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Originally posted by ch1466
If I want to shoot a laydown platform, I will do it by putting up a cordon of AAA and VSHORADS systems and letting the aircraft fly through it. Flak lanes in the upper Route Packages were sometimes more than a mile long. That the Brits (or /anyone/ thought that they could overfly a NATO target with systems like the SA-8/9/13 as well as fully proliferated MANPADS threats in the /hundreds/ and Sergei and similar 14.5/23/57mm systems in the -thousands- availave to the WP is utterly ridiculous.
OTOH, what made the Buccanana great was that it could use the AJ.68 Martel from a considerable standoff and in this, it's bay design, while a compromise to the overall aero efficiencies of the airframe, at least allowed for a massive kick in internal fuel while retaining two wing pylons worth of useable outboard (large, long, heavy) stores once the internal bay was no longer capable of fitting the latest and greatest.
The Tornado is a complete joke because it carries between 10,300 and 11,200 pounds of fuel which is insufficient to go /anywhere/. Especially at low level. Particularly in Europe (where the RAFG contingents throttles may never come back from the moment you take off until you are back in the baselane).
Comparitively, the F-111 carries 32,000lbs of fuel and it's principle four wing pylons are ALL 5,000lb rated. As indeed the 111F's empty equipped weight is equal to or more than that of a typical Tornado takeoff gross and TWICE that of a fully loaded laden Tornado when it is itself at max gross.
It is true that externals are a bit of a bother when it comes to drag and performance questions (a lot of which has to do with NATO standardization on things like sway bracking) you can (and we did) design racks and munitions to withstand up to 7G @ 700 knots. Which is more or less where the thrust curve crosses the drag one on a heavily loaded airframe.
FUEL COUNTS. At lolo more than any other element in aircraft performance.
And by cheapening the Tornado the way they did, it simply doesn't have the payload-legs or the ease of reload sufficient to be a good shooter in an expeditionary conflict where the radius is not 150-300nm. But 500-700 and upwards.
It should also be noted that the ADV now frequently carries an Ariel TRD and a balance-mass opposed Phimat outboard in addition to it's principal 330 impie 'supersonic' tanks and it is far from being a subsonic rated aircraft. This despite the fact that the airframe's best cruise and loiter performance remains at or around 15,000ft where Q is still quite high.
If the Tornado has a design flaw, for medium/high altitude fighting, it is that which is inherent to all such VG designs: Wing Area for Internal Mass and Volumetrics.
While the Fin doesn't have an internal weapons bay /perse/ it sucks up fully a third of it's wing area into the fuselage and carries a further -massive- outboard weight penalty in the wing transfer hinge pivots and associated spline drives. None of which is technically a necessity in getting equal or better (-thrust- /minus/ drag) performance in a lighter weight, fixed airfoil design. Nor do the aspect ratio trades come close to equalling the CG and CL percentages of static margin you have (big a$$ tail) account for.
What this typically ends up meaning is a wing loading on the order of 90-100lbs clean. And 150-220lbs loaded. Which is hideous compared to the 60-70 and 90-130 you respectively get on a trapezoidal/cropped delta planform.
Finally, the RB.199s have always been troublesome at altitude, they were simply designed at a time when a triple spool layout could not stage-gain fast enough to get good compression across a wide range of airspeeds and this is a further hindrance on performance in all areas. The Mk.104/.105 are better but only slightly.
Which is why the Flubber is a faster jet, on the same fuel load, with only slightly more static thrust installed and a vastly less sophisticated inlet system (good ramp recovery being responsible for up to 20-25% more thrust in the rated altitude band than the engine is nominally bench-rated for).
It just doesn't pay the same lift:drag penalty (higher wing AOA's) that the Fin does. And it's residual ability to /use/ speed, in high energy vector conversion cutoffs at BVR distances, is equally not just thrown away by the need to 'retract the wing' at the very time it's critical lift is more necessary than ever.
The Tornado 2000 study was a failure doomed from the outset by the very nature of the consortia that built it. All first/second tier nations with a PRIMARY fleet tasking that was already A2G centric (i.e. nowhere to secondary-role send the jets to). Unlike the roughly equivalent Phantom 2000 effort, there were not many foreign users to give a '4 million dollar upgrade, vs. 25 million dollar F-16' alternative to and the Fin's general reputation for complexity and poor mmh:fh (in RSAF service where admittedly the technical skills are poor but the spares pipe is incredibly rich) meant that there likely /would not be/ much of a secondary market.
At best it was a paper-plane effort to establish a baseline for what -would not work- in the FOAS/FJCA efforts. Right now, the way forward is UCAVs and standoff munitions with a small escort pool of combat controller/SEAD/AAW sheepdogs behind that. Unfortunately, the F-35 will make for a lousy CC jet without a backseater. And a mediocre at best (external carriage ruins signature and radius qualities) long-spear slinger. Even as it sucks the life out of British defense budgets for years and creates technical-means blockages to participation in the affordable, /useful/ (sacrificially cheap) EU Neurone efforts.
You would be better off sticking with Flubber (even going 'all out' with EJ-230 and Big Wing as your followon Strike Eagle equivalent expeditionary platform) and making deliberate effort to invest in Continental economics by contributing whatever of the HALO (or anything else stealth related) effort is actually flightworthy and independent of American LO. Unfortunately, the RN obsession with Carrier Air and hatred of all things Froggian leaves /U.S./ stuck with paying for F-35B so that you can pretend Britannia Still Rules The Waves.
Originally posted by Browno
What has happened to Panavia? I suppose they have become/became part of Eurofighter i suppose.
There has also been a British stealth fighter project recently revealed. I think British Aerospace/BAE Systems were involved in it.
Originally posted by planeman
Someone commented that RAF Tornados primary role includes airfield denial. Since the RAF suffered comparatively heavy losses doing that role in GW1, and has since scrapped the highly regarded GP233 cluster dispenser due to Landmine treaties, what weapons does the RAF Tornado use to fulfill this role?