The author has been described by News Ltd as an "iconoclast", "Svengali", a pollie's "economist muse", and "pungently accurate". Fairfax says he is a "Renaissance man" and "one of Australia’s most respected analysts." Stephen Koukoulas concludes that he is "85% right", and "would make a great Opposition leader." Terry McCrann claims the author thinks "‘nuance’ is a trendy village in the south of France", but can be "scintillating" when he thinks "clearly". The ACTU reckons he’s "an enigma wrapped in a Bloomberg terminal, wrapped in some apparently well-honed abs."

Friday, August 24, 2012

ASPI's Mark Thomson on Super Hornet versus F-35

A very good note here:

The RAAF must be doubly worried. The most optimistic outcome is that long-term additional cost of operating two fleets will be funded by purchasing fewer F-35 aircraft. Say goodbye to 100 aircraft. More worrying still—from an RAAF perspective at least—is that someone will crunch the numbers and come up with the obvious alternative; cancel the F-35 and use the substantial savings from operating a single aircraft type to build a larger fleet of Super Hornets. Sure, the F/A-18E/F does not have the technical performance (promised) by the F-35, but it’s good enough for the US Navy to be taking new deliveries at the moment. Moreover, a larger fleet of slightly less capable aircraft would be better to have in many circumstances (that is, against other than advanced adversaries). It’s at least worthy of close consideration. Indeed, if the costs and benefits of this alternative are not currently under active consideration, then something is deeply wrong with the way decisions are being made.