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Author Topic: Why No replacement For the F-14
Cormac Mac Art2

posted 12-11-2000 01:45 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Am I missing something or is there no replacement for the Tomcat in the planning?

The JSF's or F-18E's can’t intercept 100+mile inbound bandits with the currently known weapons systems.

Also what about a new carrier borne AWACS?

What is the plan?

Also is there a comparable weapon to the Phoenix on the drawing board and if not why not?

And please don’t start blaming Clinton for inadequate planning, don’t his chiefs submit the docs (the Military's Master plan) and he signs them off, and also he's gone and I’m talking about the future.
I’m not looking for political debate but hardware enlightenment

Most you folks know more about this stuff than I so what's the skinny......

Thanks Cormac

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posted 12-12-2000 02:52 AM     Profile for Bonzonie   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
After the end of the cold war, the Russians do not have the economy to make large airforces and such right?(Somebody who knows better can fill me in on that). If so, there aren't any more large formations of enemy heavy bombers to deal with. Which would mean there isn't any need for the pheonix missile or any other large missile with a 100+ range. What is probably needed is a jet that has exeptionally good performance and is affordable. The Navy says the new F/A-18E/F will do the job but who knows... Maybe they'll have to wait for the JSF to be happy again...

FS2K F-22 Raptor Support Page
Bonzonie's JF-18 Crazy missions and screenshot gallery

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Glen Levick

posted 12-17-2000 12:59 AM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Simple answer. Money. Or the lack justifiable cause to the use of huge amounts of it.

The threat has not gone, but it has been significantly reduced with the ending of the cold war, but the Russinas still have many of their Tu-22M Backfire regiments operational.

What would have been the heart of the USN air wings into the 21st century, i.e. Tomcat21 and the A-12, were costing and would have cost an unacceptable amount of money in light of a 'reduced' threat.

The F/A-18E/F Super Hornet evolved as a natural compromise. The JSF concept was coined while the Cold war was still alive and when it enters service should bring with it all the 5th generation advantages originally planned.

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posted 12-18-2000 10:44 AM     Profile for Dann   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote

Also: Cheney, when he was SecDef, ordered that all funding for the F-14D cancelled, and had Grumman destroy the tooling for the Tomcat.

This was purely political in nature: his state built the Hornet, and cutting funding for the Tomcat guaranteed the future of the Hornet's development as the JSF was barely a wishful thought back then.

Part of the problem was the Navy's original OpEval of the Hornet: they said, in essense, while it does a lot of things okay, it really isn't what they want. The Department of Defense ordered the Navy to modify their evaluation criteria so that the Hornet would pass, and they did.

Killing funding for the F-14D and halting most of the F-14A to D upgrades sealed the fate of the Tomcat and put the Navy in a position where the Hornet became the only viable alternative.

Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum


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posted 12-18-2000 10:57 AM     Profile for LeadHead   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Originally posted by Glen Levick:
The JSF concept was coined while the Cold war was still alive and when it enters service should bring with it all the 5th generation advantages originally planned.


Lead-Head's Simulation Site:

[This message has been edited by LeadHead (edited 12-18-2000).]

[This message has been edited by LeadHead (edited 12-18-2000).]

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posted 12-18-2000 01:29 PM     Profile for gabbys   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
It is really a shame that the F-14 has been put to rest. And that as the current planes are retired, they will be replaced with the F-18 E/F, or JSF.

I read an opinion column in Flight Journal a couple of year’s back that was written by a Grumman engineer.

He said that he believed that there existed a cycle in fighter plane development of going to small "sports car" aircraft that are multi-role and compact. He then used F4U Corsair as an example of a large plane that wasn't overly maneuverable, but was more of a large affective warplane.

He thinks that we have moved back into the sports car development cycle and that since the F-14 is a very large warplane, that it didn't fit with the sports car's and so had to be phased out.

He felt that although it is large, that given a proper upgrade and good engines (AKA F-14D) the plane still had a long and useful life left in it. I have read but can not verify a story that the F-14D can give a F-15 a good fight.

He ended by bringing up the size of the Su-27 family of aircraft. These planes are huge, but are also very formidable warplanes.

I think it goes to show just how shortsighted our planners in DC can be.

Give this a read, it was read by the "Duke" in the house of Reps in 1991.

[This message has been edited by gabbys (edited 12-18-2000).]

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posted 12-18-2000 02:50 PM     Profile for Dann   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote

Outstanding paper you found there.

Duke said: "Surely the cost of research and development for the F/A-18E/F will far exceed that needed for upgrades to the F-14D that are already available." - and he was correct.

"Why should we be forced to await the arrival of the proposed F/A-18E/F when we could be training and fighting with the very technology (the F-14D) that the new Hornet is projected to provide?" - that was the easy one, in a word: politics.

Si Vis etc


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posted 12-18-2000 04:53 PM     Profile for Johnny_Stew   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Regarding an F-14D vs. F-15 matchup, gabbys.

I'd read the same thing about an F-14D being able to take an F-15 in a discussion thread somewhere, either here or at SimHQ. While I don't recall who the original poster was, I do recall that he'd related a situation where, during air combat exercises, F-14As were regularly getting smoked by Air Force jocks in their F-15s. Said Air Force jocks were challenged a bit later by F-14 pilots who neglected to mention that the Tomcats being faced by the Eagle drivers would be D models this time. Sure enough, when the the planes met in the air, the Eagle pilots were expecting another victory, and were unpleasantly suprised when this set of Tomcats exhibited performance they weren't used to from the earlier dogfights and got whacked in short order.

If this anecdote is true, I would've loved to see the expression on the Eagle drivers faces when they realized they'd been had.

[This message has been edited by Johnny_Stew (edited 12-18-2000).]

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posted 12-18-2000 05:32 PM     Profile for Dann   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
The Tomcat's advantage is it's variable geometry wings. Understanding that like all fighters that big (and HEAVY!), it will still never have the manuverability of smaller fighters like the MiG-29 or F-16, however, where all fixed with fighters have a fixed point at which the wing produces the most amount of lift and least amount of drag (corner speed), the Tomcat has a corner speed "area."

From what I hear, it's low speed cornering is outstanding. I've read an F-15 pilot say "Never get low and slow with a Tomcat."

Still, not enough for any Tomcat pilot to WANT to get into a turning fight.

Si Vis etc


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posted 12-18-2000 05:47 PM     Profile for Envelope   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Is the variable wing geometry airframe obsolete? Is the F-14 the last one produced?
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posted 12-18-2000 06:05 PM     Profile for Dann   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote

Seems so. Might be the wieght involved; I think the Tomcat empty borders on 38,000 pounds.

The disadvantages outwiegh the advantages.

Si Vis etc


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posted 12-18-2000 08:38 PM     Profile for gabbys   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I think that F-14D beating the F-15's is in the Tom Clancy "Carrier" book, but I can't remember for sure.

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posted 12-19-2000 09:43 AM     Profile for TWalt   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Your story is cluttered here. Dann you particularly are giving half the story. It was not so much political pressure as it was monetary pressure. If you look at what Congress had decided to due with the military budget, the real answers are found. What the SecDef did in deciding to end the F-14 production in 1989 was purely economic. The costs of maintaining the F-14 fleet were spiralling upward and the mission scope of the F-14 was 1 dimensional. The much improved F-14D was too little too late to save the program. Mac Douglas had not even drummed up the conception of the E/F until 2 years later as a proposal to remedy the canx A-12 (Jan 1991 also by Cheney). It's initial competition was the aged A-6 in upgraded A-6F form. This included a new wing, new engines (from the F/A-18C w/o burners) and new sensors. The Navy actually preferred a dedicated strike aircraft on her decks but funding instantly became a huge issue. Congress was upset with the A-12 debacle and funding in general was taking a big cut DOD wide in the down-sizing effort. Although the A-6F did the strike mission quite well, it was deemed too limiting because it required other expensive aircraft to perform it's primary mission (fighter support). Grumman realized this problem and so quickly adopted the one for all theory to it's existing F-14 lineup. 2 main designs were drawn up, the F-14 Quick Strike and the Super Tomcat 21. Quick Strike was a just that, adding a cheap strike capability to existing fleet aircraft. It added full air/ground radar functions including digital mapping, the FLIR system from the F-15E, fully implemented the HARM/HARPOON/SLAM on the wing pylons and improved weapons carriage with substations also similar to the F-15E on the fuselage though no additional fuel would be added. This was very limited in capability and because production had been halted in 89, restarting production in order to acheive the needed number of airframes was analyzed by Congress as more expensive than the E/F program. The Super Tomcat 21 made structural improvements (new wing gloves w/more fuel, some minimal RCS reductions, new engines, bigger flaps/slats) as well as sensors (internal FLIR, possible radar improvements or new radar). It of course was much more expensive than the Quick Strike but at least would offer truly superior performance to the E/F. This also was deemed too expensive and Congress awarded Mac Douglas with a go ahead to design the aircraft.
Here's what Congress was given to compare in FY90 billions of dollars:

40 acft wing of F/A-18E/F Total $71.9
20 acft wing of F/A-18E/F Total $41.6
20 acft wing of F-14 Quick STK Total $45.31
20 acft wing of F/A-18C/D new Total $28.39
20 acft wing of Super Tomcat Total $49.7
40 acft wing of F-14 Quick STK Total $79.32
40 acft wing of Super Tomcat Total $88.31

$4 billion to $8 billion more depending on aircraft is not affordable considering current funding problems.

Also Dann,
Surely quoting the respectable Duke Cunningham is not a smart move here. Yes he was initally opposed to the E/F until he actually looked into the program. For the record, here's what he had to say: m

Now to address the topic further, why is there no replacement for the F-14? Well what happened is sorta embarassing. The USAF and USN got together and decided to modernize ther forces in the 80's. USAF would develop the ATF (F-22)for air superiority and the Navy would develop the A-12 for attack. Both services agreed to buy the other's aircraft so economies of scale could be utilized. As the production slowed through difficulties in both programs, each side threatened to pull out. Eventually, both sides did pull out of each others program and then the A-12 was cancelled. It was just too expensive to modify the F-22 for naval operations and was probably correct given the current state of the program. It's a shame though that both sides couldn't come to terms which would have born both a cheaper pricetag in each program and a much larger capability than currently exists. The interceptor role of the F-14/Phoenix combo will only be "lost" from the F-14's retirement in 2008/9 until the BVRAAM is introduced. The BVRAAM will maintain a long range interception capability (at least 100 NM) against non-manuevering targets, but also add a much improved medium range fighter killer (powered flight to target). This will be coupled with the phased array AESA radar upgrade of the E/F and the introduction of the JSF. So there will not be much of a gap to speak of.

[This message has been edited by TWalt (edited 12-19-2000).]

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posted 12-19-2000 10:40 AM     Profile for Dann   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote

Interesting, if somewhat rambling quote you provided there.

However, the fact remains that the decision to cancel the Tomcat AND have the tooling destroyed was political in nature.

We could have had a very capable carrier based strike fighter and a very capable carrier based interceptor as far back as 1990-92 in the Tomcat and SuperTomcat; instead we get the F-18E/F in 2001. Ten years later. Thank God we didn't have an MRC to worry about in the meantime!

Also, it is a fact that the DOD ordered the Navy to change it's OPEVAL criteria in order to pass the Hornet; small fact, but a curious one.

Weapons are specified by the military, but all too often designed by politicians. (The M14 comes to mind!).

The F-14's time has come and gone, however it was robbed of much of it's potential by Cheney, and for little more than political reasons.

Si Vis etc


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posted 12-19-2000 11:09 AM     Profile for TWalt   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Little more than political reasons? Can you say MONEY!! Wake up, please.

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posted 12-19-2000 12:21 PM     Profile for Dann   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote

Exactly, money. Cheney's state got the money for developing the Hornet, which could only happen if all future Tomcat projects were killed and funding cut for D model upgrades.

Will you be resorting to insults on this topic?

Si Vis etc


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posted 12-19-2000 02:26 PM     Profile for TWalt   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I don't insult anybody whose polite and you have been rather decent. What I fail to see in your logic, is the tie between Mac Douglas and Cheney. Cheney didn't have any ties to either company and was only looking to trim some fat. Same reason he killed the Mac Douglas A-12 11 months later! Your logic is a bit flawed to me. In fact Cheney also opposed the Boeing/Bell V-22 stating it was too expensive. See a trend here. Money or lack thereof, not politics killed the F-14.

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posted 12-19-2000 03:49 PM     Profile for Dann   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote

I cannot remember the source, and I do not keep each and every reference I find because frankly this topic is not that important to me.

But, I do know what I know, and that is Cheney's decision to axe the Tomcat was driven primarily by the desire to further the development of the Hornet, and financial profit for McDonnel-Douglas was a motivator.

I've watched you argue this over and over and over and over, anytime someone dares to deride or say anything at all negative about the F-18 Hornet. I've read posts that have gone on for over 100 entries where people have argued with you over this very topic. I've seen you argue with military personnel who have written articles on this very subject, documenting fact after fact that the Hornet is not all it's cracked up to be.

Now, I have no idea why you have such a deep, emotional attachment to the Hornet, but I've watched you become incredibly rude and somewhat childish to others here and at SimHQ when information is provided that casts the Hornet in anything other than a perfect light.

I have no desire to rehash these old arguments.

This is my last post. You, sir, may have the last word.

Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum


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posted 12-19-2000 04:30 PM     Profile for Abrams   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Dann Well said!

I just got a quick question, what does Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum mean? I always wondered about that when I read your posts. Even though it may be something stupid.

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posted 12-19-2000 04:51 PM     Profile for Dann   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Abrams, thank you for the compliment.

"Si vis pacem, para bellum" is what one of Caesar's generals said to him. It means "If you want peace, prepare for war."

We knew it then, we must have forgotten it now.

Si Vis etc


[This message has been edited by Dann (edited 12-19-2000).]

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posted 12-19-2000 04:55 PM     Profile for Avatar   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
This is just getting interesting!! Here's a snippet from my archives:

On 7/19/99 5:12AM, Rich wrote:

> Art,
> I kind of get the impression that you are not a Hornet advocate. The Hornet
> does have some short comings, but it is very reliable and inexpensive.
> Wasn't it the Red Baron who stated "It's not the crate, it's the man in the
> crate, that makes the difference". Wouldn't the Hornet's reliability allow
> it to be ready more often and hence allow pilots to acquire more flight
> hours? Additionally, I work with Hornet pilots and they frequently praise
> the Hornet for its flight characteristics and dog fighting capability. I'm
> curious, what aspect of the Hornet you find unfavorable?
> Rich

Moi? Not a fan of the Hornet? Whatever would make you think so?

Seriously, no I'm not. Without boring everyone with a lot of what I've
written before, I'll try and just hit some of the key points. First, I should
explain that it's not that the Hornets are bad aircraft, just that we could have
gotten a lot better for our money and that Naval Aviation has been hurt by these
aircraft because so much else has been sacrificed to justify them.

The Hornet is very reliable, partly because of using mid-late '70s technology
when other aircraft were using late '60s-early '70s. Also, keep in mind that in
many cases you don't so much repair a Hornet as replace parts (easily, I'll grant)
and send the broken stuff back to be fixed elsewhere.

The Hornet A/B/C/D was less expensive than the alternatives, but a lot of
that was because it did less and when you're producing 48-60 a year, your fixed
and variable cost per unit is a lot less than that of a plane that's being
produced at a rate of 8-12 a year.

The Hornets A-D are historical fact, and it's kind of pointless for me to go
into great detail here why I think they shouldn't have been built. If you check
the April and August 1981 issues of the Naval Institute Proceedings, you 'll find
something I wrote detailing why I thought it was a bad move. Let me just
illustrate a few key points:

1. Hornet underwent OPEVAL in both the fighter and attack role. In one, the
result was that the aircraft needed substantial work to meet the Navy's needs, and
in the other it was given a down with the recommendations that it be abandoned for
that role. Instead, the direction came down to ignore the OPEVAL results and to
redefine mission to what the Hornet was capable of.

2. If we had not developed the Hornet, the Navy could have solved the F-14A
problems, developed and built the A-7X (a superior attack alternative which
eventually flew as the A-7F) and had $8 billion (~1980 dollars) left over. this
was known at the time.

3. Although aided by the hubris of Grumman and the Tomcat fighter community,
the F-14's air-to-ground capabilities were suppressed in order to justify the
Hornet. The vital re-engining of the Tomcat was also delayed because of all the
money being thrown at the Hornet and because, good dogfighter that the Hornet is,
it isn't substantially better and than a Tomcat with decent engines.

4. Other naval aviation opportunities were lost in order to make th Hornet

The big heartburn I have now is with the Super Hornet. I am afraid it is
going to end carrier aviation. Here's why:

1. Eight years ago, we had completed development and had sitting on the ramp
a fighter (the F-14D) that was far better than anything expected of the Hornet
E/F, both aerodynamically and electronically. Multiple sensors, a radar that was
essentially couldn't be fully jammed by any known ECM and could search and track
a volume eight times as large as the Super Hornet's, sensor fusion coming up, more
weapons, faster accel/decel. tighter turning, greater range and combat
persistence, better fire control, two crew, etc.

2. For 1/25th of what it cost to develop the Super Hornet (which I'll call
E/F from here on) we could have given the Tomcat all-weather strike capability
equal to and in a couple of cases superior to that of the F-15E. No one claims
that the E/F would have that capability. In fact, it is not capable of all
weather strike. The E/F is not as capable in medium strike as the A-6F that was
(properly with what we knew at the time) canceled over 10 years ago. We know this
because what became the Super Hornet was in competition with the A-6F and was
rejected as not being able to perform the mission.

3. The R&D costs of the E/F have been understated and concealed, in my book.
Here's one example: Some of the promises for the E/F air-to-air and
air-to-ground depend on its electronically scanned antenna. Problem is, that
antenna doesn't exist. It has to be developed for the Hornet. However, E/F
proponents do not include the cost of developing that antenna (and it's a lot)in
the E/F's R&D estimate, saying it's really a "common" antenna for Navy aircraft.
Thing is, no one can identify any aircraft other than the E/F that it's supposed
to go in! Keep in mind that without that antenna, the E/F of 2005 has the same
radar and fire control of the C/D of 1995. There are other examples.

4. Comparisons with other aircraft alternatives have been specious or
downright deceptive. Here are three: 1) When comparing with the Tomcat,
projected figures for the E/F are compared with those of the 1970s F-14A, not the
1990s F-14D (which also, while not matching the Hornet's lower maintenance
requirements, requires much less maintenance than an A). 2) Admiral Mixon was
one of those who widely touted a comparison that showed the E/F could strike a
target farther away than an A-6E or F-14D. Examination of the comparison showed
that the external loads were sub optimal for A-6 and F-14, and were designed
around Hornet. More importantly, A-6 and F-14 were loaded with iron gravity bombs
whereas E/F was configured with long range standoff missiles. The range of the
missiles was added to the E/F's radius to get its "strike distance", but only the
other two aircraft's radius' were counted, 2) A "long range strike" mission for
the E/F is often put forth to show how far the E/F can go. What is not disclosed
is that in order to achieve this range, for every strike E/F, another E/F must
also be launched whose sole purpose is to transfer as much fuel as possible to the
strike E/F. Wanna guess how far a Tomcat could go if there are tankers around?

5. Other claims are let's say, "creative". Much is made of the fact that
the E/F has two more wing stations it can use to carry more standoff weapons
relative to the C/D. What's left out, according to GAO and others, is that while
the E/F can carry those weapons on those stations, because of clearance
limitations, it can't actually fire them from those inner stations. Small detail.

6. It's becoming apparent that if you hang the 450 gal fuel tanks on a C/D, it goes just about as far as an E/F.

7. It also seems that the Navy's missions are being redefined to, "Whatever the E/F can do".

8. Much of naval aviation is being sacrificed to preserve the E/F. The
F-14D went. The rewinging/upgrade of the A-6 was canceled and the plane
prematurely retired in order to pay for/help justify the E/F. The A/FX, which was
really the future for naval aviation, was first postponed and then abandoned to
help pay for and create a need for the E/F. AIM-120 capability for the F-14
probably won't happen because of the E/F.

9. Based on performance in Iraq and in Yugoslavia, it's arguable that
LANTIRN -equipped F-14s are better platforms for PGMs than the Hornet.

10. At the same time that the Hornet is driving the need for tanker
capability up (the C/D uses three times the fuel of the A-7 and the E/F uses
more), going to an all-Hornet deck reduces tanking assets. The A-6E could have
been retained as a tanker. If it had, it would have been far better than any
alternative (and wouldn't have required rewinging). However, no one wanted any
kind of A-6 around (except the Prowler) to remind people of what was lost.

11. Tactical recon is suffering because in 16 years, they've been unable to
turn the Hornet into a worthwhile recon bird. TARPS capability has been held
back over the years because the Hornet was the "designated wonderplane". I don't
think this is even being addressed with the E/F.

12. It looks like the Hornet E/F will be placed into service no matter how
testing turns out. Navy has already acknowledged that in a number of areas it's a
step backward relative to the C/D.

13. I'm afraid JSF will be the next thing sacrificed on the altar of the E/F.

14. Go look at what happened in the most recent Hornet/MiG-29 fights in
Germany (now that the Germans have optimized their Fulcrum tactics).

15. Look at the specs, capabilities and costs of Eurofighter and Rafale.
Then look at the same things for the E/F. Then shake you head and go have a
drink. You'll need it. If this is the best we can do, do we really need carrier

Art "Where's the Raid when We Need it?" Hanley

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posted 12-19-2000 06:55 PM     Profile for Toecutter   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Welcome on board Vice President Cheney!!!

God this turd makes me the rest of the incumbant US political establishment...

BTW b4 U start your slingin`...I`m not a democrat either...just a dude who`s had enough...

[This message has been edited by Toecutter (edited 12-19-2000).]

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posted 12-20-2000 09:20 AM     Profile for TWalt   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Yes, Art had some nice points there but as I rebutted them before, I'll take another shot.

Hornets A-D

1. Yes, this plane was originally developed in two versions. Yes it had problems when both versions were initially joined (pretty big technical feat to say the least!). Yes some of it's original criteria had to be lowered (the criteria was specifically range/payload related). You see the goal of the Navy was to combine missions into one airframe (a much smaller airframe at that!) to lessen the costs of a multi-airframe deck. The comprimizes hurt but the Navy decided they were acceptable. Remember this was a light fighter evolved aircraft now pressed to replace the A-7 and F-4 in fighter roles. If we really wanted to properly replace these, it would have cost a lot more money and required a much bigger airframe. (Remember the push was to save money here!)

2. Yep, but then there would have been huge increases in maintenance costs and I think your $8 billion doesn't include buying the more expensive A-7X, only developing it!! You see the A-7X R&D was cheaper because it was a dedicated bomber, not multi role strike fighter!

3. No they weren't suppressed, they were ignored due to FUNDING! The only reason it took the F-14 to become the Bombcat was lack of money. The re-engining was delayed ever since the birth of the Tomcat in the early 70's because of technical problems with the replacment engines. Not until 1981, when GE offered the F-101 which became the F-110 and P&W the F-100 for USAF use, did the Navy get hold of a reliable replacement that PASSED flight testing. The Navy chose the F-110 but there were structural changes in the F-14A required before the engine could be mounted. This is why only 54 A's have been converted. It costs some $$$!

4. Yep, when you decide to buy a new fighter and basically give it 2 separate missions, you gotta make some sacrifices. Brilliant!

Now on to the Super Hornet:

1. Yep the F-14D is the best interceptor in the world. How useful is a pure interceptor, the Phoenix? Not soo wonderful that the Navy rated the F-14 funding below just about everything else in the 90's. Tighter turning my butt! Two crew, ever here of the F/A-18F or B or D! How about the AESA radar which can look at nearly the same volume while simultaneously locking up ground targets in LPI mode. Sensor fusion in the F-14, D or otherwise, does not approach the F/A-18F's decoupled cockpit.

2. Yep, adding ground modes to the radar similar to the F-15E and a LANTIRN system is a lot cheaper than a new aircraft. So you get a long-range LGB carrier. Wow, that must be why the Air Force needed $340 million to add a real ECM system since it still cannot carry the HARM. Unfotunately, the F-14 still doesn't posess an adequate ECM/defense system for deep strike nor can it carry HARM/SLAM/JSOW. These would all have to be added to be competitive and that would not be cheap (you would now be closing in on the E/F R&D). YUP the E/F can't haul the A-6F's payload as far but how about survivability? Kinda silly to get over the target and get plunked. Also if you get jumped you have NO options in the A-6F and no real ability to even see who might be coming to get you!

3. Wrong, the AESA is being developed for the JSF. What the Boeing guys did was say, hey, why should we can't we just tap that program and join in? It's cheaper and benefits both because the production is accelerated for a very minimal cost increase to the E/F R&D. Yeah that's right, the cost is in there for this joint participation!! Other examples, I think not. Maybe other UN-INFORMED examples!

4. Comparisons were done that included 2 years of F-14D data. If you check the books, the F-14D is only marginally cheaper to maintain than the F-14A due to better engines (which we already new from the F-14B in 86 when they got those engines!), newer radar and some newer digital avionics. Overall a very slight decrease. What ADM Mixon was pointing out was the F-14 was not SLAM capable and then he showed what the retired A-6E was capable of in it's heyday of the Gulf War. Get it factually straight. Buddy tanking is not capable in the F-14. It probable could be if you made some structural modes but that = $$$. Don't be suprised to see a tanker E/F topping off an F-14 for those extended missions! The real point is now the tanker can actually keep up with your strike force and serve as CAP when done tanking!

5. Yes there were some limitations during OPEVAL on certain weapon carriage due to some clearance issues. Those issues were resolved in DT-III which followed OPEVAL and was necessary to pass before production was approved. LARGE DETAIL left out of the press!

6. And then the fatigue life of the airframe is reduced because of the extra stress during carrier landings and catapults. Something the Canadiens who used them for a while NEVER had to do.

7. Nope the KPP or key performance parameters were established before the testing and never revised. They were 40% increase in strike radius, 50% increase in CAP endurance and increased survivability. What the Navy wanted and dictated was an improved C/D capable of defeating current and near-future threats.

8. Much of naval aviation was sacrificed because of the budget:
When Cheney's FY 1990 budget came before Congress in the summer of 1989, the Senate Armed Services Committee made only minor amendments, but the House Armed Services Committee cut the strategic accounts and favored the V-22, F-14D, and other projects not high on Cheney's list. The House and Senate in November 1989 finally settled on a budget somewhere between the preferences of the administration and the House committee. Congress avoided a final decision on the MX-Midgetman issue by authorizing a $1 billion missile modernization account to be apportioned as the president saw fit. Funding for the F-14D was to continue for another year, providing 18 more aircraft in the program. Congress authorized only research funds for the V-22 and cut SDI funding more than $1 billion, much to the displeasure of President Bush.

Although the Committee wanted to keep there local districts jobs with the V-22, F-14, B-2 etc, they also wanted to slash the budget by huge amounts. This led to some tough choices and ultimately, the House and Senate, NOT Cheney limit production and did not restore funding beyond 92. Cheney had the funding removed in the hope of keeping this program from restarting ad nauseam, thereby freeing up the money. We needed ships too among other programs. Now you can disagree with what Cheney proposed and his priortizations but he did not decide the budget. That's in the hands of the House and Senate as proven when they restored funding for 18 F-14D's. Eventually, they couldn't prolong funding beyond this date though the Navy Secretary pushed hard for it. What did they think of the E/F, well, they had no trouble funding a new multi-role aircraft that could do the mission of both the F-14 and A-6E. The A/X and evolved A/FX were quite alive after funding for the E/F was in place. It wasn't canceled until 1993 when the CBO decided it wasn't affordable. It then evolved into the JAST program that same year which became the JSF. So no, the future of Naval Aviation was not sacrificed. The shrinking budget just delayed the program. The F-14 was just too limited in scope and it's attempts to broaden were not fiscally responsible. The cheapest upgrade Quickstrike would have cost the Navy over $3 billion more than the E/F and left us with nothing more than a long range LGB platform. No thanks.

9. Yeah, vs the F/A-18C equipped with the AN/AAS-38 Nitehawk designed in the mid 80's vs a LANTIRN system designed in the mid 90's. 10 years will get you significant improvements. What will it do against an ATFLIR equipped F/A-18E/F, think about it!

10. Tanker BS again. Remember the E/F is a tanker! Maintaining the EA-6B's is already extremely expensive and eats up too much manpower. We can't even afford to keep the S-3B and it's very important long range ASW role not to mention the only intel platform (ES-3A) the Navy could launch from carrier decks. The Prowler is the only jamming asset in the DOD and that's the only reason for it's existance.

11. Well, no you're quite wrong. TARPS was deemed sufficient and no funding was given the the Hornet for the recon mission unless you qualify the Marine ATARS program. Only now is money being thrown at the Hornet to pick up this job since the F-14 is on the way out.

12. I don't qualify 1 degree per second turn rate or a few seconds slower acceleration as a step back for a larger aircraft with more range and a bigger payload. In fact it's quite a decent feat of aeronautical engineering if you ask me!

13. JSF funding is a top priorty as stated as early as the A/X program by ADM Mixon. What is frightening is all the delays and funding increases of its big brother F-22 which could be a pretty good pointer as to the battles that will need to be fought to preserve JSF funding.

14. I submit this:
Naval Air Warfare Center, Weapons Division

“The AIM-9X has demonstrated outstanding capability in three previous guided shots and 10 separation firings, exercising extremely aggressive post launch maneuvering and precise guidance,” said Navy CAPT Dave Venlet, program manager, Air-to-Air Missile Systems. “This launch is a critical step for the program as it proceeds to a series of five operational assessment launches later this year.”

The missile’s advanced airframe incorporates Jet Vane Control (JVC) and is highly maneuverable. The agile AIM-9X airframe coupled with other AIM-9X advanced features will give U.S. fighter pilots a significant tactical advantage in the dogfight arena.

“The air-to-air combat picture has dramatically changed over recent decades,” Venlet added. “The fielding of the AA-11 Archer from the former Soviet Union eclipsed our capability in visual range air combat. This gives rise to the possibility that we may find ourselves outgunned while performing our critical peacetime missions around the world. AIM- 9X reclaims dogfight air superiority, providing the U.S. and allied fighter pilots with a clear advantage over any adversary. AIM-9X and the JHMCS system provide a truly unbeatable first-shot, first-kill capability.”

“In today’s test, the pilot used JHMCS for aiming the missile sensor, and aircraft modifications to provide communication and control of these subsystems,” said Advanced Weapons Laboratory JHMCS Lead Tim Hofer. JHMCS with its off-boresight visual slaving of sensors and weapons, provides pilot cueing to threats and tracked targets, and gives the pilot increased situational awareness during visual combat. AIM-9X coupled with JHMCS provides High Off-Boresight Seeker (HOBS) capability. With HOBS the pilot has a very wide access range in which to lock on to a target.

“This was the highest off-boresight launch ever taken,” said “Motek”, “HOBS will regain the dogfight advantage for the U.S. warfighter.”

Turn fight is now all about the fire control systems as well as the pilot and airframe.

15. Hmmm. There is no comparison. E/F has stated specific range and performance specs. Eurofighter and Rafale are very vage. What is a given is that both the European aircraft are more expensive but also both are better pure fighters. This is due largely in part to there longer development cycles and higher pricetags. The Eurofighter is especially biased to the air superiority role as the FOAS requirement has proven. Rafale is much more robust but in actual payload configurations, is quite similar to an F/A-18C albeit with longer ranged, much more modern sensors, and a real ECM/defense system. Unit cost of the 3 aircraft are $40 million for the export E/F, $50-60 million for Rafale, and $70-80 million for the Eurfighter. The other very important aspect is how long these designs took to reach production. A long lead time can significantly improve the product by constantly updating it with better technology usually at increased cost. The Eurofighter began in 1972 as the RAF's AST-403 new fighter program. This grew in the mid 70's to the european ECA, ECF and then split into the ACA and EAP. This led to the F/EFA and then N/EFA and finally Eurofighter in Dec 92. So basically this aircraft took nearly 20 years to get resolved due primarily to its wide European development base. My point being that by keeping the aircraft design in flux, it was able to fully mature every imaginable aspect of the platform and continuously apply newer technologies. The problem is this aircraft is just now in production and will not be operational until 2005 despite a protracted design and research timetable. The Rafale was splintered out of the Eurofighter when France pulled out in 1983. It was flying a demonstrator by 86 and will should have the first operational aircraft (although in limited F1 standard with no A/G capability) by 2001. It's first full capability aircraft won't be operational until 2005 as well. E/F although being cheaper (considerably so vs Eurofighter) was started in June of 1992 and flying ahead of schedule by Sept 95. It will be fully operational in 2001. 9 years from design to fleet, under desgin cost ($43.6 million design, $40.1 production)and under design weight by 1,000 lbs. What more can you ask? Give me the Eurofighter's budget and I'll give you the STC 21!

That was EASY!

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posted 12-20-2000 10:10 AM     Profile for Avatar   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
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posted 12-20-2000 12:00 PM     Profile for TWalt   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Care to comment on any of the replies?

P.S. Wouldn't it be easier to just link the previous articles?

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posted 12-20-2000 02:03 PM     Profile for Avatar   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Originally posted by TWalt:
Care to comment on any of the replies?

TWalt, catch up!

I just did!

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posted 12-20-2000 02:31 PM     Profile for TWalt   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
That was good!
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posted 12-20-2000 02:56 PM     Profile for Avatar   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote

Do I detect a good sense of humor???

May I make an offer: instead of another flame war/argument over most moot points, could you, would you please just explain to me (and all here) why you so devoutly support the F-18?

Even you must admit that your debates on the topic border into the realm of fanatisism....

I don't ask this to start an argument, I am honestly curious.

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posted 12-21-2000 06:07 AM     Profile for TWalt   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Let's just say that I work at PAX River.

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posted 12-21-2000 10:15 AM     Profile for Avatar   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote

Cryptic, but okay. So, you might admit to a little emotional bias on the topic? (As many obviously have for the Tomcat, Falcon, Eagle, Piper Supercub, etc...).

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Glen Levick

posted 12-25-2000 05:22 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Originally posted by LeadHead:

The JSF is in the same league as the F-22, it is definitely 5th generation technology.

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posted 12-27-2000 09:47 AM     Profile for gabbys   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I have been away on vacation and just caught up on this thread. There are good arguments on both sides of the issue, but I believe that a short history lesson is in order.

Let’s go back to the late 1950’s. A competition is held between the XF8U-3 and a plane that is to become the F-4C. The XF8U-3 accelerates faster, has a higher top speed, and can out maneuver the F-4, yet the Navy chooses the F-4.

They go with the F-4 because the XF8U-3 is a dedicated air-superiority fighter only and they want a multi-mission aircraft. The USAF decides the same and goes with the F-4.

Although the F-4 performs well in Vietnam it becomes apparent that a dedicated air-superiority fighter is needed, with a secondary air to ground role, but air to air is to take priority. The development of the F-14 begins as well as the development of the F-15.

We now flash forward a few years and once again it seems that we have failed to learn from history. The USAF is getting the next generation of air-superiority fighters in the form of the F-22, and the Navy is getting another multi-mission fighter/bomber.

History repeats itself, and in the end the Navy has lost its air-superiority capabilities.

I know that the BVRAAM is on the way, but it isn’t here yet, and still could be killed in congress.

My conclusion is:

The F-14 is an air-superiority fighter that can not be replaced by a fighter/bomber.

Would it be expensive to have continued with the upgrades to the F-14? Yes

Would it be worth it in the end? I don’t know.

Do I think that is was a mistake to cancel the F-14D upgrade? Yes.

One final note. The USAF has a fighter/bomber (F-16) yet they continue with the development of the F-15 and its replacement the F-22. Why can’t the Navy see that if you have multiple roles you need dedicated aircraft for each role?

Twalt, When I posted the congressional letter from Duke, I wasn’t aware of the newer response. Thanks for the update.

As for the BVRAAM. The Eurofighter is going with the Meteor European version. The following is from the second link below.

The latest news (April 2000) from Raytheon indicates they may scrap the ramjet altogether instead proceding with a new generation rocket. The reasons being a reduction in cost and in overall complexity, the effects on the range and end-game velocity though have not been discussed.

Here are some links to the BVRAAM and two links on the AIM-155, which was to replace the AIM-54

[This message has been edited by gabbys (edited 12-27-2000).]

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posted 12-28-2000 03:57 AM     Profile for Lt CIC   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I must agree with Glen, the JSF is 5th generation. And it will not disappoint.

Drawing from the best and latest technologies, the JSF will be a very competent fighter in the air-to-surface arena, and will probably match the current line of F/A-18C/Ds in BVR and WVR air-to-air combat.

The SuperBug (F/A-18E/F), still has a number of upgrades to undergo, before its capabilities are fully realised. IMHO, when those upgrades are implemented, the SuperBug, when operated by skilled pilots of the USN, will be a match for any Russian Su-27 cousin!

Take a look:

[This message has been edited by Lt CIC (edited 12-28-2000).]

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