Aussies Confirm 100 Is the Number

Air Marshal Mark Binskin, head of the Royal Australian Air Force, maintains that his country must buy 100 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters even as budget strings tighten to sustain 24-hour operations in the even of a high-threat, reports The Australian. “No matter how you model it, the modeling keeps coming back to 100,” Binskin said at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. Like the US Air Force, the RAAF has been struggling with aging aircraft maintenance problems and expects the F-35 to replace F-111s, that it will start retiring in 2011, and, later, F/A-18s. Earlier this year, Australian officials said they planned to seek approval to buy F-22 Raptors, as well.