Super Hornets

The government is reviewing the former governments decision to replace the F-111 with the Super Hornets (FA-18F). Well, a new government has every right to review expensive orders but the criticisms of the FA-18F given by some journalist are just nonsense. Case in point Ian McPhedran in todays Herald Sun.

The Super Hornets are designed and built to operate from aircraft carriers.

Australia doesn’t have an aircraft carrier, so why are we buying them?

That’s obviously the question that new Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon has put to our defence chiefs.

Yeah, well the 75 FA-18A and B we brought years ago were designed for carriers too. Does McPhedran think an aircraft designed to operate from a carrier can’t operate from an air field? The FA-18 is used by various countries including land locked Switzerland.

With superior Russian Sukhoi Flanker jets in the region there is possibly some justification for this.

The Flanker is far better than the Super Hornet in range, close-up and beyond-visual-range combat.

Former Air Commander and retired Air Vice Marshal Peter Criss said he was “‘absolutely astounded” with the Super Hornet decision.

He said it was the wrong aircraft and he pointed to evidence given to the US Senate Armed Services Committee, that it was inferior to both the MiG-29 and the Su-30 Flanker. These aircraft are — or will be — flown by India, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Firstly theres no threat. Malaysia is a member of the Five Powers Pact with Australia, we are not threaten by India and Indonesia has a total of four Flankers. No threat there. More importantly the Super Hornets are not meant to be used to defend Australian territory They are strike jets like the F-111 that would be deployed in a Air Expeditionary Wing. We are getting the FA-18F so we can still maintain this capability after the F-111s are gone. They, like the other FA-18s will be eventually replaced by the F-35.

This is just a Leftest attack against Leader of the Opposition, Brendan Nelson, the former Defence Minister. After the review I’m betting the government will reaffirm the order and find some way to dump crap on Nelson for having the sense to replace the F-111s.

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