Australia could replace jet fighters with unmanned combat

March 30, 2016  - By
Image: GPS World

Australian Chief of the Defence Force Mark Binskin said that combat drones could take the place of some Joint Strike Fighters (JSFs).

A defense white paper states that Australia will buy 72 Joint Strike Fighters to replace current fighter planes “Classic” Hornets, six of which are now flying bombing raids over Iraq and Syria. But it leaves open the possibility of not buying a final squadron of roughly 25 JSFs to make up the 100-strong air combat fleet Australia needs.

Instead, the white paper states that to replace the newer, current squadron of Super Hornet aircraft from about 2030, alternatives will be “considered.”

Binskin said the department was keeping an open mind given the rapid improvements in armed drones or unmanned combat aerial vehicles, also known as UCAVs.

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