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 Post subject: Re: USAF Fighters V6.2
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 2:07 am 
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You beat me to it!

Stuart, do you think there would be any way to address my suggestion for a more detailed elemental comparison re F16 & Typhoon?

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 Post subject: Re: USAF Fighters V6.2
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 11:48 am 
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Francis Urquhart wrote:
The Bushranger wrote:
Musing on that made me wonder about the first aircraft that WOULD have gotten a F-16E designation; is there enough data on the F-16XL for a computation to be made?


Sadly, no. There's manufacturer's estimates but I have about as much faith in those as I do in statements out of the White House.

This is rather surprising. It seems like there should be more information on them, whether from the USAF evaluation vs. the F-15E or from their years with NASA. Were the ones built just that far from any possible production configuration?

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 Post subject: Re: USAF Fighters V6.2
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 12:49 pm 
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Philistine wrote:
This is rather surprising. It seems like there should be more information on them, whether from the USAF evaluation vs. the F-15E or from their years with NASA. Were the ones built just that far from any possible production configuration?


They were essentially aerodynamic test-beds. That's primarily why they lost out to the F-15E. The F-16XL essentially didn't exist; the aircraft that actually competed was more of an artists conception of what the real aircraft might look like. There was a lot of talk at the time that GD didn't even want it to be selected; entering it was their way of getting USAF development money. That's why I'm very reluctant to put prototypes and what-ifs in. The latter I exclude completely, the former have to be very interesting indeed.

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 Post subject: Re: USAF Fighters V6.2
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 12:53 pm 
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The Bushranger wrote:
...also, would it be possible to include the YFM-1 Airacuda? It actually technically "entered service" briefly with the AAC, so I'd assume there might be just enough data to scrape by...

Since there was a whole squadron of them in service for a year of so.

Comes out as 92.44. that's pretty good but its along way behind the P-38

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 Post subject: Re: USAF Fighters V6.2
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 3:44 pm 
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Data extracted from the latest tables:

F-18C --------- 913.48
F-16C Blk 25 -- 924.08
F-15C --------- 986.62
F-15E --------- 1071.85
F-16E Blk 60 -- 1151.08
F-18E --------- 1151.61
F-15SG -------- 1245.90
F-35A --------- 1393.07
F-35C --------- 1394.35
F-35B --------- 1408.44
F-22 --------- 1609.84

Given that according to this table, the F-35 series outperforms all variants of the F-15 series, the F-16 series, and the F-18 series, and is very close in performance to the F-22, is this not another data point supporting the argument that TACAIR should move to an all F-35 fleet; to wit: (1) Production of the F-35 should be greatly accelerated; (2) The F-15 series, the F-16 series, and the F-18 series should be completely retired as soon as practically possible consistent with accelerated production of the F-35; and (3) Given how close the F-35 is in performance to the F-22, all 183 F-22's should also be retired just as soon as sufficient F-35A airframes are available to replace them.

Moreover, if these figures are reliable, one could even argue that there is no point to thinking about developing a manned fighter airplane beyond the F-35, because the likely improvements in performance over what the F-35 can deliver won't be worth the enormous costs in time and money needed to develop a manned 5.5 Gen or 6.0 Gen follow-on.


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 Post subject: Re: USAF Fighters V6.2
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 3:54 pm 
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Scott Brim wrote:
Data extracted from the latest tables:

F-18C --------- 913.48
F-16C Blk 25 -- 924.08
F-15C --------- 986.62
F-15E --------- 1071.85
F-16E Blk 60 -- 1151.08
F-18E --------- 1151.61
F-15SG -------- 1245.90
F-35A --------- 1393.07
F-35C --------- 1394.35
F-35B --------- 1408.44
F-22 --------- 1609.84

Given that according to this table, the F-35 series outperforms all variants of the F-15 series, the F-16 series, and the F-18 series, and is very close in performance to the F-22, is this not another data point supporting the argument that TACAIR should move to an all F-35 fleet; to wit: (1) Production of the F-35 should be greatly accelerated; (2) The F-15 series, the F-16 series, and the F-18 series should be completely retired as soon as practically possible consistent with accelerated production of the F-35; and (3) Given how close the F-35 is in performance to the F-22, all 183 F-22's should also be retired just as soon as sufficient F-35A airframes are available to replace them.

Moreover, if these figures are reliable, one could even argue that there is no point to thinking about developing a manned fighter airplane beyond the F-35, because the likely improvements in performance over what the F-35 can deliver won't be worth the enormous costs in time and money needed to develop a manned 5.5 Gen or 6.0 Gen follow-on.


The F-15s and F-16s do need replaced, especially the older ones. We're not that far from when the whole CONUS F-15 fleet was grounded. The F-18E and a lot of the F-15 and F-16 upgrades are stopgap programs until they could be replaced by the F-22 or F/A-35.

The performance differential between the F-35 and the F-22 is about 12.5%. That's a pretty substantial margin of superiority.

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 Post subject: Re: USAF Fighters V6.2
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 4:06 pm 
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Scott Brim wrote:
Data extracted from the latest tables:

F-18C --------- 913.48
F-16C Blk 25 -- 924.08
F-15C --------- 986.62
F-15E --------- 1071.85
F-16E Blk 60 -- 1151.08
F-18E --------- 1151.61
F-15SG -------- 1245.90
F-35A --------- 1393.07
F-35C --------- 1394.35
F-35B --------- 1408.44
F-22 --------- 1609.84

Given that according to this table, the F-35 series outperforms all variants of the F-15 series, the F-16 series, and the F-18 series, and is very close in performance to the F-22, is this not another data point supporting the argument that TACAIR should move to an all F-35 fleet; to wit: (1) Production of the F-35 should be greatly accelerated; (2) The F-15 series, the F-16 series, and the F-18 series should be completely retired as soon as practically possible consistent with accelerated production of the F-35; and (3) Given how close the F-35 is in performance to the F-22, all 183 F-22's should also be retired just as soon as sufficient F-35A airframes are available to replace them.

Moreover, if these figures are reliable, one could even argue that there is no point to thinking about developing a manned fighter airplane beyond the F-35, because the likely improvements in performance over what the F-35 can deliver won't be worth the enormous costs in time and money needed to develop a manned 5.5 Gen or 6.0 Gen follow-on.


The performance advantage of any flavour of the F-35 vs teen series is compelling. But I'd caution against thinking "no manned fighters".... Time and again having a man in the loop has prove invaluable, and wireless comms can be jammed.

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 Post subject: Re: USAF Fighters V6.2
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 4:08 pm 
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Craiglxviii wrote:
Stuart, do you think there would be any way to address my suggestion for a more detailed elemental comparison re F16 & Typhoon?

Around here, there's usually a good reason for a question not being answered.
Johnnie Lyle wrote:
The performance differential between the F-35 and the F-22 is about 12.5%. That's a pretty substantial margin of superiority.

It's roughly equivalent to the difference between a late-model P-51 (about 140) and an early-model P-80 (about 160), which is not a trivial upgrade.

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 Post subject: Re: USAF Fighters V6.2
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 4:12 pm 
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RLBH wrote:
Craiglxviii wrote:
Stuart, do you think there would be any way to address my suggestion for a more detailed elemental comparison re F16 & Typhoon?

Around here, there's usually a good reason for a question not being answered.
Johnnie Lyle wrote:
The performance differential between the F-35 and the F-22 is about 12.5%. That's a pretty substantial margin of superiority.

It's roughly equivalent to the difference between a late-model P-51 (about 140) and an early-model P-80 (about 160), which is not a trivial upgrade.


Nope. A 12% margin of superiority means a lot of guys and gals coming home alive, and a lot of bad guys not.

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 Post subject: Re: USAF Fighters V6.2
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 4:57 pm 
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Craiglxviii wrote:
The performance advantage of any flavour of the F-35 vs teen series is compelling. But I'd caution against thinking "no manned fighters".... Time and again having a man in the loop has prove invaluable, and wireless comms can be jammed.

I didn't say, "No manned fighters." I said that if the gains to be had from building 5.5 Gen and 6.0 Gen manned fighters are not substantial over the F-35 -- let's pick a figure of say 25%, roughly another 400 points -- then is there justification for building a new manned fighter? The alternative to UCAV's is just to keep on building F-35s and equip them with an ever-expanding array of BVR standoff weaponry types.

Johnnie Lyle wrote:
The F-15s and F-16s do need replaced, especially the older ones. We're not that far from when the whole CONUS F-15 fleet was grounded. The F-18E and a lot of the F-15 and F-16 upgrades are stopgap programs until they could be replaced by the F-22 or F/A-35. .... The performance differential between the F-35 and the F-22 is about 12.5%. That's a pretty substantial margin of superiority.

If A2/AD systems and IADS systems are evolving at an accelerating pace in ways that reduce the near to mid-term effectiveness of stealth capabilities and also reduce the value of the WVR agile maneuvering capabilities of the F-22, then it could be that the 12.5% difference between the F35 and the F-22 is a difference which won't make any real difference a decade from now.

If the F-35 truly is the airplane its advocates say that it is, and if we could build them quickly enough, there isn't a reason for keeping the F-15, the F-16, the F-18, and the F-22 in service much beyond 2025; there isn't a reason to build an unmanned UCLASS for the US Navy; and there isn't a reason to be considering a 5.5 Gen or 6.0 Gen manned fighter. Just keep building F-35's indefinitely into the future.


Last edited by Scott Brim on Wed Sep 16, 2015 5:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: USAF Fighters V6.2
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 4:58 pm 
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Craiglxviii wrote:
Stuart, do you think there would be any way to address my suggestion for a more detailed elemental comparison re F16 & Typhoon?

There would be several ways to address it but I think they would all land me in jail. To be meaningful, that sort of comparison is the material that gets used when analyzing bids and so on. There is another problem; this is the kind of top-tier analysis that suffers form a sort of overview pixilation. It's a nice clean number right now but if we start drilling down into the data it loses clarity very quickly. The amount of information overwhelms presentation.

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 Post subject: Re: USAF Fighters V6.2
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 12:42 am 
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Francis Urquhart wrote:
The real problem is that F designation. The F-35 is really a 21st century A-7. If we called it the A-35, a lot of problems would go away. Only then, it would be painfully obvious we don't really have a front line fighter.

You say that like it's a bad thing.
Except it should be A-14.

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 Post subject: Re: USAF Fighters V6.2
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 3:14 am 
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Francis Urquhart wrote:
Craiglxviii wrote:
Stuart, do you think there would be any way to address my suggestion for a more detailed elemental comparison re F16 & Typhoon?

There would be several ways to address it but I think they would all land me in jail. To be meaningful, that sort of comparison is the material that gets used when analyzing bids and so on. There is another problem; this is the kind of top-tier analysis that suffers form a sort of overview pixilation. It's a nice clean number right now but if we start drilling down into the data it loses clarity very quickly. The amount of information overwhelms presentation.


OK, thanks for the response and for the record the last thing I'd want to do is land you in jail!

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 Post subject: Re: USAF Fighters V6.2
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 2:06 pm 
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ByronC wrote:
Francis Urquhart wrote:
The real problem is that F designation. The F-35 is really a 21st century A-7. If we called it the A-35, a lot of problems would go away. Only then, it would be painfully obvious we don't really have a front line fighter.

You say that like it's a bad thing.
Except it should be A-14.

If it is perfectly true, as the F-35's advocates claim it is true, that the F-35 can handle all the F-22's air superiority missions and roles assuming sufficient numbers are procured, the "F" in the F-35 designator is perfectly appropriate.

Another way of stating this point is that if what the F-35's advocates say about it is true, the F-35 is much more than a 21st century A-7, it is a multi-mission 21st century air superiority fighter in its own right, if properly employed as a BVR platform.

If this is the case, there is no pressing need whatsoever to develop another air superiority fighter, either manned or unmanned, because we already have what we need in the F-35.

Just make things simple. Build F-35s until the cows come home and systematically retire all other TACAIR assets as sufficient numbers of new F-35s are delivered.


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 Post subject: Re: USAF Fighters V6.2
PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 12:34 am 
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Scott Brim wrote:
ByronC wrote:
Francis Urquhart wrote:
The real problem is that F designation. The F-35 is really a 21st century A-7. If we called it the A-35, a lot of problems would go away. Only then, it would be painfully obvious we don't really have a front line fighter.

You say that like it's a bad thing.
Except it should be A-14.

If it is perfectly true, as the F-35's advocates claim it is true, that the F-35 can handle all the F-22's air superiority missions and roles assuming sufficient numbers are procured, the "F" in the F-35 designator is perfectly appropriate.

That's not the point. If we'd called it the A-14, then Congress would hopefully have been less likely to axe F-22 production when they did. I'm less than convinced that the JSF is a perfect replacement for the F-22, although it's what we have at this point, and it seems like it's going to turn out well in general.

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Just make things simple. Build F-35s until the cows come home and systematically retire all other TACAIR assets as sufficient numbers of new F-35s are delivered.

I'm not sure that's a good plan. Some of those are quite recent, and it's going to be quite a while before the F-35 is ready. And not planning on a replacement is suicide from an industrial sustainment perspective if nothing else.

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 Post subject: Re: USAF Fighters V6.2
PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 7:26 am 
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ByronC wrote:
That's not the point. If we'd called it the A-14, then Congress would hopefully have been less likely to axe F-22 production when they did. I'm less than convinced that the JSF is a perfect replacement for the F-22, although it's what we have at this point, and it seems like it's going to turn out well in general.

Hmm... You'd also get less of a fuss kicked up by the A-10 fans (since a 'A' bird is clearly a dedicated attack aircraft) but more from the F-16 community since their beloved Viper is being replaced with a light attack aircraft that's no good in a dogfight. The latter would be partially offset by the fighter community getting more F-22s to play with, and in fact might well constitute part of the argument for more F-22s.

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 Post subject: Re: USAF Fighters V6.2
PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 7:42 am 
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RLBH wrote:
ByronC wrote:
That's not the point. If we'd called it the A-14, then Congress would hopefully have been less likely to axe F-22 production when they did. I'm less than convinced that the JSF is a perfect replacement for the F-22, although it's what we have at this point, and it seems like it's going to turn out well in general.

Hmm... You'd also get less of a fuss kicked up by the A-10 fans (since a 'A' bird is clearly a dedicated attack aircraft) but more from the F-16 community since their beloved Viper is being replaced with a light attack aircraft that's no good in a dogfight. The latter would be partially offset by the fighter community getting more F-22s to play with, and in fact might well constitute part of the argument for more F-22s.

No, the Cult of the A-10 wouldn't be less annoying. It looks like a regular aircraft, and therefore cannot be good enough to replace the GREATEST AIRCRAFT OF ALL TIME.

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 Post subject: Re: USAF Fighters V6.2
PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 7:52 am 
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ByronC wrote:
No, the Cult of the A-10 wouldn't be less annoying. It looks like a regular aircraft, and therefore cannot be good enough to replace the GREATEST AIRCRAFT OF ALL TIME.

Some of the saner ones just believe that the A-10 is irreplaceable as it is an Attack Aircraft, not a Fighter Aircraft with some bombs strapped on. They would probably be placated if the F-35 was designated in the attack sequence.

Unfortunately, it means that the Cult of the A-10 would be deprived of its' moderating influence. They would be slightly less vocal, but significantly more annoying.

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 Post subject: Re: USAF Fighters V6.2
PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 1:36 pm 
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Do what we did with the F-18. Call it the F/A-35.

The Navy went through all of this when they began replacing the light attack birds, and then the heavy attack birds, with F/A-18s. They added the /A to soothe the attack folk, while keeping the F to soothe the fighter jocks.

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 Post subject: Re: USAF Fighters V6.2
PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2015 3:36 am 
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The Air Force flirted with the (horrible, terrible, no good very bad) "F/A" prefix when the F-22 was under the Congressional cut-gun early on - it was officially the "F/A-22" for a short period of time to emphasise the fact "It's MULTI-ROLE, see!"

The moment Congress stayed the budget axe the "F/A" designator was dropped so fast it ablated on the way down.

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