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Dog Fighters

February 29, 2008

Australia is currently going through an evaluation process to replace our F18 and our aging, though still highly effective F111s.

Though Australia is the only country on the planet to be using the F111, they are, particularly with the Australian upgrades, a highly effective long range Fighter/Bomber. In fact from memory in a War Games exercise with the US not that long ago one of our F111s took out, from memory, either a F14 or F15, because of our avionics and our sneaky lateral thinking… you see sometimes when betting on surefire things you lose your shirt.

Personally I’m ambivalent about the possible interim Super F18s, as I am about the F35 Joint Strike Fighter (stealthish fighter) or the hugely expensive F22 Raptor (stealth fighter).

If it was my choice I’d go for the Russian SU-37 if it were available, as an interim stopgap rather than the Super F18 because the SU-37 would most probably be much less expensive. That would give us an opportunity to learn a lot about the SU-37 and I believe, like with the F111, we’d be able to adapt and improve the avionics as well as the weapons systems. The money saved hopefully would mean our excellent fighter pilots might be able to actually do more real flying, as a posed to simulator training.

If I’m right about the possibility of us being able to upgrade the SU-37, it seems likely that the outcome would benefit us in two ways:- 1. The pilots would love it and maybe opt for staying in the Airforce for a lower wage rather than moving to Civil Aviation at three or four times the wage… your either a fighter pilot or a bus driver in my view. 2. The SU-37 if it could be improved in terms of avionics & weapons… putting asides the stealthiness, the SU-37 would kick arse in a Dogfight with all other aircraft, in my opinion.

The US F22


The Russian SU-37



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