U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

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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marsavian

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Unread post08 Feb 2019, 16:09

Another reason why Iranian F-14s, at least as originally delivered, would be less effective against Western aircraft.

Indeed, Iranian Tomcats were even equipped with the ‘top secret’ APX-81-M1E (designated APX-82-A in US Navy service) IFF (identification friend/foe) interrogator. This ‘Combat Tree’ equipment was not only capable of detecting enemy aircraft without the help of radar by interrogating their IFF, but could also supply data such as true airspeed and accurate ranging. The only difference between the APX-81-M1E and similar systems fitted into the Navy F-14s was that the Iranian equipment could only detect and interrogate IFF transponders of Soviet origin.
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element1loop

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Unread post08 Feb 2019, 16:31

mixelflick wrote:The Super Tomcat 21 would be a modification of the original F-14 ... blah blah blah ...


:mrgreen:

Given you want to carry on and pretend I've misrepresented something vital to you, I'll just remind you that you bought up the F-14 and the Superhornet within the thread and sprouted bunk remarks about them and the classic hornets. All sufficiently debunked at this point. Though I see you're determined to inject more nonsense with no end in sight so good luck with all that.
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basher54321

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Unread post08 Feb 2019, 18:17

marsavian wrote:
But even a classic C/D Hornet would not get owned by the F-14D in A2A. The AIM-54 was for shooting down heavy bombers, not for use against alerted fighters (and it would be alerted). This would be a modern AIM-120D fight.


Somebody (Growling Sidewinder) has explored this in DCS with all the provisos about inaccuracies of simulations, still it gives you a flavor of how it might turn out.


Or you could get a much better idea from someone who might have done such a thing outside of a computer game.



Having fought the Tomcat from Miramar a lot while stationed at Luke (in the Blk25), here's my two pennies.

Tomcat - Big radar: Yes; but also huge RCS.
Radar contact on F-14 with the old [F-16] C model radar was well outside anyone's usable range, including the Phoenix. Sure a Phoenix is a big missile with long legs but it's SLOW. Bottom line, we could safely drag at 12 miles if targeted. Just don't turn back too soon.
Simulating 'Rammers we'd all end up dragging out 12-15 miles out and everyones' shots were wasted. BFD.

viewtopic.php?f=30&t=2708&start=45
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element1loop

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Unread post09 Feb 2019, 01:58

basher54321 wrote:Or you could get a much better idea from someone who might have done such a thing outside of a computer game.

Having fought the Tomcat from Miramar a lot while stationed at Luke (in the Blk25), here's my two pennies.

Tomcat - Big radar: Yes; but also huge RCS.
Radar contact on F-14 with the old [F-16] C model radar was well outside anyone's usable range, including the Phoenix. Sure a Phoenix is a big missile with long legs but it's SLOW. Bottom line, we could safely drag at 12 miles if targeted. Just don't turn back too soon.
Simulating 'Rammers we'd all end up dragging out 12-15 miles out and everyones' shots were wasted. BFD.

viewtopic.php?f=30&t=2708&start=45


Yes, and note in that 3rd video down, at 4 min 33 seconds, the guy says: “Again, in a real fight I wouldn’t be closing distance like this, but this is a fight to the death, so I’m going to close, so that if I miss with all these Fox-3s [i.e. he already doubts his 5 x AIM-54C will succeed] I can hit him with a Fox-2.

And did that work? Nope.

In the ACM analysis he fired his last AIM-54C at 10 nm range and almost immediately lost lock the moment the F-15C fired a pitbull AMRAAM, then turns to notch and dumps chaff (at ~8 nm separation) and the F-14 can’t support the Fox-3 as it's forced to immediately go defensive against a pitbull AMRAAM (which the F-14 defeated).

Then it’s SARH Sparrow fighter against active AMRAAM fighter, inside 10 miles.

So the simulation did show the AIM-54C being readily trashed at close range but the outcome was not that surprising either, when the other guy used air density, terrain, diving turns, CMs and very low-level to add extra clutter-noise.

If EA support is provided to that AMRAAM fighter for a noise floor increase, to allow a much more direct and faster path to close to AIM-120 NEZ, then the jet firing the AMRAAMs is clearly more likely to win such a fight (and also questionable if a low-ish RCS F/A-18F is going to be locked before it gets to that NEZ with dedicated EA support). But SH with AIM-120D, LPI radar and much lower RCS (with a towed decoy, not to mention AMRAAM implementation on F/A-18E/F/G is genuinely fire-and-forget when turning away long-range) it becomes questionable if EA support would even be needed to smoke the F-14 at much higher radius but inside AIM-120D NEZ, where the AIM-54C would be rendered ineffective. Nevertheless, EA is available, which frankly, all else being equal (it sure isn't), will make it a one-sided fight.

So then the F-14 pilot is faced with a choice, "Do I close with a much lower RCS SH with AIM-120D and a towed active-decoy and dedicated EA support, or not bother engaging and run?"

Which is why the F-14 is gone from the deck and the SH is not going anywhere soon.

So much for the incessant "mighty F-14" mantra.

And the same applies to Classic Hornet with a long-range AMRAAM and EA support, but they're worn out plus the F-35 is here, and something has to go to make way for the newer, vastly better F-35C Lightning.

Hornetfin is correct, the Classic Hornets have "served with distinction", everywhere they've been employed.
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mixelflick

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Unread post09 Feb 2019, 17:39

element1loop wrote:
mixelflick wrote:The Super Tomcat 21 would be a modification of the original F-14 ... blah blah blah ...


:mrgreen:

Given you want to carry on and pretend I've misrepresented something vital to you, I'll just remind you that you bought up the F-14 and the Superhornet within the thread and sprouted bunk remarks about them and the classic hornets. All sufficiently debunked at this point. Though I see you're determined to inject more nonsense with no end in sight so good luck with all that.


But you did mis-represent when comparing the F-14D to the Hornet/SH. The fact is, the Navy was presented with the Super Tomcat 21 at the same time the SH was being pitched. And facts are facts: On many counts, the ST21 was a much superior platform for fleet air defense, long range strike etc etc.. No amount of nitpicking is going to make up for those facts, and other posters here have corrected noted it's lesser legs, sub-par bring back capability and inferior kinematics to other aircraft, and certainly the ST21.

Was it cheap? Cheaper, yeah. Reliable and easy to service? Yes. Delivered on time and within budget by Boeing? Yep. But it could most charitably be described as "adequate" vs. giving the warfighter a clear and dominating edge vs. other platforms that could have been bought. The Navy was going to buy and like the F-18 no matter what the facts said though, so I see you as a sort of extension of that.

I didn't like it when it got here. I don't like it now and no amount of Super, Super-Duper etc Boeing tacks on to its name is going to change that. Now there's talk of re-engineering the F-35C for fleet air defense (bigger engine, more range etc). b/c pop quiz, why again? The "Super" Hornet currently assigned to that role isn't cutting it.

Had we bought ST21's, we wouldn't be having that discussion because it would have a drastically superior radar, air to air missile loadout, range, speed, time on station etc vs. the "Super" Hornet. We could let F-35C's be the strike fighters they were meant to be, vs. having to re-engineer them to pick up the slack for the Super Compromise..
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element1loop

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Unread post10 Feb 2019, 06:11

mixelflick wrote:But you did mis-representwhen comparing the F-14D to the Hornet/SH. The fact is, the Navy was presented with the Super Tomcat 21 at the same time the SH was being pitched.


"Mis-represent"? LOL The bullcrap is strong with this one.

“The first production F-14D was flown on February the 9th, 1990 and officially rolled out in a ceremony at the Calverton plant on the 23rd of that month. The first delivery to a Navy unit was in May 1990, to VX-4 at Point Mugu, California. Among other tests they carried out the first carrier landings of the new variant.” … As the F-14D was produced in such limited numbers, new builds only numbering 37 while 18 F-14A's were converted to F-14D's (known as F-14D(R)), there have been problems keeping the three deployable squadrons, the RAG and the various test units (VX-9, PMTC) up to strength. Thus in mid 1996 it was decided that VF-11 would convert back to the F-14B and shift to join VF-143 as part of CVW-7. … While the Navy is continuing to convert small numbers of F-14A's into F-14B's none are being converted to F-14D standard, presumably because of the high extra cost, a great pity given the massive increase in capabilites that the F-14D brings.

http://www.topedge.com/alley/text/f14d/f14d.htm


“While the F-14 had been developed as a lightweight alternative to the 80,000 lb (36,000 kg) F-111B, the F-14 was still the heaviest and most expensive fighter of its time. VFAX was revived in the 1970s as a lower cost solution to replacing the Navy and Marine Corps's fleets of F-4s, and A-7s. VFAX was directed to review the fighters in the USAF Light Weight Fighter competition, which led to the development of the F/A-18 Hornet as roughly a midsize fighter and attack aircraft. In 1994, Congress would reject Grumman proposals to the Navy to upgrade the Tomcat beyond the D model (such as the Super Tomcat 21, the cheaper QuickStrike version, and the more advanced Attack Super Tomcat 21).”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grumman_F ... d_variants


However, in the present military drawdown mode, both of these Tomcat 21 proposals were never proceeded with.

http://www.joebaugher.com/navy_fighters/f14_13.html


Mere paper proposals, nothing to even compare anything with.

The F-14D was an actual in-service jet at the same time the F/A-18E/F first flew, the F-14D is clearly the appropriate comparison, if any at all need be made. But to you, that warrants a claim of “mis-representation”?

Your legendary SouperTomcat never existed! I compared the actual jets of the day.

And there are no published 'specs' available to compare any version of a SouperTomcat to SouperHornet, so what are you even talking about?

That is the actual "mis-representation".

Thanks for the free baloney sandwich and licorice-all-sorts excursion. ... now back to the topic please.
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Unread post10 Feb 2019, 11:09

What Rear Admiral Paul T. Gillcrist (Ret.) writes about F/A-18 in his book "Vulture's Row" in 1996 (?):

"The Hornet is one hell of an airplane! Someday some base commander is going to mount a Hornet on pedestal at his main gate. The inscription on the plaque had better say "The Main Battery of the Fleet!"
But there needs to be one very serious caveat added to what has been stated above. The Hornet is a wonderful airplane as long as it is employed for what it is... a wonderful strike fighter representing the low side of Naval Aviation's "high-low" mix!
It turns out, unfortunately, that in 1990, the Navy embarked on an extremely expensive program to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear! By 1995 they will have spent over ten billion dollars trying to make the Hornet something it could never be... an advanced strike fighter!"
Last edited by zaltys on 10 Feb 2019, 14:58, edited 1 time in total.
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mixelflick

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Unread post10 Feb 2019, 14:15

Yep, the Navy threw as much $ as necessary toward this turd, in order to make it.... average. Speaks volumes..

And lol at the assertion the ST21 was a "paper airplane". So was the SH at one time. The only difference is the Navy funded one of them (the wrong one). This "paper airplane" assertion is being made btw b/c its obvious to any objective 3rd party that the ST21 was drastically superior to the SH in almost every metric. Then, elemental loop claims... converting F-14B's to D's is expensive. This matters... why? So what. At least we would have gotten what we paid for... But again, the F-14D is loopy's disingenuous comparison. He doesn't want to compare the Stupid Hornet vs. ST21 because it's obvious to him (and the world) it would have drastically out-performed the SH (and to this day, most other jets in the world) with it's monster radar, incredible speed (true super-cruise) and astounding range.

Yet even IF the F-14D is the correct comparison (and it's not), why was it again the Tomcat was the ONLY aircraft that could fly deep into Afghanistan to bomb targets? Where was the SH when the sh!t hit the fan???

Noticed "elemental loop" didn't touch that one...
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Unread post10 Feb 2019, 15:51

if you look at defense consolidation you quickly see patterns of Congress members working with defense contractors to kill off competition rather than compete. So many players were involved once upon a time and now the power sits in the hands of a few. We have nobody to blame for the outcomes except the politicians. It is disingenuous to blame leadership, because politicians ultimately decide. The Super Hornet was orchestrated to make people money at the expense of the taxpayer. It could have performed half as well and still won.
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Unread post10 Feb 2019, 16:38

People can criticize the Super Hornet all they want. But, the problem with ANY F-14 variant remains (even the Tomcat 21, and I am a big fan of the Tomcat) is you simply cannot change its GIANT RCS (like the F-15 Eagles). Plus, there is a reason why Variable Geometry jets are no longer designed. It is a relic of a by gone era.


One can say that the SH is not fit for the job, but neither is a variable geometry design (F-14) that originated in the late 1960's, no matter how much you attempt to modernize it. I guess one can say that they are BOTH inadequate for the 21st century.
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Unread post10 Feb 2019, 16:51

mixelflick wrote:Yet even IF the F-14D is the correct comparison (and it's not), why was it again the Tomcat was the ONLY aircraft that could fly deep into Afghanistan to bomb targets? Where was the SH when the sh!t hit the fan???


What date was it? - assuming OEF which started in 2001. Initially only Navy jets were close enough to get to areas (Well as far as tactical jets go).

If the E/F only hit IOC in 2001 with a few squadrons (not FOC) then the question would be how many were in theatre at the time of this mission?
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Unread post10 Feb 2019, 17:39

f-16adf wrote:People can criticize the Super Hornet all they want. But, the problem with ANY F-14 variant remains (even the Tomcat 21, and I am a big fan of the Tomcat) is you simply cannot change its GIANT RCS (like the F-15 Eagles).


Wut?

Tomcat II-1.jpg


f-16adf wrote:Plus, there is a reason why Variable Geometry jets are no longer designed. It is a relic of a by gone era.


One of the stupidest comments I've seen in a while. Both the LM NATF (navalized F-22) and the A/FX would have had a swing-wing.

f22-natf.jpg


AFX-653-3.jpg
"There I was. . ."
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Unread post10 Feb 2019, 17:44

Yes, and it was CANCELLED-



And I wonder why all the US defense contractors, Dassault, Saab, Chinese, and even the Russians were smart enough to dump VG.



And do you really think that with the Tomcat 21, the F-14 would have lost weight?

That first pic looks like it is easily over 45,000-50,000lbs (maybe more) empty. Seriously, is that pic from that F-14 DCS fanboy site, or the keypub kids?
Last edited by f-16adf on 10 Feb 2019, 18:20, edited 2 times in total.
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Unread post10 Feb 2019, 18:00

It seems as though the "Super Tomcat 21" has the same old giant Tomcat RCS:
Attachments
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super tomcat 21.jpg
F-14 intake.JPG
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element1loop

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Unread post10 Feb 2019, 19:59

mixelflick wrote:Yep, the Navy threw as much $ as necessary toward this turd, in order to make it.... average. Speaks volumes..


The Rafale could be its only possible better, and it's been argued here, at tedious length, that Rafale and SH are roughly equivalent, so both must be "average" then, according to you, within their historical and operational contexts. Or maybe that's just your bias once more? Maybe you think the Su33, MiG29K or AV8B were superior to both Rafale and Superhornet (I would not be at all surprised if you really thought that ... ).

mixelflick wrote:And lol at the assertion the ST21 was a "paper airplane".


Yes, that's what it is, a fictional proposal. I'm miffed as to why you struggle to accept the simple fact that it never existed.

mixelflick wrote:So was the SH at one time. The only difference is the Navy funded one of them (the wrong one). This "paper airplane" assertion is being made btw b/c its obvious to any objective 3rd party that the ST21 was drastically superior to the SH in almost every metric.


A non-existent proposal was 'superior'? Riiiiiiight.

mixelflick wrote:Then, elemental loop claims... converting F-14B's to D's is expensive.


Not my claim, yet another "mis-representation" by you, I provided a text quote that claimed it, and a link to it.

mixelflick wrote:This matters... why? So what. At least we would have gotten what we paid for...


Because cost is why the F-14s were replaced with a cheaper jet, and the pet paper-planes of your fantasy-world were rejected on a basis of exorbitant cost.

mixelflick wrote:But again, the F-14D is loopy's disingenuous comparison. He doesn't want to compare the Stupid Hornet vs. ST21 because it's obvious to him (and the world) it would have drastically out-performed the SH (and to this day, most other jets in the world) with it's monster radar, incredible speed (true super-cruise) and astounding range.


So in your bizarre reality, the total lack of the existence of the imaginary SouperTomcat21 is no great barrier to an impossible comparison being made, or having any comparative meaning? I notice you can't help but impart insults, instead of arguing a cogent case, but that's because you can't.

mixelflick wrote:Yet even IF the F-14D is the correct comparison (and it's not), why was it again the Tomcat was the ONLY aircraft that could fly deep into Afghanistan to bomb targets? Where was the SH when the sh!t hit the fan??? Noticed "elemental loop" didn't touch that one...


Ah, the desperate grasping at straws on fuel range.

On 8 September 2006, VFA-211 F/A-18F Super Hornets expended GBU-12 and GBU-38 bombs against Taliban fighters and Taliban fortifications west and northwest of Kandahar. This was the first time the unit had participated in an active combat capacity using the Super Hornet.

https://www.onwar.com/weapons/aircraft/ ... ollapseOne


W and NW of Kandahar is in Afghanistan, Superhornets dropped bombs there. Duh!

Global Aircraft -- F-14 Tomcat:
Deck launched intercept F-14D - 656 nautical miles radius combat range with two 280-gallon drop tanks
F-14D - With two 280-gallon drop tanks retained, 1,591 nautical miles ferry range
https://www.globalaircraft.org/planes/f-14_tomcat.pl

US Navy fact sheet
Hornet 1089 nm internal only 2 AIM-9 ferry range (one-way only)
Hornet 1546 nm 3 external tanks (330 gal) 2 AIM-9 ferry range (one-way only)
Super Hornet 1275 nm internal only 2 AIM-9 ferry range (one-way only)
Super Hornet 1660 nm 3 external tanks (480 gal) 2 AIM-9 ferry range (one-way only)
http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_displ ... =1200&ct=1

Ferry ranges (converted to a radius):
F-14D with max bags and full fuel = 795.5 nautical miles (no weapons)
F/A-18C/D with max bags and full fuel = 773 nautical miles (2 AAM)
F/A-18E/F with max bags and full fuel = 830 nautical miles (2 AAM)

Quit your petty dissembling and sniping, the USN Hornets and Carriers were never in any danger of being wiped-out, as you claimed at the beginning. That was total bunk and it has been debunked. But even so, you continue to argue to compare SH specs with a plane that never existed, and for which no such 'specs' even exist to make a comparison with. While the F-14D was a contemporaneous in-service jet when the F/A-18E/F were in their flight testing program. Then all the F-14s were finally retired, and replaced by a better air-to-air fighter, and a better air-to-ground attack jet, that had a lot more survivability due much lower RCS, towed decoy and '4.5' integration and automation, far better weapons in the pipeline, much better avionics by far, flew much better for pilots, and had better evolution potential.

Jets evolve in service, the SH has evolved (and still is) into a naval jet that's second to none, to this day. It doesn't have any competition in that domain, except an extremely expensive low-rate of production Rafale. Only this month has the SH finally been displaced as the best naval Strikefighter ever produced, anywhere, by the extraordinary F-35C.

Your 'arguments' are a laughable crock.
Last edited by element1loop on 11 Feb 2019, 02:19, edited 2 times in total.
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