Defence is misleading the press.
The F-35 cheerleaders are afraid that Smith will sign up for another order of Super Hornets. They think a preemptive strike in the media--which proclaims that the F-35 debacle is manageable--can't hurt.
Today's Canberra Times has a read that has the usual Defence talking points which are wrong. They are yet to figure out the following:
1. The F-35 is not a fifth-generation fighter (except in the dreams of marketing people)
2. The 2009 Defence White Paper is a joke.
3. The F-35 will not be able to take on modern anti-access threats.
4. The F-35 program has significant problems.
5. Some major U.S. political leaders are not happy about those problems.