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Author Topic: F-111  (Read 45689 times)

Offline tigershark

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Re: F-111
« Reply #60 on: June 02, 2007, 01:56:40 AM »
The Super Hornets are a very modern aircraft overall and maybe the United States second most advance operational fighter currently flying.   I can't remember if there buying Block-II or not but either way there good aircraft which can use buddy tanks to further extend there range.   It gives a slightly better fighter then the early models and a good mid size striker that carries almost every weapons the US makes.   People knock the Hornet because of it's range, I know overall top speed, and payload, comparing it to a F-14.   It was never a fair the mighty F-14 is huge! only a Flanker is larger as far as fighters go.   Never mind comparing to the range and payload of basically a light bomber in the F-111.   Like the webmaster mentioned it's old and needly in maintenance department which translates into high cost.   Another way of looking at is the length of time the E/F Hornet will be flying it's future.   The US Navy is buying hundreds of them and plans on flying them for years.   Weapons, spare parts, and upgrades will be around for a while making it a better long term investment until the F-35 is produced in numbers.   

Offline Webmaster

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Re: F-111
« Reply #61 on: June 02, 2007, 04:38:42 PM »
Yep, 24x F/A-18F Block 2s with APG-79 AESA and ATFLIR.

So they'll have a excellent FAC(A) platform as well, so you can use the old Hornets merely as bomb trucks  :)
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Offline RecceJet

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Re: F-111
« Reply #62 on: June 03, 2007, 06:38:07 AM »
The Super Hornets are a very modern aircraft overall and maybe the United States second most advance operational fighter currently flying.
Not just the second most advanced operational fighter, but because the F-22 Raptor is almost solely an air superiority fighter, the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet is currently the most advanced fighter/attack(/strike) aircraft.

My concern is that the F-53 JSF will pretty much have the same role as the F/A-18E/F, being a fighter/attack airframe with limited strike capability. This is a great replacement for the RAAF's current inventory of F/A-18C Hornets, but it still doesn't fully fill the gap of the F-111's capability. Seeing as there is no real modern equivalent of the F-111 in terms of range and payload, the RAAF should consider mixing the future airframe capabilities in a different way.

Instead of F/A-18s as fighter/attack aircraft and F-111s as strike aircraft, bring in the F/A-18F Super Hornets as the interim measure for the F-111, but work towards redefining the RAAF capability and deterence through a combination of F-35 fighter/attack/strike aircraft with a couple of squadrons of F-22 fighters. The roles will change from long-range strike capability in the region (with the F-111) to negating the capability and threat of the regional Flankers through the use of the F-22. That way the JSF will simply become the advanced replacement for the Hornet and the loss of a dedicated strike platform is mitigated.

Offline Globetrotter

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Re: F-111
« Reply #63 on: June 03, 2007, 02:44:06 PM »
well, there is an equivalent of the F-111.... and it is callled Tornado ::)
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Offline RecceJet

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Re: F-111
« Reply #64 on: June 03, 2007, 03:17:44 PM »
well, there is an equivalent of the F-111.... and it is callled Tornado ::)
The Panavia Tornado is a good strike aircraft, but it doesn't have the range of the F-111. It is an equivalent in terms of strike capability, but it is not a modern equivalent. What I stated above was in the context of something in the generation range of the Super Hornet and the JSF. The Tornado made its maiden flight only 10 years after the F-111 did. That's not really recent anymore.

Offline Globetrotter

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Re: F-111
« Reply #65 on: June 03, 2007, 09:26:41 PM »
Ok, understood now. Yes, it happens to have been designed in Europe, where distances are not so bog as in your or my countries :-\

And how is the Australian aviation industry? Would it be possible for them to design something regarding your needs?
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Offline Gripen

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Re: F-111
« Reply #66 on: June 04, 2007, 08:47:15 AM »
Australia AA is ok at the moment. The budget people have gone wacko (YAY) and decided on buying new gear like the F-35, Eurocopter Tiger, Wedgetail, C141 (? so the rumour is ?) and we're meant to be getting like 12 A-380's. These all new people to look after it and they are pretty advance aircraft which means more specialised people are needed.  As far as i know, there is a good portion of our planes that are built in Australia.. so yeah we're all right. The shipbuilding on the other hand is even better, but that wasnt the question...

Offline RecceJet

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Re: F-111
« Reply #67 on: June 04, 2007, 10:15:21 AM »
And how is the Australian aviation industry? Would it be possible for them to design something regarding your needs?
Design something? I think the last time Australia designed an aircraft it was during WW2 and the result was the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (CAC) Boomerang. Not exactly the most competitive of fighters, but a good interim measure until the Kittyhawks  and Spitfires were available.

Australia is manufacturing the Tiger armed reconnaisance helicopters, though the first two were delivered from France.

I doubt Australia has the technology, skills, funding or infrastructure to effectively design and produce an indigenous solution. That's why the Australian government jumped onto the JSF bandwagon. That will at least provide skills to the Australian aviation industry and hopefully create jobs if Australia succesfully becomes a regional maintenance hub for the JSF. Australia won't be designing any airframes, but DSTO, the defence's R&D organisation, will definitely value-add to new aircraft like they did with the F/A-18 and other aircraft.

I don't think we're going for C-141s either... but Boeing seems optomistic that the RAAF will want a 5th C-17 Globemaster III.

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Re: F-111
« Reply #68 on: June 04, 2007, 10:35:29 AM »
The only thing with more range than a SH/JSF considered "good enough" for Australia is the F-22. Maybe Australia should start investing on UCAV for the interdiction/strike requirements, join in with the UK and US on this.

C-141? As in Starlifter? Must be a joke. Unless they got an order to cut them into pieces?  You can add MRH90 and the Super Hornet to the industry project list.

Some years ago I read a joke, I think April's fools day, that the RAAF would get second-hand B-1B bombers. If budget was unlimited, I think that would be the best option for F-111 replacement, until something like a FB-22 is available. But under the circumstances, I think they made the right decisions... although I am still not convinced about the F-35 itself.

About the Tornado, it has been extensively updated and it is currently more capable in terms of strike than the RAAF F-111s, apart from the range. 10 years in 1960-1970 era, is huge. But it is a limited platform at the end of its life. I think however that a modern new-built F-15E version, could also have filled in the gap instead of the Super Hornet. But taking in mind the existing fleet, costs, and tanker ability, the Super Bug wins.

The only other thing that comes to mind, are extended range Typhoon Tranche 3 and Rafale B, fitted with stand-off missiles and conformal fuel tanks. But Australia opted for the JSF, which makes these buys now near impossible, and created this gap in the first place.  :P

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Offline Gripen

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Re: F-111
« Reply #69 on: June 05, 2007, 07:18:44 AM »
UCAV? Whats the range on one of them?


Offline RecceJet

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Re: F-111
« Reply #70 on: June 05, 2007, 08:48:58 AM »
UCAV? Whats the range on one of them?
How long is a piece of string? It all depends on what UCAV you're talking about, but I would guess that would be close to the endurance of a UAV. UCAVs would burn more fuel depending on what kind of profile they fly, whereas UAVs fly at a high altitude and generally cruise at a relatively fuel efficient level.

I guess the Australian UAV procurement will pave the way for a future UCAV trial for the RAAF.

 



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