Four Corners - Flying Blind
For more than 30 years Australia has rested its security on the seemingly ageless wings of its F-111 fighter fleet. But in aviation circles these days there are doubts and rumblings. Some experts fear Australia is set to give away its crucial air superiority in the region. The reason, they claim, is that decision-makers have made the wrong choices about the planes that will replace the F-111s. Critics fix their sights on the US-made F/18-A Super Hornet. Australia is the only country outside the US to have bought the Super Hornet - 24 of them.
A growing squadron of critics - including a recent senior Defence insider who now breaks his silence to Four Corners - claim the still-to-be-delivered Super Hornets will be no match for the cheaper, faster, Russian-made Sukhoi fighters bought by Indonesia, Malaysia and China. Four Corners traces the chain of multi-billion dollar aircraft deals that are beginning to spark concerns about the nation's future defence capability.
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