F-20 vs F-18

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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Elite 3K

Elite 3K

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Unread post21 Nov 2019, 13:58

Gums wrote:@ mixel......

Back in in 1984-85 when I was at Northrop during the lawsuit, the plane was not that cheap. The Viper offer by GD to Korea beat it, and some was due to established logistical support, not just capability.

I think all these small light fighters fail in that they cost almost the same as somewhat larger, more capable (esp. payload and range) fighter jets. The avionics cost is the largest cost in any 4th gen (and likely later) fighter and it's not that much different in larger fighters as it is in smaller fighters if the tech is at the same level. But small size means giving up payload and/or range which make these smaller fighters less capable and flexible assets. F-16 was probably close to optimum size when it was introduced and most modern multirole fighters are only slightly larger (F-35, Rafale and EF).


Elite 4K

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Unread post23 Nov 2019, 16:19

Fascinating stuff Gums, many thanks!

Did you feel relieved or robbed when the A-12 went belly up?


Elite 2K

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Unread post23 Nov 2019, 17:58

There is a case study from back in the day (RAND) that looked into the many reasons for the failure of the program - and it also had for the US Navy adversary aircraft both the F-20A and F-16C were offered at around the same unit price. It didn't show what the F-20 unit price was based on but must have been based on selling more than that tiny amount you would think. A slight problem when you have 0 orders and all your figures can only be based on guesswork and a test environment.

Also made out the foreign customers might also have seen the F-20 and F-16/J79 as being inferior / lesser and wanted what the USAF were flying (F-16A/C) regardless.


Elite 1K

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Unread post29 Mar 2020, 08:38

Gums wrote: It was too pricey, and Vipers were getting cheaper everyday.

Typical NG. In the early 90's I was involved in an NG project called Tiger IV where they took a USN F-5E and upgraded the radar and avionics. Idea was to market an upgrade kit for FMS users. It worked so far as I can recall, but IIRC they never sold a single kit...it was too pricey.

The standard joke about NG inside the govt is "You can buy better, but you can't pay more"
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USAF Test Pilot School 92A

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