My 2.2 cents (GST Inc.)

It is a real prick when your opinions are taxed. Australia least powerful political blog. (Plus any other crap I want to talk about.)

Monday, April 17, 2006

Defence Blow out

Australia's F-111's are getting old* and need replacing some time in the near future**. The current plan is to purchase the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter sometime around 2010. This plane has only just entered testing with the USAF and will not operational until 2010 or so, so I can't see us being the first in line to get them before the USA and the UK, both of who have so far put more money into the plane than Australia.
Anyway, I have a problem with the JSF. It has a range of 800 kilometers which is too short for Australia's defence policy. To cover a greater distance is going to require mid-air refueling. I don't mind mid-air refueling but it limits the ability to strike without preparing for a longtime.
We would be better off buying the latest F-22 Raptor which is at least operational and has a range of 3,200 kms which is about what is need to bomb "New Zealand"***. The cost of doing this is a $300 million per plane that is slighty higher than the projected cost of the JSF. But as the F-35 has not fully been developed the cost is really unknown.

* They are not however "rusting" as the media loves to say as they are not made of Iron. Rust requires Iron.
** Like my VC Commodore, which is indeed rusting and needs a new muffler.
*** Indonesia is the most likely target which is about as far away as New Zealand. Hopefully, the purchasing of the JSF is not just another part of sucking up to Indonesia that Australia has been doing lately.

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