Australia and Japan are
spending more money to rebuild and maintain older warplanes, because of
problems and delays in getting new ones. For example, Australia has ordered the
new F-35, but that project has suffered nearly two years of delays, and will
not begin mass production for another six years. Japan wants to get the new
F-22, but the U.S., not willing to trust the Japanese with so many top secret
technologies, refuses to sell.
nations still have older aircraft flying, but coming closer to the end of their
useful lives, decisions had to be made. Australia is going to rebuild ten of
its 71, two decade old, F-18s. The center section of the fuselage on these
aircraft develops stress cracks after about twenty years of hard use, and the
only fix is to replace the worn out components. That will cost about $11
million per aircraft. The work will be done in Canada, another F-18 user.
still trying to get those F-22s, but is looking into the new Eurofighter as
well. But even if an order for the Eurofighter were placed right away, they
would have to get in line. Sales of the Eurofighter have been brisk, and
waiting time would be more than five years. So Japan is spend nearly $900
million to upgrade 60 of its F-15s. It is also cutting back flying hours for
many of its 90 F-4s, and eventually replace them with Eurofighters.