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RAF Fighter Pilots Must Be Relieved …  
User currently offlineKeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (11 years 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 4059 times:

Finally they get an aircraft that can hold its pants in a dogfight.

Tornado GR & ADV, Phantoms & Lightning’s before that, all where heavy, had no/slow guns, low power/weight ratios etc.

Imagine those crew briefings ;
“After the navigation mission there will be a close combat exercise at location xxx, Four F15/16/18’s will be there waiting for you. Don’t get below level 5 boys..”

Reaction:
“Jolly good, let’s get our ass kicked again fellows….”

At last now they are getting some decent turn rates & power on their hands…

Oh wait, Typhoons gun is removed, well …

http://www.awgnet.com/shownews/00farn3/hardwr02.htm

22 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29792 posts, RR: 58
Reply 1, posted (11 years 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 3981 times:

Didn't the US learn about all missile armed fighters in Vietnam?


I am surprised those lessons wheren't passed on to the brits.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2914 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (11 years 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 3944 times:

Oh come on now, at least the Lightning had an Air to Air kill.... A Harrier that was still flying after the pilot ejected. But you'll take the victories where you can get them!

T.J.



The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 18
Reply 3, posted (11 years 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 3921 times:

188, lessons are often quickly forgotten.
The Brits in the 1960s decided that the age of manned aircraft was over, missiles could do it all.
In the 1970s they came back on that decision.
In the 1990s NATO nations (especially the European ones) decided that having armed forces is an expensive hobby and not really needed so corners are now cut whereever possible (and impossible).
Guns cost money and fuel (because of weight) so they are not fitted.
Other countries are disbanding their armed forces quickly and still flying 30 year old aircraft with no plans to replace them.
At least the Brits will get SOMETHING!



I wish I were flying
User currently offlineDerekF From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2001, 909 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (10 years 12 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 3865 times:

The news item found is from the Farnborough 2000 web site. A bit of old news really.

For your information the Lightning F.6 had guns and an excellent power to weight ratio, only matched recently.
The Tornado F.3 or the Phantom for that matter were not designed for dogfighting. The idea would be to sit at some distance away and blow the opposition away with a BVR missile

I've tried to find out how many gun kills there were since Vietnam and the answer is not very many. None in the Falklands war, one that I can find in the first Gulf war (an F-15C shooting down an Il76).
Even gun armed fighters of Vietnam didn't shoot down many. The F-8 only two gun kills. The F-4E I don't know.

Derek



Whatever.......
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29792 posts, RR: 58
Reply 5, posted (10 years 12 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 3822 times:

DerekF.

I don't think there have been that many gun kills, but that isn't the only thing a gun is used for on the aircraft.

Besides, if you can shoot a few tracers at somebody to get him in a position to splash him, it isn't going to count as a gun kill.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineKeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (10 years 12 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 3834 times:

how many aircraft on the ground were destroyed by gun fire

how many convoys, helicopters, boats etc

ASM or laser guided bombs can't do the job as efficiently

Keeping a healthy distance is not always an option. Most opponents have BVR's to, visual indentification is often required.

The RAF stands alone in not fitting a gun to a modern fighter.

SU35, F22 (air superioty fighters), JSF and Rafale all have high speed guns..

Specifying high turning rates & power for air to air and then removing the gun, odd ...

Excellent pilots having to make the best of it again ....


User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 18
Reply 7, posted (10 years 12 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 3802 times:

They'll probably be retrofitted at a later date, at hideous expense and reducing performance.

Happened to the F-4 too (yielding the F-4E).



I wish I were flying
User currently offlineDerekf From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2001, 909 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (10 years 12 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 3795 times:

I think I get it now. The guns are for shooting at boats, helicopters etc and are better than bombs (??). I still think that for an air superiority fighter a gun is a bit useless because of what I said earlier. For aircraft with secondary (or primary) ground attack capability(F-16, F-18, JSF, Tornado etc) then fair enough.
If the gun was so important to the F-4 why wasn't it retrofitted to the other marks after the F-4E (I assume the German F-4F had the same gun as the F-4E)
Also I would remind you of the Royal Navy record in the Falklands. I think you'll find that they "kicked ass" Subsonic fighter against Mach 2 jet (with guns). No losses in air to air combat. Not bad.
Having said all that I don't think the RAF have shot down an enemy aircraft since 1945.
Regards
Derek



Whatever.......
User currently offlineSaintsman From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 2065 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (10 years 12 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 3789 times:

I wonder if guns are really all that effective?

I used to watch the RAF practice in Cyprus some years ago. We used to use the banner targets as hammocks and at the start of each squadrons practice there may have been a couple of hits on each one (so they were great for use as a hammock). The ratio of hits to rounds fired were pretty low although there was much improvement by the end of the detatchment. I might add that the towing aircraft was the mighty Canberra.

The point I am trying to make is if the pilots only get to practice once a year they aren't going to be very good. Gun firing is one of those skills that you need to do all the time and I expect you would need several hits to really destroy an aircraft. If you are up against an opponent in a modern fighter then you chances of a clean hit will be even less.

A missile has to be more effective and much easier.


User currently offlineKeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (10 years 12 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 3793 times:

"if the pilots only get to practice once a year they aren't going to be very good"
- pratice by means of a gun camera is the most practicle & effective way.

"If the gun was so important to the F-4 why wasn't it retrofitted to the other marks"
- Gun pods were hastely fitted under F4C/D ...

"For aircraft with secondary (or primary) ground attack capability (F-16, F-18, JSF, Tornado etc) then fair enough."
- RAF Typhoons are multi role ..: http://www.raf.mod.uk/equipment/typhoon.html

"A missile has to be more effective and much easier."
- Most Airforces spend the extra money on a gun. Inexpensive, don´t respond to decoys & flares and can be aimed & fired at anything quickly ..

"Also I would remind you of the Royal Navy record in the Falklands. I think you'll find that they "kicked ass" Subsonic fighter against Mach 2 jet (with guns). "
- (Sea) Harriers had two optional 30 mm Aden gun pods...

I´m not convinced it wasn´t just a stupid decision ...



User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2914 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (10 years 12 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 3790 times:

In vietnam, there were many gun kills by Republic F-105s. Not sure if the F-100s got too many air to air, but you can be sure they did some strafing too. Same with the F-5 and A-37. The A-4 and A-7 also used guns in that conflict.

And for effectiveness, just look at how Israel used guns with their Mirage fighters during the 6 day war and the Yom Kippur war. They strafed airfields and took out much of the opposing air force before it got off the ground.

Question- did the IAF get any air to air kills versus Syria using guns in their F-4E/F-15/F-16 squadrons in 1982?

T.J.



The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlineLY744 From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 5536 posts, RR: 10
Reply 12, posted (10 years 12 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 3778 times:

"did the IAF get any air to air kills versus Syria using guns in their F-4E/F-15/F-16 squadrons in 1982?"

Probably a few. Their F-15's and -16's got several gun kills in the years preceding the '82 conflict, including the F-16's first ever kill, a Syrian Mi-8 over Lebanon (Sidewinder malfunctioned) in 1981.


LY744.



Pacifism only works if EVERYBODY practices it
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29792 posts, RR: 58
Reply 13, posted (10 years 12 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 3766 times:

One of the reasons why the F-4E got a built in gun was that it was discovered that the centerline gun pod that was fitted at the expense of a drop tank to the center pylon was next to worthless.

It just vibrated to much to be accurate.

Built in weapons are much more accurate because their mounts are more stable.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineDerekF From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2001, 909 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (10 years 12 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 3764 times:

I think I must make it clearer. I still think that for the air to air role the gun is a bit useless. For the air to ground role a gun is a good thing - I have no problem with that and most on here agree.
Incidentally the website :

http://www.raf.mod.uk/equipment/typhoon.html

still says the Typhoon is having a gun. I think this right.

D




Whatever.......
User currently offlineKeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (10 years 12 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 3746 times:

First 50 aircraft were already ordered with guns

rest will be delivered without.. first 50 will be removed.

Still time enough to change plans ?





User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13184 posts, RR: 77
Reply 16, posted (10 years 12 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 3740 times:

It is worth remembering that in Vietnam the AAMs were very unreliable, and USAF pilots had done little air to air combat training, save for some against similar aircraft.
The AIM-9s and later AIM-7s improved in time, but when F-4Ds were first deployed they had the almost useless (for fighter vs fighter) AIM-4 Falcons, it took local commanders to remove them and put Sidewinders back on to change that.

In the Falklands Sea Harriers were fitted with 30mm cannon, but apart from the odd Pucara and helicopter, all kills were with AIM-9Ls.
It was not a great surprise to those in the know that they did so well, they had proved effective in exercises with NATO aircraft, including the USAF F-5E aggressor units.

The Lighting was agile with a terrific power to weight ratio, it just suffered from not being updated and the design improved.
A well flown F-4 could hold its own against contemporary Soviet types, remember too that for the last 15 years of service, UK F-4s had the BAe Skyflash MRAAM, a much improved development of the Sparrow which has incorporated improvements based on Vietnam experience, as well as AIM-9Ls.
(It was an RAF Germany F-4M in the accidental shoot down a RAF Jaguar in 1982).
But many of the RN Sea Harrier pilots who shot down enemy aircraft in 1982 were RAF on exchange with the Navy.

The Tornado F.3 was for the specific mission of defending UK airspace and the Eastern Atlantic approaches from Soviet bombers, for that reason they were not deployed in the fighter role to 19 and 92 squadrons in RAF Germany.

I don't think it was a clever move to delete the gun from RAF Typhoons, however recent experience does suggest that it would not be used hardly at all in air to air, not against fighter targets at least, but if they wanted to reduce costs why not reduce the Typhoon buy to 230, from 232 aircraft, that would have covered it.


User currently offlineDerekf From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2001, 909 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (10 years 12 months 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 3732 times:

GDB
You've put it a bit more eloquently than I have. I agree that deleting the gun is probably a mistake for the air-to ground role especially as the most the costs have already been incurred.

Keesje

I think we probably agree about the Typhoon at least and they may well change their minds, but I would be careful in quoting 3 year old articles as new.

Regards

Derek



Whatever.......
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13184 posts, RR: 77
Reply 18, posted (10 years 12 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 3717 times:

Maybe Sept 11th experience could cause a change for the gun, having the ability to fire warning shots at an aircraft for example, as well as air to ground targets of opportunity.
In the mid 60's, the then new Lightning F.3, with weapon system improvements over previous versions, had the twin 30mm cannon deleted.
However, from the late 60's numbers of Soviet aircraft testing UK air defences increased, if this was to happen in a time of tension, the ability to fire warning shots could be required to make a point without escalating to conflict, around the same time the Lightnings started to be deployed overseas, to Singapore and Cyprus and on general deployment elsewhere, again having cannon could be useful.
So the Lighting F.6 had guns re-installed, the same might happen with Typhoon.


User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 18
Reply 19, posted (10 years 12 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 3660 times:

Another thing for guns: numbers...

When you are up with 4 missiles against 10 targets you'll have to let 6 run (at least).
Had you also a gun you could take out several of those, or at least scare them off or lure them into someone elses killzone.

And as stated guns can't be jammed or subjected to decoys.



I wish I were flying
User currently offlineBsergonomics From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2002, 462 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (10 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 3575 times:

Quote from my RAF pilot colleagues:

"A gun is for when you're having a knife fight in a phone box."

As was stated earlier, the UK military (in general, not just the RAF) developed the mindset in the 60's that guns were obselete and Missiles would rule the day. Then the Falklands were invaded and a large number of sailors suddenly started thinking that anti-aircraft guns would have been a rather good idea. Just before he was hit by an Argentine 500lb bomb, one RN pilot was seen firing at the inbound aircraft with a bren gun. Hardly the longest range anti-aircraft gun around. And the reason why the pair of aircraft had got so close? Because the missile system couldn't handle two targets and had locked up.

To be honest, the cost of retrofitting a gun into the EF2000 is less than for other aircraft. For one thing, the design work has already been performed. So has the flight testing. Three other nations (plus Austria) will have the same aircraft but with the gun. So a retrofit would require some testing on the avionics, some compatability testing, some flight testing and the Operational Service Release testing. It'll cost, but we're not talking shed loads here.

Personally, given the option, I'd want the gun. If the brown smelly stuff really hit the big rotating thing, it may be the only thing available to you. It's useful for Targets Of Opportunity (TOOs) (heard about the A-10 that had run out of rounds, so shot down an Iraqi helicopter with a 1000lb bomb?) and it gives you a slightly warm, fuzzy feeling that there's always something in reserve...

[Side note: The GR3s weren't used in the air superiority role in the Falklands because they had a lump of concrete in the front where the radar should go. This makes it a bit difficult to find things to shoot down. Also, the 'G' in GR3 should give it away... Ground. But that did mean that they were the first aircraft to perform a combat TOSS attack...]



The definition of a 'Pessimist': an Optimist with experience...
User currently offlineKeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (10 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 3558 times:

I think the NAVY AA capability in the South Atlantic is even more painfull...

A close range AA system was specified in the seventy's. Contenders were the british Seawolf Missile & dutch Goakeeper.

Trails were held but & goalkeepr won. However Buy British folks came in & Seawolf was selected.....

Later on RN bought Goalkeepers silently anyway ..



User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13184 posts, RR: 77
Reply 22, posted (10 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 3563 times:

Sea Wolf performed well for a new weapon in 1982, shooting down at least 5 aircraft, in one case, it's 1st ever engagement-4 A4's attacked a Seawolf equipped RN ship at very low level, only 1 survived, but then only 4 ships had it fitted in 1982.
It failed on the 25th of May when HMS Coventry blocked the tracking radars on the Sea Wolf equipped HMS Broadsword while both ships were zig-zagging, ironically a Sea Harrier CAP had been told to keep away as the Seawolf system had locked on to the A4s.
Goalkeeper was not even available until a few years later, and it's a supplement to a SAM.
In 1982, missiles were seen as the main air defence for ships, and the RN was far from the only modern navy to think that, the old 20mm and 40mm weapons that were fitted were seen as mostly for dealing with small craft as happened in the Indonesian confrontation in the mid 60's.
Many modern navies did not even have these class of weapons, just the main gun and SAMs.

Easy to be wise after the event, anyway, in 1982 the main task of the RN was ASW in the Atlantic, the main threat was seen as long range Soviet bombers and large, high flying/terminal diving, Soviet ASMs/SSMs, which Sea Dart and Sea Wolf were designed to counter.
In tests, Sea Wolf hit 4.5 inch shells, in 1983 a MM38 Exocet was intercepted after being launched from a RN ship in a test of Sea Wolf against sea-skimmers.


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