New Dan Hampton interview

Feel free to discuss anything here - as long as it is F-16 related.
  • Author
  • Message
Offline

basher54321

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1249
  • Joined: 02 Feb 2014, 15:43

Unread post19 Apr 2017, 22:18

Well, we could spend 45 minutes talking about the Air Force and its collective lack of leadership, but it kind of goes to that. Here on the one hand they're pushing the F-35, and possibly an upgraded F-22, and yet they don't want to get rid of older 1970s vintage F-15s, right? That's because for a long time the Air Force was run by what's called the Eagle Mafia, which were the guys that always wanted to be the white scarf in the wind, air-to-air dog fighting kings. Unfortunately that pretty much went out with Vietnam. You could even argue that it went out with Korea. But they never really grasped that fact, so they never really thought too much of aircraft that did air-to-ground missions or swing-role airplanes like the F-16 that were quite capable of doing their single air-to-air mission, and close air support, and all the other stuff that multi-role fighters do.
I think the situation is illustrating a lot of the issues with the Air Force, and I think the F-16 is more than capable. Northrup Grumman has an APG-80 AESA radar (used on the Block 60 F-16E/F) and their new SABR (APG-83 Scaleable Agile Beam Radar) for the F-16. The only thing the Eagle can do that the F-16 can't do is it can carry more weapons. But then again if the weapons are so much more accurate and dependable now, then what's the point?


http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/94 ... t-shortage
Offline

f-16adf

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 303
  • Joined: 19 Dec 2016, 17:46

Unread post20 Apr 2017, 16:32

Thank you for the notification. It's an excellent article; sometimes The Drive really puts together superb reading.
Offline
User avatar

smsgtmac

Forum Veteran

Forum Veteran

  • Posts: 820
  • Joined: 02 Mar 2013, 04:22
  • Location: Texas

Unread post21 Apr 2017, 03:17

...and yet they don't want to get rid of older 1970s vintage F-15s, right? That's because for a long time the Air Force was run by what's called the Eagle Mafia, which were the guys that always wanted to be the white scarf in the wind, air-to-air dog fighting kings. Unfortunately that pretty much went out with Vietnam. You could even argue that it went out with Korea. But they never really grasped that fact, so they never really thought too much of aircraft that did air-to-ground missions or swing-role airplanes like the F-16 that were quite capable of doing their single air-to-air mission, and close air support, and all the other stuff that multi-role fighters do.


Wow. Dan Hampton is an Applied SEAD/DEAD Subject Matter Expert that I'd be willing to take almost anything he says on the subject as gospel until proven wrong. The inverse is true on force structure speculations, cause/effect relationships, or AF historical preference for pursuing multi-role aircraft as having more bang for buck. This topic is far too complex for throw-away one-liners to explain away over a beer. Probably doesn't help that he's being 'interviewed' by an itinerant hot dog vendor who moonlights making rank-amateur speculations on Aircraft Design and Airpower topics.

The only thing the Eagle can do that the F-16 can't do is it can carry more weapons.

A goodly number of test pilots I knew at Edwards in the 80's-90's wanted F-15s if the fight was above 25K ft, where A2A combat trends have been going. And importantly there's more space for more radar and avionics growth in a F-15. Not to mention a helluva perfect (to-date) 100+ to ZERO combat win streak.Yeah, only Eagle Mafiosi would want that...

But then again if the weapons are so much more accurate and dependable now, then what's the point?

They want the F-15 more for what I'd call the "missing Raptor factor", so FWIW the incumbent F-15 is the more logical choice to hang on to given the circumstances. And in a future of 5th gen adversaries and triple-digit rich IADs, a non-LO aircraft will need all the weapons they can carry: because they're more 'target' than 'fighter'. US force planners are working the Lanchester Square equations to the limits trying to make do with a mixed 4th/5th gen (and overall smaller) fleet under a pathetic budget, so this is what we get.
strange-game.jpg
If you can't be stealth, bring lots of 'Missiles' and 'Hope'
--The ultimate weapon is the mind of man.
Offline

talkitron

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 306
  • Joined: 07 Nov 2007, 10:55

Unread post21 Apr 2017, 22:53

I read two of Hampton's non-fiction books: his autobiography of being an F-16 pilot and his book on fighter pilots from different wars. I like the guy and respect his service. But he just throws out ideas on Middle East politics and F-16s without providing much justification for his views. On one hand he says that the majority of Iranians do not remember the Shah but on the other hand he wants to find a descendent of the former Iraqi royal family and make that guy king of Iraq as a symbol of national unity. I am sure all the warring parties in Iraq will forget all the blood they have shed if a new figurehead is installed.

On the F-16, the cost of a new build F-16V / block 70 is probably two to three times the cost of upgrading the radar and doing a service life extension, from rough numbers thrown around.

The one idea I do like is contracting with private military companies for the light attack role. Given the fighter pilot shortage, buying a bunch of light attack planes and staffing them with USAF officers makes little sense to me. There seem to be plenty of ex-military fighter pilots who would join a private military company and fly these light attack planes if offered the right financial compensation. With ex-military pilots, there wouldn't need to be an up-or-out style promotion race where active duty pilots stress about being promoted to the next step in the pyramid.
Offline
User avatar

krorvik

Forum Veteran

Forum Veteran

  • Posts: 507
  • Joined: 12 Sep 2015, 15:26

Unread post23 Apr 2017, 16:16

Yep, I read "Viper Pilot"; and the only times i remember raising eyebrows were on some of the rather strong statements on politics and strategy well beyond the cockpit and deployment. Now, I'm not saying he was wrong, that's not for me to say, - but they had a distinct lack of background.

Return to General F-16 forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 3 guests