Mar 072007

"Now I think the best we can hope for is for the JSF to buck the trend in aviation projects and deliver the promised capability on time and on budget."
Andrew Davies – Program Director for Operations and Capability at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

An interesting, if succinct article on the government’s rather strange decision to outlay A$6billion on what is regarded as a stop-gap measure by purchasing 24 Boeing (formerly McDonnell Douglas) F/A-18 E/F fighter attack aircraft. The questions Davies asks are valid. Are we, the taxpayers, being hoodwinked into believing that the JSF program is not in trouble and subject to delays? Is the government outlaying funds on a temporary stop-gap which is likely to turn into the first of two probable purchases of an aircraft which will in all likelihood be out-moded by the time any penny, with reference to the JSF program running into protracted delays and budget escalations, drops?

From Bannerman’s research into the Super Hornet, it is entirely unsuited as a replacement, either short or long term, for either the existing F-111 or F/A 18A aircraft fleet. By engaging in this purchase now, Australia is all but locked into further purchases should the JSF program be proven to have run into serious problems.

Well worth a read.

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