Some of the points conveniently missed by Andrew Fowler.
– We need an interim aircraft as well because the centre barrel program has gone a little pear shaped
– the F-111 cannot go into contested airspace under current RAAF doctrine without an escort – as it can’t survive. Its a strike platform – not a fighter
– that one of the big issues is that there are no spare parts for the rocket ejection systems. the current stocks decay at 2010-2012. After that if there is a catastrophic event, then there’s no guarantee that the pilots can eject
– that their cute 2012 scenario wasn’t gamed out with the F-111 where they definitely would not last – even against a short flight of Sooks (and that assumes that the indons have weapons)
– that the only country that is on our immedoate threat matrix is Indonesia – and they don’t have the weapons for them, they don’t get the requisite hours, and they certainly don’t have more modern weapons (if any at the moment)
– the Malays are our allies
– the PLAAF would have to run extended missions to poke Aust – and thats how likely?
– The Indians also have Bears in the Andamans – does that mean that they’re going to bomb us as they’re within range of Adelaide and the JORN transmitters. What scenario sees the Indians waging war on Oz? Their focus of interest are the Straits and Myanmar.
– in light of the above – who running Sooks is on our threat matrix?
– the 2012 sceanrio was a joke. The Indons have 4 Sooks, so how would they go in on max weapons load against a full squadron of Shornets backpaddled by Wedgetail and JORN? They’re outgunned and outnumbered as well as blind against what JORN and Wedgetail bring to the party.
– The indons don’t have AESA either, neither do the Malays or Indons and all of them will be seen by JORN and SWR well before they get into intercept range.
The Rafale is even less successful than the Shornet on export sales and the French have been pushing it to everyone .
I didn’t see the Four Corners last night but apparently they tried to do a bucket job on the government’s decision to replace the F-111s with Super Hornets.
As expected the opposition are running with the story but the RAAF has responded. The RAAF need to whack this rubbish hard. They have a responsibility to explain to the Australian people, not just the politicians, why we really need such expensive equipment. Its Mr & Mrs Average taxpayer who pays their wages after all.