F-16 versus air superiority fighters

Agreed, it will never be a fair fight but how would the F-16 match up against the ... ?
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Wildcat

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Unread post12 Nov 2003, 15:09

I agree with Normsta3 about the "pathetic level" of Iraqi pilots during Desert Storm: I know that, in 80s, Soviets accepted to train Iraqi pilots whereas they had been previously eliminated from Mirage F1 course, in France (no pride about that :? ), because they were not good enough for French requirements (which are usually even a bit lower for foreign students than for French students).

However, the pilots just matched the Russian patterns. Maybe there could have been some basic problems with Iraqi MiG pilots compared to their Western opponents?
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Unread post13 Nov 2003, 02:23

Amen. But anyways, ultimately, I believe the F-16 matches up against other air - superiority fighters something like this . . . . . . .

F-14 (A Top Gun In The Movie, But Not In Real Life, lol)

Long - range combat, granted that the F-16 presents a relatively small target in a large amount of sky, but the F-14 (especially the newer D - version) has probably one of the most powerful radars in the U.S. Air Force or Navy. Phoenix vs. AMRAMM, hmm, I wonder which would win?

Short - range combat, Falcon all the way, hands - down.

F-15 (Currently A Thread Running On This)

Long - range combat: Relatively equal. Generally speaking, F-15 has more powerful radar, but F-16 is has smaller RCS & is harder to spot. Whoever gets their AMRAAMS off first wins, :lol:

Short - range combat: Unless all F-15s get those 2D thrust - vectoring nozzles that they tested out on that special version of the F-15 (forget it's name, though I think it's at NASA now), Eagles shouldn't try to step to Falcons in a dogfight, because the F-16 is undoubtedly more agile.

F/A-18 (The F-16 Wannabe)

Long - range combat: AMRAAM vs. AMRAAM. For the most part, equal, so take your pick.

Short - range combat: At lower speeds, the Hornet has the advantage due to its greater AoA, but with greater acceleration and higher speeds, the Falcon will win. I guess the question is, what is the "average" speed a dogfight takes place at? Answer that, and you can find the winner. Personally, I'm still goin' with the Falcon.

F-22 (Air - Superiority God)

Long - range combat: Falcon is history. Stealth wins the day virtually 100% for the Raptor, :cry:

Short - range combat: Uh - oh, things just got interesting, lol, :lol: Now, we all know how agile the F-16, so what about the F-22? I've heard that it's super - agile and what not, but not definitive. It does have thrust - vectoring engines though. Then again, so can the latest F-16s as well. Should be pretty close.

Eurofighter 2000 & Rafale (The Pride And Future Of Europe)

Long - range combat: If what I have heard is true, then both of these planes may very well have longer - range AA missiles than the F-16. On top of that, both of these planes are also stealthy. Don't count on a victory from the Falcon, though it is possible.

Short - range combat: Thanks to info from Wildcat, it turns out the Rafale & Falcon are neck - in - neck when it comes to agility, with the Rafale possessing a VERY SMALL ADVANTAGE (i.e. small enough that it is easily compensated by a superior pilot an F-16). Since the Rafale appears to basically be a British derivative of the Eurofighter 2000, the same should probably apply.

Gripen (The Little Fighter That Could)

Long - range combat: I'll admit, I know ABSOLUTELY NOTHING on the Gripen's long - range AA capabilities. All I know is that Sweden better have an answer to the AMRAAM, 8)

Short - range combat: The Gripen is small, roughly the size of the F-16 I believe, though it may be even smaller. Should be equal, but I don't have any info on the agility of the Gripen. Does anyone?

MIG–29 (Not So Big And Bad As Many Think)

Long - range combat: I can’t remember if the MIG-29 has a longer – range AA missile, but its later variants can definitely carry the R-77 “AMRAAM-ski”. Now, the question is which is better, the AMRAAM or its Russian counterpart the AMRAAM-ski? It tis a pickle, lol, lol, lol.

Short - range combat: Falcon. Why, go to the following article, and you’ll understand. http://www.codeonemagazine.com/archives/1995/articles/jul_95/july2a_95.html

Su-27 (A Monster Of AA Combat)

Long – range combat: Pretty much the same as the MIG-29.

Short – range combat: A nightmare for the Falcon, with little chance of victory. The Su-27 is more agile, more powerful, more of pretty much everything. Not to mention, the Falcon’s computers will limit its manueverability, and every bit counts against the likes of the Su-35.

Su-35 (A Knightmare Of A Fighter)

Long – range combat: Once again, should be roughly equivalent to the MIG-29. However, something notable here is the the new missle given to the Su-35. The name escapes me, but I do remember what it can do. This missile can go over 200+ miles, and though it was designed to shoot down AWACs – type aircraft, with a powerful radar like the Su-35 has, this shouldn’t be shouldn’t be neglected either.

Short – range combat: If you thought the Su-27 was bad, then the Su-35 is even worse. Even more powerful engines, radar, and agility. Avionics have also improved a great deal. In other words, the Falcon stands about as much of a chance as a snowball tossed into hell, meaning it would probably only last 5 minutes, if that. Ouch.

Su-37 (The Undisputed King Of Close – Range Combat)

Long – range combat: Similar to Su-35.

Short – range combat: Whereas the F-22 is a god in long – range combat, the Su-37 is a god in close – range combat. Take a Su-35 and give it thrust – vectoring engines and a few other changes. Now, the Falcon could win, but then again, the Middle East could magically make peace with the U.S., now couldn’t it? But is that likely to happen anytime soon; I think not. Same applies with the Falcon.

In short, the Falcon stacks up very well. Only the latest European fighters (and possibly the Russian fighters as well), the F-14, & the F-22 pose any potentially serious threat for the Falcon. In short – range combat, the Falcon will usually come out on top, unless it goes against the Su family, or at least tie. The fact is that the F-16 is generally as good or even better than the latest aircraft in air – air superiority. Man, either the newest aircraft are just pitiful (to have to struggle with a plane that over what, 15 years old) or the F-16 is simply a marvel of engineering. You decide, though I personally like the latter choice more, lol, :wink:
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Unread post13 Nov 2003, 14:18

Su-35 (A Knightmare Of A Fighter)


Su-37 (The Undisputed King Of Close – Range Combat)

[/quote]

Off the back of my head, improvements made to their FLCS include digital fly-by-wire systems (the Su-27 had an analog fly-by-wire system) and the Su-37 has QUADRUPLE redundancy :shock: (the A-10 and Su-25 only have two and everyone could see how much damage it can take!!!), so considering that little (maybe not so little :wink:) f*cker dead after just one hit.
However, the Flanker family has a big weakness. You know that long bit of tailpane, stretching out between their engines (dunno the name, sorry :oops:)? From what I've heard, if you can hit THAT, the Flanker is toast. So I guess that a conforting thought for Falcon drivers 8) .
The Russian missile with 200+ mile range could be the R-37. I'm not sure but I read something about a derivate of the R-33 in one of my books and how it could be carried by the Su-37, so that might be it.
And don't forget that planes rarely go into combat alone, and tactics and how they are supported will count a lot. You can have the best pilots with the best planes, but if you send them into Indian country without the slightest bit of info as to what is waiting for them, incompetent leadership, no back up should they run into trouble... well they're pretty much baby seals...

Juz my 2cts. Carefully thought out tactics can sometimes compensate for the lack of capabilities, especially if you can catch the other side by surprise.
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Unread post13 Nov 2003, 15:46

Good stuff. I thought I would put some of my opinions in white. :)


Normsta3 wrote:Amen. But anyways, ultimately, I believe the F-16 matches up against other air - superiority fighters something like this . . . . . . .

F-14 (A Top Gun In The Movie, But Not In Real Life, lol)

Long - range combat, granted that the F-16 presents a relatively small target in a large amount of sky, but the F-14 (especially the newer D - version) has probably one of the most powerful radars in the U.S. Air Force or Navy. Phoenix vs. AMRAMM, hmm, I wonder which would win?

Short - range combat, Falcon all the way, hands - down.

F-15 (Currently A Thread Running On This)

Long - range combat: Relatively equal. Generally speaking, F-15 has more powerful radar, but F-16 is has smaller RCS & is harder to spot. Whoever gets their AMRAAMS off first wins, :lol:

Short - range combat: Unless all F-15s get those 2D thrust - vectoring nozzles that they tested out on that special version of the F-15 (forget it's name, though I think it's at NASA now), Eagles shouldn't try to step to Falcons in a dogfight, because the F-16 is undoubtedly more agile.

F/A-18 (The F-16 Wannabe)

Long - range combat: AMRAAM vs. AMRAAM. For the most part, equal, so take your pick.

Short - range combat: At lower speeds, the Hornet has the advantage due to its greater AoA, but with greater acceleration and higher speeds, the Falcon will win. I guess the question is, what is the "average" speed a dogfight takes place at? Answer that, and you can find the winner. Personally, I'm still goin' with the Falcon.

The C for example has a good chance. The E/F is dead meat, heavy and underpowered.

F-22 (Air - Superiority God)

Long - range combat: Falcon is history. Stealth wins the day virtually 100% for the Raptor, :cry:

Short - range combat: Uh - oh, things just got interesting, lol, :lol: Now, we all know how agile the F-16, so what about the F-22? I've heard that it's super - agile and what not, but not definitive. It does have thrust - vectoring engines though. Then again, so can the latest F-16s as well. Should be pretty close.

Eurofighter 2000 & Rafale (The Pride And Future Of Europe)

Long - range combat: If what I have heard is true, then both of these planes may very well have longer - range AA missiles than the F-16. On top of that, both of these planes are also stealthy. Don't count on a victory from the Falcon, though it is possible.

Short - range combat: Thanks to info from Wildcat, it turns out the Rafale & Falcon are neck - in - neck when it comes to agility, with the Rafale possessing a VERY SMALL ADVANTAGE (i.e. small enough that it is easily compensated by a superior pilot an F-16). Since the Rafale appears to basically be a British derivative of the Eurofighter 2000, the same should probably apply.

Metor when fielded, might be a threat.

Gripen (The Little Fighter That Could)

Long - range combat: I'll admit, I know ABSOLUTELY NOTHING on the Gripen's long - range AA capabilities. All I know is that Sweden better have an answer to the AMRAAM, 8)

Short - range combat: The Gripen is small, roughly the size of the F-16 I believe, though it may be even smaller. Should be equal, but I don't have any info on the agility of the Gripen. Does anyone?

Should be equal, again later meteor ( unproven ) with more range might be a threat.

MIG–29 (Not So Big And Bad As Many Think)

Long - range combat: I can’t remember if the MIG-29 has a longer – range AA missile, but its later variants can definitely carry the R-77 “AMRAAM-ski”. Now, the question is which is better, the AMRAAM or its Russian counterpart the AMRAAM-ski? It tis a pickle, lol, lol, lol.

Short - range combat: Falcon. Why, go to the following article, and you’ll understand. http://www.codeonemagazine.com/archives/1995/articles/jul_95/july2a_95.html

In spite of all the MiG-29 appologizers, this jet consistantly fails to deliver. WVR is hardly an issue in real life here as it ends up getting stomped by AMRAAM. Its best hope is to fight an A model F-16 with no BVR. BVR ability on early model MiG-29s is Horrible. Unless you are India who has a lot of their own domestic industry to work sustainment issues, vendor support from Russia is bad. BVR: So far R-27 has not delivered in combat. R77? UNPROVEN. As we seem to consistantly compromise Russian systems I wonder what threat except WVR is left from this jet?

Su-27 (A Monster Of AA Combat)

Long – range combat: Pretty much the same as the MIG-29.

Short – range combat: A nightmare for the Falcon, with little chance of victory. The Su-27 is more agile, more powerful, more of pretty much everything. Not to mention, the Falcon’s computers will limit its manueverability, and every bit counts against the likes of the Su-35.

Su-35 (A Knightmare Of A Fighter)

Long – range combat: Once again, should be roughly equivalent to the MIG-29. However, something notable here is the the new missle given to the Su-35. The name escapes me, but I do remember what it can do. This missile can go over 200+ miles, and though it was designed to shoot down AWACs – type aircraft, with a powerful radar like the Su-35 has, this shouldn’t be shouldn’t be neglected either.

Short – range combat: If you thought the Su-27 was bad, then the Su-35 is even worse. Even more powerful engines, radar, and agility. Avionics have also improved a great deal. In other words, the Falcon stands about as much of a chance as a snowball tossed into hell, meaning it would probably only last 5 minutes, if that. Ouch.

Su-37 (The Undisputed King Of Close – Range Combat)

Long – range combat: Similar to Su-35.

Short – range combat: Whereas the F-22 is a god in long – range combat, the Su-37 is a god in close – range combat. Take a Su-35 and give it thrust – vectoring engines and a few other changes. Now, the Falcon could win, but then again, the Middle East could magically make peace with the U.S., now couldn’t it? But is that likely to happen anytime soon; I think not. Same applies with the Falcon.

In short, the Falcon stacks up very well. Only the latest European fighters (and possibly the Russian fighters as well), the F-14, & the F-22 pose any potentially serious threat for the Falcon. In short – range combat, the Falcon will usually come out on top, unless it goes against the Su family, or at least tie. The fact is that the F-16 is generally as good or even better than the latest aircraft in air – air superiority. Man, either the newest aircraft are just pitiful (to have to struggle with a plane that over what, 15 years old) or the F-16 is simply a marvel of engineering. You decide, though I personally like the latter choice more, lol, :wink:


This Family....... The Su-27 is way more of a threat than a MiG-29. ? Why? Gas, and speed. Problems? Show me a consistant ( in quantity, AWACs like asset. GCI ? Well we always seem to compromise that net so again, this jet starts with a situational disadvantage. R77 ( the great BVR hope? ) Unproven. That doesn't mean you should ignore it. This jet is of course a threat. I would however submit to you that a lot of the SU-27s remaining tricks, if there are any, are compromised.

SU-35 and SU-37- So far no big orders for these jets. Almost qualify as technology demonstrators. I will consider them serious after a few real squadrons are operational and running for a few years, thats when we will know. Hard for me to take these two seriously when...

There is another jet that is IN PRODUCTION being totaly ignored.

The SU-30 family for China and India. This is the most dangerous SU as it is being developed and funded seriously. These are starting to appear and they will be in quantity. I have way more faith in China to put a BVR system on this that works consistantly than the Russians. China will put flying hours on these things and learn something. These two jets when you have other outside companies like France's Sagem ( just to name one ) providing avionics support and similar activity, and a more professional force like India, gives this jet some teeth whenever it becomes operational. In summary I would say when fully operational, it ranks at the top.. by far... as a BVR threat than any other Russian product mentioned.

The Flankers manuverabliy is nice but consider this in WVR... rear visibility in this jet is not so great compared to an F-16. Second, while it is easy to lose a tally on the little F-16 in close... something that will get you killed. Losing a tally on a big SU I don't think will be as much of an issue.

I like to talk less and less of WVR. When the Helmet / Heater combo becomes common for everyone concerned. It will be a blood bath in close meaning even the F-18E/F is dangerous in WVR. Certainly if you have it and the other guy doesn't yet, they are at risk. Unless they have already pummeled most of your force with combat proven AMRAAMs.

BVR SU-30 series Vs F-16. Again, don't take the range figures of the unproven R-77 to heart as we have no hard ( non-test bench theory ) figures to go on at what distance the little F-16 can be reliably locked up.

I would take the F-16 everytime because it is a COMPLETE, PROVEN weapons system. I know the latest jet has a trick radar, known sustainment issues and maintenance trends ( something completely inconsistant with Russian products. ) Cheaper to operate ( one engine etc ) and is superior to most mentioned above in all weather A2G munitions. At the end of the day, the F-16 in total has far less weakness compared to the Russian products. I would say for the others like EF2000 and Rafale though, that these should be very very strong.

Want to have some fun? Park an F-16 and a SU or MiG-29 next to each other and then start a stop watch and have an engine changing contest. Should be very amusing.
Last edited by elp on 13 Nov 2003, 16:10, edited 6 times in total.
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Unread post13 Nov 2003, 15:52

Still trying to help, I got information about Gripen from AIR International, march 2003:
The engine is a licence-built F404-GE-400, rated at 12,140 lbs, and 18,100 lbs with afterburning.
The one-seater version is 14.1 m long, has a wingspan of 8.4 m including missile rails, empty weight is 14,770 lbs and total internal fuel about 3,000 lit.
Max speed is M2.O (high), M1.15 (sea level) and combat radius is 430 nm (load? flight profile?). The quoted intantaneous turn rate is 30°/s and sustained turn rate 20°/s. These are the most precise datas I a was able to find, the Sweden Army seems to classify nearly everything (including max take-off weight) and gives very scarce information.
Gripen uses AIM-120Bs (up to four under the wings) and AIM-9Ls (two on wingtips). They will later be replaced by Meteor missiles (European-built successor to MICA and AMRAAM with a 100 km range and planned to enter service around 2010) and soon by IRIS-T (a Sidewinder modification, comparable to AIM-9X). THe PS-O5 radar seems to be similar to the latest varaiants of APG-68.
Gripen is a fully multirole-designed little fighter, a little bit like a scaled-down F-16.

By the way, Rafale and Eurofighter 2000 are completely different planes, even if they look very similar. Eurofighter was primarily designed as an air superiority fighter by an international team gathering United Kingdom, Germany, Spain and Italy, though an air-to-ground capability was later added. On the other hand, France decided to design and build a new fighter by its own, because the French Air Force basically needed a true mutirole plane, able to replace Mirage F1 and Jaguar mud-movers as well as Mirage 2000 interceptors. That is why, for example, Eurofighter is more powerful than Rafale (and is likely to have a better sustained turn rate) and will probably soon get vectoring engines whereas the French Air Force does not care about such modifications on Rafales.
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Unread post13 Nov 2003, 16:17

Vectoring engines on EF2000? They are still trying to field this jet in its current design without getting orders cut more and more by the original customers. Add to that: There are no firm orders outside of Europe. No bucks, no buck rogers.
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Unread post13 Nov 2003, 21:58

I remember reading that the initial EF2000s won't have thrust-vectoring, but that the later ones will. But then the first ones will only be air-air and multirole EF2000s are supposed to follow up about a year later.

Furthermore, there are like what, 4 (are they 4?) partners on the EF2000 project and each is going for some different stuff. I think that the British and Spanish versions are going to be the best ones. The Germans and the Italians are kind of trying to keep the costs down.

Besides, I don't think we shouldn't be so tough with the Typhoon (maybe they shoulda called Typhoon II), I mean, hell it was the first plane to be developed by 5, later 4 countries at the same time. It's not easy given that each country has its own problems and there's no junior partner as is the case with the JSF.
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Unread post13 Nov 2003, 22:42

it was the first plane to be developed by 5, later 4 countries at the same time.


Does anyone know how many countries were partnered on the design/production of the Panavia Tornado?
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Unread post13 Nov 2003, 23:21

habu2 wrote:
it was the first plane to be developed by 5, later 4 countries at the same time.


Does anyone know how many countries were partnered on the design/production of the Panavia Tornado?


Four?
At least that's what the multi-cut roundel on the side of it indicated.
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Unread post13 Nov 2003, 23:23

OOPS!
Wrong aircraft...it was three...three nations eventually developed the Tornado.
Britain-BAe
Germany-MBB
Italy-Aeritalia/Alenia
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Unread post13 Nov 2003, 23:54

The blk60, and the blk52+, for that matter are completely new cats when it comes to A-2-A capability. while the Typhoon and rafale will always hold the stealth advantage compared to an F-16, the latest F-16 can not be underestimated by any fighter pilot. It can hold its own against anybody.
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Unread post14 Nov 2003, 03:36

Great points everyone, :D , but there are so many that I'll to respond to each separatly to maintain order, :wink:

Phoenix: You're right, a hit to that tail (radar?) would prove distratous, but then again, any hit near the engines usually is, isn't it? I mean, forget still being able to fly, cuz in actual combat, JUST being able to fly obviously won't cut it, right?

elp: Several things, :wink: First off, my bad on the F/A-18C / Super Hornet thing, though I DEFINITELY wasn't talking about that sad excuse of a plane the Super Hornet. Personally, a modified F-16XL would do a better job in virtually all areas (except landing on a carrier, lol), but hey, that's just my opinion, :D But I still think the F-16 is a better dogfighter than the F/A-18, 8)

Second thing, combat proveness of missiles. Now, the Meteo & R-77 is combat aren't combat - proven, and yet we don't ever seem to question the ability of the Phoenix, which hasn't even been tested in actual combat, has it? If it has, then never mind what I've just said. But if so, then I say we give the same respect Meteo & R-77 when it comes to their unproven performance.

Finally, in A2G role, yes, the Su family isn't anywhere near as good, but assuming this thread is dealing with their A2A capabilities, I'd say it is for the most part. Shoot, the X-29 & X-31 are technology demostrators, but I'd bet they'd be one heck of an opponent for the F-16, :wink:

Phoenix: Thanx a lot for the data on the Gripen, :D . You're right, it does appear to function like a smaller (and possibly cheaper) F-16, so it'd definitely be an interesting match - up indeed. Also, my apologies for thinking that the Rafale was a British, not French plane, :oops: God only knows where I got that idea from, lol, lol, lol, :lol:

"Guest": Pretty much summed up what I've been sayin' all along, :)
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Unread post14 Nov 2003, 10:01

Another thing I remembered about the Su-37 this morning, it's tails are hollow and can act as auxiliary fuel tanks... Can you spell toast? :twisted:

And BTW, you've got Wildcat to thank for the data on the Gripen, not me :wink:
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Unread post14 Nov 2003, 23:40

To Wildcat: My apologies for not giving you proper credit for that info on the Gripen, my bad, :oops: , lol, lol, :lol:

To Phoenix: Once again, yet anohter very real weakness of the Su family, especially the Su-37. However, once again, we both know that virtually any missile hit in the rear atmosphere of a plane is catstrophic. I guess one could say you could use your guns to hit those fuel tanks in the tails, but this is the Su-37; GOOD LUCK GETTING INTO POSTION, :wink:
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Unread post15 Nov 2003, 12:16

Woopee, my computer is alive again, nice to be back! :D

To Normsta3: never mind, I'm just happy it helped. :wink:

About Phoenix missiles, I read somewhere that Tomcats actually fired Phoenix to Iraqi aircraft but the missiles did not hit (date?). Does anyone know something about that? I read that Iranians used Phoenix against Iraqi fighters during 80s, but the results seem to have been disapointing as far as I know.
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