ebj1248650
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New Wild Weasel In The Future

Mon Jul 31, 2006 8:09 am

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.
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aislepathlight
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RE: New Wild Weasel In The Future

Mon Jul 31, 2006 9:21 am

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.
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ebj1248650
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RE: New Wild Weasel In The Future

Mon Jul 31, 2006 9:36 am

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.
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LY744
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RE: New Wild Weasel In The Future

Mon Jul 31, 2006 9:47 am

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?


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sonic67
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RE: New Wild Weasel In The Future

Mon Jul 31, 2006 10:33 am

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 
 
AirRyan
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RE: New Wild Weasel In The Future

Mon Jul 31, 2006 10:42 am

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...
 
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RE: New Wild Weasel In The Future

Mon Jul 31, 2006 11:57 am

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.
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kc135topboom
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RE: New Wild Weasel In The Future

Mon Jul 31, 2006 6:57 pm

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.
 
deltadc9
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RE: New Wild Weasel In The Future

Mon Jul 31, 2006 10:27 pm

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?
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474218
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RE: New Wild Weasel In The Future

Mon Jul 31, 2006 11:10 pm

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.
 
aislepathlight
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RE: New Wild Weasel In The Future

Mon Jul 31, 2006 11:26 pm

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)
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N911ME
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RE: New Wild Weasel In The Future

Mon Jul 31, 2006 11:42 pm

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.
 
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RE: New Wild Weasel In The Future

Mon Jul 31, 2006 11:46 pm

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]
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deltadc9
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RE: New Wild Weasel In The Future

Tue Aug 01, 2006 12:04 am

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.
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ebj1248650
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RE: New Wild Weasel In The Future

Tue Aug 01, 2006 12:58 am

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.
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RE: New Wild Weasel In The Future

Tue Aug 01, 2006 3:44 am

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.
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RAPCON
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RE: New Wild Weasel In The Future

Tue Aug 01, 2006 4:31 am

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!
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par13del
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RE: New Wild Weasel In The Future

Tue Aug 01, 2006 5:04 am

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.
 
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RE: New Wild Weasel In The Future

Tue Aug 01, 2006 6:06 am

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.
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ebj1248650
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RE: New Wild Weasel In The Future

Tue Aug 01, 2006 6:10 am

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.
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ebj1248650
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RE: New Wild Weasel In The Future

Tue Aug 01, 2006 6:13 am

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.
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ebj1248650
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RE: New Wild Weasel In The Future

Tue Aug 01, 2006 6:17 am

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.
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par13del
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RE: New Wild Weasel In The Future

Tue Aug 01, 2006 10:24 am

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.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: New Wild Weasel In The Future

Tue Aug 01, 2006 7:46 pm

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.
 
AFHokie
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RE: New Wild Weasel In The Future

Wed Aug 02, 2006 8:38 am

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.
 
LMP737
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RE: New Wild Weasel In The Future

Wed Aug 02, 2006 10:44 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 23):
Thank you President Clinton. Let's retire two thirds of the jammer force, the newest airplanes, and keep the oldest ones.

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.
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Devilfish
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RE: New Wild Weasel In The Future

Thu Jan 18, 2007 4:03 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 7):
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,



Quoting DeltaDC9 (Reply 8):
It has always seemed to be the practice to use previous generation aircraft for this function.



Quoting DeltaDC9 (Reply 13):
Neither of which are considered air superiority fighters as far as I know.



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? How difficult would it be to convert Strike Eagles to the WW mission, and please, I mean the F15-E not the C models.



Quoting EBJ1248650 (Reply 20):
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



Quoting AFHokie (Reply 24):
In my own opinion, I think that an F-15G model would've been the best replacement for the F-4G

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/articles...ile-boeing-f-15e+-super-eagle.html

It would be previous generation when both the Raptor and Lightning II would've been deployed in full force. It would still have much air superiority left, still be long-ranged, carry a potent warload coupled to cutting edge fire control systems and avionics, use its advanced radars for jamming and be relatively inexpensive compared to the Raptor and Lightning II. Might the USAF reconsider?
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STT757
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RE: New Wild Weasel In The Future

Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:54 pm

Quoting DEVILFISH (Reply 26):

It would be previous generation when both the Raptor and Lightning II would've been deployed in full force. It would still have much air superiority left, still be long-ranged, carry a potent warload coupled to cutting edge fire control systems and avionics, use its advanced radars for jamming and be relatively inexpensive compared to the Raptor and Lightning II. Might the USAF reconsider?

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 offering the Super Eagle if there production delays with the F-35.

My own belief is that they should either form joint squadrons with the Navy's Growlers, or develop an armed stealth UAV for the mission controlled from either a Ship, ground station or an aircraft like the E-10A MC2A or the Navy's P-8 MMA.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/intell/systems/e-10.htm

My own belief is that the more advanced concept is the armed UAV platform which the Air Force should field. The Navy/Marines could deploy the traditional manned F-18 Growler.
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Devilfish
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RE: New Wild Weasel In The Future

Fri Jan 19, 2007 5:13 am

Quoting STT757 (Reply 27):
According to that article linked the F-15E "Super Eagle" would cost the same as the F-35,

There were concerns aired that the JSF would top the $100M price mark especially in light of the low-rate initial production.

Quoting STT757 (Reply 27):

They were offering the Super Eagle if there production delays with the F-35.

It is not clear that the F-35 would be given the Wild Weasel role, and there might not be enough of those yet so close to IOC to undertake the mission. And as the thread starter said, the F-16 is beginning to be outclassed by the new generation of fighters becoming available. The F-15E+ Super Eagle could be a timely solution to correct the imbalance.

Quoting STT757 (Reply 27):
or an aircraft like the E-10A MC2A

The E-10A may be safely discounted as it is ending, and new design and analysis contracts were issued to zero out the funding.....

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...throp-to-end-e-10-development.html

Meanwhile, another report points to a new capability for the F-15 Eagle.....

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...-for-missile-defence-missions.html
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acontador
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RE: New Wild Weasel In The Future

Wed Jan 24, 2007 12:58 am

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 (at least I suspect). Si I would assume that in not so long time we will see lots of F-15 airframes in AMARC storage. I would also assume that the F-15E could be very easily reconfigured to a Wild Weasel version, and would probably show many advantages over the F-16 CJs. As you probably do not need nor want stealth for this mission, can we expect F-15Fs WW? It could even be new build airframes, as it is still in production...
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A350
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RE: New Wild Weasel In The Future

Sun Feb 11, 2007 4:16 am

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? Is it possible to re-activate the F-4 WWs?

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KevinSmith
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RE: New Wild Weasel In The Future

Sun Feb 11, 2007 4:48 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 7):
The USAF has realized this is a two man airplane mission, as it was when they were F-105Fs and F-4E/Gs.

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 I can't believe I'm about to say and advocate this being that I'm gonna start NAV/WSO school soon but I think that the WW mission will eventually go to:
http://www.af.mil/shared/media/photodb/photos/060913-F-9876J-111.jpg

Cost is about the same (17 mil per) as a F-16 (18.8 mil for a C/D) and there is no crew in harms way. As for armament you really only need to take out the radar on a SAM site to make in combat ineffective correct? Hellfire can do that. Yes I do know that those are GBU-12s in the picture.

Quoting AFHokie (Reply 24):
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.

You got it boss. One of the instructors here is a EA-6B NFO. She says that if you're a USAF guy and you get them you're staying on shore. You do get the opportunity (if you want) to go out to the ship to trap and do a cat launch while in training.

[Edited 2007-02-10 20:52:45]
Learning to fly, but I ain't got wings.
 
KevinSmith
Posts: 626
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 9:08 am

RE: New Wild Weasel In The Future

Sun Feb 11, 2007 4:50 am

Quoting A350 (Reply 30):
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? Is it possible to re-activate the F-4 WWs?

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.
Learning to fly, but I ain't got wings.

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