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New Wild Weasel In The Future  
User currently offlineEBJ1248650 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1932 posts, RR: 1
Posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 8680 times:

Are there plans to produce a new Wild Weasel defense suppression aircraft based on either the F-35 or possibly the F-22? Given that the F-16 has little stealth capability ( that I know of ) it would seem very appropriate to produce a Weasel version of one of the new generation stealth tactical aircraft. I can't see the Air Force buying a Wild Weasel version of the Super Hornet so I didn't even mention that as a possibility. And given the latest generation of fighters coming from Europe and Russia, it would seem the F-16 Weasel is soon to be, if it isn't already, outdate.


Dare to dream; dream big!
32 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineAislepathLight From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 562 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 8664 times:

Quoting EBJ1248650 (Thread starter):
I can't see the Air Force buying a Wild Weasel version of the Super Hornet so I didn't even mention that as a possibility.

I gotta say, the Hornet would make sense as a Wild Weasel. It is tough as heck, can carry a shitload, and would be the best choice right now. The Air force top brass wouldn't stand for sharing aircraft with the navy, so unfortunatly, it is probably out. F22s are way too expensive to risk in that role, no matter how stealthy they are. I think F35s will be the aircraft chosen, especally with the VSTOL fan, you can pop out of no where and blast away.



"We have slain a large dragon, but we now live in a jungle filled with a bewildering variety of poisonous snakes."
User currently offlineEBJ1248650 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1932 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 8656 times:

Quoting AislepathLight (Reply 1):
I gotta say, the Hornet would make sense as a Wild Weasel. It is tough as heck, can carry a shitload, and would be the best choice right now. The Air force top brass wouldn't stand for sharing aircraft with the navy, so unfortunatly, it is probably out. F22s are way too expensive to risk in that role, no matter how stealthy they are. I think F35s will be the aircraft chosen, especally with the VSTOL fan, you can pop out of no where and blast away.

Excellent points. Perhaps the AF will learn from their experience with the F-16CJ and go to a two-seat configuration for the next generation Wild Weasel. As I understand it, they bemoaned the fact they retired the F-4G so soon.



Dare to dream; dream big!
User currently offlineLY744 From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 5536 posts, RR: 9
Reply 3, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 8661 times:

How is the Super Bug any better for the WW role than the F-16CJ? It's not all that much stealthier and it can't really carry all that much more ammo. I thought that the whole point of the HARM was to be able to out-quick the SAMs, so that being invisible to their radars is not a necessity, perhaps even a hindrance.

Also, can the internal bays of the F-35 handle a HARM, or will a whole new missile have to be developed?


LY744.



Pacifism only works if EVERYBODY practices it
User currently offlineSonic67 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 292 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 8664 times:

A little off topic but why couldn't a special purpose UAV be developed? At least a pilot would not be at risk just a thought.  twocents 

User currently offlineAirRyan From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2532 posts, RR: 5
Reply 5, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 8659 times:

Quoting LY744 (Reply 3):
and it can't really carry all that much more ammo.

Ah, yeah it can....

Plus, F/A-18E's are a perfect replacement for elder F-15C's not getting replaced by F-22's...


User currently offlineRAPCON From Puerto Rico, joined Jul 2006, 671 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 8634 times:

Quoting Sonic67 (Reply 4):
A little off topic but why couldn't a special purpose UAV be developed? At least a pilot would not be at risk just a thought.

That's exactly where the thinking is going. A UAV is a much more efficient WW unit than a manned a/c. The EF-18 will jam, but the best wep to accomplish the WW will be a UAV with some decent loitering capability to keep the SAM's nice and quiet.



MODS CAN'T STOP ME....THEY CAN ONLY HOPE TO CONTAIN ME!!!
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12146 posts, RR: 51
Reply 7, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 8568 times:

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 5):
Plus, F/A-18E's are a perfect replacement for elder F-15C's not getting replaced by F-22's...

Well, let's look closer at the Super Bug. It is actually another Navy bomber that can be used in the interceptor role, and to a less extent, the fighter role. It is not, nor was the USN ever intending it to be an air superiority fighter. It has the missions of bombing anf fleet defense interceptor. The USN relies on the USAF, now for air superiority and air supremesy.

Back on topic. You don't want a Wild Weasel aircraft to be stealthy, that defeats the purpose of the whole idea of the WW. The whole idea is for your wingman to be scene by the enemy air defense radars, so the low guy can take them out. I see the WW mission going to the F-16D, F-15D, or even a few F-15Es. The USAF has realized this is a two man airplane mission, as it was when they were F-105Fs and F-4E/Gs.


User currently offlineDeltaDC9 From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 2844 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 8510 times:

It has always seemed to be the practice to use previous generation aircraft for this function. During Desert storm we were using F-4's pretty effectively.

Would it not be a change of strategy to use modern less expendable planes for this mission? I mean, if a Phantom can do it, why do we need to spend exponentially more per plane? Don't we WANT the radar to see them?

Just playing the devils advocate BTW.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 7):
Back on topic. You don't want a Wild Weasel aircraft to be stealthy, that defeats the purpose of the whole idea of the WW. The whole idea is for your wingman to be scene by the enemy air defense radars, so the low guy can take them out. I see the WW mission going to the F-16D, F-15D, or even a few F-15Es. The USAF has realized this is a two man airplane mission, as it was when they were F-105Fs and F-4E/Gs.

Exactly what I was thinking. You can't shoot it if it is not active, right?



Dont take life too seriously because you will never get out of it alive - Bugs Bunny
User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 9, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 8499 times:

Quoting AislepathLight (Reply 1):
The Air force top brass wouldn't stand for sharing aircraft with the navy, so unfortunatly, it is probably out.

If the Air Force wouldn't stand for sharing aircraft with the Navy, how did they end up with the F-4, the A-7 and during the Viet Nam era the A-1's they took out of storage? All were Navy aircraft.


User currently offlineAislepathLight From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 562 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 8495 times:

Quoting 474218 (Reply 9):

If the Air Force wouldn't stand for sharing aircraft with the Navy, how did they end up with the F-4, the A-7 and during the Viet Nam era the A-1's they took out of storage? All were Navy aircraft.

After hearing many rants, you can see that most Airforce fighter jocks don't want to be in a Navy plane. See the thread below to see an example. I afteral brought up the idea, but I don't think that it willl happen. Look how stuck up 7E7 is in this thread.

Why The USAF Never Bought F-14 Tomcat? (by 747400sp May 11 2006 in Military Aviation & Space Flight)



"We have slain a large dragon, but we now live in a jungle filled with a bewildering variety of poisonous snakes."
User currently offlineN911ME From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 117 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 8488 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 7):
The USN relies on the USAF, now for air superiority and air supremesy.

Assuming that there is a USAF contingent within reasonable range of the CVBG, maybe.


User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 8487 times:

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 5):
Plus, F/A-18E's are a perfect replacement for elder F-15C's not getting replaced by F-22's...

That's what the JSF or if worse comes to worse Block 60 F-16's are for.

[Edited 2006-07-31 16:48:56]

User currently offlineDeltaDC9 From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 2844 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 8468 times:

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 12):
That's what the JSF or if worse comes to worse Block 60 F-16's are for.

Neither of which are considered air superiority fighters as far as I know. Not that they could not do the job.



Dont take life too seriously because you will never get out of it alive - Bugs Bunny
User currently offlineEBJ1248650 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1932 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 8451 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 7):
Back on topic. You don't want a Wild Weasel aircraft to be stealthy, that defeats the purpose of the whole idea of the WW. The whole idea is for your wingman to be scene by the enemy air defense radars, so the low guy can take them out. I see the WW mission going to the F-16D, F-15D, or even a few F-15Es. The USAF has realized this is a two man airplane mission, as it was when they were F-105Fs and F-4E/Gs.

Not quite sure that's true. After all, enemy radars stay up on line if they think nobody has them identified. The advantage of a stealth wild weasel is that it doesn't show up on radar which means the radard doesn't know it's been discovered and thus doesn't shut down to keep from being destroyed.



Dare to dream; dream big!
User currently offlineDeltaDC9 From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 2844 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 8409 times:

Quoting EBJ1248650 (Reply 14):
Not quite sure that's true.

Why would you need a Wild Weasel to activate radars that are already on? Activating the enemies deactivated radars is their mission. Regular strike aircraft can take care of the ones that are already on.



Dont take life too seriously because you will never get out of it alive - Bugs Bunny
User currently offlineRAPCON From Puerto Rico, joined Jul 2006, 671 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 8393 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 7):
The USN relies on the USAF, now for air superiority and air supremesy.

???? HUH??? The KC's are nice, but the USN is self-sufficient when it comes to fighter work. You would have to be out of your f****kng mind to come mess with a CV BG in a combat a/c.

Of course, don't forget that the USAF relies on the USN for jamming work!



MODS CAN'T STOP ME....THEY CAN ONLY HOPE TO CONTAIN ME!!!
User currently offlinePar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7202 posts, RR: 8
Reply 17, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 8380 times:

I thought that the US Air Force were using the F15-E Strike Eagles to take over all the roles of the retiring F-111 including the Wild Weasel mission for deep strike missions?

Even if I was mistaken, would not the Air Force rather use an a/c already in the inventory rather than introduce a new a/c? How difficult would it be to conver Strike Eagles to the WW mission, and please, I mean the F15-E not the C models.


User currently offlineEBJ1248650 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1932 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 8361 times:

Quoting DeltaDC9 (Reply 15):
Why would you need a Wild Weasel to activate radars that are already on? Activating the enemies deactivated radars is their mission. Regular strike aircraft can take care of the ones that are already on.

You don't. The point I was trying to make is that, according to our Viet Nam experience, when the radar operators saw they were being painted by Weasels they shut their radars down. And their radars could detect the incoming Weasel aircraft. Using a stealth aircraft to fly the Weasel mission would mean radar operators would loose one advantage: being able to see the incoming Weasel. Assuming the Weasels could use a "passive" form of radar detection, they could then locate, lock on and send a missile toward the radar before the operators knew what was happening.



Dare to dream; dream big!
User currently offlineEBJ1248650 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1932 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 8356 times:

Quoting RAPCON (Reply 16):
Of course, don't forget that the USAF relies on the USN for jamming work!

Yes and no. USAF ECM assets were retired (EF-111s) and the crews were transitioned into the EA-6B. Don't think the Air Force encouraged this. Believe it was forced on them as a cost cutting move. Might want to do some research on that one.



Dare to dream; dream big!
User currently offlineEBJ1248650 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1932 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 8355 times:

Quoting Par13del (Reply 17):
I thought that the US Air Force were using the F15-E Strike Eagles to take over all the roles of the retiring F-111 including the Wild Weasel mission for deep strike missions?

The F-111 never flew the Wild Weasel mission. It flew Electronic Countermeasures and jamming missions. Quite a different mission altogether. And that mission was flown with the EF-111A. There was talk at one time, when a replacement was being considered for the F-4G Wild Weasel, of an F-15E based dedicated Wild Weasel aircraft but it apparently was thought to be too expensive and the Air Force went with the single seat Weasel version of the F-16C.



Dare to dream; dream big!
User currently offlineEBJ1248650 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1932 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 8354 times:

Quoting Par13del (Reply 17):
Even if I was mistaken, would not the Air Force rather use an a/c already in the inventory rather than introduce a new a/c? How difficult would it be to conver Strike Eagles to the WW mission, and please, I mean the F15-E not the C models.

A lot of work went into converting F-4E Phantom IIs into F-4G Wild Weasels. It's not as easy as it might seem it should be. Installing the systems into the aircraft is one thing. Making them work is often quite another. Conflicts with other aircraft systems usually cause the biggest headaches.



Dare to dream; dream big!
User currently offlinePar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7202 posts, RR: 8
Reply 22, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 8302 times:

Thanks guys, my error, the missions are different as are the aircraft.
The airforce is now using Marine Corps EA6B's, is this really a efficiency move or cost cutting to get funds for the F-22, I have seen some rants in that regard.

I can't believe that the Marines with the prior seperation of services, had enough Prowlers to be able to provide support for airforce, navy and their own needs.


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12146 posts, RR: 51
Reply 23, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 8239 times:

Quoting 474218 (Reply 9):
If the Air Force wouldn't stand for sharing aircraft with the Navy, how did they end up with the F-4, the A-7 and during the Viet Nam era the A-1's they took out of storage? All were Navy aircraft.

Thank the Kennedy Administration and McNammra for those, although the F-4, A-7, and A-1E did work well for the USAF, after they changed out the USN systems for USAF systems. The USAF F-4s and A-7s were really different animals from their USN cousins

Quoting RAPCON (Reply 16):
???? HUH??? The KC's are nice, but the USN is self-sufficient when it comes to fighter work. You would have to be out of your f****kng mind to come mess with a CV BG in a combat a/c.

I only said air superiorty and supremisy. Fleet defense is still the main role of NavAir.

Quoting RAPCON (Reply 16):
Of course, don't forget that the USAF relies on the USN for jamming work!

Thank you President Clinton. Let's retire two thirds of the jammer force, the newest airplanes, and keep the oldest ones. Yes, the EF-111A and EA-6B each had the same ALQ-99 Jamming system, but actually flew different missions.

But, actually, USAF crews (even those deployed aboard the CV/CVNs) still get their tasking from the USAF, not the USN. They are aboard the carriers because that is were the airplanes are.


User currently offlineAFHokie From United States of America, joined May 2004, 224 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 8141 times:

Ok, to give a little background, I've spent the last 2 1/2yrs working as an intel officer at the 20FW, which is the largest Block 50 wing in the USAF. Please forgive me for the length, but I feel I need to clarify a few things.

Quoting AislepathLight (Reply 1):
I gotta say, the Hornet would make sense as a Wild Weasel. It is tough as heck, can carry a shitload, and would be the best choice right now. The Air force top brass wouldn't stand for sharing aircraft with the navy, so unfortunatly, it is probably out.



Quoting AirRyan (Reply 5):
Plus, F/A-18E's are a perfect replacement for elder F-15C's not getting replaced by F-22's.

This will not happen. The air force wasn't interested in it in the 70's and they still aren't. In a SEAD role, the Super Hornet and the Viper carry about the same loadout, however, the Viper has better range as well as making use of the Harm Targeting System (HTS) Also, the Hornet does not make sense as a replacement as the Block 50 jets are among the youngest jets in the CAF. Also, barring any major changes in procurment policy, elder F-15's will either be replaced by F-22's or will be not be replaced at all.

Quoting Sonic67 (Reply 4):
A little off topic but why couldn't a special purpose UAV be developed? At least a pilot would not be at risk just a thought



Quoting RAPCON (Reply 6):
That's exactly where the thinking is going. A UAV is a much more efficient WW unit than a manned a/c. The EF-18 will jam, but the best wep to accomplish the WW will be a UAV with some decent loitering capability to keep the SAM's nice and quiet.

While the use of a UAV would keep the pilot safer, it is not more efficient in a WW role. It would not keep the crews flying the actual strike missions any safer. SEAD/DEAD missions are very complex and require many well thought out preplanned as well as reactive tactics that just cannot be done by someone playing a video game through a satellite. UAV's still have a long way to develop before they replace every manned platform.

Quoting EBJ1248650 (Reply 14):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 7):
Back on topic. You don't want a Wild Weasel aircraft to be stealthy, that defeats the purpose of the whole idea of the WW. The whole idea is for your wingman to be scene by the enemy air defense radars, so the low guy can take them out. I see the WW mission going to the F-16D, F-15D, or even a few F-15Es. The USAF has realized this is a two man airplane mission, as it was when they were F-105Fs and F-4E/Gs.

Not quite sure that's true. After all, enemy radars stay up on line if they think nobody has them identified. The advantage of a stealth wild weasel is that it doesn't show up on radar which means the radard doesn't know it's been discovered and thus doesn't shut down to keep from being destroyed.



Quoting DeltaDC9 (Reply 15):
Why would you need a Wild Weasel to activate radars that are already on? Activating the enemies deactivated radars is their mission. Regular strike aircraft can take care of the ones that are already on.



Quoting EBJ1248650 (Reply 18):
The point I was trying to make is that, according to our Viet Nam experience, when the radar operators saw they were being painted by Weasels they shut their radars down. And their radars could detect the incoming Weasel aircraft. Using a stealth aircraft to fly the Weasel mission would mean radar operators would loose one advantage: being able to see the incoming Weasel. Assuming the Weasels could use a "passive" form of radar detection, they could then locate, lock on and send a missile toward the radar before the operators knew what was happening

Yes and no, while there would be times when a stealthy design would help, there are times it would not. Without going into specific tactics, overall, in a SEAD/DEAD misson, the enemy is usually going to know you're out there in some way or another.

I don't really know all that much about the F-35, and honestly, I have no idea if you could even store HARMs internally on one. I know the thought that it will eventually replace the Block 50 in the Weasel role is out there, but I cant begin to speculate the how. Neverless, that time is a long ways off. Like I said earlier, the Block 50 jets are some of the youngest jets in the fleet.

Quoting EBJ1248650 (Reply 20):
There was talk at one time, when a replacement was being considered for the F-4G Wild Weasel, of an F-15E based dedicated Wild Weasel aircraft but it apparently was thought to be too expensive and the Air Force went with the single seat Weasel version of the F-16C

You talk to a lot of the older guys, and they will tell you the F-4G's was hands down better at SEAD/DEAD than the F-16CJ. In my own opinion, I think that an F-15G model would've been the best replacement for the F-4G for a variety of reasons, but then I wasn't around then, or in a position to make the decisions on where and on what the money should be spent. As with any large buget item, politics was a factor, within the DoD as well as on the Hill.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 23):
But, actually, USAF crews (even those deployed aboard the CV/CVNs) still get their tasking from the USAF, not the USN. They are aboard the carriers because that is were the airplanes are

I was actually just talking to a friend from college that's now an EA-6B EWO about this. Yes USAF crews do spend some time on the ship, but only when a training mission happens to take them there. USAF crews do not operationally deploy aboard the carrier.


25 LMP737 : Actually the EA-6B's were "newer" since the last one came off the production line in 1991. The Raven's, or Sparkvark, were rebuilt F-111A's.
26 Post contains links DEVILFISH : Taking these all in, it would seem the conceptual F-15E+ Super Eagle is eminently suited for the Wild Weasel role..... http://www.flightglobal.com/ar
27 Post contains links STT757 : According to that article linked the F-15E "Super Eagle" would cost the same as the F-35, if that's the case better to have the F-35. They were offer
28 Post contains links DEVILFISH : There were concerns aired that the JSF would top the $100M price mark especially in light of the low-rate initial production. It is not clear that th
29 Acontador : At some point in the future, F-15s will start being replaced, in the case of F-15Cs by F-22 (already happening), and in the case of the F-15E by F-35
30 A350 : I dont't understand why the F-4 WWs were taken out of service. Of course, the F-4 is outdated, but as long as it can do its mission, why care about it
31 Post contains links and images KevinSmith : Most definitely. Four hands, four eyes, and two heads are much better than 2, 2 and 1 when your are trying to dodge and destroy at the same time. Now
32 KevinSmith : It is theoretically possible to bring them back from ARMARC. They've done it with B-1Bs I know. Would it happen? That's a different story.
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