Quote: "While it has been known for sometime that Boeing and the US Navy intend to fly a modified F/A-18F Super Hornet equipped with conformal fuel tanks (CFTs) and a weapons pod later this summer, some new details are emerging.
Mark Gammon, Boeing's Hornet advanced projects chief, also notes that the aircraft will have a mock-up of an internally-mounted infrared search and track system mounted along with a slew of radar cross-section enhancement measures.
Configured with the CFTs and weapons pod carrying four AMRAAMs, the jet performs roughly the same as a Super Hornet carrying four external AIM-120s. Anyways, Boeing showed off this brand new real F/A-18F equipped with mockup CFTs, weapons pods and other hardware."
A full-on, built-in laser targeting system would be nice to have. It seems counter-intuitive for a mud-mover like the Rhino to put its weaponry in a pod like this...but stealth is the name of the game nowadays, and that is what sells.
Could be an effective foil against potential adversaries flying numerous, conventional fighters...and emerging stealth designs...provided price and support is right.
Ozair From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 782 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (9 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 4641 times:
Quoting Devilfish (Thread starter): Configured with the CFTs...the jet performs roughly the same as a Super Hornet carrying four external AIM-120s.
So how close in performance is roughly? The F-16 suffers a G penalty when you add conformal tanks, does that affect the SH as well considering the airframe already has drag issues with its canted pylons?
This is the first time I have seen the external weapons pod. Do we know how the AMRAAMs are packed, aligned in a row across the bottom or maybe stacked two high? It also looks big enough to carry a couple of SDB. Would be a good capability if it could be dual loaded with a couple of AMRAAMs and an SDB or two.
Spacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2856 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (9 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 4387 times:
Quoting Ozair (Reply 1): So how close in performance is roughly? The F-16 suffers a G penalty when you add conformal tanks, does that affect the SH as well considering the airframe already has drag issues with its canted pylons?
That's an interesting question. So far the only images we've seen show the wing pylons totally removed.
Some guy from Raytheon is going to go nuts loading one of these bugs up with 2 AIM-9x, 14 AIM-120 and the CFTs.
I was going off an evaluation article written about the Indian MMRCA acquisition which referenced F-16 flight limitations with conformal fuel tanks. Doing a quick google search I can see most sites report that the tanks don't give a g-penalty while a few mention limitations without going into specifics. There is an old thread on ANet that talks about it with a quote from a LM press release stating no G issues but an obvious increase in drag, Conformal Fuel Tanks? (by CannibalZ3 Mar 30 2006 in Military Aviation & Space Flight)