Point 1: False. Let's start with the obvious
"The un-refueled radius of an F-14 carrying the normal strike load (four 2,000 pound LGB's, two HARM missiles, and two Sidewinders, plus 675 rounds of 20 mm and two 280 gallon external tanks is at least 500 statute miles.
For one, the author of that statement is full of the brown stinky stuff considering F-14s aren't rated to carry HARMs. Secondly, he mentions a "normal strike load" ok, I'll bite on everything in that load, save the AGM-88s. But what profile is the F-14 flying? A Hi-Med-Hi? A Hi-Lo-Lo-Hi? It makes a difference..let's take a hi-lo-lo-hi, since I have the figures on that readily available from FAS. An F-14 in that profile has an unrefueled range of 380 NM
. An F/A-18E/F, loaded with four 1,000 lb bombs, two Sidewinders,
and two 480 gallon external tanks (AKA an identical bomb load in terms of amount of HE
put on target) has an unrefuelled range of 390 NM
Point 2: ""The F/A-18E only possesses 50 percent of the F-14's capability to deliver a fixed number of bombs (in pounds) on target."
I don't quite understand what the author means by the capability to deliver a fixed number of bombs (in pounds) on target. An F/A-18E can carry more weight in external stores than an F-14 can and, while it may not be able to lug two Mk-84s, it can lug up an equivalent (in weight) of Mk-83s.
Point 3: "The F/A-18E/F is significantly poorer in acceleration than the F/A-18A. Also, its combat ceiling is substantially lower, and its transonic drag rise is very high."
Let's go point by point
Significantly poorer in acceleration: According to Global Security.org (http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/budget/fy1997/dot-e/navy/97fa18ef.html
- "Of note, acceleration of the F/A-18E/F is comparable to both basic and enhance engined F/A-18C aircraft in subsonic and negative G regimes. However, the F/A-18E/F is slower to accelerate to supersonic speeds, in one G flight, compared to the F/A-18C." In general the article is correct here, though, but whether it's a "significant" difference or not is debatable, as I've read one test pilot describe the difference as being "slight"
Substantially lower combat ceiling: F/A-18C has a combat ceiling of 15,240 m, an F/A-18E has one at 13,865 m, about a 1,375 m difference, meaning the F/A-18E has about 91% of the ceiling that an F/A-18C has. Is that substantially lower? You decide.
Transonic drag rise - Again true, due to the Super Hornet
's moldline changes.
In general, I encourage you to check out http://www.hq.navy.mil/airwarfare/Programs/ARTSuper%20Hornet.htm
where one of the F/A-18E/F test pilots addresses some of the myths regarding the F/A-18E/F
South Carolina - too small to be its own country, too big to be a mental asylum.