The RAAF Hornets: Why the Indecent Haste?

The RAAF Hornets: Why the Indecent Haste? By David Archibald.

With the F-35s due to arrive but yet to arrive, the RAAF has sold 25 Hornets plus spares to Canada for $95 million, or $3.8 million each. News comes that the current crop of loons running the RAAF have sold the rest of our Hornets to a bloke in Illinois.

This Man Owns The World’s Most Advanced Private Air Force After Buying 46 F/A-18 Hornets

If Mr Kirlin is paying the same per aircraft as the Canadians, then that is 46 aircraft for $175 million. … From the article:

“Although the terms of the deal have not been disclosed, the purchase does include all of the RAAF’s F/A-18 spare parts inventory and test equipment, valued at over a billion dollars alone, according to Kirlin.”

So he is getting more than US$1,000 million worth of spares too. And:

“As for the condition of the surplus Hornet fleet, Kirlin says they are in incredible shape and show little signs of corrosion — likely a result of their often hot and dry operating environment down under as opposed to the salty conditions aboard aircraft carriers that U.S. Navy Hornets have had to endure. …”

Kirlin says that since the aircraft have never trapped (landed) aboard or launched off a carrier, which causes extreme stress on the airframes, they should be able to operate continuously through 2035 and possibly even beyond.”

Our RAAF says the Hornets are clapped out and we have to get rid of them as soon as possible, but Mr Kirlin expects to keep them flying for at least another 15 years? I know who I would believe, and it is not the grinning loons of the RAAF. …

The sale price of about A$175 million wouldn’t pay for one F-35. …

A war would be like 1941 all over again:

All this wouldn’t matter if Australia has another couple of decades with no major conflicts. But we are likely to go to war with China. US wargaming results have most of their air force shot down in the first week, including their F-35s, which will mostly be destroyed on the ground. They might still win the war but at great cost in men and material. Then there will be a great rush to rearm and it will take years to make the replacement fighter aircraft.

It will be the same for us. We will lose most if not all of our F-35s and their pilots. … It would be good if we had an “airforce in a box” of parked-up Hornets in pristine condition as a backup. …

Stealth schmealth:

One of the reasons we are buying the F-35 is for their supposed stealth. .. From the comments on the article:

“Stealth also has proven not to be the unbeatable silver bullet its proponents insist it is. In their first competition meeting, the Eurofighter “killed” the F-22s at range because the F-22 drivers didn’t realize the Eurofighters had the Pirate [Infrared Search and Track Systems (IRST)] system, which meant they could see and attack the stealthy F-22 at ranges when the F-22 drivers thought they were “invisible”.

Read it all.

A reader comments:

What Australia has done here has to represent stupidity on a galactic scale.. Then there are the submarines; don’t forget that colossal screw up.

What massive incompetence in Canberra. They’re all very highly paid too.

Our ruling class needs critics. The media and the parliamentary
opposition aren’t doing it, because they’re part of it.

A reader:

We’re sitting here in the UK which has had and still has a woeful response to the virus (scarcely any testing, no PPE to be had — it’s coming from … Turkey, some day apparently) and there’s little evidence people here realise how incompetent the people in charge are or how, comparatively, unprepared the country was for something like this (a reflection of how Britain really isn’t that rich any longer).

My wife (who is ethnically Chinese) can see it clearly, yet my UK friends think it’s all ok and the government is doing a jolly good job etc etc.