posted on Jul, 26 2006 @ 05:34 PM
Standard Fighters are lightweight, cheap to run and maintain but are all single engined and mostly single seated
Here are some of them:
F-5 Freedom Fighter, F-16 Falcon, Helwan HA-300, Dassault Mirage, F-21 Kfir,
Mig 21, Mig 23.
I agree with most of these except for the MiG-23 which is again, too heavy and too well equipped as a dedicated interceptor or BAI/Strike machine with
a full function weapons suite not typical of lightweight aircraft or fighters. It should also be noted that, with it's fussy and manual VG; the
Flogger is not a maneuvering airframe and can be easily taken by even an F-4 in the right hands.
Both the later F-16 blocks and the Mirage _2000-05_ and onwards are also getting up in weight and capabilities more towards the medium weight end of
the game and indeed, the F-16 is probably the quintessential 'medium fighter' from the perspective of landbased operations, routinely operating at
mission gross numbers in the 42-48K range.
Only by including monsters like the 100Klb F-111 and 80Klb F-15E as well as the A2G optimized Su-30MK variants as the 'heavy weight' end of the
spectrum can you truly justify 40K and upwards jets as 'lightweight'.
Better examples of lightweight aircraft include the first generation Harrier, the Jaguar (which is used as a fighter by countries like Oman), the
F-5A/E/G, the Hawk 100/200, the FCK-1/A-1 Ching Kuo, the Mystere, the MiG-17 and 19. The F/A-50 Golden Eagle and the Mako also look set to replace
the F-16 as the baseline LWF system for cheap export as much as weight reasons.
Conversely, while the Mirage III could be considered a 'lightweight' fighter with an interceptor's radar but CAVU only weapons, the non-2000
baseline Kfir is really not suited to that mission and is itself a rather heavier design what with the J79 and A2G specific structural beefing and
increased stores station count as much as the 2001 range-only radar.