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Why the F-18?

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posted on Mar, 22 2006 @ 01:08 AM
Why use another plane?

The plane is fine how it is.

posted on Mar, 22 2006 @ 01:37 AM

Let's take a look at the F-111B, shall we?

Yes let's. And in so-doing make things a more balanced with facts and figures rather than 'somebody you don't know says so, in an online reference'.

The F-111B was already in trouble since it was seriously overweight. Takeoff weight for a fully-equipped aircraft was estimated at nearly 78,000 pounds, well over the upper limit of 55,000 pounds as required by the Navy.

Actually the agreed on recovery weight was 62,000lbs. This 'agreement' was before the N1 package of improvements were approved which themselves resulted in at least 4,500lbs of weight gain.

The problems with the overweight F-111B were so severe that General Dynamics and Grumman were forced into a Super Weight Improvement Program (SWIP), most of the changes being incorporated into the fourth and subsequent F-111Bs.

In 1964, 'in full cognizance of the numbers' (cut metal), Navy Secretary Paul Nitze was specifically asked by Congressional committee AND Robert McNamara whether the N1 package would result in the a satisfactory aircraft. He said it would. AT THAT TIME the jet was a minimum 6-8,000lbs overweight and it was known that more would be forthcoming with the N1 package. And yet the chief USN objection to the aircraft was that it was too heavy for carrier ops.

So Nitze was lying, either deliberately or as a function of the worthless data given him by program officials who were as a function of deliberately skewing the design point by which the jet WOULD be acceptable. Towards a gain in the one area by which that acceptability was challenged to begin with.

All this having begun via a USN refusal to state critical mission elements in F-111B proposal almost 3 years earlier. A refusal which led to a civillian generalization of the specs which was exactly what the USN wanted as a 'lead in' justificationi to screw up their half of the TFX effort with a deliberate letter-of-law spec adherence and a 'down the golden path' set of self-exacerbating engineering solutions to the entirely predictable pproblems that resulted.

The fourth F-111B (BuNo 151973) was fitted with an escape capsule in place of the individual ejector seats that were fitted to the first three F-111Bs. However, the fitting of this capsule more than offset the weight reductions achieved by the SWIP, and the F-111B remained grossly underpowered. Range was also below specifications and could only be increased by adding more fuel, making the aircraft even heavier.

Actually, the pod was a USN insisted feature. As was internal carriage of AIM-54 weapons. The pod had never been an element of 'carrier suitability' in /any/ previous Navy aircraft. And it never would be again. The existence of the bangseat option in the first three prototypes merely highlights that there was an existing choice to be made. And the USN refused to do so.

Carrying AIM-54 internally was equally questionable since the Phoenix has much more complex aerodynamics upon release at Mach 2 than the justfication for B-xx series nuke carriage at low level and Mach .9-1.2 required. Specifically given that the jet would, in any case, never be faster with internal AIM-54 than the limiting Mach number for the pylon carried versions. More importantly, the F-14 would have a defacto _two missile all external palletized_ carriage factor which meant that, from 6-8 weapons on the Missileer to 4 weapons on the F-111B to 2 weapons on the Tomcat still favored the F-111B over it's successor _as a FADF_.

That said options for change were not up for negotiation in the N1 package of 'solutions' for excessive weight growth is impossible to understand, given the lesser options deemed acceptable in the followon fighter.

Thus the USN deliberately chose the more complex route so as to ensure that the aircraft failed to make OpEval fixed letter-specs.

Nor were these the only deficiencies which were 'overruled' (rewritten specs) because the F-14 was a /Navy Design/. The engine power and stall margin problems were accompanied by a known deficiency in TSFC that was /never/ fixed and that in turn meant that the Tomcat had effectively 20% less loiter than a _2hr on station_ spec. When the F-111B was good for 3 out of 3.5. Lower the spec to equivalent 140 minutes on station with 2 AIM-54 and the F-111B would have made weight with a couple tons to spare.

This became so laughable /in light of F-14 deficiencies/ that eventually the USN ensured the aircraft qualified ('met spec') as a /fighter/ not a FLEET AIR DEFENSE aircraft with Sparrows and Sidewinder weapons load no better than the F-4s. And 4,200lbs lighter than the F-111B spec (which it DID meet, at least as a function of safe speeds on take off and landing with six AIM-54).

If the /letter/ of the law had been applied to the F-14 as it was to the F-111, there would be no doubting which jet was actually superior. Nor that the F-14 would have never been accepted for _it's design mission_ shortcomings.

But only the 'spirit' of pure Naval Dogifghter Hubris was applied. Something which is particularly ironic given the number of MiG-21 and Mirage F-1 kills of Iranian Tomcats. And the fact that either the F-16 or F-18 can **easily** best the 'Superfighters' (14/15) in WVR energy maneuver combat.

i.e. The F-14 sucks as a dogfighter too.

In order to correct the underpower problem and to eliminate compressor stalls (which were also problems for the land-based F-111As), the first of 32 production F-111Bs (BuNos. 152714/152717, 153623/153642, and 156971/156978) which had been ordered was powered by a pair of TF30-P-12 turbofans, each rated at 12,290 lb.s.t. dry and 20,250 lb.s.t. with afterburning.


Engines which were not demanded earlier because the USN refused to write a spec change to make it happen through the bureaucratic artifice of GFE.

Indeed BOTH the USAF /and/ the USN 'sat at the table' like two little spoiled children, arms across chests, thinking if they pouted long enough, they would each get their own way.

Until McNamara finally decided to cut-nut and wrote a mission element needs statement for them-

1. The ability to accomodate a 36" radar antenna diameter compatible with the USN system.
2. A maximum length of the USAF version of 73ft.
3. A maximum USAF weight of 60,000lbs with 2,000lbs of internal stores.
4. The ability to carry 10,000lbs of external stores in the conventional mission.
5. The ability to carry 2, 1,000lbs AAM submerged or internally.
6. The ability to withstand carrier ops.
7. The ability of the Navy version to carry six of the above AAMs for 3.5 hours, 150nm from the boat.
8. A takeoff weight limit, on the USN version of 55,000lbs.

Secondary to this he also specified that the USAF would be the controlling program authority. BECAUSE the USN refused to participate.

It was at that point that the USN realized they were dealing with someone from the real world who had the power to make serious changes in the sheltered little realities they lived by and so decided to preserve their precious turf by distorting (say flat out lying about) the SecDef's perceptions of where those realities would always lead: a resumption of self serving interests which would never accept the notion of a 'missileer' mission replacing the 'pure fighter' USAF equivalent.

This process of desired vs. design production distortion and work slowing used tactics exactly similar to those employed by mafia led unions. And were made worse (say easier) by the fact that the BuWeps as vested weapons design authority in the Pentagon was a couple levels above the civillian analytical department (the 'whiz kids') that Robert McNamara brought with him to ensure truth and honesty. And so could effectively ORDER those test agencies to provide false data or none at all when effectively subpoena'd as experts in the realm of aero engineering to proved a word-good assurance.

External Source

The TFX design eventually emerged as an aircraft in the 20-ton (empty) class with a maximum take-off weight of almost 50 tons.

The A-3 Skywarrior (takeoff 39,400lbs) gained 7% in it's hardened design empty weight to production cycle. The Intruder came in almost 13% above spec at 25,630lbs and nobody complained. The A-5 Vigilante (which is the only reasonably close comparison for size and mission performance) went from 38,024 to 47,530, gaining 20% in weight from design to deck and nobody complained.

How can one do anything but clap when the F-111B went from 38,804lbs to 43,162lbs in a change of merely 11.3%?


The A-5 took 7 months from proposal to design hardening and grew 1.2 percent in the process (by USN measure).

While the A-6 took six months and grew 8.2 percent.

Yet the F-111B was 'certified' in THREE MONTHS at ZERO weight growth. Why? Because the USN refused to write a MENS (mission element needs statement) by which they could be held accountable to a range of capabilities that THEY deemed most necessary. From the contractor point of view, this is akin to asking an artist to carve a sculpture or paint a picture of someone he has never met nor had described to him. If he doesn't like it, how can you say you gave him what he wanted?

Factor this against gross weights:

A-5: 76,500lbs
A-3: 70-73,000lbs
A-6: 58,600lbs
F-111B: 78,788-79,212lbs (Grumman/USN numbers)

The key difference (for 'carrier suitability' reasons) is approach and cat speed. Every knot that you add, ups the relative sink rate fps forces on the structure goes up by a factor of 2. And the accident rate increases as a cube. Thus the the A-6 which comes in at 126 knots is not considered terribly great nor terribly 'hot' is comparable to the RA-5 which comes in at almost 150 knots and is considered quite a handful. And the A-3 which comes in at about 135 and is considered so docile as to be dangerous for want of responsiveness (thrust). While the F-111 which weighs more than either is rated to a _115 knot stabilized approach with a 100 knot stall_ and is thus _safer than either_ on recovery. Despite weighing approximately 66,000lbs thanks almost entirely to USN 'solutions' to a weight problem which they instigated by 'refusing to describe' the aircraft they wanted as a descending order of priorities by which GD could make some early trades.

Carrier takeoff is more critical in that there were, at that time, carriers from which a larger airframe would simply never launch. Carriers which operated F-8's instead of F-4s. F/A-18s instead of F-14s.

And nobody complained.

This knifing the program in the back with weight as a SOLE indicator of carrier compatibility is foolish when viewed in context. It is made even more blatantly so by a 'sudden (and singular) penchant' on the part of the USN to release their own flight test data on early prototype aircraft without wing or airfoil improvements. Only to hush up ALL Grumman data related to the actual carrier testing by way of comparison.

When added to the obvious sabotage inherent to a process by which they deliberately refused to order improvements (to wing, avionics and engine) this 'weight as a sole variable' problem, the USN was not only traitorous in their 'percolating' of the program problems. They were in a fiscal condition called 'fraud in the inducement' and 'anti-deficiency act' claimants on their heightened fiduciary trust. i.e. They knew there was a problem yet did not allocate funds to fix it. Nor did they inform the contractor that the problem would still exist AFTER having issued a series of change proposals which /did nothing whatsoever/ to address the single fixed measure of program performance.

Because GD never got any hard data, they could only issue a 'range of empty weight estimates' which had a baseline of 38,804lbs. And a maximum of 42,298lbs. The F-111B, after the Weight Improvement Program (-595lbs) and the Super Weight Improvement Program (-4,060lbs) and a separate, inhouse (USAF SPO), weight initiative (-668lbs) came in at 43,162lbs. Which, again, is pretty damn good for having no working configurational data to start with.

Data only made available as a _Legally Required_ MENS precondition to initiating detail design leading to a closer tolerance factor from the statistical baseline estimate by the civillian agency (Robert McNamara) who wrote the spec for them because they (Navy) chose to pout throughout 1960 and into 61. Thus, by 1964 when 'real numbers' (cut metal) started to appear, not only was the USN Monday Morning Quarterbacking, they were critiquing a civillian agency they allowed to replace them in engendering the ADA breach to begin with.


With this 'more complete' view, you can only blame the USN for being a lying bunch of stuck up stick jockeys that had a stated mission for a missileer that really amounted to a desire for another fighter. Less than two years after the F-4 started to enter service.

Their filthy greedy hands being backed by an organizational bureacracy (BuWeps) that didn't like having it's authority taken away from it on a basis of incompetence (compared to civillian engineering) in maintaining a diverse capability to engage in both conventional and nuclear warfare at a given ceiling cost.

Which was nominally McNamara's mission statement and job description /within the Constitutional body of laws/ on administration of the government. Laws which the Services were sworn to uphold.

And so gaining them (rightfully, if anybody in Federal Government obeyed the Constitution) yet another High Treason for the entire body-politick which was determined to 'business as usual' undermine their own civillian controls through subterfuge and outright refusal of duty.

Okay, so they are more interested in maintaining their little fiefdom than providing an adequate defense. Such has been SOP for 'warrior aristocracy' led cultures throughout the ages.


For you are (consciously or otherwise) acting as a mouthpiece for numbers that are not taken into context with time and true period comparisons for mission (subsonic missileer is the best FADF. Supersonic missileer is the second best. The supersonic 'dogfighter' is the absolute worst) and engineering achievements vs. an 'unknown goal'. Thus you are supporting a subornation of public awareness over /someone else'/ self interest that, philosophically or pragmatically, has nothing to do with you.

Except as criminal conspiracies are always made twice as dangerous for their 'historical precedent' of public acceptance and indeed /belief/ in a fatally flawed system.

It had been intended to use titanium for large portions of the airframe to save weight, but this proved prohibitively expensive. The TFX was powered by two afterburning Pratt & Whitney TF30-P-100 turbofans in the 80 kN class. The shoulder-mounted wings were attached to a pair of giant pivots, allowing it to take off, land, and loiter with a modest 16° sweep (for maximum lift and minimum landing speed), cruise at high subsonic speeds with a 35° sweep, or sweep back to a 72.5° maximum for fast supersonic dashes at more than Mach 2. Despite its high maximum speed, its modest thrust fraction (thrust-to-weight ratio) made early versions somewhat underpowered, exacerbated by compressor stalls and other engine problems that forced a hasty redesign of the engine inlets.

External Source

The F-111B was a compromise that attempted to reconcile the Navy's very different needs with an aircraft whose configuration was largely set by the USAF need for a supersonic strike aircraft, and those compromises were to prove its undoing. The B was shorter than the F-111A, to enable it to fit on carrier lifts, but had a longer wingspan (70 ft/21.3 m compared to 63 ft/19.2 m) for increased range and cruising endurance. Although the Navy had wanted a 48 in (122 mm) radar dish for long range, they were forced to accept a 36 in (91.4 mm) dish for compatibility. The Navy had requested a maximum take-off weight of 50,000 lb (22,686 kg), but Secretary of Defense McNamara forced them to compromise at 55,000 lb (24,955 kg). This proved to be overly optimistic.

Weight plagued the B throughout its development. Not only were prototypes far over the 55,000 lb limit, efforts to redesign the airframe only made matters worse. The excessive weight made the aircraft seriously underpowered. Worse, its visibility for carrier approach and landing were abysmal, and its maneuverability—especially in the crucial medium-altitude regimen—was decidedly inferior to the F-4 Phantom II.

But of course these are all lies put forth to make the F-14 look better right ch? I mean the great ch1466 knows all about everything, and is never wrong!

Of course they are all lies. In context.

Given I have already explained the weight issues as simply as I can to you, I won't repeat my arguments except to say you are a THIRD HAND heresay foolishly repeating Baugher, repeating 'official Navy' propoganda. While Contractor data is lost or suppressed.

OTOH, if you want a 48" diameter radome, you don't encourage an exiting administration to cancel the (A-6 nosed) Missileer concept which is specifically configured to provide it, cheaply. Nor the Eagles which are the only weapons capable of exploiting it with a range fully 25% greater than the Phoenix'.

Indeed, both the F-111B -and- the F-14A have the exact same AWG antenna diameter. Why did the USN not return to the 48" dish if they felt it was /the missileer/ elemend of FAD that was important.

The original TFX (SOR-183) requirment sought a 90-100ft long airframe with a fineness ratio of 11-14:1 for superior supersonic performance. They didn't get it. Does than mean the F-111 is an inferior low level interdiction platform relative to every other asset on the planet? No. Even today, even with the F-15E, the only tactical asset which comes close to matching the 111's range:payload factors are in fact cruise missiles.

If this is so, then why do you automatically assume that the F-111B lengthXwingspan issue is similarly 'inadequate' just because some yutz throws numbers at you?

The fact of the matter is that _for the Missileer mission_ (which is what FADF is about) fineness ratio is of little importance because once you shoot, supersonics are for running away from any escorts more than penetrating through them and a Mach 1.5 platform with 28,000lbs of fuel (the F-111B in fact carried 4 AIM-54 to Mach 2) will run a Mach 2 'capable' platform with less than 10Klbs, out of gas. Every damn day of the week.

The only remaining basis of dimensional comparison /specific/ to the F-111B is that of deckspot and elevator factors.

The F-111 is 68'10" long by 31'10"
The F-14 is 62'7" by 33'3"
The A-3 is 72'6" by 47'10"

You cannot presume that an aircraft is 'better or worse' until you know whether it represents and absolute in any given measure and what that measure is. Since the USN /itself/ uses 'spotting factor' as a relative variable to the smallest aircraft in the fleet /at the time/, it's all fluff and noise designed to put you to sleep. For the Navy has and continues to have, aircraft bigger and roughly as heavy as the F-111 on deck.

As for my 'knowing all', the fact of the matter is that I do know more than you. On this subject. And that is embarrassing because it means not only acknowledging my superior contextual awareness. But also that you, like all the other sheep, have taken what 'someone, somewhere' sold you at face value rather than with true intent to evaluate from a detached analysis of the facts available.

I don't hold your naivete` against you and would infer from your attitude that what is really happening is a psychologic destabilization phenomenon relative to your unease with the notion that whoever 'they' were you perceived as being nominal experts on the subject /because/ they represented governmental authority. Which is completely wrong but entirely understandable because your entire life and socialization training has been molded from about 5 years old towards recognizing and accepting external controls by sources other than direct experience or even parental wisdom.

Unconditionally, and without ever considering that they are wrong just as often as you. Or worse, deliberately lying through their teeth 'in the best interests of everyone'. Them first.

To which startled bleat, I can only say _be calm_. If your behavior with me is any indication, you would never trust any strange individual beyond the limits of proof or exigent need. And governments, far from being faceless monoliths of supreme authority (and thus, subconsciously 'supreme correctness') are composed solely of individuals as apt to a collective subjectivism exploitation factor as you. Stop seeing 'them' as anything but YOU, once removed, and you will gain a more balanced conservatism of disbelief by which 'they' must prove themselves to YOUR set of 'specs'. Specs which you write based on your own cognitive ontology rather than 'what someone else said to say'.


It is indeed perhaps the most important right that the Founding Fathers tried to ensure this country bred into it's individuals. And the thing we are most rapidly yielding to the fools who think to control us. Like pigs control the quality of pig excrement.

Whether you believe me or not, matters not in (de)certifying the validity of my opinion. I've already formed it, based on Congressional Testimony and Period Professional Literature quoted directly in _The Illusions Of Choice_. While you have done nothing credible to change my mind by spouting Baugher. What does matter is that you I have given you an alternative point of reference to a his single page program synopsis whose ultimate bibliographic attribution-

Grumman Aircraft Since 1929, Rene J. Francillon, Naval Institute Press, 1989.

United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989.

General Dynamics Aircraft and their Predecessors, John Wegg, Naval Institute Press, 1990.

Post-World War II Fighters: 1945-1973, Marcelle Size Knaac, Office of Air Force History, 1986.

The American Fighter, Enzo Angelucci and Peter Bowers, Orion, 1987.

The World Guide to Combat Planes, William Green, Macdonald, 1966.

Modern Air Combat, Bill Gunston and Mike Spick, Crescent Books, 1983.

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft Armament, Bill Gunston, Orion, 1988.

F-111 Aardvark--USAF's Ultimate Strike Aircraft, Tony Thornborough, Osprey Aerospace, 1993.

F-111 Aardvark, Hans Halberstadt, Specialty Press, 1992.

E-mail from Douglas Reynolds on crash of 151973.

Is almost entirely based on 'layered repetitions of the official revision' of the real story you have let the U.S. Navy LS&B you with.


[edit on 22-3-2006 by ch1466]

posted on Mar, 22 2006 @ 01:46 AM
ch1466 have a little cut and copy error???

Your post are long enough did you really have post all it all twice?

posted on Mar, 22 2006 @ 02:12 AM

Did I say we were friends? why sould it matter to you? You presume too much, like you presume I am wrong on this, oh great infallible one.

You implied it by assuming I would listen to your pedantic attempts to dictate my behavior 'in light of your better considered alternatives'.

Given you constantly waste time telling me not to include digressive or out of context subject matter, I thought it might be interesting to let you taste your own medicine.

So, in your view the Navy had a perfectly good, nay excellent, all weather long range fighter that was production ready but they just chose to scrap it and develop a new inferior system, right from scratch and make themselves wait several more years for their new equipment into the bargain whilst simultaneously fighting a war?

No. I'm saying they through away a superior FAD Missileer. AND 'the supersonic sequel'. For an inferior 'dogfight platform' which could be beaten by it's predecessor.

At a time when the notion of FAD as a /carrier mission/ was itself losing relevance.

Vietnam has less to do with the FAD-'F' mission than it does with the rise of the Super-SAM as a replacement for the Missileer. And even here the USN made the pooch howl. Because they refused to size a Talos followon to an _Air Directed_ level of range footprint and OTH target designation.

Even in the mid 60's it was beyond stupid to challenge a CVBG with tactical airpower in the kinds of sortie numbers that a fourth rate pissant nation like DPRVN could mount.

Yeah, cos that is so much more likely than the F-111B ending up overweight and underpowered and forcing the USN to try again with something a tad less ambitious in its overall scope isn't it?

More likely is that the USN 'fighter community' decided they wanted a replacement F-8 capability and sabotaged first the F6D and then the F-111B on their way to getting it. 'In the meantime' the USAF succeeded in solving for the BVR equation /in spite/ of enormously stupid doctrinal limits on it's use, and the USN suffered a serious case of penile envy over their FX program.

Since the USN already had the A-6 as an F-111 equivalent long range interdictor. And they never had cared about or understood the conditional realities of the Outer Air Battle relative to their LOMD obsession with fighters, what better way to cover Yankee Station costs AND the desire to maintain 'service independence' (say relevance as the only way they can seruce a seat at the beggars table) from a nominally secondrank USAF program.

Than to sabotage your link to it?

USN did want the F-111B, they were involved in the creation of the plane from the beginnings of TFX, their favourite contractor, Grumman, was responsible for its design and manufacture.

The USN 'took a page from Paris' and flat out refused to sit down at joint requirements negotiations. So that McNamara had to write the spec for them. They then did everything possible to sabotage it from specifying weights that didn't match hardware options for considered trades. To flat out (and I quote, Admiral Keeney, 1963, talking to a USAF SPO 'subordinate') stating "This aircraft will never fly off a carrier son." As a prewarning to their own successful attempts to delay the flight test program until 1968, by which time they had lobbied enough support in Congress (as McNamara was 'laterally promoted' to the remnants of the Marshal Plan oversight) to kill the program BEFORE carrier tests could commence.

Carrier tests whose contractor pilots (Grumman not GD) said the F-111B did well enough in. But whose data was thoroughly suppressed in favor of USN 'studied disdain' based on earlier (Pre highlift improvements, pre P-12 engine) prototypes which were not modified SOLELY because of the USN refusal to generate that selfsame list of improvements before 1964.

The point at which McNamara caught them trying to do an endrun with the VAX. And made it clear that they would buy the TFX or have nothing at all.

There was no reason at all for them to undermine it and get it scrapped, it was their own project. There was never a point where they thought 'we can get rid of this and get the F-14' because the F-14 did not exist.

No. McNamara designated the TFX as an Air Force led project and the USN from that point onward sat and pouted. Even going so far as to try and 'redownselect' the VAX as an 'F555.5' which McNamara immediately spotted as an endrun to his authority and cancelled as a function of making it clear that they would buy the TFX or have nothing at all.

It was at this point that the USN went from 235 to 359 and then 705 jets. Pumping up TFX program numbers, much the way the A-12 was (with USAF and Marine participation) or the F-35 is today. It was the /sudden deflate/ of those numbers as they went to 75 airframes in March of 1968 _before flight tests that June_ which showed the full and ugly face of USN as a purely political /beast/. As they acted all hurt and sorry before Congress.

Based solely on early-prototype data which they had REFUSED to do carrier testing with. But which then because the sole indicator of suitability performance.

And Congress, like you, bought it LS&B.

Of course I am wasting my time in even trying to put this point across so I will stop here and leave you with your biased prejudicial 'opinion'.

Better an opinion backed by studied facts than a moo voiced by the rest of the herd which you merely repeat for your own sniping pleasure.

Had YOU any point worth mentioning, you would have spoken to the specific examples and data I made. You have none, so you choose to blather on about nothing.


posted on Mar, 22 2006 @ 03:35 AM
And of course AS USUAL, ch1466 has access to the "real" sources, and everything else is lies, and BS put forth by lying fighter pilots who only want to stay in charge of the military to keep fighting their wars.

posted on Mar, 22 2006 @ 03:46 AM

Right, so your proposing an almost cruise missile based anti air weapon that will have the manouverability and speed to get into position where a small "hand-grenade" sized charge will detonate and kill the pilot?

The handgrenade illustration was to illustrate a total contempt for the 'value of man' as a singlepoint vulnerability of an already excessively systems bloated airframe systems concept, all of whose complexity exists to support him.

Obviously, a somewhat larger warhead will likely be necessary. But not much so in comparison to the 25-30lbs of a Sidewinder type system. Because any 'outside lethal radius' miss(ile)ed pass will instantly convert to a secondary repositioning effort as wolf #2 tries his teeth at a collision intercept (hittile for a choice).

To have an endurance of 1-2 hours, you cannot use a rocket motor, you need an engine, but to have manouverability and the power to perform the necessary manouevres, you need a rocket motor as well.

The question (as a function of total impulse) is how long of each you need. Ideally, you want to be able to dropfire a weapon in the MALD/ITALD class simply because it allows me to use a BRU-61 in an A-45/47 class airframe.
Yet if I take the operational weight up to 500lbs instead of 250, I still have BRU-57 compatibility (albeit X2 rather than X4).

While the doubled fuel reserve allows me to zip up to high Mach to reach a point 250-400nm away (or the extent of useful surveillance monitoring and target cue) from the shooter within a reasonable timeframe so as to not give any kind of 'here they come!' activity warning adjacent to a target. Nor jeopardize the IP-as-BRL approach times of a bomber package with late escort arrivals.

i.e. You want a good rate of overtake and from a decent standoff. An ADM-160 can supposedly mimic an F-22 (Mach 1.4) for about 5 minutes. The MALI was itself flight tested for 11.5 minutes at Mach 1.1.

All on a TJ-50M engine nominally only rated to 120lbs of thrust. Perhaps the greatest indication of available performance margin and supersonic penalty then being that the /overall/ (MALD) vehicle endurance was only 20 minutes/250nm.

Now, do you want to creep in at Mach .75 and then sit and spin for an hour or so /burning down/ to fight weight? Or do you want to go high-low-high with an engine that can push you to low-mid supersonics from the outset. And then gains even higher performance at the penalty of an overall shorter loiter on the target end.

'Ideally' I want something that looks like this-

With an optimized hunter killer logic based on preconditional engagement scenarios that a man chooses the initiative:risk levels of, 100nm further back (how close to a high threat DEW/SAM bubble are the targets, how many are they, do they pose and immediate move-out threat [by time window on the raid] or do I call the pack?)

You also need a radar or IR sensor of sorts, do you intend to just have a radar sensors running from the "missileer" (semi-active) or fully onboard?

The only reason to have a dedicated Missileer platform is if the total mission force numbers or weapon configuration (size) mandate a separate standoff carriage platform from the VLO penetrators.

It is also important if the nearest FOL or sealaunch platform is too far away to be responsive to time senstive or total depth of field requirements.

The latter being another reason to be _very_ aware of the threat that a penetrating expendable A2A drone system poses. Because it _does not require_ that you have a deck or runway to recover to; so too does the instant assumption that it must have a launch aircraft which does so.

In terms of hounds-to-the-hunter questions on target detection and allocation via a BMC2 asset, truth be told, the exact engagement model depends on the vulnerability of the Air Director (AD in ADAAM or ADSAM) platform as much as the missiles own sensor reach (and target signature type).

In a functional Aster/S-400 threat baseline world of the mid-21st century, you are probably beyond any realistic ability for an E-3 to run the systems by direct tether and the RQ-4 will be little better for want of power and array size issues. A UCAV or Darkstar++ with an MP-RTIP highpower illuminator might work and the ultimate choice is going to be SATWACS ala Teal Ruby so that you can go theater wide while maintaining total safety against mechanical counterintercept.

For as long as overhead works with DEWS present.

That said, we've been doing hunting datalinks between weapons for years now (WASP had one back in 1981 or so) so there is no real challenge to scaling a secure comms pipe to a 3.3 million dollar vehicle (keeping in mind that the 'the new MALD' which doesn't threaten USAF other missions is only supposed to be 125 grande each).

IMO, the definition of how the pack functions will largely be about threading the needle on threat defenses with one concept of the BARCAP being about a circuitous flight path routing system (to split the difference on multiple 'location unknown' DEW threats especially) prior to setting up house keeping orbits of overlapping SFPA (albeit high density, probably 1,000X1,000 elements, which should be easy by 2020) optical searchlanes assigned via ITAG or GPS sensor boxes. How many channels would then largely depend on the viable search range at operating level-X with 50km at altitude and 15km at 2,000ft as a standard.

While such a sceanrio does tend to pump up the logjam on comms, you really only need have a 'howl code' which references a vehicle user identity to a given GPS coordinate volume (preprogrammed at launch into every pack member's strapdown navigator core or updated on the fly) and target count/priority. Allowing other members to shift and retrograde into covering intercept geometries while bringing their own apertures into cone.

OTOH, if you are flying more of a proactive 'sweep' (Freijagd) scenario to meet a known (high launch likelihood) threat with a relatively fixed target:raid axis, you will want to go to a 'wall of MALI' type skirmish line with the vehicles sensor cones overlapping. And some kind of individual target sort and priority tasking ability relative to known threat levels (since, realistically, you won't likely have 60 drones attacking a 4 ship flight of enemy aircraft). This might require a more specific range-rate comparitor so that you can build swarming overwhelm of an FQ threat sensor detection zone (conversion geometry).

Or some tactical finesse which is capable of both offensively generating and reactively responding to tactics that include decoy formations (drag/coattrail) or other kinds of turnsignal inducement so that the pack is not 'led around by the nose' but can elect which targets to saddle up from behind. Or bypass to roll up another formation in-trail.

Intelligent Engagement Control Options which will become more and more important as radars gain the ability to discriminate microtargets and/or function like HPMs while 'self defense' type lasers move from softkill DIRCM to hardkill ATL.

While it sounds excessively complex, in truth, even this should not be impossible however as each weapon should be (using even 2010 technology baselines) able to store and process a _considerable number_ of engagement stacking and aspect approach 'tap-bounce' routines that look like the 3D equivalents to this-

With the resulting determinators then being individual weapon positioning certainty (GPS signal security) and update rates through a datalink that probably functions like a 'designated speaker' IFDL with everybody reporting in to a flight lead which in turn can speak to them PLUS one other command authority in a tiered allocation/engagement process covering as many formation levels as there are viable (ghosts hunting ghosts may negate longrange coordination) control agencies able to direct them through a chain of command..

Even so, /versus conventional airframes/ the principal factor will remain the overwhelming superiority (acceleration and total load factor) that the weapon brings to the engagement such that they should almost never fail to dogpile a manned threat with more shots than he/she can collectively "Energy, Expendables, Ideas and Luck" shake off.

Which (short of deflector shields or really high performance DEWS/MAWS systems) will likely signal the end of conventional combat flight as we know it.

This is a viable systemic approach to deliberately obsolescing the existing paradigm of aerial warfare as a _platform_ intensive system of systems. Bypassing, to a large extent, even the fighter UCAV and going straight to the 'better bullets win' theorem. And the U.S. forces deserve to be it's first, largest, victim. Simply because they think that, by cancelling MALD and similar 'multimission', reattack capable, threats. That no one else will step outside the box to reinvent them.

Unfortunately, the level of industrial sophistication is so high (and the ease of integrating these systems with existing technology so low) that copying the Jones' solely to keep up with their antiquated approach to warfare may no longer prove attractive.

If we don't wish to be Tsu Tshima'd by the very systems our /pilots/ think should not replace them. We had better lead the world in the transition regardless. Or face the realities of being second best sled dog for whom the view forward never changes.

Will it happen? Of course not. Not while the Fighter Mafia is holding Congress' hands on the purse strings of JSF manned acquisition 'for just one more generation!'. Snort.


posted on Mar, 22 2006 @ 04:43 AM
I think your weight estimates are far too optimistic to be honest.

From the 3rd link you posted for instance:

The aircraft will be powered by a two jet engines, and maintain a gross takeoff weight of 500 kg. Planned mission endurance will be 3 – 4 hours.

To compare your project spec with an existing design - the KS-172 Novator (I know its only wikipedia - but it doesn't matter if the figures arent exact):

Length: 7,400 mm (24 ft 3.5 in)
Wingspan: 750 mm (2 ft 5.5 in)
Diameter: 510 mm (20 in)
Launch weight: 750 kg (1,650 lb)
Speed: Mach 4
Range: 400 km (250 mi)
Guidance: inertial navigation with active radar for terminal homing
Warhead: 50 kg (110 lb)

Ok, you intend to use smaller warheard, but a smaller warhead implies a higher precision detonation point is needed, requiring more manoverability and thus the power to sustain airspeed in the high energy bleed skid manouvering of missiles.

Don't forget the MALD is only a drone, it doesn't need sensors nor a warhead - two quite significant omissions.

I think your idea is possible (heck, the Novator is half way there already), but not at a weight of 250-500 lbs. 500 kgs would be a more realistic minimum weight for me. Probably looking at getting 6 of them on an F-15 [which isn't really a problem anyway is it? - you could mount them on a B-52 and they'd do the same job]

posted on Mar, 22 2006 @ 05:15 AM
well not exactly on this topic but the KS-172 is large

external image

posted on Mar, 22 2006 @ 05:50 AM
Yes, well waffled ch, but strangely you still haven't addressed that I was picking you up on this;

you can be sure that the USN would do all in it's power to find something wrong with it, just as they did the superior F-111B in comparison to their precious Tomcat.

And there never was a comparison because the F-14 was designed after the F-111 was cancelled.

This is quite separate from the facts that It used the same engines (which it was stuck with when there was no money to produce the re-engined F-14B) carried superior armament (the F-111B's four Phoenix plus sidewinders and a gun) used the same radar and packaged it in a smaller lighter airframe with better manouverability and far superior drag coefficient, the rear fuselage of the F-111 contributed 35% of its total drag and was, in that respect, a poor design but it was not alone in that area. An area that was addressed with the F-14.

This is also utterly divorced from the political arguments that raged over the F-111B and the fact that its cancellation allowed the USN to set out a new requirement that resulted in the F-14.

You were just wrong in your original statement, which is what I said. No need for 'conspiracy theorist meets technobabble' smokescreen.

Oh, and the only person doing any sniping is you, and you do it constantly so you've got a right cheek in throwing it at anybody else.

[edit on 22-3-2006 by waynos]

posted on Mar, 22 2006 @ 06:19 AM
The F-18 or F/A-18 Hornet was built to replace both the F-4 Phantom and the A-7 Corsair. The idea was an attack aircraft that could escort itself to the target and back. The solution was a fighter and attack aircraft in one, hense the F/A designation. The concept was a good idea, however history has shown us that there were design flaws that needed to be fixed, the big one being lack of range. Correcting the flaws of the earily F/A-18's is the purpose of the Super Hornet now coming into carrier squadrons.


posted on Mar, 22 2006 @ 07:41 AM

Originally posted by ghost
Correcting the flaws of the earily F/A-18's is the purpose of the Super Hornet now coming into carrier squadrons.

It is extremely dubious whether the Super Hornet addresses these flaws adequately. It also seems to have developed its own distinct flaws, a pure lack of speed being one.

posted on Mar, 22 2006 @ 08:37 AM
I think I need more coffee before I read all of ch1466 posts....

posted on Mar, 22 2006 @ 09:28 AM
ch1466, please check your U2U Inbox. Click Here.


posted on Mar, 22 2006 @ 01:13 PM

Originally posted by clashrock

Originally posted by justin_barton3
the advantage of the f-18 is that it is the only plane in the world that is a dedicated fighter plane and an attack plane at the same time. not just an attack plane that can fight or a fighter that can attack.


Until the eurofighter came along.

The F/A- 18 Hornet is vesitile, but getting old. It wont be long until we are matched. The newly designed Superhornet will most likely be replacing lots of Hornets and Tomcats. So far so good if you ask me.

posted on Mar, 22 2006 @ 01:59 PM
Yes... the Super hornets will replace (with the F-35) the F-14... Wonder what they will do with the G model...??

posted on Mar, 22 2006 @ 06:05 PM

Wonder what they will do with the G model...??

The F/A-18G will replace the EA-6B Prowler and it will take over its role as an electronic attack aircraft for the navy. Production is scheduled for 2008 and a total of 57 aircraft have been ordered.

posted on Mar, 23 2006 @ 06:57 AM

Originally posted by kilcoo316
It is extremely dubious whether the Super Hornet addresses these flaws adequately.

I didn't say the Super Hornet was perfect, I only said it was intended to fix the flaws of the Original Hornet! It was a pure statement of fact! I never intended it to be a value judgment. Let's wait and see how it does in service, then we can have a more informed debate about if the Super
Hornet really fixed the problem.


posted on Mar, 23 2006 @ 11:01 AM
My opinion on the F/A-18 is pretty high standing. It is an average fighter, but I still think of it as ok. Wait till the F/A-18G Growler model comes out. It will be used to replace the EA-6B Prowler.

Features of the F/A-18E/F

90% Common F/A-18C/D Avionics
34 in. Fuselage Extension
Two Additional Multi-Mission Weapons Stations
25% Larger Wing
35% Higher Thrust Engines
33% Additional Internal Fuel

F/A-18G -

The EA-6B will begin retirement in the 2010 timeframe, after a career that exceeded 40 years of deployments in support of USN, USMC, and USAF strike forces. As of early 2000, Defense Department planning for replacing the EA-6B Prowler include a scheme under which the Navy would buy an F/A-18G "Growler" -- an F/A-18E/F modified for escort and close-in jamming. The Air Force would provide standoff jamming with modified EB-52s or EB-1s, and close-in jamming with unmanned air vehicles such as the Northrop Grumman Global Hawk or General Atomics Predator.

posted on Mar, 23 2006 @ 11:14 AM
Is it F/A-18G or is it EA-18G? I thought it was the latter though I admit I haven't looked closely.

posted on Mar, 23 2006 @ 11:48 AM

Originally posted by uuhelpus
F-14 -The ability to engage strategic aircraft at 100 miles, variable geometry wings make for great low speed handling, a must for a carrier born A/C

Because of the sheer size and weight of the AIM-54, they have to be jettisoned before making a carrier landing (safety reasons. They could explode if you scrape them against the deck). That's lots of $$$ down the drain. But then the F-14 is built around the AIM-54, so to maintain F-14 and AIM-54 is pretty costy. And although it carries a heavier max payload than the F/A-18, it's not as flexible a payload. -18 has more weapon stations. And then there's the avionics. Yes, -18 is just an average fighter, but it's a better and more flexible striker than -14. The A-A role will be fulfilled by F-35 in the future

[edit on 23-3-2006 by Taishyou]

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