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Discussion in 'Air Force & Aviation' started by Todjaeger, Mar 12, 2007.
Details, details. The RAAF has no F-18E at all, they are all two seaters (F-18F) or EA-18G
The Rhinos are bought to replace the Aardvarks. The Growlers are introduced as a new EW capability that RAAF have always wanted. They were contemplating on the EF-111 Ravens in the 90s and early 2000s before the pigs were retired early.
I call it more quibble than details… with few respect for stuff i provide !
To be fair, most of what you provide is absent any input from you yourself, and in this case, your input was incorrect. Respect will better follow you if you adhere to the board rules.
Your not ! and LOL it is a robot which have search especialy for last sentences… let's move on better
As has been mentioned previously, there is an expectation that members will make quality posts. Single line or sentence posts are not acceptable as they rarely provide a comprehensive or quality level of response. Further, it has been noted by other members that the content of posts made by you has been incorrect or inaccurate a number of times, which further reduces the quality. At this point, the quality of your posts needs to increase, otherwise they will start being removed to prevent them from lowering the overall level of discussions in the various threads. As was posted about before, DefenceTalk has expectations regarding the participation by members and posting behavior that can be acceptable on other forums is in many instances unacceptable here.
Interesting story on the AA website regarding the KC-30A operations in Op Okra:
RAAF KC-30A tankers offload 100 million pounds during Okra ops - Australian Aviation
I liked this quote:
"The RAAF’s Airbus KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) deployment to the Middle East under Operation Okra has marked 100 million pounds (over 45,000 metric tonnes) of fuel offloaded during air-to-air refuelling operations."
And this one too:
"For context, a single F/A-18F Super Hornet has an internal fuel capacity of about 13,500lb (6,125kg). Therefore, 100 million pounds of fuel is the equivalent of about 7,400 Super Hornets from empty."
Despite the early delays and rocky start to service, the KC-30A has certainly been one of the success stories that 'Euro' manufacturers can crow about with some confidence.
Six in service now with the RAAF, the seventh is due some time next year (with the VIP fitout), looking forward to confirmation eventually that the proposed eighth and ninth airframes (as mentioned in the 2016 DWP) become reality.
I am sure some in the USAF must be envious considering the delays with the KC-46. Having a larger tanker would have been advantageous for the Pacific pivot as well. The MRRT has indeed been a success for Airbus.
A good summary of why RAAF should consider retaining the Rhinos and Growlers.
Preparing for stormy skies (part 1): the RAAF’s future fighter force | The Strategist
I totally agree with the view that RAAF does not require 100 JSFs, rather augment the 72 JSFs with the Rhinos and Growlers would probably provide greater flexibility at a much lower costs.
Yes Indeed, The Hi/Lo mix can work. It works around the world.
Spend the savings on weapons or other areas in the defence force
In considering the first option of additional aircraft, is there a case for a larger strike and air combat force? One answer can be found in applying Lanchester’s square law, which Andrew Davies explained in a 2014 Strategist piece (he even includes equations for the true geeks). The bottom line is that ‘doubling the force size quadruples its combat weight’. A larger force of 44 Block III Super Hornets would allow for more sorties and higher force concentration for less money than an additional 28 F-35s. Numbers matter, even in an era of stealth and precision weapons, particularly if the F-35’s stealth advantage is eroded.
I'm not sure that a mixed fleet would be "more flexible" in the way the author states, and his passing reference to future "anti-stealth" developments as a premise strikes me as sloppy. Any future OPFOR sensor advances that erode the F35's signature reduction features will have significant consequences for the Super Hornet as well. Furthermore, how much can a Super Hornet (Block III) do that an F35 (Block 4 or later) loaded for bear with external stores couldn't? My guess is not a great deal. Granted, keeping the Rhinos around would be cheaper but more "flexible"? How??
FWIW I'm not actually against keeping the Rhinos around for longer - it may make sense if we can then get in on the ground floor with whatever replaces them in the USN (F/A-XX?) but the rationale the article presented didn't strike me as that thoroughly thought out.
Agree! Yes the whole Super Hornet Block 3 vs F-35 debate seems to cause a great deal of consternation among internet fanboys. A lot of people try to compare them on pure spec sheet numbers while forgetting the realities of how legacy aircraft perform in clean form versus combat configuration and also how flight profile on any given mission can all have drastic negative effects on performance. Range is a very complicated metric with these vehicles and people seem to just pull numbers out of the air to whatever suits their agenda.
When you spend a long time reading into it, it's hard to see any distinct advantage that even an upgraded Block 3 Super Hornet offers over an F-35. the Growlers will continue to be an incredibly useful capability for a number of years but at some point the F-35 will take over that role too and likely do it much better.
Having read the article, there are 'advantages' stated by the author that ignore practical reality. The second statement is simply false:
"equip them with similar capabilities in avionics, sensors and data systems to F-35s, but with considerably greater payload."
The magic of the F-35 is how it combines all these separate pieces of information into one intuitive picture. That really has to be baked in from the start unless you want to do considerable re-design. Legacy aircraft can certainly bolt on sensors and such with similar and superior specs to what the F-35 has built in, but all that information has to be looked at separately and interpreted on the fly by a WSO. It's like comparing one guy having a GPS unit to another with a watch, paper map and a compass. They'll both find their way to a spot but one has a lot more work to do! The Super Hornet also does not carry a considerably greater payload. It's actually pretty similar when the F-35 is using external pylons.
"a new squadron of 28 F-35s (not including their very high lifetime sustainment costs)"
Can anyone even say definitively what the F-35's sustainment costs will be like once the program is in full swing operation? I don't think we'll know for sure until the mid 2020's. I can only assume the author based this on the inflated costs the US would have endured in the early stages when many changes were still being made. Hard to know as he doesn't bother giving a source.
It's not to say that the choice of F-35 for Air 6000 Phase 2C is written in stone. The powers that be seem to have deliberately stalled the final decision a few more years. I could only assume this was to firstly see how the F-35 matures and performs in regular RAAF service and secondly to see what other solutions might be coming down the pipe that may offer a superior capability. Planners now have a wonderful flexibility in that the Super Hornets could be kept around considerably longer if needed to cover the gap until the next big thing comes along. It's a really nice position for the RAAF to be in.
I suspect the question of an additional F35 buy vs retaining the Rhinos is one that could/should/would be the subject of detailed analysis by ADF force planners. It would be easy to make intuitive assumptions about what would be cheaper/more flexible/capable but reality often has other ideas.
As a layman I am also just glad the RAAF is in a position to consider the choice in the first place. Hopefully this is still the case in ~10 years when it matters most.
The toasted growler bites the dust, probably bits are useful though in the wider scheme.
RAAF Growler dead and buried 15 Aug 2018 TV 7 News
A lot depends on exactly what was written off.
The airframe may be stuffed but I haven't heard anything about the specialised equipment actually fitted to the aircraft. Given the location of the fire it is possible that most of this equipment is still quite serviceable.
I am not sure I would buy a new aircraft replacement at this stage given that 12 of the F models have already been pre-wired as growlers. It is quite possible that the F model will be replaced sooner rather than later so I would look at the possibility of converting at least one of them to a Growler.
I don't think replacing the SuperHornet is a high priority at this stage. I know the airforce has set its goal of being an all 5th generation force by the mid 20s but it must be tempting to hang onto the SuperHornets and perhaps take advantage of 6th generation technology that could become available by the mid to late 30s.
I'd be holding off a few years... I think into the future there's an option to convert a small "batch" of pre-wired Supers to Growlers all at once if we want. It doesn't seem super urgent however. We likely don't fully comprehend yet the combat environment of the future, perhaps we will find the Growlers are increasingly needed or that the Supers are increasingly vulnerable or struggling to "plug into" the network fusion of the future. Perhaps we will realise that Chinese or Russian 5th gen tech is far less advanced then we feared? Good thing is past gov's left some options open for the planners so we have the flexibility to adapt.
I hope the RAAF is keeping an eye on whatever the European consortiumis going to replace the Tornado with. Bearing in mind the F18F is actually replacing the F111, on a like for like basis the Tornado was much closer to the F111 than the F18F would ever be.
I think the answer to the question, will Govt / Defence / RAAF seek a replacement for the lost Growler, is still very much "how long is a piece of string".
We don't know if the original procurement of 12 Growlers included attrition or not (if I remember correctly, in the early days the Govt was looking at six Growler kits). I think a lot will depend on when the Growlers reach FOC and what we learn of the capability between now and then, and of course what might, or might not, happens to the Super Hornet fleet (will they stay in service or be replaced with the 4th Squadron of F-35As, for example) and of course what 'potential' compensation can be sought and received from the manufacturers regarding the failure with the engine too.
If and I say 'if', there is a decision to replace the lost Growler sooner rather than later, I can see three options:
1. Order a brand new airframe from Boeing.
2. Convert one of the 'pre wired' Super Hornets, or
3. And this is my personal preferred option, see if a deal can be struck with the USN for a replacement Growler from exactly the same production lot as the RAAFs Growlers.
Why do I prefer my option 3?
It should be a relatively quick process and the airframe is of the exact same age and production time as that of the RAAF fleet, a new airframe will be 'out of step' with the rest of the fleet, maybe production changes between Lots that could cause support or maintenance issues?
And as for converting a 'one off' of the pre wired airframes, it will have a lot more hours on the airframe (far earlier production Lot), and we have no idea how 'expensive' a one off conversion/update could be.
If at some point in the future the Govt decides to replace the Super Hornets with the last batch of F-35A, and also decides to expand the Growler fleet, then there are probably 'economies of scale' in converting a larger number of Super Hornets to Growlers (6-12 airframes?).
Anyway, just my opinion of course too.
The other thing we don't know is how much damage if any was done to the electronics. It is quite possible that most of these electronics are quite serviceable and could be transferred to a new airframe.