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9/19/2017 7:27:10 PM
Posted: 1/3/2006 7:58:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/3/2006 7:59:01 PM EDT by KA3B]
DATE:03/01/06
SOURCE:Flight International

The US Air Force has finally moved to address a nearly decade-old need for a full-scale target to succeed its McDonnell Douglas QF-4s, issuing a notice to contractors to start work on proposals for a new analysis of alternatives.

A new air-superiority target development programme is expected to be launched within three years, ahead of a four-year development and demonstration phase and a production decision during fiscal year 2012, says a newly released acquisition document.

The US military destroys 25 QF-4s each year, but replenishes its inventory at a rate of only 20 a year. If that trend continues, QF-4 stocks will be exhausted by about 2011, says a Defense Science Board (DSB) task force report on aerial targets.

The air force has asked industry to submit bids for a new target fleet that could include using retired or stored military aircraft, unmanned combat air vehicles, foreign aircraft or new designs.

New QF variants of the Lockheed Martin F-16 and Boeing F/A-18 are considered leading contenders, with another option being to continue modifying F-4s into targets after acquiring airframes from foreign militaries.

An all-new design could also be selected, such as a concept being proposed by BAE Systems - which prepares QF-4s at a facility in Mojave, California - and Scaled Composites.

Their proposed blended wing/body, all-composite airframe is 16.5m (54ft) long, has an 8.2m wing span and would be powered by a Pratt & Whitney F100-200 engine.

The DSB report found that the "F-16 is the most suitable candidate airframe for replacing the F-4", despite involving upfront development costs.

STEPHEN TRIMBLE/WASHINGTON DC
Link Posted: 1/3/2006 8:02:11 PM EDT
Just use the superhornet - it can do everything!

Link Posted: 1/4/2006 11:15:50 AM EDT
One response and that's it?

It's the F-4 Phantom!!
That should be at least 8 pages....
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 11:17:14 AM EDT
The hummer is done to. Supposed to be totally phased out within 6 years and replaced by....

<­BR>



.....an electric vehicle



Wait, that means they'll be up for auction
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 11:17:32 AM EDT
We have alot of A model 16s sitting at AMRC. Put them to use.
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 11:18:43 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 11:19:17 AM EDT
Saw the F-4's flying at the Reno air races the year before last. I feel fortunate to have seen them fly.
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 11:19:48 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 11:29:54 AM EDT
Fuck that shit!

If we continue to pick fights with turd-world shitholes (like IRAN - hint, hint) we won't have to worry about target shortages.
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 11:36:23 AM EDT
That's great - it's actually mentioned in the article that the F/A-18 could be a replacement for it!

Another addition to the list of accomplishments that incredible aircraft can do; Ground Attack, Fleet Air Defense, Tanker, ASW Platform, Target Drone...

-Gator (had to get the obigatory Hornet bashing in before the thread gets locked)
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 11:46:04 AM EDT

Originally Posted By happycynic:
Just use the superhornet - it can do everything!



LOL.

BTW, there MUST be an alternative to blowing all our Phantoms up.

Link Posted: 1/4/2006 1:08:15 PM EDT
Whenever I go to airshows i always see a ton of F-5's, i think quite a few are private purchase as well. Since they are small nimble fighters, I think they would make a "better" target than an F-4 or F-18.
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 4:49:52 PM EDT
What about surplus Russian M1G-15, -17, -19, -21, etc?

Those will outlast the century!
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