Author Topic: M.A.D's 'Alternative Australian Defence Force Order of Battle' Questions please  (Read 10906 times)

Offline Rickshaw

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As the Mosquito experience showed, the RAAF had real problems with timber skinned/structured aircraft in the tropics, which was where it expected to do most of its operations under the strategic thinking of the day ("Forward Defence").  The Crusader had a short life in the US Navy.  It entered service in 1957 and left service in 1976.  I somehow doubt there were many F-8As still around in 1976. 

The RAAF's use of the Mirage was from 1964 to 1988, while Crusader production ended in 1964, so an RAAF buy would have followed on nicely from USN production. The high attrition rate of the Crusader in USN service was mostly down to it's difficult deck landing characteristics, something which wouldn't really apply to the RAAF. French Navy F-8E(FN)s served from 1964 to 2000, so there's nothing inherently short-lived about the design.

Except the environment in which it would be expected to operate in.  I've nothing against the F-8, other than what it is made of.  The tropics can have deleterious effects on timber structures in airframes, thats all, I am saying.  The F-8 is timber core skinned.  It _may_ have been bad for the RAAF to operate in tropical conditions... 

Offline Weaver

  • Skyhawk stealer and violator of Panthers, with designs on a Cougar and a Tiger too
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Except the environment in which it would be expected to operate in.  I've nothing against the F-8, other than what it is made of.  The tropics can have deleterious effects on timber structures in airframes, thats all, I am saying.  The F-8 is timber core skinned.  It _may_ have been bad for the RAAF to operate in tropical conditions...

Oh I totally understand the problem, all I'm saying is that if Vought managed to fix it for the Phillippines, who were a small, underfunded, second-hand user, then I'm sure they could have come up with a solution sooner if the Australian ones started to give problems. Of course if the RAAF decides it's a deal-breaker during the selection process, then it's game over.
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Offline elmayerle

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Perhaps a redesign for a more corrosion-resistant skin as well as swapping out the engine for a lighter and smaller J79 (like the proposed V-1000 "International Crusader")?  I could see that being a good move for both an Australian sale as well as other export sales.

Offline Weaver

  • Skyhawk stealer and violator of Panthers, with designs on a Cougar and a Tiger too
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Perhaps a redesign for a more corrosion-resistant skin as well as swapping out the engine for a lighter and smaller J79 (like the proposed V-1000 "International Crusader")?  I could see that being a good move for both an Australian sale as well as other export sales.

Yeah that'd be good, plus the V-1000 had reduced fuel tankage to meet the export fighter requirement for a 'defense', 'non-provocative' type, but there's no reason an Aussie one would have to stick to that, so it could have impressive range.
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
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Offline Volkodav

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Perhaps a redesign for a more corrosion-resistant skin as well as swapping out the engine for a lighter and smaller J79 (like the proposed V-1000 "International Crusader")?  I could see that being a good move for both an Australian sale as well as other export sales.

All things CAC would have been capable of doing had we gone for local production.  With an early 60s selection there could even have been synergies with the A-7, perhaps even the A-7D/E features of the Spey, M-61 and nav attack system for the late 60s attack variant.

Offline Weaver

  • Skyhawk stealer and violator of Panthers, with designs on a Cougar and a Tiger too
  • Chaos Engineer & Evangelistic Agnostic
Perhaps a redesign for a more corrosion-resistant skin as well as swapping out the engine for a lighter and smaller J79 (like the proposed V-1000 "International Crusader")?  I could see that being a good move for both an Australian sale as well as other export sales.

All things CAC would have been capable of doing had we gone for local production.  With an early 60s selection there could even have been synergies with the A-7, perhaps even the A-7D/E features of the Spey, M-61 and nav attack system for the late 60s attack variant.

The Spey is a major rebuild: an A-7 may look like an F-8, but it's almost wholly different in detail. I've heard it said that it'd be easier to stretch the A-7 and put a thin wing and an afterburner on it* than it would be to kipper an F-8 to get a Spey in after the fact.

The M-61 would be an excellent move. For all the 'Last Gunfighter' guff, the F-8's gun installation was actually pretty poor.

* As was done for real many years later, of course: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vought_YA-7F
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

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Offline elmayerle

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You likely would need to enlarge the intake to fit the Spey, but I don't think an afterburning Spey is that much larger, if at all, than an afterburning J57.  You're one generation of engine technology later and there were improvements.  Too, it depends on whether you're using the same basic afterburning Spey of the British Phantoms or the afterburning TF41 that Allison/RR worked on in the mid-1960's (the latter would definitely see an increase in thrust).

Offline Old Wombat

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My 2 cents re: aircraft options:

F-4 acquired in the '60's, rather than the Mirage, in the Interceptor/Air Superiority role - being replaced in the mid-70's with an F-15/16 mix.
A-7 acquired at the same time in the CAS role - being transfered to the RAN in the mid-70's & replaced with re-worked F-4's.
Buccaneer, also, acquired in that era for the Strike bomber role - being transfered to the RAN in the mid-70's & replaced with F-111's.

The latter 2 could also be operated by the RAN in that time period - giving logistics commonality.
The RAN could operate F-8's, CAC-modified as you've been discussing, in the CAG Interceptor/Air Superiority role.
S-2's could be purchased 6-or-7 years earlier than they were for ASW(&, possibly, C-1's & E-1's for COD & AEW respectively).
RAN would operate F-8, A-7, Buccaneer & S-2 variants into the mid-80's.
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

Offline Volkodav

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Back to the opening post for a second.  Among the high risk, poorly performing acquisitions you listed the Collins class submarine, this is actually a platform I have considerable real world experience with, not as a designer or builder but as a maintainers and upgrader, i.e. I worked on the solutions to the issues.

Something that really surprised me working on the class was how far off the mark the public reports were, for example a news paper report would state that only one boat was in service when I knew for fact it was two and the boat they said was at sea was actually in the shed being stripped for its MCD (mid cycle docking or two yearly refit and upgrade).  Working where I did provided some insight to the actual performance and availability of the class, if when and why they were unavailable, for example two boats were pulled from service early  for their FCDs during the mid to late 2000s because efficiency drives within naval engineering had resulted in insufficient qualified crews (technical sailors specifically) being available to have more than three submarines in service.  To see the company I proudly worked for slandered weekly or more often in the media and even parliament for issues that were caused directly by government policy was beyond demoralising.

Another little known, but actually public domain, issue was that much of the bad news was deliberately engineered for political and capability reasons.  On the political side the entire project was seen as the baby of the then leader of the opposition when he was defence minister, though he had moved on to another role before steel was cut perceived problems with the project were seen as a very convenient tool to discredit him with. 

On the capability side the was a very influential senior officer who was responsible for "fixing the boats".  He was a talented career submariner who took the opportunity to not just fix the teething problems but to upgrade them with the latest and greatest capabilities.  The original combat system by Rockwell was a mess and a perfectly good enough German system was selected to replace it but the Admiral was able to convince the government that the vastly more expensive USN AN/BYG-1 from the Virginia class, even though it entailed very challenging integration issues, was the only way to go.  This was something he admitted to in his interviews for the book "The Collins Class Submarine Story: Steel, Spies and Spin" by Peter Yule and Derek Woolner, he would of state problems or even create them to justify fitting the submarines with new capabilities that didn't even exist when the type was designed, they were in actual fact upgrades not fixes.

What is not well know or understood is the class actually had higher levels of availability then the majority of foreign designs, longer range, greater stealth (at patrol speeds they were undetectable) and ironically the issue with their noise levels at high speed was actually a factor of them being capable of higher speeds than the hull was designed to be silent at i.e. the bow cylindrical array sonar was raised to provide greater coverage which forced a compromise in water flow over the hull, the powers that be conveniently forgetting the agreed compromise when it suited them.  Even then this was addressed through using USN tech from the Virginia class meaning that this much maligned type that was "as loud as a rock concert" went from meeting or exceeding requirements to absolutely smashing them.  The majority of issues encountered on the first of class had been addressed by the time the second boat commissioned with the third being even better, the next two were completed with many improvements and upgrades lifted from the USN that effectively made them an improved sub class until this mods were fitted to the earlier boats during FCD and the final boat was improved further again.  Even so boat two and three, in their initial configuration performed exceptionally on exercise with the USN, boat three even being lost by a SH-60F Oceanhawk that followed it out of Pearl Harbour (in violation of the exercise rules) once it dived they lost it. 

Over all the project has been a political football and a media circus with very little fact ever seeing the light of day.  Most issues reported today or old news and totally irrelevant as they were fixed years ago, most new issues are due to it being an aging platform with the associated wear and tear as well as obsolescence issues.  If someone other than the former defmin had been leader of the opposition  or something else had come up at the time there would never have been the bad press and all else being the same people would see the project for the success it has been.

Offline Old Wombat

  • "We'll see when I've finished whether I'm showing off or simply embarrassing myself."
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Amen!

My wife was a "bus buddy" of one of the (I think) design & development team. I was told that he was, pretty much, the only person in the world with his qualifications.  He took early retirement, I believe, a some years ago. He was adamant that the boats were amongst the best in the world for purpose, which was more than he could say for politicians & "journalists/reporters".

Maybe you knew him - short; darkish grey hair; travelled a lot; was a uni lecturer on the side; bit of a drinker; Glen? ???
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

Offline Volkodav

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If he was an ex RN Scot who answers to "Jock" I do, otherwise maybe not, the others I know who lecture at uni still work there.  Still touch base with them regularly and would love to go back, it was by far the best group of people I ever worked with.

Offline Old Wombat

  • "We'll see when I've finished whether I'm showing off or simply embarrassing myself."
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Nope, not the same guy. Odd looking bloke, really; Aussie; bookish; bit of an odd-man-out; never married; his hobbies were collecting (expensive) fine wines & (very) old maps.
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

Offline Volkodav

  • Counts rivits with his abacus...
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Nope, not the same guy. Odd looking bloke, really; Aussie; bookish; bit of an odd-man-out; never married; his hobbies were collecting (expensive) fine wines & (very) old maps.

Sort of rings a bell but I am sure the bloke I'm thinking of is still there, well that is I couldn't imagine him leaving, especially as they are finally doing things the way he was suggesting for over a decade.

Offline GTX_Admin

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Whilst off on this tangent, I too have heard similar re the Collins class.  Once the media decide something is crap though they won't let the facts get in the way - the F-35 is a case in point.
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline Old Wombat

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Whilst off on this tangent, I too have heard similar re the Collins class.  Once the media decide something is crap though they won't let the facts get in the way - the F-35 is a case in point.

Have the media ever let the facts get in the way? ???
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."