Author Topic: Aussie F-35 replacement ?  (Read 330 times)

Offline raafif

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Aussie F-35 replacement ?
« on: September 05, 2022, 07:45:37 AM »
I've heard a few times that the RAAF (or their mechanics) think the F-35 is too complex & "light".  Would we get the Eurofighter from UK or, considering our make-up with France, a Rafale ? >:D

Offline Volkodav

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Re: Aussie F-35 replacement ?
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2022, 08:09:08 PM »
I've heard a few times that the RAAF (or their mechanics) think the F-35 is too complex & "light".  Would we get the Eurofighter from UK or, considering our make-up with France, a Rafale ? >:D

 ;D

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: Aussie F-35 replacement ?
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2022, 10:54:00 PM »
We're highly unlikely to "replace" the F-35 but there's always an opening for something cheaper to buy/operate in the Gen 4.5 bracket to "bulk up" the fighter arm of the RAAF.

The Rafale might fit that bill (I have no idea of the unit or operating costs), if Dassault & the French government are more open to significant Australian licence manufacturing of major and vital components.
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Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Aussie F-35 replacement ?
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2022, 12:31:33 AM »
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Aussie F-35 replacement ?
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2022, 12:42:21 AM »
I've heard a few times that the RAAF (or their mechanics) think the F-35 is too complex & "light".  Would we get the Eurofighter from UK or, considering our make-up with France, a Rafale ? >:D

I find it amusing that people think that the F-35 is in anyway more complex than the likes of a Typhoon, Rafale or other from a maintenance perspective.  If anything, those with twin engines automatically require extra maintenance.

And define "light"? 

If talking physical weight (as if that really matters) the following shows there is hardly much difference:

F-35A: 13,154 kg (28,999 lb)
Typhoon:  11,000 kg (24,251 lb)
Rafale C: 9,850 kg (21,720 lb)
Super Hornet: 14,552 kg (32,081 lb)

At the end of the day, the RAAF won't be changing from the F-35.  If anything a further squadron is likely.

However to satisfy curiosity, here is a potential RAAF Typhoon:

« Last Edit: September 06, 2022, 12:45:16 AM by GTX_Admin »
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Offline Kelmola

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Re: Aussie F-35 replacement ?
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2022, 04:34:48 PM »
We're highly unlikely to "replace" the F-35 but there's always an opening for something cheaper to buy/operate in the Gen 4.5 bracket to "bulk up" the fighter arm of the RAAF.

The Rafale might fit that bill (I have no idea of the unit or operating costs), if Dassault & the French government are more open to significant Australian licence manufacturing of major and vital components.
Rafale won't be any cheaper. Most recent unit cost of the Rafale is about US $100M, unit cost of the F-35 has gone down to about $80M, and the F-35 will get cheaper the more countries order that (3400+ already delivered or ordered, with the US orders alone 2500, versus 240 Rafales will do that). Operating costs of the Rafale are about $15-$20k per flight hour, the F-35A costs were recently estimated by the RAAF to be $20k and Norwegian Air Force claims as low as $11k. Acquiring Rafale would mean building a second maintenance infrastructure, losing any potential economies of scale. Also likely that not all of F-35 ordnance has yet been cleared to use with Rafale, so there would also be the cost of weapon integration or purchasing separate weapons for the two types.

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: Aussie F-35 replacement ?
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2022, 05:32:49 PM »
We're highly unlikely to "replace" the F-35 but there's always an opening for something cheaper to buy/operate in the Gen 4.5 bracket to "bulk up" the fighter arm of the RAAF.

The Rafale might fit that bill (I have no idea of the unit or operating costs), if Dassault & the French government are more open to significant Australian licence manufacturing of major and vital components.
Rafale won't be any cheaper. Most recent unit cost of the Rafale is about US $100M, unit cost of the F-35 has gone down to about $80M, and the F-35 will get cheaper the more countries order that (3400+ already delivered or ordered, with the US orders alone 2500, versus 240 Rafales will do that). Operating costs of the Rafale are about $15-$20k per flight hour, the F-35A costs were recently estimated by the RAAF to be $20k and Norwegian Air Force claims as low as $11k. Acquiring Rafale would mean building a second maintenance infrastructure, losing any potential economies of scale. Also likely that not all of F-35 ordnance has yet been cleared to use with Rafale, so there would also be the cost of weapon integration or purchasing separate weapons for the two types.

That answers that question, then! :smiley:
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Offline Volkodav

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Re: Aussie F-35 replacement ?
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2022, 06:13:43 PM »
If anything go extra As, some Bs and some extra enabling capabilities to help them do their job better.

Online perttime

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Re: Aussie F-35 replacement ?
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2022, 09:51:49 PM »
They like big and simple? But what does it have to do?

Get some F-15s?

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Aussie F-35 replacement ?
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2022, 12:46:02 AM »
We're highly unlikely to "replace" the F-35 but there's always an opening for something cheaper to buy/operate in the Gen 4.5 bracket to "bulk up" the fighter arm of the RAAF.

The Rafale might fit that bill (I have no idea of the unit or operating costs), if Dassault & the French government are more open to significant Australian licence manufacturing of major and vital components.
Rafale won't be any cheaper. Most recent unit cost of the Rafale is about US $100M, unit cost of the F-35 has gone down to about $80M, and the F-35 will get cheaper the more countries order that (3400+ already delivered or ordered, with the US orders alone 2500, versus 240 Rafales will do that). Operating costs of the Rafale are about $15-$20k per flight hour, the F-35A costs were recently estimated by the RAAF to be $20k and Norwegian Air Force claims as low as $11k. Acquiring Rafale would mean building a second maintenance infrastructure, losing any potential economies of scale. Also likely that not all of F-35 ordnance has yet been cleared to use with Rafale, so there would also be the cost of weapon integration or purchasing separate weapons for the two types.

Exactly.  In fact as was glaring shown last year when the Swiss selected the F-35, beating bids from Boeing's F/A-18 Super Hornet, Dassault's Rafale, and the Eurofighter Typhoon, it won in terms of both F-35 the highest performance for the lowest price:  Lockheed’s F-35 topples competition in Swiss fighter contest.
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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Offline raafif

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Re: Aussie F-35 replacement ?
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2022, 11:45:19 AM »
I'll have to tell the dweeb who persists in spreading these rumours these facts ..... & that the RAAF WILL replace the F-35 with the Avro DiscoFighter >:D

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: Aussie F-35 replacement ?
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2022, 02:19:24 PM »
Actually, if Australia was to revisit a flying reserve for the RAAF (not, IMO, a stupid idea), we could do worse than the Gripen as the "second tier" combat aircraft.

From what I can gather from various sites (with varying unit & operational costs) the latest Gripens come in a bit cheaper than F-35s per unit & have a considerably lower cost per flight hour, plus, although not "stealthy", having comparable/better combat performance, & have, largely, compatible armaments.

Not my field of expertise but just an idea I thought I'd throw out there.
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Offline Rickshaw

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Re: Aussie F-35 replacement ?
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2022, 01:19:09 PM »
Unfortunately, from a political viewpoint, reliance on the US as a supplier for most weaponry is a given as far as cheapness goes.   Economies of scale are such, they are the biggest producers of weaponry around the world, the French are one of the smallest.   Militarily, their weapons are pretty good, if not the best available.   Comparing the Rafale and the F-35 is like comparing a Spitfire to a Typhoon (the modern iteration).  The F-35 boasts unmatched avionics such as AESA Radar, EO observation systems and of course carriers most of its weaponry internally.   Overall, the F-35 boasts "stealth", which no other fighter-bomber does in her class, allowing it to approach it's target unobserved.   The F-35 leads the pack at the moment without a doubt and despite all the hype is good value for money.


Offline Volkodav

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Re: Aussie F-35 replacement ?
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2022, 04:38:20 PM »
Unfortunately, from a political viewpoint, reliance on the US as a supplier for most weaponry is a given as far as cheapness goes.   Economies of scale are such, they are the biggest producers of weaponry around the world, the French are one of the smallest.   Militarily, their weapons are pretty good, if not the best available.   Comparing the Rafale and the F-35 is like comparing a Spitfire to a Typhoon (the modern iteration).  The F-35 boasts unmatched avionics such as AESA Radar, EO observation systems and of course carriers most of its weaponry internally.   Overall, the F-35 boasts "stealth", which no other fighter-bomber does in her class, allowing it to approach it's target unobserved.   The F-35 leads the pack at the moment without a doubt and despite all the hype is good value for money.

Spot on.

Going Rafale or Typhoon over F-35 would be like buying Hurricanes or Dewoitine 520s instead of Mustangs in 1945.  Perfectly good enough a couple of years earlier but overtaken by events.