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Royal Australian Air Force [RAAF] News, Discussions and Updates

This is a discussion on Royal Australian Air Force [RAAF] News, Discussions and Updates within the Air Force & Aviation forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Here is the reason the RAAF is not interested in F-22 Raptors. Just a sneak peak, they are still top ...


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Old August 16th, 2007   #76
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Why the RAAF doesn't need F-22

Here is the reason the RAAF is not interested in F-22 Raptors. Just a sneak peak, they are still top secret so SHHHHHH!! Don't tell anyone



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Old August 16th, 2007   #77
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Here is the reason the RAAF is not interested in F-22 Raptors. Just a sneak peak, they are still top secret so SHHHHHH!! Don't tell anyone



Attachment 1797
Flight testing at Woomera?

You do realise I almost laughed myself sick...

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Old August 16th, 2007   #78
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Just to keep this kicking along.
Nice PR piece for Boeing
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au...-31477,00.html

RAAF Super Hornet buy excites interest

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Mark Dodd | August 17, 2007

AUSTRALIA'S $6 billion purchase of 24 F/A-18F Block 2 Super Hornets was open and transparent, and senior Boeing officials said yesterday they had a clear corporate conscience over the deal.

The Howard Government's controversial decision to buy what its makers describe as the world's best multi-mission warplane has prompted renewed interest in the Super Hornet from other countries, according to Hornet program vice-president Bob Gower.

The deal was covered by a government-to-government foreign military sale agreement, the first involving the Super Hornet, and Australia paid the same price for the advanced aircraft as its main operator, the US Navy, Mr Gower said yesterday.

"Australia is not actually buying from Boeing. It is buying this warplane from the US Navy, so Australia is getting the US Navy's pricing.

"From Boeing's perspective, the information provided to Australia about the F/A-18F was unprecedented."

The RAAF "had as much visibility into this platform as the US Navy".

Other nations were increasingly watching what Australia was buying for its defence force and how equipment was being used, Boeing integrated business development 's vice-president Mark Kronenberg said. "Australia is a bellwether customer. It's transparent. It's a model of how we like to do business internationally. Our customers look at what Australia does," he said.

The Australian aircraft - the first four of which will be delivered to Amberley in January 2010 - is a carbon copy of the US Navy's Super Hornet except for an automated aircraft carrier landing system.

US analysts said the decision to purchase the Block 2 Super Hornet with fifth-generation fighter technology should enable Australian to get better terms for its $14 billion purchase of the F-35 joint strike fighter (JSF).

They said the Super Hornet's advanced technology, including its radar, would mean Australia wouldn't have to buy early production versions of the F-35, allowing later delivery of the more fully developed Block 3 version of the plane at a more favourable price.

At the heart of the Super Hornet is its Active Electronically Scanned Array radar system - the world's most advanced - a fifth-generation system transplanted from Boeing's failed JSF bid, Mr Gower said.

The Block 2 aircraft also has an extended range similar to the F-111, low-observability, or stealth, qualities and extra space for weapons and ordnance.

Boeing first proposed the Super Hornet as a replacement for the ageing F-111 fleet in 1997, but by the time the Howard Government committed to buying the warplane a 33 per cent price reduction had been achieved through efficiency gains and US Navy sales. The RAAF aquired the Super Hornet to plug the capability gap between the retirement of the F-111 strike aircraft in 2010 and the arrival of the first JSF.

Delays in the JSF program underscored the need for acquiring a modern multi-role platform, Defence Minister Dr Brendan Nelson said.

The decision to buy the Super Hornet has led to renewed interest in the F/A-18F Block 2 aircraft by Canada, Switzerland and even the US Air Force, which would have preferred Australia to choose the F-15E Strike Eagle, Mr Gower said.

Australian industries could make huge gains as a result of the Super Hornet sale, including involvement in lucrative support for USN Super Hornets, he said.

"You will soon see heavy influence in two primary areas - the support package worth tens of millions of dollars both domestically (RAAF service needs) and for support of the US fleet (air arm) which is much larger."

Boeing Australia is second only in size to Boeing US and employs more than 4000 people.

"The F/A-18F is the world's best multi-role fighter.

"The avionics in that fighter are the same as Boeing was going to put into its JSF equivalent.

"The platform Australia is buying has world-class stealth capabilities, low visibility, great range and great survivability," Mr Gower said.

**************************************

I was of the understanding that the block 2 had some LO features compared to the classic hornets. "World class stealth capabilities" - as opposed to "features" suggests to me something 'active', that or it's just fluff.
The idea that the block 2 has a similar range to the F-111 might not be go down well in some circles

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Old August 17th, 2007   #79
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I was of the understanding that the block 2 had some LO features compared to the classic hornets. "World class stealth capabilities" - as opposed to "features" suggests to me something 'active', that or it's just fluff.
The idea that the block 2 has a similar range to the F-111 might not be go down well in some circles

rb
World class LO capabilities could be refering to the APG 79's EA capability, but i reckon its mere puff.

And as far as the block 2 having a similar range to the F111 i have to disagree with that one. Clean its combat radius is something like 150~170NM. Thats pretty pathetic. I think he's refering to the ammount of external fuel it can carry. With several external tanks it may be able to reach out to somewere near the range of a clean F111, but then it compromises its payload. I doubt it can compare to the F111 in terms of payload to target capability. The pig is a dedicated bomb truck after all. But then again the pig cant use all that range if there is fighter resistance. It could however take a JASSM a long way before launching it. But given the Block 2's avionics package, electronic attack capability, payload, networking and weapons loadout it should give the RAAF a significantly increased strike and air superiority capability.
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Old August 17th, 2007   #80
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Why would the USAF be interested in Super Hornets? I can understand the Canucks and Swiss and even the Marine Corp but not the USAF. Anyone got any ideas?
Hooroo

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The decision to buy the Super Hornet has led to renewed interest in the F/A-18F Block 2 aircraft by Canada, Switzerland and even the US Air Force, which would have preferred Australia to choose the F-15E Strike Eagle, Mr Gower said.
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Old August 17th, 2007   #81
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World class LO capabilities could be refering to the APG 79's EA capability, but i reckon its mere puff.

And as far as the block 2 having a similar range to the F111 i have to disagree with that one. Clean its combat radius is something like 150~170NM. Thats pretty pathetic. I think he's refering to the ammount of external fuel it can carry. With several external tanks it may be able to reach out to somewere near the range of a clean F111, but then it compromises its payload. I doubt it can compare to the F111 in terms of payload to target capability. The pig is a dedicated bomb truck after all. But then again the pig cant use all that range if there is fighter resistance. It could however take a JASSM a long way before launching it. But given the Block 2's avionics package, electronic attack capability, payload, networking and weapons loadout it should give the RAAF a significantly increased strike and air superiority capability.
From http://www.airforce-technology.com/p...a18/specs.html the F/A-18 E/F has a combat radius of ~400 n miles. A F/A-18 C/D has a combat radius of ~290 n miles http://www.globalsecurity.org/milita...f-18-specs.htm

The listed ferry range is about right for comparison to an F-111 but that would preclude carrying ordnance. Having said that though, it is possible that with development and deployment of things like the JASSM and JSOW (and -ER versions) that approximately the same range could be reached. Granted, the total weight of ordance is still not likely to be reached in terms of delivery I don't think that is as important. IIRC one of the things that has been learned as a result of GWI, Kosovo, Afghanistan and GWII is that precise delivery of small PGMs have greater desired impact than larger munitions. As such no longer using 2,000 lb bombs (LGB or not) is not such a great loss in capability, nevermind factoring in the reduced requirement for escorts and AAR.

Some of the rest of the article I do question though, namely the LO/stealth. The aircraft is physically larger than a classic Bug, but through some LO adaptations is supposed to have a smaller RCS relative to it's size than other aircraft like the F-14, F-15, F-16, etc. I wouldn't call that stealthy, but RCS reduction measures sounds about right. Then again, it's a mass media outlet catering to ordinary readers and such a distinction would likely be lost on most of them.

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Old August 17th, 2007   #82
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I doubt that anyone who seriously considers these matters thinks of the F/A18E/F as an "LO" aircraft. I think at best the RCS reduction measures employed on the Rhino offer "tactically significant" benefits.

Anyhow, as to RAAF's on-going capability development, a series of shots from here:

http://www.defence.gov.au/media/down...0817/index.htm


offers some interesting insight. Seem's RAAF is employing the Litening AT pod on it's Hornet's now, so it must be close if not already achieving IOC. I recall that January 2008 was mentioned recently but perhaps the integration is going smoother than expected?
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Old August 17th, 2007   #83
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offers some interesting insight. Seem's RAAF is employing the Litening AT pod on it's Hornet's now, so it must be close if not already achieving IOC. I recall that January 2008 was mentioned recently but perhaps the integration is going smoother than expected?
G'day AD,

I think you are right that Litening AT pod is close to IOC. The increase in capability over the Nitehawk pod is impressive. I had heard previously that Nitehawk was only ever intended for use as a training aid, not intended for combat use. A more robust and reliable system is certainly welcome, I am not sure what the Super Hornets will be delivered with though.

I am not sure if it made national news but it was widely reported here in the Hunter that about 8 motor vehicles were accidently lased during some early training with the new pods. I don't know the full story, but the newspapers reported that safety switches were over-rode and the laser fired automatically without aircrew knowledge while they were tracking the cars with the pod. Luckily no-one on the ground was injured and I don't think the incident was realised until after the flight.

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Old August 17th, 2007   #84
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G'day AD,

snip

I am not sure if it made national news but it was widely reported here in the Hunter that about 8 motor vehicles were accidently lased during some early training with the new pods. I don't know the full story, but the newspapers reported that safety switches were over-rode and the laser fired automatically without aircrew knowledge while they were tracking the cars with the pod. Luckily no-one on the ground was injured and I don't think the incident was realised until after the flight.

Hooroo
an enlightening post
upon reflection that was a bad pun

sorry couldn't help myself.....

Yeah I remember hearing something on the local news. Apparently the 'lasees' weren't even aware of the event and the 'lasers' only after the fact.

cheers
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Old August 18th, 2007   #85
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Why would the USAF be interested in Super Hornets? I can understand the Canucks and Swiss and even the Marine Corp but not the USAF. Anyone got any ideas?
Because the F/A-18E/F Block IIs will be in production until 2014 or so and available for about USD 50m each. USAF does not have any other options other than vastly more expensive F-22s (which lake the kind of air to ground capability they would need) before the F-35 production gears up.

One thing a lot of people in the public don't realise is that fleet management is the name of the game. I.e. keeping air worthy low hours aircraft available. The US has much higher flight demands than normal now (two wars ongoing) and most of the fleet is getting rather old. Their new aircraft, the F-35, is still a while off and won't be available in numbers until 2015ish.

Plus USAF probably wants the F/A-18E/F Block II for the same reason the RAAF does. Their two place advanced decoupled cockpit with HMS, AESA and all the computer grunt and integrated goodies is a real step up from F-15E, F-16CJs, etc. And an excellent bridge between these "4th gen" aircraft and the F-35.
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Old August 18th, 2007   #86
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Plus USAF probably wants the F/A-18E/F Block II for the same reason the RAAF does. Their two place advanced decoupled cockpit with HMS, AESA and all the computer grunt and integrated goodies is a real step up from F-15E, F-16CJs, etc. And an excellent bridge between these "4th gen" aircraft and the F-35.
The USAF might also want thier own GROWLER assets as well.
The prowler fleet cant be everywhere
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Old August 18th, 2007   #87
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Plus USAF probably wants the F/A-18E/F Block II for the same reason the RAAF does. Their two place advanced decoupled cockpit with HMS, AESA and all the computer grunt and integrated goodies is a real step up from F-15E, F-16CJs, etc. And an excellent bridge between these "4th gen" aircraft and the F-35.
I had not considered that the F-18F would be that more capable than Strike Eagles. I guess it would be cheaper to buy the plane that is ready to go than try to upgrade the existing F-15's and F-16's to a similar standard. The point you make about airframe hours is also very valid. The Super Hornet is not much of a bomb truck in comparison to the Strike Eagle. I hear a new VER has been developed to allow 2 JDAM's/GBU's to be carried on each station. Will be useful for our classic Hornets as well, lack of payload was most apparent during Op Falconer.

I also hadn't considered the USAFs interest in Growler either, they would be keen to get a capability like that back. They have had to rely on USN Prowlers since the Ravens were retired in the 90's haven't they?

I have always thought we should have just ordered Super Hornets to replace our classics instead of going through the pain of HUG. Would certainly have made life a lot easier for the guys on the ground.

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Old August 18th, 2007   #88
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I have always thought we should have just ordered Super Hornets to replace our classics instead of going through the pain of HUG. Would certainly have made life a lot easier for the guys on the ground.
Well yes... And it was a serious proposal. However it would have costed $$$ for a full E/F fleet replacement. Plus the apparant timeings in the late 1990s (when the decision was made) indicated that F-35 could be available around 2010 and the C/Ds could be quickly upgraded (HUG) to keep them current until this date. The HUGs are actually pretty effective aircraft, the best C/D Hornets flying in the world. The big problem with them, and any mission systems upgrade to the F-111, is it doesn't solve the airworthiness issue. Which is why the HUGs need the 48-64 CBRs [Cetnre Barrel Replacement] through 2010-15.

What has happened but is probably the best case scenario for the RAAF. The Block IIs are much better than the Block I Super Hornets and gaining an additional Squadron (which is hardly touched on by anyone discussing this issue). So the RAAF will maintain (on average) in 2010-15 a squadron of F/A-18F B2s and two squadrons of HUGs (with another two squadrons of current aircrews), building up to four squadrons of F-35 B3+s and a squadron of F/A-18F B2s by 2020. We will also maintain the highend HUG C/D Hornet up until each one is replaced by a F-35. These 48-64 HUG/CBR will be quite a formidable asset and could be disposed of in the late 2010s for some considerable income.
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Old August 18th, 2007   #89
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What has happened but is probably the best case scenario for the RAAF. The Block IIs are much better than the Block I Super Hornets and gaining an additional Squadron (which is hardly touched on by anyone discussing this issue). So the RAAF will maintain (on average) in 2010-15 a squadron of F/A-18F B2s and two squadrons of HUGs (with another two squadrons of current aircrews), building up to four squadrons of F-35 B3+s and a squadron of F/A-18F B2s by 2020. We will also maintain the highend HUG C/D Hornet up until each one is replaced by a F-35. These 48-64 HUG/CBR will be quite a formidable asset and could be disposed of in the late 2010s for some considerable income.
Interesting comments. The funding of the additional squadron will certainly add considerably to the RAAF's capability. I think that the fact that the SH purchase will enable the RAAF to delay its F-35A acquisition and buy later rather than low rate early production aircraft is also significant. This should provide not only a more capable F-35A but a cheaper one as well.

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Old August 18th, 2007   #90
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Interesting comments. The funding of the additional squadron will certainly add considerably to the RAAF's capability. I think that the fact that the SH purchase will enable the RAAF to delay its F-35A acquisition and buy later rather than low rate early production aircraft is also significant. This should provide not only a more capable F-35A but a cheaper one as well.
Sorry its not a fact because its not happening. The RAAF is still on target for an initial F-35 training capability followed by a fully operational F-35 Block III (all singing all dancing) squadron in 2015. The Phase 2A/2B Air 6000 order (~72) will be in the early expensive stage. Australia looks like negotiating a MYP for this order to push down cost on averages. This has to go to Govt. approval next financial year but even if there is a change in Govt. is unlikely to be messed with.

So many times in the past we've looked to squeeze a few dollars from fleet rejuvenation and its ended in disaster. The acquisition path now followed by the CDE/DMO is all about maintaining top level capability through a transition. The weapon system being replaced will be at its most capable the moment it is turned off and the new one wheeled in. If we delay F-35 then the C/Ds, despite the HUG, will start to get dated and 24 E/F B2s wont be enough to carry ALL the weight of the air combat capability.
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