TheSonntag
Topic Author
Posts: 4303
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2005 7:23 pm

What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Wed Nov 23, 2005 8:03 pm

If I read the threads in this forum, all people seem to hate the Super Hornet. I wonder why is this? In theory, this airplane is extremely capable both in the attack as well as the defense role.

So what's wrong with it?
 
User avatar
STT757
Posts: 13200
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2000 1:14 am

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Wed Nov 23, 2005 10:18 pm

Quoting TheSonntag (Thread starter):
So what's wrong with it?

It's not the F-14.
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
CTR
Posts: 299
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 4:57 am

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Wed Nov 23, 2005 11:07 pm

The F/A-18E and F are excellent all around weapons platforms. No one aircraft can perform all the different missions a Super Hornet can. It also has the best reliability and maintainability of any fighter or attack aircraft in the past thirty years. To top all this it also has very, very low radar cross section.

But it cannot carry as much payload as an A-6 Intruder.

It cannot out turn an A-4 Skyhawk.

And it is not as fast or sexy as the F-14 Tomcat.

The Super Hornet/Tomcat situation is comparable to the Spitfire/Hurricane history of the Battle of Britain. The Hurricane achieved more kills than the Spit. But people remember and love the Spit.

Have fun,

CTR
Aircraft design is just one big compromise,,,
 
desertjets
Posts: 7570
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2000 3:12 pm

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Thu Nov 24, 2005 1:54 am

Its very strength is its weakness. It is an excellent multirole aircraft, but being a multirole aircraft it sacrifices capabilities that the aircraft it replaced had.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
LY744
Posts: 5185
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2001 11:55 pm

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Thu Nov 24, 2005 2:08 am

Quoting CTR (Reply 2):
The F/A-18E and F are excellent all around weapons platforms

Key words there are "weapons platforms".  Wink


LY744.
Pacifism only works if EVERYBODY practices it
 
sidishus
Posts: 488
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 1:45 am

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Thu Nov 24, 2005 2:41 am

Quoting CTR (Reply 2):
To top all this it also has very, very low radar cross section

After you hang all the crap on it so it can even begin to get somewhere and do it's job, then the Rhino has the RCS of a good sized barn.

Quoting CTR (Reply 2):
But it cannot carry as much payload as an A-6 Intruder.

And it does not have the range for a given payload either. In 1961 a carrier air wing from a converted Essex class carrier could boast a 1200 nautical mile unrefueled combat radius with 12,000 pounds of ordnance carried internally on it's aircraft.
Today, the navy is proudly boasting of the 700nm range with 2,000 pounds its Bug/Rhino CVW's can achieve. Today, the largest weapon that CVW can carry is 2,000 lbs-in 1954 it was 4,000 pounds. I will leave it up to some the active duty types to talk about the all manner of trouble the Bug in particular-and the Rhino to a great degree as well- causes a carrier today when it comes to "bring back".
Sure the navy now touts the number of "hitpoints" the modern CVW can engage as compared to a CVW of the '80s. No doubt the increase is phenomenal, but this is a function of the strides made in precision weaponry, and not a glowing endorsement of its current stable of aircraft.
Indeed, the Bug/ Rhino forces the carriers to close the beach to dangerous distances, hobbles the ability of CVWs to operate independent of shore facilities and assets, can't operate where stealth is required, and will have a tough time in a fouth generation air war.

Quoting CTR (Reply 2):
It cannot out turn an A-4 Skyhawk.
And it is not as fast or sexy as the F-14 Tomcat.

Woe betide a Rhino driver in a knife fight. Its maneuverability is lackluster and its anemic speed means it can't accelerate away from the fight.

...But the Rhino looks good...
the truth: first it is ridiculed second it is violently opposed finally it is accepted as self-evident
 
whitehatter
Posts: 5180
Joined: Sat Jun 12, 2004 6:52 am

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Thu Nov 24, 2005 3:09 am

Quoting Sidishus (Reply 5):
Woe betide a Rhino driver in a knife fight. Its maneuverability is lackluster and its anemic speed means it can't accelerate away from the fight.

isn't the whole point of 21st century aerial combat that dogfighting isn't relevant any more? Engagements will be fought at a distance with increasingly smarter weapons, so there isn't much point in having super agile aircraft. The JSF is better equipped to do close range work.

Surely a capable weapons platform is the way to go. Anything else is just playing to the Top Gun fantasy. As long as it can carry the munitions and do so efficiently, that's really all you need.
Lead me not into temptation, I can find my own way there...
 
sidishus
Posts: 488
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 1:45 am

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Thu Nov 24, 2005 3:30 am

Quoting WhiteHatter (Reply 6):
As long as it can carry the munitions and do so efficiently, that's really all you need.

Which this airplane can't really do.
1. Can it carry the 5,000 lb GBU-28? Nope, only the Air Force can. A real problem if their nearest base is many thousands of miles away-or has just been thrown out by the host country.

2. Can the carrier stand off from the very dangerous littorals an effectively operate a Hornet CVW? Nope SInce the advent of the Hornets the navy has been force to operate in areas such as north of the Hormuz and just about up on the beaches of the Makran and Levant.
And contested Littoral regions have historically proven lethal to carriers...

http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/images/g340000/g342020.jpg

3. Can it fight against a potent IADS on the first day of war? Nope, only the Air Force can, and that will have to come from very, very far away. The Rhino hobbled Navy can't play on the first day of war.

4. I standing war scnearios like OEF and OIF where presisitence is paramount can it get to the fight and stay there with just CVW assets? Nope, the navy can't play without land based tanker assets and or "hotpits" ashore.

5. In the scenario above, can the Rhino "bring back" an optimum ordnance load and land back aboard? Nope, reference the hotpits above.

So, can the Hornet series "carry the munitions and do so efficiently"?

NOPE.
the truth: first it is ridiculed second it is violently opposed finally it is accepted as self-evident
 
jwenting
Posts: 9973
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2001 10:12 pm

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Thu Nov 24, 2005 3:56 am

The super Hornet is a compromise, and one born out of a lack of funding.
That's why people don't like it, it is a constant reminder of the sorry state of the US Navy who have in less than a decade gone from a force that could project large scale airpower worldwide to an also-there.

The heavy attack capability of the A-6 is gone, its replacement cancelled.
The long range air defense capability of the F-14 is gone, its replacement cancelled.
The long range ASW capability will soon be gone, its replacement nonexistent.
The AEW capability is going to need replacement soon, but that replacement has been cancelled.
The tankers are gone, their replacement cancelled.

The only thing left is a strike fighter that though good cannot possibly do the roles it now has to perform as well as the aircraft that should have performed those roles.

Had the USN gone the way it should have by now a carrier airwing would have existed of at least roughly the following:
24 NATF
10 A-12
24 F/A-18E
10 S-3B
4 ES-3B
4-6 EF-18G
4 KS-3A
2 US-3A on detachment
4-6 SV-22

Instead it exists of
20-30 F/A-18A
10-20 F/A-18E/F
10 S-3A/B
4 E-2C
4 EA-6B
4-6
4-6 SH-60F
I wish I were flying
 
usnseallt82
Posts: 4727
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2004 4:49 pm

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Thu Nov 24, 2005 4:39 am

Quoting TheSonntag (Thread starter):
What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Not a damn thing. Serves our purpose well, but it does have a slight problem in braking. But hey, everyone has trouble slowing down at some point in life.  Big grin
Crye me a river
 
sidishus
Posts: 488
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 1:45 am

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Thu Nov 24, 2005 5:53 am

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 8):



Quoting Jwenting (Reply 8):
The heavy attack capability of the A-6 is gone, its replacement cancelled.
The long range air defense capability of the F-14 is gone, its replacement cancelled.
The long range ASW capability will soon be gone, its replacement nonexistent.
The AEW capability is going to need replacement soon, but that replacement has been cancelled.
The tankers are gone, their replacement cancelled.

Some quibbles:

The A-6 was a "Medium Attack" aircraft. Heavy Attack aircraft were the P-2 AJ A-3 and A-5. This was more a nuke weapon designation than anything.

To be fair, the AESA equipped F-18 with the latest AIM-120 will be able to engage at BVR distances rivaling those of the AIM-54. When the fight closes though the Rhino willhave trouble. And yes Whitehatter, it's inevitable the fight WILL close in fourth generation engagements. Remember COPE India 2004?

CVW-11 will tell you "Every aircraft is an ASW aircraft" nowadays.

The AEW replacement is the E-2D and it is in production. However it's lack of ability to operate in a deep strike scenario with its turboporp speeds and no AAR is a real problem

AAR is now the province of the Air Force and limited numbers of F-18Fs

[Edited 2005-11-23 21:56:32]
the truth: first it is ridiculed second it is violently opposed finally it is accepted as self-evident
 
Venus6971
Posts: 1415
Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2004 1:55 pm

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Thu Nov 24, 2005 5:57 am

It is the bigger and slower hornet, like all weapons system it got whored out to fit everybodies ideal of a fighter, they gave more range but stuck more hardpoints with ordinance on it which after it was said and done a hornet that burns more gas but can get to the target with more bombs than the smaller one at the same range. Trade off's, F-14 fast, good bomber, great interceptor, 18hrs of mx to 1 hour of flight, it was like that even when it was new. EF-111 fast jammer able to keep up with strike package but 24 hrs mx to one hour of flight, EA-6B slower but more reliable and you can't land a 111 on a carrier.
I would help you but it is not in the contract
 
sidishus
Posts: 488
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 1:45 am

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Thu Nov 24, 2005 6:10 am

Quoting Venus6971 (Reply 11):
and you can't land a 111 on a carrier.

This was by choice...
http://www.usscoralsea.net/pages/f111.html

http://www.usscoralsea.net/images/f111bjuly1968.jpg

[Edited 2005-11-23 22:20:09]
the truth: first it is ridiculed second it is violently opposed finally it is accepted as self-evident
 
maiznblu_757
Posts: 4952
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2002 12:05 pm

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Thu Nov 24, 2005 6:26 am

Quoting Venus6971 (Reply 11):
18hrs of mx to 1 hour of flight, it was like that even when it was new.

Talking to some Tomcat turned Super Hornet mechs they stated the Tomcat is 100 man hrs maint. for 1 hr flight. The Rhino is 10 to 1.

[Edited 2005-11-23 22:27:35]
 
sidishus
Posts: 488
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 1:45 am

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Thu Nov 24, 2005 6:33 am

Quoting Maiznblu_757 (Reply 13):
The Rhino is 10 to 1.

Its ONLY redeeming quality. Not much good though to have an up airplane that can't even go out and fight which is the situation for the Rhino in many scenarios.

kinda reminds me of the state of British military aviation in the late '30s when substandard aircraft were conceived for such misguided parameters such carrying navigators on carrier borne fighters and clipped wing bombers that could fit into exisiting hangars.
the truth: first it is ridiculed second it is violently opposed finally it is accepted as self-evident
 
ftrguy
Posts: 347
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2003 8:17 am

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Thu Nov 24, 2005 9:09 am

F/A-18 Hornet = Jack of all trades, master of none...
 
DeltaGuy
Posts: 3965
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2001 5:25 am

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Thu Nov 24, 2005 9:59 am

Quoting Sidishus (Reply 10):
AAR is now the province of the Air Force and limited numbers of F-18Fs

You mean one of these?  Smile Shot this Checkmate out the window of the Omega Tanker on Sunday, over the USS Enterprise.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v610/flydeltajets/DSCF5995.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v610/flydeltajets/DSCF5990.jpg

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 8):
Had the USN gone the way it should have by now a carrier airwing would have existed of at least roughly the following:
24 NATF
10 A-12
24 F/A-18E
10 S-3B
4 ES-3B
4-6 EF-18G
4 KS-3A
2 US-3A on detachment
4-6 SV-22

Still too many airframes IMHO. The Navy has been trying to consolidate types for many years now. Remember when we used to fly RA-5C's as pure recon jets? Then came a TARPS pod on an F-14, and there you have the elimination of one more type...etc etc.

Those NATF's are a long way off, and are lightyears ahead of some of these birds. A-12, what a mistake that was...killed in the early 90's I believe.

The S-3B is due for phaseout as it is, and the ES-3A shadow was a pretty useless aircraft that saw itself in the desert by 1998. A KS-3A is really an S-3B with a buddy refueling store...no difference in aircraft. US-3A, now there's a moldy oldie...only 6 airframes, it was pretty useless as well...the C-2 does the job much better. Good to see the S-3 leave, IMHO.

The EF-18G "Growler" is in the test phase at Pax River currently, looking for 2010 or so fleet introduction last time I checked.

SV-22? Ewwww  Wink

DeltaGuy
"The cockpit, what is it?" "It's the little room in the front of the plane where the pilot sits, but that's not importan
 
sidishus
Posts: 488
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 1:45 am

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Thu Nov 24, 2005 10:21 am

Quoting DeltaGuy (Reply 16):
Then came a TARPS pod on an F-14, and there you have the elimination of one more type...etc etc.

Neat Pix Delta

When the TARPS was first used in anger over Lebanon, the analysis of its product was always preceded by the phrase "Poor quality imagery...". It was so bad in fact that the capabilities of the French RF-8s were heartily welcomed. And the Air Force was only providing imagery of the "we'll have to kill you if we show you" variety which was totally useless in a tactical environment. The Vigi was sorely missed in those days.
Also the TARPS mission is a distinct subspecialty nowadays after the early poor experience with its product.
While the elimination of airframe types has its advantages, all the eggs in the Hornet basket is threatening the very existence of the carrier. I can imagine that when the question is asked "Where are the carriers"?, the answer may well be "Does it make any difference"?

[Edited 2005-11-24 02:24:18]
the truth: first it is ridiculed second it is violently opposed finally it is accepted as self-evident
 
CaptOveur
Posts: 6064
Joined: Thu May 06, 2004 3:13 am

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Thu Nov 24, 2005 10:52 am

Quoting Venus6971 (Reply 11):
you can't land a 111 on a carrier.

Landing was never really the issue with the F-111.. Taking off from the carrier required a small miracle the few times it was done.
Things were better when it was two guys in a dorm room.
 
DeltaGuy
Posts: 3965
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2001 5:25 am

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Thu Nov 24, 2005 11:09 am

Quoting Sidishus (Reply 17):
While the elimination of airframe types has its advantages, all the eggs in the Hornet basket is threatening the very existence of the carrier.

All Boeing airwing my friend. As much as I love the Hornet, I think the Tomcat (F-14D) and the Intruder (A-6F), properly funded, could have continued even past today. Was nice to see a spread of jets on the deck.

DeltaGuy
"The cockpit, what is it?" "It's the little room in the front of the plane where the pilot sits, but that's not importan
 
sidishus
Posts: 488
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 1:45 am

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Thu Nov 24, 2005 11:22 am

Quoting DeltaGuy (Reply 19):
All Boeing airwing my friend. As much as I love the Hornet, I think the Tomcat (F-14D) and the Intruder (A-6F), properly funded, could have continued even past today. Was nice to see a spread of jets on the deck.

Another airframe that will help solve much of the stealth/range /persistence/payload problem is this one. It will be interesting to see if the decidedly "In The Box" mindset that has hamstrung Naval Aviation for nearly a generation can be overcome enough to accept it (note the all too traditional flight deck scenes)....

http://www.csbaonline.org/4Publicati...0.LRSSNavy/B.20051110.LRSSNavy.pdf


http://www.darpa.mil/j-ucas/X-47/gallery/X47B/hi_res/189-516H.jpg

[Edited 2005-11-24 03:28:40]
the truth: first it is ridiculed second it is violently opposed finally it is accepted as self-evident
 
DeltaGuy
Posts: 3965
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2001 5:25 am

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Thu Nov 24, 2005 2:28 pm

Looks a bit like an AF project to me  Wink

DeltaGuy
"The cockpit, what is it?" "It's the little room in the front of the plane where the pilot sits, but that's not importan
 
jwenting
Posts: 9973
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2001 10:12 pm

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Thu Nov 24, 2005 2:48 pm

Quoting DeltaGuy (Reply 16):
Still too many airframes IMHO. The Navy has been trying to consolidate types for many years now. Remember when we used to fly RA-5C's as pure recon jets? Then came a TARPS pod on an F-14, and there you have the elimination of one more type...etc etc.

which IMO was a bad idea.
Specialised airframes means you can optimise the aircraft for its mission and not end up with an air defense fighter having to double as a bomb truck (Bombcat anyone?).

For recce missions that might be possible, the additional speed would have been welcome (though at a loss of capability), for many others you're just getting the worst possible compromise.
I wish I were flying
 
sidishus
Posts: 488
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 1:45 am

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Thu Nov 24, 2005 3:28 pm

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 22):
and not end up with an air defense fighter having to double as a bomb truck (Bombcat anyone?).

The f-14 was built for a dual fighter attack configuration from inception. It was the fighter mafia that kept it from use in an attack role until late in its life.
the truth: first it is ridiculed second it is violently opposed finally it is accepted as self-evident
 
jwenting
Posts: 9973
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2001 10:12 pm

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Thu Nov 24, 2005 6:51 pm

It was also not well suited for the role.
Too fast on the deck, not that good at low level, needed quite serious mods to carry the weapons, etc..

Maybe the designers had a secondary attack role in mind, but they certainly didn't optimise the aircraft for it.
I wish I were flying
 
sidishus
Posts: 488
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 1:45 am

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Fri Nov 25, 2005 12:41 am

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 24):
It was also not well suited for the role.
Too fast on the deck, not that good at low level, needed quite serious mods to carry the weapons, etc..

As later events proved, it was suited just fine for the role. It was already designed to carry 14,500 lbs of Mk80 series bombs before the first metal was cut, but when the Marines bailed from the program, that was the last that was heard about it's potential air to ground capability until the '90s.
I will try to dig up a picture of the mockup festooned with iron bombs.
the truth: first it is ridiculed second it is violently opposed finally it is accepted as self-evident
 
DeltaGuy
Posts: 3965
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2001 5:25 am

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Fri Nov 25, 2005 12:58 am

Quoting Sidishus (Reply 23):
The f-14 was built for a dual fighter attack configuration from inception. It was the fighter mafia that kept it from use in an attack role until late in its life.

You bet...the F-4 was a bomb haulin, MiG killing champ, it performed both roles rather well IMHO. The Navy expected the same of the Tomcat, but other things happened...mainly the A-7 and A-6 were just too good at their jobs  Wink

DeltaGuy
"The cockpit, what is it?" "It's the little room in the front of the plane where the pilot sits, but that's not importan
 
norcal
Posts: 1507
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2005 1:44 am

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Fri Nov 25, 2005 2:15 am

How does the super hornet do in air-to-air scenarios against the latest generation of European and Russian planes?
 
sidishus
Posts: 488
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 1:45 am

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Fri Nov 25, 2005 9:55 am

Quoting DeltaGuy (Reply 26):
You bet...the F-4 was a bomb haulin, MiG killing champ, it performed both roles rather well IMHO. The Navy expected the same of the Tomcat, but other things happened...mainly the A-7 and A-6 were just too good at their jobs

Although the navy did use their F-4s in some strikes in Vietnam it was relatively rare. Now the Marines OTOH (and USAF) did some bomb haulin with their F-4s.
Instead of the A-7 and A-6 being too good, it was as much or more a matter of money. Check out this excerpt from George Spangenberg's oral history:

http://www.georgespangenberg.com/history3.htm
The second step envisioned in the airplane was to install a new avionic suite that would have an all weather attack capability built into it so that you could do the job of the A-6 without a major increase in complexity of the system. It was a good idea, and the technology was believed to be available. That would have been the F-14C. The F-14C dropped out of the picture first and eventually our new engine got cancelled as well so we were stuck for a long time then with the engines that had been developed initially for the Missileer and then used with an afterburner for the F-111 program.

I think its been well publicized elsewhere that the basic design mission of the F-14 included four Sparrows, and that the six Phoenix FAD mission would be considered an overload. We also had the complete A-7 level of attack capability built into the system from the beginning though that feature was dropped later. The reason for its elimination was to reduce costs associated with flight test clearance of Navy conventional stores at all wing sweeps. At the time, the production program had been cut back to levels that made it appear that all the F-14s would be needed for the pure fighter roles.
the truth: first it is ridiculed second it is violently opposed finally it is accepted as self-evident
 
sidishus
Posts: 488
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 1:45 am

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Fri Nov 25, 2005 11:51 am

So how did the navy first get itself mired in all this Bug Goop and Rhino Poop? Well, Mr. Spangenberg describes in detail how it all came to pass(edited for some brevity)...

http://www.georgespangenberg.com/history3.htm

At this point we probably should take a step backward and examine the lightweight fighter program for the Air Force which eventually really impacted on the way the F-14 program went from 1973 on. Anyway, in the early seventies OSD went to all the services and asked them to submit possible projects for inclusion in the new Prototype program. Adm. Suerstedt ended up being our representative on the Prototype program and after lots of discussion the Navy eventually ended up with their number one priority program that we would like to see funded was the S-3 COD Program. We hadn't been able to get it funded in the normal budget process so some thought that this ploy might work.
The Air Force submitted their list of things and about half way down the list of perhaps ten projects was a lightweight fighter. The lightweight fighter scheme of course had been promulgated by the "gum on the windshield" fighter types in and out of the Pentagon for a long time. It was set up to be a very simplistic kind of an airplane. Minimum fighter requirements and minimum control by the Air Force. The airplane would have no radar in it, armed with gun and Sidewinder, short radius, maximize the dog fight capability.
Well, now back to what was going on in the Navy with regard to the low cost alternatives to the F-14. Through most of '74 the Navy fought the scheme of low cost alternatives and lightweight fighter/low capability approaches to the problem quite vigorously. In the budgets prepared within the Navy, F-14s were included. By the time they went through the system, however, the F-14s had been cut back and the VFAX or F-14X or NACFs were back in the picture. I remember Capt. Halleland telling me I was crazy to continue recommending that we never give in to the lightweight concept. Lightweight in this case meaning low capability. He said we either get the low somethings or we get nothing which was the way these things seemed to end up. We certainly didn't win many. Well the fighter study came up with a reinvented VFAX and got permission to go out to industry with something called a pre-solicitation package for a Naval "air combat fighter". It was to be a bunch of studies to define an airplane that again was to be equivalent to an F-4 in capability and to just about match an A-7. They really had given up on the idea of being "better than" as we had done with the first VFAX back in the F-111 days. No one considered trying to really build a high capability, variable sweep airplane. From my viewpoint they were all on the low side of the capability equation. With Capt. O'Rourke involved, a VTOL capability kept bobbing up and there were some that professed to believe that you could get a VTOL version of this Naval "air combat fighter" by some kind of a simple modification such as adding lift engines.
Well in the final congressional action and I believe this was at the end of 1974 Congress got into the act and said that the NACF, the Navy Air Combat Fighter had to be a carrier version of whichever airplane the Air Force selected as their air combat fighter. So in essence the Navy was told that they had to make a version of the F-16 if that became the airplane the Air Force selected or a version of the F-17 if that were the airplane the Air Force selected. That action made it really impossible to reach the goal of being more or less equal to an F-4 and an A-7 in capability. Well sometime late in '74 the Secretary of the Navy, then Mittendorf, wrote a letter or a memo to SecDef and said that the Navy would go along with the program and outlined the events that they would do, gave them a schedule of events.
Well I guess as everybody knows by spring the decision within the Navy had been made that they would select the version of the F-17, the twin engine airplane from Northrop/McDonnell Douglas. It required so many changes over the 17 that it was renumbered as the XF-18. The Navy had eliminated consideration of the General Dynamics F-16 Navy version primarily on grounds of carrier suitability according to hearings that were later held.
Another CNO study group was set up. This one had a title dealing with attack. Attack requirements or some such thing. Adm. Fred Koch headed that one. His deputy was Capt. Jimmy Foster. Adm. Koch had not been involved in any of these exercises before but Capt. Foster may have been, probably in Fighter Study 4. Anyway he was definitely in favor of a high performance capability for an attack plane and felt strongly that the A-7 speed was not adequate. He based this on some work when he was still in the fleet and then ran some exercises where they were able to penetrate two targets with an F-4 when they were unable to do it with a more heavily loaded and slower A-7. He became a strong advocate then for the F-18 concept.
The whole effort still didn't make any sense to me that we would stop buying our most capable airplanes in favor of something that was intended to be cheaper and which in my opinion had less capability than the airplanes we already had in the fleet. Now admittedly any new airplane, such as the F-18 turned out to be, with a completely new avionic system was going to have marked advantages in reliability and maintainability. However, it was too short legged, and is still too short legged. It went back to the capability from a payload range standpoint that we had with the A-4s and F-4s. The improvement step from that level had been made a decade earlier when we developed the A-7 and then later when we were able to get rid of the F-111 and get the F-14.
The F-18 continued to be controversial into the eighties. By 1977 the Navy had changed direction again and Under Secretary Woolsey finally recommended to Secretary of Defense, then Harold Brown, that the F-18 program be cancelled. The Navy would go with the F-14, A-7 option and the Marines would go with F-14 and the AV-8 Harrier. The Armed Forces Journal published a story in July '78 and drew a number of parallels with the TFX. At the request of the editor, Ben Schemmer. I provided some comments to him on the article and he then published my comments as a brief article the next month. I did not think the F-18 was really parallel to the TFX. The program costs had increased far more rapidly than anyone had predicted and in 1981 the New York Times stated in an article that despite increasing the total number of aircraft from 811 to 1377, over a fifty percent increase in the quantity, the unit price had gone up from $9.9 to $33 million each. I have no idea as to the accuracy of those numbers. It seems almost unbelievable. Now I think I'm at the end of F-18s.[/b]

[Edited 2005-11-25 04:04:15]
the truth: first it is ridiculed second it is violently opposed finally it is accepted as self-evident
 
dragon-wings
Posts: 3907
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2001 4:55 am

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Fri Nov 25, 2005 12:05 pm

The F-14 was able to carrry the AIM-54 Phoenix missile. Can the Super Hornet carry the AIM-54 Phoenix missile?
Don't give up don't ever give up - Jim Valvano
 
sidishus
Posts: 488
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 1:45 am

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Fri Nov 25, 2005 12:22 pm

Quoting Dragon-wings (Reply 30):
The F-14 was able to carrry the AIM-54 Phoenix missile. Can the Super Hornet carry the AIM-54 Phoenix missile?

Now this radar missle combo looks to be promising (assuming these numbers verify in the real world of fleet use). Too bad it's on a crappy aircraft.

Avweek 11/7/05:
The new active electronically scanned array radar being installed in F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, and soon the EA-18G Growler, is the first to have a longer range than the AIM-120 Amraam. The Raytheon radar's capability was demonstrated late last month at NAS Point Mugu, Calif., during a shoot arranged by the Navy's AESA development program. Plans are to fire an Amraam while maneuvering and at progressively longer distances from the target. While range numbers have not been released, goals are to push engagement ranges toward 100 naut. mi. from 40 naut. mi. or less. Amraam is officially credited with a range of more than 23 naut. mi.
the truth: first it is ridiculed second it is violently opposed finally it is accepted as self-evident
 
jwenting
Posts: 9973
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2001 10:12 pm

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Fri Nov 25, 2005 4:35 pm

AIM-54 has been withdrawn from service for several years now (2001 I believe, maybe 2002), so compatibility with the F/A-18E/F was never even considered an option or requirement.

Original plans called for a 100+ mile missile to replace it for conformal or internal carriage in NATF but those plans were dropped even before NATF was cancelled (but by the time AIM-54 withdrawal had been approved and could no longer be reversed).

So no. The USN has been downgraded from a fighter force that can patrol airspace around a CVN 250nm out and engage targets another 100nm from that to a force that can patrol 100nm out and engage targets 25nm from that, or a reduction in the air battle space around a carrier from 350nm diameter to 125nm.
I wish I were flying
 
sidishus
Posts: 488
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 1:45 am

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Sat Nov 26, 2005 5:13 am

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 32):
So no. The USN has been downgraded from a fighter force that can patrol airspace around a CVN 250nm out and engage targets another 100nm from that to a force that can patrol 100nm out and engage targets 25nm from that, or a reduction in the air battle space around a carrier from 350nm diameter to 125nm.

By the time of the AIM-54 was withdrawn last year (Sept. 2004) it was well time for it to go. It was an old parts hawg of a system and not particularly useful in a fourth generation world.
Did you not read the quote from Aviation Week I posted above? The APG-79 AIM-120 equipped F/A-18E and F will have the ability to engage targets out to 100 miles or so. Take 20 percent off that for real world conditions and that is still pretty much in the ballpark the AWG-9 AIM-54 could ever realistically achieve in fleet practice against much more cooperative targets (bigger, less maneuverable, less stealthy). And mind you that was a capability that was never really trusted except in the eventuality of a massed Soviet bomber attack.
Now I certainly have little good to say about the F/A-18 E and F but the inclusion of this radar into the CVW is a big step forward.

http://www.raytheon.com/products/apg79aesa/

[Edited 2005-11-25 21:44:51]
the truth: first it is ridiculed second it is violently opposed finally it is accepted as self-evident
 
jwenting
Posts: 9973
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2001 10:12 pm

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Sat Nov 26, 2005 6:22 am

I seriously doubt they'll get 100nm out of an AMRAAM except maybe in extreme tailwinds, launching from maximum altitude, against a lowflying target, under positive guidance from an AEW platform that doesn't yet exist.

Problem is the missile just doesn't carry the fuel to give it that much range, unless they're planning to create a completely new ER version with some form of booster strapped on (like the SM-2ER version of the standard missile).
Maybe the aircraft radar will have 100nm range to track targets, but they'll still have to get within missile range to launch on those targets, and that missile range is 25nm tops as it stands.
I wish I were flying
 
sidishus
Posts: 488
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 1:45 am

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Sat Nov 26, 2005 6:55 am

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 34):
I seriously doubt they'll get 100nm out of an AMRAAM except maybe in extreme tailwinds, launching from maximum altitude, against a lowflying target, under positive guidance from an AEW platform that doesn't yet exist.

You are seriously undersetimating the leap in capabilities an AESA radar brings to the table.
How do you think the F-14 could engage at long BVR distances anyway Jwenting?
The Phoenix was a 40 year old missile in technology terms and it was wholly obsolete. So why keep it in service?

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 34):
Problem is the missile just doesn't carry the fuel to give it that much range, unless they're planning to create a completely new ER version with some form of booster strapped on (like the SM-2ER version of the standard missile).
Maybe the aircraft radar will have 100nm range to track targets, but they'll still have to get within missile range to launch on those targets, and that missile range is 25nm tops as it stands.

And you apparently aren't familiar with the AIM-120D? It promises a 100km plus range. And, as the AvWeek news blurb infers, that is a substantial "plus" beyond ~50nm. A datalink and GPS suggests a quite looonng range indeed:
http://www.dtic.mil/descriptivesum/Y2006/AirForce/0207163F.pdf
The Phase 4 effort will lead to introduction of the AIM-120D, delivering improved AMRAAM performance via GPS-aided navigation, a two-way datalink capability for enhanced aircrew survivability and improved network compatibility, and incorporating new guidance software which will improve AMRAAM's kinematic and weapon effectiveness perforormance

Funny you should mention the SM-2. The SM-2 doubled the range of the SM-1 using essentially the same airframe (the ER did have a different booster but it was the same size so it could fit into existing ships). The boosterless SM-2 MR had the range of SM-1 ER. The boostered SM-2 ER had a range greater than the SPG-55 radar which was a problem that never got solved as noted by the demise of the ER ships (the Lake Erie is a special duck and was converted later).
Sounds like a not too dissimilar problem the Navy is working through with the AIM-120D now that the APG-79 can see farther than the missle can apprently fly.
the truth: first it is ridiculed second it is violently opposed finally it is accepted as self-evident
 
jwenting
Posts: 9973
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2001 10:12 pm

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Sat Nov 26, 2005 2:07 pm

Quoting Sidishus (Reply 35):
You are seriously undersetimating the leap in capabilities an AESA radar brings to the table.
How do you think the F-14 could engage at long BVR distances anyway Jwenting?
The Phoenix was a 40 year old missile in technology terms and it was wholly obsolete. So why keep it in service?

I'm not saying the AIM-54 should have been kept. I agree it was time to replace it. But the AIM-120A and C can't compete with it both in terms of range, firepower (warhead size), and maybe versatility (does AIM-120 have a home on jam capability for example?).

The original planned replacement for the NATF would have had all that.

F-14 had a somewhat more powerful radar than does the F/A-18 precisely because it needed the very long range capabilities to guide the AIM-54.
The Hornet has shorter range weapons so doesn't need that much power, and thus was fitted with a radar that doesn't have that much range.
If they want a 100nm+ range missile on it they'll either need an external fire control system or put a far more powerful radar in the Hornet.

Quoting Sidishus (Reply 35):
And you apparently aren't familiar with the AIM-120D? It promises a 100km plus range.

100km+ is still no 100nm+  Smile I'd indeed not heard of the 120D, except as a design concept that was going nowhere because of budget constraints.
And what I'd heard was more about new warhead and sensor designs than increased range.
I wish I were flying
 
sidishus
Posts: 488
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 1:45 am

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Sat Nov 26, 2005 3:18 pm

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 36):
The Hornet has shorter range weapons so doesn't need that much power, and thus was fitted with a radar that doesn't have that much range. If they want a 100nm+ range missile on it they'll either need an external fire control system or put a far more powerful radar in the Hornet.

The APG-79 will make the AWG-9 look like the antique it is. You really should read up on it Jwenting. In terms of power, target discrimination, you name it, the AESA qualities makes the APG-79 orders of magnitude superior to the AWG-9.

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 36):
100km+ is still no 100nm+ I'd indeed not heard of the 120D, except as a design concept that was going nowhere because of budget constraints.

Quite true. But Aviation Week is quoting sources saying the engagement ranges are stretching out to 100nm for the AMRAM. And that was a Department of Defense document I posted about the AIM-120D, so its apparently alive and thriving.

[Edited 2005-11-26 07:38:42]
the truth: first it is ridiculed second it is violently opposed finally it is accepted as self-evident
 
Pyrex
Posts: 4044
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 7:24 am

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Mon Nov 28, 2005 8:16 am

Quoting LY744 (Reply 4):
Key words there are "weapons platforms".

I know you are probably joking about it but I actually believe this to be true...

Quoting Sidishus (Reply 7):
1. Can it carry the 5,000 lb GBU-28?

Can ANYTHING carry that giant thing and land / take-off from a carrier? That must be something interesting to watch!
Read this very carefully, I shall write this only once!
 
sidishus
Posts: 488
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 1:45 am

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Mon Nov 28, 2005 8:42 am

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 38):
Can ANYTHING carry that giant thing and land / take-off from a carrier? That must be something interesting to watch!

Check out the size of the size of the practice "shape" of the 12,000 lb. weapon the A-3 could carry-internally-out to an unrefuled radius better than 1000nm.
Meanwhile "Long Range" and Heavy Attack" are descriptors given to half that range and a third of that payload today.

http://www.a3skywarrior.com/pg27photos/File0003a.jpg
the truth: first it is ridiculed second it is violently opposed finally it is accepted as self-evident
 
sidishus
Posts: 488
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 1:45 am

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Mon Nov 28, 2005 9:20 am

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 38):
Can ANYTHING carry that giant thing and land / take-off from a carrier? That must be something interesting to watch!

I dawned on me that you were most likely thinking of the GBU-43 "MOAB" :
http://www.globalsecurity.org/milita...images/moab_030311-d-9085m-007.jpg

...and not the 5,000 lb GBU-28:
http://www.danshistory.com/gbu28l.jpg

But, to answer your question, it could be done...
the truth: first it is ridiculed second it is violently opposed finally it is accepted as self-evident
 
RC135U
Posts: 278
Joined: Wed May 04, 2005 9:53 pm

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Mon Nov 28, 2005 10:49 am

Quoting Sidishus (Reply 39):
Check out the size of the size of the practice "shape" of the 12,000 lb. weapon the A-3 could carry-internally-out to an unrefuled radius better than 1000nm.
Meanwhile "Long Range" and Heavy Attack" are descriptors given to half that range and a third of that payload today.

The Whale sure gave the Navy a lot of capabilities. Geez, some new-build
A-3's today could give the Navy a lot of airplane to use at least as a heavy
bomb hauler and a serious tanker. What engines would be best to replace
the standard J-57s? Needs ejection seats - I've read the old joke that the
early A3D designation meant All Three Dead. If we're looking for multiple
missions from a limited number of airframes like the Super Bug, what else
could be done with the Whale today? E-2 replacement? C-2 replacement
with a LOT of mods? Guess I'm just dreaming 'cause I like the Whale - you
guys with far more knowledge on this please educate me.
 
Pyrex
Posts: 4044
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 7:24 am

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 7:49 pm

Quoting Sidishus (Reply 40):
I dawned on me that you were most likely thinking of the GBU-43 "MOAB"

Actually I was thinking of the "bunker-busters" but you answered my question nevertheless. However, I believe it is more correct to compare it with, say, the A-6, A-7 and F-14: can they carry a 5,000-lb bomb from a carrier and land with it?

Quoting Sidishus (Reply 39):
Meanwhile "Long Range" and Heavy Attack" are descriptors given to half that range and a third of that payload today.

Yes, but the tactical and strategical concepts have changed since then. In those days the accuracy was horrible by modern standards so you needed the biggest bang you could get in order to make sure you blew up whatever it was you wanted to blow up. Don't forget, the Whale was designed to carry a free-fall atomic bomb (so the navy could have some nuclear capabilities) and in those days they were really big.
Read this very carefully, I shall write this only once!
 
LMP737
Posts: 4808
Joined: Wed May 08, 2002 4:06 pm

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Wed Nov 30, 2005 8:55 am

Quoting Maiznblu_757 (Reply 13):
Talking to some Tomcat turned Super Hornet mechs they stated the Tomcat is 100 man hrs maint. for 1 hr flight. The Rhino is 10 to 1.

That only part of the story. The newest F-14D came off the line in 1992. Which means the youngest F-14 is thirteen years old. Simple rule of thumb the older a fighter is the more maintenance will need. Then one has to take in to account the Navy probably has not been investing a lot of money for a plane that's soon to be retired. Compare that to the "Super Hornet" which is brand new and all the money the Navy has been investing in it.

One of the guys I worked with in my squadron was with VF-124 when the F-14D entered service. I remember him saying that they didn't spend nearly as much time working on it as the A. That's because it was brand new. Now before people jump on me saying that new "super hornet" will still require less maintenance than a new Tomcat I am aware of that. The Tomcat is still a more complex aircraft.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
sidishus
Posts: 488
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 1:45 am

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Sat Dec 03, 2005 3:11 pm

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 42):
Actually I was thinking of the "bunker-busters" but you answered my question nevertheless. However, I believe it is more correct to compare it with, say, the A-6, A-7 and F-14: can they carry a 5,000-lb bomb from a carrier and land with it?

Those aircraft were built in the last century to fight the last century's wars. They are relics of a bygone era and it's way past time to look ahead. If this conversation were taking place in 1970, we would be extolling the virtues of the F4B for chrisssake!
http://www.boeing.com/history/boeing/p12.html

The better question to ask is: Should current attack aircraft have the ability to carry the GBU-28?
Well, lets look at what Lieutenant B. W. Stone-an active duty Naval Aviator flying F-18s-had to say on just this subject in his article "A Bridge Too Far" that was published in the Feb. 2005 Naval Institute Proceedings (you have to register but it's free):
http://www.usni.org/proceedings/articles05/pro02stone.htm


  • Even a 2,000-pound bomb (the largest available to carrier-based aircraft) can cause only limited damage. The idea of destroying a large building or hardened bunker with one conventional bomb and 100% reliability in wartime is laughable. Even in benign environments, strike planners expect only 70% effectiveness. In Afghanistan, where 93% of the ordnance employed was precision-guided, only 84% of all sorties (and fewer bombs) hit their targets.13 If the enemy had the ability to jam GPS signals, the weapons' reliability would be reduced significantly.

  • The Hornet's ability to carry four 2,000-pound bombs is dependent on a short-range strike that does not require external fuel tanks to be carried on wing pylons. Virtually all current areas of concern require long-range drop tanks, however, and the Hornet's maximum bomb load is reduced accordingly. The two extra wing pylons on the Super Hornet, widely touted as improvements over the "baby" Hornet, will be occupied by fuel tanks to support other aircraft on all but the shortest strikes.

  • During any major operation, the ability to sustain a high combat tempo is directly related to the ability of an air wing to keep jets airborne. Reducing complements by 16% may not appreciably affect the ability to conduct occasional low-intensity strikes, but it severely diminishes the number of sorties sustainable in wartime.

  • Not even during OIF did naval air power achieve the effectiveness required by Admiral Malone's plan. Naval tactical aircraft flew 5,000 sorties but dropped only 5,300 bombs, an average of 1.06 bombs (to say nothing of targets) per sortie.14 GPS-guided weapons require intelligence services to deliver incredibly accurate target locations; if the coordinates provided do not match the location of the intended target precisely, the bomb will very accurately guide itself to a useless impact point. Deriving accurate coordinates takes time, and while the first few strikes might use preplanned information for fixed targets to advantage, the fast pace of maneuver warfare renders successful later GPS-guided strikes the exception rather than the rule.


Quoting Pyrex (Reply 42):
Don't forget, the Whale was designed to carry a free-fall atomic bomb (so the navy could have some nuclear capabilities) and in those days they were really big.

There is still a necessity for standoff distance against an opponent that has a viable Anti-Access/Area-Denial ability. As a matter of fact, it is a lost capability that is gaining in importance. Not only from the standppoint of what adverseries can throw into the littoral battlespace, but also to reduce the need for tanking requirements and to enhance persistence over the battlefield (range can be traded for endurance and payload):

http://www.csbaonline.org/4Publicati...0.LRSSNavy/B.20051110.LRSSNavy.pdf

  • Recent war games have confronted participants with a “Near Peer
    Competitor” with robust military capabilities:
    – Anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) network including submarines, mines,
    anti-ship cruise missiles and anti-ship ballistic missiles with
    maneuvering RVs
    – Maritime and aerospace approach surveillance network
    – Extensive ballistic missile and theater air attack forces
    – Regional air dominance forces
    – Sea denial capabilities
  • Under these stressing circumstances, war game participants are generally
    unwilling to risk the loss of an aircraft carrier carrying 4,000 to 5,000
    personnel and 75+ aircraft, especially if the adversary is armed with
    maneuvering anti-ship ballistic missiles
  • Generally, participants opt to stand outside the range ring (1,600 nm) until
    the adversary’s OTH targeting network is destroyed



Today the navy must wait for the Air Force to bust in the door. maybe it's time to paraphrase Jackie Fisher and just "Scrap The Lot!"

Here are the the design priorities of the Defense Science Board has laid out in their study.
Defense Science Board Task Force on THE FUTURE OF THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER

http://www.acq.osd.mil/dsb/reports/acof.pdf

Design Recommendations Design Recommendations
IN PRIORITY ORDER IN PRIORITY ORDER

1. AN AIRPLANE TO PERFORM THE FOLLOWING ROLES AND BE RECONFIGURABLE AMONG THEM ABOARD SHIP:
•FUEL-EFFICIENT HEAVY ORDNANCE DELIVERER
•ORBITING MISSILE DETECTION RADAR PLATFORM
•TANKER
•SUPPLY
•ECM PLATFORM

2. UPDATES TO THE SHIP:
• WATER JET PROPULSION (TO REDUCE RADIATED NOISE & IMPROVE
EFFICIENCY)
• SQUATTING CURE (TO IMPROVE EFFICIENCY)
• BIGGER MAGAZINE (TO GAIN AUTONOMY)
• CREW REDUCTION (TO REDUCE COST)
• ISLAND REMOVAL (TO REDUCE RCS)

3. LOCATE THE OPTIMUM OF THE SYSTEM {SHIP + AIRCRAFT + ORDNANCE} IN THE MODERN MISSION CONTEXT.
•EVALUATE THE UTILITY AND PROSPECTS FOR A RADICAL HIGH-SPEED SHIP DESIGN
•MONITOR ANY DEVELOPMENTS IN ACTIVE SONAR


[Edited 2005-12-03 07:17:16]

[Edited 2005-12-03 07:18:15]
the truth: first it is ridiculed second it is violently opposed finally it is accepted as self-evident
 
sidishus
Posts: 488
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 1:45 am

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Sat Dec 03, 2005 3:53 pm

And this finding from the DSB report as well...

http://www.acq.osd.mil/dsb/reports/acof.pdf

The short legs intrinsic to fighter-type designs means that in- flight refuelings
are required, and carriers are therefore dependent on land-based tankers -- a
very serious flaw. It can be overcome by using long-range, combat aircraft
and having an autonomous refueling capability.


[Edited 2005-12-03 07:58:37]
the truth: first it is ridiculed second it is violently opposed finally it is accepted as self-evident
 
sidishus
Posts: 488
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 1:45 am

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Sat Dec 03, 2005 5:57 pm

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 42):
Yes, but the tactical and strategical concepts have changed since then.

More to show the need for heavy hitting power and long range hasn't:

Stone, from A Bridge Too Far

"The Navy's senior leaders proudly assert that "naval aviation allows us to take credible combat power across the globe without a permission slip."23 This may once have been true, but the all-Hornet air wing is sorely taxed to take its combat power further than 150 miles from the nearest blue water."
the truth: first it is ridiculed second it is violently opposed finally it is accepted as self-evident
 
Wiggidy
Posts: 110
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 11:06 am

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Sun Dec 04, 2005 4:40 am

Quoting NorCal (Reply 27):
How does the super hornet do in air-to-air scenarios against the latest generation of European and Russian planes?

Not well unfortunately. Even the f/a-18c model was schooled rather completely by German mig-29s a few years back (in exercises mind you). Id hate to see how this lug would fare against a su-27, rafale, eurofighter, or any other air supperiority fighter. However, this is not what it was designed for as many have already mentioned, so we may not have to worry about it.
 
norcal
Posts: 1507
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2005 1:44 am

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Sun Dec 04, 2005 6:43 am

Quoting Wiggidy (Reply 47):
Not well unfortunately. Even the f/a-18c model was schooled rather completely by German mig-29s a few years back (in exercises mind you). Id hate to see how this lug would fare against a su-27, rafale, eurofighter, or any other air supperiority fighter. However, this is not what it was designed for as many have already mentioned, so we may not have to worry about it.

Thanks for the info.......do you think pilot training or tactics would make up for the F-18's inefficiencies? I guess not in the case of the German Migs, but how would they stack up against what China or North Korea has to offer?

If possible would an upgrade like variable direction thrust help out the F-18?
 
Wiggidy
Posts: 110
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 11:06 am

RE: What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Sun Dec 04, 2005 12:29 pm

NorCal,
China now offers the J-10 advanced fighter which, in theory, is a top notch single engine aircraft. Supposedly it is highly maneuverable with a good thrust to weight ratio, probably on par with Eurofighter or Rafale, however not much is known about it for obvious reasons. That combined with the su-30k that China is acquiring could pose serious problems to naval air superiority. The Air Force definitely holds the cards when it comes to US air superiority with the F-15c and obviously the F-22.
As far as a vectored thrust variant, NASA experimented with a super-maneuverable f-15 with thrust vectoring and canards (similar to the SU-35), but it never saw service. I doubt that one will be developed as the navy is receiving the F-35 eventually. Hope that helps
-Wes

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: 2T2X1 and 15 guests