Australian Defence is making some progress with clearing the JASSM cruise missile on the legacy Hornet.
This is bitter/sweet news. It is good for those that believe this is the course of action for long range strike after the bad decision to retire the F-111. It is bad for other reasons.
The old Hornet is short-ranged right off the bat. Put drag on it and that goes away even more. We have a few new air-refueling tankers coming online but that is with the stress of "few". If the weapon gets cleared on the new Super Hornets, this may help some.
It makes some sense given the corner Defence has painted itself into with multiple bad decisions on air power planning.
The JASSM has some problems that it is trying to get over. That is being able to hit the target and occasionally fusing issues where it doesn't go 'bang' when it gets there.
It is wildly expensive, costing the U.S. over $1 million each. It was designed to be "affordable" in the sub $400,000 category.
JASSM is still on the infamous project-of-concern list in Australia.
Defence makes a lot of bad decisions. These days it seems to be a battle to make a lesser degree of bad decision on the class-curve and declare victory.
One has to consider that we could have launched JASSMs from a distance of over twice that of the legacy Hornet if the F-111 was not retired on a lie. Tankers, F-111 and JASSM and well, now you put our whole area of interest in long-range strike range. And, only aircraft can give you the concept of long-range strike within hours of a hostile act. Return to base. Rearm. Day after day. The fantasy home-grown sub or fancy over-priced ships do not have this ability.
H/T- reader Bonza