Robert Bond Director Citizens for Defence
CITIZENS FOR DEFENCE
“Jump jet” most versatile aircraft in the world
The ASPI report on “jump jets” by Richard Brabin-Smith and Benjamin Schreer is far from an “independent report” as stated in the paper but is a government propaganda report brought forward by a government funded think tank that reflects government policy of spending nothing on defence and purchasing third rate equipment if it purchases anything. Government subsidies of $8000 a day or $3million per annum buy a heap of influence from the spin doctors of the day and this is another example.
Australian defence is nonexistent as clearly demonstrated by the recent incursions of the Chinese battle fleet, the Malaysian jet liner and the Russian battle fleet into our air and sea space. Australia was incapable of offering any resistance to these forces except for an antique unarmed propeller plane in the case of the Chinese and an unarmed plane and 2 small frigates in the case of the Russians. The Russian nuclear attack subs accompanying the Russian battle fleet would have been circling these frigates with glee in unscheduled military exercises. If the US had not informed us of these ships entry into our waters we probably still would not know.
If Australia had forward hardened bases at Exmouth, Broome and Weipa able to be expanded at a moment’s notice it would be logical that we would immediately send out tankers, aircraft with anti-ship missiles and a few nuclear attack submarines and a battle fleet with our Canberra class aircraft carriers on exercises in the proximity of the Russian vessels to show ownership for our northern waters.
This battle group should have 20 F35B VTOL stealth attack aircraft on each of our amphibious ships capable of attacking the enemy with long distance anti-ship missiles whilst the air force with the aid of fuel tanker aircraft gives cover to the fleet. When the enemy lands on our shore the fleet could retire and regroup by replacing the F35 Fighters with helicopters and troops to be used in co-ordination with the army and air force to oppose the enemy force.
ASPI covers none of these points. It has not explored the possibility that the Canberra class ships are not attacking any island but defending the nation against incoming ships so it could be armed fully with 20 aircraft and some anti submarine helicopters. On other occasions it could be attempting amphibious landings where 6 “jump jets” a ship could be used for troop support.
For ASPI to say the cost of the F35Bs cannot be justified because we may not have enough in some conflicts or we will have too many in other lesser conflicts is nit picking in the extreme. The F35B is the most versatile high powered weapons platform available in the world today despite its shortcomings in range and weapons payload. It can be carried by ship close to the conflict or hidden in camouflaged positions near a battlefield where these limitations are meaningless. In a day it can fly 5 sorties supporting our forces compared with I or 2 sorties from a conventional airplane that has to travel long distances to an airstrip and even have to refuel from aircraft tankers along the way.
The world knows we are completely defenceless and yet we crow like a rooster who is king of the chook pen. The Australian major parties are full of bark with no bite on defence matters.
This report by ASPI is amateurish in the extreme and fits hand in glove with the major parties easy option of purchasing third rate equipment (or no equipment) when the best high technology weapons are desperately needed to defend Australia.