End of an Era: Navy retires AIM-54C

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posted on Oct, 8 2004 @ 11:14 AM
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We knew the day was coming, we just did not know it would be so soon.

Personally I think they should have waited to retire this missile with the F-14, or at least until they had improved on the AIM-120's range.

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[edit on 8/10/04 by COOL HAND]




posted on Oct, 8 2004 @ 11:44 AM
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What a shame. This is quite possibly the worlds best A2A missle. This with the retirement along with the F-14's means that the USN is severly cutting back on their ability to defend their fleets from bombers/fighters packing anti-ship missles. I hope they come up with a sutible replacement soon, not just an F-18 with AMRAAMs.


E_T

posted on Oct, 8 2004 @ 01:13 PM
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Originally posted by cyberdude78
This with the retirement along with the F-14's means that the USN is severly cutting back on their ability to defend their fleets from bombers/fighters packing anti-ship missles.
And letting enemy closer/launch it missiles is like half win for them.

Althought you could put 12 AMRAAMs to F/A-18 E/F they would definitely need longer "sword".



posted on Oct, 8 2004 @ 01:57 PM
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Althought technically it was one of the greatest AAM's, the Buffalo as the crews called it wasn't exactly a missile you'd use against a maneuvering target. Bombers and cruise missiles were its forte. Both it and the Tomcat can enter a well earned retirement. But life goes on, both are just not achievable in todays readiness for combat needs. Too expensive to maintain.



posted on Oct, 8 2004 @ 04:07 PM
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WHHAAATTT!!!!!!! That is the dumbest idea, they need to put those missiles back on the racks where they belong. The Super Tomcat will still be in servise till 2007. I remember a couple of weeks ago at the Oceana a Super Hornet and a Superr Tomcat were sitting side by side. All of the Navy personel involved with the planes went over to the tomcat, and beamed about it and the Phoenix. The general concensus was that it was allot better. While they agreed the Hornet would take less maintenance, they still loved the Tomcat more and believed it shouldnt be retired.



posted on Oct, 8 2004 @ 08:13 PM
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There is a lot to be said for the arguement that while the present airframes are tired, the design is not.

There is some madness or disease that make politicians, technogeeks and staff officers go wide eyed, kneewobbly and pants wetting when someone offers an totally clean sheet design with all the bells and whistles and lights.

Yet ask them for replacement airframes of a proven design with the latest kit fitted to them to perform the same role effectively at a lower unit cost and they show absolutely no interest.

My wife calls it pe...stature envy....when my short arsed mate traded his little $15,000 Suzuki 4x4 for a $60,000 SUV to do the same job.

F- 14, F-15, F-16, F-18, Harrier II, F-111. These are all good Airframes. With modifications they could take all new systems from radars to engines to new skinning, and all keep on performing the roles F-22 and F-35 do. The difference is they are proven, affordable in greater numbers.

My big issue has always been no matter how big, well armed and hi tech th new planes and ships are, say 220 Raptors can not be deployed to as many locations or cover as many fronts (Norad, ME, Europe, Asia) as 650 F-15s fitted out with similar systems. This win one hold one idea is crud. So the guys holding one have to take higher casualties while the thier mates win the other because the Government is cheap?

And you do lose capacity. I know the USAF doesnt deploy F-111 anymore, but then they have a layer above the Aaardvark in the form of B-52s, B-1Bs and B-2s which can cover that gap.

The RAAF sole operator of 30 odd F-111s doesnt. We had an achievable scheme supported by industry where ours (plus some stored airframes in the US we wanted) could be stripped and totally refitted to produce a Super Cruising F-111 with SOWs and BVRs, extending its useful service life beyond 2040 instead of 2020. But the F-35 lobby have convinced them to buy additional JSF and retire the F-111 in 2010. Provided the cost doesnt blow out or the project get cancelled the JSF might be a good F-18 replacement if its not an overhyped lemon. But we will loose the F-111s radius-payload capability. We are also getting far fewer (the higher the cost goes) F-35s. That might be okay for a US with a large inventory of supporting older airframes to manage but for Australia with fewer than 100 combat aircraft to be replaced....50 or 60 airframes (if we are lucky) suck. And if we get it wrong is the US going to give us our money back to try again?

Much like the USN is losing its F-14/Phoenix combination. My commiserations.



posted on Nov, 17 2004 @ 09:32 AM
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Uhh, I'm not trying to sound rude, but you'd be naive to think that retirement of perfectly good weapons-systems has to do with improvement of that platform.

The decisions to retire older systems stem entirely from the desire of financially-minded lobbyists and politicians seeking to award expensive contracts exclusively to the two biggest defense contractors, Lockheed-Martin and Northrop-Grumman.

Repeatedly, platforms that are still viable for the 21st century, such as the F-111, F-14, and the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier are being retired. Also, projects systems that provide an advantage, or upgrade for our armed forces : the RAH-66 Comanche helo, the Crusader, and next-gen combat rifle have all been cancelled/shelved. Instead, airborne lasers, scramjets, and other worthless expensive gizmos are being tested. Don't bring up the V-22 Osprey please- it's just the exception that proves the rule (and it can only end in cancellation).

Financial greed and SIGs are to blame. They have repeatedly violated the axiom, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".



posted on Nov, 17 2004 @ 09:38 AM
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Originally posted by Sanders12
Repeatedly, platforms that are still viable for the 21st century, such as the F-111, F-14, and the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier are being retired.


When are they retiring the Nimitz class carriers?

This is the first that I have heard of it.



posted on Nov, 17 2004 @ 10:18 AM
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The decisions to retire older systems stem entirely from the desire of financially-minded lobbyists and politicians seeking to award expensive contracts exclusively to the two biggest defense contractors, Lockheed-Martin and Northrop-Grumman.


Uhm, F-14 is made by Grumman.



Repeatedly, platforms that are still viable for the 21st century, such as the F-111, F-14, and the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier are being retired.


I don't think Nimitz will be retired.
F-14 is simply going to be old. And if Phoenix was such a great misille, why was it not used more often? For example in Gulf. If I remember correctly it was fired only once and missed it's target (helicopter).



Also, projects systems that provide an advantage, or upgrade for our armed forces : the RAH-66 Comanche helo, the Crusader, and next-gen combat rifle have all been cancelled/shelved. Instead, airborne lasers, scramjets, and other worthless expensive gizmos are being tested. Don't bring up the V-22 Osprey please- it's just the exception that proves the rule (and it can only end in cancellation).


I think it's great that Comanche was cancelled. Yes it was stealth, but otherwise it was an really obsolete design. I hope future helicopter will be NOTAR(and those vulnerable tail rotor will be finally removed) and better armored. Also I think visual and IR stealth is more important than radar stealth. Why do you need radar stealth on helicopter that's flying so low to the surface?

Also what do you have again ABL? If functionable it will be great thing and revolution in modern warfare. It should be able not only to shoot down balistic misilles, but also cruise misilles and planes. And that all is just matter of seconds. Also one shot is less costly, only few 1000$ each, that's much less than milion$ Phoenix or 300 000$ Amraam.



posted on Nov, 17 2004 @ 10:28 AM
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CraigAndrew F-111 is good tactical bomber, but JSF is also able to fight and is stealth. The only better thing on F-111 is it's longer range. Also how much would it cost to upgrade it? To purchase AESA radar, new engines, avionics etc. JSF will cost 35-45 mil.$ (depending on version but I think Australia will get USAF version which is the cheapest).

BTW USAF doesn't have 650 F-15 Eagles. I think it has only 350-400 C/D + F-15E Strike Eagles (and those will be not retired). So 300 F-22 is not so bad (and USAF wants 400).



posted on Nov, 17 2004 @ 10:31 AM
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Keep in mind that Air to Air missiles are leased by the military until fired.



posted on Nov, 17 2004 @ 11:12 AM
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Originally posted by longbow
And if Phoenix was such a great misille, why was it not used more often? For example in Gulf. If I remember correctly it was fired only once and missed it's target (helicopter).



That is because the enemy could pick up the Fire Control radar signal from the AWG-9/APG-71 and know that they need to get out of the area or risk coming under fire from the Tomcat.

BTW the helicopter was shot down with a sidewinder. No Phoenix's have ever been shot in combat by US Navy aircraft.


[edit on 17/11/04 by COOL HAND]



posted on Nov, 17 2004 @ 11:15 AM
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Originally posted by just_a_pilot
Keep in mind that Air to Air missiles are leased by the military until fired.


No, they are purchased in lots from the manufacturers. As the military expends ordnance they order subsequent lots.

They are held by ordnance depots until issued to units for use.



posted on Nov, 17 2004 @ 11:30 AM
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Originally posted by COOL HAND
BTW the helicopter was shot down with a sidewinder. No Phoenix's have ever been shot in combat by US Navy aircraft.
[edit on 17/11/04 by COOL HAND]


I have read on strategypage.com that they fired Phoenix on helicopter during GW1 and missed.



posted on Nov, 17 2004 @ 11:34 AM
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Originally posted by longbow
I have read on strategypage.com that they fired Phoenix on helicopter during GW1 and missed.


That's odd. I was always told that they had to close within visual range to ensure that it wasn't a coalition aircraft. There was some kind of discrepancy with what the IFF was putting out.

Let me go recheck...



posted on Nov, 17 2004 @ 11:50 AM
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"Other than the possible Iranian firings, the only confirmed combat use of the Phoenix was in the first Gulf War, and it missed its target, a Mil helicopter."

[edit on 17-11-2004 by longbow]



posted on Nov, 17 2004 @ 11:57 AM
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Here is the story:

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As you can see, there was no use of the AIM-54 since the kill was made within visual range.



posted on Nov, 17 2004 @ 12:03 PM
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Originally posted by COOL HAND
Here is the story:

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As you can see, there was no use of the AIM-54 since the kill was made within visual range.


I never said they made a kill. I said the fired Phoenix missed it's target - helicopter. Maybe they took it down later with that Sidewinder or it escaped. See above your post.



posted on Nov, 17 2004 @ 12:12 PM
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Originally posted by longbow
I never said they made a kill. I said the fired Phoenix missed it's target - helicopter. Maybe they took it down later with that Sidewinder or it escaped. See above your post.


I did, and I did further research. There were no Phoenix's fired in combat during DS. There was no way to get a target ID that was valid enough to use them. The senior leadership wanted multiple confirmation (electronic or physical) of aircraft ID. The F-14 had only a IFF transponder to interrogate contacts to determine ID. Compare that to other aircraft who had things like NCTR and AWACs datalinking, and you would see that the F-14 did not have the ability to use the Phoenix at all. There was simply no wat to get a confirmed target ID within the useage parameters of that missile.

Whatever site you got that info from is wrong. If you don't believe me then do a simple google search and see for yourself.



posted on Nov, 17 2004 @ 04:40 PM
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Originally posted by COOL HAND
No, they are purchased in lots from the manufacturers. As the military expends ordnance they order subsequent lots.

They are held by ordnance depots until issued to units for use.


Uh, no. They are lease purchase programs and depreciation is taken into affect. Not sure about tank or destroyers shells. But Air-Air missiles are leased.





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