Congress has approved a potential foreign sale for 60 F-35A aircraft, or 60 F-15 Silent Eagle aircraft for South Koreas F/X-III requirement. Both are competing with each other, along with the Eurofighter Typhoon for the deal. A final decision is expected this June.
In other news, the USN has announced that it expects the RAAF to purchase 12-24 additional F/A-18F Super Hornets this summer. They also have high expectations for sales with Brazil, Malaysia, and Kuwait. Boeing Co. recently gave a demonstration of the fighter at Malaysia’s annual airshow in March. The Navy will be sending information regarding the F-18 family to Canada shortly, but a formal competition is not expected to be implemented for aircraft selection. Although Canada had committed to the F-35 in 2010, the country was recently forced to re-evaluate its options from the general auditor because of price increases and delays with the JSF.
It has just been announced that Japan has decided on the F-35 stealth fighter as it’s 42 aircraft replacement to it’s F-4 phantoms. The main reason being the technology they could get from the aircraft; making it easier for them to develop their own “fifth” generation fighter.
First India in the summer. Now Japan. Not a good year for export sales.
Brazil is currently considering the Super Hornet along with Australia for an additional order of eighteen aircraft. The production line is currently set through the year 2015.
A recent proposal by Lockheed and the D.O.D. gives the idea that the F-35C variant would be the ideal replacement of the 500+ F/A-18 Super Hornet aircraft.
I’m going to ignore everything that is wrong with that above statement, and just leave it with this:
Just because the F-35 is NOT going to begin full testing/combat capability until 2017 does not mean it’s capable of replacing the Super Hornet’s eight years later. The fighter is not going to be more advanced because of a later operation date, it’s going to be the exact opposite. Lockheed is trying to spin the fact that the F-35 is so far behind in development. The JSF was not made to replace the Super Hornet, it was meant to replace original legacy Hornet’s along with other legacy aircraft. I’m not hating on the entire F-35, more so the fact the program is becoming more trouble then the taxpayer’s worth. Did the whole F-111 and A-12 projects not teach the D.O.D. anything?
I would not worry about any Super Hornet replacement until 2035 if that, with the way things are going now and over the next five years. Remember when the F-22 was going to replace the F-15E’s too?