Complete N00B question re: F-16 vs. more recent designs

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

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Unread post27 Feb 2012, 23:19

The F-16 is my favorite currently operational fighter, has been since the F-4s were retired (the F-4 winning the all time meanest looking fighter award in my opinion).

When the F-16 came out much was made of it's inherent lack of stability and the edge that gave the plane in radical dogfight maneuvers... my question is how does it rank with newer designs in the US arsenal or for that matter the rest of the world?

Am I correct in thinking that all newer designs are also unstable and need to be flown with the help of computers? I was reminded that thrust vectoring is another more recent feature that some new planes have...

A n00b question, as promised :wink:
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Unread post28 Feb 2012, 00:25

parsnips wrote:The F-16 is my favorite currently operational fighter, has been since the F-4s were retired (the F-4 winning the all time meanest looking fighter award in my opinion).

When the F-16 came out much was made of it's inherent lack of stability and the edge that gave the plane in radical dogfight maneuvers... my question is how does it rank with newer designs in the US arsenal or for that matter the rest of the world?

Am I correct in thinking that all newer designs are also unstable and need to be flown with the help of computers? I was reminded that thrust vectoring is another more recent feature that some new planes have...

A n00b question, as promised :wink:


Not ALL new designs, but many.

As for the F-16's standing, it's combat-proven against most peer fighters (Su-27/MiG-29). The only real threats I can think off the top of my head of are the newer Flankers, and the Chinese JF-17 and J-10. The newest F-16s can generally take on any threat aircraft and win.

Looking at Russian/enemy claims paints a slightly different picture, but believe those at your own risk.
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Unread post28 Feb 2012, 03:24

Has an F-16 actually been engaged in combat with an SU-27 of any variant? :) It has fared well against MiG-29s (granted the Serbs had 0 AWACS of any kind, never mind a weapon like AMRAAM) and MiG-21/23 (which would be expected).

It obviously depends on the Model and Block, weapons loadouts, etc, but the only aircraft that could be considered markedly superior to the Falcon (F-22, F-35, F/A-18E/F, Rafale, Typhoon) would only be so under certain circumstances. F-16s have bagged Raptors in simulated combat, so it can clearly hold its own.


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ygbsm

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Unread post28 Feb 2012, 09:17

HaveVoid wrote:Has an F-16 actually been engaged in combat with an SU-27 of any variant? :) It has fared well against MiG-29s (granted the Serbs had 0 AWACS of any kind, never mind a weapon like AMRAAM) and MiG-21/23 (which would be expected).

It obviously depends on the Model and Block, weapons loadouts, etc, but the only aircraft that could be considered markedly superior to the Falcon (F-22, F-35, F/A-18E/F, Rafale, Typhoon) would only be so under certain circumstances. F-16s have bagged Raptors in simulated combat, so it can clearly hold its own.


HV


I'm surprised you considered the F-18, Rafale, and Typhoon superior to the Viper when you give across the board comparisons. Even as a biased Viper driver, I would put these in the same 4th generation pot. Of course, it is always up to the specifics as mentioned and of course the pilot :wink:
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Unread post28 Feb 2012, 17:56

ygbsm,

I think we all know such comparisons fall victim to the assumptions used to make them, and I should have been clearer about mine. :doh:
I would put the Super Hornet as superior simply by virtue of its AESA radar, in a WVR engagement, I think we all know the Viper wins, hands down. As for Rafale and EF, I think it simply comes down to the fact that they are at the (relatively speaking) beginning of their lifespan developmentally, and the Viper is nearing its end. We will soon be seeing AESA equipped Rafales and Typhoons, while older Vipers may not see all of these upgrades. I should have added the caveat when I said "the only aircraft that could be considered markedly superior to the Falcon (F-22, F-35, F/A-18E/F, Rafale, Typhoon)" I was referring to a BVR scenario. Within visual range, I've spoken to more than one Hornet and Eagle drive who claims to have had his clock cleaned by a well flown Viper on more than one occasion.

And of course, how could I fail to mention the pilots..... :devil:



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Unread post28 Feb 2012, 22:56

The other thing that impressed me about the F-16 was it's power to weight ratio, I know enough about flying (I know very little...) to know that power can overcome drag in tight turns; do more contemporary fighters have that kind of power? And the semi-reclined seating arrangement, is that common now as well?

The Air Force was kind enough to put an F-16 in Times Square some time ago, (I'll have to suspect they didn't land it on Broadway) which was really a surprise to see, laff, that was really cool, just appeared there out of the blue.

Edit: Of course we have an F-16 on our friendly neighborhood aircraft carrier, the Intrepid, but you expect to see one there, not in a commercial neighborhood.
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Unread post29 Feb 2012, 04:52

Unsure on the seat, but yes, a lot of new-production fighters have TW ratios over 1.0, compared to 0.3-0.6 on older aircraft. Having the extra power can help reduce energy bleed in turning fights, and can really turn a decent knife-fighter into a good one.

I also noticed that you're a Phantom Phan, I do have to wonder what chimera would result from new-build Phantoms with F-16V/F-35 avionics and weapons. I suspect that it would outrun and outrange close to anything... :twisted: :twisted:
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Unread post29 Feb 2012, 05:02

Look at what an F-16 costs and then look at how much it costs to have something superior.

F-16 is one of the all time greats.
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Unread post29 Feb 2012, 13:39

It certainly does give you a great fighter and great attack aircraft all in one
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Unread post29 Mar 2012, 20:06

As I understand it, some USAF F-16s will be upgraded with AESAs. Also, some of the export F-16s have AESA radars. I know that the F-16 IN was going to have an AESA radar. The F-16 will continue to be a very potent multirole air platform for quite some time. I'd say that the Rafale and Typhoon probably have an edge simply because they are newer aircraft, but their advantages can be significantly narrowed or eliminated with a few upgrades.

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