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F-14 Radar and Targetting superior to F-15?

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posted on Feb, 15 2007 @ 10:58 PM
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As the title implies, I wish to raise a little known fact and gather some opinion.

In the 80's an upgrade was commissioned for the F-14D Super Tomcat. It took the form of a radar known as the APG-71, and had incorporated technology used on the F-15 Strike Eagle's radar (APG-70).

Lacking more details at this time, but Wikipedia will fill you in.

Since the F-14 was a dedicated interceptor, wouldn't this put it as a superior A2A jet than the F-15? Consider also the adaption of the 71 system with AIM 54 Phoenix (exclusive to the tomcat).

There are many other factors involved ofcourse, but wanted to get your opinions.

As far as I've seen and heard, most folks consider the F-15 a superior plane in every way, possibly due to the USAF choosing it over the 14. However the true reasons for that are not as clear cut as might seem (think money not performance), and the Generals who lobbied for it.




posted on Feb, 16 2007 @ 06:50 PM
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No takers?

That's ashame..



posted on Feb, 16 2007 @ 07:55 PM
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Steve,

The F-14 was superior to the F-15 in the long range intercept role with the AIM-54 system. However, I think the F-15, because of its outstanding maneuverability, would clearly be the victor in a WVR engagement.



posted on Feb, 17 2007 @ 04:36 AM
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Considering if the modern weapons and control systems were incorporated onto both, the clear winner is the... wait for it... F-14.


F-15:

AESA radar, JHMCS, AIM-120s, AIM-9X

F-14:

AESA radar, JHMCS, AIM-120s, AIM-9X, re-built Phoenix


As current air combat doctrine doesn't really place an emphasis on manouvering - its all focussed on BVR, a re-built/re-engineered Phoenix gives the F-14 a crucial leg-up in capabilities - it is amazing the USAF and especially the USN have chosen to pass it up.

The Pentagon recently started looking at incorporating a modified Patriot onto an F-15 in an attempt to intercept NK IRBMs in their boost phase - almost immediately after retiring their prime missileer - the F-14.


Grabbed from elsewhere (cannot verify if it is true or not, but food for thought:


I was paging through my old AFMs when I saw this in an article in the August 1990 issue of AFM on the F-14 written by Squadron Leader Stu Black (RAF):"It was during one of these detachments to Key West that we were able to stage a predominantly RAF battle between F-14s and F-15s. The event took place shortly before my return to the UK and we were in the process of converting a replacement RAF crew who had recently arrived at VF-101. By chance, another RAF exchange officer, F/L Mac Macready was also at Key West with an F-15 squadron from Tyndall. With some reluctance our skipper agreed to a British led four v four Eagles. It was one of the toughest fights I've ever been involved in! I had better not go into precise details of the outcome, but I can tell you that we drew Eagles hanging from the gallows in the debrief."


[edit on 17/2/07 by kilcoo316]



posted on Feb, 17 2007 @ 07:07 AM
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Actually the F14 is more manuverable than you would think. It can turn at 20 degrees a sec. Thats the same as the F16. However its rate of roll is rather low.



posted on Feb, 17 2007 @ 12:56 PM
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Originally posted by kilcoo316
...it is amazing the USAF and especially the USN have chosen to pass it up.


Why waste money, time and effort when the AMRAAM-D will reach IOC in 2008? For a little extra range? And I'm doubtful you could make the Phoenix as maneuverable as the AIM-120. People never get past the shock provided by the optimum max rnage figure to see that the Phoenix wasn't all it was cracked up to be. It had it's place when it was designed but in the current sittuation I'd take the AIM-120 which is overall better.



posted on Feb, 17 2007 @ 07:53 PM
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Just like YF-22 v YF-23, the choice goes to the most economical plane.

F-14 Tomcat '98 US$ 48m
F-15 Eagle '98 US$ 43m

I agree with kilcoo that the Tomcat was the US's best dedicated missileer. The problem with the Tomcat was always the price, and thus is the main reason why it had been neglected.



In the early 1970s, the Imperial Iranian Air Force (IIAF) was searching for an advanced fighter, specifically one capable of intercepting Soviet MiG-25 'Foxbat' reconnaissance flights. After a visit of US President Nixon to Iran in 1972, during which Iran was offered the latest in American military technology, the IIAF narrowed its choice to the F-14 Tomcat or McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle. Grumman Corporation arranged a competitive demonstration of the Eagle against the Tomcat before the Shah, and in January 1974 Iran ordered 30 F-14s and 424 Phoenix missiles, initiating Project Persian King, worth US$300 million. Only a few months later, this was expanded by an order for 50 additional F-14As and 290 AIM-54s. The Iranian order for 80 Tomcats and 714 Phoenix missiles, spare parts, and replacement engines for ten years, complete armament package, and support infra-structure (including construction of the huge Khatami Air Base in the desert near Esfahan) finally totalled US$2 billion, and was considered at the time to be the highest-value, single foreign military sale in US history. source: en.wikipedia.org...


So, a demonstration between the 15 and 14? And Iran paid the extra to get the 14? I think this speaks for itself..



posted on Feb, 17 2007 @ 08:13 PM
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Rumors had been going about that Iranian F-14As had been fitted with the Russian made engine and ejection seat and has the capability to launch air-to-surface anti-ship missiles. source: Major Farhad Nassirkhani





posted on Feb, 17 2007 @ 10:15 PM
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SteveR,

On IOC, the F-14 had almost twice the ERPs as the F-15, I wanna say it was like 10KW vs. 5.2KW. It lacked the MPRF waveform to support LDSD overland as well and in general the stacked Kalman filters were less effective than what the F-15 /developed into/ with the C model PSP.

That was in fact probably the biggest problem in that the F-14C with it's own PSP and F410 engines along with other updates to the weapons system never really eventuated as intended while the F-15A was always treated as a sports car until the wings were flown off it and then it was stabled with Guard units while the F-15C became the 'working model'.

Some things to keep in mind here:

1. The original APG-63 operated with almost as much complexity as the Soviet Slot Back systems did. You had to throw switches and check gate settings to get the PRF to step and even if it all worked -perfectly- there was always the problem with the AIM-7F whose inverse conscan was readily fooled by a certain combination of maneuver and CM in clutter.

2. The F-14A with the AIM-7E4/5 was actually _superior to_ the F-15 for effective poles until the 7Mike came online. The CW mode and the much larger power fraction simply worked better with the Sparrow and the Tomcat could carry up to six of them.

3. The Tomcat ASW-27 networking over Link-12 (duuh, IIRR) has _always_ let it use passive vector with the E-2 and particularly in the FADF mission, they never worked alone. When you add to this the early integration of the AXQ-1 TCS (as the TVSU during AIMVAL) the ability to declare offboard/passive from advantaged perch becomes as important as the lightoff decision that lets you start shooting.

4. The F-14 was the first aircraft to fire the AIM-120 AMRAAM from the glove pylons because it was such benevolent launch platform compared to all the other candidates and it had such _good_ radar.

5. The APG-71 is effectively the APG-70 architecture, scaled to the F-14's TWT power scaling/duty cycle with some unique navalization features. I assume this means it has the range gated HiPRF and MPRF options as opposed to Hi/Lo interleave and the digital processor probably takes care of a lot of the notch holes. Indeed, with time and proper investment, it is likely that the Quickstrike could have become the equivalent to the USAF F-15E. Certainly the baseline GPS+LANTIRN were better than what was available on the period Beagle. More range, more sensor cue-modes.

6. The weapon which the D should have had was not the updated Phoenix but the AIM-155 AAAM. As either a multipulse solid or ducted propellant system, this weapon vastly exceeded the sustained Mach point of the 'Buffalo' and would have been easier to multi-carriage due to a much lighter weight (the AIM-54C was a 1,008lbs, AAAM was about 650). While the perceived importance of the AAW in general has continued to decline in the face of 'no contenders' the fact of the matter remains that if the threat lobshots and runs away or engages in decoy maneuver to try and tease you into a SAM trap, the only alternative to going in swingin' with an ARM in one fist and an AMRAAM in the other (with your eye permanently affixed to the fuel gauge) is to zap them from range with an exceedingly powerful _Look In Shoot In_ or LISI mode attack. Fast Poles and the ability to stack multiple munitions per target is particularly important with mechanical arrays because you really need the lock stability of STT or intelligent TWS to keep the target volume centered up. And with AAAM the F-14 would have had upwards of 12 shots and a /separate/ terminal illuminator radar to really force out the fight into the 60+nm zone.
Indeed, as missiles gain in sophstication and particularly two way datalinks and INS/GPS 'more than strapdown' navigators, very long range AAM also become quite viable as replacement ARMs. And a big fighter like the F-14 can again carry more of them in open carriage than a stealth jet or a crotch rocket like the LGPOS can possibly manage on a pylon by pylon basis (the GD AAAM was actually an encapsulated, folding fin, weapon on the centerline whose launch box folded down to fire).

7. All of the above is 'better by twos'. Which is to say a RIO to run the systems and merge the data while the pilot sets the geometry on a steering bug. Because an F-14 section can address hundreds of thousands of cubic miles more than their USAF equivalents, it is the equivalent of a sniper+spotter vs. a running infantry approach to warfare. As goes the intercept, so goes the fight and indeed F-14s of the IRIAF were probably the first to espouse true Fighter Director tactics where effectively they were the intercept controllers running the lighter Iranian F-5E and F-4D/E as moving ambushes. Given the numbers disadvantagement and the virtual gutting of the Iranian military under the Khomeini's 'Shah Loyalist' purges, this is no small feat.

THESE are the things which made the F-14 better than the F-15 on a radar weapons system level of integrated function.


KPl.



posted on Feb, 18 2007 @ 12:20 AM
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I think it's a 6 one half dozen the other type of argument. The aim-54 is a great missle, but was really built for attacking slow or at least relatively slow moving bombers. Until the f-22 came out, I'd be more than comfortable in either one.



posted on Feb, 18 2007 @ 02:58 AM
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For this thread, only one answer can be reply that is yes. that F-15 just look like a MiG-25 how can competite with Tomcat. Yes, I am a tomcat fans, in my sight, nothing can go ahead of tomcat!



posted on Feb, 18 2007 @ 04:36 AM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
Why waste money, time and effort when the AMRAAM-D will reach IOC in 2008? For a little extra range? And I'm doubtful you could make the Phoenix as maneuverable as the AIM-120.


How old is the Phoenix design?

And you comparing it to something that hasn't even entered service yet?!?


Come on man! You really think if they had kept the Tomcat they wouldn't have looked at improving the AIM-54 any?



posted on Feb, 18 2007 @ 07:14 AM
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Apparantly the phoenix had a hit rate of 60% which is actually high compared to sidewinders and sparrows of GW1 which had hitrates of 29, 9% respectivly.



posted on Feb, 18 2007 @ 09:13 AM
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Originally posted by kilcoo316
How old is the Phoenix design?

Come on man! You really think if they had kept the Tomcat they wouldn't have looked at improving the AIM-54 any?


It would have been pointless as you cannot change the fundamentals without ending up with essentially a new missile, hence it's better to go with the AMRAAM. AIM-54, size and weight, to big for internal carriage on USAF. Again size and weight to big to maneuver effectively against light targets at extreme ranges. Cut those two catagories down and you effectively decrease range. Then there is the radar, electronics, ECM, ECCM, etc... . Improve all of those categories and what do you end up with? Wait for it... a generic AMRAAM!



[edit on 18-2-2007 by WestPoint23]



posted on Feb, 18 2007 @ 09:25 AM
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Originally posted by tomcat ha
Apparantly the phoenix had a hit rate of 60% which is actually high compared to sidewinders and sparrows of GW1 which had hitrates of 29, 9% respectivly.


The AIM-54 has only been fired in combat by the US a few times. In 1999 F-14D Tomcats fired several missiles (AIM-54 ECCM) at two Iraqi Mig-25's and one Mig-23, all missiles missed their targets.

Note the bold parts of the post, keep in mind the date, target and version of the Phoenix/Tomcat involved....

[edit on 18-2-2007 by WestPoint23]



posted on Feb, 18 2007 @ 01:59 PM
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The tomcat may be sluggish compared to lighter fighters (no brainer) but experience with it allowed for many spectacular things.. anyone remember the picture of a tomcat feet away from the edge of a carrier, sideways on and zooming past? Skill is again, a factor I would keep in mind when considering the situation westpoint brought up. How much experience have pilots really had with firing the Phoenix?

It seemed to bring down a good lot of MiG's over Iraq in the hands of the Iranians. Wonder why Saddam Hussein ordered all his air forces to "avoid and disengage" the F-14 at ALL times


As an aside, the function of the F-14 shares some similarity with the F-22. Both are capable of conducting their own command and control, as mini AWACS, and both favor "sniping" and speed/range over a more manuverable airframe (15,16,18,35 etc).

We also see introduction of the raptor almost simultaneously with the tomcat's pull. Think some people are not making the association yet


[edit on 18/2/07 by SteveR]

[edit on 18/2/07 by SteveR]



posted on Feb, 18 2007 @ 03:23 PM
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Interesting read: www.aerospaceweb.org...

And here is the image I was looking for.
aerofiles.com...



posted on Feb, 18 2007 @ 03:36 PM
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WestPoint23,

>>
The AIM-54 has only been fired in combat by the US a few times. In 1999 F-14D Tomcats fired several missiles (AIM-54 ECCM) at two Iraqi Mig-25's and one Mig-23, all missiles missed their targets.
>>

It was not uncommon for F-14's later in the 90s to fly with but a single Phoenix on the pallet or glove horn to cut down flight hours on the missile and extend patrol times while providing for A2G munitions options. If you are only firing one missile at a given target, you are not going to do as well as if you use one weapon to force the turn-signal break and another to kill the bled-down threat.

That said, the AIM-54C+ was actually much improved over the original weapon. It had a new motor with a higher baseline impulse and a different strapdown system (some say, the first 2-way datalink) as well as a refined autopilot which upped the terminal G from 16 to 21-22.

During flight tests, an AIM-54C+ dropped a fighter type maneuvering target with ECM onboard from 63nm out.

>>
It would have been pointless as you cannot change the fundamentals without ending up with essentially a new missile, hence it's better to go with the AMRAAM. AIM-54, size and weight, to big for internal carriage on USAF. Again size and weight to big to maneuver effectively against light targets at extreme ranges. Cut those two catagories down and you effectively decrease range. Then there is the radar, electronics, ECM, ECCM, etc... . Improve all of those categories and what do you end up with? Wait for it... a generic AMRAAM!
>>

Nor can one pour a gallon into a pint pot sir.

No matter how much they may improve the propellant burn or the kinematic controls on the weapon, a bigger missile with the _same_ technology upgrades will always do better given the same basic fineness ratios. The AIM-7 is only an inch bigger in diameter and is actually about 6" /shorter/ than the AIM-120. But at 510lbs or so, the 7MH (P) had significantly better lofted (50%) and direct (20%) range than AMRAAM-A and early B; even though it retained the inefficient midbody control wing configuration. An ESSM configured 'super Sparrow', with the AMRAAM-D guidance group, motor and warhead package would likely be a 100nm weapon, even from subsonic launch.

The AMRAAM exists because the lightweight mafia were obsessed with 'not losing by refusing' the BVR phase as they imagined themselves doing it: With LANTIRN at 500ft looking up against a MiG-23 force brought low to the horizon (to see across it) with R-24 face shots of their own.

That argument was good when put against the WARPAC scenario of an F-15 _with the same missile_ being unable to survive the S2A threat sufficient to run lead sweep operations. But if the F-15 is carrying a missile which it is SIZED to accomodate (the Eagle feels no pain with 4 AIM-7, the F-16 flies like a cement truck with 2) the variance becomes one of TARGETING and then the PSP Eagle can put it's ARH round into the threat from distances over 50nm at which the period F-16 could not even /see/ most threats. i.e. 'Top Cover' as a longspear-from-behind (the FLOT) tactic gains whole new levels of credibility.

When you size a missile to a midget fighter, and then /export/ that fighter as MIB pork-profit based on it's 'exclusive' access to ARH/BVR, there is bound to be a lot of mis-information out there as to how good the weapon is vs. what specific scenario it is operating in (F-16CJ with HARM and RC-135 as cross cue can penetrate most missile thickets).

Stealth and internal carriage is another matter but here the question is: 'Where the principal threat is _Surface To Air_ why are you roping yourself to the defense of a conventional strike package instead of using your enhanced strike capabilities (inherent to high altitude, supercruise, release profiles) to simply AVOID the threat altogether.

Here it must be stated that, between moles and commando inserts on the ground, preregistered artillery and TBM fires (vastly more accurate than Saddam's attacks) and the simple onset rates of an armored corps 5 times larger than what we sent into Desert Saber; we NEVER expected to hold onto Continental USAFE. They would have been wiped from the field, probably hours before the ground assault even began.

Instead, the ATF was designed to go over the fence and destroy specific, high value, targets like AS-9 slinking Tu-22M, A-50 and massed packages while flying out of England or even Spain. Since it would be fighting at a HUGE numeric deficit, DEEP in enemy territory, on a VERY LONG radius, it clearly needs to be able to whack quite a few targets in replacing the obliterated Bitburg/Soesterburg Albino assets.

Here AMRAAM makes some sense, even on a big fighter. But in all other conditions and particularly when facing mixed threats of ARH equipped light-fighters, LO+lo cruise and S2A 'standoff or be skewered' threats, none of which have real VLO to _deny_ BVR with, you are better off using a big weapon that can cover the range quickly and still have enough impulse (multiplateau solid or gel motor) to reenergize the endgame.


KPl.



posted on Feb, 19 2007 @ 08:42 AM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23

The AIM-54 has only been fired in combat by the US a few times. In 1999 F-14D Tomcats fired several missiles (AIM-54 ECCM) at two Iraqi Mig-25's and one Mig-23, all missiles missed their targets.
[edit on 18-2-2007 by WestPoint23]


WestPoint23,

You do realizes any missile can miss, right? One exampe doesn't prove that something doesn't work. Initial testing of the F-14/AIM-54 combination showed a sucess rate of about 80%.

Also, keep in mind that the "D" isn't a new aircraft. It might be the lastest Tomcat, but they are Not new aircraft.

Tim



posted on Mar, 2 2007 @ 06:15 PM
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Tomcat had a very long rang radar, against Russian TU-22 and TU-95s with and against their cruise missiles that ran straight line, and didn't maneuver, and were the size of a fighter themselves. The AIM-54C was quite a missile, high altitude terminal dive and Mach-5 plus. It wasn't designed for use against a fighter that could maneuver like the AIM-120C/Ds at long range, which makes them so revolutionary. Also, to get close, an F-15 crew was well trained in the "Dopler Notch" maneuver, basically a dive to the deck and turn 90 degrees relative to reduce the relative speed toward the enemy radar to make the dopler filters on the enemy radar lose the F-15 in the ground clutter- something I doubt AESA will be vulnerable to.
Don't get too tied up in the raw numbers. The F-14 was a great aircraft, for what it was designed for, a bomber interceptor, but the F-15 was a better fighter, especially with AESA and the latest Amraam. The Mig-31 was in some ways superior to the F-14 even, whith it's phased array radar, which covered much greater volume of airspace, but it was no carrier aircraft, way too big.
One thing that will be sorely missed with the F-14 is the great speed and range it had over even the "superbug". Damn fine aircraft, just old and worn.



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