L-188
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What Would Be A Good A4M Replacement?

Sun May 29, 2005 2:03 pm

Hey guys, little hypothetical question.

Say you had a number of A4M fighter aircraft to replace, what you be a good and cheap aircraft to do it with.

I keep going back to the AV-8B but I don't think it is still in production. The AMX fighter that Brazil and Italy developed also seems like a good choice. I can't think of any eastern block aircraft that would be a good fit.

Anybody else have any suggestions as to what other types could fly the same missions?
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dl021
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RE: What Would Be A Good A4M Replacement?

Sun May 29, 2005 9:10 pm

Barring the AMX from Brasil/Italy.....and I'm assuming you mean to replace the A-4s in you Alaskan air force.....you need to consider an airplane that'll take the elements and rough fields.

If you are simply using the A-4 as an attack aircraft then you really should consider the SU-25 and the Aero L-159.....both of which are currently available manufactured brand new, or stored as new. They both are attack platforms, with the SU being tougher with a bigger punch, and the L-159 being more sophisticated and able to perform LIFT duties that the SU is not made for.





The AV-8B could still be brought into production as the tooling is still there, but is a hugely more expensive airplane to purchase and operate. I don't know what role budget plays in your calculations, but keep that in mind.

[Edited 2005-05-29 14:13:53]
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kc135topboom
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RE: What Would Be A Good A4M Replacement?

Sun May 29, 2005 9:38 pm

I'd buy some A-10s the USAF has parked in the desert under the FMS program.

You cannot do better than the A-10, for a ruggered and tough airplane that can dish it out and take the hits, and still come home.
 
keesje
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RE: What Would Be A Good A4M Replacement?

Sun May 29, 2005 10:07 pm

Parked Nato F16, F18 etc. However maintenance support /training costs would be high..

There is a single seat BAE Hawk200.


800 Hawk/T45 trainers in service everywhere makes product support probably smooth.
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L-188
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RE: What Would Be A Good A4M Replacement?

Mon May 30, 2005 3:18 am

Is the SU still in production.

Actually they did adopt the L-39 as a replacement for their F-5A/B trainer fleet, so I suppose the 159 would be a posiblity.

But the Hawk and the L-159 seem light for the role.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 2):
I'd buy some A-10s the USAF has parked in the desert under the FMS program

That would be a great idea, the question is would the goverment actually release them. It seems that every time the Air Force tries to get rid of them, they find new uses for them or feel that they can't be released.
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RE: What Would Be A Good A4M Replacement?

Mon May 30, 2005 4:32 am

Quoting L-188 (Reply 4):
That would be a great idea, the question is would the goverment actually release them.

I don't see why not, especially since the F-35 is supposed to replace the A-10s. Crappy replacement, I know. Were you in the early '90s, I'd suggest the A-7. As for the Frogfoot that Ian mentioned, they're no longer in production, but enough nations around the world still use 'em...
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L-188
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RE: What Would Be A Good A4M Replacement?

Mon May 30, 2005 4:53 am

Well I know when that "Firehog" air tanker proposal came out, the USAF puckered up real tight and wouldn't release the aircraft, which killed the conversion.
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dl021
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RE: What Would Be A Good A4M Replacement?

Mon May 30, 2005 4:56 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 2):
I'd buy some A-10s the USAF has parked in the desert under the FMS program.

No chance the USAF will allow that. They will keep those things rotating through until the wings fall off. They have proven too valuable, and we won't get as many F-35s as needed to replace the F-16s let alone the A-10s.

Quoting L-188 (Reply 4):
Is the SU still in production.

I believe they are in limited production, and the Russian Air Force is testing a new version right now with new nav computer, targeting system, radar and electronics. Would be no problem to restart production even if not, or to buy second hand and refurb.....several packages available in Ukraine, Russia and elsewhere, including one from Georgia and Israel (Elbit) that is a serious deal.


main comparison numbers are
range....A-4..625 miles with ordnance and tankage
SU-25..750KM (466miles) with ordnance and tanks
L-159..2,530km (1572miles) with tanks no ordnance
well, here are all the numbers.

A-4 specs
Length (including IFR probe): 12.72 m
Height: 4.57 m
Wingspan: 8.38 m
Wing area: 24.4 sq.m
Performance
Weight (operating empty): 4,649 kg
Maximum take off weight: 10,206 kg
Maximum speed: 1,128 km /h
Maximum rate of climb: 3,326 m per minute
Service ceiling: 12,190m
Range with maximum ordnance: 625 nm (1,158 km)
Propulsion
One General Electric F404-GE-100D
non-afterburning turbofan rated at 48.04 kN
Armament
Two Mk 12 20-mm cannon in wingroots;
plus ordnance including :

- bombs,
- rockets,
- ASMs,
AIM-9P AAMs and
fuel tanks.

SU-25/28 specs
Crew one pilot
aircraft dimensions
Length 15.53 metres
Height 4.80 metres
wing span 14.36 metres
Weight
normal take-off weight 14,600 kg
maximum take-off weight 17,600 kg
Performance
range with 4,400 kg weapon load plus external tanks 750km
maximum speed at sea level 975 km/hour
service ceiling 7,000metres
service ceiling with full weapon load 5,000metres
takeoff run 750 metres
takeoff run on carrier ramp 175 metres
landing roll 600 metres



L-159 specs.
Dimensions
wing span 9.54 m
overall length 12.73 m
Height 4.77 m
Weights
empty weight 4,160 kg
maximum ramp weight 8,000 kg
internal fuel only 1,551 kg
fuel including 4 external tanks 2,875 kg
maximum external stores 2,340 kg
Performance
maximum level speed at sea level 936 km/h - 505 KTAS
maximum rate of climb at sea level 47 m/s
service ceiling 13,200 m
take off run 440 m
maximum range (internal fuel only, 10% reserve) 1,570 km
maximum range (internal and external fuel, 10% reserve) 2,530 km
design load factor, maximum structural limit +8g, -4g
Powerplant
Engine honeywell itec f 124-BA-100
maximum thrust 28 kN
bypass ratio 0.474
overall pressure Ratio 19.4
inlet Airflow 42.5 kg/sec


Y'know...for the money, I think I'd really look hard at simply upgrading the A-4s to AR-4 Fightinghawk standards..... this thing is still hard to beat, and the more modern aircraft have one single advantage to them...that they are new. However, with the use of a new GE F-404 turbofan and a cockpit upgrade they are very difficult to beat in terms of value. The new Hawks may be better for the pure training mission, but the A-4 is a very tough airplane with superb handling and acceleration. The payload is superior and the bring 'em back ratio has been proven by the USN and the IAF over and over again.

Seriously look at that option.

Otherwise the replacement is really mission dependent.

WHat missions need to be fulfilled by a replacement aircraft?
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L-188
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RE: What Would Be A Good A4M Replacement?

Mon May 30, 2005 5:46 am

Quoting DL021 (Reply 7):
Y'know...for the money, I think I'd really look hard at simply upgrading the A-4s to AR-4 Fightinghawk standards..... this thing is still hard to beat, and the more modern aircraft have one single advantage to them...that they are new. However, with the use of a new GE F-404 turbofan and a cockpit upgrade they are very difficult to beat in terms of value. The new Hawks may be better for the pure training mission, but the A-4 is a very tough airplane with superb handling and acceleration. The payload is superior and the bring 'em back ratio has been proven by the USN and the IAF over and over again.

Well it is the stike/mud-mover of the force.

Have MIG-29's in service and F-14's also.
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bennett123
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RE: What Would Be A Good A4M Replacement?

Mon May 30, 2005 7:17 am

Does the Alaskan AF have any policies about the natyionality of it's aircraft.
 
dl021
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RE: What Would Be A Good A4M Replacement?

Mon May 30, 2005 7:30 am

I knew about the F-14s. What do you think of upgrading?

If I was going to replace anything it'd be the MiG-29s. The maintenance and range issues ought to be killing you. Have you thought about replacing them with F-16s or Mirages?
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L-188
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RE: What Would Be A Good A4M Replacement?

Mon May 30, 2005 10:05 am

Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 9):
Does the Alaskan AF have any policies about the natyionality of it's aircraft.

Well not really. Best bang for the buck.

However if would be safe to say that prior to the mid-1970's firmly western aircraft where prefered, in particular American aircraft that could be picked up cheaply used and through their military assistance programs. But British, Canadian, and French aircraft where operated by the ADF.

But in the 1970's Alaskan and Soviet relations began to warm, enough so that by the time the late 1970's had rolled around the Alaskas where buying Military equipment, specificly the D-30 122mm howitzer and it's 2S1 SPH varient, the BM-21 MLRS rocket system and some helicopters including the Mi-8 and Mi-35.

I went into a bit of the history in this thread toward the end.

http://www.airliners.net/discussions/military/read.main/24790/

Oh I did a seperate thread for the helicopter helicopters.

http://www.airliners.net/discussions/military/read.main/27006/
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L-188
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RE: What Would Be A Good A4M Replacement?

Mon May 30, 2005 11:05 am

Quoting DL021 (Reply 10):
If I was going to replace anything it'd be the MiG-29s. The maintenance and range issues ought to be killing you. Have you thought about replacing them with F-16s or Mirages?

How about F-18E's replaceing both the Migs in the Short Term and the F-14's in the long term.
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PPVRA
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RE: What Would Be A Good A4M Replacement?

Mon May 30, 2005 11:11 am

Quoting DL021 (Reply 1):
Barring the AMX from Brasil/Italy.....and I'm assuming you mean to replace the A-4s in you Alaskan air force.....you need to consider an airplane that'll take the elements and rough fields.

The AMX was designed with rough fields and the elements in mind. Operating from the middle of the Amazon is pretty rough.

As for the cold weather, I don't know, but I'd imagine they can do it just fine.





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L-188
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RE: What Would Be A Good A4M Replacement?

Mon May 30, 2005 11:14 am

The only bad part about the AMX is that AFAIK nobody is making a model kit of it.

Would make it a little difficult to equip my air force with it. Big grin


But you figure that the M61 cannon and the Spey engine in that thing have a long a proven history.
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dl021
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RE: What Would Be A Good A4M Replacement?

Mon May 30, 2005 11:27 am

My problem with the Rhino (new nickname assigned by LSOs to the Superhornet and caught on with pilots) is that it's a compromise airplane. It would be a serious improvement over both airplanes in terms of serviceability (the Tomcat pilots will tell you that its sort of accepted that any mission with fewer than two systems failures in the Tomcat is a good trip. It is slower than the C model as well as the Tomcat and it has some issues with bleeding speed in turns.

The upside to the airplane is that when equipped with the AESA radar and AIM-9X it is lethal at long and short ranges and can replace an entire range of airplanes while lowering maintenance and training costs across the board.

Its fairly expensive, though, in comparison to some of the low hour since MLU F-16AM/BMs available on the market from Belgium and the Netherlands. Along with some extra F-16s from the desert with the MLU pkg this could be a very good option to get the most bang for the buck if you want to do a two for one switch because these airplanes could replace the A-4 and the MiG-29s easily, and leave you the money to continue to modify or completely upgrade/overhaul/rebuild the F-14s to D+ standard. That airplane with glass cockpits and modern avionics would be a world beating strike aircraft/long range interceptor as long as you were able to maintain the AIM-54Cs.

But, to answer the question....yes the Superhornet could replace both airplanes, and leave you with two types instead of three. You need to decide where you need the new airplanes and where you are willing to upgrade. Then you could just upgrade the A-4s to the latest mod standards with either the SIngaporean or the LockheedMartin packages.
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L-188
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RE: What Would Be A Good A4M Replacement?

Mon May 30, 2005 12:33 pm

It just hit me, I totally forgot about the Saab 39.

But DL021, you make some good points on the super bug, which is why the F-15E is doing so well in some parts of the world.

Actually since the ADF now uses some USAF facilities that where designed for F-15's but abandoned after the cold war, that could be another possiblity for replacement.
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bennett123
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RE: What Would Be A Good A4M Replacement?

Mon May 30, 2005 4:35 pm

Personally, I would go for the A10 or SU35 if you are looking for pure strike and the AMX or Hawk if you want a Strike Trainer.

The other issue of course is who are the potential enemy.
 
dl021
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RE: What Would Be A Good A4M Replacement?

Tue May 31, 2005 2:50 am

Quoting L-188 (Reply 14):
The only bad part about the AMX is that AFAIK nobody is making a model kit of it.

I can get that for you and send it if you want. My shop has them in stock.

If you look at the Italian Air Force reports on the AMX you will see that they are not disappointed in it, but the pilots wish it had more go power. The engines are not enough to give it the ooomph they want when its fully loaded.

Its a pretty airplane, and it'll get the job done, but I don't know how well it'll take damage. I do with the A-4, F-16 and F-15E. You can still order F-15Es right off the assembly line, and make that your new fighter and replace the MiGs and A-4s with F-16s from Europe and the US given the MLU update that Lockheed will do right at the factory or designated point. That will leave you with an Air Force that will be difficult to challenge on its home turf. Every airplane you have will be true multi-role, with the ability to act as interceptor, air superiority, and strike craft....and do so without fear of being outclassed by anyone not equipped with superior numbers of 4th generation airplanes...and being up in AK they'd have to bring them a long way to hit you.
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NoUFO
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RE: What Would Be A Good A4M Replacement?

Tue May 31, 2005 3:55 am

Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 17):
Personally, I would go for the A10 or SU35 if you are looking for pure strike

Yeah, those designations are a drag, aren't they. The Su-35 is a enhanced version of the Su-27. There is only one prototype I believe, but India's Su-30MKIs are pretty similar to the Su-35.

You probably mixed it up with the Su-25 "Frogfoot", a real "mud digger" just like the A-10. There are two enhanced versions; first the Su-25 "Scorpion" which features western avionics developed by Elbit. Scorpion can carry Russian made as well as western weapons and even a mix of both.
Then there is the Su-39 which is a Frogfoot with a hump and improved (Russian made) avionics. Also, the Su-39 implements some lessons the Russians learned during their war in Afghanistan. As far as I know, only a couple of demonstrators exist.


Su-25 Scorpion


Su-39

[Edited 2005-05-30 20:57:09]
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bennett123
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RE: What Would Be A Good A4M Replacement?

Tue May 31, 2005 5:16 am

Sorry I meant SU39.

As you say the numbers get confusing.
 
L-188
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RE: What Would Be A Good A4M Replacement?

Tue May 31, 2005 4:45 pm

Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 20):
As you say the numbers get confusing.

Particuarly in the late 1990's.

You know the more I think about it the more I like the Saab 39.

How about this the Saab partnered with the SU-27MKI to replace all three main types?
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L-188
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RE: What Would Be A Good A4M Replacement?

Tue May 31, 2005 5:38 pm

Well let me sum up the possibilites that I see so far.

The AMX


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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Philippe Noret - AirTeamImages
View Large View Medium
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Photo © Chris Lofting



Advantages:
Size
Proven Engine (Spey)
Proven guns (Aden or M61)
Rough Field capable

Disadvantages:
Unknown Cold Weather Capability
Small amount in service-supply chain issues?

BAE 200


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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Erik Frikke
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Photo © Darren Mottram



Advantages:
Efficent
Large number in service
Proven design

Disadvantages:
Small Size
Payload?
Range?
Low ground clearance
Can't only find a single photo of this varient on this website Big grin

SU-39


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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Fyodor Borisov
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Photo © Flavien Breitenmoser



Advantages:
Purpose designed tank killer
Built Russkie tough
Heavy payload
compatable with Mig-29 armaments

Disadvantages:
Small number in service
Supply chain reliablity
loud
Fuel hog?

Saab-39


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Photo © Kristof Jonckheere
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Photo © Paul Dopson - AirTeamImages



Advantages:
Legitimate Air to Air machine
Size
Modern
Manuverable
Guided Munitions
Proven Engine
Cold Weather Airplane

Disadvantages:
Cost
Complex
Hard Surface airplane.
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dl021
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RE: What Would Be A Good A4M Replacement?

Wed Jun 01, 2005 12:19 am

If thats what you've narrowed it down to, I think you ought to seriously look at the SU-25/28, and forget the designation variables and differences. The SU-39 is the same as the SU-28, other than the electronics. Its got the punch, the range, the ruggedness you need, and it can take off in very short distances.

If you aren't gonna replace the MiGs and F-14s instead, and I think you should along with upgrading/rebuilding the A-4s which already has the range and payload you want, then you don't need another air-air bird that'll cost three times as much, and remain unable to match the ground pounding quotient of the Sukhoi.

To address the supply chain issues you have a very happy and easy remedy. Hire the techs from the Ukraine at steady, if low for your area, wages and entice them with land for themselves along with whatever other little things they don't easily find at home, and then buy a couple dozen mothballed airplanes and a couple extra engines per airframe, for cannibalization. You won't need them until/unless the supply chain is slow or broken, but when you do need them they'll be there sitting in a hangar. You will be able to afford this as the airplane is very low priced in comparison to the other ones you mentioned, and much better at filling the bill than any of the other three. It is also the only tank killer of the ones you mentioned. It has the ability to take out pretty much anything an invader might try to put on the ground with internal weapons, and is as maneuverable as the others except for the Grypen, which costs three or four times as much.
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PPVRA
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RE: What Would Be A Good A4M Replacement?

Wed Jun 01, 2005 11:50 am

Lot's of info about the AMX:

http://www.vectorsite.net/avamx.html

In addition to what the article stated about Venezuala, talks have resumed and a deal may finally come through for their AMX's. They also want to order the ALX Super Tucano (Colombia should close a deal with Embraer very soon for these aircraft as well), a turbo-prop trainer:



Picture above is of the new, modernized variant.

The ALX is a trainer and counter-narcotics ops aircraft. More info on the ALX here

Cheers,
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L-188
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RE: What Would Be A Good A4M Replacement?

Wed Jun 01, 2005 4:36 pm

Thanks for the links PPVRA.

Too bad that there isn't a model kit of the AMX out right now AFAIK.
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Venus6971
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RE: What Would Be A Good A4M Replacement?

Thu Jun 02, 2005 1:00 am

Buy new F-15's off the assembly line with the GE 110 engines and modify with the same avionics as the F-18e/f superhornet. Remove your engines from your F-14's hopefully you have the 110 powered F14D not the TF-30 dogs for spares save a boat load of money , Buy kits to modify old 110's for your F-15K's. Contact Cessna to see if you can persuade them to build their version of the JPats which rumor has it beat the pants of the off the Raytheon T-6 and was jet powered . Use as tranier when the the need arrizes put a 20mm gun pod on the centerline and aim 9's on the wing tips. Wallah you have a tactical fighter for less than 5 mil a copy.
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PPVRA
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RE: What Would Be A Good A4M Replacement?

Thu Jun 02, 2005 1:13 pm

Quoting Venus6971 (Reply 26):

Pretty cool, but with all that modification the cost of your F-rankenstein would increase. Add the higher operational costs to that and it might not be such a good idea.

Cheers,
PPVRA
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L-188
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RE: What Would Be A Good A4M Replacement?

Thu Jun 02, 2005 5:32 pm

Quoting DL021 (Reply 18):
I can get that for you and send it if you want. My shop has them in stock

Hey I missed that post earlier.

Thanks for the offer, I need to get at least 1 paycheck at my new job before investing.

BTW:who makes the kit?
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dl021
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RE: What Would Be A Good A4M Replacement?

Thu Jun 02, 2005 10:48 pm

Don't remember, but I saw one there last time I was in. I'll get the name for you.
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Venus6971
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RE: What Would Be A Good A4M Replacement?

Fri Jun 03, 2005 4:27 am

Quote:
QUOTING PPVRA reply 27
Pretty cool, but with all that modification the cost of your F-rankenstein would increase. Add the higher operational costs to that and it might not be such a good idea.

The ROKAF has bought the F-15K with the GE 110 with updated avionics and the USAF will make one more major buy of F-15E's and these should have the 110's unlike the PW 200 or 229 equipped models. With the USN retiring their f-14's which are all now flying the 110 there should be plenty of spares for this engine. Alot of F-16's use the 110.
The Cessna Jpats would have been superoir to the present T-6 but politics got in the way and raytheon won the bid.
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MD-90
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RE: What Would Be A Good A4M Replacement?

Sat Jun 04, 2005 10:39 am

Cessna's offering was also more expensive, enough to swing it Raytheon's way, I guess.

We've had fun playing, er, gaining knowledge, in the AE dept at MSU using retired Cessna Tweets from Columbus AFB. Ever tried to figure out what airfoil the T-37 used with a gargantuan pair of calipers? That sort of stuff was fun, freshman year.
 
DeltaGuy
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RE: What Would Be A Good A4M Replacement?

Sun Jun 05, 2005 4:03 pm

If you ask me, the only way to replace an A-4 is with another A-4...or do like the Navy did, with an A-7 Big grin

Seriously though....

DeltaGuy
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