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

vonnoobie

Well-Known Member
I see on the USN thread that the USN NGAD program has begun as a clean sheet design to replace the FA-18E/F as well as the EA-18G, the RAAF will be taking a very keen interest on this project as it has a req for a EA-18G replacement by the mid 30s and will need to replace the FA-18F at some stage.
While we will be looking at it I am of the opinion the time frame is very optimistic. Considering development timeframes for aircraft over the last few decades combined with recent cuts in development funding for it for a clean sheet design I'm thinking a 20+ year development more realistic then 10+ years.
 

Tasman

Ship Watcher
Verified Defense Pro
It seems to me that it would be extremely unlikely that the RAAF would seek to replace its EA-18G and FA-18F fleets earlier than the USN replaces theirs. With the USN driving the replacement program it would make sense for Australia to keep in step with them so, like Redlands, I believe it likely that the RAAF will be taking a very keen interest in the program. However long the development program takes I can't see it likely that an alternative would be any faster. If one does appear the RAAF could obviously consider it.

Of course it is possible that Australia will take a different path (e.g. an all F-35 fleet replacing the F-35A/FA-18F mix) but the Defence Strategic Update and Force Structure Plan does project a replacement of the capability currently provided by the EA-18G force with the operational effectiveness of the Growlers being maintained until that time.

Tas
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
While we will be looking at it I am of the opinion the time frame is very optimistic. Considering development timeframes for aircraft over the last few decades combined with recent cuts in development funding for it for a clean sheet design I'm thinking a 20+ year development more realistic then 10+ years.
Your right the NGAD program timing does look optimistic, we haven’t even seen what Boeing, LM and possibly Nothrop might offer for this program at this stage the only realistic contender for a Fighter buy in the early 30s is the F-35, none of the programs currently underway can realistically be talked about at this stage, an enormous amount of work and money needs to happen before that.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Your right the NGAD program timing does look optimistic, we haven’t even seen what Boeing, LM and possibly Northrop might offer for this program at this stage the only realistic contender for a Fighter buy in the early 30s is the F-35, none of the programs currently underway can realistically be talked about at this stage, an enormous amount of work and money needs to happen before that.
I think that there is one big difference between the NGAD program and the F-35 program. The NGAD program is not trying to make one platform be like a Swiss army knife that the F-35 was trying to do. So it's focused on being a carrier borne aircraft and like I said on the USN page as long as the USAF keeps its nose out, it should be ok. If they are prepared to undergo incremental improvements with each new tranche, and have more tranches, then they may be able get it out reasonably quickly. But the biggest risk to the program is the continual political dysfunction at Federal level in the Congress and between the Congress and the White House. Continuing Resolutions do not funding security make and many programs across the Defence landscape have been affected by this dysfunction. It creates uncertainty, extra costs, equipment and capability shortfalls etc., which snowball each year with each continuing resolution.
 

aussienscale

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Short clip of a RAAF F-35A doing an inert bomb drop at the Evans Head range in Northern NSW, looks like I will have to keep an eye out ! Can't wait to catch a glimpse.


Cheers
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
I think that there is one big difference between the NGAD program and the F-35 program. The NGAD program is not trying to make one platform be like a Swiss army knife that the F-35 was trying to do. So it's focused on being a carrier borne aircraft and like I said on the USN page as long as the USAF keeps its nose out, it should be ok. If they are prepared to undergo incremental improvements with each new tranche, and have more tranches, then they may be able get it out reasonably quickly. But the biggest risk to the program is the continual political dysfunction at Federal level in the Congress and between the Congress and the White House. Continuing Resolutions do not funding security make and many programs across the Defence landscape have been affected by this dysfunction. It creates uncertainty, extra costs, equipment and capability shortfalls etc., which snowball each year with each continuing resolution.
Some good points there NG and one other point is it is a single Nation and single service program with 2 very experienced Jet Fighter designers so yes it should be doable on the technical level.
 

Boagrius

Active Member
I suppose a lot may hinge on how technologically ambitious the project is as well. Clean sheet design suggests they're not going completely low-risk so that could get interesting. Nevertheless the likely requirements seem reasonably clear at this point so here's hoping it goes relatively smoothly. I have a suspicion that once H-20 breaks cover (and the massed LACM/ASCM/ASM capability that inevitably comes with it) the rationale for F/A-XX will become ever more obvious.
 

Boagrius

Active Member
Looks that way to my untrained eye. The overall geometry reminds me of the McDonnell Douglas JAST concept:



No coincidence perhaps?
 
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aussienscale

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Looks that way to my untrained eye. The overall geometry reminds me of the McDonnell Douglas JAST concept:



No coincidence perhaps?
Would say no coincidence at all, the guy that designed it originally worked for them and moved to Boeing in the buy out and put it forward as a design option for the X-32, so could have been the same guy, from memory there was a big split in the team on what tail design to go with on the X-32

Cheers
 

Boagrius

Active Member
Would say no coincidence at all, the guy that designed it originally worked for them and moved to Boeing in the buy out and put it forward as a design option for the X-32, so could have been the same guy, from memory there was a big split in the team on what tail design to go with on the X-32

Cheers
Jeez, I'm no engineer but between the X-32 and the MD JAST design, I know which one I would have been rooting for (based on looks alone)!

V interesting to see it brought to life in the LW program. Looks damn slick from my POV.
 
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