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F-18 Advanced Hornet

This is a discussion on F-18 Advanced Hornet within the Air Force & Aviation forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Originally Posted by OPSSG I have a question. Are the Malaysians ridiculous for operating multiple fighter types? Note: According to ...


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Old October 22nd, 2013   #31
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I have a question. Are the Malaysians ridiculous for operating multiple fighter types?

Note: According to Flight Global, the Malaysians operate 13x Hawk 208, 10x Mig29s, 8x F-18Ds, 18x Su-30MKMs and 7-10 F-5s.
There is a view that its not the smartest way to have effective force balance and management - and the Malays themselves in their more circumspect moments would probably agree that the intention of splitting their procurement is not the smartest way to manage a tight budget

In Australias case very compelling arguments were made about single platform type main combatants - but unfort RAAF wasn't listened to and Govt blinked.

admittedly there are now some good reasons for interim retention of Shornets and Growlers, but the additional buys were not something that made some happy.

There is a view that the second tranche of Shornets/Growlers has screwed the budget for other critical requirements for the next 15 years
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Old October 22nd, 2013   #32
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I have a question. Are the Malaysians ridiculous for operating multiple fighter types? And they are currently a potential sales target for the Euro-fighter Typhoon (the sale being chased by BAE).

Note: According to Flight Global, the Malaysians operate 13x Hawk 208, 10x Mig29s, 8x F-18Ds, 18x Su-30MKMs and 7-10 F-5s.
I'd say they were shouldering a pretty huge chunk of costs to do with keeping all those types in service and maintained - what's their availability rate out of that lot? I'm wondering if there's a lot of aircraft sitting in hangars, waiting for bits or maintainers.


As I said before, wrt to Canada, the idea that running E/F18 + F35 will be cheaper than running the same sized fleet of F35 is difficult to swallow. Two different spares paths, two sets of maintainers courses, plus the overheads of type conversions etc - unless F35 turns out to cost a *lot* more than currently thought to buy, then the TOC for one common fleet is bound to be lower.
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Old October 22nd, 2013   #33
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I have a question. Are the Malaysians ridiculous for operating multiple fighter types?

Note: According to Flight Global, the Malaysians operate 13x Hawk 208, 10x Mig29s, 8x F-18Ds, 18x Su-30MKMs and 7-10 F-5s.
I would definitely go as far as to say that their logistical costs would be reduced by a good amount if rather than operating packets of different types of aircraft they operated a single type for the bulk of their needs, yes.

Why bother funding several different types of spares/maintenance/training streams for such a small number of aircraft? To me, that setup does sound bonkers. It's no problem if you don't mind having a bucket of money with more holes in it than is necessary, but if you're looking for the most cost efficient approach then it's certainly not a shining example to follow.

WRT MiG29, on paper it only shows a part of the story, IIRC the original order was for 18 MiG29's and AFAIK 2 of those have crashed and another 8 have been cannibalized for spare parts to support an airworthy fleet of 8.
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Old October 22nd, 2013   #34
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absolutely incorrect

RAAF had no interest in the F-22 despite all the hysteria that was generated in the press

I attended a Conf in late 2006 where US SecState indicated that if RAAF wanted F-22 then he could see no reason why Congress would object and they would facilitate any requirement.

RAAF have been quite clear that the JSF offered a whole lot better force balance and capability - and this was despite the US fixing all the Block 1 F-22 probs

Waste of time getting it and serves no benefit to RAAF at all

Sorry GF wasn’t referring to the current operational F-22 actually talking about the medium bomber project which was canceled following the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review.

Lockheed Martin FB-22 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...bomber-182020/
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Old October 22nd, 2013   #35
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Sorry GF wasn’t referring to the current operational F-22 actually talking about the medium bomber project which was canceled following the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review.

Lockheed Martin FB-22 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
fair enough - but an F-22 of any shape or form was flatly rejected by RAAF as not providing force effectiveness - and more to the point, a good way to dislocate RAAF force balance for no redeemable .benefit
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Old November 12th, 2013   #36
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Originally Posted by OPSSG View Post
I have a question. Are the Malaysians ridiculous for operating multiple fighter types?

Note: According to Flight Global, the Malaysians operate 13x Hawk 208, 10x Mig29s, 8x F-18Ds, 18x Su-30MKMs and 7-10 F-5s.

Read more: F-18 Advanced Hornet
This topic has been discussed at length in several different threads (not to piss on your remark) and what that taught me was that this force build came in to being through corruption and political soap opera's. Different politicians and generals championing different machines at different points in time to get bribes and such. I don't believe a country with any sort of long term plan for its defense would operate 5 types of front line fighters (3 of which are supposed to be high end).

There is another bone I have to pick, basically with most of the participants in LO vs no LO discussions. Time and again I read about this 'first day capability'. I have an issue with this, because it supposes that a sustained conflict is impossible. Now riddle me this: if nation (or alliance) X would get into a conflict with nation Y that is of such a disposition that it makes LO a necessity. How do you suppose this conflict will take a shape where the LO is only necessary for several days of conflict? This seems very arrogant to me (from the perspective of military planners) and also short sighted!

If (God forbids) there were to be a confrontation in for instance the South China sea (ROK) or in or near the Korean peninsula. How would that conflict take such a shape that one side or the other would gain air superiority to such an extend so as to negate the need for LO? The way I see it, if (for instance of coarse :O) China where to field several regiments of high end LO/VLO fighters mixed with J-11 and J-10's versus available western resources in the region. Would the attrition rates be so high that one or both sides would run out of aircraft? I think not, so IMHO LO/VLO would be valuable far into the conflict. Therefore I think we shouldn't discount the efforts of boeing to stealthify the F-18 or F-15 for that matter. Plus I think those CFT's look wicked and wouldn't they open up hardpoints that would otherwise be used for bags?

Back to the 'day one capability', any other adversaries that could warrant LO to be necessary would not be that serious and for an overwhelming force like NATO or the US it wouldn't pose that much of a problem. Plus they could soak the attrition, although that wouldn't be a very popular prospect at home. So to conclude, as I see it the only situations where this 'day one capability' would be absolutely necessary we wouldn't need it for just one day!

Are these stupid thoughts? PS: I think the stealth hornet would be a great asset IF existing hornets could be easily adopted. I think adopting the tanks would be a great idea in any case. Why don't they have them yet?!?!?
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Old November 12th, 2013   #37
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First:Therefore I think we shouldn't discount the efforts of boeing to stealthify the F-18 or F-15 for that matter.
Boeing has done a very good marketing campaign to make people think their 4+generation offering of planes is a true LO aircraft. Its far from it ,sure they have minimised certain areas of their planes to be less detectable in certain areas.To call the F-18 Advanced hornet or F15 silent eagle a LO or VLO would be a very big call.

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Old November 13th, 2013   #38
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Boeing has done a very good marketing campaign to make people think their 4+generation offering of planes is a true LO aircraft. Its far from it ,sure they have minimised certain areas of their planes to be less detectable in certain areas.To call the F-18 Advanced hornet or F15 silent eagle a LO or VLO would be a very big call.

Marketing is a wonderful tool
True, the SH upgrades don't make it a real LO jet but the improvements are still worthwhile as the USN and Australia will be using their Superhornets and Growlers for quite awhile yet.
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Old November 13th, 2013   #39
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Boeing has done a very good marketing campaign to make people think their 4+generation offering of planes is a true LO aircraft. Its far from it ,sure they have minimised certain areas of their planes to be less detectable in certain areas.To call the F-18 Advanced hornet or F15 silent eagle a LO or VLO would be a very big call.

Marketing is a wonderful tool

Read more: F-18 Advanced Hornet
I never said the F-15 or F-18 upgrades made them the bees knees. And its definitely not an alternative to investing into a true LO/VLO machine! However, as you could surmise from the context I made that remark in, that is not a sufficient reason to discount the efforts of Boeing. I think it would be more pertinent to see these as the latest valuable upgrades (in a long line of upgrades) to a set of very valuable platforms the operator(s) cannot afford to effectively replace as of yet.

That my dear road runner has nothing to do with marketing. I do agree with you that the marketing efforts Boeing is putting into these projects is a last ditch effort into keeping the production lines open. Because there is preciously little left for them after they close, seeing that the C17 line is closing soon too.
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Old November 13th, 2013   #40
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There is another bone I have to pick, basically with most of the participants in LO vs no LO discussions. Time and again I read about this 'first day capability'. I have an issue with this, because it supposes that a sustained conflict is impossible. Now riddle me this: if nation (or alliance) X would get into a conflict with nation Y that is of such a disposition that it makes LO a necessity. How do you suppose this conflict will take a shape where the LO is only necessary for several days of conflict? This seems very arrogant to me (from the perspective of military planners) and also short sighted!
Mmm.."First day" refers to the use of F35 with no externals to degrade and peel back the enemy assets, it's not to suggest that conflict can't carry on for more than a short period of time. If the F35 (which is the main platform I can think of that fits this "first day" metaphor) has to go on attacking into the teeth of an intact enemy defence, then it can keep on doing that, as long as there's fuel and pilots I should think. Soon as the big radars are down and the sam sites are all on fire, strap on some pylons and take in a ton of weapons more.
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Old November 13th, 2013   #41
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True, the SH upgrades don't make it a real LO jet but the improvements are still worthwhile as the USN and Australia will be using their Superhornets and Growlers for quite awhile yet.
I would rather see the money spent on JSF than upgrading a 4th gen fighter to make it semi competitive against a 5th generation air craft.

@ Toptob i was just pointing that these 4th generation upgraded aircraft are not a true LO/VLO aircraft.

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Old November 13th, 2013   #42
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I wasn't even born at the time but I imagine the debate regarding the F-35 today is similar to what was going on back around the 70's when there were tried and tested upgraded versions of the F-4's and F-5's on the market vs getting on board the teen series fighters that were in development (F-15/16/18 in particular).

Difference being the cold war was raging back then and the next gen options at the time were wider compared to the take it or leave it F-35 situation.

Where there lessons learnt back then we can carry forward today? Or is the situation just too entirely different.
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Old November 13th, 2013   #43
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True, the SH upgrades don't make it a real LO jet but the improvements are still worthwhile as the USN and Australia will be using their Superhornets and Growlers for quite awhile yet.
Unless Boeing receives more Super Hornet orders very soon and specifically for the Advanced Super Hornet, the ASH will remain a concept and nothing more, if there are no further orders for new airframes, then it will be up to the USN to decide if the Super Hornet becomes a reality or not.

Yes there is always the possibility, regardless of how remote, that the USN might decide to upgrade the SH to ASH or probably more likely take components of the proposed ASH upgrade an apply them to the SH fleet.

It maybe for example, that the conformal tanks and upgrades to more powerful engines could flow through, but again it would be up to the USN to be convinced of the value of doing such an upgrade and of course taking into account the development costs too.

And that brings me to the RAAF, the SH that we purchased are exactly the same spec as the USN SHornets, and as I understand it, the RAAF has been very clear about the upgrade path it will follow for the SH, and that is to follow the USN.

So unless the USN adopts some or all of the ASH enhancements, then I don't see anytime soon that the RAAF would go to Boeing and pay the development costs associated with upgrading such a relatively small fleet without the USN also going down that same path.

The ASH may well prove be a leap in capability above the standard SH, but without orders, or the USN deciding to upgrade it's existing fleet, then I'm not going to hold my breath that the ASH will ever become a reality.
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Old November 13th, 2013   #44
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I wasn't even born at the time but I imagine the debate regarding the F-35 today is similar to what was going on back around the 70's when there were tried and tested upgraded versions of the F-4's and F-5's on the market vs getting on board the teen series fighters that were in development (F-15/16/18 in particular).

Difference being the cold war was raging back then and the next gen options at the time were wider compared to the take it or leave it F-35 situation.

Where there lessons learnt back then we can carry forward today? Or is the situation just too entirely different.
The situation was quite different in that you had two very different opposing coalitions with quite different world and political views, NATO & the Warsaw Pact; or to turn it around a bit, Soviet style communism Vs the "free world". Maoist communism was less of a threat and Nixon started the process of reaching out to China. The two major communist powers the Soviet Union and the PRC had a major philosophical difference of opinion in the 1960s which resulted in the trading of high explosive projectiles across their mutual borders in 1968.

Western powers feared Soviet tank armies rampaging through the Fulda Gap and hence across Western Europe to the Channel. Therefore in those days, I would argue, it easier to obtain funding and public support for new weapons systems because a common enemy existed, one upon whom the public and national will could be focussed. In the east behind the Iron Curtain the Soviets and the elites within their satellite states (Warsaw Pact) feared an invasion from the decadent west, not just militarily, but also ideologically which would "infect" their populations with impure and decidely anti-socialist ideals that could cause actions, such as demands for democracy etc., that would question the ruling elites legitimacy, which in turn threatened the elits hold on power. As a result of these two ideologically opposite and competing political systems, a nuclear and convential arms race, between the two superpowers existed and both blocs played upon the fears of their populace and politicians.

Today it is much different with only one superpower left and some say that it is now in a period of decline. It has financial and political problems that it doesn't have the will to deal with and it doesn't have an enemy as powerful or as fearful as the Soviet Union to face. So it becomes harder for it and other western govts to justify large weapons expenditure on defence budgets in times of tight economic climates and perceived low external threats.

There is an axiom that those who don't learn the lessons from history are doomed to repeat them and methinks that at this particular point in time that is the major lesson to be understood. I would argue if one looks at Europe in 1937 and 1938, there are some parallels between then what and is occuring now vis a vis the PRC actions with its neighbours and how the rest of the world reacts to it.
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Old November 14th, 2013   #45
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Why would you buy the Shornet its going to be out of production within the next couple of years.
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