F-18E/F 2017

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

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Unread post13 Sep 2017, 02:46

$290 Millon each..
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."
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mixelflick

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Unread post13 Sep 2017, 15:06

What is it about the Hornet that gives it 9 lives?

I was the the LOSER in the USAF's LWF competition. It has the dubious distinction of being the ONLY US teen fighter to LOSE to enemy Mig's in combat (Speicher's F-18C, downed by an Iraqi Mig-25). And let's not forget, the F-18 was designed a generation after the Mig-25. It shot down 2 Mig-21's en route to bomb a target, then completed the mission? Big deal. Beating up senior citizens isn't very impressive. Never was, never will be.

Yet here we are in 2017, and a US president is championing more Hornets for both the US Navy and foreign governments? US Navy commanders want MORE F-18's? For what?? To fly into contested airspece that'll turn it into spare parts in every conflict from present day out to 2035 and beyond?? We want more of this??? It's already inferior to the aircraft many rival nations currently field, not to mention what's on the drawing board. And as America's front line deck fighter, chances are it'll be up against an adversary vs. any other platform we field.

The hornet sets a dangerous precedent: We no longer aspire to give our men the absolute best fighter money can buy. Instead, we're content with giving them "good enough". That mentality has already cost lives...

The day the last one of these turkeys comes off the production line, I'm buying a round for everyone here. The day the last one flies off into the sunset, I'm throwing the biggest party this board has ever seen (but chances are, I'll be dead by then)..
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southernphantom

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Unread post14 Sep 2017, 02:52

mixelflick wrote:What is it about the Hornet that gives it 9 lives?

I was the the LOSER in the USAF's LWF competition. It has the dubious distinction of being the ONLY US teen fighter to LOSE to enemy Mig's in combat (Speicher's F-18C, downed by an Iraqi Mig-25). And let's not forget, the F-18 was designed a generation after the Mig-25. It shot down 2 Mig-21's en route to bomb a target, then completed the mission? Big deal. Beating up senior citizens isn't very impressive. Never was, never will be.

Yet here we are in 2017, and a US president is championing more Hornets for both the US Navy and foreign governments? US Navy commanders want MORE F-18's? For what?? To fly into contested airspece that'll turn it into spare parts in every conflict from present day out to 2035 and beyond?? We want more of this??? It's already inferior to the aircraft many rival nations currently field, not to mention what's on the drawing board. And as America's front line deck fighter, chances are it'll be up against an adversary vs. any other platform we field.

The hornet sets a dangerous precedent: We no longer aspire to give our men the absolute best fighter money can buy. Instead, we're content with giving them "good enough". That mentality has already cost lives...

The day the last one of these turkeys comes off the production line, I'm buying a round for everyone here. The day the last one flies off into the sunset, I'm throwing the biggest party this board has ever seen (but chances are, I'll be dead by then)..


Contested airspace?

It's a very nice thought experiment, but I am legitimately unsure if the US will ever deal with truly contested airspace again during its existence. For plinking Toyotas, structures, and the odd armored vehicle, attack helicopters and UAVs are more than sufficient. On some level, I've started questioning the relevance of tactical jets to modern conflicts.
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XanderCrews

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Unread post14 Sep 2017, 04:09

southernphantom wrote:
Contested airspace?

It's a very nice thought experiment, but I am legitimately unsure if the US will ever deal with truly contested airspace again during its existence. For plinking Toyotas, structures, and the odd armored vehicle, attack helicopters and UAVs are more than sufficient. On some level, I've started questioning the relevance of tactical jets to modern conflicts.


It's going to be RPGs and IEDs forever eh?
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hornetfinn

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Unread post14 Sep 2017, 09:52

mixelflick wrote:What is it about the Hornet that gives it 9 lives?

I was the the LOSER in the USAF's LWF competition. It has the dubious distinction of being the ONLY US teen fighter to LOSE to enemy Mig's in combat (Speicher's F-18C, downed by an Iraqi Mig-25). And let's not forget, the F-18 was designed a generation after the Mig-25. It shot down 2 Mig-21's en route to bomb a target, then completed the mission? Big deal. Beating up senior citizens isn't very impressive. Never was, never will be.


Sure, but F/A-18A-D Hornet has also won competitions against F-16 and other competitors. Of course F-16 has been bought by more operators and in larger numbers and has been more successful especially commercially. I think major reason for that was winning that LWF competition though as in many cases F-16 was selected without real competition. In all competitions both have been found to have been excellent fighter aircraft (for their time) and selection has depended on what qualities have been emphasized and what exact versions are compared.

I also think that Speicher incident is so isolated that we can't make any real judgement about combat capability from that. I'd say the same about that MiG-21 shootdown. It is true that F-16 and especially F-15 has shot down more enemy aircraft, but major reason for that has been tasking (no F-16 shot down anything during DS for example, AFAIK) and opportunities as far more F-16s and F-16 missions have been flown in combat areas with enemy aircraft present than F/A-18C/D.

Of course Air-to-Air is only one part of aerial combat. Both F-16 and F/A-18 Hornet were (and still are) very good multi-role aircraft.

mixelflick wrote:Yet here we are in 2017, and a US president is championing more Hornets for both the US Navy and foreign governments? US Navy commanders want MORE F-18's? For what?? To fly into contested airspece that'll turn it into spare parts in every conflict from present day out to 2035 and beyond?? We want more of this??? It's already inferior to the aircraft many rival nations currently field, not to mention what's on the drawing board. And as America's front line deck fighter, chances are it'll be up against an adversary vs. any other platform we field.

The hornet sets a dangerous precedent: We no longer aspire to give our men the absolute best fighter money can buy. Instead, we're content with giving them "good enough". That mentality has already cost lives...

The day the last one of these turkeys comes off the production line, I'm buying a round for everyone here. The day the last one flies off into the sunset, I'm throwing the biggest party this board has ever seen (but chances are, I'll be dead by then)..


I definitely agree that Hornet and Super Hornet are at the end of their life cycle and future is F-35 in all variants. I don't see any good reason to buy Super Hornets instead of F-35 for example. Well, maybe to replace attrition to keep whole squadrons combat capable and even that is somewhat dubious. I think Super Hornet was a good idea and it has proven to be one of the most capable 4th gen jet. Of course it's not F-22 in air-to-air but for multi-role fighter it's very good one still. F-35 is naturally far better at pretty much everything, but I see SH being very credible fighter aircraf for the next 15-20 years. There will be rather low number of more capable fighter aircraft in potentially hostile nations until then. I see AD systems being much more of a threat and there F-35 will really be needed.
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XanderCrews

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Unread post14 Sep 2017, 16:13

[quote="hornetfinn"]

Sure, but F/A-18A-D Hornet has also won competitions against F-16 and other competitors. Of course F-16 has been bought by more operators and in larger numbers and has been more successful especially commercially. I think major reason for that was winning that LWF competition though as in many cases F-16 was selected without real competition. In all competitions both have been found to have been excellent fighter aircraft (for their time) and selection has depended on what qualities have been emphasized and what exact versions are compared.

One of the interesting points sales wise I heard (though it may not be 100 percent true) is that the Hornet had the edge early on with the AIM-7 integration. Once the F-16 got full up on the Aim-7 the F-16 pretty much took the rest.
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Unread post14 Sep 2017, 18:03

mixelflick wrote:What is it about the Hornet that gives it 9 lives?
Yet here we are in 2017, and a US president is championing more Hornets for both the US Navy and foreign governments?


Not that I agree with trading Shornets for F-35s, because that certainly isn't a good deal. But these F/A-18E (block 3s) are not to be associated with the YF-17 that lost to the YF-16 in any way, shape or form. These Rhinos are light years better than that prototype that lost the LWF program.

Talking to some Rhino pilots, these aircraft are absolute monsters and in A-A they are confident that they can achieve total air dominance with them even against today's high end threats.

in fact some Navy drivers I've talked to admit that the F-22 is a better platform for A-A overall (a testament to the Raptor's greatness) but that they can beat it with enough practice using their Rhinos.

These are not the low cost day time fighters that are there just to augment the smaller numbers of F-14s anymore.

These reduced RCS, highly advanced, AESA equiped warbirds capable of ungodly slow speed nose pointing abilities supported by powerful jamming variants in the EA-18G can really do some serious damage to an enemy's IADS zones.

No I'm not saying they will be as good as F-35s and F-22s, but what I am saying is that if you're not going against China or Russia in 2026 onwards. These planes as they are now are good enough, against NKorea, Iran or Syria they are still dominating. Against today's Russia or China, they are still on par and lets face it, at least today they are still cheaper than F-35Cs
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Unread post14 Sep 2017, 20:49

zero-one wrote:in fact some Navy drivers I've talked to admit that the F-22 is a better platform for A-A overall (a testament to the Raptor's greatness) but that they can beat it with enough practice using their Rhinos.

The Rhino can bleed energy easily and force an overshoot in a knife fight, remaining in complete control. The IRST/FLIR pod can also track a Raptor quite easily. Similarly, Aggressor F-16s have been seen with FLIR pods for engaging a Raptor. Also, the Rhino pilots are using JHMCS to cue the AIM-9X onto the Raptor, with or without the IRST pod.
zero-one wrote:These reduced RCS, highly advanced, AESA equiped warbirds capable of ungodly slow speed nose pointing abilities supported by powerful jamming variants in the EA-18G can really do some serious damage to an enemy's IADS zones.

The Rhino can fire a HARM for lock-on emitter source, with or without the Growler support. AESA also provides for high definition Synthetic Aperture Radar modes, which also support counter-IADS engagement.

zero-one wrote:No I'm not saying they will be as good as F-35s and F-22s, but what I am saying is that if you're not going against China or Russia in 2026 onwards. These planes as they are now are good enough, against NKorea, Iran or Syria they are still dominating. Against today's Russia or China, they are still on par and lets face it, at least today they are still cheaper than F-35Cs

Remember that a lot commentators are comparing the cost of an F-35A with the notional F/A-18EF Block III+ (eg. $70m apparently.. more like $85-90m fully loaded) that I doubt is actually significantly cheaper than a F-35A. Compared to a F-35C, the Rhino has the cost advantage.
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Unread post15 Sep 2017, 11:27

XanderCrews wrote:One of the interesting points sales wise I heard (though it may not be 100 percent true) is that the Hornet had the edge early on with the AIM-7 integration. Once the F-16 got full up on the Aim-7 the F-16 pretty much took the rest.


That definitely affected some early customers for Hornet, namely Canada, Australia and Spain. However Hornet was also selected during 1990s by Finland and Switzerland (along with Kuwait and Malaysia, but I don't know much about those) because Hornet proved to be better at BVR engagements mostly due to more capable and flexible radar and higher missile load (important for small country with low number of airframes). At least in Finnish comparisons and evaluations Hornet was clearly the best in BVR overall compared to Mirage 2000-5, JAS Gripen A and F-16 Block 40 (GE engine with then latest AN/APG-68(V)5 variant). Of course Hornet then benefited from much more capable AN/APG-73 radar and -402 engines which were not available during earlier competitions/evaluations. It definitely would've needed those upgrades earlier to win more contracts. F-16 was probably better overall before that happened. Then Hornet production ended in 2000 (because of SH) but F-16 production continued and it still sold pretty well.
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Unread post15 Sep 2017, 13:47

neurotech wrote:

[
Remember that a lot commentators are comparing the cost of an F-35A with the notional F/A-18EF Block III+ (eg. $70m apparently.. more like $85-90m fully loaded) that I doubt is actually significantly cheaper than a F-35A. Compared to a F-35C, the Rhino has the cost advantage.


The Block III Super Hornet won't be cheaper than an F-35, at any time.
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