posted on Dec, 1 2005 @ 01:47 AM
I won't rack and stack US fighters but I'll tell you which one I preferred. I have 1000 hours in the F-15 and 2000 hours in the F-16. I much
preferred the F-16. The F-15 is big, comfortable, smooth and has good performance. It's a lot like a Mercedes.
The F-16 is small, has a tiny cockpit, is extremely responsive and maneuverable and has outstanding performance. It's a lot like a Ferrari. An F-16
will out accelerate an F-15. It will outmaneuver the F-15. The F-16 will out climb the F-15. At low altitude the F-16 will blow the doors off an F-15.
At high altitude, the F-16 is only limited by its intake design to speeds less than that of the Eagle. I’ll bet 95% of F-15 pilots have never had
their airplanes above Mach 2 anyway.
Have you ever flown against an F-15 with PW-229 or 232 engines? Of course not, because while the 'poor little redheaded step child' got THREE
different engine model changes and TWO different powerplant manufacturers competing to give it exportability, the Eagle effectively flew with the the
old PW-100 engines until the late 90's when the 220E+ program was finished.
The reality of agility and heat weapons is that we 'simulated' a Concept-C weapon in 1977 which was supposed to represent the best that the
Russkians could do in 10+ years down the road worth of development. That missile was an AIM-9L limited to boresight mode because the F-5E's APQ-159
couldn't handle a cued search.
Take a 40` R-73 or a 60` R-73M2 and restrict the players to 90% visual fighting and the LGPOS looks like the pathetic sales-weasel it is. No DIRCM,
dated EXCM, no MAWS. _Real_ wise way to play WVR Russian Roulette. 50:50 attrition norms being the definition of 'agility in action.'
Now take the fight to USAFE where the sign on the airbase reads: "Sleet, Fog, Icing, Rain" /in summer/ and your LGPOS becomes a hazard to everyone
because 'agility' means you are facing a radar shooting threat (vs. the AIM-9L/M the R-24 is 'serious business') in muck where you cannot see the
nose in front of your face to spite it.
How long ago did the F-16 get an AESA with legitimate 4v.4 DTWS again? Oh, that's right, we just sold a few to the UAE'ians.
NONE of which matters if a Russian SCUD, or SS-21 or similar (massive overkill) plasters Ramstein or Hahn 2 hrs before the 10:1 GSFG rolls tanks over
the airfield. Or the direct action team that splattered your guts all over the local gasthaus 'Friday Night Celebration'.
At least when the Eagles deployed from Langley to Britain they would have the ability to effect radar controlled mass-volley fire with a 60 second
missile and the ability to REACH whatever was left of the FRG.
F-16s have better range than F-15s (when both aircraft are similarly configured) and better avionics.
More bileous crap. F-15A's of the IDFAF took an ECM pod, X4 AIM-9H, X2 AIM-7F, X2 610 tanks and X2 CFT to Baghdad 'the hard way', at low level
with a bunch of F-16's tanked to the gills with AIM-9L's and 2 Hammers on a 550nm lolo route.
They then did a burner popup to BARCAP the baselanes out of H3, BIA and a four other airfields. Radar picked up their erstwhile (debombed, detanked,
only the 310 stayed) and _still_ entirely sheep-like charges and /flying 10,000ft higher, straight into a headwind/ escorted them 450nm back.
The F-16's arrived with an average of 800-1,000lbs remaining. One had all of 400lbs and flamed out on the runway. The F-15's turned north and flew
all the way back to Tel Nof, having dropped NOTHING the whole trip.
Tell me, was it LGPOS that flew to Tunis, some 2,500nm and back to make sure the PLO knew that just because the Marines paid back a debt getting their
sorry asses out of Beirut that they were STILL 'completely touchable'?
Nope. It was Team Eagle all the way.
The F-16 is also a more reliable aircraft than the F-15. I was flying an air defense sortie over southern Iraq one night leading a 4-ship of F-16s.
Three hours into a planned 4-hour mission AWACS informed me that the F-15s that were supposed to relieve us weren’t going to make it because of
maintenance issues. My 4-hour mission turned into 8 hours. More F-16s from my squadron ended relieving us instead of the planned F-15s. In fact, my
F-16 squadron flew 75% of the planned air defense missions during that period while the F-15 squadron at the same base only flew 25% of the missions.
While sitting alert for Operation NOBLE EAGLE here in the states a couple of years ago, I was wondering why America’s primary air superiority
fighter (the F-15) wasn’t out there doing its air superiority job. We were basically guaranteed to get airborne while the F-15 is a
hydraulic-system- failure ground abort waiting to happen. The Eagle guys got to spend the holidays at home with their families.
Last I checked (1998) some 380 F-16s had gone down. Of those, 70% were due to pilot stupiditis and of the remaining third NINETY PERCENT died when
something relating to the 'one glowing hole' went dark along with it.
Wanna guess how many F-15's have died for similar reasons?
The F-16 was a fighter the USAF didn’t want and it was politically hamstrung through much of its career.
The F-15 was the fighter crippled by an Air Force serving a Congress which only saw dollar signs cranking the escalatory cycle up another notch of Vae
Victis Vickers weapons export.
And so, instead of a 500lb ARH weapon with 2-way datalink and REAL 40+nm worth of range to match the APG-63V or 70, we ended up with (wait for it)
AMRAAM. A missile which was supposed to be here by 1984 then 1986 then 1987. And missed every possible due date because the LGPOS flies like a pig
with a Sparrow sized mass onboard. Whereas the Eagle doesn't care if it's 347lb AIM-120 or 510lb AIM-7M. If the Russians had had some balls and
simply _taken_ Pakistan to rid themselves and their ally of the Dushman threat, gotten their warm water port, been able to challenge the PG routes and
/then/ decided to go for Europe while we were busy playing whack the gopher in a 1,000 different locales. The AMRAAM and the 'must fit on LGPOS'
qualifier would have cost us WWIII and in the ensueing nuclear conflagration, destroyed the world.
As was, the REAL reason we didn't let F-16's play in the raid stream 'against the flow of traffic' was because the F-15/E-3 combination was the
only one which gave us Musket NCTR and a ranged ability to delouse. As soon as the IRAF was dead or in exile, and the entire Iraqi GCI system in
tatters, OF COURSE it became easier to kill the odd border crasher.
As for the UH-60's, when a man flies over the rotorhead of a Blackhawk, identifies it as a Hind and then takes two (simultaneous, not 1+1) LOBL
autonomous shots that destroy both choppers with no potential of SARH starvation, that is not the airframe's fault, it is his. And only his. And
would have been yours if you had done the same thing because you don't even /have/ the Sparrow option unless you are flying ADFs.
The same holds true of everything else in the 'avionics superior' systems world. The F-15's lost JTIDS T2 terminals because the USAF wanted to fit
them to the entire fleet of LGPOS and Congress wanted 'More NATO Exchanges' and so sold out to European MIDS. The LANTIRN goes aboard the F-15 a
helluva lot better than it does the LGPOS, as witness the drag-behind-tanker issues that usually strips the Nav pod. Given that the F-15E
demonstrator was flying with Pave Drag nearly 10 years before EITHER platform got the mini-111 capability. And given the utterly laughable
acccuracies of F-16 'medium level Dive Toss' with /Mk.84/ throughout the 1991 campaign, coupled to 'maintenance issues' on the Blk.40 that made
the initial A models look reliable, you have no leg to stand on there either.
Dropped 8 GBU-12s while carrying two wingtanks recently? Both pylons today you say? Pfffft.
Indeed, about the sole thing which the F-16 does 'better' (only platform available 'at cost' again) than anyone else is the Smart HARM shooter
one. And there too, to drag their sorry asses anywhere's /near/ the mission radii possible in an F-15 requires 'tankers for the tankers'.
The F-15 was the prize show dog in the eyes of the generals and they wouldn’t allow the F-16 the limelight it deserved.
The F-16 is an airshow sextoy which stole funds from a decent sized, readily block-upgraded, F-15 fleet which would have been required to win a war
over either CentFront or the Empty Quarter. It did so solely to employ a 'core force' structure of Federal Dole pilots which, especially today are
completely ludicrous compared to the options we have in both cruise and UCAV 'no training, twice the radius at twice the loiter, half the acquisition
price, 1/10th the flying hour price' alternatives.
392 F-15E and 400 upgraded F-15C could win any war model envisioned in 1974 or 1981. Comparitively, 1,200 F-16 became 2,700 F-16 and 'Texas Just Got
Richer' throwing good money after bad without ever proving what happens when you try and flatfootet-start to stuff that many jets into a conop that,
in every scenario, was OVER about 72hrs after start.
Desert Saber proved that. And 'by the way, who di win the air war' said the Russian Tank Corps commander to his FA opposite as they sipped coffee
in a Brussels cafe.
I'm not even going to start on the P-51 except to say that once you got through 'getting thar fustest' with that (partial) laminar flow airfoil,
you were just another target in terms of optimized performance in roll, pitch, acceleration or altitude with the (5,000lbs lighter, duh) German
The only thing that saved the USAAF was the certainty that if the Germans pointed their wet noses at the autobus they showed their furry tails to the
escorts. And even then, 'bombing the infrastructure' (Oh Boy, Hap Arnold and Co. Here we go...) meant diddly dip compared to what a
reverse-blitzkrieg would have if we had been on-Continent using mini-cells of said aircraft to support a jeep-mobile warfare campaign in 1943.
At a minimum 10 million fewer casualties on all sides. Optimally NO NATO wasting 3 TRILLION dollars to isolate Russia over her EE twice-raped spoils
as she tried to make a tribute system sustain Communism.
Of course, 'as a ground attack airframe' nobody doubts that the P-38 had twice the effective lolo range and the P-47 four times the hardiness of the
'shoot me anywhere along the fuselage!' liquid cooled deathtrap that was the Pony Express.
Fighters win air superiority. Ground attack based on a tactical maneuver target set (Maneuver and Transport) wins continents.
Being a German idea, this Air Land Battle-1943 could not be done by swaggering American Douhet Dumbasses with something lodged netherwards regarding
the need for airpower to be seen as 'separate from and a superior evolution of' normal Army Cooperation Roles.
As Winning Winnie once said: "The Amis are sure to do the right thing, having tried everything else..." and the rest is history.