A Comparison F-14 Versus F-15E In The Fighter Role

Cold war, Korea, Vietnam, and Desert Storm - up to and including for example the A-10, F-15, Mirage 200, MiG-29, and F-18.
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zero-one

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Unread post23 Apr 2019, 16:33

Okay, so the ST-21 will definitely extend the Tomcat's margin over the Hornet on Range and Speed. Attributes that are already in the Tomcat's favor to begin with.

But the Hornets will still have the advantage in Maneuverability and RCS.
I know we've gone back and forth over maneuverability, but the overwhelming amount of information available from pilots and from people here in general point to the SHotnet being better. Its inherently less stable, with larger LEX and with a design originating from the LWF program. It was really meant to be a dog fighter.

With RCS reductions, the SHornet will be harder to kill from very long ranges. The Irbis-E is said to be able to detect a 3 sq meter target 400km away. a Tomcat's RCS is much bigger than that. A combat configured SHornet block 3 isn't the ASH is even smaller.
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Unread post23 Apr 2019, 17:11

And honestly there has been a lot of discussion in other threads about the RCS impact of stores, including fuel tanks. In general a heavy air to ground load with EFTs could be a 10m^2 impact. Hornetfinn had a link showing EFT had a 0.1m^2 impact from the front. An AIM-9L with RAM was 0.001, and AIM-9X would be lower. Pylons have RAM, I can see them being as low as 0.05m^2. A TER of Mk82s from the rear (lots of flat fins and corner reflectors) is a combined 1.39m^2, 0.64 for the TER and .25 for each tail on Mk82. Call a head on Mk 82 0.12. Say due to diameter a Mk 84 is 0.48. So we can see how a strike package can have as low of an impact as 3m^2 using modern pylons and reduced RCS weapons. This is why a SH being in the .5 range isn;t worth making better. Your frontal RCS for a strike SHornet will be the same as a beast mode F-35 more or less. An F-15 otoh starts at ~25m, so external load is a comparatively small increase.

And the Irbis-E claim is 350km-400km for a cued search and 50% probability of detection. Using modern western definitions (1m^2, volume search, 75% pd) it drops to ~90nm
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Unread post23 Apr 2019, 21:09

sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:And honestly there has been a lot of discussion in other threads about the RCS impact of stores, including fuel tanks. In general a heavy air to ground load with EFTs could be a 10m^2 impact. Hornetfinn had a link showing EFT had a 0.1m^2 impact from the front. An AIM-9L with RAM was 0.001, and AIM-9X would be lower. Pylons have RAM, I can see them being as low as 0.05m^2. A TER of Mk82s from the rear (lots of flat fins and corner reflectors) is a combined 1.39m^2, 0.64 for the TER and .25 for each tail on Mk82. Call a head on Mk 82 0.12. Say due to diameter a Mk 84 is 0.48. So we can see how a strike package can have as low of an impact as 3m^2 using modern pylons and reduced RCS weapons. This is why a SH being in the .5 range isn;t worth making better. Your frontal RCS for a strike SHornet will be the same as a beast mode F-35 more or less. An F-15 otoh starts at ~25m, so external load is a comparatively small increase.


Fully agree. According this post from Hornetfinn. The mk-82 has a frontal RCS of 0.05 to 0.1 m2.


viewtopic.php?f=33&t=53285&p=387806#wrapper

And for the F-15, Boeing can use this super Ram paint from the Su-35, to reduce the RCS to 2 m2. :wink:


sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:And the Irbis-E claim is 350km-400km for a cued search and 50% probability of detection. Using modern western definitions (1m^2, volume search, 75% pd) it drops to ~90nm


It should be even worse. Volume search for a 3 m2 fighter is 200km. So we talk about roughly 80nm vs a 1 m2 Target. And pd is 90% for western Radars. So it even drops below 80nm.
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Unread post24 Apr 2019, 14:09

zero-one wrote:Okay, so the ST-21 will definitely extend the Tomcat's margin over the Hornet on Range and Speed. Attributes that are already in the Tomcat's favor to begin with.

But the Hornets will still have the advantage in Maneuverability and RCS.
I know we've gone back and forth over maneuverability, but the overwhelming amount of information available from pilots and from people here in general point to the SHotnet being better. Its inherently less stable, with larger LEX and with a design originating from the LWF program. It was really meant to be a dog fighter.

With RCS reductions, the SHornet will be harder to kill from very long ranges. The Irbis-E is said to be able to detect a 3 sq meter target 400km away. a Tomcat's RCS is much bigger than that. A combat configured SHornet block 3 isn't the ASH is even smaller.


So the Hornet can dogfight better? That's entirely debatable, but why are we talking about dogfighting in 2019? Do that in an F-35 thread, and you'll be crucified. That's so yesteryear, and doesn't matter anymore.

Why should it matter here?
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Unread post24 Apr 2019, 16:19

The real question is which airframe do you want to take into battle in 2019. Apples and Oranges.
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geforcerfx

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Unread post24 Apr 2019, 21:20

Watching the thread go to a SH vs Tomcat thread was interesting, I knew who would show up and how they would act and they didn't disappoint.

As others have tried to add to the conversation the super hornet was the best the navy could do in the times that it had to happen, budgets were, and still are falling. The tomcat was expensive, new version were going to be even more expensive, and like pointed out the hornet family was selling well elsewhere. It had a much larger pedigree for multi-role was a simpler aircraft and safer bet at the time. Looking forward the Navy is in the same spot as it was if not worse. Navair isn't going to get a new "Tomcat" big high performance aircraft that's on the front line of technical. The budget isn't there and prob won't be there, F/A-XX will prob just be a upgraded F-35C as long as the airframe proves itself over the next decade. Navy has to buy a lot of very expensive ships over the next 10 years and i think Navair will keep getting the shaft in that budget environment, especially if they keep screwing up on how they are spending that money on the ships.
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Unread post25 Apr 2019, 01:36

geforcerfx wrote:Watching the thread go to a SH vs Tomcat thread was interesting, I knew who would show up and how they would act and they didn't disappoint.

As others have tried to add to the conversation the super hornet was the best the navy could do in the times that it had to happen, budgets were, and still are falling. The tomcat was expensive, new version were going to be even more expensive, and like pointed out the hornet family was selling well elsewhere. It had a much larger pedigree for multi-role was a simpler aircraft and safer bet at the time. Looking forward the Navy is in the same spot as it was if not worse. Navair isn't going to get a new "Tomcat" big high performance aircraft that's on the front line of technical. The budget isn't there and prob won't be there, F/A-XX will prob just be a upgraded F-35C as long as the airframe proves itself over the next decade. Navy has to buy a lot of very expensive ships over the next 10 years and i think Navair will keep getting the shaft in that budget environment, especially if they keep screwing up on how they are spending that money on the ships.


That is just plain wrong. Super hornet was an all new aircraft that cost much more to develop than evolving the F-14 the way that the F-15 was evolved (for the rest of the world, just not to include the USAF). From a budgetary perspective the cat would have been a cheaper program. Your opening statement is incorrect. Most of the tooling for new cats was bought and paid for many times over. SH was far from the best Navair could do. A super slow straight wing underpowered slushbucket is pretty much outclassed in any encounter with a sukhoi, hobs or not.

The whole dogfighting debate was quite hilarious as people try to say the SH was a better dogfighter than the new cat would have been. Plane A underpowered and everything hanging on pylons under those straight wings. Plane B much higher T/W and basically a lifting body with that big flat space between engines with at least 4 AAMs semi recessed.

Not to mention as F35 proponents say dogfighting is so very out of fashion.
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geforcerfx

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Unread post25 Apr 2019, 06:22

crosshairs wrote:
That is just plain wrong. Super hornet was an all new aircraft that cost much more to develop than evolving the F-14 the way that the F-15 was evolved (for the rest of the world, just not to include the USAF). From a budgetary perspective the cat would have been a cheaper program. Your opening statement is incorrect. Most of the tooling for new cats was bought and paid for many times over. SH was far from the best Navair could do. A super slow straight wing underpowered slushbucket is pretty much outclassed in any encounter with a sukhoi, hobs or not.

The whole dogfighting debate was quite hilarious as people try to say the SH was a better dogfighter than the new cat would have been. Plane A underpowered and everything hanging on pylons under those straight wings. Plane B much higher T/W and basically a lifting body with that big flat space between engines with at least 4 AAMs semi recessed.

Not to mention as F35 proponents say dogfighting is so very out of fashion.


The super hornet as proposed was a new airframe with around 30%-40% parts commonality with the legacy hornet and new engines, the block 1 Supers had the same radar, avionics, ejection seats and mission computers as the legacy hornets. Those things can be pretty expensive to develop new and problematic (look at the time and investment made into the F-22's avionics and computers at the time) and that's what the majority of the upgraded tomcat proposals were. At the time cost was king, the super hornet was based off a multi-role platform and was designed to improve the multi-role capability's of the legacy hornet with a better airframe for the strike mission. The idea was the Navy got cheaper aircraft that could do any mission better than a legacy hornet could giving them the chance to knockout 3 or 4 airframe types with 1. F-14's wouldn't do a strike mission until 1995 and wouldn't self designate until 2000-2001 I believe, at the time of the super hornets selection they were only multi-role on paper. The navy wanted a cheap multi-role aircraft and the hornet was in a better position to offer that. Fleet tomcats were costing 50-60 man hours per flight hour hornets were costing 20, the super was expected to maintain or improve the CPFH over the legacy hornets (i believe they did) while being a more capable airframe (which they are). Even if buying the tomcat was $35 million dollars cheaper per plane (which it wasn't) the 2-3 times increase in cost per flight hour would have meant a significantly reduced fleet in numbers (which could cause a even higher rise in cost per flight hour). The Navy still had to buy enough aircraft to field 11 carrier strike groups air wings and the tomcat by itself wasn't going to do that, not to mention they would have had to come up with a different solution for tanking in the carrier air wings, which may not have been a bad thing but would have added more cost and prob would have ended up taking more tomcats out of the total buy. Also the tomcat(D) has a worse static T/W than the super hornet (0.91 vs 0.88 at loaded) and a worse fuel fraction as well. It's greatest performance advantage (swing wing) was also the reason for it's demise (cost). Looking at how Navair can barely field enough aircraft between the hornet family for 11 carrier air wings now, I can't imagine how bad it would have been having more aircraft types and having the more expensive tomcats still flying. I could see a carrier air wing only running 1 tomcat squad and loads of legacy hornets which I see as being a far worse mix then we have had over the last 15 years.

on a side note I don't have anything against the tomcat, but if you don't have the money you don't have the money. I think the super has evolved into a damn good strike fighter and is only getting better in block III.
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Unread post25 Apr 2019, 13:22

Really, the SH win boiled down to 1 thing: Money. It was perceived as cheaper. Maybe. But what is undeniable is this: The Navy got what it paid for..

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Unread post25 Apr 2019, 17:57

mixelflick wrote:Really, the SH win boiled down to 1 thing: Money. It was perceived as cheaper. Maybe. But what is undeniable is this: The Navy got what it paid for..

Cheap


Block 1 was definitely that route, a legacy hornet in a more capable airframe(much long strike range, heavier strike loads). Block II was the successor to the tomcat with the radar and avionics upgrades plus the aim-120 c7 was ready at block 2 fielding giving them near phoenix range and they would have the amraam D in 5 years for greater than phoenix range. You don't get the speed of the tomcat but with the sensor improvements in the surface fleet and the E-2 i don't think it was as necessary.
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Unread post30 Apr 2019, 14:26

Let's wrap this little debate up with a quote from someone who should know, shall we?

"As Rear Admiral Paul Gillcrist, USN (Ret.) noted in 2002 regarding the Tomcat’s retirement and the less impressive performance of its lighter replacement, the F-18E:

Though it’s a whizzy little airshow performer with a nice, modern cockpit, it has only 36 percent of the F-14’s payload/range capability. The F-18E Super Hornet has been improved but still has, at best, 50 percent of the F-14’s capability to deliver a fixed number of bombs (in pounds) on target. This naturally means that the carrier radius of influence drops to 50 percent of what it would have been with the same number of F-14s. As a result, the area of influence (not radius) drops to 23 percent!"

He's a US Navy Rear Admiral, not one of us F-16 folk. Pretty profound statement, wouldn't you say?

GAME OVER
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Unread post30 Apr 2019, 16:31

mixelflick wrote:Let's wrap this little debate up with a quote from someone who should know, shall we?

"As Rear Admiral Paul Gillcrist, USN (Ret.) noted in 2002 regarding the Tomcat’s retirement and the less impressive performance of its lighter replacement, the F-18E:

Though it’s a whizzy little airshow performer with a nice, modern cockpit, it has only 36 percent of the F-14’s payload/range capability. The F-18E Super Hornet has been improved but still has, at best, 50 percent of the F-14’s capability to deliver a fixed number of bombs (in pounds) on target. This naturally means that the carrier radius of influence drops to 50 percent of what it would have been with the same number of F-14s. As a result, the area of influence (not radius) drops to 23 percent!"

He's a US Navy Rear Admiral, not one of us F-16 folk. Pretty profound statement, wouldn't you say?

GAME OVER


Yup. Not to mention the bring back capability of unused ordinance for the cat was FAR greater than the super bug. New build cats would have added supercruise and super maneuverability to the bag of tricks, along with likely the largest AESA radar ever put into a fighter.

As I said early in this thread, circa 1986 we were planning on having the A-12 to kick down the door and suppress air defenses while new advanced cats took care of whomever came up to challenge - something you can do with a cat and its fuel load and something the bug needs to be weighted down with external fuel making it even more of a slug than it is otherwise - and other cats serving as bombcats since defenses were suppressed by Avengers.

But bug fans don't want to hear their bird is a turd and an expensive little toy that looks good air airshows with its slow sleep nose pointing ability that it real a2a combat is f*cked to use and bleed away your energy like that for someone else to pick you off nice and easy.
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Unread post30 Apr 2019, 19:40

mixelflick wrote:So the Hornet can dogfight better? That's entirely debatable, but why are we talking about dogfighting in 2019? Do that in an F-35 thread, and you'll be crucified. That's so yesteryear, and doesn't matter anymore.

Why should it matter here?


I for one have always maintained that dogfights will always matter. the F-22 and F-35 will need to be just as proficient as the P-51, just as pilots and people in the know have always said, you can not rule out dogfights.

They can crucify me all they want for saying this, but I will just keep quoting pilot statements who say that the F-22 and F-35 can still end up in a dogfight and are designed to dominate in that environment as well.

It may be less likely sure, but if mistakes happen or you are dealing with a 2nd wave of bandits after crossing IADS lines, you may still find yourself in a phone booth with someone. General Mike Hostage's words not mine.

It matters all the more if you have the RCS of a barn house like an F-14. HOBS and JHMCS? well according to F-35 test pilot Tom Morgandeld, these things can only diminish the relevance of maneuverability to a degree, but maneuverability will always be relevant on a fighter.
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Unread post01 May 2019, 12:03

crosshairs wrote:
geforcerfx wrote:Watching the thread go to a SH vs Tomcat thread was interesting, I knew who would show up and how they would act and they didn't disappoint.

As others have tried to add to the conversation the super hornet was the best the navy could do in the times that it had to happen, budgets were, and still are falling. The tomcat was expensive, new version were going to be even more expensive, and like pointed out the hornet family was selling well elsewhere. It had a much larger pedigree for multi-role was a simpler aircraft and safer bet at the time. Looking forward the Navy is in the same spot as it was if not worse. Navair isn't going to get a new "Tomcat" big high performance aircraft that's on the front line of technical. The budget isn't there and prob won't be there, F/A-XX will prob just be a upgraded F-35C as long as the airframe proves itself over the next decade. Navy has to buy a lot of very expensive ships over the next 10 years and i think Navair will keep getting the shaft in that budget environment, especially if they keep screwing up on how they are spending that money on the ships.


That is just plain wrong. Super hornet was an all new aircraft that cost much more to develop than evolving the F-14 the way that the F-15 was evolved (for the rest of the world, just not to include the USAF). From a budgetary perspective the cat would have been a cheaper program. Your opening statement is incorrect. Most of the tooling for new cats was bought and paid for many times over. SH was far from the best Navair could do. A super slow straight wing underpowered slushbucket is pretty much outclassed in any encounter with a sukhoi, hobs or not.

The whole dogfighting debate was quite hilarious as people try to say the SH was a better dogfighter than the new cat would have been. Plane A underpowered and everything hanging on pylons under those straight wings. Plane B much higher T/W and basically a lifting body with that big flat space between engines with at least 4 AAMs semi recessed.

What is F-18E/F vs ST21 T/W with new engine?
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Unread post10 May 2019, 17:23

sferrin wrote:
madrat wrote:F-14 with EFT? Link please.


While it didn't go into production they did look at a CFT for a USAF F-14:

ADCOM-F-14.jpg


Those CFT's are ugly as hell, and the low drag index of "the tunnel" looks to go away completely with any meaningful load. Good grief. And they did what with the EFT's, moved them to the outer weapons station? More drag, more ugly.

But I had never seen this picture before nor heard of where CFT's would have gone. So I thank you for it...
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