The Best of the Best....Air superiority Fighters

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posted on Feb, 26 2008 @ 03:49 AM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
1. F-22A Raptor Block 30


Agree - its probably a long way ahead right now.


Originally posted by WestPoint23
2. F/A-18E/F Super Hornet Block II+


Never in a million years. The Hornet airframe is a piece of s!!t
.

Originally posted by WestPoint23
3. Typhoon F2


Obviously this is for No. 2 spot (IMO) - I'm not sure how much better the EF is than the Rafale.



And if cost is coming into the equation, both purchase and operating - its hard to look past a Saab Gripen.




posted on Feb, 26 2008 @ 06:58 AM
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i'd say in general the F22 would be best but if you dont have a force multiplier situation you are much better off with a new flanker or a typhoon.



posted on Feb, 26 2008 @ 12:43 PM
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Originally posted by kilcoo316
Never in a million years. The Hornet airframe is a piece of s!!t


Not really, only in terms of absolute speed and some other kinematic parameters. That's low on my list of priority capability to have in a 21St Century war. The Hornet Block II+ is an incredible piece of kit, I suggest you go look at the planned Block III. It's really close in terms of the Super Hornet and Typhoon, either way they're number 2 and 3 respectively but I would not put the Rhino any lower than third. In my opinion there is no other operational in service fighter which can match it's capabilities, save perhaps the Typhoon (depending on the weather
).



posted on Feb, 26 2008 @ 03:42 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
Not really, only in terms of absolute speed and some other kinematic parameters.


Make that EVERY other kinematic parameter of use.



Originally posted by WestPoint23
That's low on my list of priority capability to have in a 21St Century war.


I disagree. I disagree quite fundamentally.

So does the USAF (otherwise we would be talking about F-23s, not F-22s).



Originally posted by WestPoint23
The Hornet Block II+ is an incredible piece of kit, I suggest you go look at the planned Block III.


The electronics in the Hornet are great.



Originally posted by WestPoint23
It's really close in terms of the Super Hornet and Typhoon, either way they're number 2 and 3 respectively but I would not put the Rhino any lower than third. In my opinion there is no other operational in service fighter which can match it's capabilities, save perhaps the Typhoon (depending on the weather
).


No way.

I'd have a Rafale or Typhoon long before I'd have a hornet strapped to my back.


In an SH you'd have complete situational awareness of the missile that kills your sorry slow ass.



posted on Feb, 26 2008 @ 05:42 PM
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Originally posted by kilcoo316
Make that EVERY other kinematic parameter of use.


I'm not privy to classified maneuvering capabilities, needles to say it's one of the most maneuverable in the US inventory. I'm sue both the pilot and RIO with their HMCS' would agree.


Originally posted by kilcoo316
So does the USAF (otherwise we would be talking about F-23s, not F-22s).


The F-22 was chosen for a number of reasons, being more maneuverable than the F-23 was just an extra plus. The Raptor is the total package, and if you can have that, sure, I have no objection. However it would not take priority over avionics, VLO features and or weapons. The F-23 would have likely been faster, but it was not selected.


Originally posted by kilcoo316
The electronics in the Hornet are great.


So are the weapons and other external hardware.


Originally posted by kilcoo316
I'd have a Rafale or Typhoon long before I'd have a hornet strapped to my back.


The Typhoon is arguable, the Rafale?
Now you're just showing your bias against the Hornet family.


Originally posted by kilcoo316
In an SH you'd have complete situational awareness of the missile that kills your sorry slow ass.


Because obviously my air tactics revolve around my fighters magically dodging missiles while going in for a gun kill. The Super Hornet’s speed capabilities are not a handicap when you consider poor avionics, poor armament and non LO airframe in comparison. I'd rather have superior avionics/sensors/weapons/LO features rather than just a bit more speed and maneuverability.



posted on Feb, 26 2008 @ 07:32 PM
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I have a question here:

How does the Hornet come off as indisputably better than the latest Rafale?
And while we're there, lets have a look a why the Hornet blk II comes off as the
undisputed number 3 after the Typhoon?!


[edit on 26-2-2008 by Daedalus3]



posted on Feb, 26 2008 @ 08:44 PM
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Well, I think the radar, LO characteristics, weapons, and SA enhancements are the main differentiators that make the Super Hornet superior to the Rafale. As for SH over Typhoon, similar points, though the range issue rears its ugly head here, and the weapons available are similar. Depending on the signature comparison of both, I rate the Typhoon and SH as close to the same ranking, with plusses and minuses on both sides.

I agree with Westy that manoeuvrability isn't that big an issue these days. But I've talked about that in other threads.

Daedalus, I'm surprised you haven't raised the Su-30MKI as a top five contender?



posted on Feb, 27 2008 @ 03:06 AM
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Actually, I'm with Daedalus on this one. Why is the Rafale just dismissed?

It was designed to meet almost the same requirement as the Typhoon and did so, its LO characteristics are one of its strongest points and why would its systems be just dismissed? Though Kilcoo did say that it is the SH airframe that is rubbish, not its systems and in airframe terms the Rafale is an excellent design.

The Su 35 must also be about to encroach on the list, though how far up it would go will cause many a raging argument no5? no2????

Also, if you are in a situation where everyone has LO, HMCS AESA etc, wouldn't that extra speed and agility become important again?

[edit on 27-2-2008 by waynos]



posted on Feb, 27 2008 @ 03:25 AM
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Going on what I've heard, the Rafale's LO isn't a match for SH. Weapons certainly aren't. Radar is also older and less capable. So all in all, the SH would be a personal preference. But like most opinion on here, it is simply an opinion. Until a Super Hornet and a Rafale actually meet in air to air combat, we'll never really know.

I guess the question that everyone will have to answer is whether they are willing to risk a $100 million plus airframe in a knife fight. Especially when said airframes are probably going to be few in numbers. The preference (I think) will be to retrograde and fight another day, and make sure you have a very robust GBAD to protect these assets while they rearm, refuel. Interesting question though Waynos. I'll have to give it some thought.



posted on Feb, 27 2008 @ 04:06 AM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
I'm not privy to classified maneuvering capabilities, needles to say it's one of the most maneuverable in the US inventory. I'm sue both the pilot and RIO with their HMCS' would agree.


Sorry, but that is incredibly inaccurate.


Going by Boyd's ACM doctrine, the Hornet is incredibly UN-manouverable.





Originally posted by WestPoint23
The F-22 was chosen for a number of reasons, being more maneuverable than the F-23 was just an extra plus.


You might want to read up on the ATF program again... it was more than an 'extra plus', it was one 3 key reasons the YF-22 was selected ahead of the YF-23.



Originally posted by WestPoint23
So are the weapons and other external hardware.


The weapons are no better than the competition - infact, they are mostly the same.




Originally posted by WestPoint23
The Typhoon is arguable, the Rafale?
Now you're just showing your bias against the Hornet family.





Originally posted by WestPoint23
The Super Hornet’s speed capabilities are not a handicap when you consider poor avionics, poor armament and non LO airframe in comparison. I'd rather have superior avionics/sensors/weapons/LO features rather than just a bit more speed and maneuverability.


The Rafale and EF have LO built in, the Rafale is better than SH or EF when it comes to VLO.

All have varying degrees of sensor fusion, the eurocanards have superb passive systems in PIRATE/Spectra. They both can use the AIM-120 and AIM-9... the rafale having the option of 40km IR missiles.


Yes... the SH does have AESA radar - but that is useless if it gives your position away.



posted on Feb, 27 2008 @ 04:08 AM
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Originally posted by Willard856
Well, I think the radar, LO characteristics, weapons, and SA enhancements are the main differentiators that make the Super Hornet superior to the Rafale.



Originally posted by Willard856
Going on what I've heard, the Rafale's LO isn't a match for SH. Weapons certainly aren't. Radar is also older and less capable.



WHAT?!?!


Radar - OK, the AESA on the SH is better.

VLO - NO!!!! That is sooo wrong - the Rafale pisses all over both SH and EF. Neither have anything like the same detail for LO built into the airframe.

Weapons - They are the same, heck the Rafale has a better choice because it has a choice.

SA - unlikely, very unlikely. SPECTRA removes the Hornet's active radar advantage.





[edit on 27/2/08 by kilcoo316]



posted on Feb, 27 2008 @ 04:43 AM
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I didn't say VLO, I said LO. And yes, the SH is better than Rafale.

Weapons. AIM-120 versus MICA active - no comparison, AIM-120 wins hands down. AIM-9x versus MICA IR - closer, but I'd still go with the AIM-9X.

SPECTRA is nice, and one of the pluses for Rafale. But the wider networking of interflight SA, and wider SA, is no where near as effective as for Super Hornet. Hence my thoughts in favour of SH. It really doesn't need an all caps exclaimation. It is merely an opinion.



posted on Feb, 27 2008 @ 06:08 AM
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Originally posted by Willard856
I didn't say VLO, I said LO. And yes, the SH is better than Rafale.


VLO - LO - same difference



And no, the SH is definitely not better than the Rafale.


I checked, and do see some idiot has posted on Wiki that the Rafale has less VLO/LO measures incorporated than an SH or EF. I sincerely hope you are not using Wiki as a point of reference.



Originally posted by Willard856
Weapons. AIM-120 versus MICA active - no comparison, AIM-120 wins hands down. AIM-9x versus MICA IR - closer, but I'd still go with the AIM-9X.


You mean AIM-120 versus AIM-120 & MICA

and AIM-9X versus AIM-9X and MICA.


The Rafale can use any, the SH cannot.



Originally posted by Willard856
SPECTRA is nice, and one of the pluses for Rafale. But the wider networking of interflight SA, and wider SA, is no where near as effective as for Super Hornet. Hence my thoughts in favour of SH. It really doesn't need an all caps exclaimation. It is merely an opinion.


Rafales can interlink their SPECTRA readings through datalink to provide a fuller picture of the battlefield.

I believe the Rafale would have better passive (which ultimately is what wins) systems than an SH.

The Rafale has the MIDS link-16 as well... so don't know where your getting the interflight SA idea from.




BTW - the Block III doesn't arrive till 2012.



posted on Feb, 27 2008 @ 03:47 PM
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Originally posted by waynos
It is an extrmely manouverable and capable air superiority fighter. It isn't really old by aircraft standards, its less than a decade older than the Raptor and Typhoon and thats nothing really. and it should easily beat an F-15E as that is a strike aircraft not a fighter. The F-15C is the A2A version and the Su-30 beats that all ends up, hence the USAF's sense of urgency in acquiring the Raptor.

If I were tempted to change my list I would move the Rafale above the Su-30 BUT as its French I won't bother


[edit on 17-12-2004 by waynos]


Yes, it is very maneuverable, but so is the F-15, but that is a 1980's mentality. Today, it is all about who can get the first shot off. The first shot scenario winner usually was in the winners circle. In modern warfare the enemy will never visually see each other, so maneuverability most of the time is irrelevant. Before the F-22 was activated, the F-15E/C was the undisputed king of the mountain. Just ask the Israelis. The F-15 has never been defeated in AA engagements( never!).
The F-15E/C is essentially the same aircraft with the E model having a few more hard points for stores and added AG avionics. It will do everything the C model will do in AA mode, so saying the E model is AA limited is ignorance.
Next, the F-15 is only limited in active service by its airframes life. It is quite capable in all areas of operation and was expected to last until 2020. Recent airframe problems has caused the Pentagon to rethink this extended redeployment. This point has been highlighted recently when hairline fractures were found in the airframe structure during a recent stand down.
1. F-22
2. Rafale
3. Eurofighter
4. Su-37
5. F-15



posted on Feb, 27 2008 @ 03:49 PM
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Originally posted by kilcoo316

VLO - LO - same difference



And no, the SH is definitely not better than the Rafale.


I checked, and do see some idiot has posted on Wiki that the Rafale has less VLO/LO measures incorporated than an SH or EF. I sincerely hope you are not using Wiki as a point of reference.


Nope. VLO - LO not same difference. That's why there was such consternation here in Aus when it was announced that F-35 was LO, not VLO as we had been marketed. And I'm certainly not going by Wiki.



You mean AIM-120 versus AIM-120 & MICA

and AIM-9X versus AIM-9X and MICA.


The Rafale can use any, the SH cannot.


Ok, if you can link me the Rafale users that are planning on using AIM-120, then we can use your comparison. Until then, it is the comparison I presented, in which case I'm comfortable that the weapon fit out is superior in the Hornet.

Even if we use your comparison, the result is only parity, not an advantage to Rafale.



Rafales can interlink their SPECTRA readings through datalink to provide a fuller picture of the battlefield.

I believe the Rafale would have better passive (which ultimately is what wins) systems than an SH.

The Rafale has the MIDS link-16 as well... so don't know where your getting the interflight SA idea from.


I'm still not sold on passive detection being the active radar killer it purports to be. Even in exercise engagements with aircraft that have such things fitted, it always comes down to locking the other guy up because radar still provides more granular information for missile targeting. Plus with LPI AESA, detection timelines are reduced anyway. Where passive engagement is useful is in using the targeting data of a buddy or AWACs to launch an active missile closer in without illuminating yourself.

I believe that Force level enhancements to SA for Super Hornet are better than for Rafale. I'm talking USN here, not necessarily Australia.

You talk about the Rafale winning because of the passive edge. I think that you need to look at the entire package (whole greater than the sum of its parts etc), which is why I would prefer to fly a Super Hornet into combat than a Rafale. And I say again, It is an opinion, and until we see a true face off between platforms, no-one will ever know for sure.




BTW - the Block III doesn't arrive till 2012.


I know.



posted on Feb, 27 2008 @ 04:11 PM
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Originally posted by kilcoo316
Sorry, but that is incredibly inaccurate.


No it is not, the Super Hornet is one of the more maneuverable front line fighters the US has. It's sort of a moot point to me but that how it is anyway.


Originally posted by kilcoo316
...it was more than an 'extra plus', it was one 3 key reasons the YF-22 was selected ahead of the YF-23.


The official decision and evaluation review have never been released, as such it is mainly speculation. Even if the F-23 had been slightly more maneuverable it likely would not have won.


Originally posted by kilcoo316
The weapons are no better than the competition - infact, they are mostly the same.


The AIM-120C-7/D are superior in my view, besides technical data, combat results speak for themselves.


Originally posted by kilcoo316
The Rafale and EF have LO built in, the Rafale is better than SH or EF when it comes to VLO.


The level of attention given to LO in the Super Hornet exceeds that of the Rafale and Typhoon, from what I've seen. The claimed LO features on the Rafale are simply not in the same class; nor should that aircraft even be mention with the likes of the Rhino and Typhoon.


Originally posted by kilcoo316
Yes... the SH does have AESA radar - but that is useless if it gives your position away.


I don't have the same level of confidence in these passive systems, both in terms of technical capability and combat effectiveness. Currently the radar set on the Rhino is second only to the APG-77, until other sets hit mainstream production. It not only offers LO capability but other features as well which might prove quite effective.

As for the Block III, I hope the USN orders some.



posted on Feb, 27 2008 @ 05:06 PM
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Is there a restriction on the Rafale not using the AIM-120 or AIM 9X?!


Also I have also heard that Rafale M VLO (now I don't get the diff between LO and VLO!) is superior to that on the superbug. References from Indian Navy exercises with the CDG and a USN Nimitz carrier.

I think we've stumbled upon a rejuvenated superbug fan club here on ATS with new entrants in the from of Oz people.
Good time to have a face-off between the Rafale and superbug here. don't you think?!



posted on Feb, 27 2008 @ 05:07 PM
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Both Willard and Westy are basically raising the same points, so I'll answer in one for handiness.


Radar Cross Section


VLO/LO AIAA papers call it one and the same.



Anywayz, dealing with what is on the airframes.

-> The S-H has ducts angled along with tailplanes, and also co-alignment of most other detail surfaces to reduce reflectivity to certain planes.

So does the Rafale. Indeed, some major elements of its substructure have been shaped with reflectivity in mind. The S-H's has not.

-> The S-H has a screw within the duct to prevent radar hitting the compressor face.

The Rafale has a serpentine duct

-> The S-H has RAM incorporated onto various panels.

So does the Rafale.


There is nothing with regards radar treatment that the S-H has that Rafale does not.


Maneuverability

The S-H bleeds energy worse than pretty much any fighter designed since the 50s, it also regains energy slower than any contemporary fighter. In an era of matured energy maneuverability doctrines in ACM, the S-H is crap. Your own government's oversight committee lambasted the SH for being crap in maneuvering!


The official report on the decision for the YF-22 has not been published. But its common knowledge within the industry the YF-22 won on three key points:

1. Maneuverability
2. Lower technological risk
3. Confidence in manufacturer



Passive acquisition

The F-22 relies mainly on passive acquisition to achieve the kill rates it does, why should that be any different for any other platform? Everyone knows it is easier to see an active radar than be seen by an active radar.


[Don't anyone reply with that LPI pish - there are even books published on how to detect the damn things - check amazon if you don't believe me!]



Weapons


We are comparing aircraft here - since the Rafale can use AIM-120s, the point that the aircraft has inferior weapons to the Hornet is null and void as it can use the same weapons.


(BTW - the AIM-120D is not in service, so is void as well - unless we want to start going down fantasy lane)




[edit on 27/2/08 by kilcoo316]



posted on Feb, 27 2008 @ 05:12 PM
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With my curiosity aroused I looked into Jane's AWA for info on the LO features of the three types we are discussing, it wasn't very helpful.

For F/A-18E/F it says the the design 'incorporates several affordable stealth features including saw tooth doors, re-aligned joints and angled antennas plus reshaped intakes.
'

To me this looks like not-very-much and I think that the LO properties of the SH may have been exaggerated on this board a little perhaps?

At least the entry for the SH had a bit of specific detail though as the Typhoon entry merely states that the plane was designed to 'specific LO objectives formulated with EAP testing (I didn't know that bit about the EAP) and that the RAF confirms that Typhoon meets all LO requirements'

Sounds nice, but is all a bit too vague to base an argument on.

Meanwhile the LO characteristics of the Rafale are not even mentioned at all.

I guess I will have to find some other sources, maybe I can report back chaps.

*edit no further news on LO but a report in Janes on the the Typhoons CAPTOR radar carries a vague reference to 'classified covert features which reduce the possibility of detection by enemy radar detectors'. Sounds a bit like LPI doesn't it.



[edit on 27-2-2008 by waynos]



posted on Feb, 27 2008 @ 06:49 PM
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Originally posted by waynos
Sounds a bit like LPI doesn't it.


But there are books on Amazon on how to detect those so it can't work. Despite ALL other credible evidence saying the opposite.





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