Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

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

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Unread post22 Jul 2020, 04:39

I am more impressed by the hornet, fighting a thrust vectoring flanker with two bags. The typical commentary would be that the flanker with TV would completely destroy a 2 bag non-TV hornet. You know, supermanueverability and all that.
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boogieman

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Unread post22 Jul 2020, 07:16

Same here. Flanker proponents have been saying for years that the legacy Hornet ought to be cannon fodder in BFM for a late model TVC equipped Su-30...

https://www.ausairpower.net/APA-Flanker.html
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nutshell

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Unread post27 Jul 2020, 20:23

Bouncing him because Gonky, the pilot you see in action in the video, has also a very neat YT channel :

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfFDIa ... l8WQ5e2IMQ

Same as his pal Mover (real name C.W. Lemoine):

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEodFw ... VPJZmuzAIg

Mover's YT is just so cool, especially the "Mover ruins movies" section, where he just added the part 2 of his "reaction to Top Gun (1986)". Commented by both Gonker and Mover. Hilarious and very insightful.
If you're an Eagle pilot,you might not like it too much tho.

Being done with the free advertisement of the channels, Gonky said the Malaysian hornets are upgraded with better engines, which helps his BFM performances.
He said that the Su30 is indeed a super tough and capable aircraft, altho he proceeds to casually win all of the engagement shown in the video. With the bags.


The best part of the video are the hearts of many Sukhoi fanboys shattering under the weight of reality: a place where it's not everything is just black&white and physics do exist.

p.s.: Gonky is a former US Navy pilot and is said to be a really, really good one.
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rented

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Unread post19 Aug 2020, 04:34

Late reply sorry - yes I agree those two channels are great. I have been meaning to try Movers' books. The Malaysian Hornets got the EPE engines which the US services partially got in the later C model blocks. Offsetting that, they're all D models which could be slightly heavier.
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Unread post19 Aug 2020, 06:48

milosh wrote:
weasel1962 wrote:jhmcs and 9x combo is 70s tech and irrelevant to wvr? I don't think so.


Pilot was talking about gunfight. Weapon wise and senors wise I expect latest F-18 be noticeable better but as flying machine Flankers are impressive, when F-18 pilot say huge Su-30 can go super slow as F-18 that says a lot about design of Flanker.


Yes, I have to agree. I'd say that F/A-18C/D and Su-30MKM have roughly equal radars with AN/APG-73 and Bars N011M. N011M is likely the more capable radar as it has somewhat longer detection/tracking range and can track somewhat more targets (15 vs 10). Being PESA definitely gives some advantages over MSA. However the RCS difference probably equals the detection/tracking capabilities when compared to each other. Most F/A-18s don't have IRST while all Flankers do, which might give Su-30MKM advantages in some situations but I doubt it's much of a game changer given the limited capabilties of that set. If F/A-18 has the AN/APG-79(V)4, then I'd say that the Hornet has quite significant advantages over Su-30.

Weapons wise F/A-18 is definitely better. For WVR fight, AIM-9X is very likely more capable (due to more capable seeker) than R-73/74 but both are still very deadly missiles. Both have HMS nowadays and both have very effective guns. I think for practical purposes their WVR weapons are about equal and mutual kills pretty likely. IMO,AIM-120 later models are more capable than R-77 or even RVV-SD but I think there is quite high chance of mutual kills in BVR fight also. I think BVR fight between the two would be very much "game of chicken" with good chance of being killed in any case (one, both or neither yielding during). A lot depends on the seeker vs countermeasures performance, pilot skills and just pure luck.

I agree that Flanker is a great airframe design and easily the best Soviet one (MiG-31 is another great one for the job). F/A-18 is also great design especially for a relatively small carrier aircraft. Avionics has been the weak link for many Flanker variants, but Su-30 variants got pretty good avionics.
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Unread post21 Aug 2020, 20:06

hornetfinn wrote:
Yes, I have to agree. I'd say that F/A-18C/D and Su-30MKM have roughly equal radars with AN/APG-73 and Bars N011M. N011M is likely the more capable radar as it has somewhat longer detection/tracking range and can track somewhat more targets (15 vs 10). Being PESA definitely gives some advantages over MSA. However the RCS difference probably equals the detection/tracking capabilities when compared to each other. Most F/A-18s don't have IRST while all Flankers do, which might give Su-30MKM advantages in some situations but I doubt it's much of a game changer given the limited capabilties of that set. If F/A-18 has the AN/APG-79(V)4, then I'd say that the Hornet has quite significant advantages over Su-30.

Weapons wise F/A-18 is definitely better. For WVR fight, AIM-9X is very likely more capable (due to more capable seeker) than R-73/74 but both are still very deadly missiles. Both have HMS nowadays and both have very effective guns. I think for practical purposes their WVR weapons are about equal and mutual kills pretty likely. IMO,AIM-120 later models are more capable than R-77 or even RVV-SD but I think there is quite high chance of mutual kills in BVR fight also. I think BVR fight between the two would be very much "game of chicken" with good chance of being killed in any case (one, both or neither yielding during). A lot depends on the seeker vs countermeasures performance, pilot skills and just pure luck.

I agree that Flanker is a great airframe design and easily the best Soviet one (MiG-31 is another great one for the job). F/A-18 is also great design especially for a relatively small carrier aircraft. Avionics has been the weak link for many Flanker variants, but Su-30 variants got pretty good avionics.


Thank you Hornetfinn, for your analysis. Would you say APG-73 and APG-68(V)9 are at the same level in range and capabilities?
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Unread post23 Aug 2020, 16:11

The biggest difference IMO is persistence... the Flanker carries a LOT more gas. Which is probably why you see the Hornet carrying 2 bags here. I admit it is impressive that legacy Hornets did as well as they did, although in all probability the USN pilots flying them were the best of the bunch. By far the better trained of the two..

Interested to know how Super Hornets would have fared...
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Unread post24 Aug 2020, 13:38

swiss wrote:Thank you Hornetfinn, for your analysis. Would you say APG-73 and APG-68(V)9 are at the same level in range and capabilities?


Yes, I think they are pretty equal in capabilities with a lot depending on software which is impossible to compare without comprehensive testing. APG-73 was found to be pretty clearly the best system in Finnish testing in early 1990s compared to AN/APG-68(V)5, RDY (Mirage 2000-5) and PS-05/A (JAS Gripen). All have definitely been improved with new hardware and software since then though, so it's pretty difficult to know exactly how their latest iterations compare to each other. I'd rate all of them roughly equal.
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Unread post24 Aug 2020, 16:43

The Hornet sure has impressive manoeuvrability for a non-TVC aircraft. This Swiss Hornet display is well worth watching in full:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nf5A13atLHQ&t=76s

Those high AoA maneuvers... :shock:

The Swiss Hornets are a special breed though since they are the only ones stressed for 9G and have no AoA limiters unlike other Hornets.
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Unread post24 Aug 2020, 17:39

Tiger05 wrote:The Hornet sure has impressive manoeuvrability for a non-TVC aircraft. This Swiss Hornet display is well worth watching in full:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nf5A13atLHQ&t=76s

Those high AoA maneuvers... :shock:

The Swiss Hornets are a special breed though since they are the only ones stressed for 9G and have no AoA limiters unlike other Hornets.


That does make you wonder how "worth it" thrust vectoring is on a fighter. The Russians have gone to great lengths to incorporate and talk it up. But it adds both significant weight and cost.

It looks to me like a good FBW system, coupled with top shelf flight control software gets you to the same place. As seen with the F-18 here, and the F-35. Makes you wonder if the new F-15EX will be capable of the same!

Hmmmm... :mrgreen:
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Unread post24 Aug 2020, 20:25

mixelflick wrote:That does make you wonder how "worth it" thrust vectoring is on a fighter. The Russians have gone to great lengths to incorporate and talk it up. But it adds both significant weight and cost.


But Sukhoi TVC doesn't add significant weight nor cost, it isn't complicated at all:
http://avia-simply.ru/wp-content/upload ... AL31FP.jpg

you have couple of pistons and ring and that is. It is similar to other 2D tvc but what make Sukhoi more effective is spaced engines and titled nozzle axis:
https://qph.fs.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-1 ... 0fa5d.webp

so they can mimic 3D tvc using 2D tvc without need for complex 3D tvc nozzle.

So if F-14 was still around something similar could be applied on it. Imagine F-14 with two F135 derivative engines and Saturn like TVC.

For Su-57 there is probable real 3D tvc nozzle at least from photos of two nozzles we saw.

First Russian real 3d tvc was MiG-29OVT, nozzle was done by Klimov (it make MiG-29 engines) and that was lot more complex nozzle then Saturn one used on Flankers.

MiG-29OVT demo with MiG pilot explaining thrust vectoring:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdVJPZAKAQE
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Unread post24 Aug 2020, 21:19

Tiger05 wrote:The Swiss Hornets are a special breed though since they are the only ones stressed for 9G and have no AoA limiters unlike other Hornets.


They are not stressed for 9Gs. They have some reinforced structural components which allows them to reach a 6000 hour service life despite air-to-air only use. Plus they have received an updated flight control software derived from the Super Hornet's.
Finnish Hornets are built to the same standard afaik. Not sure about Malaysia.
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Unread post25 Aug 2020, 13:02

eagle3000 wrote:
Tiger05 wrote:The Swiss Hornets are a special breed though since they are the only ones stressed for 9G and have no AoA limiters unlike other Hornets.


They are not stressed for 9Gs. They have some reinforced structural components which allows them to reach a 6000 hour service life despite air-to-air only use. Plus they have received an updated flight control software derived from the Super Hornet's.
Finnish Hornets are built to the same standard afaik. Not sure about Malaysia.


Finnish Hornets were originally meant to be able to fly 6000 hours but according to Finnish Air Force studies, they will be able to fly about 4500 hours and even that requires some structural modifications (already done AFAIK). Reason being that almost all flight hours are full training with a lot of hard maneuvering. In Finland the training areas are basically next to air bases meaning that transit times are usually only a couple of minutes. I think the same is true for Swiss Ar Force as well. Not sure if Finnish and Swiss Hornets differ or have differed in the past. It might be that Finnish Air Force adopted the same or similar structural modification to what Swiss Hornets had from the beginning.
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Unread post25 Aug 2020, 13:25

Canadian pilot Maj. Bob Wade, Abbotsford BC 1986, pretty impressive considering he is hauling a centerline fuel tank:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgO6rhyA2FA




Even if the Finnish or Swiss Hornets are stressed to 9G's that will probably only matter on the Instantaneous side of things. Meaning at combat altitudes of 15-25kft the Hornet may briefly touch 9G (vs 7.5/8) but not sustain it. At those altitudes, even the F-16 can't sustain 9G. However, it can decelerate from 9G while generally holding turn rate and shrinking its turn circle.


Thrust Vectoring is not a panacea. The Flanker is a huge target (like the F-15 and F-14, but even larger). They are called tennis courts for a reason.
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Unread post25 Aug 2020, 20:16

hornetfinn wrote:
swiss wrote:Thank you Hornetfinn, for your analysis. Would you say APG-73 and APG-68(V)9 are at the same level in range and capabilities?


Yes, I think they are pretty equal in capabilities with a lot depending on software which is impossible to compare without comprehensive testing. APG-73 was found to be pretty clearly the best system in Finnish testing in early 1990s compared to AN/APG-68(V)5, RDY (Mirage 2000-5) and PS-05/A (JAS Gripen). All have definitely been improved with new hardware and software since then though, so it's pretty difficult to know exactly how their latest iterations compare to each other. I'd rate all of them roughly equal.


So we can assume, that Hornet C/D, F-16 Bl. 50+ with AIM-120 c-5, and Mirage 2000 with RDY2 and Mica, SU-30 MKM with R-77 are in the same ballpark in air to air?

hornetfinn wrote: Reason being that almost all flight hours are full training with a lot of hard maneuvering. In Finland the training areas are basically next to air bases meaning that transit times are usually only a couple of minutes. I think the same is true for Swiss Ar Force as well.


You are right. Because of the small swiss territory, this is also true for the swiss hornets. According to the swiss air force.
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