Lockheed Martin F-35 VP Tom Burbage is touring Down Under, and he couldn’t have picked a better time.
With air power pundit Carlo Kopp and defense-wonk-turned-pol Dennis Jensen clubbing Burbage’s baby like a … well, you know … in the Australian press, and ministers in Canberra starting to feel skittish about their upcoming $15 billion commitment, Lockheed could use some face time with — potentially — one of its first big export customers.
Burbage’s visit has already sparked a great report by ABC’s Lateline. I’m waiting for the first news reports to appear about Burbage’s lecture yesterday at the Royal United Services Institute of Australia.
Kopp and Burbage already appear to be facing off, albeit virtually.
CARLO KOPP, AIR POWER AUSTRALIA: The newer Russian aircraft wouldbe quite capable of shooting down several Joint Strike Fighters forevery Sukhoi that gets shot down by Joint Strike Fighter. When you’relooking at that type of disparity, you end up basically with an AirForce that is completely combat ineffective.
TOM BURBAGE: It’snot true. We’re not using Lockheed Martin simulation or analysis, we’reusing US Air Force models that are very sophisticated. Lockheed Martinuses the same models that the Air Force does and the Air Force doesmany of these simulations instead of us. So, you know, we’re highlyconfident in the results of these models.