Why is there so little love for the F-18 Super Hornet?

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
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shingen

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Unread post13 Feb 2012, 02:22

mixelflick wrote:
pushoksti wrote:Having spoken to a pilot who is type qualified on both the legacy and SH, in his words, he would go to war in a Legacy 99% of the time. The SH is a good bomb truck, but lacks in everything else. It doesn't make a good dog fighter either, with legacy hornets on two jugs outmanoeuvring SH that are similarly equipped quite easily. Flying bricks was used to describe the handling abilities of the SH.


I just don't get it...

On the one hand, I hear reports like this about the SH. On the other, I've heard from many pilots (including Viper drivers) that the Super Bug is nothing to take lightly. There seems to be a lot of respect among other pilots, insofar as not getting into a knife fight with a Hornet of any type.

So is it "enough" of a dogfighter, or isn't it? I get the pilot matters, but I'm looking at Syrian late model Mig-29's and the Iranians are no slouches. I understand few, if any pilots beat USN training but things just aren't as clear cut as they were in 1986 when you had Tomcats vs. Mig-23's, etc.

Hey, isn't this thread about...? :) I suppose there are lingering doubts we haven't provided our boys the absolute best. Perhaps I just put my finger on it, LOL...


It has AESA radar which in the real world of jamming, confusion, and an enemy that employs what are known as "tactics" AESA is a big deal for real world scenarios in terms of first look, first shot and telling the missile which plane to go after in a group on group scenario. Don't let the garbage posted on forums fool you. All of this trash about "This RCS vs this radar and this acceleration and altitude advantage" the reality is that there has to be a fire control solution to shoot and AESA provides that. The only AESA fighters in service in any numbers are the SH, Golden Eagle, and F-22.

In terms of WVR, which your post seems to allude to, it's mutual suicide which is why the F-35 is designed to avoid it. Everyone else will try to avoid it too. If the SH is squared off in peacetime for a "dogfight" it can point its nose better at low (suicidal in real scenario) speeds. There's plenty on this board and others if you search F-16 vs F-18 some of it written by guys who have flown both.

The SH hate is from Su and Euro fanboys or the "F-22 or nothing" crowd.
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navy_airframer

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Unread post13 Feb 2012, 03:45

The SH does just about everything good but nothing really outstanding. Being in a Hornet squadron i haven't ever heard of it being underpowered or lacking any maneuverability from any of the pilots. As a matter of fact they come across as loving the jet. It already has an exceptional sensor and weapons packages along with a large amount of growth potential. As an all around fighter/attack jet it is one of the best in the world.
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HaveVoid

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Unread post13 Feb 2012, 17:26

I think any discussion about the anti-Super Hornet sentiments that prevail greatly also needs to include the simple fact that it had the dubious honor of replacing the jet that gets more people stirred up than any other USN aircraft, the F-14. I hate to say it, but any discussion with an F-14 fan will leave you scratching your head as to all the ways in which they claim the Tomcat was superior to every aircraft ever built.

The Super Hornet is something of a Jack of all trades, master of none. It isn't the A2A performer that is the F-15C for example, nor is it the striker that is the F-15E (yes, not naval aircraft, but you get the point). However, when faced with replacing the F-14, A-6, S-3, and EA-6B with a common aircraft, you have to make compromises. All in all, I think they got a darn good aircraft out of the deal.
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mixelflick

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Unread post14 Feb 2012, 01:06

shingen wrote:
mixelflick wrote:
pushoksti wrote:Having spoken to a pilot who is type qualified on both the legacy and SH, in his words, he would go to war in a Legacy 99% of the time. The SH is a good bomb truck, but lacks in everything else. It doesn't make a good dog fighter either, with legacy hornets on two jugs outmanoeuvring SH that are similarly equipped quite easily. Flying bricks was used to describe the handling abilities of the SH.


I just don't get it...

On the one hand, I hear reports like this about the SH. On the other, I've heard from many pilots (including Viper drivers) that the Super Bug is nothing to take lightly. There seems to be a lot of respect among other pilots, insofar as not getting into a knife fight with a Hornet of any type.

So is it "enough" of a dogfighter, or isn't it? I get the pilot matters, but I'm looking at Syrian late model Mig-29's and the Iranians are no slouches. I understand few, if any pilots beat USN training but things just aren't as clear cut as they were in 1986 when you had Tomcats vs. Mig-23's, etc.

Hey, isn't this thread about...? :) I suppose there are lingering doubts we haven't provided our boys the absolute best. Perhaps I just put my finger on it, LOL...


It has AESA radar which in the real world of jamming, confusion, and an enemy that employs what are known as "tactics" AESA is a big deal for real world scenarios in terms of first look, first shot and telling the missile which plane to go after in a group on group scenario. Don't let the garbage posted on forums fool you. All of this trash about "This RCS vs this radar and this acceleration and altitude advantage" the reality is that there has to be a fire control solution to shoot and AESA provides that. The only AESA fighters in service in any numbers are the SH, Golden Eagle, and F-22.

In terms of WVR, which your post seems to allude to, it's mutual suicide which is why the F-35 is designed to avoid it. Everyone else will try to avoid it too. If the SH is squared off in peacetime for a "dogfight" it can point its nose better at low (suicidal in real scenario) speeds. There's plenty on this board and others if you search F-16 vs F-18 some of it written by guys who have flown both.

The SH hate is from Su and Euro fanboys or the "F-22 or nothing" crowd.


I appreciate your reply/insight. Makes a lot of sense...

What I find a bit befuddling, is the Gulf War BVR kills - they didn't seem all that far out, by the time the missles hit? I mean, I watched "Dogfights of Desert Storm" with a mix of awe and curiosity. Awe at our pilots skill, curiosity insofar as the Mig-29/Foxbat kills by F-15's seemed to be true dogfights (WVR). The BVR Mig-23 kills by F-15's started out that way, but if memory serves by the time the missles hit the F-15 pilots saw them with eyeballs.

I understand it was head on, it just seems like BVR was awful close to WVR - at least in that instance. Likewise, the F-16 Foxbat kill was via AMRAAM, but I'm fairly certain it was a 3 mile or so shot?

Fully understand this was a LONG time ago, and AESA/AMRAAM as well as the supporting C3 picture may have changed. If so, great. If not, I suppose that's great too - the SH sounds like it'd be hell to mix it up in a phone booth, given the 9x/JHMCS etc. are in play...

I sincerely hope our jammers are up to snuff though, given the same can be said of the later model Mig-29's/SU's (BVR capability, nose pointing authority and of course, the Archer..).

God bless our pilots/airmen...
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shingen

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Unread post14 Feb 2012, 01:23

I don't know all the details of the ODS engagements. If you watch the dogfights show note that they fired on the MiG-23's from long range because "National technical means" told them it was MiG-23's. The MiG-29 thing was more confused and there was uncertainty in IFF. Another issue is the BVR missiles can't fly to the ranges quoted on wikipedia or other sites and have enough energy to deal with a maneuvering target so the ranges might seem closer than what you picture BVR as.

Jamming is not a good way to deal with anything. That is another misconception that the Euro and Su fanboy brigades on boards have generated. It is much better to keep the enemy from getting off a shot in the first place.

The MiG-29 is actually junk. It looks good at airshows but it was a point defense aircraft only for the Fulda Gap scenario. The cockpit has a huge clock in it. The purpose of the clock is so that the pilot can time how long to illuminate for his SARH missiles. The Western fighters had a thing on the HUD to tell the pilot how long he needed to illuminate. The Western HUD system had a computer that dealt with course, speed, and altitude changes by the target while the Soviet system relied upon the computer int he pilot's head. Note also that the MiG-29 couldn't guide an R-27 missile to the full kinematic range for some reason or other. Those 2 factors alone made it a loser in BVR. WVR the archer isn't what it's cracked up to be and isn't near as good as the Western HOBS missiles. Instead of jamming or dodging an Archer the way to deal with it is keep out of its envelope and kill the plane carrying it BVR.

There's plenty on boards about the F-15, read up on it. It is mainly designed for BVR.
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haavarla

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Unread post14 Feb 2012, 09:11

I read the book 'F-15 Engaged' A great book, i highly recomend it.
It is true, on many occation the F-15 pilots saw the fireball with their own eyes.

Edit:
There was little info on range, but i have to check to be sure.
The human eye can see pretty far, and in poor light condition it is not that hard to follow the missile plume and watch it detonate.

The F-15 radar back then was not so great as it was marketing for eighter.
On several occation the pilot could not get a lock-on(missile lock) and had the re-acu the target many times.

Anyway, i think the largerst problem was the IFF prossess. The US/Nato pilots was scared to shot' blue on blue' and often held back until they was 100% in the ID.
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southernphantom

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Unread post14 Feb 2012, 14:01

shingen wrote:The cockpit has a huge clock in it. The purpose of the clock is so that the pilot can time how long to illuminate for his SARH missiles. The Western fighters had a thing on the HUD to tell the pilot how long he needed to illuminate. The Western HUD system had a computer that dealt with course, speed, and altitude changes by the target while the Soviet system relied upon the computer int he pilot's head. Note also that the MiG-29 couldn't guide an R-27 missile to the full kinematic range for some reason or other. Those 2 factors alone made it a loser in BVR. WVR the archer isn't what it's cracked up to be and isn't near as good as the Western HOBS missiles. Instead of jamming or dodging an Archer the way to deal with it is keep out of its envelope and kill the plane carrying it BVR.


I am actually appalled at that. Now there's NO doubt that F-4E AUP/ICE is a far superior aircraft :lol: :lol:
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wrightwing

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Unread post14 Feb 2012, 15:54

haavarla wrote:I read the book 'F-15 Engaged' A great book, i highly recomend it.
It is true, on many occation the F-15 pilots saw the fireball with their own eyes.

Edit:
There was little info on range, but i have to check to be sure.
The human eye can see pretty far, and in poor light condition it is not that hard to follow the missile plume and watch it detonate.

The F-15 radar back then was not so great as it was marketing for eighter.
On several occation the pilot could not get a lock-on(missile lock) and had the re-acu the target many times.

Anyway, i think the largerst problem was the IFF prossess. The US/Nato pilots was scared to shot' blue on blue' and often held back until they was 100% in the ID.


At night time, a fireball can be seen from very far, so it's hard to ascertain any precise figures based solely on that amount of information.
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Unread post15 Feb 2012, 05:43

southernphantom wrote:
shingen wrote:The cockpit has a huge clock in it. The purpose of the clock is so that the pilot can time how long to illuminate for his SARH missiles. The Western fighters had a thing on the HUD to tell the pilot how long he needed to illuminate. The Western HUD system had a computer that dealt with course, speed, and altitude changes by the target while the Soviet system relied upon the computer int he pilot's head. Note also that the MiG-29 couldn't guide an R-27 missile to the full kinematic range for some reason or other. Those 2 factors alone made it a loser in BVR. WVR the archer isn't what it's cracked up to be and isn't near as good as the Western HOBS missiles. Instead of jamming or dodging an Archer the way to deal with it is keep out of its envelope and kill the plane carrying it BVR.


I am actually appalled at that. Now there's NO doubt that F-4E AUP/ICE is a far superior aircraft :lol: :lol:


Surely this is no longer the case after all the upgrades the Mig-29 has been through, that would be absurd.
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haavarla

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Unread post15 Feb 2012, 13:55

Pic of Mig-29K simulator. The Real deal are not far off..
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sprstdlyscottsmn

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Unread post15 Feb 2012, 15:03

Nice pit
"Spurts"

-Pilot
-Aerospace Engineer
-Army Medic
-FMS Systems Engineer
-PFD Systems Engineer
-PATRIOT Systems Engineer
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southernphantom

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Unread post15 Feb 2012, 22:55

But does it work?? :P
I'd love to see some Adder tests under semi-realistic conditions. That might be telling, since an aircraft is only as good as the weapons it can bring to the fight. I hope y'all remember what happened with Alamos against Eritrea/Ethiopia...
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shingen

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Unread post16 Feb 2012, 02:24

I read somewhere the Adder motor is boost only, no sustain. I don't know if that's true or not. Note that no one else has used grid fins on an AAM.
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Unread post16 Feb 2012, 18:03

An all boost motor means that it will have an extremely high top speed but the burn times will be so small that the missile will be spending most of its time coasting all the way to target. This is bad for look-up scenarios as the missile won't be able to climb while coasting and the effective range of the missile will be hurt quite a bit due to having increased difficulty in taking advantage of a lofted trajectory. The drag encountered through skin friction is going to be impossible to overcome without a sustainer motor so the missile's energy will rapidly degrade due to a lack of propulsion in the BVR regime. As a result using an all-boost motor will actually hurt the kinematic performance of the missile in the actual envelope it's supposed to work at.

Grid fins are actually quite good for supersonic maneuvering as in the mach 3-mach 4 regime the oblique shocks that form on the grid pieces are successfully ingested and do not intercept the grids so the wave drag is extremely low. When coupled with the weak moment that the flow exerts on the fin as a result of the fin's small width, this allows for the actuator to be quite compact and doesn't put too much stress on said actuator when deflecting the control fins. As such the missile should in theory be quite nimble in the endgame but without a sustainer motor I may just have to declare it a piece of junk.
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haavarla

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Unread post16 Feb 2012, 19:03

Why would you add a sustainer in a small range missile like the RVV-MD?
The Max range are only 40Km anyway.
And doesn't this missile come with Thrust Vector Rocket booster

http://eng.ktrv.ru/production_eng/323/503/566/
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