my profile | register | search | faq | forum home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
»  COMBATSIM.COM Forum Archive   » Game Discussions (Genre)   » Jets   » F/A-18E/F

   
Author Topic: F/A-18E/F
TWalt
unregistered

posted 04-04-2000 10:45 AM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Hey guys (and gals),
I have seen a lot of negative press on the Navy's new Super Hornet and was just wondering what your opinions on this bird were. Personally, I think the Navy made a solid investment and got a top-notch strike fighter to bring it into the 21st century. Do you think it compares favorably to the other new aircraft(SU-27, Rafale, Typhoon...)?

IP: Logged
Jason
Member
Member # 1545

posted 04-04-2000 01:05 PM     Profile for Jason   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
TWalt,
the plane is probably very good but the role the navy will put the plane in will cause problems. It is meant to take over the majority of places held by the F-14. This is a grave mistake(atleast i think so.) The super-hornet has neither the range or the punch the F-14D's have. It will be a excellent close-in fighter and a good ground-attack platform(so was the F/A-18A and C)but because it will be used to protect the whole group(carrier) and those other roles it won't give the same projection of power that the F-14 gave.....that is what i think atleast.

------------------
_________________________
don't listen to the bitchin' betty


Posts: 220 | From: | Registered: Dec 1999  |  IP: Logged
Vector
Member
Member # 463

posted 04-04-2000 04:05 PM     Profile for Vector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I have to agree with Jason. The F-14s are incredibly powerfull interceptor. With their super powerful radar (themselves often called AWACS), and the AIM-54s ability to strike down bombers and anti-ship missiles at extremely long range, it puzzles me too why the Navy would choose to leave this so open. Are there even any projects for a true Navy interceptor?

------------------
-\/ector, Flight Sim Sympathizer


Posts: 903 | From: Comox, BC, Canada | Registered: Oct 1999  |  IP: Logged
FI 107/13
Member
Member # 3612

posted 04-04-2000 05:32 PM     Profile for FI 107/13   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I cannot believe the navy would leave its crown jewels, the carriers, wide open to attack by long range sea-skimmers, some nukes.

They have it covered, I believe, but we do not have a need to know, yet...

I remember playing Harpoon (the original ca. 1990) and the lethal range circle was way bigger on the Tomcat than just about any other aircraft (B-52 bigger with cruise missiles). It was neat to watch the missile track for a long time, then the terminal guidance radar would light up, and the show is almost over.


Posts: 23 | From: | Registered: Mar 2000  |  IP: Logged
Kurt Plummer
Member
Member # 358

posted 04-04-2000 06:01 PM     Profile for Kurt Plummer   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Hey TWalt,

Everything I read says look out, it's a dog.

It's having (or had, in '98) some rather difficult teething problems (the original 18 had similar) with wing drop at surprisingly low AOA and across the spectrum of typical subsonic maneuvering Mach.

They thought they had it fixed with one of the slicker'n'snot NASA tricks of dual 'porosity theory' wing skins with a microdrilled outer sheath and what's called dynamic plenum pressuring in which air seeves through a porous outer wingskin and into a 1/2" deadspace next to a solid one, enhancing the natural boundary layer in a selfmodulating manner to form a 'wingfence' containment of spanwise lift shift.

The problem is, they got a buffet fit to shake the plane apart and the second try (replacing the skin plenum with a slotted wingfold box channel) continues the buffet while also adding to drag.

This will effect the cruise (range) performance even as it is already sapping climb and transonics (i.e. the very things you MUST have if you're tossing ARH AAM back and forth) in the mid-high bands.

Overall? If you think of it as a bombtruck for blowing up Bosnia then, with all the new smart-ordie, it's likely not going to be putting the nose below the horizon and it won't face much of a threat in the air that won't be 'massively counterforced' by legions of other aircraft, including some noteably superior contenders among the Euro crowd you mentioned.

BUT.

1. Stealthy it ain't and never will be with all the crap below the wings.

2. It's design is on the order of a 81-95 BILLION dollar investment 'for the next 15-20 years' and that means the USN will be buying it, and the JSF and NONE of the other critically needed (enabler) missions that have so long been ignored. If it can do the job today, barely, will it do it in 20 years? I wonder...

3. It does by flexible-stores response what used to be handled by intelligent packaging and again, specialist mission aircraft.

This gets critical when you start to think about how badly lagged the USN was on the USAF in terms of even basic smart-ordnance all through the 80's and up to DS and how they now plan to introduce not one but FOUR _new_ types of standoff/intelligent weapons in the new millenium.

In essence, they plan to put BILLIONS more dollars into the carrier magazines and URP ships at a time when the budget continues to sink and we are commited to at least two, ongoing, 'police actions' (Cops Over Kosovo, Badges Over Baghdad...).

The worst crime is, IMO, little related to the actual fighter chosen but rather the /role/ the USN aviation is being asked to play.

While it was traditionally 'blue water' throughout the coldwar the CV fleet has really been 'from the sea' (litoral) since WWII.

Yet _what can it do?_ The answer is damn little until the Air Force gets there.

Part of this is (missing) manned deepstrike, part of this is tanking and the end of the 'Roosevelt Deck'. A BIG part is recce.

But in general the Navy will never be able to match with 50 (or even 70) aircraft what a single AB can with 180 on the ramp any given day (Aviano at the height of the fun and games last year).

At least not for more than say 3 days, after which they will have to retire and give the substandard billet counts some much needed maintenance catch-up and replenishment of stocks.

What this means is that against the 'threat' nations that really count the non-nuclear USN can no longer act as the growling doberman or SWAT door breaker to _stop_ a battle from developing (if it ever could, I realize there are arguments against). And so the question of "Where's the nearest carrier?" is rapidly changing to "Who will fight with U.S.(AF) once we get there?".

Until we resolve the problems inherent to targeting and selectively smart-weapon unleashing a CVBG in a manner sufficient to 'impress' the more dangerous yahoo's, the result is going to be the continued 'airdrop' of 14 BILLION dollars over pissant nations like Kosovo or the 100 BILLION dollar 'rescue' of the Kuwaiti's six months after the fact.

Add to that the 12 billion it costs for each group.

One quick and easy way to get past this is the JDAM and VLO. Inertial Iron is cheap and easy and Stealth plus fighter-performance is very hard to wave-stop in combination with hypervelocity (ARRMD) style cruise attacks on the surveillance/ATC radars.

*** -u-me'ing you've not had to wait for the Rivet Joint and AF driven overhead to get off their CONUS butts and out to the theater of course.

The problem arises when you've got a JSF that really is NOT design-lined for the around the boat mission and can only carry two internal inertials compared to say an A-12 (another farce of a dual-development/EMD program, killed out of spite) which could have carried at least 4.

In any case, with so many failures behind them, the USN has no choice to keep the decks full until JSF 'saves the day' and that means we are STUCK with the Uber Bug.

One last thing. The idea that the US rules supreme in the skies will only last until some moron grows a brain cell and decides that playing monetary catchup for 30years experience in challenging manned airpower is NOT the smartest game to play.

When that day comes we will see cruise and/or drone warfare that will be quite patriotic in terms of obliterating any deck within 200-250nm of shore and THAT will play merry hell with the 'longer legged' buggies mission profiles too (back to wing tanks and a single mission-ordnance + ARM or AAM choice). While we pray they don't have an ARH equipped force with halfway decent GCI...

Or as a guy I know who used to work for MacDac, once told me: "Heaven Help Us, 'Cause Boeing Sure Can't"


KP


F-18E Opinions and 'Fact' LINKS- http://www.dote.osd.mil/reports/FY98/navy/98fa18ef.html http://www.fas.org/man/crs/92-035.htm http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ac/docs/990414-ART-Super-Hornet.htm http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ac/docs/980402-f18.htm


Posts: 672 | From: | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
Lucky_1
Member
Member # 352

posted 04-04-2000 07:58 PM     Profile for Lucky_1   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I think what seriously hampers the F/A-18 is the lack of a WSO. Especially during ground attacks.

It just makes more sense, that a pilot who just has to worry about flying and looking for bandits, rather than adjust ground attack methods and procedures, will have a better chance to survive.

They make Twin seaters for training, I wonder why they won't make one for service, like and F-15E? I guess it's not in the budget.

------------------
Two beers, or not two beers. There is no question.


Posts: 635 | From: Knoxville, TN. | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
Raptor
Member
Member # 1428

posted 04-05-2000 12:16 AM     Profile for Raptor   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Lucky_1:
I think what seriously hampers the F/A-18 is the lack of a WSO. Especially during ground attacks.

It just makes more sense, that a pilot who just has to worry about flying and looking for bandits, rather than adjust ground attack methods and procedures, will have a better chance to survive.

They make Twin seaters for training, I wonder why they won't make one for service, like and F-15E? I guess it's not in the budget.


Actually, there IS a two-seater Super Hornet for full service- the F/A-18G "Electric" Super Hornet!

It's a two-seater that will replace the EA-6B Prowler. If any of you guys read Feb. 2000 issue of COMBAT AIRCRAFT, that issue had a really good report on the G-version. Not to mention some REALLY GOOD PICS of the Super Hornet AND(!!!) of the RIO's MFDs and all the goodies in the backseat!

From what it described in the magazine, actually the G-version is pretty cool.. because it can perform A2A and A2 (offensive terms and defensive terms) and jam and suppress (SEAD)!

Now, as for Fleet protection, NOTHING can replace my Tomcat!!!


Posts: 162 | From: San Francisco, CA USA | Registered: Dec 1999  |  IP: Logged
Hunter Cole
Member
Member # 3440

posted 04-05-2000 01:42 AM     Profile for Hunter Cole   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Lucky_1:
I think what seriously hampers the F/A-18 is the lack of a WSO. Especially during ground attacks.

It just makes more sense, that a pilot who just has to worry about flying and looking for bandits, rather than adjust ground attack methods and procedures, will have a better chance to survive.

They make Twin seaters for training, I wonder why they won't make one for service, like and F-15E? I guess it's not in the budget.



The "Electric Hornet" will be repalcing the EA-6B in a few years, but it is going to be doing the mission role that is performed by the Prowler.

The F/A-18 F will be the designation for the 2 seat version of the Hornet. It will come in 2 'flavors" A trainer which will have a second set of flight controls for the GIB.

The second "flavor' will have those controls deleted and will have two weapon sticks in addition to all the other bells and whistles that the GIB needs. This is the same kind of set up that the old Phantom F-4J had. The USAF version had flight controls in the back seat while the USN/MC birds didn't have this.

I know this to be a fact as I used to get into the back seat of the simulator at MCAS Beaufort and try to zero the bogeys.. It wasn't easy..

So the F/A-18F will be able to do the job. As to why the Navy is using the Hornet to do the Tomcat's mission, please remember that the F-14 is nearly 30 yrs old, is one of the most expensive aircraft flying, and even though it is still a deadly aircraft, the $ it will take to maintain, upgrade it to keep it a viable weapons platform is something the SecNav and the SecDef won't go for.

So what you have is the Hornet being pressed into the fleet interceptor role as well as the strike role.



Posts: 184 | From: Danville, Va USA | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged
TWalt
unregistered

posted 04-05-2000 12:02 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
OK, now that we've all had a shot at our opinions (and I liked a lot of them!!) here's some real facts for you:

Yes the F-14D is the greatest interceptor ever but it has a huge limitation. Our littoral warfare negates the use of Phoenix as we can't positively identify targets at useful ranges. This problem may be solved eventually but in the next 10 years, what do we do. In a normal intercept mission, the only advantage is the ability to lock up the target at increased ranges and loiter on station for a little longer than the E/F. It costs us taxpayers on the average of 4 BILLION more to operate equal numbers of these platforms (http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ac/docs/920630-cr.htm) than the E/F will. All the A/B airframes are just about used up. We have about 50 F-14D with good airframe life left but buying new F-14D's instead of E/F's would cost us 5 BILLION more (with modifications to enable them with similar capability to the E/F, see above link). The vulnerability of the F-14 to SAMs is a big problem. This would require major fixes in either redesigned structures or better ECM than what is on our technology roadmap=$$$. Adding the E/F ECM would not be sufficient as the E/F has a much smaller RCS. (Significantly smaller than C/D!)
You'd lose the dogfighting capability which is already better in the C/D. This is not a huge problem except that the C/D can already carry as many AMRAAMs as an F-14D so really we're back to the whole Phoenix issue. How many kills has this million dollar missile racked up? Why would it be so critical in the future? It's not. Once we solve the ID problem, other missiles are in the pipeline to ensure our dominance (Advanced AMRAAM/BVRAAM). Not to mention the AEGIS platforms are more than sufficient with current missile threats at defending the battle group and the SM-3 is coming to increase those capabilities. We're not going to see massive bomber waves that the Phoenix was designed for so why not save BILLIONS and get a better dogfighter with now adequate range, more versatile (fulfills tanking role, wider weapon capability I.E. it can carry 2 HARM, 4 smart weapons and still have 2 AMRAAM + 2 9X and more survivability).


IP: Logged
Lud von Pipper
Member
Member # 82

posted 04-05-2000 05:55 PM     Profile for Lud von Pipper   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
The US Navy could always buy some Rafale (or navalized EFA) to close the gap and give some real cover to the fleet
The SH is a dogfighting cow when compared to the new fighters just entering the line, nor has any of the "old" Tomcat intercepting ability: it's just that, a competent strike fighter with secondary air defence role.
The C/D version has much better AA ability, except, may be, for the radar.

Posts: 273 | From: Italy | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
Kurt Plummer
Member
Member # 358

posted 04-06-2000 01:54 AM     Profile for Kurt Plummer   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Hey TWalt,

First Off, note, I did not endorse the Phoenix perse. They don't call it the 'Buffalo' for nothing and for the weight, you just don't get a fast enough pol or a 'responsive' enough kinematic endgame curve to be useful on the kinds of midrange running-targets we now see out there. ARH tomorrow will be even worse.

That said, your mention of the BVRAAM/FMRAAM etc. systems highlights one of the primary reasons why we _NEED_ something like a Phoenix/Tomcat pairing.

As the newest pacesetter the BVRAAM system is a 400-450lb class airbreather with a solid Mach 3.5 to 25-40nm. It is from Europe not Russian and so it is EUROPE that should be considered the primary (sales) 'threat'.

Euro 'Experience' from NATO AMRAAM production and similar base (feature size) electronics SOA means that beating the weapon front end may simply not be practical, no matter what kind of lure you swing in your burner plumes.
And make no mistake the Euros are _deadly serious_ about an exportable, multispectral, seeker which the U.S. cannot export decline to whoever they care to sell to.

Even just on pure envelope spec a 350lb AMRAAM or even C-5/ERAAM will -never- beat that kind of a threat.

And as such is one of the primary fools-weapon reasons why the whole AIM-120 program bit itself right in the a$$ by tailoring itself to the 'light fighter' ViperBug community.

You NEVER make a 'light fighter' (such as the Euros are actually capable of funding to production) capable of lifting a _useful_ BVR weapon. Because everybody can build light fighters and they will buy or steal the technology to build a followon ARH weapon to equip them with.

What the U.S. needs to do now is reinvent the wheel and make a Mach 6-8, probably solid motor (we have zero recent technology base with ram-design thanks to our cancellation of even coalbed A(I)AAM technology back in '91), weapon in the 450-600lb class.

Good to go to about 80nm in 40-60 seconds and with an 'adjustable terminal burn' or sub-KVs for an aggressively slower, maneuvering (Mach 2-3), endgame.

This will give U.S. the ability to out face-shoot the 'enemy' airbreather weapons, the ability to 'chase down' (NEZ)runways or bordercrashers, and to 'look in' to kill threats orbiting target lanes from outside high threat SAM zones.

MOST importanly, it gives you a weapon which a Rafale/EF-2K/JAS class shooter can simply not lift as readily as say an F-14/15/22.

Too small a wing, limited conformality or internals carriage and simply not enough mil-power goose for the gas.

Speaking of SAMs: SM-2/3/ESSM be damned, if all you folks can think about is outdated 'beachhead' technology then you deserve to go the way of the dodo.

SARH 'defense' over the beach from the waveheight is stupid because if the threat can mask-beat the LOS to 20nm, then drones and decoys and even primitive VLO can beat the AEGIS on into the target area.

NOT that it will ever happen. As long as airpower isn't compromised by DE or similar massive parametric-change technology shift, we will likely not see Marines hitting the beach anytime in the foreseeable future.

THE GAME IS ABOUT: Overland Power Projection. That's at least 300nm inland.

Think _offensively_, to a decent feet-dry radius, with all-air attack before you worry about some moron coming to you in the surf (Some Morons not including the Chinese, they being a 'special case' class of Moron and can reach you well into the blue...;-).

Now as for the 'more survivable in a SAM environment'.

BS. If the SAM's start shooting at you, 'stealth' is already threshold exceeded.

And the enemy is getting a lot better at optitrack and 'hidden mode' shots using weird looking (to the RWR) signal modulations and crosslinked blink'n'blank shooter teams.

Radars which GC jam on-aspect as the operator designated 'suspect' HARM shooters turn inbound. This happened just last year over Kosovo and scared the piss out of an F-16CJ specialist SEAD platform because his ALR-56/HTS pairing was telling him it was a 'tanker beacon' or ATC when the enemy was actually shooting _ranged SAM_ at him.

F-18E PLO is designed to defeat 'terminal' threats by shortening the range of the associated tracking systems. Mostly X/Ka.

While I will _never_ believe that all the crap hanging off the jet doesn't increase the signature values past any real usefulness; the simple fact is, the surveillance->tracker associations (and particularly the formers E/F band frequencies, not effected by X= terminals RAM) are changing.

You may simply never know that you're 'in envelope' until you see the dustcloud or bright light coming your way from a shooter at your feet that is taking remote target hands from an eyeball 80 miles off.

As for 'not up to date enough'. Blame Congress and two porked pigs of a Senator/Congressman pairing in particular.

THEY cost us ASPJ and even after they had a stick rammed in sideways on how vulnerable we really are in our selfprotect suites, the whole 'august' (to September) body only allocated sufficient funds for an additional -sixty- sets of kit. Stay together to CYA, lockstep MARCH!

ALQ-165 is the baseline in the 18E and the ALQ-214 is ASPJ derivative. The F-14D's and Marine 18D's in the 'active theatre' (Wherever that is at the moment) have this system and are happy.

Everybody else fights for a yank-and-shift replacement to their ancient (we're talking derivative ALQ-100 from the 60's) ALQ-126/162 technology. Before they become the next 'emergency'.

Nor is it a Navy-only problem. The USAF had the same difficulty in that their glory-jet F-15 actually receieved less update money in the EW/selfprotect areas than the pod-Viper did as the Texas Mafia always managed to bait and switch the Congressional whore's eye with fast cash for /their/ sextoy jet.

It took a real crush of industry effort in DShield to put together a full set of ALQ-135 for many of the deployed fighters.

On the other end of the spectrum, what ALWAYS counts is the amount of useful SEP/fps you've got at altitude and here, the F-18E sucks, just as you'd expect from it's underpowered, overloaded, midgetbomber parent.

Already in the 700+fps range, give the Tom a 129/232 class engine and it would have more energy than likely the crew could.

That's the kind of energy, with ALE-55 and ALQ-214, and BOL and a shitload (six buckets at least) of POET+, to go quickly over the SAM threat and beat down the bad guys, or simply shoot-hi from beyond the envelope while the 'stealthy' aircraft penetrate and JDAM the radars LO-below you.

Toss in a proper helmet weapon and AMRAAM and the Tom would kick the 18C/D or the 18E's *** in a phone booth too.

With a 60' OBS AMRAAM and a 90+` 9X seekers you win the first-acquire game and break away from terminals using multiaxis (datalink) and staggered team slash thru's to 'adjust' for threat energy and OBS/HOBA advantage.

One shot and run away. You don't maneuver and give a free aspecting 'glint' planform, you pray like hell you don't have to evade their active or imaging counterfire at all. If you miss, the next man up, from a massively section-displaced heading, takes the followon.

TCS and IRST alone give you a massive (passive) edge here while even ATFLIR is a cross-missioned toy by comparison. The USAF has neither.

On AMRAAM. The F-14D currently can't put AMRAAM in it's ventral wells, it would likely need some structural mods to do so. Indeed, though it was the FIRST aircraft to carry clearance rounds (under the gloves) it cannot 'carry' the weapon -at all-.

So it's no big surprise that it cannot beat the Hornet in the 'carriage' game. If it could lift the weapon at all, it would beat the Hornet's drag-master wingmode by yards and miles however. So too does nearly every other (Euro and USian) Gen-4 airframe.

And if it were ever properly funded (as a 50 aircraft deck deserves to be no-less-than-best treated) the Tom would have had these systems integrated ten years ago, at the same time the Eagle did.

What is hidden is that, thanks to a wingdrop 'solution' that sucks drag like buttermilk, the 18E is going to fall WAY damn short on range and if you start adding wing tanks you start pulling either primary mission stores or 'selfprotect' HARM. Or AMRAAM dual rails.

Which leaves you, surprise-surprise, with one MRM on the fuselage side. Just like it's underpowered, overloaded, midgetbomber parent.

Even with just 'dropin' glove-LAU, I know an F-14 could beat that and so can Rafale and the Typhoon and the Su-30. By yards and miles.

F-18E tack-on weapon loads represent a primary danger of overloading a single aircraft for 'every possible threat+mission' as a single sortie donkey.

You kill the performance to use aggressive positioning tactics and so must keep lumping on more /individual/ rounds as the threat 'comes to you' to make up the difference. That is tactically stupid and terribly expensive and ultimately range/targetset selfdefeating.

As for BVR ID. Bullhockey.

With LINK-16/JTIDS and a 'second classifier' from E-2/3, the Tomcat-D can shoot down and in, even today, like few others. Including the almighty NCTR Eagles.

Unfortunately, the USN and Congress, those fat bastards, did everything they could to minimize the effects of decent upgrade funding to what is still basically a 1970's avionics suite when they could buy twice as many 1980's Hornets to do the job half as well on twice as many decks.

Hence, no MPRF, no NCTR, late/cancelled datalinks, no update to an analogue AWG-15. Then we can talk maintainability and reliability of what IS there.

If USN hadn't had such a hardon for a 12-14 deck force and instead simply agreed to dump the last conventional steamers without fissile replacement... There's your billions for upgrade.

And an upgrade to the Tom's guts rather than the guts AND the airframe of the 'alternative' fighter would have started at a mere 5 billion.

For that they could have gone with one of the StriCat mods with 'option up' wiring and structurals for T-21.

And had the equivalent of a naval F-15E with a twice-as-nice penaids suite.

Instead they broke the bank on the A-12 contractor cleanup and then bet everything they had left to develop a BRAND NEW core engine -and- a BRAND NEW airframe to get into the size/lift class the Tomcat starts from.

With only 50 planes per deck as the current (budget) reality; I would MUCH rather it be 1 supersize (18) squadron of 'light attack' (180-220nm) Bugs and 2 12-packs of 'multirole' (450-570nm deep attack/power proj) Turkey-21s.

You may not do much but with Fast-Cruise+HARM-D+JDAM you can do it faster and against more individual targets before the bloody USAF can 'get there'.

Put the IADS down by Day 1+1 and it doesn't matter how long the rest takes.

Now toss in some carrier capable fast-drones for comprehensive organic targeting and use the buggers for a wing-integral, 'primary' buddy mission force (all they're really good for) and you could give the bluesuiters the middle finger waveoff on approach because you'd have the emergency contained as they tried to find some country dumb enough to let them gypsy-camp upon.

Instead the USN are treading water frantically in search of a 'police' mission they do half as well as their lubber compadres do, once the USAF tanking and targeting arrives to let them play at all.

And ironically (after the F-4 and A-7) the only hope of an airframe program to yank their sorry asses from obscurity and kicking and screaming into the 21st century is a USAF cash-CALF addon.

Of course the 1 trillion dollar question is whether this single engine, huge wing (more base drag), 2-bomb (but no internal SEAD and minimal self-escort missilery), 'modular' fighter actually _works_.

Conceptually at all, let alone around the boat.

If I were the USAF I wouldn't miss the chance to make it a deliberate failure and further retard my competitor services' capabilities...

And to the guys who are so in-luv with the twintubs. The navy doesn't fly D's off the carriers because they can't hack the returnweight limits with PGM/HARM aboard.
When the E starts hauling tanks on all possible (wing) stations they won't fly F's off either.

Not too mention yet more radius lost from the backseaters fuel eating, if you bought a bunch of naval twoholers you'd have to es-plane to Congress why the sudden need for 'new' multi-crewing training dollars when you had just ditched the last two multiseat programs you had in spite of all contrary evidence of their superiority in each mission.

Besides, didn't you know, all theatre targeting comes offboard nowadays. The pilot is just the button-monkey and the 'Digital BN', comes courtesy of the USAF and Team-NRO.
Snicker...


KP


Posts: 672 | From: | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
Ravan
unregistered

posted 04-06-2000 03:29 AM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Well Kurt we all know that you are a meticulous researcher or "in the know"

Either way your comments are interesting...

My question in answer to this:
"Besides, didn't you know, all theatre targeting comes offboard nowadays. The pilot is just the button-monkey and the 'Digital BN', comes courtesy of the USAF and Team-NRO. "

How far are we away from remote machines? Are we coming full circle back to the supposed paradigm shift where the pilot/machine interface was considered obselete?

Is this something OPFOR is considering? Mass production in oppostion to mass recruitment?
Consider some of the 2nd-hand capitalist ideals that are being embraced under different cultural umbrellas. Food for thought...

Rav.


IP: Logged
Vector
Member
Member # 463

posted 04-06-2000 07:11 AM     Profile for Vector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Who ever said that the F-18 was a bad dogfighter? I have heard from real pilots that it's an extremely good dogfighter. And by playing JF18 it proves it. Once the patch fixes the rudder control we will be swinging our noses around the sky shooting missiles up Su-27's asses.

------------------
-\/ector, Flight Sim Sympathizer


Posts: 903 | From: Comox, BC, Canada | Registered: Oct 1999  |  IP: Logged
TWalt
unregistered

posted 04-06-2000 08:30 AM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Kurt,
I loved a lot of the points you brought up but I disagree with a few too.
You keep stating that the Phoenix is needed while admitting it's unsolved problems. Phoenix isn't good at small nimble targets from even 60 NM. We won't be able to ID those targets until 2005 or later when CEC and LINK 16 (yes it's still in testing) actually becomes production gear.
You admitted that even a C/D can carry more AMRAAM (10) than a Tomcat and with the AMRAAM upgrades/follow-on programs, these missiles will provide similar if not superior performance to the Meteor. Derivatives include a RAMJET powered ERAAM with more than adequate punch for future threats. We still lack a bit in mutli-sensor options but I see that changing as BMDO technology for the THAAD evolves. I do think the Meteor will be an outstanding missile but the ERAAM will evolve with it and probably be available sooner.
I'd like to see a better pair of GE engines in the E/F to compensate for it's high drag wing configuration, but even without it, it is superior in all subsonic regimes to the C/D. It lacks outright speed but that is not a huge disadvantage considering current and future doctrine and our superior C3. We don't chase the enemy all over the map, especially in defensive CAP. Don't even think you can outrun an AEGIS or Hawkeye radar. With superior C3, we can shoot when we want, where we want, and how we want. In attack phases, you do lose the ability to purely outrun an incoming fighter up high, but what can. Don't even think a Tomcat can just turn and burn from any of the current or future threat aircraft. He's not as fast as any of em up high. Down low the E/F is slower but also a harder nut to crack (lower RCS, better ECM). Better engines would help more here. The Tomcat is very fast low but provides a very large radar target and has very susceptible ECM. You can't outrun today's or tomorrow's missiles. Speed is really secondary to survivability and the two don't compare.
The E/F standard strike configuration will only include one belly tank and this gives more than adequate range to get well beyond the beach. 41% further than C/D is not insignificant. It means less or no tanking assests needed and the E/F can buddy tank if required for those longer targets. Let's face it though, deep strike is best left to cruise missiles. Always will be. No pilots to lose and much harder to defend. That's why the E/F carries SLAM-ER and JSOW to keep out of the threat envelope. The F-14 can't carry these and needs to fly into the teeth to deliver PGM and in a year JDAM. It's not a first day attack platform by any means. E/F can SLAM, HARM, or JSOW it's threats and deliver a wider strike variety while carrying a better defensive air load.

IP: Logged
Curt Plumber
unregistered

posted 04-06-2000 12:19 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
TWalt,

First Off, Where exactly do you get off disagreeing with _me_? In fact, I am well known on these forums for my impressive array of verbosity which is used to primarily cover up the fact that only about 5% to 15.9% of what I say has any bearing in _reality_ which brings up the question of bearing, using the supposed ALQ/APG/ARN-4882-D ranging system of the F-18 E/F is vastly superior to anything in current production in either the EUROPEAN or MGM Theatre.

That said, your mention of the BVRAAM/FMRAAM etc. systems was actually very accurate, and one of the first times I've seen a good argument for retiring the venerable old Tomcat. However, to get that admission from someone like _me_ means that you now have to read the rest of this post which usually goes on until I physically run out of my daily word allotment.

As for re-engining the Bug and I have to ask right now is that even a word, _re-engining_? Anyway, as for that concept you must first understand the politics behind such an idea in the first place. When the politicos get together to do something other than find new ways to stop me from using the worlds supply of words, they sit around and find ways to waste our military dollar and the Hornet/Bug was one of the better ones!

Euro 'Experience' from NATO indicates that new airframes are the way to go and the F-18 has nothing new added to it other than some extra _gas_ and a little in the avionics department, and if you disagree with me here then I have succeeded in demonstrating the font of knowledge that I draw from has long ago dried up and I continue on only in an effort to use up the world's supply of words. But I digress. As usual. If we really want the Hornet to be a viable defense platform into the 21 Century, then certainly the ALOUUY-5773745657 series systems of AIRCRAFT MODIFICATIONS SPECIFICATIONS must be addressed. If it is not, then NATO and I fear that all those letters and numbers will go to waste, which is typical for Governments concerned only with filling their wallets with taxpayers money and hogging _all_ the words for themselves.

Now, some people have called me paranoid, but I usually ingnore them. I did, however, notice a couple of birds on a wire the other day talking about me. I waved my hands madly to scare them off, fearing that they were eating into my daily allotment of words.

Now, to continue, you ALWAYS make a 'light fighter' capable of lifting a _useful_ BVR weapon and simpply because I say so. If you disagree with me, well, then I would point out the fact that the F-16 is such a failure for the simple reason that it has never been fitted to carry not even ONE Phoenix missle, when we _all_ know that the Falcon was designed shortly after the Tomcat entered service. According to the NATO-SEATO-POOPYPANTS agreements of 1989, (said agreement almost _never_ getting the press time it deserves), the F-16 program should have had at least one large missle fitted to the centerline hardpoint using the SKG5996 adapter.

To disagree with me on this would indicate a very thought out rationale, of which we all know by now that I do not have the slightest inkling of.

As far as the endgame is concerned, I prefer having a rook and a bishop over my adversaries knight and bishop, but how this relates to the current conversation I will let you decide. In fact, if you typically skip about 4 out of every 5 words in my posts, you will usually finish by lunch and have not missed a _single_ point that I have attempted yet usually failed to make.

MOST importanly, it does give you the opportunity to stop your brains from leaking out of your ears, and your eyeballs _usually_ stay firmly seated in your skull.


CP


IP: Logged
TWalt
unregistered

posted 04-06-2000 02:39 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Whatever there CURT.

For the real Kurt, any comments??


IP: Logged
Sash
Member
Member # 274

posted 04-06-2000 05:31 PM     Profile for Sash   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Kurt,
I asked this before but you didn't reply, where do you get your info, are you in the military or are you defense contracter? I'm not trying to dispute you or anything I'm just curious how you know so much.

Sasha Diakow


Posts: 11 | From: Kingston | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
Lud von Pipper
Member
Member # 82

posted 04-06-2000 07:11 PM     Profile for Lud von Pipper   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
LOL
Very argute CURT!

Posts: 273 | From: Italy | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
Kurt Plummer
Member
Member # 358

posted 04-07-2000 04:16 AM     Profile for Kurt Plummer   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Hey Ravan,
"Besides, didn't you know, all theatre targeting comes offboard nowadays. The pilot is just the button-monkey and the 'Digital BN', comes courtesy of the USAF and Team-NRO. "

How far are we away from remote machines? Are we coming full circle back to the supposed paradigm shift where the pilot/machine interface was considered obselete?

Is this something OPFOR is considering? Mass production in oppostion to mass recruitment?
Consider some of the 2nd-hand capitalist ideals that are being embraced under different cultural umbrellas. Food for
thought...

First off, we've had 'recoverable' fastrecce drones since Vietnam. THAT and only that is what pisses me off about continued naval reliance upon external targeting sources.

1 man or 2, as long as the threat situation is simplistic and you have adequate auto FLIR-tracking for LGB or autonoJDAM coordinate feed, you can probably accomplish the mission. The problem comes when you aren't trying to obliterate a nation by destroying it's infrastructure (which you will end up Marshall Planning back into existence anyway) but trying to /find/ moving panel truck targets filled with the criminally insane going around killing kids and women. With LANTIRN-2K, my Granny can hit a 1m aimpoint. But can she hit a relocateable one?

1-2 CAPs could cover Bosnia with armed response 'presence' and just a couple LGB each.

But only 20-40 drone apertures could provide the traffic monitoring to catch the bastards you _really want_ in the act and then continually in-displacement until the irondroppers could get there.

And the USN desperately needs those easy-launch, long-loiter, short turn, (couple hours at 500nm and 350-500 knots, no-cat takeoff and 90 knot return) options to make up the inherent STOBAR manned-sortie shortcoming, 'off the pointy end', compared to 180 CTOL airframes lined up intake to afterburner at Aviano or Siggie.

Now that said, yes IMO, combat drones are here to stay and as soon as someone, somewhere, decides that 20-50 million to own, 4 million to train, 2 million a year in gas and deployment for 'currency' and 70K per man in salary and dependant support is "Way too damn much!" when fighting a country the size of America or India or China, then we will see somebody with the balls to breach Azimovs Laws.

A/G, especially in a full frontal battle (hey, ya never know...;-) I'm against drones because for a recoverable cruise missile advantage, you generally lose payload weight and targeting variety, retargetability and some elements of penetrability that a WSO-manned-control force gives you.

And if you have 60 JDAM robot bombers up and want to shift aimpoints and mission TOTs to allow there comes a problem of saturation of the command and control vs. the new assigned (A/G) target set and vulnerability of comms.

I'm against remote-flown aircraft because even if a human can fly it to maximum mechanical potential (we're talking 40-60dps STR's), the implications of threat entrance to the basic behavioural moding of the drone as a function of a very large bandwidth datalink (2-way control plus video, even compressed and shot 'up' is no small deal) is incredible.

'Info Wars' cannot be won in the long term because useage leads to exposure leads to understanding leads to counterexploitation faster than the technology and encryption can update.

However, while package A/G is, IMO, more difficult to layer-coordinate and is indeed beyond the capabilities of most AI, air to air is _not_.

C2W wise, we can moat the processor and/or give very limited tactical awareness and tracksharing access (sensorfiles) behind a very large firewall that squirts data across a local/directional link, if need be between lead dogs 'dragging' an F-22 or similar VLO/SSC safe sled 80nm back instead of OTH or through a satellite (massive compression problems) with a backseater doing the split-formation tactics work based on 'flat' (representational rather than realtime) geometry and sensor control.

Given the amount of ajam circuitry which is already automated (recognition to CM) it's no big deal to add decisional logic on going autonomous. Especially if, with global MAAWS (Missile and AIRCRAFT Approach Warning) the robodogteams maintain 'instinctive' formation coordination anyway.

Yet when even the basic recce/SEAD functions are denied (and have been since Seek Spinner/TRainbow back and before) however; none of the 'more manly' roles have a hope in hell of being achieved.

I laugh when I see the U.S. reinventing the ATARS /pod/ for guard use and the Navy using the sensors on the F-18D(R) long after both services cancelled the 'recoverable' jet-drone that should have carried them. Apparently Predator/Gnat are not enough, eh?

And look at the X-36. The SOA in flight control logic is capable of driving an AAM 'round 56G excursions yet this 'control configurable' air vehicle _designed specifically to validate the UCAV codes_ has a T/Wr of something like .35 and 2D thrust vector only in the YAW axis. I bet it pulls maybe 1.5-2.5G, tops.

Cripes A-Mighty, HiMAT was beating that X10 clear back in 1984!

But why is it needed?

Well, the Russians can't pay their pilots. They can't buy the fighters they sell abroad. They can't /really/ afford to convert their existing (Flanker) fleet to MKR standards. In fact, nobody wants a Russian Fighter because it means you can't join NATO (snicker). Nor are they the bargain basement items they once were and 'barter' is nothing to hard currency without which the Russkies are on a strictly western banking controlled dole.

All the while the Chinese are getting rambunctious. The Arab republics are never more than one or two mullahs from madness and even at home in Europe they are seen to be the whipped old toothless bear they are. That's gotta sting!:`)

All these things and you think that they aren't wondering how to get fighter performance out of a 10 million dollar cheap-sell airframe which they can fill their own airforce with?

Again however, the REAL justifying driver is whether or not they are /allowed to/.

Both abroad and at home where economics are joined by the completely insane idea that 'pilots are more responsive to a dynamic environment' than robots ever will be.

Ballognia.

Pilots are highly limited sensory input creatures, driven by the weapons systems requirements needed to kill, restricted by the very biology which renders them 'live'.

All of which makes them as much robotic in their monkey-press-button systems management as any Patriot battery albeit moving through the air courtesy of GE or P&W.

Where precision is required greater than the human can take the time to decipher we've already given him the bums rush to watch-and-waiter status.

So why not save your self the 5-10Klbs system weight and CG-forward by ditching the cockpit and its displays and it's user altogether?
ESPECIALLY in the A/A role which has some very hard limits on how 'carried away' the robodoggy can get, weapons wise.

What is 'flexible' anyway? To me it's far overrated by a Hollyweird interpretation of systems failure and human 'heroic' reaction thereto.

Instead, limiited /task efficiencies/ can be assigned and then shifted, by time of reaction and redundant (miniaturized) systems approach, to compensate for 'awareness' of specific consequence.

These TE's can be broken down to basically just four mission areas in all of which we have made technology _redundantly_ superior to 'manned' interventional control:

NAVIGATION
We have four or five means of navigating a target area. Inertial, Radar Altimeter & Terrain Elevation, Stellar, GPS, and Direct SAR. These are miniaturized to the point of 6X6" SEM compatibility in /missiles/ (ITAG GBU-15 for instance).

TARGET ID/ATR
We have six or seven means of integrating target data: IRST, TV/EO, Radar X, Radar Ka, RWR, Wide Area Datalink, Intraflight Datalink, MAWS.

Every damn one sees over a wider FOV and to a greater range under more ambient conditions than a mans eye does.

While I cannot honestly say much about signature recognition; I can tell you that DARPA/ARPA, through Assault and War Breaker programs if not earlier, have been doing signature and actual /pattern/ recognition on surface targets since the late 70's.

It works. It always has to some extent (ECCM technology is founded upon it) and with todays processor technology and 2 decades worth of library accumulation, it should work across multiple bands and environments.

And look at your typical airplane target. It offers the all four things that any ATR specialist dreams of:
Huge Area (twice that of a tank).
Clean Ambient Backdrop (60K sky temp in MMW no matter the TOD or weather for example vs. 80K airframe and 400K exhaust).
Very High Relative Velocity. If it moves it translates across the background signature and the change is measureable.
Emitting all kinds of 'secondary signature' confirmations.

FUSION AND TACTICS.
This gets tricky because it links a lot of the other performance measures as a function of inductive simplification which can be hard to 'teach' to an AI but because each segment technology is superior to manned response times/absolute performance it is not ultimately a failure-critical segment itself.

This is because, for A/A, 'tactics' is largely dictated by the threat coming to you and you're being a position to draw a line in the sand. The line is a premission brief, his coming to you is a function of wanting to get what you're guarding. Getting him before he can cross that line is what a 2:1 T/Wr and better weapons from a minimized signatures/aspect offset is about.

If the IFDL is functional a 4-ship roboteam should be spread over as much as 40 miles of line abreast or wall type formations and if not, then they should still sensor link to at least 2nm separations. All while having independent contact with the target/s. That gives you spatial advantage which translates to the envelope one.

Toss in a no-canopy, no-tail (vectored stability, if a drone departs, after XX failure/damage occurance who cares?) and a flat, all-wing delta planform and you've also got an edge on acquisition.

Under worst-case scenarios, where it takes missile fire, manless, 2:1 Drone has 12-15G, dual axis excursion potential (actually 20-25 before the turbine goes out of round but I'm conservative) capability vs. a manned 9-11G.
Which would you rather take up against a 27G AA-12?

RECOVERY and RELAUNCH
Ultimately winning one mission is pointless unless it involved nukes. Winning many is not. Can a robofighter land on it's own? Carrier jets do all the time and the USAF has tested for redundancy in depth: MLS, SAR, FLIR, Remote (target drones), and emergency Parachute. All on a much less compromised (static and long) runway requirement. Surely we haven't forgotten how to make 'small landing gear'?

Sortie Turn and Relaunch is part of reliability/maintainability figures and would need proofing out. But I can bet that not having half the man-redundant 'safety' systems will help. A LOT.
No Oxygen or OBOGS you say? That right there is a major piece of 'fluidic' nonsense every manned jet has had to put up with since WWII.

And you have to ask what is the mission of a 'fighter'? It is an insurance salesman, nothing more. The old Hun said it best, "Go there, fly how you like, and kill the enemy when he comes, nothing else matters...".

But what if he doesn't come? Do we fail to buy the F-22 for TEN YEARS only to 'discover' massive avionics shortcomings and a weak afterstructure in the 'production version' when we do? Will the Eagle live forever?

Speaking of which, this is a great example of how it all comes together for 'man':

In 1994, two trained killers, with the assistance of an AWACS and 40 scope dopes, managed to suddenly 'find' a pair of UN UH-60 some 30 minutes from ANY POSSIBLE IRAQI BORDER.

And they can't identify them as such.

So maybe they were afraid of MANPADS weapons either in-ambush or on the helos. If so, why did they overfly the threat rotorhead at 500ft or less? TWICE. While maintaining a positive VID of the aircraft as 'Mi-24 Hinds'.

Okay so maybe they're just in need of better glasses. Those Eagle Orbed American Boyeez.

So why, with a full load of AIM-7/9/120, did they select the only weapons which, once fired were irrecallable? A single AMRAAM and a single 'Winder.

Okay so maybe they're just a leetle schtoopid.

But when they fired both in the same closure/pass, and both weapons hit and both weapons killed...

They became cold blooded murderers.

So why -did- they shoot both choppers?

Why not kill one and give the media a chance to see the Great U-S-A-F accept the surrender of some Evile Raghead 'Raqis without a USAR grunt in 20 miles?

Either they were TOLD to engage simultaneously or they just couldn't think beyond their 'programming' blood lust to see what 'might happen next', in a virtually sterile threat environment. Egads Arnold! How (In)Human! Only Terminators do that, /right/?

IFF daycoding was no excuse and remains inadequate to this day under those (Visual ROE) conditions.

And who got blamed? The Eagle pilots survived the initial encounter in all ways. The AWACS crew and commander in particular did not. A secondary (GAO?) review got them a three year hiatus in flight ops. Whoopee.

Yet knowing how fallable we are (and there are tens of lethal and near miss instances like this) and that a machine won't fail to recognize a target for what it is; won't fail to take risks (cannon shot across the bows, aye aye!) if we tell it to; and will likely have the ability to evade counterfire if someone DOES try, we refuse to evaluate the option.

How paranoid the the outdated idiocy of some scifi writer compared to horrid butchery of man himself?

The biggest pity is of course not some 26 dead men on the ground. No. It's the wallet that really hurts.

Because we continue to put Northern/Southern Watchers over Iraq, risking shootdown and an expansion of the conflict daily.

When we can't admit that we've lost that battle back in 1991 after we 'told the people to rise up and rebel'. And then watched the Iraqis butcher Shia and Khurds by the hundreds.

2 Billion a deployed year.

And we are doing it again over Bosnia where the addition of ground forces and FOUR HUNDRED airframes last year makes it closer to 5 billion a year. Until when?

Wull Shucks, if we're determined to be morons we can at least do so cheaply and let an autopilot drive useless circles in the sky without a man if the enemy isn't coming that year/decade.

And it will do it just as well if not better than any pilot (ingress corridors and controlled airspace policies require a LOT of 'familiarization' training for units going over to Italy).

Even at home a drone doesn't need 500-pilot currency hours (40 a month if you want to be really good, 2million each pilot year), every year.

And 150 pilot training candidates for replacing 'obsolescent bio processors' (4 million each). Every year.

No a drone just needs 20 aircraft at Nellis undergoing daily 'weapons school' tactics tape testing, on a mainframe and in the skies, followed by 500 downloads to units which fly maybe 2-12 times a year as a massed force Red Flag team and to make sure everything still works.

And of course ultimately, not if but when, a -friendly- shoot down occurs, there is no embarrassment or potentially disastrous 'rescue' inside another nations sovereign territory (no declared war, no right to enter, reexpanded conflict). Too Bad Artoo.

And we refuse to even try a 2-year LWF style aggressive technology demo program to 'see if it's really so'. How would we feel if we didn't have the F-16 because nobody tried?

There can only be one conclusion: The countries dominant armed force is run by a Fighter Mafia and the U.S. rules the world not be economic and sparing use of force but by attrition rules that favour mass bullyism over intelligent diplomacy and deliberate action.

This is what our potential enemies think about when they go to bed, praying nightly for some way to bypass the logistics of 400 airframes over their country, minding their business.

I guarantee you, if the U.S. doesn't lead in UCAV technology we will die because somebody else does. It actually favors them to do so more than we.

I give it 20 years for the third world and 10 years for the second (Japan, Korea, India, Taiwan, Israel, Turkey, Russia). Plus or minus ten depending on the strength of the global economy and the expansion-through-use of a-linear (non aligned) nuclear capability on a local/deployed theatre force.


Kurt Plummer


LINKS-
GAO Report/Review http://www.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=gao&docid=f s98004.txt


Posts: 672 | From: | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
ravan
unregistered

posted 04-07-2000 06:14 AM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Exactly.

Ahh. The Microprocessor. Cheap and without empathy? Maybe so, but as you say, a very viable solution for some who have always looked for an alternative way of getting off the backfoot.

Bandwidth limitations besides, I agree this will happen and as you say, maybe sooner than later.

This planet is growing smaller all the time.
And while occasional probing may elicit the unwanted geopolitical bullying, how long will it be before most of these "silent" probes are undetected and are assumed in statistics only. Then we can welcome real paranoia onto the battlefield.

With one exception. Machines do not fear.

Keep the minds ticking Kurt.

ravan.


IP: Logged
Kurt Plummer
Member
Member # 358

posted 04-07-2000 06:33 AM     Profile for Kurt Plummer   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Hey TWalt,

<<Kurt,
I loved a lot of the points you brought up but I disagree with a few too.

You keep stating that the Phoenix is needed while admitting it's unsolved problems. Phoenix isn't good at small nimble targets from even 60 NM.>>

I think that is about the shortest range it is 'good at'. The one famous case of the AIM-54A being used at 110nm required an all nighter at Mugu (I presume) as the pocketprotector folk tweeked the old analogue autopilot. As I understand it, even so most of the midcourse at 90K was at Mach 3 and the /only/ the terminal snapdown took it to mythical 'Mach 5' on a non-aggressive target defense.

The A was also only capable of 16G evasions. The C, with it's digital autopilot and likely CofG mods probably is better but trajectory tailoring on a target that runs out from under may leave it forever flat-chasing a vapor trail at Buffalo speeds. An Iraqi MiG-23 driver seems to have thought so.

The simple fact of the matter is there is no Tomcat. Can't fix that so we have to move on. Buying into a Euro solution is not the way to do that because the COMPETITOR (sold abroad) is going to have that missile as well.
---------------------------------------------

We won't be able to ID those targets until 2005 or later when CEC and LINK 16 (yes it's still in testing) actually becomes production gear.

I can 'ID' a target simply by watching it take off from base XX. In a highly rich environment I can declutter by comparing the toplobe return with the earth shadow and IFF.

In a pissant war, facing SARH MiG-29 the best airpower can do is hide, next to a decoy, next to a mosque or across a border. As long as it does so, it is not a threat. When it leaps from the earth, border crashes at 900 knots and then obliques out before my guys can get there... Nerves Get Frayed.

The /big problem/ however comes when we're facing Gen.4 eurojets while still using F-15's to supplement a silver bullet F-22 force and they can toss ARH weapons over the border they (honestly) say they never crossed.
---------------------------------------------
<<You admitted that even a C/D can carry more AMRAAM (10) than a Tomcat and with the AMRAAM upgrades/follow-on programs, these missiles will provide similar if not superior performance to the Meteor.>>

C-5/ERAAM doesn't have the same motor as AMRAAM, it has a guidance/warhead section half the size. It is not AMRAAM. AMRAAM is a piece of crap that is 'special' only in the fact that is basically a singular operational ARH weapon. That has given it 'seeker experience' with which to tune the system functionality.
---------------------------------------------
<<Derivatives include a RAMJET powered ERAAM with more than adequate punch for future threats. We still lack a bit in mutli-sensor options but I see that changing as BMDO technology for the THAAD evolves. I do think the Meteor will be an outstanding missile but the ERAAM will evolve with it and probably be available sooner.>>

First lets get things straight:
'BVRAAM/MRAAM' is the program name.
'Meteor' is the Euro solution.
'FMRAAM' is the Raytheon ramjet
'ERAAM' is the Raytheon big-motor

Visually, I'm always getting FMRAAM and Meteor confused but latter now has forward top fins in most views so life gets simpler.

Asside from IQ, the reason I get so easily stupefied is that _IT'S THE SAME MISSILE_ By weight class and likely by impulse (at least within 10-15%).

Even more importantly, though only one team will win, both are all-Euro, (Bayern Chemie on Meteor and Aerospatial on FMRAAM)and that means even if we want to play by buying lots ourselves, we are effectively buying a EuroPol, because we ain't got none ourselves and haven't had since 1991.

The key difference comes in the bid and the seeker.

The Euros are fed up with decades of cross-pond palming of their money with 'MOU' technology that ends up being buy-from-USA (or else) owned .

For EF2000 export and likely 'retrofit' to the Rafale and JAS, that means they will not have a U.S. control in the seeker (which is what the U.S. wants and all they can really contribute).

As such, IMO, Raytheon is only a darkhorse price guarantor to MBD which in fact has a superior active array and two way datalink compared to the AIM-120 derived planar gimbal and 'command tether' (no TVM, limited ECCM) system.

Whether they can do it or not I don't know. The Euros have a lot of combined talent now but that can get into bad-company nationalist politicking and the Frech in particular have rep for running to their government at the least little panty twist.

Under the best of circumstances it always ends up costing big to extend the SOA in a 'robust' manner in which we do have ten years of production AMRAAM lot upgrade experience and 10 before that on the ranges struggling for let'errip.

This means ours last longer on the airframe and cheaper-in-bulk. Again, NATO production rights could kill a lot of this and give them a big stepup.

As I said ERAAM is, as far as I can tell, nothing but a C-5 AMRAAM, a little further past the last lot P3I tweak.

The best you can say about this is it IS cheap and the U.S. has been rolling around showing it's belly with promises to England to allow them a controlling veto on all AMRAAM equipped fighter sales "If only you will except our wussy missile instead of going ahead with your giant killer and making AMRAAM's ten years of development a complete waste of time" (between the lines).
---------------------------------------------
<<I'd like to see a better pair of GE engines in the E/F to compensate for it's high drag wing configuration, but even without it, it is superior in all subsonic regimes to the C/D. It lacks outright speed but that is not a huge disadvantage considering current and future doctrine and our superior C3. We don't chase the enemy all over the map, especially in defensive CAP.>>

Read the article here on the F-15 engagement with the MiG-29 CAP. First thing they did was unload and kick off tanks to go supersonic. THAT is what energizes your pol and that is what counts when you're scared pissless of bringing them into the merge from the faceoff side of a run-fer-d-border engagement.

Unfortunately, that is impossible when you're 'multirole' hauling everything but the kitchen sink in an aspect ratio'd, /carrier weight/ airframe like the Bug.

Ramweapons give you the equivalent of subcruise-superlaunch on a steady missile energy curve.

This avoids acceleration and height performance (critical 18E deficits, even if you believe the malarky about the subsonics) problems and in particular allows you to 'shortstop' the close encounter difficulty caused by accelerating into shortened offensive encounter pols like that F-16 driver faced.

Again, the problem comes when you sling a constant-3/3.5 weapon at a guy who is doing the same to you, from 20-40nm each side.

You tend to run into borders or trip over other threats or leave your sheep untended until one side or the other blinks and /tries/ to run out from under by sacrificing the TVM tether and showing his belly, going earthward.

What an F-22 does is give you a similar /supercruise/ option to go around the sensor arcs (beyond the IRST) and hit and extend from an 'instanteous' (no parent acceleration lag) missile boost.

---------------------------------------------
<<Don't even think you can outrun an AEGIS or Hawkeye radar. With superior C3, we can shoot when we want, where we want, and how we want. In attack phases, you do lose the ability to purely outrun an incoming fighter up high, but what can.

Don't even think a Tomcat can just turn and burn from any of the current or future threat aircraft. He's not as fast as any of em up high.>>

How far can an AEGIS see through dirt is it tropobounce? Can a Hawkeye SARH in a parabolic 'land attack' (snicker) Standard into an approaching threat corridor below the LOS?

C3=power of panic-when.

It is otherwise a mythos. Your awareness is never better than how fast you can exploit it (whether it be neutralizing the threat by alternate means or responding directly).

Today that means gas aspect ratio, POWER, and increasingly VLO.

The F-22 gets what the Euros want by moving the entire preengagement gaming geometry around the compass points covered by the IRST and any ground vector while hopefully staying outside the optical and cued limits of multiaperture SAM.

That is the kind of option the Navy should have gone for and they could have /had it/, with AIAAM, and the Tomcat. Or with VLO mods to the VFX followons.

Speed counts but so does gas and time and the amount of each you 'burn' getting to the onspeed for pol. Acceleration means being clean and having height. The F-18 sucks above 25K and above 30 it's hopeless. Guess where the F-15s where...?

A Euroflubber has about 8-9Klbs feeding two engines in the same weight class that an Eagle needs 12+externals for and a Tom takes 16+externals for.

The has V/G and variable ramp and tanker worth of gas. They also never maxxed out it's ramps either. It would have taken a 110-429 series powerplant (118 fan) and some tweaking to do that. With a trials version of that very engine and minus the chin sensor pods, they were SSC'ing at 1.2+ and 30K feet.

Toss in a 650lb, Mach-5-for-real missile of which the Tom was theoretically capable of carrying 6-8 on the centerline and suddenly it too can either sprint-to-Mach for a 60-80nm tailchaser or simply loft-to-Mach for an FQ 40nm shot before turning away.

In THAT case, AEW&C is indeed very useful for showing how, yes, the enemy came across XX political mapline and you put a missile in air that blew him up as he tried to run back over.
---------------------------------------------
<<Down low the E/F is slower but also a harder nut to crack (lower RCS, better ECM). Better engines would help more here.

The Tomcat is very fast low but provides a very large radar target and has very susceptible ECM.>>

T-21 would have had stealth mods 'in the forward sector', just like the F-18E. It will be getting (funding holds and the crick don't flood) ALE-50 and it /already has/, in selective quantities a better ALQ-165 than the 18E does. It also has BOL and it can have as many as 4 ALE-39 (2 is two damn little).

That said, the only excuse for going low into todays surface threat is when penetration is unachieveable by /any/ other means and you cannot change or delay the mission schedule until a better option comes along. That sounds suspiciously nuclear and it scares the daylights out of me because we have no nuclear cruise capability and all our weapons are freefall.

OTOH, if you are in a friendly controlled airspace environment then certainly, be my guest but give me a climb rate and a lookup (leave the draggies) weapons ystem that supports the move.

Oh, and a high level backup so I don't get dogpiled in counter-counter pinch or pump maneuver bagging junior from behind.
---------------------------------------------
You can't outrun today's or tomorrow's missiles. Speed is really secondary to survivability and the two don't compare.

Speed and Stealth gets you to a point where you can take a shot regardless of individual weapon pol inferiorities, killing the threat like the assassin you should be, without his having a launch-awareness.

It doesn't make up for a FASTER long pol for your weapon but, especially in team play, it does allow you to stretch the period of midcourse in which the threat is servicing his weapons datalink while he runs over a spread or altitude displaced secondary shooter. (we're talking 10+nm between section elements and 20-60nm between flight or division teams here).

If you can't fight a stretch game with long legs you have to squirm and wiggle and pray to all the wargods that that fly-lure behind you is really as good as they say it is.
---------------------------------------------
<<The E/F standard strike configuration will only include one belly tank and this gives more than adequate range to get well beyond the beach. 41% further than C/D is not insignificant. It means less or no tanking assests needed and the E/F can buddy tank if required for those longer targets.

Let's face it though, deep strike is best left to cruise missiles. Always will be. No pilots to lose and much harder to defend. That's why the E/F carries SLAM-ER and JSOW to keep out of the threat envelope.

The F-14 can't carry these and needs to fly into the teeth to deliver PGM and in a year JDAM. It's not a first day attack platform by any means.

E/F can SLAM, HARM, or JSOW it's threats and deliver a wider strike variety while carrying a better defensive air load.>>

Then and Now. Apples to Pickup Trucks.

Nobody has bothered clearing the SLAM or the shorter SLAM-ER, despite F-14 having GPS early. Does that mean it's impossible? I doubt it.

Is JSOW longer than a rear Phoenix pallet?
And nobody has tried to do much with the gloves either.

T-21 would have said for sure on all of this and cost a heckuva lot less to find out.

If cruise is better than SLAM, why are we paying for both? 'Reactibility'? ARRMD will put a weapon anywhere in 800nm within an 8-10 minute response. How long for a subsonic AGM-84H to go 150nm?

If you want /multiaimpoint/ 'repeatability' which is the traditional quothe-the-raven price tag advantage of any aircraft then an F-14 with four 2K# class JDAM weapons will indeed beat a Hornet. If it can beat the CG and again, T-21 had glove reprofiling and a different wing section/fowlers to prove this, around the boat.

And why compare a 180nm naval Beach-CAS jet with a 300nm steroided version? Why not an T-21 or an F-15E?

Why not even an F-16 with three tanks? Is it that we are such a 'multiservice collective' unified butt kissing that we cannot compare and critique individually across other platforms which ARE successful in the strike role?

All the '41%' BS came from an OSD review (Cheney at his best, covering tracks from the A-12 debacle and kissing up to Congress) that refuted other Pentagon Anal-ysts suggestions that the beast would indeed fall short of the '35-50%' (WAPJ#26, pg.99) the Navy would ask the Hill to believe. No competitive development, no FSD, wham-bam-AvengerIII
-Ma'am!

And then they discover the wingdrop and 'fix it'.

And 89 billion dollars are wasted because we've gone from no-time-to-develop-others to no-time-to-save-constituency-milbase.

And when it's all done, 7-10 years from now, 300 airframes less than the 1,000 the Navy just 'had to have', /30 years/ after Stealth, the USN will come hat in hand begging for their 120 BILLION dollars worth of the 'few' JSF which will now have to fill in for the F-18E's never bought.

The F-18E is doable. But it can only be so with boatloads of brilliant+standoff weapons technology that the USN has never funded before and for which three 'roadmaps' worth of joint service standoff programming have already been laughed down by Congress.

And unlike so many other past programs, the Uber Buggly has nothing which another nation cannot match, on an individual system:system level, to beat.

Only the F-22 continues the multidiscipline approach to 'superiority tradition' and it's on shakey funding grounds while Congress awaits news of the next F-16.


Kurt Plummer


LINKS-
Global Defense http://www.global-defence.com/pages/meteor.html

Global Defence FMRAAM http://www.global-defence.com/pages/fraam.html

Team Meteor http://www.meteor-mbd.com/index.htm

UKMOD BVRAAM http://www.mod.uk/dpa/projects/bvraam.htm#characteristics

FAS http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/missile/row/bvraam.htm

'Head To Head' Propoganda http://www.dsei-uk.com/pagedi43.htm

Raytheon http://www.raytheon.com/es/esproducts/dssbvra/dssbvra.htm

Raytheon/U.S. Talk Dirty http://jdw.janes.com/sample/jdw4427.html


Posts: 672 | From: | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
Curt Plumber
unregistered

posted 04-07-2000 10:47 AM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Ohhh, sheesh....I can't keep up!
IP: Logged

All times are MST (US)  

   Close Topic    Move Topic    Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
Hop To:

Contact Us | COMBATSIM.COM Home

COMBATSIM.COM, INC. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by Infopop Corporation
Ultimate Bulletin Board 6.04b

Sponsor
2014 COMBATSIM.COM - All Rights Reserved