The parliamentary library has released a research note which
updates information on the JSF project [PDF]
and Australia's position and options for it. The two main issues identified are increasing cost of the platform and Australian access to source code.
The cost of the JSF procurement is estimated at being somewhere in the order of 12 to 15.5 billion; up from 10.5 billion. That is not unusual in defence projects which are limited run and cutting edge technology. By way of comparison, the Australian government spends 16.7 billion on defence each year.
Other issues with costs include the possibility that the UK might pull out of the program over disputes with the Pentagon over access to source code. If this occurs the JSF, already a short-run aircraft, will become even shorter run. This will drive up unit costs for the aircraft.
Access to source code is an issue for Australia too. From the research note;
... questions about the release of the computer source code that makes the aircraft so unique have emerged as a potential showstopper for international clients.
The source code in question refers to the millions of lines of computer code that allow this 21st-century aircraft to fly and to fight.
Without complete access to this source code, Australia will be unable to modify or even maintain the aircraft independently--as it has done so successfully for many years with the F-111.
The question about the release of the source code to Australia has not been confirmed publicly.
It is understood that maintenance of the JSF will be undertaken in a regional logistics and maintenance centre run by Lockheed Martin.
Without access to the source code, Australia may in coming decades be put in the invidious position of having no option but to pay whatever Lockheed Martin asks during future contract negotiations for the ongoing maintenance of Australia's strike fighters.
In other words, vendor lock-in.
The research note poses other issues, such as the increase in the technology and usefulness of the unmanned aerial vehicles [UAV]. It is possible that UAV will be a disruptive technology and leave the JSF as the last of manned strike aircraft.
Another issue raised is the choice of a less-stealthier platform, such as the F15 which has no development costs associated with it. The research note argues that the technology of the JSF, such as network-centric warfare, will filter down into other platforms; effectively commoditising.
The JSF still has a ways to go, the first test flight has not been performed and many of the technologies for the JSF are yet to fully mature under development. Australia will be watching with interest.
Most Popular on South Sea Republic
The articles that have been viewed the most:
Most Popular Restaurants in Phoenix
Phoenix Eats Out
is the restaurant review site for Phoenix
and Old Town Scottsdale
which lists the modernist and contemporary restaurants, taverns and bars in the greater Phoenix area.
This is the list of the most popular restaurants pages from phoenixeatsout.com that have been viewed the most;
My personal favourite restaurants in Phoenix are AZ88
, Humble Pie
, Orange Table
, The Vig
and others coming close behind. View the complete list with the photo-journalistic style images on phoenixeatsout.com
Most Popular Hikes in Arizona
Arizona is an outdoor state and has lots of hiking in the city and around the state. Phoenix is unusual for most cities in having several large mountains in the center of the city with great hiking. Anyone who comes to Phoenix has to do the Echo Canyon trail on Camelback
and the Summit Hike on Squaw Peak
or Piesta Peak. The views of the city, suburbs and surrounding mountains are wonderful from Camelback and Piesta Peak.
For more experienced hikers there is the McDowell Mountains in North Scottsdale that has several difficult and strenuous hikes in Tom's Thumb
and Bell Pass
. Alternatively, you can hike the highest mountain in Arizona. At 12,600 feet Humphrey's Peak
is a long and difficult hike.
Alternate Australian Constitutions
Between 2004 and 2009 this site, southsearepublic.org
, was a constitutional blog based on scoop which focused on Australian and global constitutional issues.
One of the strongest aspects of it was the development of constitutions by those involved in the blog. These constitutions are the outcome:
The constitutions were built using principles from Montesquieu's separation of powers, the enlightnment's universal political rights and the ancient Athenian technology of sortition and choice by lot.
Archives For South Sea Republic
South Sea Republic started in 2004 as an Australian constitutional blog in 2004 based on scoop software. It was an immigrative outgrowth of Kuro5hin. The archives for each year since then;
The articles are ordered by views.
Who Is Cam Riley
I am an Australian living in the United States as a permanent resident.
I am a software developer by trade and mostly work in Java and jump between middleware and front end.
I originally worked in the New York area of the United States in telecommunications before moving to Washington DC and
working in a mix of telecommunications, energy and ITS. I started my own software company before heading out to
Arizona and working with Shutterfly. Since then I have joined a startup in the Phoenix area and am thoroughly enjoying myself.
I do a lot of photography which I post on this website, but also on flickr. I have a photo-journalistic website which lists
the modernist and contemporary restaurants in phoenix. I have a site on the Australian Flying Corps [AFC]
which has been around since the 1990s and which I unfortunately
lost the .org URL to during a life event; however, it is under the www.australianflyingcorps.com
The AFC website has gone through several iterations since the 90s and the two most recent are Australian Flying Corps Archives(2004-2002)
Australian Flying Corps Archives(2002-1999)
which are good places to start.
Websites Worth Reading
Websites of friends, colleagues and of interest;