Going through the comments, it seems an alternate reality is the long-range strategy of the day.
"Our other choice is to go down the New Zealand route - it's pretty simple."
Simple thinking maybe. New Zealand isn't making the dumb decision to spend billions on an uncompetitive-to-the-threat air force.
He said Australia needed the JSF because by the mid-2020s the Super Hornet just wouldn't cut it against the planes our neighbours are considering buying.
If the Super Hornet won't cut it, the F-35, with so many faults and a weaker self-defense suite will fare worse.
And compare the following videos.
And, if we stick with the stealth fighter, quantity has a quality all its own.
70-100 defective aircraft are a quantity of waste.
"Capacity matters - and anything less than 100 JSFs severely limits the options available to government and only provides a boutique capability," Air Marshal Brown said.
"Boutique" implies that what one buys actually works. The Air Marshal has NO go-to-war example of the F-35 to look at and at this point is depending on a vivid imagination.
"You could buy more Super Hornets (instead of JSFs) but I'd argue (that) by 2025 or somewhere around that it becomes an uncompetitive fighter. You can be the best fighter pilot in the world but if the other guy has got some significant capability advantages over you you just don't fundamentally stand a chance."
Fundamentally, his logic doesn't stand a chance with the Just So Farcical.
"I'd argue the AGM-158 Joint Air To Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) equipped (classic) Hornets with the KC-30 (multi-role tanker) is a far superior strike capability than we ever possessed with the F-111," he said.
I'd argue that Defence was too intellectuality lazy to upgrade the F-111 with J-series weapons and SDB giving a deployed package of USAF F-22s and a joint operational team, lots of options.
And as for the JASSM, how many is Australia going to buy? 2000?, 3000 like the USAF? About 260. At $700,000 each. After those are fired, the war is over. Hopefully. Fusing issues with the JASSM still are not a done-deal. There will be a percentage that just don't hit the target or go "bang". The U.S. knows the rate of those weapons that just don't reach the target for any number of reasons. Cruise missiles (and evaluation of the BDA) wasn't so great in Desert Storm. Cruise missiles have improve some since then, but we have never fired them in a network/GPS denied environment. Also, unlike the short-range JDAM where time-of-flight and a tight INS don't matter with GPS jamming, the longer longer the weapon flys, the more you risk a chance of missing in a network/GPS denied environment.
Australia has only fired a handful of JASSMs on the test range. That was enough to take it off the project of concern list and declare IOC.
Also, we don't have enough tankers to feed the classic Hornets and it is unlikely we can protect those same tankers.
The above in anti-access environs and less of a factor against legacy threats.
The boss finishes with this:
Despite the government's recent decision to defer the purchase of the next 12 JSFs as part of the Defence cuts in the budget Air Marshal Brown says the fifth generation fighters are still affordable and could be in service with the RAAF before the end of the decade.
"We signed on for the JSF back in 2003 - about 10 years ago," he said. "We decided on a budget, an amount for the joint strike fighter. That hasn't changed. 100 JSFs are still affordable within that original budget range established in 2003."
Define "affordable". He is dreaming. Also, I wonder how he is going to scrounge up to 3 times the ops funds for a squadron to pay for the insane F-35 cost per flying hour?
I figure the budget can tolerate to own and operate less than half of the mistake jets. Assuming one wants to fly them.
You go to war with the RAAF you have; not necessarily the one you want, or hoped for.
F-35 electronic warfare capability affected by production quality