Super Hornet performance question

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
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wrightwing

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Unread post21 Nov 2011, 19:45

geogen wrote:No, not assuming Supers will be low and @ subsonic, although any aircraft could be caught off guard at such a flight. What is relevant is that in many cases, other platforms, eg the F-35, could have an advantage in terms of practical/effective launch kinematics vs the Super's. Hence, weapons kinematics could be justified to offset the disadvantage in platform kinematics.


Supers would be operating in conjunction with AEGIS Cruisers/Destroyers(with SM-2/3/6), and E-2Ds. That combined with the already formidable capability of the APG-79, it's unlikely that any threat till after 2020, would be able to catch them by surprise.

And btw, I'm curious which variant of 'AA-12' you are referring to? Are there additional BVR A2A munitions known or unknown too, which you could make assessment of and which could be operational within 5 or yrs?


I've yet to see any ram jet powered AA-12s, and the C7 out ranges the current models, not to mention the D.

For someone who is apparently confident of a silver bullet 'interim D+' AAM (not to be confused with a +D?) anytime soon, when even the D variant is delayed and still undergoing development, one might be curious about your analysis regarding other BVR developments as well?


And you honestly believe that a new missile based upon the ESSM could be ready in a short time frame, if you're so sure that the D/D+/JDRADM are far off? The D model is currently in low rate production by the way.
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Unread post21 Nov 2011, 19:52

Being stationed at a Test and Evaluation Squadron, I can ensure to everyone that there is no shortage of upgrades coming down the pipeline for all the Hornet models. Weather its weapons, software or hardware changes.
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Unread post23 Nov 2011, 07:30

ww, apparently the D is still undergoing final development with FY12 procurement being suspended due to FY11's backlog instead of pushing ahead with concurrency.

And I would beg to differ that Supers will always be operating within such an envisioned 100nm protection umbrella of Aegis ships and SM-2/6, etc. Not to mention, that if ever in a hostile air to air contest vs fixed wing threats to the fleet and closing fast at a range of 40-50nm to the Super, it would be difficult to say SM-6 would be launched in the vicinity 100nm away if by the time the rounds reached the terminal area both surviving Super and hostile were in fact already in the phone booth.

And yes, an initial single-mode seeker ESSM variant could probably be fast-tracked and delivered even with a modified propellant rocket mod, within 4-5 yrs time. It would seem to be a more affordable viable hedge and interim capability while waiting for potential JDRADM delivery later on. imho

ps, interesting to hear that info Nav framer... Keep 'em hornets flying. Thanks for your service.
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Unread post23 Nov 2011, 08:58

geogen wrote:ps, interesting to hear that info Nav framer... Keep 'em hornets flying. Thanks for your service.


Thanks for the kind words. I wont go into anymore details than that partly because I dont work hands on with virtually all the upgrades and partly because it isnt worth risking my clearance for. The Super Hornet especially the bl2 is one bad a$$ machine though and its only getting better.
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Unread post23 Nov 2011, 16:30

geogen wrote:ww, apparently the D is still undergoing final development with FY12 procurement being suspended due to FY11's backlog instead of pushing ahead with concurrency.


Suspended at Lot 25.

And I would beg to differ that Supers will always be operating within such an envisioned 100nm protection umbrella of Aegis ships and SM-2/6, etc. Not to mention, that if ever in a hostile air to air contest vs fixed wing threats to the fleet and closing fast at a range of 40-50nm to the Super, it would be difficult to say SM-6 would be launched in the vicinity 100nm away if by the time the rounds reached the terminal area both surviving Super and hostile were in fact already in the phone booth.


I agree that it can't always be taken for granted that the Supers would have the AEGIS umbrella. You do have to factor in the new abilities the E-2D provide for over the horizon shots, from surface ships. This extends that umbrella considerably. Additionally, it's highly doubtful that a Super is going to get surprised by any non VLO fighter, especially with E-2D support. The Super is going to be able to get high and fast for a launch, and then can break away from the fight, while the C7/D uses 3rd party targeting. That's why I said the exception might be a 1 vs. 1 against a Mig 31(and even then, that Mig pilot is going to have his hands full).

And yes, an initial single-mode seeker ESSM variant could probably be fast-tracked and delivered even with a modified propellant rocket mod, within 4-5 yrs time. It would seem to be a more affordable viable hedge and interim capability while waiting for potential JDRADM delivery later on. imho


The ESSM variant may enjoy some nominal advantages in range, but the percentages of shots taking advantage of that range would be minimal. I could see looking into it, if there appeared to be significant technical challenges for the D/D+/JDRADM, where they were going to be delayed for years. You have to look at threat capabilities(which the USAF/USN do), when giving the statement of requirements for new weapons systems. You also have to look that internal carriage capacity for the F-22/F-35 for such a weapon, as they'll be the basis for any new weapons(as they'll eventually form the majority of our tactical air fleets). Finally, seeing as how budgets are going to be getting tighter, everytime we divert monies to fund new programs, it puts those that are the priority at risk
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Unread post23 Nov 2011, 22:03

It is lot 26 that faces a cut, not 25

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articl ... ut-358102/

http://www.ndiagulfcoast.com/events/arc ... ct2011.pdf

Lot 25 Production Contract Award; $647M; 528 Missiles
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Unread post24 Nov 2011, 17:39

more expensive than the Phoenix? That's ironic.
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Unread post24 Nov 2011, 18:46

Inflation's a bitch :)
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Unread post25 Nov 2011, 03:19

indeed sir!
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geogen

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Unread post26 Nov 2011, 09:24

WW -

The Super is going to have plenty of time to get high and fast in time to engage any non-stealthy opponent? I'm curious how fast assuming 2 outward toed EFT? And how fast has the Super been cleared to launch AMRAAM? Is there any public data on this envelope? Either way, the Super will more likely be at a kinematic BVR launch disadvantage compared to probable adversary BVR kinematics (not limited to Mig-31) within 5 years, if not already.

Regarding internal load-out requirements, 4x ESSM should be able to fit internally within both aircraft models.

Regarding 'tighter budgets', that's the whole point. The 'alternative' budget plan including asymmetrical systems and munition upgrade/integration would cost less than current stay the course procurement budgets.
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Unread post26 Nov 2011, 16:14

geogen wrote:WW -

The Super is going to have plenty of time to get high and fast in time to engage any non-stealthy opponent? I'm curious how fast assuming 2 outward toed EFT? And how fast has the Super been cleared to launch AMRAAM? Is there any public data on this envelope? Either way, the Super will more likely be at a kinematic BVR launch disadvantage compared to probable adversary BVR kinematics (not limited to Mig-31) within 5 years, if not already.

Regarding internal load-out requirements, 4x ESSM should be able to fit internally within both aircraft models.


If the SH is on a CAP/Fleet defense profile, you can be assured that they aren't flying at 20k fteet. They'll already be at 40k+. The SH has no problems flying supersonic(or launching) with AMRAAMs. Which weapon do you envision these adversaries possessing? Not even the RuAF has ramjet variant AA12s, much less more likely foes, which means a C7/D armed SH won't have nearly the disadvantages you're implying. This is precisely why the USAF/USN haven't gone the ESSM variant route.
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Unread post26 Nov 2011, 19:13

Here is the SH flight envelope. Notice that its max speed while caring on two BVRs (m1.57) is less than the F-35's. Start loading up on BVRs & tanks and the speed drops to the m1.2 range.
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sprstdlyscottsmn

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Unread post27 Nov 2011, 18:50

and that is a reason for needing the EPE if you ask me (which no one did honestly). If you are limited to M1.3 with 7AAM and no gas tanks...
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Unread post27 Nov 2011, 20:00

Ouch. No wonder the Super Bug has so many detractors when it comes to performance. The F-35 clearly is no slouch in kinematics despite what the naysayers say but IIRC the Super Hornet is notorious for being hideously underpowered for an aircraft its size. I'm with sprstdlyscottsmn. It's about time the EPE got fitted to the Rhino.
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Unread post28 Nov 2011, 01:57

WW-

I think you're searching for a scenario to fit your argument. Flat out, the Super will not have the same launch kinematic capacity as other modern multi-role or air superiority platforms. You're trying to paint the Super (or put lipstick on it) into something it unfortunately isn't.

It will need to punch EFT just to push into a low supersonic range if required to 'evade', or maneuver into a WEZ position'. Even with the EFT gone, due to platform drag, the fuel burn rate necessary to keep at supersonic will be unsustainable for any competitive duration.

Why do you insist in putting the Super at a disadvantage at 2017 Red Flag vs F-15, Euro Fighter, Rafale (with Meteor), possibly even F-16 in BVR, and for the remainder of the decade ? Let the missile offset the performance disadvantage, regardless of any justified engine upgrades the jet could receive.

And as far as your expectation that the AMRAAM C7/D + Super combo will maintain a dominant AAM EZ envelope for the next 5-8 years vs non-western, 'rest of world' competition... one can assume that defense planners are not assuming this.

I'll tell you what ww, since you're a nice guy I'll let you have 3 standard block 2.5 Supers, no IRST, equipped with 4x -120D for Red Flag 2017. I'll take 2 Supers configured with CFT, enhanced IRST and 4x AIM-162 (2 w/ a large mmW seeker + 2 w/ NCADE's IIR seeker). I'm curious to hear your reply.
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