Andy McKay

Apr 19, 2011

F-35 Alternatives


So what are the alternatives to the F-35?

Typhoon (Eurofighter)

I don't think there's any point looking there. The Typhoon is almost as bad as the F-35 in terms of delays and cost overruns.

Germany estimated the system cost (aircraft, training plus spare parts) to 120m (around $175m) and said it was in perpetual increase.
Wikipedia

More expensive than the F-35s at (theoretically) $75m each.

Super Hornet

An upgraded and newer version of the current CF-18 that Canada has. It's seen as an interim jet by the Australian Air force but costs around $55m each.

a former Air Commander Australia, said he was "absolutely astounded" that the Australian government would spend $6 billion on an interim aircraft.

Wikipedia

They are buying it because:

Australia is considering buying 18 Boeing-built Super Hornet warplanes for around $1.6 billion to plug a hole in defence capabilities left by expected delays in Lockheed Martin's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter
Reuters
Name Price
Typhoon $180m USD
Super Hornet $55m USD
F15 Strike Eagle $31m USD
Gripen $50m USD
Rafale $82m USD

What's likely to happen is that the F-35's (which we've just discovered won't come with engines) will run over cost and this will suck the life out of all the other military programs. Like search and rescue:

The concern here is that the F-35 eats everybodys elses lunch and there will be no money left, said Staples, president of the Rideau Institute. The search and rescue aircraft are a casualty, so instead well get some supersonic stealth fighter trying to find hikers lost in the woods.
Ottawa Citizen

This has happened in the UK with the Typhoon:

For more than 20 years the Eurofighter has paralysed the British armed forces, draining budgets, taking resources away from more useful things, costing more than Trident or a fleet of space shuttles twice the size of NASA's
Register

Of course I still don't see why we need a F-35. Who are we really going to take on with it and what planes do they have?

All our customers, he said, have enough fighters for chasing Cessnas for the next fifty years.
James Hasik

Sigh.