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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mixelflick

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Unread post11 Apr 2019, 13:46

Read it and weep (every word): Including quotes/thoughts from sailors to aviators to subject matter experts..

Leading Experts Warn F-18E’s Gross Underperformance Threatens to Cut Carrier Strike Groups’ Area of Influence by 77%; Why the U.S. Navy Urgently Needs Needs a Replacement for the Super Hornet

https://militarywatchmagazine.com/artic ... per-hornet

Inn, before you attempt to discredit the author/source..
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f-16adf

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Unread post11 Apr 2019, 14:27

The cancellation of the F-14 by Cheney also was influenced by declining defense budgets, because of the end of the Cold War.

For example, the F-15C (fighter version) was last produced in 1986. (most people forget that)
The last of the bulk of F-16CJ's for the USAF were last produced generally up until 1993-94. (most people forget that)

The Tomcat could not drop bombs in 1989 or 1990. It was deemed a single mission jet. It also had ZERO export orders.
Conversely, and which everyone seems to forget, the USMC needed to replace its F-4S Phantoms and A-4M Skyhawks up to early mid 1992. Were they going to do that with fighter mission only F-14's? The answer is NO. The USMC drops bombs and provides CAS for its troops on the ground.

Furthermore, the Hornet had export clients (meaning MONEY), and those orders needed to be fulfilled. In an era of declining defense budgets the Navy was left with one jet (like the USAF with the F-16, circa early 1990's). They simply were not going to choose the single mission F-14 vs the multi-mission Hornet--And dry up the Hornet export line. While telling the USMC to keep flying outdated F-4's and A-4's (because they were never going to get single mission Tomcats). Sorry, but that never was going to happen. Additionally, do you seriously think Bill Clinton was going to increase defense budgets in 1993 and beyond for a fantasy Tomcat, all the while being involved in Somalia, OSW, ONW, Bosnia, Kosovo? ....NOPE

According to Dave "Bio" Baranek: "The first LANTIRN deployment was in 1996 (VF-103) – and with it the F-14 finally became a versatile precision strike-fighter."


I'm willing to bet that If the F-14 didn't become the Bombcat, it would have been retired much sooner than 2006. It was too little, too late. The world political stage was simply different in 1996 vs 1986-
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Unread post11 Apr 2019, 22:18

f-16adf wrote:The cancellation of the F-14 by Cheney also was influenced by declining defense budgets, because of the end of the Cold War.

For example, the F-15C (fighter version) was last produced in 1986. (most people forget that)
The last of the bulk of F-16CJ's for the USAF were last produced generally up until 1993-94. (most people forget that)

The Tomcat could not drop bombs in 1989 or 1990. It was deemed a single mission jet. It also had ZERO export orders.
Conversely, and which everyone seems to forget, the USMC needed to replace its F-4S Phantoms and A-4M Skyhawks up to early mid 1992. Were they going to do that with fighter mission only F-14's? The answer is NO. The USMC drops bombs and provides CAS for its troops on the ground.

Furthermore, the Hornet had export clients (meaning MONEY), and those orders needed to be fulfilled. In an era of declining defense budgets the Navy was left with one jet (like the USAF with the F-16, circa early 1990's). They simply were not going to choose the single mission F-14 vs the multi-mission Hornet--And dry up the Hornet export line. While telling the USMC to keep flying outdated F-4's and A-4's (because they were never going to get single mission Tomcats). Sorry, but that never was going to happen.


USMC does not use, has never used, and not planning to use Super Hornet.

USMC is using the F-18C/D.

So the needs of USMC has nothing to do with the development of Super Hornet and cancellation of F-14.
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f-16adf

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Unread post11 Apr 2019, 22:38

I never said the USMC used the SH. What I said (and read carefully) is that by 1990 the USAF had one fighter jet in production namely the F-16 (which for AF use, CJ production would be basically done by 1994). The single mission F-15C was long gone. Only few SE were around, trickling off the production lines.

If the AF was left with one fighter, do you seriously think the NAVY was going to still keep 2 in production concurrently (namely the F-14D and F/A-18C/D)? While everything at that time was being cut or cancelled. Namely, the A-12, NATF, AAAM, A-6F, Agile Falcon, 700 F-22'S DOWN TO 335, and I believe B-2 numbers were also cut. Even in early 1994, my brother's F-16ADF squadron folded up because of budget cuts.

So left with a choice are you going to keep the older jet (single mission Tomcat), that couldn't drop bombs, needed more maintenance hours, and that had ZERO EXPORT ORDERS in production; Or are you going to choose the jet (F/A-18C/D) that had export orders, was more modern, could drop bombs, and suited the Marine Corps needs for replacing Skyhawks and Phantoms?

Were you even alive during 1990? Do you remember what was happening?? .....The Cold War ended, and the Soviet Union would cease to exist just a few years later.
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Unread post13 Apr 2019, 11:03

crosshairs wrote:New tomcats would have had better sensors. Why does bug crowd want to compare an A, B, or D to the SH?

We are trying to compare actual F-14Ds with actual F/A-18Es, the D model never had AESA while the SHornet has.
Now if you want to compare it with the ST21 which is supposed to be the ultimate F-14, then I say, compare it with the ASH (Advanced Super Hornet), just to be fair.

ST-21 was to have an improved APG-71, no word if it would be AESA, at least I've never seen it.

crosshairs wrote:Every time I hear someone bring up the SH LO, all I can think is go pour yourself another cup of coolaide.

The SH is not LO, the ASH is.
And even so, you're making it sound like the RCS of an SH is just as bad as the F-14. weapons or no weapons a Bug will always be harder to see than an F-14. Thats useful when used in conjunction with ECM.


crosshairs wrote:I don't know how anyone can say the SH is a better fighter. Because it has some slow speed nose pointing ability? I am sure that is really useful today with hobs proliferating the air combat community.

If this was sarcastic, I'm just going to let F-22, F-35 test pilot Tom Morganfeld answer this for me
Tom Morganfeld wrote:The question was how relevant is maneuverability in the age of high off boresite missiles and helmet mounted cueing systems.

Well I would say these systems can decrease the relevance of maneuverability to a degree, but if you're a fighter you'll still need to be able to turn and point your nose....Its still relevant

F/A-18E vs F-14D
With this in mind, the SHornet has the edge in maneuverability
(see operational performance assessment by Sprst)
and far far superior cockpit visibility.

F/A-18 Advanced Super Hornet vs F-14 Super Tomcat 21
The ASH will have:
-more powerful engines,
-no external ordnance except for 1 Stealthy weapons pod on the center line hard point.
-Low observable RCS
(Again they will not put EFTs on it because the whole point of ASH is to be Stealthy)

The ST-21 on the other hand was to have:
-GE-F110 engines
-Redesigned control surfaces and LERX
-Possible inclusion of TVC
-External weapons, ECM pods and EFTs
(I know some of you will say it carries more fuel than a KC-46, but as we have seen with every single NATO aircraft, the only way you will avoid carrying EFTs is if you're Stealthy. If the F-15E with CFTs can't get away from carrying them despite having a buttone of fuel, what makes us think the F-14 ST-21 will


If the F-35C was chopped off, they would have a real case to buy the ASH


crosshairs wrote: Seems lime I recall the cbg is protected by aegis. And if the fight is a long way away from the cbg, then the tomcats speed and legs are better than some slow speed nose pointing tricks.

Exactly, with Aegis protecting the CSG, why do you need the Tomcat? let the Ticcos and Burkes handle the air defense, concentrate on sending your air wing to the fight over enemy controlled air space.
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Unread post19 Apr 2019, 05:21

F-18 E.PNG

F-18 E (b).PNG

F-18 E (c).PNG
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Unread post19 Apr 2019, 13:43

zero-one wrote:Exactly, with Aegis protecting the CSG, why do you need the Tomcat?


Well THAT'S a stupid question. The Tomcats operated outside the Aegis bubble, making the defended space much larger. Even the SM-6 won't touch that. Tomcats were design to attack things like Backfire-Cs before they were in launch range of their Kh-22s. SM-6 can't do that as Kh-22 easily outranges it.
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Unread post19 Apr 2019, 16:05

The point about the F-18 carrying air to ground weapons was a fair one, but look how easily F-14's were turned into Bombcats. New build F-14's would just as easily been air to ground capable, probably even moreso.

At the end of the day F-14D's (and certainly, ST-21's) would have far superior range to SH's, carrying heavier loads further. And they'd cover that greater ground a lot faster. The bottom line is that Bombcats could do everything a SH could do, and then some. But not the other way around. The one caveat in the SH's favor would have been RCS. Which of course can be addressed by radar jamming. If any Hornet should have been built, it should have been the EA-18G.

With respect to fleet air defense, that's once again a big issue. The F-14D would have had a much superior time on station, carrying far fewer fuel tanks and covering way more airspace. Faster. The ST-21? Forget about it. Way, WAY superior to any Hornet variation (ASH or otherwise). Given its greater internal fuel, I fail to see any need for EFT's. And as stated prior, it would just extend the range/capability of AEGIS/SM6 and let's not forget... you can't intercept/escort TU-22's/TU-95's with SM6's. You need aircraft/airmen to intercept, identify and if necessary prosecute those targets.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Turning a fleet air defense monster into an all arounder is a lot easier than starting with the winner of the LWF competition, then trying to make it all things to all people. The Strike Eagle beat out the F-16XL for the same reasons. The F-14/F-18 dynamic is no different..
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Unread post19 Apr 2019, 18:50

mixelflick,

What RCS-reducing steps were there for the ST-21? The engine fan was RIGHT THERE in your face. What was the solution for this? What were the other proposals to reduce its signature?
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Unread post19 Apr 2019, 20:35

mixelflick wrote: The Strike Eagle beat out the F-16XL for the same reasons. The F-14/F-18 dynamic is no different..


The F-16XL was vastly different to the F-16A - this letter from Harry Hillaker written 10 years after the event might give some insight into why the F-15E was actually chosen :



As the recognized “Father of the F-16,” and Chief Project Engineer during the concept formulation and preliminary design phases of the F-16XL and Vice President and Deputy Program Director during the prototype phase, the article was of considerable interest to me. The disappointment was that only one side of the issue was presented, a highly biased, self-interest input that does not adequately, nor accurately, present the real story of the selection of the F-15E.


First, it should be understood that we (General Dynamics) did not initiate the F-16XL as a competitor to the F-15E, then identified as the F-15 Strike Eagle. We stated as unequivocally as possible to the Air Force, that the Dual-Role mission should be given to the F-15: that the F-15 should complement the F-16 in ground strike missions in the same manner that the F-16 complements the F-15 in air-air missions. A fundamental tenet of the F-16, from its inception, has been as an air-air complement to the F-15—no radar missile capability, no M=2.0+ capability, no standoff capability: a multi-mission fighter whose primary mission was air-surface with backup air-air capability.


We proposed the F-16XL as a logical enhancement of its air-to-surface capabilities. The F-16C represented a progressive systems enhancement and the XL would be an airframe enhancement optimized more to its air-surface mission—lower weapons carriage drag and minimum dependence on external fuel tanks.

The statement that “a prototype version of the F-15E decisively beat an F-16 variant called the F-16XL,” is misinformation. I don’t know what was meant by “beat,” it is patently true that McDonnell-Douglas clearly won what was called a “competition.” However, by the Air Force’s own definition, it was, in reality, an evaluation to determine which airplane would be better suited to the dual-role mission. In a formal competition, each party is evaluated against a common set of requirements and conditions. Such was not the case for the dual-role fighter. The F-15 Strike Eagle and the F-16XL were evaluated and flight tested to different sets of conditions and to different test plans—no common basis for evaluation existed.



The F-15 had only one clear advantage in the evaluation—a “paper” advantage. The weapon loading for one of the missions used in the evaluation precluded the use of external fuel tanks on the F-16XL; the F-15 could carry that particular weapon loading and still carry external fuel tanks, the F-16XL could not. That one mission was the only place the F-15 had a clear advantage. (It should be noted that a fundamental design feature of the XL was the elimination of external fuel tanks with their attendant restrictions on flight limits and their weight and drag penalty.)

Further, the Air Force would not allow us to use the GE F110 engine in our proposal even though the No. 2 XL, the 2-place version, was powered by a F110 engine and provided better performance than the P&W F100 engine. And although you would expect the F-16’s clear advantage to be cost, the Air Force treated the F-15E as a simple modification to a planned production buy and the F-16XL as a totally new buy. Neither airplane used in the flight test evaluation was a “prototype” of a dual-role fighter. The F-15 was closer systems and cockpit-wise than the F-16XL and the F-16XL was closer, much closer, airframe-wise.

The F-16XLs were designed to, and flew, at their maximum design gross weight of 48,000 pounds, whereas the F-15, more than once, blew its tires while taxiing at 73,000 pounds, well below its maximum design gross weight [which was 81,000 pounds], a condition not demonstrated in the flight test program.

In a meeting that I attended with General Creech, then TAC CINC [Commander-in-Chief], the general stated that either air¬plane was fully satisfactory. When asked why he and his staff only mentioned the F-15 (never the F-16XL) in any dual-role fighter statement or discussion, he gave a reply that was impossible to refute, “We have to do that because the F-16 has a heart and soul of its own and we have to sell the F-15.” I’ll have to admit that I sat mute upon hearing that statement because there was no possible retort.

We had no allusions as to what the outcome of the Dual-role fighter “competition” would be and debated whether to even respond to the request for information. We did submit, knowing full well that it was a lost cause and that to not submit would be an affront to the Air Force who badly needed the appearance of a competition to justify continued procurement of the F-15—they had patently been unable to sell the F-15 Strike Eagle for five years. As is the case with too much in our culture today, the Air Force was more interested in style, in appearances, than in substance.


Even today, I feel that giving the F-15 a precision air-surface capability was proper and badly needed. What continues to disturb me is that the F-16XL had to be a pawn in that decision and had to be so badly denigrated to justify the decision—a selection that could have been made on its own merits.
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sferrin

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Unread post20 Apr 2019, 14:06

Wait, I thought Pierre Sprey was the "Father of the F-16". :wink:
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Unread post20 Apr 2019, 15:26

The F-16 hardpoints were not as strong as F-15E, so it would have never really been a comparable competition.

Maybe if F-16XL had intakes more like Eurofighter and went twin-F404, you might have seen a push to a uniform airframe between the services.

Speaking of F-16XL, did NASA's wing change improve or worsen the design?

Image
Last edited by madrat on 20 Apr 2019, 15:35, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post20 Apr 2019, 15:32

kdub104 wrote:mixelflick,

What RCS-reducing steps were there for the ST-21? The engine fan was RIGHT THERE in your face. What was the solution for this? What were the other proposals to reduce its signature?


I didn't claim there were steps to reduce the ST-21's RCS, did I?

And I acknowledged the SH/ASH would have a far smaller signature. In practice though, I don't think the SH's RCS reduction is worth much, because it's going to be carrying most everything under its wings. Including big, honking fuel tanks (because its range sucks).
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Unread post20 Apr 2019, 15:41

“We have to do that because the F-16 has a heart and soul of its own and we have to sell the F-15.”

He is saying, what here?

That the F-16 is easy to export and the F-15 isn't? Would seem to me that Israel, Japan, Saudi Arabia, S. Korea, Singapore and now Quatar feel differently. There's always going to be a market for something with a 104-0 air to air combat record, no?

But maybe that's not what this sentence means. Please elaborate, I'd be interested in learning more..
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Unread post20 Apr 2019, 17:36

mixelflick wrote:
kdub104 wrote:mixelflick,

What RCS-reducing steps were there for the ST-21? The engine fan was RIGHT THERE in your face. What was the solution for this? What were the other proposals to reduce its signature?


I didn't claim there were steps to reduce the ST-21's RCS, did I?

And I acknowledged the SH/ASH would have a far smaller signature. In practice though, I don't think the SH's RCS reduction is worth much, because it's going to be carrying most everything under its wings. Including big, honking fuel tanks (because its range sucks).



I didn't claim that you claimed there were steps to reduce the ST-21's RCS.

My questions to you were proposed out of curiosity, not confrontation or challenge. I know little about the ST-21 and am curious about the RCS aspect of the Tomcat proposal. A relocation of the engines to "hide" the fan blades seems to be the only way to reduce the radar signature of the engines, and it appears the SuperCat would not undergo this transformation.

I've watched a DCS video with the F-14B module and the "Grim Reapers" performed a 1200 mile strike sortie with Hornets and Flankers. Sure, it is a video game but the Tomcat was the King of the long range strike in terms of range and speed. A Flanker had to maintain burner at altitude to hang with the Tomcats in formation and struggled to catch up with them after takeoff. It was stated by the team leader he was doubtful of the F-15C with air-to-air loadout and 3 bags of gas could keep up. The Tomcats carried a full loadout of 2 bags, 4 Phoenix, 2 AIM-9, and the rest of the fuselage with numerous MK82s. RTB was M2.2+ @ 55,000ft.
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