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#4717282 - 04/05/18 02:35 PM Still trying to replace the F14....
DeepFriar Offline


Registered: 10/31/13
Posts: 1387
Loc: Georgia
Interesting article on how to further enhance the (weak) combat radius and lethality of the Super Hornet. In this case with a conformal fuel tank (do away with "drop" tanks) and the carriage of SM-6 variants. Might increase radius to around 600 miles with perhaps a 200+ mile AAM. For mental example assume a carrier launch in Tampa, SM-6 launch at bingo over Chattanooga against a target over Louisville. Not exact and with nine miracles in a row but an example.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/article...m-6_113137.html

Cheers.

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#4717427 - 04/05/18 05:27 PM Re: Still trying to replace the F14.... [Re: DeepFriar]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 6186
Loc: Waco, TX
Moot point.

Missile technology and advanced UAV's will make manned fighters/interceptors obsolete in another decade.
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#4717476 - 04/05/18 06:32 PM Re: Still trying to replace the F14.... [Re: Linctex]
JLTD Offline


Registered: 12/15/17
Posts: 831
Loc: US
Originally Posted By: Linctex
Moot point.

Missile technology and advanced UAV's will make manned fighters/interceptors obsolete in another decade.


Let's refer back to this thread in 2028 and see if that's true or not. I'll take the bet it's not.

As Astro14 has said, the F-14 was a rock star. Range, speed and capability. Hard to replace.


Edited by JLTD (04/05/18 06:33 PM)
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#4717540 - 04/05/18 07:10 PM Re: Still trying to replace the F14.... [Re: DeepFriar]
SubieRubyRoo Offline


Registered: 05/14/12
Posts: 1232
Loc: Winchester, Indiana
The F-14 was the Alpha male. I was in the Navy at the end of the F-14's usage, when the F/A-18 and Super Hornet were in the mix together. You could tell the difference between F-14 and F-18 pilots in the passageways- '14 flyboys had a swagger that the '18 pilots just didn't have. Sure, the '14s got to the point that they "weren't financially feasible to maintain in service" but this was more political jockeying than actual obsolescence. They had still been performing weapons and electronics system upgrades in the late 90s, so there was still plenty of "real" life left in those jets.

Kind of like the battleships- they had a punch nothing else in the current arsenal can match.

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#4717594 - 04/05/18 07:51 PM Re: Still trying to replace the F14.... [Re: DeepFriar]
Wolf359 Online   content


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 4874
Loc: MA
I somehow got the impression that they got rid of it partly because of the cost of maintaining it, but also because they hated Iran. Sorta like this country is so rich, they can get rid of an airplane that's still good just so that Iran can't get it hands on any parts anymore.

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#4717995 - 04/06/18 07:08 AM Re: Still trying to replace the F14.... [Re: Linctex]
Astro14 Offline


Registered: 10/10/10
Posts: 8596
Loc: Virginia Beach
Originally Posted By: Linctex
Moot point.

Missile technology and advanced UAV's will make manned fighters/interceptors obsolete in another decade.


I heard that 40 years ago...still waiting...many missions still require a pilot in the loop and eyeballs on target, not eyeballs in a remote location, and a pilot at a console with a cup of coffee.

I think the tipping point in Naval Aviation was the demise of the A-6. One of the F-14 design requirements was the ability to escort the A-6 on long range strikes.

The decision to give up the Carrier's long range strike capability by replacing the A-6 with Super Hornet signaled a change in the strategic direction of the US Navy. With long range strike removed, the F-14's long range wasn't as important.

The Navy saddled the F/A-18 E/F with ENORMOUS drop tanks of 500 gallons (instead of 330 gallons, like the A/B/C/D Hornet) that caused huge drag, and resulted in terrible top speed, just to demonstrate having "long range" but...it's really not...

Range and mission profile aren't simple numbers that are easily compared. Conformal Tanks (CFTs) have a drag penalty that is lower than external drop tanks, but they do add drag, and degrade high Alpha handling. They're a good solution, but not zero cost. The airplane will still be slow. All you're really doing is freeing up the weapons stations and taking some of the drag off, but only some. The Achilles Heel of the Super Hornet is the angle of the weapon pylons. To reduce flutter at transonic speeds, they were angled out by 4 degrees. They're NEVER directly in the airflow and ALWAYS create high drag. If you see a Hornet without pylons, you're at an airshow and when cleaned off like that, the Hornet is a phenomenal performer...

But the real world is radically different. In the real world, the Super Hornet is a high-subsonic, medium range strike airplane with exceptional versatility and a nice phased-array (AESA) radar. A huge step backwards from the F-14's airframe - which landed slower, at higher weight, and had great speed and long range.

Ironically, Grumman offered a set of Tomcat upgrades that would've outperformed the Super Hornet in every respect. Quick Strike and Tomcat21 had radar and cockpit improvements (including future AESA), propulsion improvements (GE F110-429), increased internal fuel (in the wing glove area), conformal multi-sensor/designators (like the TCS and IRST, which the Hornet still doesn't have), which keep the weapon stations free of sensors for greater ordnance capacity. I've supercruised a slick F-14B (supersonic without AB), so adding 30% more thrust with the -429 engine would easily get a QS or T21 to supercruise (while the Hornet struggles to get through Mach 1 even in full AB when it's carrying weapons).

Long range. High speed. High speed cruise. More sensors. Integrated digital weapon system. It would've been a great airplane, better than the Super Hornet in every respect. But it was killed by Dick Cheney as SECDEF and we chose the "low risk option" of the Super Hornet because it was "common" with the legacy Hornet...

Sure, it had the NACES Ejection Seat, ARC-182 radio and name in common. The parts that were different? Fuselage/airframe, engines, landing gear, wings, rudders, stabilizers, ECS, fuel and other systems... A masterful bit of PowerPoint salesmanship on the part of McDonnell Douglas...

Long range missiles? In the early 90's - we had prototypes for AIM-54 follow on weapons that could go out past 150 miles with ramjet propulsion. An air to air weapon that could be employed at that range required a very powerful radar (like the F-14s) to even see the target. Good for a horde of incoming bombers, not much use against a fighter. Long range strike missiles have existed in various forms for decades. So, stick a new one on a Hornet? Sure, why not?
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#4719035 - 04/07/18 12:37 AM Re: Still trying to replace the F14.... [Re: DeepFriar]
SubieRubyRoo Offline


Registered: 05/14/12
Posts: 1232
Loc: Winchester, Indiana
Nice post, Astro. You obviously have more in-depth experience. But, I completely agree the Tomcat is without equal even today. I just got to watch them fly smile

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#4719037 - 04/07/18 12:53 AM Re: Still trying to replace the F14.... [Re: DeepFriar]
DeepFriar Offline


Registered: 10/31/13
Posts: 1387
Loc: Georgia
I guess I subscribe to the theory that the manned platforms will be managing the semiautonomous platforms. Swarms of MQ-25 like vehicles forward being controlled by managing fighters who would also be responsible for prosecuting leakers that may have gotten by. I don't know, that just seems like the least manpower intensive, best force multiplier to me. It'll probably end up being particle beam weapons or some such by the time we get there... grin It's anybody's guess. I did like the wrinkle in the article of repurposing the SM-6, let the bad guys try to get away from that mach 4+ item. And it would also be about a mach 9 closure rate with those Russian/Chicom hypervelocity missiles they keep bragging about. The phsics would be epic!

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#4728311 - 04/15/18 09:23 PM Re: Still trying to replace the F14.... [Re: DeepFriar]
CT8 Offline


Registered: 10/09/14
Posts: 11210
Loc: Idaho
The military is a tool box and needs many different size wrenches to do a job.
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#4728315 - 04/15/18 09:28 PM Re: Still trying to replace the F14.... [Re: CT8]
spasm3 Offline


Registered: 05/30/10
Posts: 8763
Loc: North Carolina
Originally Posted By: CT8
The military is a tool box and needs many different size wrenches to do a job.


Lol true, the Tomcat was Mr. Bigwrench! Glad i got to see them fly at oceana.


Edited by spasm3 (04/15/18 09:29 PM)
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#4800253 - 06/29/18 02:32 AM Re: Still trying to replace the F14.... [Re: DeepFriar]
Kamele0N Offline


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 2084
Loc: Slovenia EU
https://www.warhistoryonline.com/war-articles/comeback-for-the-f14-tomcat.html?

Quote:
Now with more recent threats arising from China and Russia, and with both countries developing greater offensive capabilities, the Navy is considering bringing back the F-14. A senior Navy official stated that the Navy is “looking towards the future of fighter aviation in the Navy, and the future is in the past. That’s why we want to bring back the Tomcat.


I didnt know that F14 is "better" then F18??? shrug

Quote:
Although the F-14 was still a superior offensive attack aircraft, the The Boeing F/A-18E and F/A-18F Super Hornet were more versatile, more economical, and had the more modern technology.
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#4812868 - 07/13/18 03:53 AM Re: Still trying to replace the F14.... [Re: DeepFriar]
DoubleWasp Offline


Registered: 05/21/12
Posts: 5264
Loc: Fort Lauderdale, FL
The trust level of drones will only go so far as jamming, detection, and hacking gets better.

A man in a seat who doesn't need to send or receive a single solitary signal, and is impervious to electronic manipulation is going to start looking better and better.
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#4813074 - 07/13/18 10:52 AM Re: Still trying to replace the F14.... [Re: Kamele0N]
john_pifer Offline


Registered: 07/08/12
Posts: 2024
Loc: Nashville, TN via Memphis
Originally Posted By: Kamele0N


I didnt know that F14 is "better" then F18??? shrug


Most people don't. They assume that the higher number (18 vs. 14) denotes a higher-performance aircraft.

As Astro has said, the 18 was always a cost-saving compromise.
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#4813170 - 07/13/18 12:53 PM Re: Still trying to replace the F14.... [Re: DeepFriar]
Astro14 Offline


Registered: 10/10/10
Posts: 8596
Loc: Virginia Beach
I’ve flown both.

The F/A-18 A/B/C/D is newer. It has some advantages over the F-14, including procurement cost, cockpit design, high alpha handling, and ease of landing.

But in speed, range, and payload, it’s inferior. Even the Super Hornet, the F/A-18 E/F, while much improved, and much more expensive, still didn’t match many of the F-14s capabilities.

The USN, like the USAF, went with a “high/low” fighter mix. The newer one was much cheaper.

Sometimes, you get what you pay for...
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#4813270 - 07/13/18 02:57 PM Re: Still trying to replace the F14.... [Re: DeepFriar]
Mr Nice Offline


Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 21325
Loc: Orlando, FL
What about an F-15E with a tail hook and improved landing gear ?

J/K

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