Royal Australian Air Force accepts 30th F-35A Lightning II

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The 30th F-35A Lightning II accepted from prime contractor Lockheed Martin.
The 30th F-35A Lightning II accepted from prime contractor Lockheed Martin.

Australia’s fifth-generation fighter jet capability continues to grow with the recent acceptance of the 30th F-35A Lightning II from prime contractor Lockheed Martin.
Significant work is undertaken before Australia can formally accept each jet, with pre-acceptance testing involving multiple checks on the production line at Lockheed Martin’s facility in Texas, as well as several flight tests to ensure each F-35A is up to the tasks the RAAF requires.
F-35A Air Vehicle Lead Squadron Leader Brook Porter is about to wrap up his three-year posting to Joint Strike Fighter Branch in Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group, where he has been involved in accepting 28 F-35A aircraft.
Squadron Leader Porter said the in-depth acceptance process ensured each F-35A was ready for Australian defence registration and operational use.
“Working with local and international stakeholders, the team has also been integral to ferrying the majority of these aircraft to Australia from the US,” Squadron Leader Porter said.
“It’s rewarding to be part of the team establishing Australia’s future air-combat capability. It’s much bigger than simply delivering an aircraft.
“It’s important to remain vigilant and stick to our ‘smart-customer’ approach. This means we are constantly asking questions to ensure we are getting value for money, as we strive to deliver Australia’s fifth-generation fighter jet capability.”
Director General Joint Strike Fighter Branch Air Commodore Damien Keddie said accepting and ferrying each of Australia’s jets was the epitome of international collaboration.
“I am proud of the way the team has come together, particularly during the global pandemic, to find innovative solutions to issues that may otherwise have prevented us reaching 30 aircraft in the fleet,” Air Commodore Keddie said.

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Mis_TR_Like

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@Nein2.0 @mrmoo @HumbleDig

I still don't understand why Australia didn't order any F-35Bs...

The ski-jumps on the Canberra Class LHDs are pointless without them. Turkey planned to acquire 32 F-35Bs for its LHDs but we all know what happened there. But Australia has no excuses not to buy some F-35Bs.
 

Ryder

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@Nein2.0 @mrmoo @HumbleDig

I still don't understand why Australia didn't order any F-35Bs...

The ski-jumps on the Canberra Class LHDs are pointless without them. Turkey planned to acquire 32 F-35Bs for its LHDs but we all know what happened there. But Australia has no excuses not to buy some F-35Bs.

F35B is perfect for Naval Assets also sends China a message. Seriously 100 F35as can be cut down to include at least 50 F35bs or even 30 of them.

Politicians are brainless to be honest Australian military has to demand it too. Perhaps they might get it later down the road when requirements change.
 
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Yoyo

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@Nein2.0 @mrmoo @HumbleDig

I still don't understand why Australia didn't order any F-35Bs...

The ski-jumps on the Canberra Class LHDs are pointless without them. Turkey planned to acquire 32 F-35Bs for its LHDs but we all know what happened there. But Australia has no excuses not to buy some F-35Bs.
According to this article as well as other Aussie sources the Royal Australian Air Force was vehemently against the acquisition of the F-35B model because "they didn't want so much of their fighter budget to go to the Navy when they could use the funds to acquire more F-35A models".


Apparently the wishes of their AF supersedes those of their Navy. It also seems that Australian politicians don't want to get too involved in America's anti-China warmongering and end up in a needless conflict with such an important trade partner. Self-defense is more important to them than force projection.

Smart, I'd say.
 

Nilgiri

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According to this article as well as other Aussie sources the Royal Australian Air Force was vehemently against the acquisition of the F-35B model because "they didn't want so much of their fighter budget to go to the Navy when they could use the funds to acquire more F-35A models".


Apparently the wishes of their AF supersedes those of their Navy. It also seems that Australian politicians don't want to get too involved in America's anti-China warmongering and end up in a needless conflict with such an important trade partner. Self-defense is more important to them than force projection.

Smart, I'd say.

Big part is also because RAN blew huge part of its budget acquiring barracuda subs in what can be said is quite a big ripoff given the pricing and what you are getting...thats long story I wont get into now.

This means next to no funds left for upgrading (and sustained operation with F-35B) of Canberra and Adelaide.

It is not plain matter of utilising the ski ramp, because there is lot of deck work and systems upgrading that need to be done to handle F-35...that will need funding, work time and also shipyard capacity used up + (new) ships out of commission for some stretch of time...all factored in on the "con side".

Some RAN admirals also voiced concern the dedicated amphibious capability they pushed for to get these LHDs would be reduced somewhat as well.

So with that kind of thing in play in Aus def establishment, there's likely tension in the other service branches to keep things delineated their way. Aus joined the program in 2002 I believe, and matter of F-35A is one that has long precedence in their acquisition and strategic thinking....given earlier debates they had during the 80s and 90s as to the specific role of the RAN vs RAAF in Aus defence strategy and developing doctrine and basing and parternships with US and others regarding this.

They don't want to mess with it too much is my understanding...they had naval capability with the F-18s (Canada had the same thing) given buddying off the economics of scale there given USN was the main customer in the end....but that was pretty much a one-off thing and not really employed by the Aussies in any real capacity. Like I believe a bunch of their pilots were definitely flight qualified for both landings and take offs from (USN) carriers given the course structure and qualifications involved with many....but the RAAF F-18 did not have the basic CATOBAR launch bar attachment needed for the a/c itself (same issue for Canada) to take off should it have landed on a USN carrier...so that kind of put that as DOA operationally.

My understanding and recollection of this could be faulty, its been a while since I read up on this stuff.

@Vergennes @ANMDT @Dante80 @Joe Shearer @Paro
 
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Yoyo

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Just for the record... No matter how bad the Western MSM try to frame Beijing's moves in the SCS, as far as I'm concerned it's the Chinese who are on the defense trying to "fight back" against a growing US military hostility in the wider Pacific theater, as evident from the map of **known** US bases below.

Can you imagine just what kind of total tantrum the US would throw if China had several naval and air force bases mere hundreds of miles from US shores, let alone from Washington DC?

uspacific.jpg
 
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mrmoo

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Just for the record... No matter how bad the Western MSM try to frame Beijing's moves in the SCS, as far as I'm concerned it's the Chinese who are on the defense trying to "fight back" against a growing US military hostility in the wider Pacific theater, as evident from the map of **known** US bases below.

Can you imagine just what kind of total tantrum the US would throw if China had several naval and air force bases mere hundreds of miles from US shores, let alone from Washington DC?

View attachment 1774

I think that you are saying also holds true; but you can't make islands out of nowhere in the middle of a sea.... that's not within the spirit of Mother Earth and being humans.
 

Gary

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Big part is also because RAN blew huge part of its budget acquiring barracuda subs in what can be said is quite a big ripoff given the pricing and what you are getting...thats long story I wont get into now.
Barracuda SSK are premium weapons, I'm not goin to be surprised it cost them almost $50B for 12 boats, likely with custom specs only available for the Australians, and I think it's a much more potent weapons than a Canberra with 20 or so F-35B's
 

Nilgiri

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Barracuda SSK are premium weapons, I'm not goin to be surprised it cost them almost $50B for 12 boats, likely with custom specs only available for the Australians, and I think it's a much more potent weapons than a Canberra with 20 or so F-35B's

Yah it is very much to be seen, it can go either way with barracuda they picked as you are forking out SSN price for SSK+ capability...rather than SSK+SSK traditional (as was original program intent way back when it started).

Lot of details on exact "+" capability etc, we have to see.

With flex-cap approach, honestly the LHD's should have been designed with F-35B from get-go, navantia (or DCN) could have accomodated that easy and aussies can fit it out from the early guise itself rather than retro it etc which woulud basically be wasting money and time with hindsight....nothing a service branch wants to admit.

Basically it would have all needed revisiting and reviewing of the doctrine they developed and set aside lot of inter-service rivalry (ofc not unique at all to aussies, its just feature worldwide) in the 2000's decade at the latest....esp the first 5 years there when crucial commitments were made.
 

Gary

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Just for the record... No matter how bad the Western MSM try to frame Beijing's moves in the SCS, as far as I'm concerned it's the Chinese who are on the defense trying to "fight back" against a growing US military hostility in the wider Pacific theater, as evident from the map of **known** US bases below.

Can you imagine just what kind of total tantrum the US would throw if China had several naval and air force bases mere hundreds of miles from US shores, let alone from Washington DC?

View attachment 1774
Sorry but China is fast becoming a global pariah, it's true that the US had been prowling China's fence since ages, but the action of Beijing against it's smaller Neighbor is a shot in one's own foot. It is not justfied at all.now we're seing a more assertive ASEAN against China
 
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mrmoo

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Sorry but China is fast becoming a global pariah, it's true that the US had been prowling China's fence since ages, but the action of Beijing against it's smaller Neighbor is a shot in one's own foot. It is not justfied at all.now we're seing a more assertive ASEAN against China

But according to the knowledgeable sock puppet; those little sand islands are more of a burden than a plus if it came to actual conflict. The projected model is about going in via Hainandou from those little sand islands of which would create moot benefit overrall.

Not necessarily a bad thing to let them build up those sand islands as an alt strategy anyways?

#longgame
 
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Yoyo

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Sorry but China is fast becoming a global pariah, it's true that the US had been prowling China's fence since ages, but the action of Beijing against it's smaller Neighbor is a shot in one's own foot. It is not justfied at all.now we're seing a more assertive ASEAN against China
Please. China certainly isn't acting like a Saint. But what little China does or doesn't do for trying to secure its own borders is merely a drop in the bucket in comparison to decades long continuous US "actions" against much smaller nations all over the world. Many sources state the estimated number of people the US has KILLED around the globe since the end of WW2 at 20-30 MILLION. What other brutal regime in history has even come close to that?

 

Gary

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This means next to no funds left for upgrading (and sustained operation with F-35B) of Canberra and Adelaide.
Maybe there's another reason other than funds.?



They struggled manning their Frigates and Subs, operating F35B's will add to the strain
 

mrmoo

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It doesn't help that height restrictions in place. That and the filtering process for any coveted roles make it long and arduos for fast moving target positions to fill?

As for other ge roles, the paper said small increases personnel. In this climate I doubt attrition will be high, so that also means talent has to be trained from within rather than bringing in new recruits as well?

Training means more lead time and no chance to backfill. What a conundrum!

#outsideinview
 

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