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Thread: Its the 1970s and your Air Force will choose only one fighter for its core, choose!

  1. #1
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    Its the 1970s and your Air Force will choose only one fighter for its core, choose!

    since this is a fun topic and cant wait for some one else to make a 70s version.

    rules based on the previous threads:

    1. Must be in service for more than 5 years in the 70s.
    2. That means it must have entered service by 1975 and not over. First flights don't count (no F-15s, Su-27s, but perhaps the F-14 could pass)
    3. Older generation aircraft can be considered like the F-4 MiG-21, F-5, etc
    4. One type.
    5. the situation your Air Force faces can be up to you. whether you have a large territory or small territory, maritime needs, etc. just explain why

  2. #2
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    I guess it would have to be the F-14, which could be modified for bomb loads. Although excluding the F-15 for the sake of 9 days is painful, but the Su-27 would barely even qualify for the 1980s under those rules.

  3. #3
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    If you could afford it: F-14. Even with the early engine problems, the F-14 was a very formidable interceptor and still a respectable dog-fighter. Also had air to ground and recon capabilities from the beginning even if air to ground was not used in it's early career.

    If the artificial rules (5 full years operational) to the thread are relaxed just a bit: F-15. As a pure fighter, hands down winner. And a pre-emptive favorite for the 1980's thread likely to follow....Unsurpassed modern record as a fighter, and in actual combat.

    If my Air Force were a bit more budget constrained: Mirage F1. All around quite capable, flexible and much cheaper than the F-14 or F-15. Perhaps not a world beater but perfectly suitable for many Air Forces.

    If I wanted to fly off a road: Viggen

  4. #4
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    was the Viggen superior to the F.1 in any area? certainly the Viggen had many dedicated variants that would make operating a single type (sort of) economically and practically viable?

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    The Harrier deserves a mention here somewhere too. Rough field and VTOL carrier capability, reasonably good record in air combat and ground attack.

  6. #6
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    Not a fair timeframe with the freaking F-14 counting but not the su 27 or Mig 29.

    yeah Ill take a Mig 21 over a F-14 mahaha not.

    Edit: I'll take my chances with a Mig 25 Foxbat actually.

    But the question is still a setup.

    F-14 Tomcat
    Role
    Interceptor, air superiority and multirole combat aircraft

    National origin
    United States

    Manufacturer
    Grumman Aerospace Corporation

    Introduction
    22 September 1974
    Last edited by KGB; 29th January 2018 at 18:39.

  7. #7
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    was the Viggen superior to the F.1 in any area?
    Better short field performance. Bigger, heavier & more thrust & bigger external load. Designed for ease of maintenance.
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  8. #8
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    Not a fair timeframe with the freaking F-14 counting but not the su 27 or Mig 29.
    the F-14 came out before all the other 4th gen jets, but also for that reason, I was a bit reluctant to add it as I knew people would say well why not the 15?
    don't worry you will have the 80s. But the F-14 came out early enough that it saw limited action in Nam.

  9. #9
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    Easy:

    Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas10 View Post
    Easy:
    Nic, the tread is for a 1970's fighter, not a 1990's target.


    JK, but I don't think the F.1 makes the short list.
    Last edited by FBW; 29th January 2018 at 20:04.

  11. #11
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    F-12 armed with AIM-54 and AGM-76.

  12. #12
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    Vans:
    was the Viggen superior to the F.1 in any area? certainly the Viggen had many dedicated variants that would make operating a single type (sort of) economically and practically viable?
    The American motor on the Viggen made it almost impossible for the Swedes gain any kind of export success for the jet - almost impossible in fact. I think the Indian AF may have wanted to buy the Viggen and were turned down - the Americans said no.
    The Mirage F1 had no such shortcomings, hence...

  13. #13
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    What's the only fighter plane that bagged a couple F14s?

  14. #14
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    What's the only fighter plane that bagged a couple F14s?
    True.
    Has any F-15 ever been shot down by another aircraft?

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    Only by another F15 as far as I know.
    Rule zero: don't be on fire

  16. #16
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    How about the F-4E.
    First flight in 1967. The slatted wing, which is the one to have, was introduced in 1972. Many USAF units didn't get the E model before '70 and before the F-15 achieved IOC in '75, it was state of the art. For a while longer as a multi-role jet.
    How can less be more? It's impossible. More is more.
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  17. #17
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    Su-24 hasn't been considered yet. It doesn't have MiG-25 performance, but it wasn't exactly a world loser.

    If F-14 counted, then so does F-111. The F-111 is a better all-around airframe than F-14 and we know a tactical bomber FB-111A can be developed off it. But it's too much cost for filling all the gaps and it's not an answer to MiG-25.

    The Mirage F.2 would have been justified over Mirage F.1, so IMHO the F.1 is a no go. It's more likely to handle MiG-25 in a fighter role. The Mirage 2000 is the natural offspring.

    The F-4E Phantom would easily retain its hold on the majority of the market. F-15 is its natural successor. F-4E could be modified to handle MiG-25, but the F-4E was always multi-role so a natural choice.

    The MiG-25 becomes justified over the MiG-23 exports. If resources were actually committed beyond its PVO role, it's a great airframe worthy of modifications. The MiG-31 was right around the corner.
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    yeah true.



    @Rat

    I dunno about the F-111 being in the same league as the F-14.
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  19. #19
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    If F-14 counted, then so does F-111
    Well of course it does, the F-111 entered service in the late 60s. Not sure it would have been a great fighter though with out relying on the AIM-54. Radar at the 70s were still iffy. It would've been eaten alive by MiG-21s, F-5s and Mirages if it got in close.

    I am curious what people would say if we did exclude the F-14 though. it seems near unanimous

  20. #20
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    MadRat: Su-24 hasn't been considered yet. It doesn't have MiG-25 performance, but it wasn't exactly a world loser.

    If F-14 counted, then so does F-111. The F-111 is a better all-around airframe than F-14 and we know a tactical bomber FB-111A can be developed off it. But it's too much cost for filling all the gaps and it's not an answer to MiG-25.

    The Mirage F.2 would have been justified over Mirage F.1, so IMHO the F.1 is a no go. It's more likely to handle MiG-25 in a fighter role. The Mirage 2000 is the natural offspring.

    The F-4E Phantom would easily retain its hold on the majority of the market. F-15 is its natural successor. F-4E could be modified to handle MiG-25, but the F-4E was always multi-role so a natural choice.

    The MiG-25 becomes justified over the MiG-23 exports. If resources were actually committed beyond its PVO role, it's a great airframe worthy of modifications. The MiG-31 was right around the corner
    This thread is about "fighters". Not bombers, attack aircraft or interceptors.

    The Su-24 was/is not a fighter.

    The F-111 as deployed was not a fighter, despite the "F" designation. While designed as both a fighter and bomber, the Navy B version, for Fleet air defense, was not ordered into production. I disagree that it has "a better all-around airframe than the F-14" if we are discussing fighters, the purpose of this thread. It was too big and heavy to be an effective fighter. The F-14 was lighter and much more maneuverable than the F-111B, but used the radar and AIM-54 missiles that had been developed for the F-111B.

    Mirage F2 was never ordered.

    F-4E. A good choice, until the F-14 comes out, then to the F-15.

    MiG-25. A high speed interceptor. I could only see very few scenarios where you would want that to be the "core fighter" of your force- the purpose of this thread. IF the only scenario you had for your air force was to intercept high altitude bomber threats then a long range interceptor may be what you want. But most would not want it as their main, core, fighter. Even the USSR had other fighters for their mix, and soon after the MiG-25 came out started work on the MiG-29 and Su-27. If the MiG-25 was so good why did they begin the Mig-29 and the Su-27 programs? Because they wanted FIGHTERS, to go along with their interceptors.

  21. #21
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    @sandiago89



    I slightly disagree b/c this was the 3 to 3.5 gen era before the sleek and light F-16's Mig 29's and stuff came out. It was an era in flux. I mean the F-14 was too heavy to be considered a pure fighter. All of the jets in this timeframe were a blend of the fighter bomber role.

    Where as previously we had the small/light strap on rockets like the Migs and Sabers. Then after this era we kinda went back to that with the Mig 29's, F-16's su 27's and F-15's.

  22. #22
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    This thread is about "fighters". Not bombers, attack aircraft or interceptors.

    F-4E. A good choice, until the F-14 comes out, then to the F-15.
    The way I understand it, it's about the search for one combat aircraft to equip your air force. Naturally, that has to be something with a robust A/A capability but also A/G. So one multirole fighter to equip your air force. I'm not sure a 70s Tomcat beats a late model F-4E in the A/G area.
    How can less be more? It's impossible. More is more.
    Yngwie Malmsteen

  23. #23
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    But it could if ordered with A2G upgrade.

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    1. Viggen
    2. Mirage F1
    3. if all else fails a combination of MiG-23ML and BN.

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    Mirage F.2 was cancelled after getting through a mature development. It was dropped because the French conceded a split buy for the air force. If the French had opted for a single airframe the Mirage F.2 lives and Mirage F.1 never happened.

    And to reject Su-24 is simply being obtuse. Su-24 developed from a fighter. Sukhoi was disappointed with Su-19. There was no requirement for it. They revived it as Su-24 in much the same way F-111 was restructured for tactical work. It's a shame F-111 never made it on carrier decks, but A-6 was already adequate and the USN was cash starved.

    MiG-25 actually had a dozen variants for quite a wide spectrum of roles. No doubt it could have been adapted to fighter-bomber or geared at least for both attack and strike roles. I always thought the RB variants looked the best. That long nose and the wing tanks were reminiscent of F-15A. The P variants always looked overly bulbous. The fuselage needed more space IMO. Regardless of my opines, it's still literally the iconic Cold War fighter of the Soviet Union.

    Viggen is an interesting option. Stick Pratt & Whitney J75-P-5A or a pair of late model J57's in it and I think you're better off. It would have been cool with all-moving canards, rather than trim-set, but actuator technology probably wasn't quite ready for that task yet. I also wouldn't have minded it less with square intakes. Performance-wise the Viggen was more myth than legend, but there is no denying it had utility.
    Last edited by MadRat; 31st January 2018 at 03:44.
    Go Huskers!

  26. #26
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    ^ not quite correct. your statement leads me to believe you must be in your 50s or 60s and read about it a Cold War era book.

    There were three 'Su-19's

    1. The one mistakingly identified by NATO that thought it was a new fighter. This never existed and was disproven after the end of the cold war
    2. Sukhoi internal designation for an Su-15 variant (another interceptor)
    3. Sukhoi internal designation for an Su-17 variant (ground attack)

    At the end of the day the Su-24 was never derived from a fighter. it was straight up ground attack from day one. All of San Diego's points are valid.

  27. #27
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    But it could if ordered with A2G upgrade.
    Whatifs are an option? Don't think so what would be the point of this thread.
    How can less be more? It's impossible. More is more.
    Yngwie Malmsteen

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    Viggen is an interesting option. Stick Pratt & Whitney J75-P-5A or a pair of late model J57's in it and I think you're better off. It would have been cool with all-moving canards, rather than trim-set, but actuator technology probably wasn't quite ready for that task yet. I also wouldn't have minded it less with square intakes. Performance-wise the Viggen was more myth than legend, but there is no denying it had utility.
    Right. The J75 is older. The JT8D based RM8 was developped because a suitable engine was not available. The J57 would have been available which is a pretty strong indicator that it was not suitable.
    And replacing the RM8 with a pair of older engines is even more ridiculous. Not to mention it's a complete what if aswell.
    How can less be more? It's impossible. More is more.
    Yngwie Malmsteen

  29. #29
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    Thinking about the F-111.
    Useless as a fighter, so not a good choice.

    Unless the enemy is far away and has no air refuelling assets. His fighters, let's say Mirage F1, can't harm me and my bases at all. Out of reach. My F-111s visit him every night and decimate his forces on the ground. They're going to have a hard time defending themselves from F-111 night attacks, as would anyone during the 70s.
    So depending on the geographical situation, the F-111 is indeed an option.
    How can less be more? It's impossible. More is more.
    Yngwie Malmsteen

  30. #30
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    @vann-
    Wow, labeling me as living in the 1950's... priceless. Does that make you a real keyboard warrior due to being from the age of the internet? Seriously, trying to ad hominem me with an age label not only is against forum rules, it's also a blatant deflection. T-6, which is the origin of the Su-24, began as an offshoot of Su-15 scaled up and adding in technologies for short field performance. It started with a quad lifter arrangement and evolved to its current shape. Su-24 had 2/3 the range and payload, but enjoyed a big speed advantage over F-111.

    @eagle-
    You are arguing that a J75 proven motor with more performance and similar volume is somehow worse. Viggen was used in two roles, as an attack plane (e.g. F-105) and as an interceptor (e.g. F-106), which were roles J75 did well. And it greatly exceeded RM8 in performance for slightly worse fuel burn. And J75 came in substantially cheaper.

    The RM8 was basically a J52 with an afterburner. It did have about 20% less fuel consumption across it's upper performance range over J57. But the J57 was proven and much cheaper. A pair of J57 would have put it into a heavier weight class, with quite a bit more room to grow, for slightly more cost than a single RM8.

    People have this notion Sweden built the RM8 when the truth is they modified imported engines. The truth is they could have just as easily imported TF30 or F100 from the U.S. or M53 from France. All of them would have been cheaper in the overall program.
    Last edited by MadRat; 1st February 2018 at 05:59.
    Go Huskers!

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