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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basher54321

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Unread post21 Apr 2019, 00:30

madrat wrote: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?





Not relevant it didn't need to have - the XL was a replacement for the F-16C and wasn't meant to be comparable to the F-15E by design - that was one of the points he mentioned. It does show how good the design was even in its underpowered state.

Obviously he didn't seem too happy it was put into some faux competition to sell the F-15 as an F-111 replacement. He doesn't mention that after selecting the F-15 they were going to put the F-16XL into production anyway.

That wing wasn't meant to improve the XL design but was for supersonic laminar flow experiments primarily for I believe the High Speed Civil Transport. Don't think all the objectives were achieved and looks like they even looked into using the Tu-144 after wards as a follow on.
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Unread post21 Apr 2019, 01:22

IIRC it was limited to most 750 pound bombs when they were simplifying inventory.
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mixelflick

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Unread post21 Apr 2019, 13:30

kdub104 wrote:
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.


There was no mention of RCS reduction measures on the ST-21. However, there were on the ASF-14, which could be considered in the same breath as the Advanced Super Hornet. From the below article: "There was even talk that some stealthy characteristics would be applied to the ASF-14, this may have included radar baffles over it engines' fan faces and "edge-alligned" gear doors and access points."

https://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/top-g ... 1575814142

There is no doubt that the ST-21 or ASF-14 would have been fearsome machines. Had we chosen to take this path way back when, fleet air defense wouldn't be an issue right now. Nor would our "strike fighters" being short legged slugs. But that was the Navy's choice, and they're going to have to live with it. Either Tomcat would get to its station faster, extend CAP further, stay a lot longer, see much farther and if necessary, impart greater launch energy to its missiles than any Hornet, including the ASH.
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zero-one

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Unread post21 Apr 2019, 18:08

Okay, I tried a little bit to find this range and fuel capacity improvements the hypothetical ST-21 would have and really couldn't find anything concrete.

The F-14D with GE-F110-400s has a published combat radius of 500 NM. With more fuel the ST-21 will definitely have more, but how much more?
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Unread post21 Apr 2019, 20:17

madrat wrote:IIRC it was limited to most 750 pound bombs when they were simplifying inventory.


For AG it had options of 5 x 2000 lb and 16 x 1000lb stations + 2 x LANTIRN stations. During the flight testing the 2 XLs (rebuilt F-16A FSD jets) dropped 18 x 2000 lb MK84 and 218 x 500 lb MK82 - not aware of any other changes.
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johnwill

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Unread post22 Apr 2019, 00:11

During the test program it also dropped CBUs and launched AGM-65s.
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Unread post22 Apr 2019, 14:24

zero-one wrote:Okay, I tried a little bit to find this range and fuel capacity improvements the hypothetical ST-21 would have and really couldn't find anything concrete.

The F-14D with GE-F110-400s has a published combat radius of 500 NM. With more fuel the ST-21 will definitely have more, but how much more?


Nothing concrete, but here's what was said, "super-cruise combined with its additional internal fuel carriage capacity would have given the Super Tomcat much greater range than it already had". Not greater range, much greater range. So they were planning on a significant enhancement, and most of that additional internal fuel was to be carried in the enlarged LERX's. Whatever it was, you can bet it would have had a LOT longer legs than the SH or ASH will have. ASH may have CFT's, but those are bolt on solutions to a sub-par internal fuel capability. With the Tomcat (F-14D vs SH), you're talking 16,200lbs vs. 14,000lbs respectively.

In practice, the F-14 could go places/distances the SH simply couldn't - like deep into Afghanistan.
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Unread post22 Apr 2019, 14:40

zero-one wrote:Okay, I tried a little bit to find this range and fuel capacity improvements the hypothetical ST-21 would have and really couldn't find anything concrete.

The F-14D with GE-F110-400s has a published combat radius of 500 NM. With more fuel the ST-21 will definitely have more, but how much more?


Nothing concrete, but here's what was said, "super-cruise combined with its additional internal fuel carriage capacity would have given the Super Tomcat much greater range than it already had". Not greater range, much greater range. So they were planning on a significant enhancement, and most of that additional internal fuel was to be carried in the enlarged LERX's. Whatever it was, you can bet it would have had a LOT longer legs than the SH or ASH will have. ASH may have CFT's, but those are bolt on solutions to a sub-par internal fuel capability. With the Tomcat (F-14D vs SH), you're talking 16,200lbs vs. 14,000lbs respectively.

In practice, the F-14 could go places/distances the SH simply couldn't - like deep into Afghanistan. The SH's combat radius is listed at just 390 miles for an "interdiction mission". The F-14D's is 500, although too be fair it doesn't say carrying what load. What can be definitively said is again, the F-14 could reach targets the SH simply couldn't. This shouldn't surprise anybody. The SH was an outgrowth of a lightweight fighter. The Bombcat OTOH is a simple modification of a heavy fighter/interceptor. No need to make wholesale changes to enlarge the airframe, no need to laden it with underwing fuel tanks, canted pylons or any of the other aerodynamic sins SH commits.

And what about those EFT's for the F-14? They bring total fuel load now up to 20,000lbs, and if the pilots I spoke to are to be believed they didn't incur much drag, either. You simply can't say that of the big honking EFT's SH has to carry (and again, on canted pylons). So whether it's the F-14D, ST-21 or ASF-14 any variant of the F-14 outperforms any version of the Hornet, Super Hornet or Super Duper you care to compare, in almost every meaningful metric. People are still having a tough time admitting we gave our men 2nd best, but that's exactly what happened in this instance.

It'll be interesting to see if the Navy learns its lesson on the F/A-XX...
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madrat

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Unread post23 Apr 2019, 00:31

F-14 with EFT? Link please.
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Unread post23 Apr 2019, 01:32

EFT, External Fuel Tank, not CFT, Conformal Fuel Tank.
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Unread post23 Apr 2019, 03:14

Oh right. They were under 300 gallons apiece. I'm surprised the USN didn't spec for 330 gallon tanks to match other fighters.
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Unread post23 Apr 2019, 13:05

madrat wrote:Oh right. They were under 300 gallons apiece. I'm surprised the USN didn't spec for 330 gallon tanks to match other fighters.


Those tanks were custom made for the F-14, and held around 280lbs (the actual figure is 276). They created little drag, and imposed no maneuvering restrictions - at any speed. Furthermore, they would feed under all conditions. Also, unlike the F-18 (and virtually every other fighter), they didn't take up any weapons stations.

Just one more thing the 'Cat was better at than ahem, "other" airframes..
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Unread post23 Apr 2019, 13:53

276gal, not 276lb. A typo, I know, but we don't want anyone to get confused.
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sferrin

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Unread post23 Apr 2019, 16:21

madrat wrote:Oh right. They were under 300 gallons apiece. I'm surprised the USN didn't spec for 330 gallon tanks to match other fighters.


Probably clearance issues would be my guess.
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sferrin

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Unread post23 Apr 2019, 16:23

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
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