AIR FORCE

The Air Force must be centred around an Air Superiority platform in light of the equipment being fielded in the region. An advanced long range multi-role fighter is the best choice given our existing ground attack and strike requirements. With projected advances in Radar and IR detection Australia should not accept intrinsically inferior flying platforms like the F-35 that relies heavily on its present day stealth and sensor advantage. Hypothetical future aircraft, like a 'FJ-23', a cross between an F-23 and J-20, would be the most satisfactory solution. Significant numbers of these aircraft must be acquired.

The 'FJ-23' Air Superiority Multi-Role Aircraft:

[The above picture is actually concept art for a Chinese J-XX aircraft but this picture fortuitously includes the desired features of a FJ-23, with canards and trailing vertical stabilisers that allow control of the aircraft at high angles of attack. Notice that this aircraft has some separation between its engines that allows for more fuel, weapons and rear facing sensors.]

The secondary requirement, in terms of front line capability would be the acquisition of a long range medium bomber that can fulfill the role of the retired F-111s. Ideally an enlarged version of the FB-23 concept would be the most preferred option.

The FB-23 Medium Bomber:

[This aircraft should also be designed with significant space between the engines to allow for fuel, weapons and sensors. If such medium bombers are unavailable then greater numbers of long range multi-role "FJ-23" type fighters, or their equivalent, will need to be ordered.]

UAV Squadrons:

A 2024-2030 Air Force will need at least 2 Squadrons of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). One will consist of a Strike Squadron that will field Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (X-47Bs or better) while the other Strategic Surveillance Squadron and will comprise of Global Hawks and ultra long duration Airship UAV platforms:

[1 Squadron of UCAVs. In this case X-47B concept art.]

              [1 Squadron of surveillance UAVs - in this case we see an ultra-long endurance Airship/AEW platform.]


KEY AIR FORCE COMPONENTS:

The core composition of the Air Force is summarised as follows:

(100) 'FJ-23' Air Superiority Multi-Role Aircraft > or a similar platform such as the Eurofighter Typhoon, Sukhoi T-50 PAK FA, F-15SE Silent Eagle or Lockheed F-22s. Alternatively a lower cost aircraft like the Saab Gripen NG could be attained in much larger numbers.

(32) FB-23 Medium Bombers or an equivalent amount of 'FJ-23s' that include at least 8 E/FB-23 electronic warfare platforms operating in a role similar to the EF-111 Raven.

(1) Squadron of UCAVs - for strategic strike and other high threat missions.

(1) Squadron of UAV/AEW platforms - for strategic recon and maritime patrol consisting of Global Hawk and ultra long endurance Airship UAVs.

(6) AWACs aircraft - currently Wedgetail 737s in service.

(7) KC-30A refueling tankers - in service.

(5) A400M Atlas dual use airlifter/tankers (see ADF Air Transport).

(10+) P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol aircraft (upgraded to include a MAD detector):


The last key component, but certainly not least, is the JORN over-the-horizon long range radar system:



Training and 'COIN' Aircraft:

Since the Air Force should look to field multi-purpose platforms wherever possible, training aircraft must be usable in the Counter Insurgency (COIN) role, being able to employ air-to-ground missiles, JDAM or LGBs, whilst also having useful air-to-air capabilities. All training aircraft must double as COIN systems to improve the ability of smaller Australian Army units and special forces patrols to defeat larger conventional forces.

(55) Hawk 127 lead in jet trainers increased from 33 presently fielded:


These aircraft can have inflight refuelling probes attached and should also be able to carry anti-ship missiles in the future. The platforms should be fitted with a (future) front and rear facing air intercept AESA radar pod to allow one or more aircraft in a formation to provide air defence - especially against radar equipped and missile armed helicopters. These jets should additionally be able to field the AN/ASQ-236 Radar Pod (for all weather recon mapping) in addition to their standard FLIR (that notably includes laser designation) capability.

(65) Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucanos:


These aircraft are to replace the current PC9 trainers and should be able to carry FLIR pods or the radar pods mentioned for the Hawk 127s - especially the proposed AESA air intercept system for anti-helicopter operations.

(5) MiG-35 Fulcrum Fs:


These super-manoeuvrable aircraft are to be used in air combat training exercises and must be updated with the best available systems including thrust vectoring engines.


ADF Air Transport Capability can be reviewed here.

20 comments:

  1. The RAAF should in my opinion produce three planes based on a new supercruising, high-performance, next generation common powerplant with Adaptive Versatile Engine Technology. A long range multirole air supremacy fighter (like pakfa), a long range fighter-bomber (like a 5th gen FB111) and a cheap single engined multirole plane (with low maintenance cost/work, turn arround time and take off requirements like gripen) perhaps with 2-4 internal weapon bays (or at least room for 4 internally carrier AMRAAMS) running along the sides of the cental intake, and room for 4-8 SDBII/CUDA missiles on centerline. Kinda like an F16XL.

    All three planes should super-cruise (mach 2.2+ preferably), should be truly multirole, that is too say A2A, A2G and Electronic Warfare capable (with an optional EW suite like EF18 growler), irregardless of whether they are specialized in A2A or A2G, and should have carrier versions. The two high-end planes should have a combat radius in excess of 2,200KM, and all three planes should have IRST and target pods for ground bombing.

    Potential partners in making one or more planes, with existing or stated intention to develop a 5th generator fighter, Turkey, South Korea, Japan, India, Boeing, SAAB (maybe also sweden). Other potential partners, Rolls-Royce, Bombardier and other private aeronautics companies, singapore, france, maybe brazil etc..etc..

    Ideally Australia would be able to purchase things like the PW119 powerplant and F22 radar, but I don't think the USA will export the F22, its parts or the technology. Or perhaps production license or technology from the AL41 could be aquired, and/or a evoloution of the design could be jointly developed. It would be preferable however to have a superior, higher thrust and more efficent engine that could supercruise much faster.

    A 4 engine supersonic bomber could also be built arround the powerplant, designed to carry at least 4 15,000IB thermobardic bomb, in addition to numerous smaller bombs and A2A missiles, in coalition with russia, india or maybe japan.

    _________ COST:
    At agressive costings of 50M per longrange fighter-bomber/air-superiority and 33M per single engine plane, depreciation calculated upon a lifetime of 25 years, and 4m and 2m operating costs respectively, a fleet of 500 (300AS, 200Fighter-bombers) and 500 single engine planes would cost 4.6Bn per year (including depreciation) or 41.5Bn in procurement costs, which isn't unafordable, it is equivelant to 0.28% of ANZ gdp if jointly operated. Even if operational costs were double it would still be under 0.5% of GDP, which would only be 25% of military expenditure if we spent only 2% of GDP on national security. For comparison USAF F15E costs about 9M each, but their is much corruption and bureaucracy, they are older and aircarfts and engines can be built to be more maintainable(cheaper).

    And if a bomber cost 250M and 10M each operating with 25 year it would be only 2Bn a year, if it cost double to make and run (which would put it up arround the target price of americas replacement bomber and current B1 operating costs, which are expensive) it would only be 4Bn. Even with the higher estimates total cost fall below 0.8% of GDP, or 40% of military budget if it is at 2% (nato-minimum). Clearly affordable, although at 2% it leaves little room for much in the way of an army after the navy, clearly it would be better to spend 3-4% of GDP on military, and maybe 1% on research/development (State owned enterprises, infrastructure/utilities, economic grants) and space.
    >http://elpdefensenews.blogspot.co.nz/2013/01/usaf-cost-per-flying-hour-data-for-2012.html

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    1. As a partner country in further 5th Gen development I'd also add in Canada. They need alternatives to the F-35 which cannot perform the air superiority role - among other things. The design team needs to be kept independent too. They need to build the best cost effective aircraft they can without too much meddling.

      I agree with your idea of three types of aircraft - and especially your reference to a utility near that of a F-16XL or Gripen. In the scenario above I see the Super Tucanos and Hawk trainers acting as the cheap (non-stealthy) TACAIR platforms, having limited defensive capability against high end A2A threats, and operating with 5th Gen multirole top cover which can also bomb. The fictional FB-23 would also be acting as TACAIR although it would not be cheap to run. Strike missions, would be carried out by the two stealthy 5th Gen platforms using stand off weapons. If a stealthy Gripen-like aircraft appears I'll take that but I can accept a cheap non-stealthy aircraft, protected by top cover, to act as a bomb truck.

      Originally I didn't want to carry too many different jet powered fighter aircraft types to keep costs under control. Perhaps the TACAIR bomb truck role could be fulfilled by expanded numbers of jet trainers - as already indicated on this page. The Hawk 127 numbers could be increased to 50-60 and then replaced by a more advanced, cheap to run, 2 seat 'trainer' in the future. (I will probably update the page to increase the numbers of Hawk 127s.)

      Note that I have a side linked column called *Immediately Workable ADF Equipment and Structure in which the RAAF Super Hornets are retained in the 'bomb truck' role with F-15Ks operating in the Strike and vital Air Superiority mission. The running costs of the F-18s are not ideal (compared to a shorter ranged Gripen E), but it's workable, I get some ECM capability, and I still keep the Tucanos and Hawks.

      I certainly agree that your 50M per plane costings are very aggressive for a 5th Gen Air Superiority platform ! :) I was thinking of a figure in the 100 million category and an F-111 replacement costing more than that.

      Thanks for your input.

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    2. Sorry for the delay, I think 2-3 types is the optimal number because unless you are developing an aditional plane as a CAS or short-take of vertical landing like the harrier (for marines) then you are just duplicating capacity, for roles you already have a soloution for.

      I think it is preferable that these planes are developed not necessarily independently, largely from scratch and specifically for Australia's unique position (primarily the requirement for very long range planes) using modern technology. Especially given the cost of alternatives, I think the 50m target is dooable, not necessary easy, but dooable, that is roughly what a F18, Su35/SU27 and pakfa is going for.

      I think at least the larger bomber plane should, at the very least be designed but not fitted for some degree of advanced ECM, TU-22 for instance has radar jammers, and be modifiable to a dedicated ECM varriant, similar to the F111s during the operation desert storm.

      Regarding stand-off munitions it is worth noting that the latest JDAM-ER has a range of around 100KM, alot of SAM systems like ASTER30 or s-350 and some s-400s have a range of about 120KM, with an elongated weapons bay in the F111 replacement designed to fit internal cruise missiles, an improved, longer version with more wing area and potentially powered could be designed to exceed the range of these SAMs. Improved, larger alternatives to SDBIIs could be designed also, with even longer range. I would say, the ability to carry INTERNALLY 2 air-mounted versions of the Perseus missile, for anti-ship/surface-warfare, and for taking out defended air-defence systems, and some A2A missiles (2-4+), would be a bare minimum requirement.

      Its worth noting that the pakfa, a plane which both russia and india are slated to buy about 500ea for 50Mea, would probably come pretty close to my desired performance specifications for a fighter plane (although probably being a tad short in the range and speed criteria), I think this is probably better for australia than the F22, which will probably cost 4x+ more. Lacking political will a plane like the PAKFA should be considered for procurement, with a replacement to the F111B being designed as a multinational effort using some of the same part's i.e. powerplant. Additionally it appears that india, a far poorer country with a similar nominal GDP, is probably going to be operating a fleet numbering over 1,000 aircrafts, before including their navy.

      I do believe that a substantial airforce of 500-1000 fighter planes is viable, even if most costs doubled it would probably still be under 50% of military expenditure at 2% of GDP (nato minimum, and without building strategic bombers). A force like that, although confined (without foreign airbases) to operating near australia, would probably make it nearly unassailable by itself.

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    3. Additionally the planes could be designed at the same time, by one or two design teams, to feature a high amount of commonality to reduce development and production costs, i.e. same power-plant, radar system (just different numbers of transceivers/receivers), same ECM systems, common cockpit design and avionics, common stealth coatings/materials, etc..etc.. And this work could be shared, through partnerships.

      And the lower end plane could be a joint project with a small coalition of aerospace partners like SAAB and DENEL who would see the demand for an affordable lower-end, but still very capable plane (like F16+, which operates like grippen, and has maybe 2-4 internal A2A missiles) for domestic use and export, but do not wish to pay for the entire project and bear all the risk.

      These partnerships are probably the best way to go, until Australia can develop its own aerospace industry. Also I believe a Startegic bomber armed with Thermobaric blockbusters is important given Australia's lack of a nuclear deterence, and would be good as a naval bomber, carrying many large ASMs and against ground formations, especially if it had fuel drogues for refuelling escorts.

      IMO Buying pre-existing planes, which do not meet range requirements to project power across Indonesia, to control the skies, the waters, strategic shipping lanes, and destroy any inbound fleet should be a last resort. In the event of a war in the far-east, spilling over to Oceania, it would be desireable to at the very least hold invaders at indonessia, and prevent them from turning it into an unsinkable aircraft carrier, and a base for invading australia. It would also be desireable, to sink any incoming fleet from a distance which puts ANZ outside of the striking range of their airplanes. Furthermore if catobar variants were made, it would lay the foundation for fielding carriers, with a significant range advantage, which means they could straddle foreign carriers, outside of their range. The austraian military should at the least, be capable of bottling the far east up from the south, while america holds off the east. And off repealing any potential surprise landings, during a war (keeping in mind that it would probably be necessary to occupy parts of the asia-pacific during a war, to secure basing and deny it to the enemy).

      The real problem, is that there aren't really any existing planes that can replace the capabilities of the F111. However if aus is to go with pre-existing western planes, it should try and get F15SE/K, F16s (XL or Jap version, especially to carry naval bombs, like japan uses theirs to do) and F18-ASH (with option to make CATOBAR compatible) with technology from the F22/F35, i.e. PW119 engines with 3d vector thrust (and reverse thrust for reduced landing req), stealth coatings/materials, wing mounted radar, helmet-mounted displays, etc..etc.. Perhaps even looking at the price of having second-hand F16s factory refurbished and upgraded to the XL or F2 standard, with PW119s (very similar size/weight).

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  2. Having a great deal more combat aircraft would certain write off Australia as a target and is an excellent objective to consider.

    The problem, as you have pointed out, is acquiring a 21st century air superiority fighter with range. At the moment the Russian Su-35s and PAK FAs look to fit the bill best of all. Otherwise the next best off the shelf available aircraft seems to be a multi-role derivative of the F-15 (barring an new upgraded FA-22).

    The Indian variant of the PAK FA will probably end up costing closer to 100 million rather than 50 million, with the finished Russian product costing considerably more than 50 million which seems to be a low estimate. The Su-35 cost per aircraft is estimated to be in the 40 to 60 million range. We'll have to wait an see the final price for the Indian PAK FAs.

    In light of this situation, I remain hopeful that the F-35 proves to be a dog and that, combined with the threat of the new Russian and Chinese 5th Gen aircraft, efforts to construct new fifth gen western aircraft will be undertaken.

    Ideally, it would also be a good thing to increase Australian fighter numbers to 150+ aircraft if the def budget hits 2% of GDP or greater. 500 aircraft seems a tad out of reach, especially with ongoing running costs which include personnel (this also applies to your NAVY section comments).

    I also favour thermobaric munitions for obvious reasons too.

    Overall the airforce needs to find something a lot better than the F-35 which is not an A2A specialist. All your suggestions seem in the right ball park and will certainly give readers something to think about.

    Thanks for your comments.

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  3. While I admire your enthusiasm, both of you, I think some of the suggestions are purely fanciful, unless this is not supposed to be based in reality? With regards to designing and building our own Gen5+ aircraft, seriously? Have you seen the costs involved in designing just one aircraft like the F-22 or the F-35, let alone 3? It is simply not feasible in any stretch of the imagination for a country like Australia to even conceive of such an idea. We have neither the population base to even pay for something like this, even with partner countries nor do we have any of the advanced aerospace design capabilities required for designing such an aircraft. There is a reason we tie in to US FMS or MOTS. It is simply more realistic, easier and cheaper to let someone else who has the expertise to do the job.

    While the F-35 has had some concerning design and build issues, I think it is naive and premature to write it off as inferior to Chinese and Russian designs. Any negative views of the F-35 are based solely on speculation and little to no substance. I don't know what the anti F-35 mafia's issue is, but they have an axe to grind for sure, maybe rightfully so in terms of how the F-35 was marketed etc. However, the F-35 is simply the best choice for RAAF's next fighter aircraft. Speaking to a few RAAFies who actually know what they are talking about, the F-35 is the best choice right now, there is simply no alternative unless we want to get a less capable Gen4. If that was the case, we may as well stick with the Rhino/Growler mix.

    RAAF doesn't need, nor want 3 vastly different aircraft types. It wants as few differing platforms as possible to reduce costs and improve logistics sustainability. The costs of running 3 different fighter/bomber platforms would be prohibitively expensive especially in a more fiscally constrained environment. Operating both the F-35A and B models should not raise any further risks to costs or logistics given parts commonality and close operational ties with the US. Rationalising the fleet to 1 or 2 main fighter aircraft types is as far as RAAF will go. As far as buying Russian made... Australia WILL NEVER purchase Russian military equipment. NEVER. And the F-22 is DEAD. No more will ever be made. The YF-23, as sexy as it is, is also long dead. The next best platform to start looking at is the F/A-XX or Next Generation Air Dominance platform which the US Navy is looking at to replace their Rhino fleet circa 2025. Australia has no need for a long range bomber. Future long range strike munitions will fill that role and requirement for RAAF needs.

    I do agree that RAAF needs some kind of CAS platform, based probably on the Pilatus PC-21. I base this not on what I like personally, but on what RAAF will more than likely choose for its PC-9 replacement. Running the Hawks as light attack aircraft is possible as far as the platform goes, but it's simply not what RAAF got them for. I would also suggest expanding the buy of C-27J Spartan to roughly 18-22 to invest in the MC-27J Pretorian Multi-Mission (Gunship) and EC-27 Jedi Electronic Warfare Platform.

    I would also like to see RAAF invest heavily in next generation UAV/UCAV platforms capable of Launch/Recovery on the LHD's....

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  4. As far as platforms and numbers go I would suggest something like this (remember, I am using platforms RAAF will or might actually get, nothing really fanciful):

    54x F-35A (2x Squadrons + 1x OCU Squadron)
    18x F-35B (1x Squadron operating from notional RAN Light/Med Carrier (Cavour))
    72x F/A-XX NGAD (3x Squadrons + 1x OCU Squadron)
    72x Pilatus PC-21 (1x CAS/JTAC (No. 4) Squadron/ 3x Training Squadrons)
    36x Hawk 127 LIF (2x Training/Support Squadrons)
    6x E7A-Wedgetail
    8x KC-30A (+3 on actual number, 5 is not really enough)
    12x P8-A Poseidon
    8x MQ-4C Triton
    12x MQ-1C Grey Eagle
    12x Avenger/Sea Avenger (Predator C) Tail 2
    8x C-17 (Another 2 before production ends)
    12x C-130J Super Hercs
    22x C-27J Spartan (8x Standard/4x Jedi/6x Pretorian)

    About a 30'ish percent increase in airframes over the current RAAF fleet, but I think far more cost effective and realistic than your alternatives. I am neither pro/neg the F-35. Yes it has issues that should have never happened, lacks in some areas, but in terms of its potential and capabilities, is leagues more advanced than Rus/Chinese developments.

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  5. Bear with me there are many things to comment on, regarding the 50M figure that was brought up I believe by the russians, and does not seem unfeasible considering existing 4++ Russian Twin-engine planes are going for around 40-50M ea and are not in particularly high rates of production, this compares favourably to the F18 which used to be around 50M but has shot up to 75M+ (presumably because production is coming to an end and decreasing).

    That 50M is therefore meerly a target, and it should be aim to remain internationally competitive (especially when there is not the 'excuse' of something being labour intensive), especially for export opportunity, which really helps spread these program costs out. Ofcourse it is understandable if this target can not be reached, and it ends up being more in the range of 75-100M, Australia can still afford way more planes that it currently has, and the main cost of these systems is actually running costs (which would be arround 5M a year from memory using USAF figures from the F15, which I believe is a fair comparison), so that means a 50-100% increase in procurement cost is not actually that large on an annual total-cost basis.

    At say (100M*500P)/20Y(ears)+5*500 we get a figure of 5Bn which is 5/30 of AU defence budget pegged at 2% of GDP. Keep in mind that not necessarily all 500 planes need to be fancy ones, some could be cheaper single engine 4++ planes.

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  6. Cost aside, regarding an Australian 5th generation fighter program it is unfair to call it unreasonable, there is nothing unreasonable, unrealistic or unfeasible (besides a lack of political will, and a misconception that because everything the US does is expensive, that any australian military porgram will also be expensive) about it. Especially considering the plan, my plan was never for australia, a country with very little in the way of aviation industry to develop it on its own, rather to cooperate with many different partners, countries with their own programs (like Turkey/Japan), countries without like (singapore) as well as private companies with a proven track record of delivering (like SAAB, maybe BAE) to bring costs down, speed-up development time, and increase the quality of the final result by utilizing work that is already done and their pre-existent aviation industries.

    And come out at the other end of this program with something resebling a domestic aviation industry, even if that industry remains for the foreseable future interlocked with foreign aeronautics companies. Which means I am not even calling for australia to necessarily take a major-role in development, although I am sure that it is more than capable given time, provided there is foreign assistance from a company like SAAB to establish a State-owned-Enterprise.


    My intention is not to field a large number of airframe types, rather to develop two variants of a single plane with high technical and part comonality, a multirole air-supremacy plane (i.e. think pakfa) and a Strike-fighter (think modern day equivelant of the F110 Missiler) which would also have the same powerplant or a revision-derivitive thereoff. The third type, a cheaper, low-level, 4th generation, single engine plane, again integrating much of the same parts (or variants thereoff) akin to the Jas-39 Grippen is more of an afterthought, would have good export potential in emerging markets and smaller countries and would be a way to comercialize the project and keep the factories rolling.

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  7. Regarding your force-structure/composition, my main gripe is that there are far, far too many types, Secondly that they don't meet the reach requirements australia has and makes her 100% dependent upon america (and their supply lines). They are also expensive. I would classify types of planes thusly, and recomend further convergence particularly regarding survailance and support planes:

    Combat:
    [^]Strike-Fighter
    [^]Multirole 4th/5th editions
    Attack (I.e. SU25/A10)
    [^]Bomber/Survailance (avenger, sea-hawk etc..et..)

    Gunships (I particularly like these ones)
    Strategic bombers (conventional plane, subsonic stealth, supersonic)

    Survailance:
    Survailance-Reconaisance (think fast i.e. U2/SR72)
    Survailance-Endurance (i.e. Zephyr or any unarmed long-range drone really)

    [^]Ground survailance (J-STARS/Sentinel)
    [^]Aerial Survaillance (awac)
    [^]Sea Patrol (poseidon/orion)

    Support:
    [^]Tanker
    [^]Transport (tactical/strategic)
    [^]Trainer

    The ones affixed with '[^]' are the minimum required too achieve a functioning airforce capable of independently waging war and doing so effectively. I recomend further convergence, particularly regarding the survailance planes which at the very least should share a common base-plane, and the bomber-survailance drone which at the very least should be two variants of the same plane. I suppose ideally the hulls of such survailance planes and/or tanker might even be the same as a strategic/tactical airlift plane of some size. Thus simplifying 5 different airframes into one with multiple variants.

    This would mean only requiring 4-5 different airframes for the entire ADF, with multiple variants (some of which having structural differences). And allow for factory repurpusing/conversions for different roles, and probably for tanker-freight planes, and for all surveillance planes to have air-air refuelling capabilities.

    Regarding your dislike of russians, and insistence on not buying weapons from them that does not make much sense, especially when they would probably be willing to license products and technology, as they have been very reasonable with in the past, and especially considering they make the best SAMs in the world, along with some very good quality munitions, and alot of military components.

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  8. I'm basing my platforms and numbers purely on reality mate. Not on what if's or could be's. Any talk of 500+ fighter aircraft is ludicrous. It is not fiscally or operationally possible for the RAAF to even fly that number of fighters. Oh sure, I'm certain RAAF could have that many hanger queens laying about wasting billions of dollars while the rest of the ADF suffers. It's not airframes mate, it's costs of personnel, training and through life costs that you are NOT factoring on.

    Just as an aside, the entire F-35 project over 50 years is expected to cost over a trillion dollars just for the United States. Not every country puts in an equal amount of dollars as not every country expects to purchase the same amount of aircraft or has the money to invest in R&D. If Australia were to go ahead and create this all seeing all dancing fighter aircraft you want, we would bare the brunt of the costs, just like the United States is with the F-35 development.

    You are basing all your assumptions on baseless numbers without thinking of the real costs involved. You do realise that personnel and operating costs make up for well over 2/3 of the Defence Budget right? Next years budget only has $9 Billion earmarked for capital investment. Good luck funding the design and production stage of development for this fanciful aircraft while trying to buy a new fleet of surface combatants, submarines, patrol vessels, helicopters etc for RAN, and entirely fitting out the Army with new combat vehicles!

    My RAAF equipment list only has 3 new aircraft types in the list from what the RAAF is already actually getting in reality:

    1) F/A-XX NGAD Fighter
    2) MQ-1C Grey Eagle
    3) Avenger/Sea Avenger (Predator C) Tail 2

    I actually made a mistake with the MQ-1C, I would actually give that to Army. So that leaves only 2 new platforms in realistic numbers for RAAF. Completely within the bounds of possibility (ie personnel and operating costs).

    RAAF doesn't need every type of aircraft under the sun to achieve its aim of defending Australia's airspace. It needs one or two high quality, technologically superior platforms to dominate the sky with the help of JORN and sea based missile defence from the RAN. The ADF will not be going into combat against any peer or peer+ adversary by itself in the near future. Why do you think the ADF has invested so heavily in getting US based weapon systems? Because if the ADF deploys to any medium/high intensity conflict, it will be next to the United States ensuring interoperability with our platforms and parts/weapons commonality so we can feed into each others warstock, that is plain smart thinking. Our defence posture is based on the fact that in the event of war, we go to war with the United States, not by ourselves. Australia has too small a population and economy to go it alone and be self sufficient. We simply can not do it.

    As far as the Russian issue goes, it has nothing to do with liking or disliking the Ruskies, it has EVERYTHING to do with politics and interoperability. Not too mention, considering the current cold climate with the Russians, I doubt very much they would be willing to give us any more than a middle finger.

    Once again, I admire and respect your opinion, but you need a dose of reality.

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  9. Sigh.. So you didn't read what I actually said did you, because you would know that there is nothing unrealistic at all about it infact it was cited during a congressional report in 09 that total per unit operating cost of F15 was 2.4m each, adjusting for inflation that gives a figure of 2.9M, although I believe I did read somewhere in one of the budget documents that costs were as high as 5M a plane now. That document also cites costs for the entire air-superiority and global strike programs. You can look up the actual maintenance costs too I believe, although I don't have the time too now, the maths is simple though:

    (Procuement_Cost*Number_of_units/usefull_lifetime)+operating_costs per year*number of unuits+upgrades

    50*500/20+5*500=3750mn annualized
    100*500/20+5*500=5000mn annualized

    And FYI those annualized figures are well within Australias financial ability with mil-exp fixed at 2%GDP or 30bn a year, to afford to spend 5Bn+ a year on air-combat, any failure of military budget represents a management failure and not the lack of feasibility of australia expending 5/30ths of their national defence budget on combat aviation.

    http://www.hatch.senate.gov/public/_files/USAFResponse.pdf
    http://www.saffm.hq.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-130410-051.pdf






    And yesd RAF needs all three main types of survailance planes, long range strike-fighter, air-superiority plane, transport, tankers, survailance-bombers. They all have their roles, you cant go on sea-patrols hunting submarines very well with a strike-fighter now can you, or performing the awac role, or identifying ground targets over vast areas..... And FYI the F35 is not technically superior, and quoting the US R&D costs are a joke, no one else spends anything, anywhere near the USAF, they maybe spend 1/100th of what the us does, because the us is engaged in massive corporate welfare programs..... And is a very corrupt country... So I mean I would appreciate it if you didn't talk out of your butt and say that australia can't afford to spend 5/30th of national defence budget on combat aviation....


    It also makes little sense for the RAAF to have so many platforms, that indicates procurement failure, many other countries are moving towards systems convergence, it makes no sense to have 5 different platforms, for survailance planes, tankers, transporters, it really doesn't. I wish would stop being so closed minded and consider things like that, the same plane that serves as the base for one survailance plane, can probable be used for another, and another, and also be a tanker, and maybe a freight plane etc..etc.. Other countries are doing it, but noo, I am sure you will tell me there is some reason why it would never work in australia,....

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  10. Yeah, you've just illustrated complete lack of awareness in defence procurement, sustainment and support...again.

    If this was presented to Government/CDF, you'd be laughed out of the room. You have absolutely no idea of the costs involved in running the ADF do you? Like I said, over 2/3rds of the budget is personnel and operating costs. That leaves sweet bugger all to invest in capital equipment expenditure for the other important parts of the ADF like RAN and Army. Here is an actual REAL rundown of the costs involved in running Defence:

    Budget Overview (Defence and DMO)
    Budget Estimate (2014-15)
    (Total budget) 29,222.8 (% GDP) 1.8
    (Capital investment) 8,488.2 (% GDP) 0.5
    (Operating costs) 9,647.9 (% GDP) 0.6
    (Personnel Costs) 11,086.6 (% GDP) 0.7

    Tell me where exactly are you going to fit in paying for over 500 fighters? Or what you want to drop to gain this farce of a capability for $5 billion annually? Maybe slash operating costs for the Army vehicle fleet so they can't do any land warfare exercises or maybe slash the operational budget of the ANZACs and all the Collins boats?

    I'm not being closed minded buddy, I'm realistic. What exactly about the force structure, that is composed of current and future aircraft (bar the NGAD, Avenger and MQ-1C (which would be for Army anyway)) concerns you so much? That force structure is for all intents and purposes (minus the aforementioned) the future RAAF fleet, decided upon by people far smarter than you or me. If you want to talk about rationalising, sure, I could drop the NGAD fighter so there is only 1 type fighter aircraft (F-35), but what else is wrong exactly? Which ISR, tankers and transport aircraft would you rationalise into as few platforms as possible? By all means, tell the RAAF how to do their business! ;)

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  11. Personal attacks are a very poor argument, that figure of 50M is based upon the planned cost of the Russian T-50, which I must add is very similar to the current costs of their current fighter planes, and which again is similar to what the F18 cost not so long ago (assumably the recent price increase of the F18 is largely due to production coming to an end). Apart from looking at what comparble planes cost in other countries (which seems pretty consistent unless you are looking at screwupps) and using that as a base, I really don't see a better way off estimating cost short-of pricing up an existent plane component by component (or trying to simulate that by using price indexes, which will not be very accurate for numerous reasons). And I have been more than generous with the costing, having doubled what a modern mass-production fighter pretty much costs... So I would like to know what the problem with that figure is if anything.

    Additionally I got those figures for the operations and maintenance from the official US data, so I find it hard to believe that their is a problem their also, with those figures. I actually think that 5M figure included the personnel costs by the way, but I can't remember, and its really nitpicking at that stage, even if it was a million or two more it wouldn't make that much of a difference in whether or not australia could afford 500 warplanes.

    So yes, that figure of 5Bn I got, that included the annualized cost of procuring the systems (or its deprecitation) and the cost of running and operating it, but not necessarily the cost of the personnel or basing, again a million or so extra for that YEARLY (which is quiet alot of money) is hardly going to change the affordability. And yes there would definitely be some additional costs in there, especially regarding the creation of new major airbases (and expansion of existing ones), and probably some operational costs of those, that were not lumped into the USAF figures, but again a few billion dollars upfront and a Million or two yearly after that is hardly going to make it unaffordable...

    I think you are really being unreasonable here, to be fair it might be a bit higher (A bit not heaps) than that 3.75-5Bn a year for reasons aforementioned, but it would need to be alot higher than that and I don't think the exclusion of a few operating costs, the associated costs of basing, perhaps a few personnel that were not included, maybe a couple of munitions expended every year/month on exercises is going to increase it enough to change the overall picture.. Bearing in mind sweeden a country with far less people had fielded an airforce of 300 planes and did so when its economy (in real terms) was much smaller than it is now, and whilst maintaining a very formiddable army.

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  12. Regarding how I would pay for it, I would pay for it out of the military budget fixed at 2% of GDP which gives a figure of about 30Bn, if I buy this I essentially have around 25Bn or 83% of the budget left on an annual basis. Ofcourse the procurement costs of the planes would not automatically be split evenly over a 20 year period (which again is being extremely generous, since most countries operate the planes for say 40+year essentially halfing that annual cost), but they are split over a period of several years as they are being produced, and there would be several additional years before production starts which would allow that to be defrayed over 10+ years minimum (yes at the expense of present-day expenditure) before looking at credit lines to defray the cost over a greater share of the usefull period of the plane.

    This is necessary since there is not a great deal of working capital assigned to the military in addition to provisions for depreciation made on an annual basis, to maintain this working capital, so loans must be made to finance the working capital untill funds can be built up organically, or a capital injection made. Ofcourse lines of credit, to defray the procurement costs more evenly over the lifespan of the plane will cost money. Ultimately the poor financial state of the military is the result of political intereference from politicians and civil bueracrats who control the military budget and procurement costs, rather than assigning a fixed proportion of GDP to them.

    You will notice that buisinesses that dont account for depreciation either pay for their capital (machinery) out of their profits, or through credit (and sometimes, rarely capital injections).

    Regarding what is wrong with the current force structure:
    1.) Lack of planes
    2.) Too many different types of planes, overlap on roles, lack of convergence, etc..etc..
    3.) Lack of reach, planes do not have necessary reach (which is ok for europe for instance where everyone is right next to each other)
    4.) They are all american, that creates too much dependence, australia needs to diversify its military procurement to minimize risk (this is akin to putting all your money in one company share type, its just stupid).
    5.) There is much debate on how good much of this american stuff really is, or whether it is worth the huge premium you pay to buy 'american made' (which is a generalization, some of their stuff i.e. boeing, general dynamics, maybe even GE is fairly priced).
    6.) Everything australia gets from america is a cut-back half-assed version, and it very well may be compromised (as in americans have backdoors), which is suspected, and I believe why israel uses their own avionics. Other companies like SAAB have been very open about providing the entire source-code of their software, and allowing modifications. America not so much... It should be a requirement to have the source code, permission to edit it, and have it inspected along with the avionics for backdoors!!!!!
    >Number 6 is particularly important! The RAAF should be confident their planes are safe, free of backdoors or otherwise malicious code, that they can be updated as needed without requiring foreign approval, and in general that they have full controll over all planes they own.

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  13. And finally regarding the "ISR, tankers and transport" planes, I can refer you off the top of my head to two projects which involve a single base plane (albeit somewhat modified, structurally even) used for multiple such roles that have been been or are currently being developed.

    There is a Ukrainian/russian project, the an-70t and it had a tanker variant using roles royce jet-engines to compete for a US tanker contract. There is a Japanese plane a Kawasaki C-2/P-1 which are based on the same design and are planned to come in either tanker or patrol variants (the patrol variant having a flexible mission-bay capable of carrying a large variety and payload of military weapons. There is also considerations for a passenger version I believe. The Canadians are refitting some of their old hercules planes as tankers which is interesting. I also imagine that it would be really usefull if these cargo planes could also be used to help douse fires.

    Additionally numerous countries operate ISR planes that are bassically modified comercial private jets, sweeden for instance and signapore come to mind. And the USAF uses civilian plane as a base for the orion. The new UK tanker, and the old one (I believe) are tanker-transports, in that they can transport troops/and-or fuel, reducing the need for two seperate platforms. So there is plenty of room for convergence upon a single base-plane, as well as precedence.

    You should try to be open minded, and no I don't think the politicians and civilian buercrats that tell the military how to run themselves are very competent or intelligent, actually there is reason to believe that some of these weapons contracts (which have been signed violating your own procurement processes) are indeed done so out of corruption, indeed there is precedence for this, by many companies, DCNS and lockhead come into mind.

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  14. Ugh, I can see I'm getting nowhere here, so I'm done with this conversation, please continue along by yourself. My final words, Australia can not, in any way, acquire 500 fighter aircraft on top of all the other enabling forces that allow them to operate, unless the budget was well over an unrealistic $50 Billion+. We don't have the pilot training capacity, economic capability or reason for even having that many. It is a ludicrous idea, and any defence professional would tell you the same. Unless the defence budget was about 3% of GDP, which will not happen, then I'm afraid your ideas belong on the rubbish heap. You are not thinking critically or pragmatically when it comes to Defence procurement issues or funding. The reality is the ADF can not afford 500 damned fighter aircraft, nor could it afford an entire Airforce of 500 aircraft especially at 2% GDP. There are other funding requirements to take into consideration mate, not just fielding 500 hanger queens. No matter how much rubbish math you through at the idea, it's all BS based on worthless assumptions and absolutely zero substance.

    Stop dreaming and come back to reality, the world is a far more complicated place then you appear to be able to grasp.

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    Replies
    1. Declaring victory is not an argument mate, those figures were based on the actual US maintenance and operating cost figures for the F15 and the procurement costs on actual procurement costs of actual mass-production fighter planes, and the actual projected/planned costs of the russian 5th generation plane. This is actual data mate, the actual realworld costs that I have actually used to mathematically derive an estimate of the real-world cost of such a program to determine whether or not australia could afford it.

      And I have massively over-inflated the actual annualized procurement costs by doubling these real-world figures, and assuming an operational life that is half of what virtually (probably litteraly) all countries are running their planes for. And this is in addition to assuming all 500 planes will be large, state of the art, expensive to procure and operate warplanes, and that all planes will have a high-operations rate which is completely unrealistic!

      And you say Australia can not afford it, despite the numbers I ran with the real-world data indicating the complete opposite, that it doesnt even come to 20% of military expenditure! Remember we are talking reality here not fantasy, facts and numbers not feelings or emotions or whether or not you think its a good idea to invest the military budget in an actual military with meaningfull regional capabilities! So where are your figures that say otherwise? Because I have mine!

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  15. Technology Submission - State of the Art - Novel InFlow Tech - Featured Project Development; / ·1; Rotary-Turbo-InFlow Tech / - GEARTURBINE PROJECT Have the similar basic system of the Aeolipilie Heron Steam Turbine device from Alexandria 10-70 AD * With Retrodynamic = DextroRPM VS LevoInFlow + Ying Yang Way Power Type - Non Waste Looses *8X/Y Thermodynamic CYCLE Way Steps. Higher efficient percent. No blade erosion by sand & very low heat target signature Pat:197187IMPI MX Dic1991 Atypical Motor Engine Type /·2; Imploturbocompressor; One Moving Part System Excellence Design - The InFlow Interaction comes from Macro-Flow and goes to Micro-Flow by Implossion - Only One Compression Step; Inflow, Compression and outflow at one simple circular dynamic motion / New Concept. To see a Imploturbocompressor animation, is possible on a simple way, just to check an Hurricane Satellite view, and is the same implo inflow way nature.

    ReplyDelete
  16. State of the Art - Novel InFlow Tech - Featured Project Development; 1-Gearturbine, 2-Imploturbocompressor


    1-GEARTURBINE PROJECT

    Rotary-Turbo-InFlow Tech

    Atypical InFlow Thermodynamic
Technology Proposal Submission
Novel Fueled Motor Engine Type

    *State of the art Innovative concept Top system Higher efficient percent.*Power by bar, for Air-Planes, Sea-Boats, Land-Transport & Dynamic Power-Plant Generation.
-Have similar system of the Aeolipile Heron Steam device from Alexandria 10-70 AD.

    YouTube; * Atypical New • GEARTURBINE / Retrodynamic = DextroRPM VS LevoInFlow + Ying Yang Thrust Way Type - Non Waste Looses

    *8-X/Y Thermodynamic CYCLE - Way Steps:
1)1-Compression / bigger
2)2-Turbo 1 cold
3)2-Turbo 2 cold
4)2-Combustion - circular motion flames / opposites
5)2-Thrust - single turbo & planetary gears / ying yang
6)2-Turbo 2 hot
7)2-Turbo 1 hot
8)1-Turbine / bigger

    -With Retrodynamic Dextrogiro vs Levogiro Phenomenon Effect. / Rotor-RPM VS InFlow / front to front; "Collision-Interaction Type" - inflow vs blades-gear-move. Technical unique dynamic innovative motion mode.

    -Non waste parasitic looses for; friction, cooling, lubrication & combustion.

    -Shape-Mass + Rotary-Motion = Inertia-Dynamic / Form-Function Wide [Flat] Cylindrical shape + positive dynamic rotary mass = continue Inertia positive tendency motion. Kinetic Rotating Mass. Tendency of matter to continue to move. Like a Free-Wheel.

    -Combustion 2Two continue circular [Rockets] flames. [ying yang] opposite one to the other. – With 2TWO very long distance INFLOW [inside propulsion] CONDUITS. -4 TURBOS Rotary Total Thrust-Power Regeneration Power System. -Mechanical direct 2two [Small] Planetary Gears at polar position. -Like the Ying Yang Symbol/Concept.

    -The Mechanical Gear Power Thrust Point Wide out the Rotor circumference were have much more lever [HIGH Torque] POWER THRUST. -No blade erosion by sand & very low heat target signature profile. -3 points of power thrust; 1-flow way, 2-gear, 3-turbine. *Patent; Dic. 1991 IMPI Mexico #197187 All Rights Reserved. Carlos Barrera.




    ·2-IMPLOTURBOCOMPRESSOR; One Moving Part System Excellence Design - The InFlow Interaction comes from Macro-Flow and goes to Micro-Flow by Implossion - Only One Compression Step; Inflow, Compression and outflow at one simple circular dynamic motion Concept.

    *·“Excellence in Design" because is only one moving part. Only one unique compression step. Inflow and out flow at the same one system, This invention by its nature a logic and simple conception in the dynamics flow mechanics area. The invention is a wing made of one piece in a rotating motion, contained in a pair cavity system connected by implocavity, and interacting dynamically with a flow, that passes internally "Imploded" through its simple mechanism. This flow can be gas (air) or liquid (water). And have two different applications, in two different form-function; this one can be received (using the dynamic flow passage, as a receiver). Or it can be generated (with a power plant, generating a propulsion).

    An example cut be, as a Bike needs a chain to work from motor to wheel. And for the Imploturbocompressor application, cut be as; in a circumstance at the engine, as an A-activate flow, and with a a tube flow conduit going to the wheel as a B-receiving-flow the work use.

    To see a Imploturbocompressor animation, is posible on a simple way, just to check the Hurricane Satellite view, and is the same implo inflow way nature.

    The imploturbocompresor system have three direct ways and between make two different turns; direct way (entrance) - turn - direct way (implocavity) - turn - direct way (exit), all this in a 1 simple circular move system concept. Like a knot do.

    Its prudent to mention that the curves and the inclinations of the blades of a rotating wing made of this invention, is conferred by its shape and function a structural rigidity allowing.

    ReplyDelete