Acquisitions, in hindsight..

helmutkohl

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in hindsight, what acquisitions were mistakes and what should have been acquired instead? (with a focus on actual built alternatives, although not limited to)

This was inspired by some of Australia's and Canada's acquisition issues

This differs from the thread below, which more specifically focuses on what should have been built (a focus on unbuilt projects)

Some examples:

Australia:
Instead of the NH-90 series, they should have bought the Blackhawk/Seahawk series. Cheaper with less issues
Instead of the Tiger, they should have bought Apaches or Super Cobras as above

Canada:
Instead of the Cyclones, they should have bought more Merlins as they already operated it with another service and has a wider user base.

Soviet Union:
Rather than the Su-33s, they should have went with the MiG-29K from the beginning due to the size of the Kuznetsov.

India:
Should have bought the Mirage 2000 line rather than endure with upgrades to 3rd gen aircraft
Perhaps buy the Gorshkov, but as a stop gap w/o conversion and continue to use the Sea Harriers until a real carrier was built
INS Vikrant should have been built with larger elevators

Japan:
Should have just bought more F-15s instead of the F-2s, or make the F-2 based on either the F-15 or F-18




what are yours?
 

F-2

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Super Hornet was reject by Japan in favor of the agile falcon because it would have required paying for both air frame and engine development while any F-16 version could use the F110-129 undergoing bench tests at the time. The Eagles RCS was considered to large to be survivable in the role intended and was only considered as a back up, given the F-4 Kai could use the ASM-2 I’m not sure that would have even been needed.

This rand report gives the super hornet a development cost of 5 billion https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monographs/2005/RAND_MG276.sum.pdf
Troubled partnership gives the F-2 a development cost of 3 billion but only based on public data. Assuming they are equivalent a Japanese Super Hornet is still going to be more expensive. That five billion is using maximum commonality with the legacy hornet (block 1 super hornet has 90% commonality) with the Japanese super hornet virtually every system and sun system will be replaced like on the F-2 and that will add billions to the cost. We haven’t even factored in the F414 yet. The F-2 took up a huge portion of Japans budget in the 90s and held up accusation of support craft. Need and political importance pushed it through. I don’t see this Japan hornet surviving.

Kokusanka wanted an indigenous “Rising Sun” fighter and when they where forced by politics and budget to collaborate managed reinvent the wheel and turn an overseas design into something domestic, partially for pride and possible experience building FI-X. DIf you ditch them you can actually get the SX-3+ which is for all practical reasons a plane equivalent to the F-2 but according to General Dynamics estimates only 1.5 billion in development costs.

Block 40 avionics with Japanese radar, mission computer, ECM, navigation, and ram along with lcd screens and hud.
 

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Pioneer

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in hindsight, what acquisitions were mistakes and what should have been acquired instead? (with a focus on actual built alternatives, although not limited to)

This was inspired by some of Australia's and Canada's acquisition issues

This differs from the thread below, which more specifically focuses on what should have been built (a focus on unbuilt projects)

Some examples:

Australia:
Instead of the NH-90 series, they should have bought the Blackhawk/Seahawk series. Cheaper with less issues
Instead of the Tiger, they should have bought Apaches or Super Cobras as above


what are yours?
I always supported the Sikorsky UH-60M over the NH 90 during the original competition to replace the existing Blackhawk's in Australian Army service.
I based this on the reality that the Blackhawk had proven itself to be an outstandingly reliable and rugged workhorse in both the Australian Army and RAN.
Unlike the immature NH 90, the UH-60M offered improved performance without so much risk, it's training, logistical and maintenance infrastructure was already in place and solid.

But, I'd have to say, in place of the Tiger, I would have opted for the Agusta A129 Mangusta - especially when AIR 87 emphasised 'Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter', which somewhere metamorphosised into a full blown want of an attack helicopter by the Australian Army, after the Tiger was selected.
The adapted Australian A129 would have been less risky, had an almost immediate IOC, would have been cheaper (unit cost and maintenance) and as applying demonstrated by the Turkish T129, been substantially upgradable.

I also would have opted for improved F-15E's over that of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet as an F-111 replacement. As readily proven by the evolution of the F-15I, F-15K, this fighter-bomber has not just remained relevant, but also in high demand.

I would personally have cut my losses and canned the aquisition and participation of F-35 at least a decade ago (recent history has shown and proven the ADF and Australian government can do such things where and when it wants to, without the sky falling - eg Cancelling and reassessment of the Eurocopter Tiger helicopter, the French sub contract and now the Eurocopter NH 90 helicopter!)

More to follow, over.....


Regards
Pioneer
 

F-2

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On the topic of Mig-29k vs Su-33 the N010 is a much more advanced design with growth potential then the n001. The downside is the original K weighed as much as an F-15 with much less thrust. Still probably the more future friendly option.
 

helmutkohl

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some others that I just thought of

Malaysia
Instead of PT-91 Twardy tanks, buy something from Russia like the T-90 whom I think was also willing to take palm oil
Instead of Hawks, get the F-5

Indonesia
Instead of F-16s, Mirage 2000 and later Su-30MKIs rather than MKKs and stick with that the whole way through replacing everything else until KF-21
 

Archibald

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France buy of Tucano trainers in the early 90's was a disaster. They were retired after 12 years.

NH90 seems to be troubled at the maintenance / flight rate level. More Super Pumas (whatever its current name, Caracal, EC-something) might have been a better bargain.

The Navy has truly botched its Frigates procurement since the 90's (FREMM, Horizon, air defense ships... ) For carriers IDK - CdG is useful but an expensive one-shot. Two non-nuclear ones might have been slightly better, but PH75 origins and the 1973 oil shock decided otherwise. Go nuclear, because submarines, too. Unfortunately Macron is making the same mistake with CdG successor... France can't afford Nimitz, not even smaller, not even a single one. Even Forrestal-size would be expensive.

The Armée de l'Air quasi-suicidal insistance in getting a 2-engine heavy fighter, all the way from AFVG 1965 to Rafale 1985-2015 (even if the later risky bet paid at least... since 2015) Half a century of hardships there.

Not developing the Vautour further, as an alternative to Mirage IV (Buccaneer vs TSR-2, here we go !). Also Vautour as "fast tanker" for the Mirages - it was tested extensively before the C-135FR procurement.

Jaguar was one hell of an expensive mistake, even if it redeemed itself for 30 years in Africa and elsewhere (1977 - 2007)

Mirage III replacement process (1962-1976) was truly horrible, leading to the damaging partial redundancy between the F1 and the 2000.
 

helmutkohl

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^ whats wrong with the Tucanos?
as for the NH90, so even France is having issues? not sure who is NOT having issues with the NH90. a shame as its a very nice looking helicopter.
do you think the CdG succssor should be non nuclear?
 

Archibald

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^ whats wrong with the Tucanos?
as for the NH90, so even France is having issues? not sure who is NOT having issues with the NH90. a shame as its a very nice looking helicopter.
do you think the CdG succssor should be non nuclear?

What was wrong ? Embraer pulled a NH90 on France... maintenance and spares were costing the AdA an arm, a leg, and even a testicle.
Also it seems the aircraft did not fully matched with the AdA training syllabus: in the end, slower SOCATA Epsilons + Alpha Jets made the Tucanos an oddity, or so it seemed. They were bought in 1995 and retired in 2007 after only 12 years.

Some were send to museums; others, used as ground trainers to be butchered by aprentice mechanics (near my homeplace: Latresne mechanics training faculty).

Some were recently taken out of storage and sold to Mauritania to help them fighting ISIS.

NH90: Aéronavale bought 27 of them 15 years ago. First was delivered in 2011. Last one... some days ago. TEN FREAKKIN' YEARS to deliver 27 airframes. And this, for what ? FOUR of them are presently flyable. French Congress (Assemblée Nationale) has recently grilled if not roasted Airbus Helicopters and the Navy over this in an special inquiry.

I have to say that I discovered both Tucanos and NH90s (different) stories only recently, and both came as pretty shocking. I didn't knew both programs had been so botched, notably at serviceability level.
 

Archibald

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Yes, CdG successor should not be 75 000 tons AND nuclear. It just doesn't make any sense from a French Navy budget point of view.

At least not in the present day - of course things can change for the best; but last times the French Navy got a big and fat budget harcks back to
- the 1960's / 1970's, to build boomers and nuclear attack subs for the nuclear triad (at the expense of the surface fleet, but that's another story)
- the 1920's / 1930's with George Leygues and François Darlan (now that was one hell of fantastic fleet... shame it ended wrecked at the bottom of Toulon harbor, but that's another story).

From a technical point of view, yes, a 75 000 tons nuclear carrier makes sense: because naval SCAF and because of CdG hard-learned lessons (packing Nimitz catapults into half the tonnage was done, among many others sacrifices, at the expense of a 2000+ crew decent accomodations - and this become nasty in COVID days)

From the Navy budget point of view, building and servicing a couple of such beasts will ruin them for the next half century.

I would be reassured if we started back from PA2 / CVF RIGHTLY stopped by Sarkozy in 2008 because too different from CdG back then. I mean: building from the non-nuclear, 65 000 tons British Q.Es - except going CATOBAR for Rafales and a same-size naval successor, SCAF or not.

But Macron (usually a little smarter and tech-savy than that) has bowed out to the nuclear naval lobby who needs more than Barracudas and boomers to stay afloat in the future...

The very same lobby that 30 years ago put K15 boomers reactors, built for submarines "slow marathons", into the CdG - who actually needed to go Ussain Bolt "sprint" when launching Rafales...
End result: 80 000 hp and 27 kt when the Clems were 32 kt and 130 000 hp. This is not a major issue, TBH - but still the numbers are a bit unnerving.

And now we are making the same mistake: putting the 3rd generation boomers reactor into the CdG successor, just because the naval nuclear lobby needs work in the future...

A nuclear carrier doesn't make sense for the French navy
- as the rest of the surface fleet is not nuclear
- as the rest of the surface fleet has to be butchered to pay for it
- to pay for just ONE carrier, which is not enough because IPERs.

CdG at 45 000 tons is already a one-shot, expensive oddity. Inflating its successor to 75 000 tons really, but really won't improve that issue !
 
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Elan Vital

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I have always wondered why the West-Germans procured the L7A1 and modified it slightly into L7A3 instead of buying M68 (with British barrels as the US ones aren't ready, or to please the Brits) or mating L7 barrels to a modded Rheinmetall/US 90mm breech (which worked).
After all, Rheinmetall built its own proprietary gun with US breech tech for the Kanonenjagdpanzer.

You'd get a slightly lighter but more importantly even more compact gun than the L7A3. L7A1 only makes sense if you want to convert 20pdr breeches on your Centurions, but not on later production tanks.

I'm also surprised that they purchased L7s in 1962 instead of 1959-60 when they started being put on Cents.
 

tomo pauk

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in hindsight, what acquisitions were mistakes and what should have been acquired instead? (with a focus on actual built alternatives, although not limited to)
India - focus on the Mirage 2000.
Ex-Yugoslavia + Romania: instead of Orao/IAR-93, make the MiG-21 derivative with big wing and split intakes.
NATO in the 1960s - Mirage III or F-4 instead of F-104.
Sweden: Viggen is actually designed around a British engine (= less of a hassle for export later)
UK - make the EAP instead of waiting for the EF-2000.
UK - adopt the Fairey Delta into an useful fighter, procured instead of Lightning (eat this, Dassault and Lockheed)
France - make the Mirage 2000 as a full-blown new fighter (better intakes, canards, wing better suited for low speed) instead of the classic Mirage III look.

Some aircraft that never were, to replace the ones that were flying:
Soviet Union: MiG-23 is made as a 'baby MiG-25' (fixed wing and intakes a-la MiG-25, but just 1 engine). MiG-29 is similar to the F-16 (1-engined, for the starters)
France: Rafale is the 'French J-10'.
US Navy: fixed-wing F-14 with low-observability features and 2D nozzles instead of F-18E/F/G.
 

Hood

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What was wrong ? Embraer pulled a NH90 on France... maintenance and spares were costing the AdA an arm, a leg, and even a testicle.
Also it seems the aircraft did not fully matched with the AdA training syllabus: in the end, slower SOCATA Epsilons + Alpha Jets made the Tucanos an oddity, or so it seemed. They were bought in 1995 and retired in 2007 after only 12 years.
Maybe they should have brought them from Shorts?
 

tomo pauk

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The Armée de l'Air quasi-suicidal insistance in getting a 2-engine heavy fighter, all the way from AFVG 1965 to Rafale 1985-2015 (even if the later risky bet paid at least... since 2015) Half a century of hardships there.
Alternative purchase options for France past Mirage III, with Mirage F1 as-is:
- 'dumb F1' instead of Jaguar
- F1-M53 is bought
- Mirage 2000 is developed ~5 years later, as a true next-gen canard-delta fighter, 120 kN engine, high AoA intakes, RDY radar, a lot of composite materials
- no Rafale as we know it

Should've saved a pretty penny to France, and also sell better past 1990.
 

Lascaris

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Greece: Buy 100 F-18C (I understand F-18L was off the table by then) and join Rafale as a junior partner in 1985. I would also say buy Rafale in 1999 but I understand it was not on offer, there must had been a lot of gritted teeth in Paris when Greece had announced a commitment to Eurofighter back at the time ,although Dassault had the final laugh with a 20 year delay.

I'm short on undecided on F-15H back in 1999, but the decision not to modernize all Mirage-2000 to 5Mk2 was definitely a failure. Post that NH-90 was definitely a failure Blackhawks could had been bought in much larger numbers for less.

In the same period the whole Greek naval program. The Super Vitas should had never be bought and the modernisation of Type-209 was insane, while used M class frigates could have been brought in place of the S class at the same cost. Overall for the same costs you could have built a pair of De Zeven Provincien AAW frigates, 6 type 214s, 5 Combattante missile boats and bought 4 M class frigates a much better fleet overall to the current one.
 

F-2

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Greece: Buy 100 F-18C (I understand F-18L was off the table by then) and join Rafale as a junior partner in 1985. I would also say buy Rafale in 1999 but I understand it was not on offer, there must had been a lot of gritted teeth in Paris when Greece had announced a commitment to Eurofighter back at the time ,although Dassault had the final laugh with a 20 year delay.

I'm short on undecided on F-15H back in 1999, but the decision not to modernize all Mirage-2000 to 5Mk2 was definitely a failure. Post that NH-90 was definitely a failure Blackhawks could had been bought in much larger numbers for less.

In the same period the whole Greek naval program. The Super Vitas should had never be bought and the modernisation of Type-209 was insane, while used M class frigates could have been brought in place of the S class at the same cost. Overall for the same costs you could have built a pair of De Zeven Provincien AAW frigates, 6 type 214s, 5 Combattante missile boats and bought 4 M class frigates a much better fleet overall to the current one.
I love love love the Rafale. But before the F2 standard it’s really no good to anyone other then the French navy and the F3 to be substantial better then the mirage 2000-5. The Rafale was delayed at least two years by disputes between Dassault and the French government but I don’t think that effects F2 standard. I believe RDY has a slight range advantage over RBE2 pesa, so it’s payload that’s the big draw, F3 can do everything the 5 and D can do.
 

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*Australia/RAAF becomes launch customer for a revamped Lockheed Martin P-7 Long Range Air ASW-Capable Aircraft (LRAACA), as a more cost effective and more operationally effective replacement for it's P-3C Orion fleet. As much as the U.S. government puts pressure on Australia to purchase Boeing P-8's, the RAAF appreciated the characteristics of the turboprop-powered ASW for low speed ops (including SAR), the safety and redundancy of four engine over water, fuel efficiency and general operational costs over the operational lifespan of type.
Lockheed Martin's gamble pays off when other Navies/Air Force's appreciating Australia's/RAAF's operational history and reputation of both operating the Lockheed P-3 series, follows suit, when Germany/Deutsche Marine purchase eight P-7G's to replace it's P-3C's; Canada/RCAF purchase P-7 to replace it's CP-140 Aurora's; ......

*Australia/RAAF take advantage of the commercial opertunity to purchase new-built DHC-5NG Buffalo's from Viking Air of Victoria, British Columbia, who offer to manufacturer new production Buffalo powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada PW150 turboprops, a glass cockpit, enhanced vision, night vision goggle comparable, to replace it's well used and fatigued DHC-4 Caribou's......
The Australian government goes even further by purchasing four addition DHC-5NG's for use as water bomber's by Civil Emergency Agency. These four aircraft are maintained by the RAAF.

More to follow, over.....

Regards
Pioneer
 
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zen

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The French could indeed now come back to the CVF design and revise for both the CATOBAR variant and the experience gained from the QEs operations. Timing is actually quite good here.

Certainly a conventionally powered CdG design could have helped.

The RN fell into the NF-90 trap and post Nott thought this solved military and political needs.
Strictly both were wrong. Militarily either domestic of US was the two best options, and politically it dragged them into decades of delay. Through the thicket of acronym hell that is international partnerships.

The answer was either Aegis, and a Standard variant with ARH seeker. Or GWS.27 developments meeting GAST??????(number forgotten).
 

alertken

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zen: Through the thicket of acronym hell that is international partnerships. :)
What should (/has) happen(ed) is the burying of we do it this way because we always do it this way, so you lot must do it this way. Tornado to my knowledge, so Typhoon as I presume, were thus - buried, that is: best interests of the Project is the Rule. Maybe not so on EH101 and clearly NH90, A400M.

What we don't hear about is the intra- as opposed to inter-National collaborations. Level 1 partners in F-35s may not always have bathed in sweetness and light.
 

GTX

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I would caution all in this thread that while there is the benefit of hindsight in many of these cases, not to also be misled by the "grass is always greener" mentality. There is often just as much chance of alternate programs also running into difficulties.
 

riggerrob

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*Australia/RAAF becomes launch customer for a revamped Lockheed Martin P-7 Long Range Air ASW-Capable Aircraft (LRAACA), as a more cost effective and more operationally effective replacement for it's P-3C Orion fleet. As much as the U.S. government puts pressure on Australia to purchase Boeing P-8's, the RAAF appreciated the characteristics of the turboprop-powered ASW for low speed ops (including SAR), the safety and redundancy of four engine over water, fuel efficiency and general operational costs over the operational lifespan of type.
Lockheed Martin's gamble pays off when other Navies/Air Force's appreciating Australia's/RAAF's operational history and reputation of both operating the Lockheed P-3 series, follows suit, when Germany/Deutsche Marine purchase eight P-7G's to replace it's P-3C's; Canada/RCAF purchase P-7 to replace it's CP-140 Aurora's; ......

*Australia/RAAF take advantage of the commercial opertunity to purchase new-built DHC-5NG Buffalo's from Viking Air of Victoria, British Columbia, who offer to manufacturer new production Buffalo powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada PW150 turboprops, a glass cockpit, enhanced vision, night vision goggle comparable, to replace it's well used and fatigued DHC-4 Caribou's......
The Australian government goes even further by purchasing four addition DHC-5NG's for use as water bomber's by Civil Emergency Agency. These four aircraft are maintained by the RAAF.

More to follow, over.....

Regards
Pioneer
I would love to see a water-bomber conversion kit for medium-sized turbo-props like DHC-5 Buffalo, DHC DASH 8 and ATR 72. Just hang a dump hose out the port cargo door.
Or how about a bolt-on belly pannier that allows Caravans and King Airs to drop water on forest fires?
 
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Pioneer

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I'm sure with enough interest in such a "medium-sized" Modular Airborne FireFighting System (MAFFS), the likes and knowledge Maffs Corp could deliver such a roll on roll off system from that of the unit used by C-130.

Regards
Pioneer
 
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Desertfox

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A KC-46 program that ditched the advance stuff like remote refueling station in order to get tankers into service as soon as possible, throw in some E-767 in there as well. Once in service the Air Force and Boeing could take their time coming up with the advanced versions without having to worry about a tanker shortage. Great was the enemy of good enough.
 

helmutkohl

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Greece: Buy 100 F-18C (I understand F-18L was off the table by then) and join Rafale as a junior partner in 1985. I would also say buy Rafale in 1999 but I understand it was not on offer, there must had been a lot of gritted teeth in Paris when Greece had announced a commitment to Eurofighter back at the time ,although Dassault had the final laugh with a 20 year delay.

whats wrong with the Greek buy of the F-16 and M2K?
 

helmutkohl

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I would be reassured if we started back from PA2 / CVF RIGHTLY stopped by Sarkozy in 2008 because too different from CdG back then. I mean: building from the non-nuclear, 65 000 tons British Q.Es - except going CATOBAR for Rafales and a same-size naval successor, SCAF or not.

same.. I felt France really should have adopted the same design as the QE, just in a CATOBAR version. it would save a lot of cost and time, and perhaps France could have afforded two. then CDG could be sold to the Indians who would then need to purchase the Rafales.

quite frankly a lot of those products that came out of Franco-German partnerships (or primarily those two plus others) havent resulted in good items. the Anglo-Franco ones have.. a lot of it is due to both having similar foreign interests (need for range and projection due to vast overseas interest..something only the UK and France have with each other in Europe). but I bet a lot of Brits and French don't want to admit this.
 

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some others that I just thought of

Malaysia
Instead of PT-91 Twardy tanks, buy something from Russia like the T-90 whom I think was also willing to take palm oil
Instead of Hawks, get the F-5

Indonesia
Instead of F-16s, Mirage 2000 and later Su-30MKIs rather than MKKs and stick with that the whole way through replacing everything else until KF-21

Malaysia wanted the T-90 (they trialed it and liked it the most), they just couldn't afford it. Hence cheapo PT-91s.
 

apparition13

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*Australia/RAAF becomes launch customer for a revamped Lockheed Martin P-7 Long Range Air ASW-Capable Aircraft (LRAACA), as a more cost effective and more operationally effective replacement for it's P-3C Orion fleet. As much as the U.S. government puts pressure on Australia to purchase Boeing P-8's, the RAAF appreciated the characteristics of the turboprop-powered ASW for low speed ops (including SAR), the safety and redundancy of four engine over water, fuel efficiency and general operational costs over the operational lifespan of type.
The P-7 got cancelled because Lockheed couldn't manage to stretch the fuselage and wings a few feet. Never mind that commercial aircraft have been shrunk and stretched much more than that for decades, they couldn't do it. I don't think Australia wants to walk into that mess.
 

Pioneer

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*Australia/RAAF becomes launch customer for a revamped Lockheed Martin P-7 Long Range Air ASW-Capable Aircraft (LRAACA), as a more cost effective and more operationally effective replacement for it's P-3C Orion fleet. As much as the U.S. government puts pressure on Australia to purchase Boeing P-8's, the RAAF appreciated the characteristics of the turboprop-powered ASW for low speed ops (including SAR), the safety and redundancy of four engine over water, fuel efficiency and general operational costs over the operational lifespan of type.
The P-7 got cancelled because Lockheed couldn't manage to stretch the fuselage and wings a few feet. Never mind that commercial aircraft have been shrunk and stretched much more than that for decades, they couldn't do it. I don't think Australia wants to walk into that mess.
Thanks apparition13 , in all the years I've been interested in the potential of the P-7, I've never heard of the 'inability of Lockheed to stretch the fuselage'!
Any info you have on this I'd greatly appreciate via a PM, if you'd be so kind apparition13.

Regards
Pioneer
 

Archibald

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*Australia/RAAF becomes launch customer for a revamped Lockheed Martin P-7 Long Range Air ASW-Capable Aircraft (LRAACA), as a more cost effective and more operationally effective replacement for it's P-3C Orion fleet. As much as the U.S. government puts pressure on Australia to purchase Boeing P-8's, the RAAF appreciated the characteristics of the turboprop-powered ASW for low speed ops (including SAR), the safety and redundancy of four engine over water, fuel efficiency and general operational costs over the operational lifespan of type.
Lockheed Martin's gamble pays off when other Navies/Air Force's appreciating Australia's/RAAF's operational history and reputation of both operating the Lockheed P-3 series, follows suit, when Germany/Deutsche Marine purchase eight P-7G's to replace it's P-3C's; Canada/RCAF purchase P-7 to replace it's CP-140 Aurora's; ......

*Australia/RAAF take advantage of the commercial opertunity to purchase new-built DHC-5NG Buffalo's from Viking Air of Victoria, British Columbia, who offer to manufacturer new production Buffalo powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada PW150 turboprops, a glass cockpit, enhanced vision, night vision goggle comparable, to replace it's well used and fatigued DHC-4 Caribou's......
The Australian government goes even further by purchasing four addition DHC-5NG's for use as water bomber's by Civil Emergency Agency. These four aircraft are maintained by the RAAF.

More to follow, over.....

Regards
Pioneer
I would love to see a water-bomber conversion kit for medium-sized turbo-props like DHC-5 Buffalo, DHC DASH 8 and ATR 72. Just hang a dump hose out the port cargo door.
Or how about a bolt-on belly pannier that allows Caravans and King Airs to drop water on forest fires?

France actually use converted Dash-8 as fire fighting water bombers...
 

GTX

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Malaysia

Instead of Hawks, get the F-5
What? And repeat reality???;)

1318609-large.jpg

800px-Malaysia_Northrop_F5_Tiger_II_2322530.jpg


 

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But, I'd have to say, in place of the Tiger, I would have opted for the Agusta A129 Mangusta - especially when AIR 87 emphasised 'Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter', which somewhere metamorphosised into a full blown want of an attack helicopter by the Australian Army, after the Tiger was selected.
At the time, the Tiger provided the best match to the specification. Moreover, as the 'new kid on the block' it arguably offered far more development potential when compared to its competitors (the AH-64 and AH-1). Alas, the sustainment contract was a rushed affair and the original plan for Australia to follow behind Germany, France and Spain did not occur...
I also would have opted for improved F-15E's over that of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet as an F-111 replacement.
I believe it was considered but in the end, the step up in systems supportability from the Super Hornet to the F-35 was seen as less then for the F-15E to the F-35.
I would personally have cut my losses and canned the aquisition and participation of F-35 at least a decade ago (recent history has shown and proven the ADF and Australian government can do such things where and when it wants to, without the sky falling - e
This would have resulted in the loss of up to A$2.7B worth of F-35 development/production/sustainment work generating approx 2400 jobs across 50+ Australian companies to date. Errr...no thanks.
 

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*Australia/RAAF becomes launch customer for a revamped Lockheed Martin P-7 Long Range Air ASW-Capable Aircraft (LRAACA), as a more cost effective and more operationally effective replacement for it's P-3C Orion fleet.
Wait a minute, one of the risks of Australian (and probably any for that matter) acquisitions is being on the 'blading edge' - just see Tiger ARH. Being the launch customer, even ahead of the USN would be highly risky.
As much as the U.S. government puts pressure on Australia to purchase Boeing P-8's, the RAAF appreciated the characteristics of the turboprop-powered ASW for low speed ops (including SAR), the safety and redundancy of four engine over water, fuel efficiency and general operational costs over the operational lifespan of type.
I don't believe there was any pressure put on Australia at all re the P-8. Moreover, if you look at 737 reliability and the fact that more than 7000 (of the 737NG variant from which both the E-7A Wedgetail and P-8 Poseidon are derived) it makes perfect sense to operate this over a potentially bespoke turboprop into the future.
 

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Wait a minute, one of the risks of Australian (and probably any for that matter) acquisitions is being on the 'blading edge' - just see Tiger ARH. Being the launch customer, even ahead of the USN would be highly risky.
Worked out for the RAF and the C-130J though....
It's never easy to determine which programmes are going to end up dogs or not. After all the KC-46 should have been an easy win-win for Boeing but they messed it up from every conceivable angle.
 

tomo pauk

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Wait a minute, one of the risks of Australian (and probably any for that matter) acquisitions is being on the 'blading edge' - just see Tiger ARH. Being the launch customer, even ahead of the USN would be highly risky.
Worked out for the RAF and the C-130J though....
It's never easy to determine which programmes are going to end up dogs or not. After all the KC-46 should have been an easy win-win for Boeing but they messed it up from every conceivable angle.

C130J was probably opposite of 'bleeding edge' term ...
 

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C130J was probably opposite of 'bleeding edge' term ...
Generally yes since it was building upon many decades of prior experience. Mind you it did have its own fair share of development problems - see below:


I remember taking to a LM rep around this time and he said LM would never just think there was such a thing as a simple engine upgrade again - something I feel influenced ideas such as AE2100 upgrades for P-3s.
 

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What if Canadair built Lockheed P-3 Orions under license instead of Argus MPA?

What if Canadair built Mirage III instead of CF-5 Freedom Fighters and CF-104 Starfighters?
 

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*Australia/RAAF becomes launch customer for a revamped Lockheed Martin P-7 Long Range Air ASW-Capable Aircraft (LRAACA), as a more cost effective and more operationally effective replacement for it's P-3C Orion fleet.
Wait a minute, one of the risks of Australian (and probably any for that matter) acquisitions is being on the 'blading edge' - just see Tiger ARH. Being the launch customer, even ahead of the USN would be highly risky.
As much as the U.S. government puts pressure on Australia to purchase Boeing P-8's, the RAAF appreciated the characteristics of the turboprop-powered ASW for low speed ops (including SAR), the safety and redundancy of four engine over water, fuel efficiency and general operational costs over the operational lifespan of type.
I don't believe there was any pressure put on Australia at all re the P-8. Moreover, if you look at 737 reliability and the fact that more than 7000 (of the 737NG variant from which both the E-7A Wedgetail and P-8 Poseidon are derived) it makes perfect sense to operate this over a potentially bespoke turboprop into the future.
Granted GTX, but this is under the heading of 'Alternative History' mate ;)

As to whether there was any 'pressure put on Australia to select the P-8', I don't know. All I recall is the then PM Tony Abbott seemingly pulling a rabbit out of his hat, which seemingly appear to be another PM Captains Picks to me, for I wasn't aware of any RfP by the RAAF.......hey, but I could be wrong.
I could be wrong, but at the time of the P-8 announcement, I was under the impression that the P-8 still didn't have a ASW torpedo capability due to its high speed to deploy existing air to sub-surface ASW torpedoes - so if this is correct, then it can't really be deployed in its principle role of ASW.....but again, I could be wrong.

Regards
Pioneer
 
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helmutkohl

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lol i meant Malaysia getting more F-5s than Hawks.. I never found the single seat Hawk useful.

another one in hindsight

Austria - instead of Typhoons, Gripen

Thailand - instead of T-84s, T-90s or Type-99s (as much as I want the Ukrainian tank to succeed, its been problematic for them). Instead of Chakri Naruebet, no carrier instead and invest that money onto other ships.

US - instead of these new tankers its having trouble with.. just get the same thing Japan is using 15 years ago, the KC-767
 

helmutkohl

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Austria - instead of Typhoons, Gripen

D@mn right.
Croatia is falling in the similar trap with Rafale purchase.
quite frankly I feel for a majority of Europe.. a single engined light fighter is all thats needed. anything more is just a waste in operation costs.
the only exceptions are those European countries with vast territories outside of Europe (France, UK).. or those with significant maritime areas to cover (Greece, Italy, etc).
 
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