topic on SRP, but it is time for one megathread. For reference (including several fascinating articles), see:

JSF costs blow out again (2012)
"Can't turn, can't climb, can't run" - JSF F-35 is a dud (2008)
JSF turning into a white elephant? (2005)

So here we have it. Australia's air defense for the next few decades dependent upon an aircraft that some experts agree is an overpriced lemon which can't even fly in conditions a Cessna can handle. Worthy investment, or more evidence that Australia is a puppet state of the imperialist US regime?
 

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Chief Ten Beers

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#3
Labor signed up on this as well don't forget, even Shorten agrees this is a good strategy.

Fair to say I'd trust the military advisors the politicians have over a few muppets on Bigfooty and a Fairfax journalist.
 

Xsess

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#5
"Progressives" are so childish. Australia needs a defence force and an appropriate defence capability. Wars, human agression happens - history proves that. Rudd/Gillard/Rudd decimated defence so badly that it had its lowest expenditure to GDP since the 1930s. This was all to get an out of control budget and spending program back under control (which was never achieved). The US were so alarmed that Gillard and Smith had to be warned that they shouldn't simply rely on the US to come to Australia's aid should we require assistance.
 

Contra Mundum

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#6
And Fairfax have published the press release verbatim. Peta Credlin ftw.

http://www.theage.com.au/federal-po...-58-joint-strike-fighters-20140422-zqxvr.html

We have a few threads on this topic on SRP, but it is time for one megathread. For reference (including several fascinating articles), see:

JSF costs blow out again (2012)
"Can't turn, can't climb, can't run" - JSF F-35 is a dud (2008)
JSF turning into a white elephant? (2005)

So here we have it. Australia's air defense for the next few decades dependent upon an aircraft that some experts agree is an overpriced lemon which can't even fly in conditions a Cessna can handle. Worthy investment, or more evidence that Australia is a puppet state of the imperialist US regime?
This decision is almost as odd as the Dames and Sirs - the consensus is that this is an expensive dud which will be next to useless/that had a guy today from some aviation think tank that said it was already behind its Russian and Chinese equivalents
 

Contra Mundum

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#7
"Progressives" are so childish. Australia needs a defence force and an appropriate defence capability. Wars, human agression happens - history proves that. Rudd/Gillard/Rudd decimated defence so badly that it had its lowest expenditure to GDP since the 1930s. This was all to get an out of control budget and spending program back under control (which was never achieved). The US were so alarmed that Gillard and Smith had to be warned that they shouldn't simply rely on the US to come to Australia's aid should we require assistance.
Yeh that is true but we need to be strategic in what we buy and when we buy it. Defence material sellers are worse than used car salesman and less ethical in buttering up people who are involved in the purchasing/tendering decisions than Monsanto - it is just such a puzzling decision to choose to buy more when there is a good argument is that it will be next to useless
 

yibbida

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#10
"Progressives" are so childish. Australia needs a defence force and an appropriate defence capability. Wars, human agression happens - history proves that. Rudd/Gillard/Rudd decimated defence so badly that it had its lowest expenditure to GDP since the 1930s. This was all to get an out of control budget and spending program back under control (which was never achieved). The US were so alarmed that Gillard and Smith had to be warned that they shouldn't simply rely on the US to come to Australia's aid should we require assistance.
Not this shit again. I posted the Budget chart in another thread that showed the actual data.
 

Contra Mundum

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#11
Actually, it'll be the premiere fighter for the west for the next fifty years.
Have you been reading Lockheed Martin press releases?


November 2011, a Pentagon study team identified the following 13 areas of concern that remained to be addressed in the F-35:[166][167]

  • The helmet-mounted display system does not work properly.
  • The fuel dump subsystem poses a fire hazard.
  • The Integrated Power Package is unreliable and difficult to service.
  • The F-35C's arresting hook does not work.
  • Classified "survivability issues", which have been speculated to be about stealth.[166]
  • The wing buffet is worse than previously reported.
  • The airframe is unlikely to last through the required lifespan.
  • The flight test program has yet to explore the most challenging areas.
  • The software development is behind schedule.
  • The aircraft is in danger of going overweight or, for the F-35B, not properly balanced forVTOLoperations.
  • There are multiple thermal management problems. The air conditioner fails to keep the pilot and controls cool enough, the roll posts on the F-35B overheat, and using theafterburnerdamages the aircraft.
  • The automated logistics information system is partially developed.
  • The lightning protection on the F-35 is uncertified, with areas of concern.
 

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yibbida

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#12
http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2014-04-23/australia-to-buy-58-more-joint-strike-fighters/5405236

The head of the JSF program, US Air Force Lieutenant General Chris Bogdan, visited Australia earlier this year and declared the reliability and maintainability of the aircraft was not yet "good enough".

In late March the US House Armed Services Committee was told the planes were not affordable to use at the moment.

The committee heard software problems could delay the fighter's production, and foreign buyer delays could see countries like Australia paying millions of dollars more per aircraft.

But a specialist in US defence strategy has questioned whether Australia's purchase is good value for money.

The Brookings Institution's Michael O'Hanlon says the aircraft may not be best suited for the military options Australia has found itself undertaking in recent years.

"If you want to be in the high-end combat aircraft business, the F-35 is frankly about as good of a deal as you're ever going to find," he told NewsRadio.

"If Australia wants to be able to have aircraft that can go up against what China might deploy - in way of not only its own fighters but advanced air defences in years and decades [to come]- then I think you want something... like the F-35."

"[But] if you think more about your military needs being the Afghanistan-style operations, the troubled waters of the South China Sea, counter-piracy, peace operations, keeping some degree of regional calm with some turbulence in the ASEAN region but not necessarily China, then frankly it's a debatable proposition whether the F-35 is the best bang for your buck.

"If you think that that kind of high-end threat is not realistically where you're headed with your military requirements, then it's more of a debatable proposition."

Scott Taylor, the editor-in-chief of Canadian military magazine Esprit de Corps, says the country's JSF purchase is in doubt because of a "damning" auditor-general's report into cost overruns.

"[The auditor-general found that] the jets and the in-life service support costs are going to be astronomical compared to what they were budgeting for," he told AM.

http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2013-05-29/reports-chinese-hackers-targeted-us/4719352

Chinese cyber spies have reportedly obtained top-secret information on major weapons systems in the US, including the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

The Washington Post says a confidential report prepared for the Pentagon reveals the designs for more than two dozen weapons systems were compromised.

They include the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which Australia is buying from the US, the Osprey aircraft, and a new US Navy combat ship, according to the Post.
 

PottSie2

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#13
Have you been reading Lockheed Martin press releases?


November 2011, a Pentagon study team identified the following 13 areas of concern that remained to be addressed in the F-35:[166][167]

  • The helmet-mounted display system does not work properly.
  • The fuel dump subsystem poses a fire hazard.
  • The Integrated Power Package is unreliable and difficult to service.
  • The F-35C's arresting hook does not work.
  • Classified "survivability issues", which have been speculated to be about stealth.[166]
  • The wing buffet is worse than previously reported.
  • The airframe is unlikely to last through the required lifespan.
  • The flight test program has yet to explore the most challenging areas.
  • The software development is behind schedule.
  • The aircraft is in danger of going overweight or, for the F-35B, not properly balanced forVTOLoperations.
  • There are multiple thermal management problems. The air conditioner fails to keep the pilot and controls cool enough, the roll posts on the F-35B overheat, and using theafterburnerdamages the aircraft.
  • The automated logistics information system is partially developed.
  • The lightning protection on the F-35 is uncertified, with areas of concern.
Have you been reading Lockheed Martin press releases?


November 2011, a Pentagon study team identified the following 13 areas of concern that remained to be addressed in the F-35:[166][167]

  • The helmet-mounted display system does not work properly.
  • The fuel dump subsystem poses a fire hazard.
  • The Integrated Power Package is unreliable and difficult to service.
  • The F-35C's arresting hook does not work.
  • Classified "survivability issues", which have been speculated to be about stealth.[166]
  • The wing buffet is worse than previously reported.
  • The airframe is unlikely to last through the required lifespan.
  • The flight test program has yet to explore the most challenging areas.
  • The software development is behind schedule.
  • The aircraft is in danger of going overweight or, for the F-35B, not properly balanced forVTOLoperations.
  • There are multiple thermal management problems. The air conditioner fails to keep the pilot and controls cool enough, the roll posts on the F-35B overheat, and using theafterburnerdamages the aircraft.
  • The automated logistics information system is partially developed.
  • The lightning protection on the F-35 is uncertified, with areas of concern.
What are the alternatives on the market ?
 

Chief Ten Beers

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#14
Have you been reading Lockheed Martin press releases?


November 2011, a Pentagon study team identified the following 13 areas of concern that remained to be addressed in the F-35:[166][167]

  • The helmet-mounted display system does not work properly.
  • The fuel dump subsystem poses a fire hazard.
  • The Integrated Power Package is unreliable and difficult to service.
  • The F-35C's arresting hook does not work.
  • Classified "survivability issues", which have been speculated to be about stealth.[166]
  • The wing buffet is worse than previously reported.
  • The airframe is unlikely to last through the required lifespan.
  • The flight test program has yet to explore the most challenging areas.
  • The software development is behind schedule.
  • The aircraft is in danger of going overweight or, for the F-35B, not properly balanced forVTOLoperations.
  • There are multiple thermal management problems. The air conditioner fails to keep the pilot and controls cool enough, the roll posts on the F-35B overheat, and using theafterburnerdamages the aircraft.
  • The automated logistics information system is partially developed.
  • The lightning protection on the F-35 is uncertified, with areas of concern.
That's a pretty good list actually for something on this scale and complexity. Most of those items are clutching at straws anyway, outdated by a few years and some are downright irrelevant to the version Australia is purchasing.

What is your suggestion to the Australian military? As Pottsie2 put it, any alternatives out there? I'd hardly think this country is capable of building one ourselves.
 

Maggie5

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#16
Other countries are pulling out and advising Australia to read the fine print. Cost is based on other countries also buying but if they pull out could end out being a costly lemon. Alternatives? Don't know what have they considered?
 

pazza

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#17
We all agree that our Air Force really needs to be upgraded. We still have 40 year old jets in service.
 

PottSie2

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#18
Don't know been a while since I used to get Jane's but here is a list for you (might be a bit out of date): http://markosun.wordpress.com/2010/01/03/the-worlds-current-top-10-jet-fighters/
That's a bit of copout. You've stated that the plane is almost useless but it doesn't appear to be that way at all.

A quick google search shows no other Gen5+ fighter that compares to the F35.

So I'd like to know from those mocking this decision, why? and and what alternative.
 

Contra Mundum

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#20
That's a bit of copout. You've stated that the plane is almost useless but it doesn't appear to be that way at all.

A quick google search shows no other Gen5+ fighter that compares to the F35.

So I'd like to know from those mocking this decision, why? and and what alternative.
The build is littered with problems and is taking very very long. The guy I heard this morning reckons the Russian and Chinese equivalents are "more advanced". The problems with this aircraft are persistent. Just don't want us to get into another ******* Collins Class Sub debacle - I am just a dabbler but better to get something that is tried and true like a Raptor - we had the FIII for donkey years
 

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#21
The success or otherwise will pivot around how well the stealth technology actually works.

Slow but Stealthy doesn't bother me, short range I'm not so thrilled with.

The truth is the possible list of possible candidates is tiny, it could be argued a list of only 1. Don't be confused because it's called the Joint Strike Fighter. It could have been been more accurately named Stealth Allrounder. The no.1 ability (apart from stealth) Australia is looking for is Maritime Strike, the number of top line fighters which have this capability is somewhere between few and none (without even looking at stealth).

Strapping a bomb onto a specialist fighter doesn't cut it in regards to Maritime Strike ability.
 
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#22
We all agree that our Air Force really needs to be upgraded. We still have 40 year old jets in service.
We really should all be able to agree the JSF has had massive cost blow-outs, delays and still has huge problems as well, yet seemingly some posters above want to downplay all that.

The unfortunate truth seems to be that because we are already so deep into developing the JSF, we will keep throwing more and more money after it to try and justify that first dollar we naively spent.

Naive may be the wrong word seeing as Defense seems to regularly waste money on poor procrurement.
 

Chief Ten Beers

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#23
The unfortunate truth seems to be that because we are already so deep into developing the JSF, we will keep throwing more and more money after it to try and justify that first dollar we naively spent.
So you propose to give up? Honestly don't know what you're point is here.
 

lewigie

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#24
If I'm reading this correctly, there is a bail out cause if the costs blow out isn't there?
 

telsor

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#25
Don't know been a while since I used to get Jane's but here is a list for you (might be a bit out of date): http://markosun.wordpress.com/2010/01/03/the-worlds-current-top-10-jet-fighters/
So, after the Raptor (which the US wont sell to anyone), the best (according to this list) is the Eurofighter....Anyone complaining about the F-35 should take a look at it's history of issues and cost overruns. (for a quick idea...first flight March 1994, first introduced into service August 2003...Costs? UK's original estimate was $7Billion, now it's $37B...for fewer aircraft)

New, top line, fighters have teething problems and always come in above the expected cost. That's not a good thing, it's just the way it is.
 
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