Thursday, February 25, 2010

"First-cut Analysis" of Australia's Future Fighter Needs

Titled "A Preliminary Assessment of Inhabited Platforms for AIR6000" and written by the DSTO's Graeme Murray and David Carr, the study is significant because it is one of only a handful of studies that looked at alternatives to the JSF.The government plans to buy 100 JSFs for $16 billion in what will be the largest Australian defence purchase in history.The study favours the JSF over other options and is blunt about the shortcomings of Australia's other fighter options. It describes the US F-16 used by the US Air Force as having a weak airframe and poor stealth.
It said Europe's Typhoon fighter had limited strike capability and was unreliable.It said Sweden's Gripen fighter had poor stealth, an underdeveloped electronic warfare system and payload and range limitations.The DSTO found that the earlier version of the F/A-18E Super Hornet -- not the Block II version that has since been purchased by Australia -- was underpowered, lacked endurance and "risks being shot from behind with a radar-guided missile".The US F-15E lacked stealth while France's Rafale had an unreliable and weak engine."The F-15E is good now, but not likely to be defensible in the expected electronic warfare environment in the 2010 timeframe," the DSTO said. "Rafale has short-term shortfalls in engine and radar performance."....................TheAustralian


Very generalized [and poor] assessments:

* Latest F15E sports one of the best EW suites designed by BAE & IAI.

* F16C/D is a solid 9G fighter and sports CFT that augments its already adequate range.

* JAS39 also sports one of the best EW and datalink systems in the world.

* Rafale has weak and unreliable engines? Nonsense. Would love to hear the basis of such a claim.

* Typhoon trench 2 & 3 aircraft is a solid multi-role fighter with emphasis on air-to-air engagement.

On the flip side, i am glad that DSTO recommended at least two viable alternatives to the F35: F15E and Rafale. F15E is the direct F111 replacement in USAF service; South Korean and Singaporean fly an advanced version of the Strike Eagle.

Along the same line, the airworthiness of RAAF's fast jet fleet is falling dangerously low.

"At times this year as many as three out of four of the RAAF's 86 fighter jets have been grounded due to maintenance, upgrades or safety concerns."

By the way, Swedes seem to have got it right all along: AESA technology is meant to be far more than just a 'radar' (NORA: Not Only a RAdar).* This is now the official position on Western AESA design trend.**



2010,australia is comparing all these aircraft with f-22,and hence the argument made by them is valid.aussies first choice was/is f-22,which is not released for export.f-22 is head and shoulders above these mentioned aircraft,which are basically not much then 80's upgraded aircraft.only the russian paf-fa might come uncomfortably close to f-22.

@Bruce Lee

F22 is clearly not for export; using it as the F18/F111 replacement benchmark is as unrealistic as it comes.

I think DSTO was secretly making a comparison between Russian and Western fighters in which they found many limitations of western fighters which they mentioned in the Article.

RAAF's favourite was/is SU-30MKI and they did mentioned it in many articles earlier that's why they want a western fighter which can match SU-30MKI in all aspects......

In Defence Expo India 2010 recently held in New DElhi i asked USAF and RAAF retired pilots about F-18,F-15 and they told IAF is already operating a better fighter which is at par or superior than any fighter in western world except F-22.

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