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Question about the F-18E/F Super Hornet.

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posted on Jul, 5 2013 @ 01:37 AM
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Platform versus platform comparisons aren't entirely valid. Instead it is better to ask what each respective aircraft adds to the overall doctrine and capabilities of its respective armed force. The E/F, especially block II, is essentially a strike fighter, and while it is mediocre kinematically, it has amazing avionics - such as AESA radar and advanced datalinks. It is also armed with the best weapons the world has to offer, such as JASSM, LRASM, AMRAAM-D, JSOW, HARM-E (etc...).


It has significantly inferior combat radius at 390 nm as compared to 1061.

E/F range is very similar to that of the F-15 without conformal tanks.


That combat radius figure might be for interdiction, but for fighter escort with two Sidewinders and two AMRAAMs it's only 410 nm. Maritime air superiority (six AAMs, three external tanks) has a slightly over 2 hour loiter time, if they're 150 nms from ship.

We've gone over this before.


Maneuverability is best demonstrated by wing loading and thrust to weight ratio. The overall weight is not so much the issue so much as how well you can move it around. The F-15 has lower wing loading and a higher thrust-to-weight ratio which both indicate higher maneuverability.

E/F is, unlike the F-15, an unstable aircraft.


The E has better high-alpha qualities if you ignore the wing-drop problems

Wing-drop problems were solved ages ago. I don't see this insistence on grabbing faults that aircraft had during development then trying to apply them to today.
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posted on Jul, 5 2013 @ 02:16 AM
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The logic demonstrated in this thread is astounding.

The E/F does the missions it is employed to do. If it did have significant short-comings, then these aircraft could be upgraded with EPE engines, ejector racks on the inner pylons allowing the canted pylons to be removed, and conformal fuel tanks. Boeing is very eager to sell some block III Super Hornets, and most of these upgrades could be very easily and quickly implemented.

The F-15C has vastly outdated avionics. They are also very old aircraft. They have short-comings, which is why they are being upgraded.

The Su-35 exists in very small numbers.

5th generation fighters exist in very small numbers (except the F-22).

Most Eurofighters built do not even have AESA.

~500 Super Hornets have been built. As far as I know, almost all of these are block II. The Super is hardly outclassed in the real world, even in air-to-air, unless you start getting into forces and scenarios which don't actually exist.

The Super Hornet is not an "interim" fighter for the RAAF or USN.
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posted on Jul, 5 2013 @ 03:00 AM
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I'm more interested in the projects we do not know about. We can only imagine what the Air Force has in their arsenal.



posted on Jul, 5 2013 @ 07:26 AM
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Originally posted by _Del_Is it a great or pure air-superiority fighter? No. It is in the lower portion or perhaps middle of the pack.


What does that sentence mean?

edit on 5-7-2013 by Ribox12 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 5 2013 @ 12:59 PM
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Just wandering through here, but may as well chip in my 2¢. Ever since fighters on both sides have been capable of consistently pulling 9G under dogfight scenarios, the likely winner during close-in combat is the pilot with better physical conditioning and training along with a better maintained aircraft. The human factor tends to be the main limiter on what capabilities are useful. Along with that keep in mind that what's cool for airshow tricks likely isn't the best end of the flight envelope to use if your main goal is to score a quick kill.

I'm not a pilot, but I'm sure if you'd ask one there's a reason why they train like they do.

Anyhow, if the Hornet didn't satisfy the necessary requirements they'd be asking for something better. You might find fancier and slightly better jets, but not likely at-cost with similar turnaround time and reliability.



posted on Jul, 5 2013 @ 01:40 PM
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Originally posted by C0bzz
5th generation fighters exist in very small numbers (except the F-22).

Everyone acknowledged that...


Most Eurofighters built do not even have AESA.


Here's a 757 with AESA. Noone is trying to claim it's a great fighter...





Wing-drop problems were solved ages ago.

My understanding is that several options were implemented (including the fence!) which has mitigated but not completely removed the wing drop issue. Wing drop is not terribly uncommon in designs, but the Super Hornet was relatively unique in the broad portion of the envelope it would experience it.


The Super Hornet is not an "interim" fighter for the RAAF or USN.

Well, all the announcements categorize it as an interim fighter for the RAAF to bridge the short gap between the F-111 retirement and the F-35.

Australia will spend $6 billion to buy 24 advanced Boeing Super Hornet fighter-bombers as a stopgap measure so the RAAF can maintain regional air superiority until new Joint Strike Fighters are built...it will provide us with a very safe way of transitioning from the F-111, F/A-18 force that we currently operate, through the withdrawal of the F-111 into our JSF future," he said.

Defense Minister, Australia: "My strong view would be that the government of the day should essentially on-sell Super Hornet back to the US around 2020 and acquire the fourth squadron of JSF,"
www.smh.com.au...

The RAAF's 24 Super Hornets entered service in 2010 as an interim replacement for its General Dynamics F-111s, which were originally planned to be replaced by the F-35A JSF.

www.flightglobal.com...
et al

It will plug away indefinitely for the Navy b/c there is no way the F/A-XX sees service in the next 25 years and there won't be enough F-35 airframes to go around for sometime.

All aircraft are designed as compromises. The Super Hornet is a bigger compromise than normal, because first it was designed for fleet ops, so it is in some areas overdesigned. Second, the Navy, showing their usual foresight, wanted an aircraft that would replace... well, damn near everything and the kitchen sink. As a result, its something of a cludge. The design has very real shortcomings as they attempted to jam everything possible into the airplane. As a jack of all trades on a carrier deck, it's the best available option at the moment unless you want to pony up the extra money for a Rafale. It's not the airplane you'd want in a knife fight against newer aircraft available.



posted on Jul, 5 2013 @ 01:42 PM
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Originally posted by Ribox12

Originally posted by _Del_Is it a great or pure air-superiority fighter? No. It is in the lower portion or perhaps middle of the pack.


What does that sentence mean?

edit on 5-7-2013 by Ribox12 because: (no reason given)


It's mediocre in today's threat environment.



posted on Jul, 5 2013 @ 02:05 PM
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Originally posted by Navy2001The Super Hornet is a effective and capable Air-to-air fighter in the air to air role, that's why great avionics and systems are in the Super. However, there's no such thing as dogfights or WVR engagments anymore. Its been dead since the Vietnam War. All A2A kills in Desert Storm occurred far away which is BVR.


Great points Navy!

Not only the issue of BVR engagements, but the ability to intake a link from the E2C/D or AWACS which is in TACO or coordinate with ECM/EW screens, or Link capability, and position your craft in advance of the engagement for the BVR advantage, and in coordination with other air assets. I would choose an A-4 which had this capability over a sole Flanker E.

Then there is the constantly misleading issue of top airspeed vs. maneuverability. If a craft is not maneuverable when at its full military plant then it is BVR mission vulnerable. If a craft is maneuverable, but cannot do so with speed responsiveness, then it is also WVR vulnerable. The key is "am I maneuverable enough, while also being quick enough." It is the belly curve, and not the extremes which determines the dogfight. The lastest demonstration Su-35's show this.

Finally, if I have a high performance airframe/plant, can I keep it running for a mission-viable set of life hours? In the 80's several Soviet Aircraft were noteworthy in terms of incredible performance statistics, and then we determined that the engines could only bear 300 flight hours, Total. AND the CASREP parts they needed for MTBF emergent failures could not be obtained. IOW......They were only good for air shows.

A mission fighter has to be much much more than statistically fast and maneuverable.

In a fight, I don't have to be the fastest, nor the strongest. I just have to be the best at combining a sufficient level of both together in the right combination at the right time, and to be very smart with lots of friends.

Awesome Thread OP




edit on 5-7-2013 by TheEthicalSkeptic because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 5 2013 @ 06:27 PM
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Originally posted by _Del_It's mediocre in today's threat environment.


You said its capable against the threat area, now you said its not very good?

You keep continuing to critize the aircraft, you should move on. Really, you say this now you change your mind, your not a Navy pilot and neither don't care how good the Bug is. The sentance you said that it's not the Fighter you need in a knife fight, is false. It's a great knife fighter, you don't even claim anything right. You just claim the most idiotic statements i've heard on to the Super Hornet.

The Super Honret will do best at what the Navy wants to acquire the bug in a role.

It isn't a mediocre aircraft in A2A, it isn't outclassed in A2A either. Look at how much effort these engineers and Navy officers wanted to put on the Super Bug to make it the best plane out there today. It's the Hornet legacy and they put everything on the Rhino to make it great in its roles or abilities.

It's only mediocre in the intercepting role AFAIK.

Claiming these makes you a fool IMO, you aren't a Naval Aviator, Naval Aviators do belive it can handle threats and handle A2A combat. I do have alot of faith of the Rhino performing well in every role.
edit on 5-7-2013 by Navy2001 because: Of course editing



posted on Jul, 5 2013 @ 08:09 PM
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Originally posted by Navy2001

Originally posted by _Del_It's mediocre in today's threat environment.


You said its capable against the threat area, now you said its not very good?


I am capable of playing hockey. I would not be the first person you picked at the rink.


The sentance you said that it's not the Fighter you need in a knife fight, is false. It's a great knife fighter, you don't even claim anything right. You just claim the most idiotic statements i've heard on to the Super Hornet.


Well, don't take my word for it. Entered into the Congressional Record, we see things presented like this:


Another shrewd Navy ploy was to lower the bar for performance standards. When the Navy brass debated whether the E/F should be required to turn, climb, accelerate, and maneuver better than the C/D version, Vice Admiral Dennis V. McGinn, then the head of naval air warfare, rejected all but acceleration. A good thing, too, because the E/F doesn't perform so well in the other areas. In a Jan. 19, 1999, memo, Phillip E. Coyle, a top Defense Dept. weapon systems evaluator, says such Russian fighters as the Su-27 and MiG-29 "can accelerate faster and out-turn all variants of the F/A-18 in most operating regimes." The memo says while that's the price for more payload and range, the Navy plans to use air-combat tactics that won't require the capabilities of the earlier F/A-18 models.

www.gpo.gov...


Or this glowing quote from Rear Admiral McGinn:

Many have challenged the Navy to state the basis for such claims, given the fact that modern competing aircraft such as the French Rafale and multinational Eurofighter 2000 not only are far more agile and stealthy but also boast up-to-date avionics which are at least on par with those of the Super Hornet. When asked, the service’s director of air warfare supplies the small print: These threats can be defeated by the Super Hornet "with improvements."

Rear Adm. Dennis V. McGinn agrees that the Super Hornet most likely won’t win against some other modern aircraft using "brute force." He explained, "If I get into a turning fight" with the E/F against these other aircraft, "then I’ve made a big mistake."

www.airforcemag.com...

Here's a piece written by Rear Admiral Paul Gillcrist and Bob Cress:

Rear Admiral Paul Gillcrist U.S. Navy (Ret.) spent 33 years as a fighter jet pilot and wing commander and was operations commander for all Pacific Fleet fighters. Bob Kress is an aeronautical engineer and, during his long career at Grumman, he was directly involved in the development of the F-14 Tomcat. Their analysis makes an interesting statement when placed against the background of the war on terrorism...
Well, we have listened, with no small restraint, to the pontifications that justify how well the Navy is doing with its favorite program, the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet – despite unimpeachable reports to the contrary from the guys in the fleet; comments made to us by young fleet pilots who have flown the airplane and describe it as “a dog” carry much more weight with us than statements from senior officers and civilians higher in the food chain. But certain pontifications in a statement by a senior Naval officer who should have known better served as the last straw.
The pronouncement appeared along with a spate of triumphal announcements that celebrated the “successful” completion of the Super Hornet’s first operational evaluation (OPEVAL). In a publication called “Inside Washington,” the Navy’s director of operational testing is quoted as saying that the Super Hornet was superior to its earlier models “…in every category but three: acceleration, maximum speed and sustained turning performance.” This pronouncement boggled our minds because these are the very performance capabilities that determine a tactical airplane’s survival. Then, as if to justify this “hand grenade,” the officer is quoted as stating that the Navy has sacrificed speed in the Super Hornet for other beneficial capabilities, and he asserts, “brute speed is no longer the discriminator it once was when the benchmark was the Soviet threat.” It is clear that this Naval officer doesn’t have a clue about aerial combat and the importance of total energy in the complex equation of energy maneuverability...
A quote from a Hornet pilot is devastatingly frank: “The aircraft is slower than most fighters fielded since the early 1960s.”
The most devastating comment came from a Hornet pilot who flew numerous side-by-side comparison flights with F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and says: “We outran them, we out-flew them and we ran them out of gas. I was embarrassed for them.”

www.freerepublic.com...



posted on Jul, 5 2013 @ 08:15 PM
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Claiming these makes you a fool IMO, you aren't a Naval Aviator, Naval Aviators do belive it can handle threats and handle A2A combat. I do have alot of faith of the Rhino performing well in every role.


I am not a naval aviator, but I feel confident in my aviation bonafides. I'm not just making these things up. I'm sorry I don't share your enthusiasm about the Super Hornet.
It will have to do for the Navy because they don't have anything to replace it with until the F-35 is operational, and they won't have enough of those to go around. If the Navy wants a single airframe to haul iron, buddy-tank and BARCAP flying from a deck, then, right or wrong, those are the compromises they have chosen. There aren't any better options for a carrier capable aircraft at the moment unless they buy the Rafale, and we all know that isn't going to happen. Will a Super Hornet piloted by a highly-trained naval aviator and supported by E-2 or E-3 aircraft hold their own against a Su-30 without that support? I bet they will, and so has the Navy. That doesn't make it the be all, end all dogfighter you're trying to sell me.



posted on Jul, 5 2013 @ 08:36 PM
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reply to post by _Del_
 


That's soo old! That's when everybody was talking trash about the Super Bug.
It was Block I Rhino that was critized. Virtually, many pilots don't even say nothing bad about the Rhino recently. They all say it's very capable now (As Of Block II). The only thing that the Rhino lacks is the speed and acceleration of the Rhino. It has all of the capable things it has already as of 2013. See? This is why i dont trust you with the sources.
It's always from back in the day when it was criticized really badly, but today it isn't anymore.
It's only worried from its speed and acceleration, nothing wrong with anything anymore except the Speed and acceleration.
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posted on Jul, 5 2013 @ 08:44 PM
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reply to post by Navy2001
 


Speed and acceleration. Hmm, those would be....what's that word? Energy. In a dogfight energy is life. You get slow, you have to accelerate to get your energy back up. If you don't accelerate well, you are in trouble. If you can't keep your speed up, you're in trouble.

And that Hornet pilot comment about running them out of fuel still applies, as they haven't gotten more fuel yet, and it will be awhile before they do. It will probably take most of a year to certify the CFTs minimum.



posted on Jul, 5 2013 @ 08:59 PM
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Originally posted by Navy2001
reply to post by _Del_
 


That's soo old! That's when everybody was talking trash about the Super Bug.


That's because that was when it could have made a difference. Now they're stuck with it. Did the acceleration, speed and sustained turning performance improve somehow while I wasn't looking? The criticism is still valid all these years later. Improvements have been made to the avionics, but it isn't any aerodynamically better. The improvements definitely make it a more capable fighter than earlier. They don't turn it into a can't be beat dogfighter.



posted on Jul, 5 2013 @ 09:11 PM
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It's one tool in the toolbox. It's a great aircraft, but it's not a standalone system.
There's electronic warfare aircraft, AWACS style aircraft etc. that form the attack/defense (as the case may be).

One-on-one is rarely going to happen. If it does happen, you have to look not just at the aircraft, but at the pilot and tactics too. Remember that there's an A2A 'kill' attributed to an EF-111 crew. That was all about crew and tactics.

A navy weapons system isn't just going to be the Super Hornets. You're going to send a 'package.'



posted on Jul, 5 2013 @ 09:13 PM
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reply to post by Badgered1
 


I agree



Will a Super Hornet piloted by a highly-trained naval aviator and supported by E-2 or E-3 aircraft hold their own against a Su-30 without that support? I bet they will, and so has the Navy. That doesn't make it the be all, end all dogfighter you're trying to sell me.

edit on 5-7-2013 by _Del_ because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 6 2013 @ 05:36 PM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


This is why Being is offering the EPE Engines.

We need the EPE Engines for the Super Hornet to accelerate better.

EPE makes the Super Hornet accelerate better, and gives better A2A performance against faster, high flying targets.



posted on Jul, 6 2013 @ 05:45 PM
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reply to post by Navy2001
 


So you can't say that it's a great A2A platform. It CAN'T be the way it currently is.



posted on Jul, 6 2013 @ 06:06 PM
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Originally posted by Zaphod58
reply to post by Navy2001
 


So you can't say that it's a great A2A platform. It CAN'T be the way it currently is.


Yes it's a great A2A platform as always.

Im saying that it may need the EPE's to get better acceleration.

Or if I'm certainly not claiming right than what do you mean.
edit on 6-7-2013 by Navy2001 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 6 2013 @ 06:22 PM
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reply to post by Navy2001
 


If it's slow to accelerate, and can't keep its speed up, it can't keep its energy up. That means of it's an extended fight then it's in trouble. That means it can't be a great WVR platform in its current configuration.





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