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Australia & S. Pacific | Fighters & Attack | Issues - International | Issues - Political | Lobbying

Australian Air Power Controversy: Super Hornets Under Fire

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F-18F & the barrier(click to view full) After a controversy over the F-35A Lightning II’s suitability for Australia’s strategic needs – amidst a flurry of criticism from opposition party critics, the media, and even retired military officials – Australia’s government went ahead and signed the F-35 Production MoU in November 2006, which did not commit them to buy the aircraft just yet. Then it went ahead and submitted a USD $3.1+ billion order without a competition process for 24 Super Hornets, in order to address Australia’s air capability gap until the F-35As arrive. Controversy continues in Australia regarding the government’s plan to purchase the F-35 Lightning II as its next-generation fighter, and it has now spread to target the sudden F/A-18F Super Hornet Block II purchase as well. Australia’s Liberal Party government faced widespread criticism in Parliament and in the media, and began to respond – but in November 2007, that government was replaced by the opposition Labor Party. A full formal review of Australia’s Air Combat Capability plans is now underway, in light of expected regional airpower developments to 2045. A major political kerfuffle targeted squarely at the Super Hornet erupted soon thereafter, but the new Labor government ended […]

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