Author Topic: RAAF retains a flying reserve  (Read 5845 times)

Offline Volkodav

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RAAF retains a flying reserve
« on: June 26, 2014, 10:11:33 PM »
The RAAF lost its flying reserve in the late 50s, what if instead the government selected a new generation of affordable combat aircraft to equip the reserve squadrons.

Australia tends to buy competent mid range fighters as high end types can't be afforded in the numbers required,  if there were a flying reserve operating numbers of good enough low end aircraft the RAAF could have elected to operate a silver bullet force of high end types and a larger number of the same types as operated by the reserve.

During the late 50s an improved version of the Folland Gnat selected for production in Australia as a reserve fighter, advanced trainer and supplement for the Sabre.  A single,  large, squadron of F-106, or Lightnings and a single large squadron of V bombers is ordered at the same time.

This is followed by the selection of the F5A/B to follow the Gnat into production with Phantom and Hustler in the 60s.  F-5E/F, F-14 or F-15 and F-111 replaced the original 1950s fleet.

In the 80s it was decided to equip part of the reserve with strike aircraft, I.e Jaguar although this could have happened earlier with Skyhawks etc.  The next generation reserve fighter was the F-20, supporting additional Tomcats or Eagles with the new silver bullet bomber, to replace the B-58, being the B-1B.

1990s Gipen, F-15E etc, etc.

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: RAAF retains a flying reserve
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2014, 02:34:41 AM »
If you are going with a late 50's/early '60s starting point and want the reserve force to remain capable, I would with stick with the F-5 series.  In fact, you could tie in with the following statements by Air Marshal Sir Frederick Scherger, RAAF chief in 1957-1961, (from an ANZUS meeting in 1958 - see http://www.history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1958-60v16/d19):

Quote
"...we have been desperately seeking a small, versatile airplane which can range over the whole area and which can operate from the thousand and one 6000-foot strips left over from the last war and which still are there and from which commercial airplanes are still operating...

...We believe we have found the airplane in a project which has been raised and was having a little difficulty here, the Northrop–156, which is a development of the T–38 supersonic trainer. It is a light airplane and can have a lot of sophistication in it, but we don’t want a lot of sophistication. We want it in a fairly cheap and uncomplicated form. It is the kind of thing we can build and build relatively cheaply, and it is the kind of airplane which could be used right throughout that area, where we ourselves are perhaps the most capable in the use of modern equipment…"


I would look at using the Citizen Air Force Squadrons as the basis and for markings etc: 

No 21 (City of Melbourne) Squadron
No 22 (City of Sydney) Squadron
No 23 (City of Brisbane) Squadron
No 24 (City of Adelaide) Squadron
No 25 (City of Perth) Squadron

Maybe have them initially equipped with a mix of T-38A Talon Trainers (which could also be the RAAF's primary advanced trainer instead of the MB.326) and F-5As - both of which could have been available from the early '60s.  Later on replace the F-5A with the more potent F-5E.  Finally move to the F-20.


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Offline Rickshaw

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Re: RAAF retains a flying reserve
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2014, 08:37:51 AM »
Better not to adopt the T-38, it couldn't be armed.  However, F-5Bs could and could provide the same functionality as the normal fighter version and the trainer...

Alternatively, it could be equipped with other armed trainers such as the Strikemaster or the T-37 of the Fouga Magister, all were roughly contempories of the Northrop products.

A flying reserve would be expensive to operate, so perhaps instead of a jet fighter equipped one, how about a propeller equipped one, dedicated to ground attack?   Perhaps give it Skyraiders?

Offline Volkodav

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Re: RAAF retains a flying reserve
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2014, 10:24:21 AM »
Or a mix of fighter and attack say 3 fighter and two attack squadrons with the regular force adding another two of each type in addition to their silver bullet force.

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: RAAF retains a flying reserve
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2014, 02:38:08 AM »
Better not to adopt the T-38, it couldn't be armed. 


You were saying…looks very much like a SUU-11 gun pod on the centreline...



I still think a T-38/F-5/F-20 grouping works well.  I personally would keep to the simpler side rather than introduce strike capabilities or similar.

Post the F-20, one could go for something such as the T-50 / F/A-50 series:
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Offline kim margosein

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Re: RAAF retains a flying reserve
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2014, 04:39:46 AM »
I'm surprised that no one considered the CA-31 for the inexpensive reserve fighter.

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: RAAF retains a flying reserve
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2014, 04:42:43 AM »
I'm surprised that no one considered the CA-31 for the inexpensive reserve fighter.

Certainly an option.  The main reason I rejected it (apart from there being only one model kit I am aware of…Uncle Les!) was that it would be too late for the initial timeframe.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2014, 04:44:41 AM by GTX_Admin »
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Offline Rickshaw

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Re: RAAF retains a flying reserve
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2014, 12:46:40 PM »
Better not to adopt the T-38, it couldn't be armed. 


You were saying…looks very much like a SUU-11 gun pod on the centreline...



I still think a T-38/F-5/F-20 grouping works well.  I personally would keep to the simpler side rather than introduce strike capabilities or similar.

Post the F-20, one could go for something such as the T-50 / F/A-50 series:


No missiles on a T-38, no hard points other than the centreline one.  IIRC the gun pod was a late addition on the aircraft, the centreline pylon could only carry a luggage pod originally.

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: RAAF retains a flying reserve
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2014, 03:31:00 AM »
No missiles on a T-38, no hard points other than the centreline one.  IIRC the gun pod was a late addition on the aircraft, the centreline pylon could only carry a luggage pod originally.

Still...it is far from "couldn't be armed".

Given the role envisaged, the T-38 would not have required weapons anyway.  That's what the F-5s etc would be for.  Besides, if we are in the whiff verse, there is no reason to say the T-38s could not have been armed.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2014, 03:36:09 AM by GTX_Admin »
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Offline Volkodav

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Re: RAAF retains a flying reserve
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2014, 08:32:18 AM »
The whole idea was to provide a baseline fighter / strike force of five or more reserve and three or four permanent Air Force squadrons that permits the permanent force to have a silver bullet force of three or four large squadrons equipped with state of the art tier one combat aircraft.  This baseline force would also provide an ongoing production opportunity for Australian industry with first the Gnat and then from the mid 60's the F-5 through to the F-20 in the 90's .
« Last Edit: June 29, 2014, 01:49:08 PM by Volkodav »

Offline Rickshaw

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Re: RAAF retains a flying reserve
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2014, 09:13:11 AM »
Does anybody know where to get some 1/72 RAAF 24 Squadron City of Adelaide decals?   ;)

Offline elmayerle

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Re: RAAF retains a flying reserve
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2014, 02:11:37 AM »
Better not to adopt the T-38, it couldn't be armed. 


You were saying…looks very much like a SUU-11 gun pod on the centreline...



I still think a T-38/F-5/F-20 grouping works well.  I personally would keep to the simpler side rather than introduce strike capabilities or similar.

Post the F-20, one could go for something such as the T-50 / F/A-50 series:


No missiles on a T-38, no hard points other than the centreline one.  IIRC the gun pod was a late addition on the aircraft, the centreline pylon could only carry a luggage pod originally.

If memory serves me correctly, China Lake used a modified T-38 with missile rails as part of Sidewinder development efforts.  Still, you could just as easily go with F-5Bs and have them normally fly with tip tanks rather than missile rails but have them able to be fitted "for training purposes" when needed.

Offline Geoff

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Re: RAAF retains a flying reserve
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2014, 04:36:43 AM »
Hi,
Like the scenario. Do you think the F-5As would get the updates similar to the Dutch and Canadian ones?

It struck me Oz is a big place and air to air refuelling would be a good idea, even if you were using a "buddy" type system.
Also as early MANPADS come about - some chaff/flare dispensers get scabbed on, and you sort of have a C/NF-5A hybrid.( F-5O?)    :-*

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: RAAF retains a flying reserve
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2014, 04:42:05 AM »
I would imagine the F-5As would be replaced rather than upgraded.  Aerial refuelling capability might be added but it wouldn't necessarily be essential.

A new twist might also be to have the Reserve units take on an "Aggressor" role, even if only partially.
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Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: RAAF retains a flying reserve
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2014, 04:42:40 AM »
Hmmm…this is getting the 'juices' flowing on a new story…maybe.
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