Author Topic: Aussie F-35 replacement ?  (Read 1139 times)

Offline ScranJ51

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Re: Aussie F-35 replacement ?
« Reply #25 on: October 28, 2022, 11:13:58 AM »
That's interesting. I didn't know that Australia was being offered a way into the F-15 program as early as '73-74, though not surprising given their acquisition of the very advanced F-111 at that time.


An F-15B (dual) spent about three weeks at Williamtown in mid 1976 when I was a controller there.  Did several sorties against Mirages for DACT and flew several of the Squadron Commanders and Air Staff.
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Offline Volkodav

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Re: Aussie F-35 replacement ?
« Reply #26 on: November 10, 2022, 02:39:46 PM »
That's interesting. I didn't know that Australia was being offered a way into the F-15 program as early as '73-74, though not surprising given their acquisition of the very advanced F-111 at that time.


An F-15B (dual) spent about three weeks at Williamtown in mid 1976 when I was a controller there.  Did several sorties against Mirages for DACT and flew several of the Squadron Commanders and Air Staff.

I had heard a rumor from old and bold ex RAAF types that there was a 1970s proposal for a split buy of 50 each F-15 and AV-8B, the Harriers being for the RAN.  I am not sure, but this may have also been related to the retention of the leased F-4Es, allowing the early retirement of the Mirage.

Then there were also proposals from Dassault for the production of Mirage F-1 and HS for the Hawk in Australia with no obligation to buy the types for the RAAF.  Consistently the RAAF pushed back and stated that the proposals should not be accepted as they feared it would obligate them to select the type concerned.

It makes you wonder though, with the other types mentioned, DC-9, DC-10, even Harpoon being suitable options to secure continued orders under offsets, as well as the blindingly obvious eventual acquisition of the F/A-18, as well as the Hawk, that Australia was pretty dumb in these negotiations.

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: Aussie F-35 replacement ?
« Reply #27 on: November 10, 2022, 09:28:52 PM »
Short-term, blinkered thinking. ::)
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Re: Aussie F-35 replacement ?
« Reply #28 on: November 11, 2022, 12:38:18 AM »
I had heard a rumor from old and bold ex RAAF types that there was a 1970s proposal for a split buy of 50 each F-15 and AV-8B, the Harriers being for the RAN. 

I haven't seen any formal proposals involving the Harrier.  Even the HMS Invincible buy didn't include Harriers.

Then there were also proposals from Dassault for the production of Mirage F-1 and HS for the Hawk in Australia with no obligation to buy the types for the RAAF.  Consistently the RAAF pushed back and stated that the proposals should not be accepted as they feared it would obligate them to select the type concerned.

I know the Mirage F.1 one was real - their is a file on it in the National Archives.

Re not proceeding, it may not be as simple as you have suggested since, as can be seen in the F-15 file, the economic benefits weren't really there.

It makes you wonder though, with the other types mentioned, DC-9, DC-10, even Harpoon being suitable options to secure continued orders under offsets, as well as the blindingly obvious eventual acquisition of the F/A-18, as well as the Hawk, that Australia was pretty dumb in these negotiations.

Not always - again have a read of the F-15 file.
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Offline Volkodav

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Re: Aussie F-35 replacement ?
« Reply #29 on: November 11, 2022, 08:18:29 AM »
I had heard a rumor from old and bold ex RAAF types that there was a 1970s proposal for a split buy of 50 each F-15 and AV-8B, the Harriers being for the RAN. 

I haven't seen any formal proposals involving the Harrier.  Even the HMS Invincible buy didn't include Harriers.

Then there were also proposals from Dassault for the production of Mirage F-1 and HS for the Hawk in Australia with no obligation to buy the types for the RAAF.  Consistently the RAAF pushed back and stated that the proposals should not be accepted as they feared it would obligate them to select the type concerned.

I know the Mirage F.1 one was real - their is a file on it in the National Archives.

Re not proceeding, it may not be as simple as you have suggested since, as can be seen in the F-15 file, the economic benefits weren't really there.

It makes you wonder though, with the other types mentioned, DC-9, DC-10, even Harpoon being suitable options to secure continued orders under offsets, as well as the blindingly obvious eventual acquisition of the F/A-18, as well as the Hawk, that Australia was pretty dumb in these negotiations.

Not always - again have a read of the F-15 file.

Something the US and Japan do extremely well, arguably Germany, France and China as well as other countries, is develop entire eco systems of interrelated industries, educational institutions, primary industries etc.  The individual component companies and industries may well not be highly profitable and may even require government subsidies to survive, but their existence is critical as they enable and support other entities that deliver critical capability and high profits.

Australia's aviation sector is often pointed to as a shining example of buying off the shelf, concentrating on sustainment and niche manufacturing, looking at it from the point of view of an overall defence industry, or even looking wider to infrastructure, space, sovereign capability in multiple critical areas, where we quite literally can't even get graduate, let alone the senior technical and engineering people we need, I think it's fair to say penny wise, dollar poor.

When I look at the people who cut their teeth on Australia's aerospace programs in the 70s and 80s, those who came through automotive and submarines / shipbuilding in the 90s, compared to the dumbed down experience of people we are getting now, I can safely say we would be in a much better position now if we subsidised and supported aviation, ships, subs and automotive to this day.

The ex-uniform people with almost entirely sustainment experience are simply not as capable and experienced in design and project engineering as we need today.  The best chief engineer I ever worked for in maritime was an ex GAF engineer who was there at the time this and other work was postulated.  Consistently the very best of the younger ones I come across have experience embedded in Acquistion projects overseas, where they were working within the systems, design and production functions or the OEM.