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F-16 versus F-15

Unread postPosted: 24 Oct 2003, 14:29
by Pakistaniboi
Hi guys,

I'm saying which one is better F-16 or F-15 but I think the capabilities of F-15 are much better than the F-16. Can you help me figure out which one is better? :roll:

Unread postPosted: 24 Oct 2003, 14:54
by elp
Well for start up sounds and cool procedure at start up, the F-15 has it all.

The signals and movement between the crew chief and the pilot and then the little jet fuel starter (JFS) ( a turbine in between the two engines starts up )

That is a cool sound, then after that is up to speed, the pilot starts the first engine. A big workload is now placed on the JFS and it starts this wonderful assending turbine sound in sreaming bursts, each burst higher and higher until it gets up to full speed. Then the engine starts spinning, lights, and gets up to speed. Once the first engine gets up to speed, and as that sound peaks out (cool sound number 2 ) Then the JSF make this long desending sound back down to idle ( cool sound number 1 desending while cool sound number 2 assends up to speed.) After a while the pilot does the start up on the second engine and the JFS sreams back up to full speed again and after the second engine is up to speed, the JSF will spool back down to idle ( both the sounds the JSF make are things that belong in the best of movies for dramatic effect ). This is even more cool when it is a couple jets pulling alert and there is a reason for them to start up. There are a whole bunch of other things too like the intake ramps moving to the full down positon. All that combined with the whole event really makes it a bit more dramatic then most jets.

Really cool sounds. Some of the better jet sounds there are. The F-16 just doesn't have quite that impact. :wink:

Unread postPosted: 24 Oct 2003, 15:02
by habu2
elp, so what you're saying is that, while the F-15 is starting up #2 and the ground crew is all ooh-aah over the sounds, the single engine F-16 is already at last chance waiting to take off??? :lol: :lol: :lol:

(just some good-natured ribbing...) :wink:

Unread postPosted: 24 Oct 2003, 16:24
by elp
Yeah sure something like that 8)

Back to the topic, there is already some stuff out there on the internet on these two jets for A2A but a few short thoughts:
  1. F-15.... Fuel to burn: example; running out on an alert, ( burn off 2 or 3 drop tanks and worst case, punch those off and still have a good amount of internal fuel) This fuel economy is also good for positioning/disengaging etc.
  2. BVR both should be almost equal although an F-15 presents a bigger radar target.
  3. WVR- F-16 is harder to see/keep a tally on, not so with the F-15
  4. Never take lightly the ability of the F-15 to turn and burn in WVR. It can do it, just not to the nth degree that the F-16 can. Not always an issue if the F-16 in question is carrying a lot of stuff in friendly BFM.
  5. USAF F-15 A-D community. All they do is air to air training. Thats it. Pilots will tell you that this is a perishable skill and needs to be done often. F-16s have a FULL training schedulel that includes air-to-ground, so they get less practice AND it isn't that often the practice includes BFM with a clean jet. Drop tanks, ECM Pod, LANTIRN or LITENING Pod etc etc are more the norm. Many times the BFM exercise involves the F-16 not just doing air-to-air but the goal is to accomplish their A2G mission. The F-15 is added to the mission planning to provide F-16s training time in how to go against an A2A threat AND press on and do their primary mission. Both sides get something out of the training for sure. So the friendly match ups aren't always what the casual jet enthusiast expects. The USAF F-15 A-D community has seen every trick you can throw at them and are very aware of what they, themselves can't and shouldn't do in BFM. Because that is all they train for, that can make them hugely annoying to the multi-role jet community that they fly against. "We'll yeah... thats all you guys train for... we have a real job... " :D
  6. F-16. Way cheaper to operate and support.

Unread postPosted: 30 Oct 2003, 18:48
by Guest
Our F-16's from Vermont fly against the F-15's out at Cape Cod, MA all the time. Have seen many a hud tape of their F-15's getting hosed, over and over again.

I do believe in all honesty though that the F-15's have to fight with a few restrictions to make it a fair fight. Their radar can reach out and touch you at greater distances than ours can. But on the other side of the coin, once the F-15 and the F-16 get into the knife fight, the F-16 is a much more nibble fighter.

Also depends of the stick actuator in the cockpit. If the pilot does not know how to fly his aircraft to the full extent to his flight envelope, his will suck in either jet.

Unread postPosted: 30 Oct 2003, 23:56
by Guest
As a Viper Driver, we spank the sh*t out of those twin tailed fags all the time in the BFM realm since I can get a tally on them way the hell out there because they're so damn big. The only problem is getting to the merge and as it's been said on this already. The light greys are air-air pros since that's all they do although we still give them a run for their money.

Unread postPosted: 31 Oct 2003, 17:54
by elp
As Sam Kennison said in the Rodney Dangerfield movie - Back to School

..... "Good answer". 8)

Unread postPosted: 31 Oct 2003, 20:38
by marsu
Just out of curiosity; what would be typical restrictions imposed on F-15s to make an F-15 vs F-16 fight fair ?

Mil power only is actually the only one I could come up with ...


Unread postPosted: 01 Nov 2003, 03:41
by Guest
maybe the F-15 couldn't use its long range radar to engage the viper
I do believe in all honesty though that the F-15's have to fight with a few restrictions to make it a fair fight. Their radar can reach out and touch you at greater distances than ours can.
guest made that quote and that dose sound reasonable


Unread postPosted: 07 Nov 2003, 19:48
by Normsta3
This topic has been a long time coming, and I'm glad it's finally arrived. Now, let's get down to it.


1. Is faster
2. Has greater range / combat persistence
3. Great radar
4. Can carry a whole lot of AA missiles
5. Built to be an interceptor
6. Large / easy to spot
7. Incredibly large radar - cross section
8. Can turn, but not like the F-16


1. Smaller and lighter
2. Later versions have excellent range
3. At least decent radar
4. Can carries an equally impressive warload of AA missiles if need be
5. Can turn on a dime
6. Built to be a dogfighter
7. Relatively small RCS
8. Much cheaper, even in the later variants
9. Has great acceleration, but lower max. speed & rate of climb
10.Isn't as good at highter altitudes
11.On average, radar usually isn't as good as F-15

The overall winner: the F-16. F-16s can turn tighter, are harder to spot, and can also reach out and touch an enemy with their AMRAAMs practically just as easily as the Eagle. Also, in topics such as this, pilot skill is usually mentioned, but aren't we talking about the capabilities of the aircraft, not their pilots? I mean, I know pilots are important and all, but shouldn't we take the stance of equally - skilled pilots going up against one another so that we can just look at the planes' abiliites themselves? Any thoughts?

Unread postPosted: 07 Nov 2003, 20:06
by DeepSpace
I agree with Normsta3.

Unread postPosted: 07 Nov 2003, 20:26
by elp
Like I said. In the future, when more jets do high-off-boresight heaters. The turning to the nth degree, won't mean much. IMO the pilots issue does matter. As mentioned many times before, these are exercises. No one wants to go up against an F-16 in real life. If they do, they are crazy :wink: There is a real good chance it can be your last day. Of course a lot of this is mutual support. Mutual support is definately at the top of the list of things that will keep you alive.

You might want to consider the ability of the 18 "v2" F-15s up in Alaska, to be added you your exercise. They have quite the radar outfit. I am sure a lot of its ability isn't public consumption.

Unread postPosted: 07 Nov 2003, 21:10
by habu2
The APG-63(v)2 gives the Eagle unparalleled ability to "reach out and touch someone" in the BVR arena. A smart Eagle driver with a v2 need never get close enough to a Viper (or anyone/anything else) to worry about what happens after the merge. A peek at the APG-63(v)2: ... 992202.htm

and extracted from ... design.htm is this:

In December 2000 Boeing Company delivered to the US Air Force the final three of 18 F-15C aircraft it refitted with Raytheon's APG-63(v)2 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, providing the Air Force the world's first operational fighter jets with the advanced-technology radar system. The AESA radar has an exceptionally agile beam, and provides nearly instantaneous track updates throughout the field of vision. Other benefits of the radar include enhanced multi-target tracking capability and elimination of the need for a hydraulic system. Addition of AESA technology substantially increases pilot situational awareness, while enhancing reliability and maintainability. The AESA radar allows the pilot to detect, track and destroy multiple enemy aircraft at significantly longer ranges. The AN/APG-63(V)2 is compatible with current F-15C weapon loads, features upgraded identification-friend-or-foe and environmental control systems, and enables pilots to take full advantage of AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Missile capabilities. It can simultaneously guide multiple missiles to several targets widely spaced in azimuth, elevation, or range.

The AN/APG-63(V)2 is a major radar upgrade for the US Air Force F-15C aircraft. Retaining controls and displays nearly identical to those of its predecessor, the AN/APG-63(V)1, the new system adds an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar to proven AN/APG-63(V)1 radar components. In an AESA system, the traditional mechanically scanning radar dish is replaced by a stationary panel covered with an array of hundreds of small transmitter-receiver modules. Unlike a radar dish, these modules have more combined power and can perform different detection, tracking, communication and jamming functions in multiple directions simultaneously. An AESA offers greater precision to detect, track and eliminate multiple threats more quickly and effectively than traditional radar. Because the AESA eliminates the hydraulic and electrical systems associated with mechanically operated radars, its reliability and maintainability are dramatically improved.


Unread postPosted: 08 Nov 2003, 23:26
by Normsta3
Question, does F-15 really enjoy such an advantage in radar? Last time I checked, the latest Block F-16s, like the 52+ or 60s, have an AESA as well, don't they? Can anyone confirm?

Unread postPosted: 08 Nov 2003, 23:57
by habu2
One of the primary design factors in the frontal area of a jet fighter is the size of it's radar antenna. Compare the size (diameter) of the radome of an F-15 and an F-16, and even an Su-27 and Su-30.

Yes, AESA is planned for F-16 radars but I don't know if it will be exported, which means Blk 52+ and 60 may not have AESA.

Japan developed its own radar for the F-2 (FS-X) and IIRC it is AESA.