F-16V vs F-15C (ANG)

Agreed, it will never be a fair fight but how would the F-16 match up against the ... ?
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Corsair1963

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Unread post02 Jul 2018, 09:23

The odds are good that the USAF will retire the F-15C over the next several years. Which, will be replaced by a mix of F-16's and/or F-35's. Honestly, a "no brainer"....



"IMHO"
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magnum4469

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Unread post02 Jul 2018, 15:10

Lets look at this from the conversion costs. Corsair is saying that it would be more cost effective to convert F-16s to F-16V standards as they are replaced by the F-35. So now you convert and train F-16 units for the F-35, including training pilots, and all support including maintance, weapons, and everything else that goes with conversion. This is a huge cost to convert a base to a new aircraft and will happen which is a given. My point is why then pay that conversion cost to change F-15 units to F-16s that need to be upgraded to fill the roll of the F-15. Why not just upgrade the 5 remaining F-15 units instead of paying to upgrade the F-16 and convert the entire unit. Such conversions take at least 2 years to complete at which time the unit is not available for mission tasking. If just upgrading the jets the unit can still be tasked as only a couple of jets are converted at a time. Pilot and support training on new systems would be minimal both in cost and time as opposed to platform conversion.

The other alternative and more cost effective thing to do would be to convert the 5 F-15 units to the F-35 before any F-16 units convert. Have them train to more of a air superiority roll instead of multi role like was done with F-16ADF units. The idea of converting F-15 Units to F-16 and upgrading the F-16s to F-16V, while F-16 units convert to F-35, then later to convert the F-16V units to F-35 is just plan a waste of taxpayers money. It kind of goes the the saying when you buy an airplane to buy the second airplane you want... When you are just starting to learn how to fly and your goal is to get your commercial instrument pilot liscense you don't buy a VFR C-152, you buy a IFR C-172. In other words why convert to convert...

One last thought is the threat faced in the future. Are we looking more at A2A or A2G??? I believe with the current fleet of F-16s and F-15E we can take care of any A2G tasking with ease. What I question is the small number of F-22s that we have will be stretched very thin, the F-15 will definitely help and an upgraded F-15 would have almost all the capabilites except for the stealth. You could use the F-22 in the higher threat areas while the F-15s could be used in lower threat areas. As much as I love the F-16 it will never be as good as the F-15 in the air superiority role and in my humble opinion if you are going to spend money to upgrade one or the other, I would spend money on the one that was originally designed to be the Air Supiority fighter. Can't argue with it's kill ratio 104:0 :nono: :notworthy: :notworthy:
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wrightwing

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Unread post02 Jul 2018, 17:17

magnum4469 wrote:Lets look at this from the conversion costs. Corsair is saying that it would be more cost effective to convert F-16s to F-16V standards as they are replaced by the F-35. So now you convert and train F-16 units for the F-35, including training pilots, and all support including maintance, weapons, and everything else that goes with conversion. This is a huge cost to convert a base to a new aircraft and will happen which is a given. My point is why then pay that conversion cost to change F-15 units to F-16s that need to be upgraded to fill the roll of the F-15. Why not just upgrade the 5 remaining F-15 units instead of paying to upgrade the F-16 and convert the entire unit. Such conversions take at least 2 years to complete at which time the unit is not available for mission tasking. If just upgrading the jets the unit can still be tasked as only a couple of jets are converted at a time. Pilot and support training on new systems would be minimal both in cost and time as opposed to platform conversion.

The other alternative and more cost effective thing to do would be to convert the 5 F-15 units to the F-35 before any F-16 units convert. Have them train to more of a air superiority roll instead of multi role like was done with F-16ADF units. The idea of converting F-15 Units to F-16 and upgrading the F-16s to F-16V, while F-16 units convert to F-35, then later to convert the F-16V units to F-35 is just plan a waste of taxpayers money. It kind of goes the the saying when you buy an airplane to buy the second airplane you want... When you are just starting to learn how to fly and your goal is to get your commercial instrument pilot liscense you don't buy a VFR C-152, you buy a IFR C-172. In other words why convert to convert...

One last thought is the threat faced in the future. Are we looking more at A2A or A2G??? I believe with the current fleet of F-16s and F-15E we can take care of any A2G tasking with ease. What I question is the small number of F-22s that we have will be stretched very thin, the F-15 will definitely help and an upgraded F-15 would have almost all the capabilites except for the stealth. You could use the F-22 in the higher threat areas while the F-15s could be used in lower threat areas. As much as I love the F-16 it will never be as good as the F-15 in the air superiority role and in my humble opinion if you are going to spend money to upgrade one or the other, I would spend money on the one that was originally designed to be the Air Supiority fighter. Can't argue with it's kill ratio 104:0 :nono: :notworthy: :notworthy:

^^^^^^ This ^^^^^^

We're not suffering from a shortage of A2G aircraft. We need a credible air superiority fleet, until large numbers of F-35s are in service. No early F-35 squadrons are going to be dedicated to the air superiority role.
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Unread post02 Jul 2018, 18:49

[/b]

We're not suffering from a shortage of A2G aircraft. We need a credible air superiority fleet, until large numbers of F-35s are in service. No early F-35 squadrons are going to be dedicated to the air superiority role.[/quote]


If you read my last paragraph that is exactly what I'm saying... I'm trying to get the point made that we need Air Superiority fighters and not more A2G... Hence upgrading the F-15s instead of replacing them with F-16V.
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Unread post03 Jul 2018, 01:45

magnum4469 wrote:[/b]

We're not suffering from a shortage of A2G aircraft. We need a credible air superiority fleet, until large numbers of F-35s are in service. No early F-35 squadrons are going to be dedicated to the air superiority role.



If you read my last paragraph that is exactly what I'm saying... I'm trying to get the point made that we need Air Superiority fighters and not more A2G... Hence upgrading the F-15s instead of replacing them with F-16V.[/quote]


Sorry, multirole fighter squadrons can perform "Air Superiority" just as easy as Strike........and have for "DECADES".
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Unread post03 Jul 2018, 07:30

lrrpf52 wrote:The F-35 already does air dominance better than the F-15C could ever hope to do, and we all know what the F-15C's record is. Undefeated air supremacy king of the last generation.

The F-15C has often needed to fire 2-4 AIMs to get a kill. Salvo fire is a standard tactic dating back to the F-4 at least, with Radar missiles.

F-35A even with only 2 or 3 AIM-120s is going to have a much higher Pk, mainly because it can trap an unsuspecting threat aircraft into NEZ and engage with kinematic advantage, no real response time for the victims.

A 2-ship or 4 ship of F-35s can also coordinate these within-NEZ attacks in ways the F-15C could never do.

The F-35A also has more combat radius and station time than a 2-3 tank Eagle.

The one performance metric on paper the F-15C has over the F-35A is service ceiling, but a 2-3 tank F-15C up there is not exactly ideally configured for best performance.

The A2A realm is a major advantage for the F-35A.

Converting to F-16V with impending re-conversion doesn't make much sense to me either, and F-35A simply can do everything A2G better than the Viper, including SEAD/WW mission set. When F-16CJ drivers say a single ship F-35 can do precision targeting on SAM sites better than a 3 ship WW CJ flight, that's saying a lot.

Think about being able to track across the spectrum, a shoot-and-scoot mobile SAM launcher who is integrated with detection and targeting radars. It doesn't matter if he goes on and off with RF, because the brain has already sensor-fused him to the AESA GM mode, an MADL'd it into the hive. That mobile launcher is high priority target on the kill chain, as are his sensor node buddies. The F-35 turns hunter-killer into a mobile hornet nest-like experience.

It has already added a new sense of bravery to serving as a SAM site technician. Might actually be one of the most courageous duty positions in the adversary military. Maybe we should award foreign recognition of bravery medals to those guys in advance.

If only the South Carolina assembly line could have been allocated for new F-22 production...



Point is in a low threat environment the F-16C is as good as an F-15C. While, being cheaper and far more flexible. While, in a high threat environment both are nothing but shooters for F-22's and/or F-35's.

Honestly, post 2030 the F-35 will be the backbone of the US Air Forces. (USAF, USN, and USMC)
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Unread post03 Jul 2018, 07:38

The USAF intends to buy close to 2,000 F-35As but only ~300 of all variants are delivered today. How many squadrons have declared FOC? How many will FOC in the next decade?

Edited: as remembered the 300th F-35 was recently delivered.
Last edited by weasel1962 on 03 Jul 2018, 11:04, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post03 Jul 2018, 07:42

weasel1962 wrote:The USAF intends to buy close to 2,000 F-35As but only less than 300 of all variants are delivered today. How many squadrons have declared FOC? How many will FOC in the next decade?




Almost 300 in service now and the US will buy over 100 per year going forward....So, that would be ~ 1,300 in a decade from now....
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Unread post03 Jul 2018, 07:54

As for frontline units that is really apples and oranges. As most F-35 Squadrons today are in the training role....Which, while being combat capable. As not assigned a combat role....Plus, going forward most of the new F-35's will go to frontline units. As the training units will have no need for additional aircraft.


Regardless, at this moment we have three combat coded squadrons. (2-USMC and 1-USAF) Yet, the USN is close behind.(VFA-147)...this will quickly accelerate over the next few years.
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Unread post05 Jul 2018, 02:59

Got off my butt to do some numbers crunching. It takes 2 years to deliver from contract date. Assuming it takes 2 years more to FOC a squadron, 48 As contracted each year up to FY 20, 54 til FY 23 and then 60 thereafter.

The navy would complete their 693 F-35 induction by FY 2035 but don't think the USAF plans with the navy in mind. Looking at the USAF...

That means 568 As (32% out of 1763) delivered by 2028 that will be in service by 2030. That fully leaves 68% more i.e. 2/3 of the USAF fighters still need to be replaced. An additional 240 are either contracted or in the process of FOC. It one factors that in, its 46% which leaves 54% of USAF in legacy mode.

By 2035, it will be 868 As (50%) +240 in process (63%) which is a lot better. Only by 2048 would the USAF have fully inducted the F-35.

From that timeline, I think a case can be built to keep the F-15Cs in place until at least 2030.
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Unread post05 Jul 2018, 03:25

Well, the USAF is said to be close to a decision. So we will see shortly...... 8)
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Unread post09 Jul 2018, 01:39

Its a waste nobody else is funding the F-15SE developments. The possibility of integrating Sniper pods into the weaponised CFTs which can be retrofitted to eliminate the "LANTIRN stations". The longer 12+k hour "A10 like" airframe life means it will be in service longer = more value for money to upgrade.

F-15E delivery started in Mar 1987.
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Unread post09 Jul 2018, 02:58

Hardly, as waste when most 4/4.5 Generation Fighter will be obsolete in another decade. (if not before)
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Unread post09 Jul 2018, 06:27

The F-15E already has fairly updated avionics. EPAWSS may not go into C but it will into E. The E has APG-82 AESA. I've always wondered how the 82 stacks against the 81.

I think conformal weapons bays will make the F-15E much more survivable in A2A (albeit reduced endurance). Even if the F-15SE will no longer happen, doesn't mean the tech won't survive it.
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Unread post09 Jul 2018, 06:38

weasel1962 wrote:The F-15E already has fairly updated avionics. EPAWSS may not go into C but it will into E. The E has APG-82 AESA. I've always wondered how the 82 stacks against the 81.

I think conformal weapons bays will make the F-15E much more survivable in A2A (albeit reduced endurance). Even if the F-15SE will no longer happen, doesn't mean the tech won't survive it.



Honestly, I doubt the conformal weapons bays of the F-15SE offer much benefit. My guess is the USAF will give the Strike Eagle some modest upgrades. In order to keep it relevant until ~ 2030. After which they will quickly be replaced by new F-35's.


"IMHO"
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