F-16 Viper versus F-18 Hornet

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

Occamsrasr

Active Member

Active Member

  • Posts: 173
  • Joined: 17 Nov 2004, 04:04

Unread post22 Nov 2004, 19:25

I have tried to find a link that compares and contrasts the two planes, but I have not found exactly what I am looking for. I do not want to read about the Super Hornet versus the Viper, just a garden variety F-18A/C against an F-16A/C. In particular, strengths and weaknesses of each plane in the ACM role.

Can someone help me with a link to a discussion of this topic?

Oh, I have pictures of the F-16's that crashed on take off from Wright-Patterson in the early 90's, if anyone is interested. Can't remember what unit they were from, but they were not part of the unit based at Wright-Patt flying the A/B model.
Offline

SwedgeII

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 338
  • Joined: 06 Feb 2004, 13:37

Unread post22 Nov 2004, 21:04

F-18 has a better radar, and better Roll rate, better LOW speed handling. F-16 is better at EVERYTHING else!! Of course the 18 can fly with one engine out!!
Offline

Happy_Gilmore

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 295
  • Joined: 15 May 2004, 00:57

Unread post22 Nov 2004, 22:17

The F-16 can also fly with one engine out, the Hornet can barely fly with both of its engines running. Having maintained both jets, I can tell you from a maintenance standpoint the Hornet had NOTTA on the Viper. Very unreliable and maintainability is a nightmare, ask any Hornet weenie about the switching valves and hydraulic system migration problems. I could go on and on but since to didn't ask about the maintenance part of it, I'll just shut up.
Have a great day.
Offline

Roscoe

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1320
  • Joined: 29 Jun 2004, 20:14
  • Location: Las Vegas

Unread post23 Nov 2004, 03:17

I question the better radar comment. Older ones maybe, but the latest OFP in the Viper combined with Link 16 is awfully hard to beat for a radar that size.
Roscoe

"It's time to get medieval, I'm goin' in for guns" - Dos Gringos
Offline

RSAF-G2

Enthusiast

Enthusiast

  • Posts: 56
  • Joined: 17 Apr 2004, 06:32

Unread post23 Nov 2004, 18:17

The F/A-18 may handle slightly better at low speeds, but what's the point? We ain't really looking for an A-10 here...

although it has an advantage there, but how often will that be useful...a jet with advantages that are apparent 90% of the flight time seems a better choice.

The extra weight and less agility doesn't tally the slightly better payload and low-speed handling, therefore the viper is still better!

anyway, the RSAF (Republic of Singapore Airforce) did a fly-off test between the F/A-18D and F-16C/D Block 50 in the early 90s, and they chose the F-16C/D instead...
Offline

elp

Elite 3K

Elite 3K

  • Posts: 3143
  • Joined: 23 Sep 2003, 20:08

Unread post23 Nov 2004, 18:53

We did this once before (look at the old threads: <a href="f-16_forum_viewtopic-t-656.html">1</a> / <a href="f-16_forum_viewtopic-t-25.html">2</a>) but for those wdwtfs (who dont want to *&$##& <a href="index.php?name=PNphpBB2&file=search">search</a> :) ) the short version:

<b>F-18</b>

Carrier capable

If you are long over water and one engine gives out.... well.... that is definately a warm fuzzy as opposed to ejecting into sub zero water.

2 engine jet yet doesnt carry much gas ( 2 engines consuming X pph vs a 1 engine jet consuming x phh )

Range inhibited because of above.

Most of the maintenance nightmare stuff is because the F-18 never recovered from the logistics spare parts nightmare called the downsizing of the '90s. ( photos of USN F-18s in a line all up on saw horses and canned of parts so another squadron can deploy on a carrier cruise ) The procurement dickheads in all services are more interested in buying new jets instead of buying a few spares for stuff we already have .

Shot. Most of the high ops tempo the last several years has left the C model run hard and put up wet. USMC F-18Cs with less hours were even cherry picked to fill out USN ranks.

Two engines also means more maintenance hours. The laws of stats cant stop that no matter if it is an F-4 or EF2000 Eurofighter. 2 engines ( $$$ ) plus all the associated systems x2 that have to be maintained.

High_off_boresight_helmet_heater combos have minimized turning ./ manuver ability in WVR to where it isnt as important. Even the horrible super slow hornet F-18E/F is dangerous in WVR with a HOBS helmet heater setup.

Dont get me started on the POS which is the F-18E/F. Although we got it now and it is good bomb truck. ( the procurement process was criminal )


<b>F-16</b>

Lower cost of ownership. Like paying for fuel and all the other x2 sustainment goodies? Get a two engine fighter. Minus the carrier ability, An F-16 will do all combat missions just as good if not better than an F-18, only with less cost. THAT is why it is the sales king. The sales puke starts showing you the cost of owner$hip over years and any two engine jet starts sucking air in the presentation.
- ELP -
Offline

avon1944

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 404
  • Joined: 24 Nov 2004, 02:03

Unread post24 Nov 2004, 02:07

Occamsrasr wrote:In particular, strengths and weaknesses of each plane in the ACM role.

While both aircraft were designed to operate in the same envirement -15,000 to 30,000 feet and speeds from 250mph to 450mph, the designer's solutions were different. This area is where eighty percent of the world's dogfights have takened place thoughout history.
The re-design of the YF-17 to the F/A-18 insured good handling qualities at slow speeds near sea level. The F-16 was designed to be more of a "top cover" type of aircraft.

The F-16 has a higher T/W ratio than most other aircraft. High altitudes, higher speeds (towards the 450mph mark) work the verticle since it does it like no other aircraft and use its "sustained" rate of turn.

F/A-18 was designed to be carrier capable, so slow speed high angles of attack and, lower altitudes is the area it should fight its battles. One advantage the F/A-18 has over its opponents is its ability to operate at high AOA. So while it doesn't have the thrust some other aircraft do, it can do an exellent job of pointing its nose at the right angle long before it has made it around a circle.

Both aircraft can defeat the MiG.-29 but they should fight it like they fight each other since the MiG.'s performance falls between the two. Just as there are tactics to get inside the BVR arena, there are tactics to defeat the HMDS in the WVR arena and both American fighters can use these tactics to get within gun range!

Adrian
Offline
User avatar

lamoey

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1065
  • Joined: 25 Apr 2004, 17:44
  • Location: 77550

Unread post24 Nov 2004, 02:35

Wasn't there some departure problem with the Hornet that took the E/F models to fix?
Former Flight Control Technican - We keep'em flying
Offline

avon1944

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 404
  • Joined: 24 Nov 2004, 02:03

Unread post24 Nov 2004, 04:05

lamoey wrote:Wasn't there some departure problem with the Hornet that took the E/F models to fix?

Yes the original E/F was supposed to have ninety percent commonality with the C/D, instead it wound up with less than thirty percent commonality. There was a problem with "wing drop." It took a sizeable engineering effort to solve the problem.

The F/A-18E/F is a far different aerial combat animal than the F/A-18C/D. The C/D is a true dogfighter the E/F is not! The General Accounting Office did a report and compared the E/F versus the C/D.
They ripped apart the E/F! It accelerates slower, decelerates slower, turns instantaneous and sustained less than the C/D. Several times during dogfights the C/D forced the E/F to dissengage due to "bingo fuel!"

Here is a URL that compares the F-14D versus the F/A-18E/F.
http://www.flightjournal.com/articles/f ... 4f18_1.asp

The US carriers could not attack targets in northern Afghanistan with the E/F that are hit as routine for the F-14D!

The un-refueled radius of an F-14 carrying the normal strike load (four 2,000-pound LGBs, two HARM missiles and two Sidewinders plus 675 rounds of 20mm and two, 280-gallon external tanks) is at least 500 statute miles. Accompanying E/F Super Hornets have only a 350-statute-mile radius carrying about half the bomb load.

I apologize for getting carried away ragging on the F/A-18. It is a "decent" short range aircraft but, for the money it is a waste. A Boeing interal memo showed the F-15E out performed the F/A-18E/F in every parameter except the ability to land on a carrier! Plus the F-15E is a lot cheaper!!!

Adrian
Offline

Dammerung

Active Member

Active Member

  • Posts: 192
  • Joined: 26 Jun 2004, 23:17

Unread post24 Nov 2004, 04:38

Speed is life... Only way you can fight Low-Speed High-AoA is one on one... and if it's one on one, someone screwed up, bad. If you're fast, you have more energy both to be used to get on the Bandit's six and should he fire on you, evade his missile. F/A-18 is inferior in this Aspect...

In BVR, while the F/A-18 can detect the F-16 first, I'm presuming the AIM-120's range is shorter than the F-16's radar range, they can still fire at the same time.
Offline

elp

Elite 3K

Elite 3K

  • Posts: 3143
  • Joined: 23 Sep 2003, 20:08

Unread post24 Nov 2004, 17:07

While there are tactics on the book to minimize the engagement ability of first gen R-73 HOBS - Helmet heaters from the early MiG-29 when going WVR, I doubt that much can minimize the engagement ability of an AIM-9X HOBS Helment heater or the new Israeli job. Shotguns at 5 paces.
- ELP -
Offline

Lawman

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 356
  • Joined: 20 Nov 2003, 21:35

Unread post25 Nov 2004, 21:54

avon1944 wrote:
lamoey wrote:Wasn't there some departure problem with the Hornet that took the E/F models to fix?

The General Accounting Office did a report and compared the E/F versus the C/D.
They ripped apart the E/F! It accelerates slower, decelerates slower, turns instantaneous and sustained less than the C/D. Several times during dogfights the C/D forced the E/F to dissengage due to "bingo fuel!"

Here is a URL that compares the F-14D versus the F/A-18E/F.
http://www.flightjournal.com/articles/f ... 4f18_1.asp

Adrian


Ok, I know Elp, and the HABU twins have been wondering when I was gonna chime in on this one.

The GAO did such a report, and then Boeing, the Navy test pilots at Pax River, and several other congressmen stepped forward and demonstrated the lacking in the GAO's investigation into the Rhino in 2000. No further investigation by the Senate Armed Services commitee was needed, because they were more likely to belive the testomony of the Navy pilots flying it then by a bunch of outside annalists making there own decisions. VX-9 did a series of flyoffs between The Rhino against both the Vaunted Tomcats of VX-32 and Legacy Hornets and found no severe deficiancys in the air to air arena that people keep seeming to spout off about.

As for your artical, it was written by a pair of Grumman engineers and a Pilot that was still stuck living his topgun fantasys. The reason the Rhino wasnt used in afganistan wasnt that it couldnt hit the targets, it was that the Navy didnt have the tanker assets it needed. The only had a few aging S-3's on each carrier to perform the mission, these are aircraft that on a good day top out at 400 knots. The Vikings were not able to maintain the pace needed to support the men on the ground, and the single squadron of Rhinos took up the job of performing that mission so the Legacy Hornets and Turkeys could actually get to where the needed to. The presumtion that it wasnt used because it couldnt do the job leaves out the fact that we had C model Hornets over afganistan and there range with the payload listed is even less then a Rhino. Also 4 2000lbs LGB's were the weapon type used because the F-14 cant carry some of the other more effective ordinance that the Hornet family can. Mission to mission the Rhino can perform any task presently performed by either the Tomcat or legacy Hornet and do them cleaner and more effectively. And to give you an idea of how theroughly researched that artical is, a Tomcat CANT CARRY HARMS!!! This has been debated forever by the people that saw a picture on the NATS website of a D model testing a pair of AGM-88's for nothing more then airframe certification, the softwear to use them isnt there. Ask any eagle driver what he thinks of the Turkey as a fighter or a Mudhen driver about it as a bomber, you'll hear quite a bit of bad about both.
Drew
Offline

avon1944

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 404
  • Joined: 24 Nov 2004, 02:03

Unread post02 Dec 2004, 22:16

Thank you Lawman for your insightful response. It puts some balance into some of the things of which I have read.

Still you know and I know there is a real PR campaign going on to sell the E/F. It also is quickly apparent that I (like the USMC) am not a real F/A-18E/F fan.

The reason the Rhino wasnt used in afganistan wasnt that it couldnt hit the targets, it was that the Navy didnt have the tanker assets it needed.

It is a range issue, if the carrier tankers refueled the Hornet over the Indian Ocean before they get close to Pakistani air space (with any decent weapon's load) the Hornet could not make it up near the northern Afghanistani border. The Hornet could make it a little north of Kabul. The carrriers had no problem sending the Turkey over the beach to northern Afghanistan refueling them from the same areas!
For the C/D to be effective in Northern Afghanistan refueling would had to take place over Pakistani, the USA just barely has over flight rights.
Do the carriers have the tanker assets to support an alpha strike by themselves, heavens no! I was ten years this year when presidential advisors started advising the president that the budget cuts were cutting to deep.

The "peace dividen" was peace, not some winfall profit for social programs. That's another topic.

During the PGW#1 there were Saudi air bases that had both F-16C's and USMC F/A-18C's and when you compare the amount of fuel taken from the airborne tankers, the F/A-18's took far more fuel than the F-16's. In fact the F/A-18C/D's received more fuel from airborne tankers than any other aircraft during PGW#1. This is a true wartime head to head comparison of loads and range.

The only had a few aging S-3's on each carrier to perform the mission

This makes the need for each aircraft to be as fuel "self sufficient" as possible, much greater.

I for one feels the Navy needs a SLEP for the S-3! ASW is a parisable skill and SSK's are becomming more and more capable. The S-3's are needed now for ASW than they have been since the end of the Cold War. The US Navy operating in the litorials more and more means every ASW platform must be very effective. Damn the politicians!

To give you an idea of how theroughly researched that artical is, a Tomcat CAN'T CARRY HARMS!!!

The Turkey was never a serious bomb truck, it has the role in order to say it is multi-mission, something that was "politically correct" at the time.

Ask any eagle driver what he thinks of the Turkey as a fighter

The only aircraft I have hear Eagle drivers talk about with real respect are the A-10's and Jaguars. Their ability to hug the ground makes them an extremely difficult target to lock-on. I have "read" where F-15C pilots feel the F-14D is a challenge to fight and that the Tornado has very good tactics to cover its limitations.

My late friend Art, a Tomcat pilot (one of the first classes of pilots to the F-14A's that did not transistion from the F-4 Phantom 2) stated that when he flew against the F-15A's.... in the phase in which the two aircraft jockey for best position the F-15 had a real advantage. The F-14 could jockey around countering the F-15's moves but, in the end the F-14 would start losing more and more airspeed. Finally, out of energy sudden loss of altitude is the only way to get your energy state back up. When you do this the F-15's would pounce from their perch and you were dead!

An F-15 pilot at an airshow told me that he felt the Turkey and the Mudhen have the same close air combat ability.

Ask any eagle driver what he thinks of the Turkey.... or a Mudhen driver about it as a bomber

Speaking of the Mudhen, did you get a chance to read parts of the Boeing internal memo comparing the F-15E versus the F/A-18E/F. Like the Turkey the E/F does not compare well. The F-15E out performs the E/F in "all" specs, cost less and, the only thing the E/F can do the F-15E can't do is to land on a carrier!

a D model testing a pair of AGM-88's for nothing more then airframe certification, the softwear to use them isnt there

Somewhat like the F-14 and the Slammer Missile, the software and hardware have been developed but, the decision to field the weapon was voted down. A wise move for when the last F-14D is retired there will still be many Phoenix Missiles in storage that will have to be dismantled.

As for the GAO, their charter is to insure the taxpayer is getting their money's worth. If Congress had known the E/F was virtually a new aircraft, they would have never O.K.'d the funds. Not the way the A-12 program had gone.

The original program goals for the F/A-18E/F was to have 90% commonality with the C/D, it wound up with only 30%. Comparing the E/F with other Boeing products..... F-15E or the F/A-18C/D and the money spent in the cold light of day, the taxpayer got had! Is the E/F an improvement in some respects over the C/D, yes. Is the GAO correct is "flat" statement that the E/F when comparing cost versus new capabilities, the E/F was not a good program.... YES!!

The big claim that the E/F has a much smaller RCS than the C/D is true. Unfortunately, the reality is that the RCS of the E/F is the same size as the F-16C, around 13ft²!

I am one who feels the USMC's decision not to purchase any E/F's speaks volumns about about their evaluation of the fighter bomber. They would rather keep the AV-8B's and F/A-18C/D's and purchase the F-35C when it becomes operational. The F-35C will cost a whole lot less than the E/F.

The cost of the E/F of which I have seen have been the cost calculated before the USMC decided not to purchase the three hundred plus aircraft.

To me the real test will be, let us see which countries purchase the E/F. If a lot of countries follow the US Navy and purchases a bunch of them, that is one positive statement but, if most of the owners of the C/D's decide not to purchase the E/F just like the USMC, that is an entirely different and negative statement. So far I don't hear any clamor of a line starting between Canada, Spain, Switzerland or any other country.

Adrian
Offline

Happy_Gilmore

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 295
  • Joined: 15 May 2004, 00:57

Unread post02 Dec 2004, 23:21

This you may also find interesting (Entertaining at least)

By CHRIS TOMLINSON, Associated Press Writer ABOARD THE USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT

When the U.S. Navy's F-14B Tomcats streak over Afghanistan dropping laser- and satellite-guided bombs, the legendary fighter planes represent the military's massive and modern firepower. However, when the VF-102 returns from Operation Enduring Freedom, the 12 Tomcats based on the USS Theodore Roosevelt will be turned in, and the pilots sent to train on a new generation of aircraft.

One of the Navy's most recognizable fighters, with the swept-back wings, is 30 years-old, older than some of the pilots that fly them. ``Tomcats are a piece of history, I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to fly a Tomcat,'' Lt. Matt, call sign "Rub,'' a 27-year-old from Blythe, Calif., said. ``It's a crime we have to transition to the FA/18.''

The squadron commander, Cmdr. Roy Kelley, said he will miss the plane he has flown for the last 15 years and still the world's fastest and most maneuverable fighter plane. ``About a year and a half ago, when I was told this squadron was going to transition to the F/A-18F, I wasn't really excited about it,'' said Kelley ``That's going to be the hard part, walking away from an airplane you are comfortable in. Especially since the whore nut F-18 is such a ___" . Kelley said his convictions were confirmed about the Super Hornet after visiting the Boeing production factory, then flew one earlier this year. `As far as I'm concerned the F/A18 is about as overated as it can be.''

Kelley also said that the Tomcats are'nt breaking down as often as Boeing publicists and PR 'spinners' would like the voters to believe. Lt. j.g. Dave Woods, in charge of the carriers general aviation maintenance department says, "The 20-30 year-old planes hardly show their age. And they're now considered ``low maintenance. They are very similar fine wine, the older it gets .. the better it gets,'' said Woods. ``A lot of the air frames seem to be getting stronger all the time.'' Indeed, when the F-14's are sitting in the carrier's hangar below the flight deck, maintenance crews have little to do because the air crews write-up so few gripes on them.

After the Theodore Roosevelt's current deployment, it will be sailed to California, where most of the pilots and weapon's officers will train on the Super Hornet [a short-range, two-seat [ in the opinion of many pilots .. piece of garbage] version of the F18C that Navy and one Marine squadron are currently flying off the Theodore Roosevelt.The current F18's are continually declaring low fuel emergencies. The new version is expected to exaserbate the situation.

All Navy F-14s, which can carry six and one-half tons of explosives, are scheduled to be retired by 2010. Kelley scoffed the Super Hornet's new technology, saying , " Hey, it's the same old Hornet ____, repackaged, which was designed to keep the politicians happy." He said it can never match the Tomcat's long range, mach 1.8 speed and predator mystique. Kelley said when his wingman is in an F-18, he must be careful not to leave [ the slower plane] behind. "The Tomcat's speed is amazing, There's not another airplane in the Navy's inventory that can match it," Kelley, 40, said. ``You look at the plane on the ground it even looks intimidating, it looks like something that is made for war. I hope the liberal, fudge packing, cross dressing congressmen who thought the Hornet could replace this avaition masterpiece rot in hell."
Offline

Lawman

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 356
  • Joined: 20 Nov 2003, 21:35

Unread post03 Dec 2004, 18:01

The Marine Corps purchase was cancalled because they cant afford to buy 300 Rhino's and the Osprey and then the JSF (which they arent permitted to cancel). They decided it was more in there interest to replace there 30+ year old helo fleet of CH-46's then to replace a 10 year old fighter that can still do its job. Now with all the delays and fiasco in the JSF there starting to take a long hard financial look at the F model as an interm replacement for some of there needs nobody factored in the present war in Iraq doing so much to the service lives of the legacy Hornets. And no Canada and the Swiss arent buying any at the moment, but Malaysia and Kuwait are presently in the makings with Boeing.

As for the S-3 requirement the ASW part is being taken up by the new SH-60's being fielded now. Again this is an ageing airframe, they've already had to go out to the AMARC to strip parts off the ones in storage, there life is over the only question is will we have anything to fill in for it. We didnt when we retired the KA-6, the S-3 was never intended to be the Navys primary tanker, it was forced on it.

And as for your comparisons, yes the Legacy Hornet has always had short legs, however its how much smaller then the F-14 your compairing it to. Again nobody asks the F-16 to haul as much as far as the Mudhen, but every Hornet critic is quick to compare the short legs to the massive F-14. Thats like saying the Strike Eagle cant fly as far as the F-111, no it cant but it still does the mission better. Again it means nothing, go talk to an airwing that actually has Rhinos in its wing and see what they say, the same crap written by a bunch of bitter Tomcat drivers was written about there bird when it was transition time for the F-4 jockeys. The ones that are yelling the loudest are the ones that didnt get slotted to transition, suprise there not happy.

And for the F-15 vs F-14 arguement, they dont respect an aircraft that telegraphs its energy state at visual range. We had that discussion on ARC, he might as well radio his airspeed during the whole fight.
Drew
Next

Return to F-16 versus XYZ

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests