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AESA Equipped Super Hornets making impression on first deployment

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posted on Oct, 24 2008 @ 06:24 PM
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VFA-22 is currently deployed on the USS Regan in the Western Pacific, and has taken the first F-18 Block II AESA equipped Super Hornets with them. The new aircraft are making quite the impression on the pilots as well. Pilots say that their situational awareness is laregly increased by the new radar, including detection ranges.

VFA-22 was originally flying all single seat Hornets, then transitioned to the two seat version over the last 18 months. They had to learn how to integrate the weapons operators, and have done so rather successfully. Pilots have said that the ground mapping mode of the AESA is rather impressive, and the networking increases their ability to link together.


The Block II F/A-18F active electronically scanned array (AESA)-equipped Super Hornets are providing a significant advancement in technology over legacy systems, according to a Navy official.

"The radar is unlike anything I have ever seen before," Cmdr. Chris Chope, commanding officer VFA-22, told Defense Daily in a telephone interview earlier this week from aboard the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76). "The difference in the technology and what it provides us is monumental. This radar affords us so many opportunities and capabilities that we did not have in previous aircraft."

findarticles.com...




posted on Oct, 24 2008 @ 07:00 PM
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I wonder if the new radar will help them find their soul...

...and sorry for the one liner



posted on Oct, 24 2008 @ 10:56 PM
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Interesting that the Ronald Reagan CBG was the one deployed for Malabar 08, a joint naval and air exercise with India. I need not state my support of the SuperBug Block II (and it's future blocks), however it will be interesting to see how this might affect the MRCA decision.



posted on Oct, 25 2008 @ 02:22 AM
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They will have full awareness of what kills them in that POS airframe.


Why stick a 1 litre engine in a Corvette?

Why stick a hemi v-8 in a mini?



Neither makes much sense - but its what the USN has done with the "Super" Hornet.



posted on Oct, 25 2008 @ 02:30 AM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 



Although Chope could not discuss the networking capabilities of AESA, he acknowledged that the radar has enhanced the squadron's ability to link up with other aircraft and share information. "There is no doubt about it."


Any ideas about this? Can they datalink with ships? With hawkeyes? Do the missiles get involved with the network? Can a missile be launched without using active radar?



posted on Oct, 25 2008 @ 09:12 AM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Oct, 25 2008 @ 10:40 AM
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Originally posted by Phage
Any ideas about this?


I think it has more to do with using the radar as a high speed broadband transmitter and receiver instead of relying on Link 16 or some derivative of it. I think it's safe to say that they can link with all the other assets of the USN, as for missiles... that's very sensitive territory. I'm sure the C-7 offers improved datalink capability, until the AIM-120D comes on the scene. Maybe the Hornets can pull a Raptor and one illuminator can guide missiles for several shooters while they in turn keep their radars on passive mode only.


Originally posted by Kilcoo316
They will have full awareness of what kills them in that POS airframe.


I must admit that was funny, but I think you're severely underestimating the Block II.



posted on Oct, 25 2008 @ 11:31 AM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
I must admit that was funny, but I think you're severely underestimating the Block II.


I have a lot of the respect for the avionics, but I feel they are severely handicapped within that dog of an airframe.



posted on Oct, 25 2008 @ 12:30 PM
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Originally posted by kilcoo316
I have a lot of the respect for the avionics, but I feel they are severely handicapped within that dog of an airframe.


I agree to some extent, the airframe is limited and the ad hoc modification being made can only take it so far. Still though it is not that big a problem as the Super Hornet will still be effective within an integrated strike package. One that in the future will include the F-35C. In the meantime, upgrading the Super Hornet to eventual Block III capability can't hurt, unless of course you're flying a Mig or Flanker.



posted on Nov, 3 2008 @ 12:07 PM
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I wish I had AESA installed on my car - I wouln't have been pulled over this weekend!




posted on Nov, 3 2008 @ 09:47 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23

Originally posted by kilcoo316
I have a lot of the respect for the avionics, but I feel they are severely handicapped within that dog of an airframe.


I agree to some extent, the airframe is limited and the ad hoc modification being made can only take it so far. Still though it is not that big a problem as the Super Hornet will still be effective within an integrated strike package. One that in the future will include the F-35C. In the meantime, upgrading the Super Hornet to eventual Block III capability can't hurt, unless of course you're flying a Mig or Flanker.
I don't think so:
www.ausairpower.net...



posted on Nov, 3 2008 @ 10:37 PM
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reply to post by 1000hanz
 


That website is nonsensical garbage, ran by a bunch of people who have financial interest in alternatives to the Super Hornet; like an upgraded F-111. The ‘platforms equals capabilities’ mentality they adopt, is some forty years out of date. In reality, Block II & Block III Super Hornets used in an integrated package will have far superior sitautional awareness, countermeasures, and weapons, with only slight, irrelevant, or non-existent, deficiencies in some key areas, compared to potential adversaries. Simply put, the Super Hornet is more than capable of taking on any potential threat, whether that be upgraded Fulcrums or Flankers; until the F-35 reaches full operational capability.

(Entry for May 7, 2007)
www.geocities.com...

[edit on 4/11/2008 by C0bzz]



posted on Nov, 4 2008 @ 06:14 PM
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Originally posted by C0bzz
reply to post by 1000hanz
 


That website is nonsensical garbage, ran by a bunch of people who have financial interest in alternatives to the Super Hornet; like an upgraded F-111. The ‘platforms equals capabilities’ mentality they adopt, is some forty years out of date. In reality, Block II & Block III Super Hornets used in an integrated package will have far superior sitautional awareness, countermeasures, and weapons, with only slight, irrelevant, or non-existent, deficiencies in some key areas, compared to potential adversaries. Simply put, the Super Hornet is more than capable of taking on any potential threat, whether that be upgraded Fulcrums or Flankers; until the F-35 reaches full operational capability.

(Entry for May 7, 2007)
www.geocities.com...

[edit on 4/11/2008 by C0bzz]
Many don't believe your fantasies:

"Many pundits, such as the Federation of American Scientists, assert that in an individual dogfight, the MiG-29 is potentially better than the F-15 Eagle or F-16 Fighting Falcon. MiG-29s of the German Luftwaffe have demonstrated their advantage in within-visual-range (WVR) engagements during training missions against Western F-14, F-15, F-16 and F/A-18 fighters.[3] The success of the MiG-29 during DACT was partly due to its ability to use its helmet-mounted sight (HMS) to achieve high off-boresight targeting solutions for the Archer SRM. The HMS allowed German pilots to achieve a lock on any target the pilot could see within the missile field of regard, including those almost 45 degrees off boresight.[4] In contrast, the U.S. aircraft were only able to lock onto targets in a narrow window directly in front of the aircraft's nose. However, the USAF and US Navy achieved Initial Operational Capability of the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System and AIM-9X in late 2003."

en.wikipedia.org...



posted on Nov, 4 2008 @ 06:25 PM
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There used to be a member on here that actually FLEW the MiG-29 with the Germans, as well as many other American aircraft, and he said that the MiG-29 was overrated. While it had many good characteristics, it had many very BAD characteristics too. I'll try to find some of his posts and quote them on here.



posted on Nov, 4 2008 @ 06:29 PM
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Originally posted by Zaphod58
There used to be a member on here that actually FLEW the MiG-29 with the Germans, as well as many other American aircraft, and he said that the MiG-29 was overrated. While it had many good characteristics, it had many very BAD characteristics too. I'll try to find some of his posts and quote them on here.
It depends on what he means, if he was flying a MiG-29A/B against more modern F-15/16/18 then yes what he's saying is correct, but if he fly a MiG-29C bort9.13 against 1991 era F-16/18 then he's just saying that to cover up this fact:

Many pundits, such as the Federation of American Scientists, assert that in an individual dogfight, the MiG-29 is potentially better than the F-15 Eagle or F-16 Fighting Falcon. MiG-29s of the German Luftwaffe have demonstrated their advantage in within-visual-range (WVR) engagements during training missions against Western F-14, F-15, F-16 and F/A-18 fighters.[3] The success of the MiG-29 during DACT was partly due to its ability to use its helmet-mounted sight (HMS) to achieve high off-boresight targeting solutions for the Archer SRM. The HMS allowed German pilots to achieve a lock on any target the pilot could see within the missile field of regard, including those almost 45 degrees off boresight.[4] In contrast, the U.S. aircraft were only able to lock onto targets in a narrow window directly in front of the aircraft's nose. However, the USAF and US Navy achieved Initial Operational Capability of the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System and AIM-9X in late 2003."
en.wikipedia.org...



posted on Nov, 4 2008 @ 06:46 PM
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Here are some quotes from a paper he wrote comparing a MiG-29A (your upgraded C version carried an extra 200kg fuel and an internal jammer) and an F-16C Block 40.


The baseline MiG-29 for this comparison will be the MiG-29A (except for 200 kg more fuel and an internal jammer, the MiG-29C was not an improvement over the MiG-29A), as this was the most widely deployed version of the aircraft. The baseline F-16 will be the F-16C Block 40. Although there is a more advanced and powerful version of the F-16C, the Block 40 was produced and fielded during the height of Fulcrum production.



The MiG-29 and F-16 are both considered 9 G aircraft. Until the centerline tank is empty, the Fulcrum is limited to four Gs and the Viper to seven Gs. The
MiG-29 is also limited to seven Gs above Mach 0.85 while the F-16, once the centerline tank is empty (or jettisoned) can go to nine Gs regardless of airspeed or Mach number. The MiG-29’s seven G limit is due to loads on the vertical stabilizers. MAPO has advertised that the Fulcrum could be stressed to 12 Gs and still not hurt the airframe. This statement is probably wishful and boastful. The German Luftwaffe, which flew its MiG-29s probably more aggressively than any other operator, experienced cracks in the structure at the base of the vertical tails. The F-16 can actually exceed nine Gs without overstressing the airframe. Depending on configuration, momentary overshoots to as much as 10.3 Gs will not cause any concern with aircraft maintainers.



Of the four fighters I have flown, the MiG-29 has by far the worst handling qualities. The hydro-mechanical flight control system uses an artificial feel system of springs and pulleys to simulate control force changes with varying airspeeds and altitudes. There is a stability augmentation system that makes the aircraft easier to fly but also makes the aircraft more sluggish to flight control inputs. It is my opinion that the jet is more responsive with the augmentation system disengaged. Unfortunately, this was allowed for demonstration purposes only as this also disengages the angle-of-attack (AoA) limiter. Stick forces are relatively light but the stick requires a lot of movement to get the desired response. This only adds to sluggish feeling of the aircraft. The entire time you are flying, the stick will move randomly about one-half inch on its own with a corresponding movement of the flight control surface. Flying the Fulcrum requires constant attention. If the pilot takes his hand off the throttles, the throttles probably won't stay in the position in which they were left. They'll probably slide back into the 'idle' position.



What if both pilots are committed to engage visually? The F-16 should have the initial advantage as he knows the Fulcrum’s exact altitude and has the target designator box in the head-up display (HUD) to aid in visual acquisition. The Fulcrum’s engines smoke heavily and are a good aid to gaining sight of the adversary. Another advantage is the F-16’s large bubble canopy with 360° field-of-view. The Fulcrum pilot’s HUD doesn’t help much in gaining sight of the F-16. The F-16 is small and has a smokeless engine. The MiG-29 pilot sets low in his cockpit and visibility between the 4 o’clock and 7 o’clock positions is virtually nonexistent.

Charts that compare actual maneuvering performance of the two aircraft are classified. It was the researcher’s experience that the aircraft have comparable initial turning performance. However, the MiG-29 suffers from a higher energy bleed rate than the F-16. This is due to high induced drag on the airframe during high-G maneuvering. F-16 pilots that have flown against the Fulcrum have made similar observations that the F-16 can sustain a high-G turn longer. This results in a turn rate advantage that translates into a positional advantage for the F-16.

The F-16 is also much easier to fly and is more responsive at slow speed.
The Fulcrum’s maximum roll rate is 160° per second. At slow speed this decreases to around 20° per second. Coupled with the large amount of stick movement required, the Fulcrum is extremely sluggish at slow speed. Maneuvering to defeat a close-range gun shot is extremely difficult if the airplane won’t move. For comparison, the F-16’s slow speed roll rate is a little more than 80° per second.



Lt. Col. Johann Köck, commander of the German MiG-29 squadron from
September 1995 to September 1997, was outspoken in his evaluation of the Fulcrum. “It has no range, its navigation system is unreliable and the radar breaks often and does not lend it self to autonomous operations”, he said. He added that the best mission for NATO MiG-29s would be as a dedicated adversary aircraft for other NATO fighters and not as part of NATO’s frontline fighter force.

www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on Nov, 4 2008 @ 09:26 PM
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Well more people disagree:

www.fas.org...

aeroweb.lucia.it...

www.codeonemagazine.com...

[edit on 4-11-2008 by 1000hanz]



posted on Nov, 4 2008 @ 09:38 PM
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FAS, or American Scientist or whoever you want can disagree all they want. I'm going to take Fulcrumflyer's word over every single one of them because he ACTUALLY FLEW THE AIRPLANE. I'll take the word of someone who has been there and done that any day over some guy sitting in front of a computer running a simulation. Computers sit there and they look at straight performance facts and compare them. That isn't going to tell you the whole truth. The people that have been there and done that KNOW the difference. No armchair general or analyst is going to know that the MiG-29 has horrible vision between the 5-7 position, so they won't factor that in.



posted on Nov, 4 2008 @ 09:54 PM
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reply to post by C0bzz
 


Nice Avatar you have there are you a boom? I think upgrading old planes is a waste of time personally. It took us one night to stamp out Iraq's Airforce. But we need jobs right?

One question for you plane nuts, why did we sell tankers to so many countries? I'm interested in what you think, as I think we did it to level the playing field. We really are so far ahead of everyone it is not even close. But when everyone has tankers it makes things different.



posted on Nov, 4 2008 @ 09:57 PM
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To make more of a tanker crisis in the US and force the issue of the replacement. Unfortunately it backfired somewhat. They wound up with fewer tankers and screwing up every time they try to award the contract.



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