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Australia's Tigers have been a maintenance and availability dog, and I know the government is working with Airbus Helicopters to rework and update them to keep them flying and relevant. I know the Australians are now looking at either the Apache or the Viper as follow-on attack helicopter purchases, and for them to be the mainstay of the Australian fleet since they feel they'll never be able to depend on the Tigers.

Always go with combat proven systems that work.
 

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On a related subject, I was just reading through a couple aerospace journals and the Su-57 came up in more than one article detailing Russia's effort to revamp its military. The Russians were quoted as saying the Su-57 supposedly costs a mere $35 million per aircraft. That's like saying you're going to purchase the Hope Diamond for $29.95. I don't think so. There's only two possibilities:

1. The Su-57 is a shell of a 5th Generation "stealth" fighter with no real 5th generation components, instead all being repurposed 4th Gen engines, avionics, etc., but fielding no radar absorbent structures or materials worthy of a 5th Gen stealth fighter.

2. It's Russian braggadocio at its all-time best, with the Russians trying to save face based on their minimal purchase number of Su-57s to be built. The real cost per aircraft is at least 2 to 2 1/2 times the number given, but also in an aircraft that is hamstrung by the Russian aerospace brain drain the last thirty years that has left it devoid of expertise, forcing the Russians to field the Su-57s with 4th Gen engines and avionics, and upgrading the aircraft over time so that they won't achieve their originally intended 5th Gen capabilities until the early 2030s.

I vote for number two. By the time the Su-57 fleet reaches maturity, the U.S. will be four or five years away from producing it's 6th Gen fighter, with the Europeans probably fielding two 6th Gen fighters around 2040. Anyway, I thought I'd share that.
 

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It's nice to see the money go to America's security. Maybe if the NATO members actually paid their portion, the money would be there for the upgrades.
 

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