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  • US approves sale of 3,900 SDB IIs for Australia F-35s

    10/03/2017 8:40:00 PM PDT · by sukhoi-30mki · 8 replies
    FLIGHTGLOBAL.COM ^ | October 04, 2017 | GREG WALDRON
    The US State Department has approved the sale of 3,900 Raytheon GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bombs Increment II (SDB II) weapons to Australia for use with its Lockheed Martin F-35As. The $815 million Foreign Military Sale package includes the 3,900 weapons, test equipment, training equipment, and other support, says the Defense Security Cooperation Agency on its web site. "The proposed sale of SDB II supports and complements the ongoing sale of the F-35A to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF)," says the DSCA. "This capability will strengthen combined operations, particularly air to ground strike missions in all-weather conditions, and increase interoperability...
  • Fighter jet a 'jackass of all trades' (F-35 for Australia)

    03/22/2016 2:42:26 AM PDT · by sukhoi-30mki · 16 replies
    AAP ^ | MARCH 22, 2016 | RASHIDA YOSUFZAI AND LISA MARTIN
    The company building Australia's next-generation fighter planes says it would be naive to pretend there aren't problems with the fleet. But air force chiefs are confident the controversial F-35 Lightning Joint Strike Fighters are the best the Department of Defence can get. Australia is spending $17.1 billion to acquire 72 of the Lockheed Martin planes by 2023. But they've been dismissed as an expensive flop with the jets facing difficulties including pilot visibility issues, stealth coatings peeling off, an inability to fly during lightning storms due to the risk of exploding, and software problems. A report by the Pentagon's top...
  • Australia Should Buy F-22s, Not F-35s, Says Retired RAAF Wing Commander

    02/03/2016 1:49:03 AM PST · by sukhoi-30mki · 10 replies
    GIZMODO Australia ^ | 02/02/2016 | CAMPBELL SIMPSON
    A submission to a Senate inquiry into the feasibility of Government’s planned purchase of at least 72 F-35 Lightning II fighter jets says that the multirole planes will be instantly outmatched in air superiority by the airborne wings of competing countries in the region like China and Indonesia, and will fare even worse against future threats. It suggests — hypothetically — that Australia instead push for the F-22 Raptor, a jet that the United States has never sold to even its closest military allies. In the submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade’s Joint Strike...
  • Australians Taking Advantage of Lessons Learned with New Growler

    07/30/2015 5:50:37 AM PDT · by sukhoi-30mki · 4 replies
    National DEFENSE ^ | 7/29/2015 | Allyson Versprille
    Boeing and the U.S. Navy presented the first EA-18G Growler tactical jamming and electronic protection aircraft to the Royal Australian Air Force at a rollout ceremony in St. Louis, Missouri, July 29. In June 2014, the RAAF awarded Boeing the contract for 12 Growlers to be purchased under a foreign military sales agreement. The ceremony marked the presentation of the first Growler to Australia, the only foreign country to acquire the aircraft so far. The Growler is a derivative of the F/A-18 Super Hornet. The Australian Growler has some features not on the U.S. version. It has an advanced targeting...
  • Airfield puts Australia in reach of Chinas strategic bombers: Reports

    11/25/2014 4:23:08 AM PST · by sukhoi-30mki · 18 replies
    NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA NETWORK ^ | NOVEMBER 25, 2014
    AN air base being built on a disputed island chain is raising eyebrows as its puts Chinese strategic bombers in range of Australia for the first time. Defence Publication IHS Janes says analysis of satellite photographs shows China is turning Fiery Cross Reef in the contentious Spratly Islands into a land mass big enough to hold a military air base. The construction work shows China is enforcing its claim on the mineral and oil-rich chain of islands which are also claimed by Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei and the Philippines. Beijing claims nearly all of the resource-rich South China Sea. The...
  • Missiles go cheap: defences fire sale (PHOTO)

    11/10/2014 6:39:03 AM PST · by sukhoi-30mki · 3 replies
    The Australian ^ | NOVEMBER 11, 2014 | Cameron Stewart
    AUSTRALIA is quietly exporting dozens of missiles to other countries to try to recoup some of the $200 million it has wasted on them in botched military purchases. The Australian Defence Force has sold 30 anti-ship Penguin missiles to Brazil via Norway, several to New Zealand and two Popeye air-to-surface missiles to South Korea since the start of last year. The sales have been conducted without publicity, in part, because they are an embarrassing reminder of failed defence protects that have cost taxpayers more than $1.4 billion. The sale of any missile is highly unusual for Australia, which is an...
  • Critics Of A Missile Australia Wants For Its F-35s Say It Can Make Its Own Decision To Kill

    10/24/2014 2:37:02 AM PDT · by sukhoi-30mki · 8 replies
    Business Insider, Australia ^ | 10/24/2014 | PETER FARQUHAR
    Picture courtesy of Kongsberg. Australias new fighter jets could be armed with controversial robot-controlled missiles that critics claim can make decisions to kill without human interference. The Joint Strike Missile is close to final development by Norways Kongsberg Gruppen. Its a $1.3 billion bet by the country to make it the standard weapon for the F-35. Back in June, Australia was one of the first countries to express interest in arming its F-35 fleet with the JSM. Its also been pitched to Japan and South Korea but now its close to completion, its looking increasingly likely to become the missile...
  • Australian Super Hornet refuels over Iraq

    10/07/2014 9:58:37 AM PDT · by Ready4Freddy · 42 replies
    ABC (Australia) ^ | 10/5/2014 | ADF: Sgt Hamish Paterson
    Great pic, but begs some questions. Doesn't this look a bit too close for comfort, or is it not as close as it appears? Who would be flying that close to a refueling op, and why? The cockpit frame visible in the lower righthand corner suggests that it's not the other Aussie 18E/F that has flown thus far.
  • RAAF fighters and Super Hornets ready to fight IS in Iraq

    09/29/2014 12:18:51 PM PDT · by sukhoi-30mki · 15 replies
    News.com.au ^ | SEPTEMBER 27, 2014
    AFTER spending weeks locked in briefing rooms poring over maps and intelligence reports the RAAFs top-gun strike fighter pilots are ready to take up the fight to murderous Islamic militants in Iraq. Since Tuesday dozens of the Super Hornet pilots and air combat officers (ACOs) have been working in secure air-conditioned briefing rooms at task group headquarters at al-Minhad air base near Dubai reviewing tasking orders, combat reports and preparing for war. Meanwhile teams of weapons technicians and so-called black handers, who arm and maintain the lethal $70 million strike jets, are working long shifts in a huge air conditioned...
  • RAAF declares JASSM fully operational

    05/30/2014 8:29:14 PM PDT · by sukhoi-30mki · 1 replies
    Australian Aviation ^ | May 29 2014
    The RAAFs AGM-158A Joint Air-to-Surface Stand-Off Missile (JASSM) has achieved its Final Operational Capability (FOC), Minister for Defence, Senator David Johnston has announced. The weapon which is built by Lockheed Martin and is also in use by the USAF was acquired under Project AIR 5418 to give the RAAFs classic Hornet fleet a 300km+ stand-off precision strike capability. The Joint Air-to-Surface Stand-Off Missile is now fully in service and is an extremely capable, long range missile that meets the future requirements of Air Force, Senator Johnston said in a statement. Successful JASSM integration forms a key piece of...
  • RAAF Super Hornets conduct Harpoon trial flights

    05/09/2014 10:38:51 PM PDT · by sukhoi-30mki · 4 replies
    An RAAF Super Hornet taxis with live Harpoon ASuW missiles. (Defence) The F/A-18Fs of the RAAFs 82WG based at Amberley have been conducting trial flights with Boeing AGM-84J Harpoon anti-surface warfare (ASuW) missiles in recent weeks. The trials are part of the development of systems, procedures and training to employ the Harpoon with a full operational clearance, and are based on those used by the US Navy. A Defence spokesperson told Australian Aviation that the Harpoon will complement the Raytheon AGM-54C-1 JSOW precision weapon in the Super Hornets ASuW arsenal. In a written response to questions, the spokesperson said: The...
  • Federal Government to announce purchase of 72 stealth fighter jets for RAAF

    04/22/2014 3:17:58 PM PDT · by naturalman1975 · 23 replies
    news.com.au ^ | 23rd April 2014
    THE Abbott Government will purchase 72 advanced American-built stealth fighter jets to spearhead the nations defence for the next half century. The $12.4 billion through-life outlay, to be announced in Canberra today by the Prime Minister, is the biggest defence purchase in Australian history and includes every aspect of the system from hangars to missiles. The so-called fifth generation JF-35 Lightning Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) planes will be deployed in three operational squadrons and a training squadron based at RAAF Williamtown near Newcastle in NSW and RAAF Tindal near Katherine in the Northern Territory. About $1.6 billion will be spent...
  • RAAF overlooks Saab Gripen for more expensive, controversial Joint Srike Fighter

    04/16/2014 12:53:10 AM PDT · by sukhoi-30mki · 5 replies
    News Corp Australia ^ | APRIL 09, 2014
    Saab Gripen ... a single engine, two-crew, multi-role fighter made in Sweden. Source: News Corp Australia THIS is the low-cost, high performance fighter jet that Australia overlooked when the RAAF spent more than $6 billion to fill a capability gap between its retiring F-111 and Hornet fleets and the controversial stealth F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The Saab Gripen is a single engine, two-crew, multi-role fighter made in Sweden and according to the builder it costs about $US7000 an hour to run compared to $US11,000 for the Boeing Super Hornet operated by the Royal Australian Air Force and $21,000 an hour...
  • Australia confirms A$4 billion P-8A buy

    02/20/2014 9:09:23 PM PST · by sukhoi-30mki · 6 replies
    Flight Global ^ | 02/21/2014 | Greg Waldron
    Australia has confirmed that it will acquire eight Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, with the first examples to be delivered in 2017. The aircraft will be fully operational by 2021, says prime minister Tony Abbott in a statement. His statement pegs the deals value at A$4 billion ($3.6 billion). These state-of-the-art aircraft will dramatically boost Australias ability to monitor its maritime approaches and patrol over 2.5 million square kilometres of our marine jurisdiction an area equating to nearly 4 per cent of the worlds oceans, says Abbott. Canberra has also approved an option for an additional four examples....
  • RAAF pilots starts Growler training

    11/05/2013 8:42:22 PM PST · by sukhoi-30mki · 11 replies
    Australian Associated Press ^ | NOVEMBER 06, 2013
    THE first pilot instructor for the RAAF's new Growler electronic warfare aircraft has started training in the United States. Flight Lieutenant Sean Rutledge is stationed with the US Pacific Fleet Electronic Attack Wing at the Naval Air Station Whidbey Island in Washington state. He will be qualified to instruct other RAAF aircrew on the operation of 12 EA-18G Growlers Australia is buying from the US. During the next three years, six RAAF crews, each comprising a pilot and electronic warfare officer, will learn to fly Growlers at the US Navy's Electronic Attack Squadron 129 at Patuxent River, Maryland. Wing Commander...
  • US recruits Aussies for flying bomb

    03/13/2013 1:04:49 AM PDT · by sukhoi-30mki · 3 replies
    The Australian ^ | March 12, 2013 | BRENDAN NICHOLSON
    US recruits Aussies for flying bomb AN Australian company has been picked by the US to produce wings for a flying bomb that will allow it to glide nearly 65km, effectively turning it into a medium range guided missile. The invention turns a conventional "dumb" bomb, which simply drops from an aircraft, into a joint direct attack munition "smart" bomb that glides to its target. The strap-on "wings", developed in large part by Australia's Defence Science and Technology Organisation and tested at the Woomera rocket range, extend the range of an existing "smart" bomb from around 28km to 80km. As...
  • Defence set to buy Super Hornets over cutting-edge fighter

    01/29/2013 12:59:52 AM PST · by sukhoi-30mki · 9 replies
    The Courier, Australia ^ | Jan. 28, 2013 | David Wroe
    Defence set to buy Super Hornets over cutting-edge fighter AUSTRALIA will almost certainly be forced to buy 24 new Super Hornet fighter planes at a cost of about $2 billion to plug a looming gap in its air defences amid delays in the purchase of the cutting-edge Joint Strike Fighter. According to a leaked draft of the 2013 defence white paper, just two Lockheed Martin JSFs will be delivered to Australia by 2020. This strongly indicates that the government will need to buy rival Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornets, which are cheaper but older and less stealthy than the JSF. ''By...
  • Australias Super Hornet to EA-18G Growler conversion moves ahead

    04/03/2012 12:56:09 AM PDT · by U-238 · 2 replies
    RP Defense ^ | 2/2/2012 | RP Defense
    The Australian Government is moving ahead with the conversion of the Royal Australian Air Force's (RAAF) 12 Boeing-built F-18 Super Hornet fighter aircraft to the EA-18G model, dubbed Growlers, under a refit programme. Australia's Defence Minister Stephen Smith and Defence Materiel Minister Jason Clare said in a joint statement that more than $19m will be spent for the purchase of lead item electronic equipment. The long lead item electronic equipment for the conversion include electronic systems, antennas and high frequency modulation receivers that will be procured through the US Foreign Military Sales route. The Government has already formally delivered a...
  • F-35 delays may cost Australia billions

    03/22/2012 11:10:29 PM PDT · by U-238 · 1 replies · 1+ views
    UPI ^ | March 22, 2012 | UPI
    Australian Defense Minister Stephen Smith has decided to delay an order for more JSF F-35 fighters. The Royal Australian Air Force is scheduled to receive a second batch of 58 Joint Strike Fighters, and Smith's decision to delay the order is being criticized, as it may increase their final cost. Both Ministry of Defense and industry critics say the decision could create the air warfare capability gap the government says it is trying to avoid, The Canberra Times reported Thursday. Last month Smith told Parliament he worried that ''a delay in the production of the Joint Strike Fighter and the...
  • Australian Committee Hearing Reveals Details of F-35 Performance in Wargame

    03/14/2012 8:29:39 PM PDT · by U-238 · 15 replies · 1+ views
    Defense Aerospace ^ | 3/14/2012 | Defense Aerospace
    The Australian Parliaments Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade has just released a transcript of a Feb. 7, 2012 hearing during which it took evidence on the F-35 program by noted opponents of the program, representing the Air Power Australia think-tank and a private computer simulation firm, RepSim Pty Ltd. Part of the hearing describes the outcome of a famous but disputed simulation of F-18E and F-35 fighters engaging in combat against Chinese air force fighters carried out by the Rand Corporation. The outcome is even more disastrous for the Western fighters than previously reported. http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articles-view/verbatim/4/133273/f_35-fares-worse-in-rand-wargame.html