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  • Topgun
    Junior Member
    • Jun 2003
    • 9

    F-14 vs F/A-18E Stupid Hornet

    THE U.S NAVY'S GREATEST MISTAKE

    The Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet

    The path that the United States Navy has chosen to take regarding its
    future aviation assets puts it in a dangerous position. It is my belief
    that the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet is not a capable aircraft to be given
    the role of sole offensive aircraft on board USN carriers. When we look
    at the Super Hornet which I prefer to call the Stupid Hornet we see an
    aircraft that first and foremost is the 'losing' aircraft in the USAF
    LWF competition, we see an aircraft that has been redesigned twice and
    still cannot get rid of it's fuel shortage problems. This aircraft
    should not even have existed, and was in fact rejected by the USN in the
    late 80's and now its defending US carriers. The USN claims that the
    Super Hornet is, "a most deadly foe in both beyond-visual-range and
    close-in engagements," (VADM John Nathman, Naval Aviation News,
    March-April 2000) to put it plainly that's the biggest load of bull****
    I've ever heard. Lets compare the Super Hornet to the other new aircraft
    out there. The Super Hornet doesn't carry Phoenix, so immediately it's
    down to medium range, it doesn't have an IRST or UHF radar so it must
    use active radar and can't detect stealth aircraft, it has no thrust
    vectoring so it's not as maneuverable as other new fighters, it doesn't
    have super cruise, in fact it can't even reach Mach 1 below 10 ,000ft,
    so it can't get away from any opponents, old and new, and it has a
    marginal fuel load so it can get very far anyway. The latest generation
    of fighters includes the F/A-22, Rafale, Gripen, Typhoon, MiG 1-44,
    Su-37, and a number of new Chinese and Indian fighters. The Super Hornet
    is inferior to all of these aircraft as well as to the Su-27, MiG-29,
    F-14 and F-15. So in actual fact the USN is going to rely on a
    re-designed hand-me down loser from the LWF competition to 'project
    power' for the next 20 years, though how far it can project power
    remains to be seen as the Super Hornet has such a small radius of
    action. The U SN has 'remedied' the lack range by changing its doctrine
    to littoral conflicts, we'll see how that works after silkworm missiles
    hit the carriers. The employment of the Hornet as a tanker is quite
    frankly a joke, not only because it has such a poor fuel load in the
    first place but also because it's airframe is not suitable to be
    fuel-efficient. The aircraft barely has enough fuel for itself let alone
    other aircraft. It amazes me just how stupid and blind the current USN
    leaders are. The future CVW will be made up of just Hornets and the way
    the USN is going they'll probably put a radome on top of it and replace
    the E-2 Hawkeye with it. The aircraft that the Hornet and Super Hornet
    have or are replacing include, the A-7, A-6, S-3, EA-6B and the F-14.
    Wow, an aircraft that isn't much better than an F-16 is taking the place
    of all these superior aircraft, so why the hell is the USN developing
    the JSF they all-ready have their all can do fighter, or maybe they
    realize that the Super Hornet is just an inferior 4th generation fighter
    trying to disguise itself as a 5th generation fighter. With India and
    China both keen to develop carrier fleets, that will surely carry
    aircraft better that the pathetic Super Hornet, the USN could find
    itself in a comprising position. The Super Hornet puts the USN firmly on
    the road to, lets by a ****ty aircraft and hope we don't have to fight
    anyone with better planes,' remember the USN cannot fight foes like
    Afghanistan and Iraq forever. When the Tomcats are gone the USN will
    find they have the best carriers in the world and the most useless
    aircraft in the world operating from them. The Super Hornet decision
    could very well lead to the end of US Naval Aviation. If the Super
    Hornet was so suited to the USN's needs then why would a Naval Officer
    make the following statement.

    "Even with the arrival of the F/A-18E Super Hornet in the force, the
    F-14 remains 'the platform of choice for precision targeting'. It has
    longer range than the Super Hornet, and the LANTIRN targeting pod is
    superior to the Nite Hawk the F/A-18Es carry" [CAPT Scott Swift, deputy
    commander CVW-14, 2003]

    Navy test pilot comments* (as of January 2002): "The (F/A-18E/F)
    aircraft is slower than most fighters fielded since the early 1960s."
    A Hornet pilot who flew numerous side-by-side comparison flights
    with F/A-18E/F Super Hornets said: "We outran them, we out-flew them and
    we ran them out of gas. I was embarrassed for them"

    The Grumman F-14 Tomcat

    The F-14 Tomcat, unlike the Hornet, has never been favored among those
    that provide funding, I don't know why, maybe because good old ****ie
    Cheney had some quarrel with the higher ups at Grumman. Now that fool is
    the Vice President. For example the F-14 entered service in 1972 with an
    interim engine and yet the first serious upgrade only took place in the
    late 80's with the F-14B and D, the F/A-18 entered service in 1984 and
    just three years later a new variant, the F/A-18C was flying. To top it
    all **** cancelled further F-14D production in 1990, leaving the Navy
    with the planned Super Hornet, which was never intended to replace the
    F-14, because it was simply a stupid idea. In fact the Super Hornet
    replacing the F-14 is similar to how the British Government wants to
    replace the Harrier FA2's with GR9's. At least the Iranians have had the
    brains to keep this jet flying for as long as it can. Current aviators
    may claim that the Super Hornet is, "an exceptio nal aircraft with
    superb combat capability and growth potential," (CDR T.W. Huff. USN,
    Flight Journal, pg.28, June 2002) but the very fact that this debate
    exists, that a fighter (re-) designed in the 1990's can even be compared
    to a fighter designed in the late 60's (the Tomcat) is testament to the
    fact that many doubt the capabilities of the Super Hornet. The politics
    involving aircraft procurement in the Pentagon has resulted in the USN
    being forced to operate a dog for the next 20 years and to get rid of
    some of its most valuable air assets. The Super Tomcat 21 would have
    been a far better and cheaper aircraft than the Super Hornet. Had that
    aircraft been procured this debate would not exist. There would be no
    debate as to whether the Tomcat 21 was better than the Super Hornet.
    Further more it would have been a cheaper aircraft to develop and
    purchase when compared to the Super Hornet's $76 million price tag, a
    lot more than the more capable F-14D ($50 million). In the e arly 90's
    when the F-14D was cancelled and the Super Hornet was just a paper
    airplane the estimated R & D costs for the F/A-18E/F was $3 billion and
    eventually the program overran to a cost of $9 billion to produce an
    aircraft less capable than the F-14D. It must be noted that the F-14D's
    R & D dollars had already been spent and the aircraft already existed
    when the Super Hornet was nothing more than a drawing. In my view that's
    a real waste of taxpayer money. Also one cannot say the F-14 cannot
    carry standoff missiles like SLAM, because F-14D's can easily be
    modified to support these weapons. The F/A-18E/F is an aircraft with a
    new wing, fuselage and empennage, and is thus a new aircraft, F/A-18C's
    cannot be modified to Super Hornet status yet the USN proposed this
    aircraft as a 'modification program' when clearly it's only a Hornet by
    name. When new aircraft are proposed they need Congress approval and the
    Super Hornet never got that approval and is thus an illegal aircraft.
    What a scandal! The USN made a huge mistake by not pursuing the Tomcat
    21/ASF-14, an aircraft that would have had a glass cockpit, better
    radar, stealth enhancements, supercruise, thrust-vectoring, more fuel
    (and range), less maintenance and incorporated all of the present and
    proposed features of the F-14D. It would have cost less than the Super
    Hornet, had 90% the capability of the ATF at 60% of the cost and would
    have kept the USN air wings capable and effective well into this
    century. For decades the USN has developed and operated aircraft that
    were the best in their fields, the F-4, A-6 and the F-14 and it is thus
    sad to see that the best that the Navy can develop and field today
    doesn't even approach the capability of an F-14.

    Navy statement (as of March 2001): "F/A-18E/F Super Hornet .... Leading
    Naval Aviation into the 21st Century. The F/A-18E/F Super Hornet is a
    winner... it's affordable... and it's flying today, exceeding every
    operational goal. F/A-18E/F will outperform any top-line fighter
    aircraft of today and tomorrow."

    The first part of this statement could have been said about the F-14D 10
    years earlier! "F/A-18E/F will outperform any top-line fighter aircraft
    of today and tomorrow." Clearly the author of this statement was smoking
    something when he wrote this!

    Navy F-14 pilots speak vividly about the Super Hornet (in an Associated
    Press article in late 2001): "Its the same old Hornet ****, repackaged,
    which was designed to keep the politicians happy." He said that "it can
    never match the Tomcat's long range, (Mach) 2.4 speed and predator
    mystique. (...) The capability the Tomcat has for speed is amazing,
    there is not another plane in the Navy's inventory that can come
    anywhere close to it. You look at the plane on the ground and it looks
    intimidating, it looks like something that is made for war. I hope the
    liberal fudge packing, (...) who thought the Hornet could replace this
    aviation masterpiece rot in hell."

    This statement is from a VF-102 pilot on that squadron's final Tomcat
    cruise and is the most honest statement I've ever read regarding the
    Super Hornet debacle.

    During the Gulf War the USN was almost ignored by the USAF, but once
    F-14's got Lantirn they became the primary strikers of Desert Fox and
    Bosnia, placed ahead of F-15E's, while also playing major roles in
    Afghanistan and Gulf War 2. Once the Tomcat's are gone the USN could
    find itself being ignored again. The Super Hornet simply cannot compete
    with F-15E's, F/A-22's and the proposed FB-22. The USN has now
    accelerated the retirement of the F-14 to mid-2007 supposedly to save
    money. I don't see how that works as money has just been spent on the
    F-14's to give them Lantirn capability and most recently JDAM
    capability. In addition to this, Tomcats were upgraded with DFCS and
    some cockpit enhancements were made such as the PTID. Now having just
    spent this money the Navy is going to retire this aircraft, which is
    just ridiculous. VF-2 is the next squadron to convert onto the god awful
    Stupid Hornets. It doesn't make sense that a unit flying top of the
    range F-14D's has to convert while other squadrons remain flying F-14A's
    (VF-154, VF-211). I don't think that those D's are going to new
    squadrons, after all what happened to the F-14B's when VF-102 converted?
    It just exhibits the idiocy prevailing in current USN leadership.
    Unfortunately it's too late for anything, except maybe for the loss of a
    USN carrier, to get the powers that be to change the doomed course that
    Naval Aviation is flying so blindly into. One thing is for sure though
    is that the Super Hornet will never be a legend. F-4's, A-6's and the
    F-14 will remain legends in the USN. In particular the F-14 has a
    mystique and prowess about it that is unmatched, that's one of the
    reasons why so many people around the world don't want to see it go.
    However when the Super Hornet finally goes out of service (hopefully
    soon) no-one, absolutely no-one will care, the Super Hornet will not be
    legend, just an expensive piece of junk the Navy operated for a while,
    that's it, no-one will care. Indeed the day that the last F-14 is
    retired will be the darkest day in U.S Naval Aviation history.
  • US Agent
    American Made
    • May 2003
    • 928

    #2
    Keep in mind...the Tomcat is over 30 years old...and inevitably, a time comes when even the most legendary aircraft (just like athletes) must retire from the game...their replacements are rarely considered to be equal or better...JMTC
    "The chief business of the American people is business." -Calvin Coolidge

    Comment

    • mixtec
      eye of Horus
      • Jan 2000
      • 1465

      #3
      The simple fact is the F-18 is not an attack aircraft. As I mentioned about its wingloading, it really cant carry itself much less a warload. And forgetting the attack role it cant hack just as a fighter. When you combine the airframe drag with the high wingloading, your left with a jet that can not power out of any situation and a type of manuerability that just leaves it spinning and going nowhere.

      Comment

      • Guest's Avatar
        Twilight2002

        #4
        Look mate, i'll break even with ya. I dislike the Hornet as well. In my humble outsider opinion, they threw it together too quickly to replace the F/A-8 (which I absolutely love by the way).

        I've got a major issue with F/A-18's forming the tip of naval strike ops for the USN - BUT HEY - the US only attacks poor, under-armed and impoverished countries.... so what the hell!!?

        Anyways, if the US goes to war with France, we can all sit back and watch MICA-armed Rafales mop the floor with over-invested F/A-18's.

        On the matter of Tomcats, I agree its a glam thing, but that doesn't negate the problem that I think they are sh#t too big to use on an aircraft carrier.

        Roll on the F-35B. If they still wanna use Phoenixes, maybe they could stick a Tomcat radar on a Sea Stallion and fit THAT with Phoenixes. Would probably cost a lot less to operate, and doesn't need to go far from ship to put up BVR :-)

        And hey - a Sea Stallion is a hell of a lot easier to land on a flat top....

        Comment

        • US Agent
          American Made
          • May 2003
          • 928

          #5
          Anyways, if the US goes to war with France...
          LAUGH!

          If the US even "hinted" at going to war with France...the only thing coming at F/A-18 pilots from the French would be practice rounds with white flags tied to them.



          "The chief business of the American people is business." -Calvin Coolidge

          Comment

          • PhantomII
            Phantoms Phorever
            • Jan 2000
            • 8292

            #6
            Just to make a correction to the original post, the F-14's maximum speed was originally Mach 2.34 (about 1,540 mph or so at altitude). Iranian Tomcats can probably still achieve this.

            USN Tomcats are a different story however. While undergoing SLEP programs, the Tomcat fleet has had to have certain modifications and the top end speed is now around Mach 1.9 (about 1,240 mph or so at altitude). I forget what the exact modifications were, but they did take place as far as I read into it.

            Of course top speed is a pretty moot point in combat anyway, but I'm just pointing that out.

            There are only two U.S. fighters that have gone faster than the Mach 2.34 Tomcat. The F-15 Eagle at Mach 2.5+ (1,650 mph), and the original hard-wing F-4 Phantom II (F-4A/B/C/D/N...probably J/S too though) at Mach 2.4 (1,580 mph).

            This is of course knocking the YF-12 out of the competition.

            And no one yet knows the true top speed of the F/A-22. We'll just have to wait and see.
            Fox-4!

            Comment

            • Mark2
              Senior Member
              • May 2003
              • 379

              #7
              Open to correction.... but I don't think the F-22 has the variable inlet needed for VERY high mach operation. So I think the 'high speed' rhino is safe for a while

              Mark

              Comment

              • DAnAM
                Senior Member
                • Jun 2003
                • 110

                #8
                so anyways

                back to airplanes..
                lol
                Last edited by DAnAM; 14th June 2003, 09:49.

                Comment

                • Guest's Avatar
                  Twilight2002

                  #9
                  Really US Agent (I "like" your name) :-) I was going to make a joke out of this but if you want to go all HEY USA PRIDE 9/11 on me then I'm game for a little def comedy jam.

                  Funny since I'm not French....

                  The US Navy has always had this HEY LOOK AT US defiance of muscle and strength, showing carrier flicks on Discovery every other f"||:?kin day.

                  Meanwhile Israel abosutely kicks their asses when it comes to war games, and do the Israelis go boasting on about their forces? No. The Israelis kill people, and make sure they stay dead.

                  The US NAVY did a GRRRREAT job of hunting down Sadaam, and he didn't have a fraction of the aerial defence capacity of France. Then theres the slight matter of your flattop guys killing more British soldiers than Iraqis because USN and TRIGGER HAPPY appear in the same sentance more than once.

                  Awwh...was it tough shooting down a handful of antiquated Migs piloted by suicidal conscripts? Was it tough shooting a few HARM's at a few rusty SA-2's.

                  The biggest laugh of it is that the Iraqis shot down an F-15E over Baghdad with none other than the oldest piece of equipment in town - A FRENCH MADE ROLAND-2!!

                  Did the USAF forget the whole altitude issue, or were they just having a bad hair day?

                  Now, down to the issue of France versus USA. I think its obvious who won the world popularity contest, and I'll give u a clue. It wasn't Uncle Sam :-)

                  Comment

                  • SOC
                    SOC
                    Registered User
                    • Jan 2000
                    • 13189

                    #10
                    The F-14A/B top out at Mach 2.34 still. The F-14D, with the aerodynamic penalties imposed by the dual undernose fairing housing the TCS and IRST, tops out at Mach 1.88.

                    Incidentially, the F-111 topped out at Mach 2.5 clean according to a few pilots who have seen these numbers, and there are a few squadron-room tales of Mach 2.7 floating around even.

                    Theoretically the F-8 Crusader 3 was aerodynamically capable of Mach 3, but I can't remember the top speed actually attained (2.7 maybe?).

                    Yes, the YF-12A would clearly win out at well over Mach 3.

                    An F-106 attained a speed of Mach 2.4 in testing.

                    Clearly, lots of US fighters passed the F-14's mark of Mach 2.34.

                    F/A-22, like the F-16 and JSF, lacks a variable-ramp intake, and should in theory be restricted to a vmax of just over Mach 2.

                    As for a US CVN vs a French CVN, I'd bet on the USN thanks to the much better support from both the battle group (AEGIS does help) and the other aircraft available on deck. I'd bet on a Rafale-N over an F-18E 1v1, but a US CVBG should have no issues handling a French CVBG.
                    Sean O'Connor

                    Sean's Blog, now with forum
                    ACIG.org Team
                    Airliners.net

                    Comment

                    • SOC
                      SOC
                      Registered User
                      • Jan 2000
                      • 13189

                      #11
                      Originally posted by US Agent
                      Keep in mind...the Tomcat is over 30 years old...and inevitably, a time comes when even the most legendary aircraft (just like athletes) must retire from the game...their replacements are rarely considered to be equal or better...JMTC
                      Yet in the F-15E/F-18E thread you said that the Bombcat should have remained until the JSF arrived...seems like you're contradicting yourself here?
                      Sean O'Connor

                      Sean's Blog, now with forum
                      ACIG.org Team
                      Airliners.net

                      Comment

                      • Vympel
                        Rank 5 Registered User
                        • Jan 2000
                        • 2504

                        #12
                        Jeez what does France-bashing have to do with this topic? I'm sorry, nothing.

                        Also, I'd like to see somone peddling a smart-ass 'French surrender monkey' cliche in front of a French WW2 veteran, maybe they'd knock you on your ass like you deserve. Someone go read a history book, for god's sake.

                        Comment

                        • alex
                          Senior Member
                          • May 2003
                          • 386

                          #13
                          Agree 100% with Twilight, I'm not anti-US (no seriously I'm not ) but to be perfectly honest the Americans can big slightly big headed.

                          Its that attitude which will lead to an eventual defeat at the hands of a tiny nation with nothing to loose, as the old saying goes "History ALWAYS repeats itself"...know what I mean, sucky sucky loooong time !!!

                          Comment

                          • atc pal
                            Safe Orderly Expeditious
                            • Apr 2003
                            • 698

                            #14
                            Okay Topgun. Got your - long - point: You don't like the F/A-18's
                            - any of them!

                            Phoenix missile: Was that ever - once? - succesful in real battle? I believed for many years it was the best in the world seeing the film with one F-14 simultaneously "splashing" Firebees and T-birds all over the western USA. But now I'm not so sure.

                            Anyway. My favourite Tomcat movie remains "The Final Countdown" with the great battle with the Zero/T-6's.

                            Yes. F-14's are prettier than F-18's.

                            Regards atc pal
                            If everything is as clear as a bell, and everything is going exactly as planned, you're about to be surprised.

                            Comment

                            • frankvw
                              Moderator
                              • Jan 2000
                              • 6346

                              #15
                              Have a look at acig.org, in the thread about Iranian Tomcats. You'll see that the Phoenix has been very effective...
                              Regards,

                              Frank

                              Comment

                              • SOC
                                SOC
                                Registered User
                                • Jan 2000
                                • 13189

                                #16
                                Originally posted by atc pal
                                Phoenix missile: Was that ever - once? - succesful in real battle?
                                Was it ever once fired at the type of target for which it was intended? No. This is like saying the AIM-9 is not sucessful becasue it failed to intercept a TBM.
                                Sean O'Connor

                                Sean's Blog, now with forum
                                ACIG.org Team
                                Airliners.net

                                Comment

                                • GarryB
                                  Rank 5 Registered User
                                  • Jan 2000
                                  • 8678

                                  #17
                                  It is interesting hearing the supposed top speed of some aircraft and listening to stories about how fast some planes can go.

                                  For instance the Mig-25 is probably one of the few relatively conventional aircraft that routinely flies as Mach 2.4 for long periods and speeds of Mach 2.83 for periods of 5-15 minutes and certainly the fastest turbojet powered aircraft to do so.
                                  Problems like the canopy being too got to touch (ie 70 degrees C) and the material used to hold it in place (a putty like substance) becoming too soft and needing to be replaced were some of the problems encountered in the design of the Mig-25... also the requirement for silver plated mesh screens to help keep the engines cool and and measures prevent the fuel tanks exploding suggest that even flying at mach 2.4 for long periods is not all that easy.

                                  Claims of Mach 2.5 for the F-15 and F-111 are interesting but a bit more information about duration would be more useful...

                                  Comment

                                  • Topgun
                                    Junior Member
                                    • Jun 2003
                                    • 9

                                    #18
                                    The Rafale/Mica combination is a very formidable platform. A US CVBG would probably defeat a the Charles De Gaulle BG but not without severe losses of Super Hornets. However the French CVBG does not have the aircraft numbers to be outright victorious, though a lucky shoot or two could happen. Anyway the US and the French would never go to war even though relations are not too good at the moment.

                                    Some names for the Super Hornet

                                    Stupid Hornet
                                    Subpar Hornet
                                    Substandard Hornet
                                    Super Horror

                                    The F in F/A-18F stands for F*@#ing Stupid Hornet

                                    If Boeing exports the Super Hornet they should set up a division called Super Hornet International and abreviate to S.H.IT!

                                    Just a thought.

                                    Comment

                                    • mixtec
                                      eye of Horus
                                      • Jan 2000
                                      • 1465

                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by GarryB
                                      It is interesting hearing the supposed top speed of some aircraft and listening to stories about how fast some planes can go.

                                      For instance the Mig-25 is probably one of the few relatively conventional aircraft that routinely flies as Mach 2.4 for long periods and speeds of Mach 2.83 for periods of 5-15 minutes and certainly the fastest turbojet powered aircraft to do so.
                                      Problems like the canopy being too got to touch (ie 70 degrees C) and the material used to hold it in place (a putty like substance) becoming too soft and needing to be replaced were some of the problems encountered in the design of the Mig-25... also the requirement for silver plated mesh screens to help keep the engines cool and and measures prevent the fuel tanks exploding suggest that even flying at mach 2.4 for long periods is not all that easy.

                                      Claims of Mach 2.5 for the F-15 and F-111 are interesting but a bit more information about duration would be more useful...
                                      Keep in mind Garry that the mig-25 was made almost entirely of steel. Only the internal spars and ribs of the wing structure and wing leading edges were made of titanium. consequenly it could only pull 5 Gs in a turn.

                                      And since Im on the subject of speed and drag. Id like to emphasize again that there is nothing wrong with a jet with high wingloading as long as you have a low drag airframe. And there is nothing wrong with a jet with high drag as long as the wing aerodynamics can compensate with good lift and turning ability. But when you combine high drag and high wingloading, youve left with nothing except alot of thrust fighting to make the plane go somewhere.
                                      Last edited by mixtec; 15th June 2003, 16:54.

                                      Comment

                                      • atc pal
                                        Safe Orderly Expeditious
                                        • Apr 2003
                                        • 698

                                        #20
                                        Phoenix effectiveness

                                        Sorry! I stand corrected. The iranians were putting AIM-54 to good use, I see now.

                                        I was referring to the one time I heard about a U.S. Navy F-14 firing one, that missed. (Which disappointed me enormously.)

                                        regards atc pal
                                        If everything is as clear as a bell, and everything is going exactly as planned, you're about to be surprised.

                                        Comment

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