F-16 vs F/A-18

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

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Unread post01 Feb 2018, 17:46

tailgate wrote:I never had a problem "beating" hornets. Legacy hornets just didn't have the "umph" to keep up with the 16 especially after bleeding energy after hard maneuvering. Better engines and the super solved allot of issues, but the advantage still went to the 16. There are some great articles written out there from some naval aviators stating how they owned the skies still flyin the 16 Nancy.


tailgate wrote:Maybe 35_AoA can help out here.......from my experience the "big motor" did add power and control. I think even though the block 50 gained "weight", the additional power was more offset (GE-129) than the Super Hornet. The hornet, all variants, had outstanding nose authority and had the unusual tendency to bring its nose "round' on you if you weren't careful. Had to really stay away from his front quarter. And with off boresight, it got worse....lol


First of all, thanks for sharing your opinion and experiences.

By reading your posts and namely those two parts that I quoted above, I get the impression that if you fight with Guns only (or in older times, rear-aspect missiles) that the F-16 will indeed have a considerable advantage over the Hornet since and due to its higher energy the F-16 pilot can choose when, where and even if he/she wants to engage.
But the tables seem to somehow turn (or at least making things much more difficult for the F-16) when we're taking about engagements with all-aspect missile (such as the AIM-9M and later the -X) since the Hornet will likely manage to point its nose first and thus the Hornet pilot is more likely to make a first successful shot.

Could you confirm or dismiss my assessment?
And by the way, did your engagements against Hornets included Guns (and/or rear-aspect missiles) only or they also included all-aspect missiles?
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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basher54321

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Unread post01 Feb 2018, 18:26

jbgator has discussed in the past - any jet killing all its energy to get the nose on was often suicide - and you still had to meet parameters for AIM-9L/M.

AIM-9X is a different story but both have HMS so nose pointing not required - sounds like mutual suicide :P
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Unread post01 Feb 2018, 19:04

basher54321 wrote:AIM-9X is a different story but both have HMS so nose pointing not required - sounds like mutual suicide :P


Not required but likely preffered. Most fighters are only configured to carry 2 9Xs. I really don't think a HOBS shot would be a pilot's first option, given a choice.

Thats also what puzzles me a bit, to me, a hornet's job should be easy in WVR,

Get to your corner speed which I hear is around 300 KCAS, a hornet also decelerates faster than any American fighter, so this should not take too long I think.

point your nose with that world beating slow speed maneuverability, get the target within your engagement zone then Fox 2.

Its a low off boarsite shot and if you end up slow, use the Turbo nose down logic (if you are a Rhino) to gain back E.

But then again, I've never flown anything weiging more than 50 grams so this is all just Nerd talk and theory. But thats why I'm perplexed at how Viper drivers beat Hornet guys even when they can literally point and shoot their way out of a furball.
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ricnunes

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Unread post01 Feb 2018, 19:09

zero-one wrote:
basher54321 wrote:AIM-9X is a different story but both have HMS so nose pointing not required - sounds like mutual suicide :P


Not required but likely preffered. Most fighters are only configured to carry 2 9Xs. I really don't think a HOBS shot would be a pilot's first option, given a choice.


Precisely.
And even a missile with HOBS capability will have far better chance to hit an enemy aircraft when this same enemy aircraft is within the frontal aspect of the launching aircraft compared with if the enemy aircraft is within the side or rear aspects of the launching aircraft.
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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basher54321

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Unread post01 Feb 2018, 20:32

zero-one wrote:
basher54321 wrote:AIM-9X is a different story but both have HMS so nose pointing not required - sounds like mutual suicide :P


Not required but likely preffered. Most fighters are only configured to carry 2 9Xs. I really don't think a HOBS shot would be a pilot's first option, given a choice.
point your nose with that world beating slow speed maneuverability, get the target within your engagement zone then Fox 2.



The context is or was 1v1 BFM in which case I get the impression they don't waste fuel simulating HOBs missiles for this - pilots might not learn much BFM.
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Unread post01 Feb 2018, 20:36

ricnunes wrote:Precisely.
And even a missile with HOBS capability will have far better chance to hit an enemy aircraft when this same enemy aircraft is within the frontal aspect of the launching aircraft compared with if the enemy aircraft is within the side or rear aspects of the launching aircraft.


So who is in the better position - the guy at 80kts with an incoming missile or the guy at 380kts who went HOBs? - probably neither :D
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Unread post01 Feb 2018, 20:47

ricnunes wrote:
tailgate wrote:I never had a problem "beating" hornets. Legacy hornets just didn't have the "umph" to keep up with the 16 especially after bleeding energy after hard maneuvering. Better engines and the super solved allot of issues, but the advantage still went to the 16. There are some great articles written out there from some naval aviators stating how they owned the skies still flyin the 16 Nancy.


tailgate wrote:Maybe 35_AoA can help out here.......from my experience the "big motor" did add power and control. I think even though the block 50 gained "weight", the additional power was more offset (GE-129) than the Super Hornet. The hornet, all variants, had outstanding nose authority and had the unusual tendency to bring its nose "round' on you if you weren't careful. Had to really stay away from his front quarter. And with off boresight, it got worse....lol


First of all, thanks for sharing your opinion and experiences.

By reading your posts and namely those two parts that I quoted above, I get the impression that if you fight with Guns only (or in older times, rear-aspect missiles) that the F-16 will indeed have a considerable advantage over the Hornet since and due to its higher energy the F-16 pilot can choose when, where and even if he/she wants to engage.
But the tables seem to somehow turn (or at least making things much more difficult for the F-16) when we're taking about engagements with all-aspect missile (such as the AIM-9M and later the -X) since the Hornet will likely manage to point its nose first and thus the Hornet pilot is more likely to make a first successful shot.

Could you confirm or dismiss my assessment?
And by the way, did your engagements against Hornets included Guns (and/or rear-aspect missiles) only or they also included all-aspect missiles?



Guns is mano e mano.........you against the other guy. I like the Viper in guns only wvr. I spoke to the advantages.

It was never really intended for BVR, but the AMRAAM gives it a robust long range engagement capability.

I think in any scenario today you're gonna have to get by the BVR shots first. If you survive this, and the other guy LETS you close, then SRM and guns will be the option. If memory serves, I was always "taken out" long before the WVR occurred in allot of instances.

In my opinion, the 16 possess' little VLO or "stealth", however, you would be surprised how small a CS it has. I had difficulty sometimes picking the 16 up when in Eagles and Raptors, specifically down low it tends to blend in or get caught in the clutter.

The most difficult thing to me engaging the 16 WVR is that it is hard keep it in sight. Having fought with and against, the thing just seems to bounce around the sky.

The 9X gives you that expanded engagement envelope and allows for shots without wrenching your aircraft as much now, but it still has to be fired within that envelope. In theory anyway, you could possibly cause a missle to maneuver itself out of energy thus hindering ts ability to home for the kill. I probably wouldn't like to test that.

As far as low energy Hornets, It doesn't happen unless its new "sticks" who get themselves sideways......lol. Low speed in ACM will get you dead quickly..........
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ricnunes

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Unread post01 Feb 2018, 22:28

tailgate wrote:
Guns is mano e mano.........you against the other guy. I like the Viper in guns only wvr. I spoke to the advantages.

It was never really intended for BVR, but the AMRAAM gives it a robust long range engagement capability.

I think in any scenario today you're gonna have to get by the BVR shots first. If you survive this, and the other guy LETS you close, then SRM and guns will be the option. If memory serves, I was always "taken out" long before the WVR occurred in allot of instances.

In my opinion, the 16 possess' little VLO or "stealth", however, you would be surprised how small a CS it has. I had difficulty sometimes picking the 16 up when in Eagles and Raptors, specifically down low it tends to blend in or get caught in the clutter.

The most difficult thing to me engaging the 16 WVR is that it is hard keep it in sight. Having fought with and against, the thing just seems to bounce around the sky.

The 9X gives you that expanded engagement envelope and allows for shots without wrenching your aircraft as much now, but it still has to be fired within that envelope. In theory anyway, you could possibly cause a missle to maneuver itself out of energy thus hindering ts ability to home for the kill. I probably wouldn't like to test that.

As far as low energy Hornets, It doesn't happen unless its new "sticks" who get themselves sideways......lol. Low speed in ACM will get you dead quickly..........


Once again thanks for your insight :thumb:
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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Unread post02 Feb 2018, 01:21

Wow, you guys are way over analyzing and therefore over simplifying a complex question. I can never get over the fixation with WVR fighting with you guys when that is mostly building block stuff in training and last-ditch stuff in real life. Where do I start? First to the question of what do you do when you look over at a 5th Gen (call it Raptor) passing your 3/9 line in a fight? First, MOA wars or real war? When you're afraid of dying I think you will do differently. Most of what fighter pilots will talk to you about are MOA wars. Clean jets, nobody dies, the ultimate game. But little of it fits a real world merge in combat which most have not experienced. If I looked over at a Raptor passing my 3/9 and he was an enemy who could ultimately kill me today, not win the debrief, I'm not sure I wouldn't run like a MF thanking my lucky stars that I was still alive. I don't have time to ask myself why? Is he winchester? Did his ID fail and he had to VID? Does he have a wingman? Do I have a wingman? Do we all have sight of each other? How am I configured, how is he? In the time I asked myself those questions we went from 3/9 passage to 2+ miles apart if we did nothing. If we turned we are both through 180+ degrees of turn. No time for that sh*t. So in training you try to figure these things out so you already have some idea what to do. Most of us are pre-programmed to turn, not run. So he's a bad a$$, I'm still alive, and he could have some big stuff to put in my face. I would keep him close. One circle turn all the jet can give me. After that I am just reacting cause he holds all the cards.

You ask how you get someone slow or keep them up high....you can't. All you can do is try to drive the fight. You try to make him make a mistake. If I meet a Hornet that wants to get slow and low I stay high. Not go up....just level energy sustaining turn. If he wants to dive for the dirt and get slow he gives me vertical turning room and I use the energy I have sustained to go IDLE (yes pull power off in a phone booth) and use the smash to get a gun or missile on him quickly. If he recognizes he can't give me that room and stays high, guess who has more energy 360 degrees from now at this height? His only option is to cash it all in to threaten me and force me to turn harder. He cashes it all in on a low PK shot to try to influence my reaction. In MOA wars I don't really care. Like the Fulcrum, he may try to win the debrief with a Pk argument about his Slem but the reality is until we see millions of WSEP shots with 9X et Al I am not recommending any young aviator bet their a$$ on those shots. If he is a highly capable 4-5 gen jet with 4-5 gen missiles in a real conflict I might have to react differently. Cause I might die if I get it wrong.

There are 1,000,000 variations in a 3D environment. How you react is based on your training and experience. And are you afraid of dying or losing the debrief? In the end, most engagements are decided before you ever see the other guy, in MOA wars or real combat. The only way you train for that is by artificially eliminating all the pre-merge permutations to do some standard BFM setups. You never talk about how you got to that spot, how many things didn't happen to get you there, just what to do when you get there. Perch setups, high aspect setups, they all have artificialities introduced. Guns only and heaters only is mostly old school stuff and wasn't done much even when I quit flying in 2005. They are done to achieve that artificiality of a situation where somehow you survived to be in this 9,000 perch setup. That may be more of a requirement now with the HOBS missiles. Navy and Marine Hornets loved to do 3,000 line abreast setups at 300 knots. Why? Because it favored them in initial move. Never did they explain how it was that we arrived at such a start point for an engagement. You had to work hard at it but you could beat them in that situation because you had more zoom capability. But you got very slow in the F-16 and that required finesse to avoid departure, and the horn would be blaring like a MF which might get you in trouble if it went on too long. As a young LT-Capt I didn't have that and struggled with those setups. Later it almost always resulted in the Hornet getting gunned. Especially against an inexperienced Hornet driver. Better, worse? You tell me. It was all games. Meet up with a Bad Guy flown Hornet in a real world situation, both of you loaded up with tanks and bombs and the whole thing would be different. But you are both equally disadvantaged so the clean fight stuff at least gave you a starting point, and get that sh*t off the jet as fast as you can.

So I don't really give a shinola what the F-35 can do in phone booth as much as I care what it can do at 40+ miles. Will it get there on rare occasions? Sure, but I think the pilot's training and the jets capability will set it up pretty well. Which jet is better? Which one did you fly last? It's all bar talk built on MOA wars BFM. Might earn you a free beer....or as I have seen on occasion a punch in the nose. Doesn't matter. Ask any fighter pilot if they were flying off into the MOA today and might not come back alive which jet they would rather be flying. If they took the question seriously you might get a different answer than normal bar talk. Me, I would take an F-22 or F-35. You can have your Euro Canards, SUs and MiGs, Chinese fantasy jets, and every 4+ gen jet out there. Just my old-guy opinion.
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Unread post02 Feb 2018, 02:47

What JB said...
F-4C/D, F-16A/B/C/D, 727, DC-10, MD-80, A321
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Unread post02 Feb 2018, 06:33

f-16adf wrote:My point is (which many other jet forum websites seem unable to comprehend) that there are many different versions (blocks of F-16). And since some are heavier than others, some are more powerful than others---..... they have different performance metrics. It's as simple as that.



When people are comparing Jet X to an F-16. Okay, what type of F-16?


If one jet is at 50% fuel, why would I want to compare it to another at 60% fuel? That is rather illogical (especially when dealing with info from an EM diagram). Hence the results become skewed-

Would you be OK with me quoting you every time I see a F-16 comparison online? I lost count how many time I try to convey this and people don't seem to get it.
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Unread post02 Feb 2018, 18:24

jbgator wrote:Wow, you guys are way over analyzing and therefore over simplifying a complex question. I can never get over the fixation with WVR fighting with you guys when that is mostly building block stuff in training and last-ditch stuff in real life.


Easy there buddiee, its simply because WVR is intresting thats all. We know its not the norm, we know that it will likely be rare in today's network centric battlefield. We get all that. But what else do you want to talk about in these forums?

How tailgate detected a simulated bandit from 140 miles out in his F-22, engaged him 70 miles out and poof, simulated kill. Wow, the guy, never even knew what hit em. Yawn, I bet he could've been eating a sandwich in the cockpit and the result would have been pretty much the same.

Im sure you've seen the History channel series "dogfights" and honestly what episodes would you rather watch, the one where Giora Epstein went against 5 or 6 migs alone or the one where a formation of 4 F-15s took down a formation of
3 Mig-23s and creamed them from BVR without even leaving formation. The latter was probably the most boring war story I've ever heared.

BVR is the reality, everyone knows that, but its literally submarine warfare, nothing to see, not much to talk about.
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Unread post02 Feb 2018, 19:20

MVSGas,

Sure, no problem.
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Unread post02 Feb 2018, 19:30

Zero,

I will use your own words as my response:

But then again, I've never flown anything weiging more than 50 grams so this is all just Nerd talk and theory. But thats why I'm perplexed at how Viper drivers beat Hornet guys even when they can literally point and shoot their way out of a furball.
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Unread post02 Feb 2018, 23:49

jbgator wrote:
There are 1,000,000 variations in a 3D environment.


Thanks for your insights gator. A long time ago I read a quote describing air combat as an "analog infinity" and it's been a meme ever since.
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
CSAF Gen. Mark Welsh
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