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 post08 Apr 2019, 12:27

Nobody claimed the ST-21 would approach the F-22 in supermaneuverability. But to give you an idea of how maneuverable it would have been, how about a 77 degree AOA without thrust vectoring? How does that compare with AOA on ANY SH, ASH variation you can put up?

Then we get to ludicrous assumptions. Like the claim it would "carry EFT's, like all the other F-14's". Ridiculous. It had a HUGE internal fuel volume, plus more efficient engines. The ASH needs CFT's to achieve an even lesser range, and CFT's are really EFT's, just with a lower drag index. And they can't be punched off the jet. The ST-21 also had a meaningful, low drag air to air (and even air to ground) loadout vs. the ASH. How many AMRAAM's could the ASH carry in the tiny "stealth" weapons pod? How many 2,000lb bombs, while still carrying AAM's for self defense? How many of the weapons carried by the SH today could the ASH carry, and maintain this "Low, low... maybe VLO!" RCS ASH fans speak of?

Good luck with that..

I'll concede the ST-21 would have had a bigger RCS. But the ASH does not take stealth to the same level that an F-22 or F-35 does, either. It will still be seen, just later vs. the ST-21. So can it get closer? Sure. But it can't get so close that they can't see/hit it. It can't even stand off from a greater range and fire long range air to surface cruise missiles, because they won't fit in that tiny weapons pod. And since it can't impart launch energy because of inferior speed/altitude vs. the ST-21, that option is off the table too. You COULD carry some long range weapons externally, but then you're back to a big RCS and hamstrung by much lesser speed. Which means your ingress/egress is going to have you exposed to a far longer period of time. The ST-21 shrinks that window considerably, and can engage/disengage most enemy fighters at will.

An ASH that's seen by a J-10C will be an ASH that's caught/probably killed by a J-10C. But a ST-21? Not likely, as its considerably faster and can keep that speed up for a far longer time period than any ASH.

Finally, the ST-21 would super-cruise easily with 4 AMRAAM's in the tunnel. There is NO version of the SH that can super-cruise, real or imagined. It's a draggy airframe, with low wing sweep that makes it a pig, especially with external stores.
And there is no lipstick you can put on that pig. to claim otherwise.
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hornetfinn

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Unread post08 Apr 2019, 13:40

I'd say that the bigger fighter aircraft usually tend to be more capable and have higher performance figures than smaller ones. Just take F-15 as basis for example and upgrade it with all the technology available and it will be far superior to any existing or proposed F-16 model. This is when compared one on one. When compared how much combat capability you get with X billion dollars, it seems like more often it's the smaller (and usually significantly cheaper to buy and operate) fighter that is favoured.
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f-16adf

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Unread post08 Apr 2019, 14:01

That's a pretty good article on the F-14. But part of the problem is that it's from an Air Force perspective. In this case an F-15 Eagle pilot. So Navy Tomcat guys would of course disagree, saying he's biased because he's a USAF Eagle pilot. And still the debate goes on.......


So concerning ACM between the two it remains: USAF pilots say one thing, Navy pilots say something different. That is why when I compare the two I prefer to use the French Navy 2002 ACM exercises and the Israeli evaluation results. Both of those sources are unbiased. Even QS (being a USMC aviator) said that when he fought the two (even F-14B) he still concluded that the Eagle was a tad better. One jet is better at lower speeds, the other jet is better at higher speeds and in the vertical. Against, an F-15E w/o CFT and w/-229's I'd expect the same results.
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zero-one

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Unread post08 Apr 2019, 14:05

Well this pig is considered the most maneuverable American 4th gen ever built. It may have the shorter end of the stick in
E-M but certainly has the smallest turn radius and best high AoA of any NATO jet.

DCS puts the F/A-18C as the tightest turner in the game against the F-14D, F-15C and Su-27, which is also backed up by pilots
https://fightersweep.com/4210/dogfighti ... 18-hornet/
I would say the Hornet has arguably the best turn radius of any fourth generation fighter.


The ST-21 may have been predicted to reach 77 degrees without TVC but will that be included in the maneuvering envelope, the original F-14 was also tested to very high AoA, with one even performing what looks like a Cobra maneuver. But that wasn't included in the operational maneuvering envelope. I think one factor is the tail, the ST-21 has straight tails like the F-14A which not very effective at high AoA maneuvering.

The CFTs on the ASH are said to induce 0 wave drag
Open PDF here:
viewtopic.php?t=24482

Lastly the original F-14 also had a HUGE internal fuel tank but was still required to carry EFTs. Why would the ST-21 be any different.
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f-16adf

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Unread post08 Apr 2019, 15:10

Ahh... DCS is a video game.

I looked at that (grim reapers) chart and their comparisons. It is loaded with errors.

1. The F-14B does not have a 20DPS STR, even at low speeds or SL. If you take the NATOPS F-14B 5,000ft chart, and drop it down to sea level, STR increases from 16.1 to ~18.1DPS. Strip off all the 4 aim-7, 4 aim-9 that adds about another degree. So now we are at about ~19.2. There is no way you are going to gain 2DPS from that load out. Even if you take the 59,695lbs chart and compare it to the 55,620lbs chart (a massive difference of over 4,000lbs) STR only increases by about 1.2-1.3 degrees. 4 Aim-7 and 4 Aim-9 and pylons are only 3,006lbs. So their 20DPS estimate is wrong.

2. They put the F-15C STR at 19DPS at 350-450KTAS. According to the USAF flight manual, F-15C w/-220's at .72-.74M at SL: STR is 20.4DPS for a 37,000lbs jet.

3. How do they know the actual STR of the F-18C, since the flight performance manual remains classified? They don't-
They give the F-18 STR of 22DPS at 420KTAS? I have heard of estimates from 20.5 to around a little over 21DPS all at SL. Certainly never at 420KTAS though. The Hornet is very maneuverable, but that noted greatness is generally at lower speeds. The 420 speed figure seems far off. More importantly, KTAS and KCAS are generally near equal at Sea Level. According to the General Dynamics F-16C company demo (1989), the Block 30 Viper hits 9G at around 375-390KIAS at Sea Level. Hence, you would expect the Hornets's air-speed numbers to be somewhat lower. Probably around 360-365ish because of the lower G.

4. The Mirage 2000's STR seems accurate, but not at 300KTAS. If you look at the 15,000ft chart, the Mirage 2000 has its best STR at .86-.87M. Even dropping down to SL, the 300KTAS number seems incorrect. Again, I believe the entire Mirage 2000 performance manual remains classified.



I could be full of BS, but I doubt it. So ask other people's opinions about it.
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Unread post08 Apr 2019, 16:55

f-16adf wrote:Ahh... DCS is a video game.


I agree with that, thats why I made sure I backed it up with actual pilot comments.
But I will say DCS is what I consider a close (not exact) representation of actual performance figures.

You will still find inaccuracies here and there, but you know what, you'll also see that in real life. In the fighter pilot pod cast, Hornet pilots talked about how no 2 Hornets flew exactly the same, some birds had a certain characteristic or "attitude" not found in the other.So yes I can forgive them for a few Degrees per second off here and there.
In the end its a game, probably the closest most of us will get to the real thing.

The F/A-18 in their test had the smallest turn radius, even when compared with heavy hitters like the Su-27, F-15, Mig-29 etc. This was perfectly representative of Hornet pilots saying the Bug has the smallest turn radius of any 4th gen.
That was my main take away from the Grim Reaper's test.

Yes there are inaccuracies, but negligible.


By the way, we never got an answer why the Su-27 was limiting itself to 7.5Gs IIRC. was that a CLAWS limiter or something.
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Unread post08 Apr 2019, 17:02

The F/A-18A-C is a great jet. For ACM I put the F/A-18 with the F-16. Those two are in a class better than the F-15 or F-14 for BFM. I have been around enough F-16 pilots to tell me that the toughest 4th gen. opponent (teen series) that they faced in simulated dogfights; and they nearly if not always say the Hornet.
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mixelflick

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Unread post09 Apr 2019, 15:23

zero-one wrote:Well this pig is considered the most maneuverable American 4th gen ever built. It may have the shorter end of the stick in
E-M but certainly has the smallest turn radius and best high AoA of any NATO jet.

DCS puts the F/A-18C as the tightest turner in the game against the F-14D, F-15C and Su-27, which is also backed up by pilots
https://fightersweep.com/4210/dogfighti ... 18-hornet/
I would say the Hornet has arguably the best turn radius of any fourth generation fighter.


The ST-21 may have been predicted to reach 77 degrees without TVC but will that be included in the maneuvering envelope, the original F-14 was also tested to very high AoA, with one even performing what looks like a Cobra maneuver. But that wasn't included in the operational maneuvering envelope. I think one factor is the tail, the ST-21 has straight tails like the F-14A which not very effective at high AoA maneuvering.

The CFTs on the ASH are said to induce 0 wave drag
Open PDF here:
viewtopic.php?t=24482

Lastly the original F-14 also had a HUGE internal fuel tank but was still required to carry EFTs. Why would the ST-21 be any different.


You are cherry picking Hornet strengths insofar as turn radius, high AOA etc.. What you fail to mention is that no Hornet (ASH or otherwise) is going to make it to the merge against a ST21. And even if it did, whatever small advantages it holds in turning capability (from a computer game) would be negated by the ST-21 carrying 9x. And LOL at throwing cold water on the ST-21's 77 degree AOA. As if it's not even relevant. It's damn relevant, as are the ST-21 overall performance figures. You may find small parts of the envelope where ASH performs better, but it is soundly trounced in most E-M metrics by ST-21.

And insofar as fuel/range/persistence, one more time: "Additionally, super-cruise combined with its additional internal fuel carriage capacity would have given the Super Tomcat much greater range than it already had..". Those big LERX's would have been full of additional internal fuel, while at the same time contributing to much greater AOA maneuvers. And oh, all of that additional internal fuel giving it MUCH GREATER RANGE would be in addition to 2 new, more efficient engines.

So let's stop with the fallacy ST-21 needs external fuel tanks of any sort. All Hornet models up to the SH absolutely need to carry EFT's though, and whatever range the ASH gets from its CFT's isn't anywhere close to a ST-21 on full internal fuel. Even assuming ASH can equal ST-21 in range (which it can't), the ST-21 covers that same airspace alot faster and more effectively. I'm not cherry picking the ST-21's metrics - there's no need to. Because again, it's by far the better all around performer..

This situation looks even worse for the Hornet when the correct model (SH) is compared to ST-21. It was the Super Tomcat and SH proposed at the same time, not ASH.
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Unread post09 Apr 2019, 16:58

mixelflick wrote: What you fail to mention is that no Hornet (ASH or otherwise) is going to make it to the merge against a ST21.


Even actual pilots don't discount the possibility of getting to a merge in an F-35 and you'll dismiss it in an F-14???
https://fightersweep.com/2698/f-35-worst-fighter-ever/
CW Lemoine wrote:There are hundreds of scenarios where an F-35 may find its way to the merge.

Actually, its the ST-21 that has a smaller chance of getting to the merge because the ASH is a STEALTH platform, that was the whole selling point.

Saying the ST-21 will magically beat the ASH at BVR is the same sort of reasoning Flanker fans say the Su-35 will shoot an F-35 or F-22 from long ranges because of some wiz bang IRST or radar.


mixelflick wrote:And even if it did, whatever small advantages it holds in turning capability (from a computer game) would be negated by the ST-21 carrying 9x.

DCS is not just any game. And did you forget the fact that I also backed that up with actual Hornet pilot statements.


mixelflick wrote:And LOL at throwing cold water on the ST-21's 77 degree AOA. As if it's not even relevant. It's damn relevant, as are the ST-21 overall performance figures. You may find small parts of the envelope where ASH performs better, but it is soundly trounced in most E-M metrics by ST-21.


Production Hornets own production Tomcats in ACM.
The article I posted said it
The maneuvering evaluation by Sprts supported it.

It's not really a contest, the F-14's aerodynamic profile is made from late 50s to early 60s aerodynamic sciences with an emphasis on the interceptor role and only secondary emphasis on air combat maneuvering.

The F/A-18's profile on the other hand is from the LWF program whose main goal was to develop the perfect dog fighting machine. With about 10 years worth of aerodynamic advances over the original F-14 design.



mixelflick wrote:Those big LERX's would have been full of additional internal fuel, while at the same time contributing to much greater AOA maneuvers. And oh, all of that additional internal fuel giving it MUCH GREATER RANGE would be in addition to 2 new, more efficient engines.


It doesn't matter, the only reason they would allow it to fly without EFTs is if it was Stealth, but its not, so why bother. And unless the ST-21 can carry as much fuel as an F-14 with 2 EFTs internally, I really don't see Navy brass allowing it to go out without EFTs

mixelflick wrote: All Hornet models up to the SH absolutely need to carry EFT's though,

ASH is supposed to be Stealth, so even if it has the range of an F-5, they still won't allow it to carry EFTs to preserve the Stealth outline
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mixelflick

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Unread post10 Apr 2019, 12:57

Where exactly did I claim the F-14 would never make it to the merge and have to dogfight? I said it could do BOTH. I also cited its 77 degree AOA capabilities, which you tried to magically discount with your test vs. operational baloney.

The only world in which the SH/ASH etc is superior to the ST-21 is yours.
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Unread post10 Apr 2019, 13:24

The attractiveness of the F-14 layout was its ability to get slim at high speeds and get wide for maximum lift at lower speeds. I'm not so sure these functions are replaced with modern stealth designs that really accentuate minimal transonic drag. The ST-21 will never have the VLO of the F-35, nor the LO of the F-18E/F. But the NATF designs floated around with swingwings were much more a mix of both. If you gave F-18E/F the F1x0-sized engines you have close enough IMHO. You also separate the weight class of the SH from the F-35B/C's. This would give you F-35B at the low end, F-35C at the mid-range, and enlarged SH at the upper end.

The ST-21 program has been defunct and everything sabotaged to prevent its resurrection, so it would be pointless to re-establish. Sure it would be great in theory, but it is never going to happen. Really, the only way Boeing could conceivably continue in the fighter business in the next twenty years is to establish a hybrid between the F-18 and F-15 families. AND they would have to incorporate internal weapons, wrap around electronic imaging sensors, and built-in targeting pods by default. They won't because it would be a gamble in the tens of billions of dollars. And nothing stops LockMart from supersizing the F-35C to win in a competition.
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Unread post10 Apr 2019, 13:47

mixelflick wrote:The only world in which the SH/ASH etc is superior to the ST-21 is yours.


I have to say that the one world in which SH is superior to ST-21 is real world. Super Hornet is actual operational fighter aircraft whereas ST-21 was just a proposal and not even a prototype was ever made. Sure it was designed as and could've been an awesome machine, but it could've also been a real failure. It was definitely a very ambitious and IMO high-risk proposal. It's very easy to make all kinds of concepts with awesome qualities, but implementing them in real life is a lot harder. While SH might not be as good as ST-21 could've been, it was rather low-risk and low-cost solution with still very good combat capability and excellent reliability/maintainability (AFAIK). IMO, there is a very high chance of ST-21 being much more expensive aircraft to acquire and operate and also having lower reliability and higher maintenance requirements. This might well lead to worse overall combat capability for USN even if ST-21 was individually more capable aircraft.
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Unread post10 Apr 2019, 14:03

mixelflick wrote:Wow, now you are REALLY grasping for straws!

Where exactly did I claim the F-14 would never make it to the merge and have to dogfight?


Over here, you said it plain as day.

mixelflick wrote:What you fail to mention is that no Hornet (ASH or otherwise) is going to make it to the merge against a ST21.


mixelflick wrote:The only world in which the SH/ASH etc is superior to the ST-21 is yours.


There are quite a few of us here that think the Super Hornet is superior in most mission scenarios over the F-14.
The F-14 is a better interceptor and long range fleet defender,
I'll give you that. Extreme long range BVR engagements against bombers with cruise missiles is where the Tomcat excels.

But the SHornet is a better air superiority fighter, medium to short range fights against other fighters. better SEAD aircraft, striker (smaller RCS and better sensors),
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Unread post11 Apr 2019, 01:11

F-18 in every flavor looked like it has been going the route of the F-14's maintenance cost in man hours. One of the justifications for retirement of F-14 was it's cost in raw man hours. The joke is on the USN because all aircraft slide towards a ridiculous comparison with new aircraft.
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Unread post11 Apr 2019, 01:59

zero-one wrote:
mixelflick wrote:Wow, now you are REALLY grasping for straws!

Where exactly did I claim the F-14 would never make it to the merge and have to dogfight?


Over here, you said it plain as day.

mixelflick wrote:What you fail to mention is that no Hornet (ASH or otherwise) is going to make it to the merge against a ST21.



mixelflick wrote:The only world in which the SH/ASH etc is superior to the ST-21 is yours. If by now you're incapable of seeing the truth,


There are quite a few of us here that think the Super Hornet is superior in most mission scenarios over the F-14.
The F-14 is a better interceptor and long range fleet defender,
I'll give you that. Extreme long range BVR engagements against bombers with cruise missiles is where the Tomcat excels.

But the SHornet is a better air superiority fighter, medium to short range fights against other fighters. better SEAD aircraft, striker (smaller RCS and better sensors),

mixelflick wrote:Those regular appointments with your psychiatrist really are important. So is resuming your medications..

O now you're resulting to personal attacks. Thats a good way of getting banned buddy, I wouldn't do that.


New tomcats would have had better sensors. Why does bug crowd want to compare an A, B, or D to the SH? Its like saying if the usaf continued with the eagle that we would be seeing newly built Cs on the flight lines.

Every time I hear someone bring up the SH LO, all I can think is go pour yourself another cup of coolaide. SH, especially with fuel end weapons is about as LO as a billboard. A blind man can see that. It doesn't take a masters degree in physics to see it is not by any stretch of imagination a LO aircraft. It has got congressional stealth and that is all.

Per media outlets the SH has a 10 percent reduction in RCS. It is what, 25 percent than a regular bug which isn't LO. Not hard to do the math. 10 percent from what direction? What frequencies? What about when actually loaded for a real sortie and not an airshow demo? Fuel. Weapons. Lots of draggy reflecting stuff under the wings. I would say as stealthy as any other 4th gen US fighter.

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 the SH isn't fighting other fighters hundreds of miles from the carrier, then the cbg has got some real stinky stuff going on. Thats your short to medium range scenario - bad guys getting to close to the cbg. 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.

The only reason we have the SH instead of whatever new tomcats would be designated is grumman wasn't the favored son as the 80s wound down. Politics.
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