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Last Updated: Mon Jan 27 11:18:09 UTC 2014

8th May,  2005
The Editor
Air Power Australia

Dear Sir,

I write with concern regarding the apparent lack of integrity by our present government and defence leaders in maintaining their choice of the JSF as our primary military combat aircraft for the next 40 years.

The JSFs are not the right choice for Australia.

Our government is incorrectly choosing to uphold their decision to acquire JSF strike fighters to replace our F-111s and F/A-18s.

Our government and defence leaders appear to be saving face by maintaining this incorrect choice, despite changed circumstances since 2002.

F-111s with F/A-22 Raptors are the right choice for Australia.
Australia's is the only country that still deploys F-111s in it's air force and we should keep them and improve them.

There is no other aircraft currently available that can effectively provide for Australia's current and near future defence needs better than the F-111 in its long distance strike, reconnaissance and deterrent roles.

There are currently plenty of surplus F-111s mothballed in the USA, we should acquire these before they are scrapped.

The Defence department is planning to scrap the F-111s by 2010 and is already prematurely eroding our F-111 fleet by withholding approval of funds for new and continuing F-111 projects.
We should acquire a fleet of F/A-22 Raptors - not JSFs - to replace our F/A-18s.

Other major and developing nations in our region of the world have acquired Russian Sukhoi fighters which will eat JSFs and F/A-18s for breakfast.

F/A-22 Raptors will dominate Russian Sukhois and will enable Australia to maintain its traditional role as a primary peace enforcer in our region. F-111s can out-run and out-distance Russian Sukhoi's and F-111s could be made more stealthy.

F/A-22 Raptors are complementary to F-111s, the better F/A-22 engines fit directly into F-111s and enable them to cruise economically at supersonic speeds.

JSFs have serious limitations, they cannot provide us with air dominance, have only one engine and only one pilot for long distance flights. They cannot supercruise, have limited speed, have limited range and have limited stealth.

The JSF choice declares Australia's apathy towards sharing the responsibility of keeping the peace in our region of the world.
The JSF is designed for supporting ground troops and it's choice suggests that Australia is intending aggression and is only interested in preparing itself to support future US coalition operations in distant parts of the world.

The loss of the F-111 in Australia will also result in the loss of the 'critical mass' that currently enables our very healthy home grown and highly innovative Australian military and domestic aerospace industry.
To do their job, we must provide our air force personnel with the very best practical and most effective technology, that only the F/A-22s and our F-111s will give.

Graeme Palmer
Springwood, Queensland

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