The Boeing sales force is licking their chops. They can almost taste the next order from Australia for more Super Hornets.
As usual, the quality of the news reporting on this topic is near copy-paste and shallow. So, I will do the work of the lazy slobs and fill in the blanks.
The poorly advised and under-briefed Defence Minister has drawn a line in the sand over the F-35 debacle. Sometime in 2012 is D-Day.
The "B" in Smith's "plan-B" is for bad. Both the Super Hornet and the F-35 will be obsolete against emerging threats in the Pacific Rim. With that, the Super Hornet is superior in every possible war-fighting metric compared to the F-35; simply because the power of the F-35 exists only in PowerPoint.
As we have seen the tired boiler-plate quotes about the "plans" from Defence before, there isn't much surprise. There was a "buffer" built into the schedule and time. "Thank goodness we are looking at the less complicated CTOL F-35A" and so on. All of it is misinformation.
There is a bold-faced lie too. Years ago, when Defence briefed this mess, it was specifically stated that if the F-35 wasn't "suitable", things would start over with a competition for the next fighter purchase.
(source-2004 Defence briefing)
Yet, that just is not so is it? All the pretend Defence strategy people just assume the Super Hornet is the plan-B. Defence has failed to prove that the F-35 is suitable.
And, such a huge decision based on "partial information" demonstrates incompetence.
Are we paying out all this money to have a taxpayer supported flying club or a potent air force? Given what I have seen over the years, my vote is "flying club".