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Posted: 7/31/2002 1:34:39 PM EDT
Los Angeles Times: Navy's New Hornet Carries a Bigger Sting Than Predecessor (you have to reg/login to read story) [url]http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-hornet31jul31005050.story?coll=la%2Dheadlines%2Dnation%2Dmanual[/url] THE NATION Navy's New Hornet Carries a Bigger Sting Than Predecessor By TONY PERRY TIMES STAFF WRITER July 31 2002 ABOARD THE CARRIER ABRAHAM LINCOLN, off Southern California--On the flight deck above, the Navy's newest warplane, the F/A-18E Super Hornet, is landing with the thunderous thump that befits its 34,000 pounds. Below decks, in the ready room of squadron VFA115, Cmdr. Jeff Penfield explains what the Super Hornet will take to the fight compared to other U.S. aircraft: "More lethality." Bigger, heavier and more expensive than the original Hornets that joined the fleet in the early 1980s, the Super Hornets are built to carry more bombs and more missiles and have what aviators call "longer legs." With larger fuel tanks, the Super Hornet can fly farther without refueling than the earlier version and can "loiter" longer over targets waiting for bombing assignments to be coordinated. Super Hornets also can act as refueling tankers, a first for a strike fighter aircraft. After a decade of research and development, and after overcoming aeronautic problems and political opposition, the Super Hornet finally is deemed ready for combat, the Navy's first new fighter design in nearly two decades. As the Lincoln and its battle group head toward an uncertain mission in the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea, the 12 Super Hornets in Penfield's squadron, which is based at the Naval Air Station at Lemoore, Calif., are the first to be deployed to a war zone. "A lot of people are looking at us, wondering if we'll fall on our faces," said Cmdr. Dale Horan, the squadron's executive officer. "The airplane has proven itself. Now it's up to us to show what we're capable of." The Super Hornet could be considered the aviation equivalent of the sports-utility vehicle: a large, pricey conveyance that gives away some speed and maneuverability in exchange for enhanced mission capabilities and greater protection in case of a mishap. Boosters say it has the dogfighting ability of the F-14 Tomcat, greater bombing punch than the early Hornet, the midair refueling capability of the S-3 Viking and, with some tweaking, the electronic warfare function of the AE-6B Prowler. -- continued --
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 1:46:55 PM EDT
Still, critics are concerned that the single-seat Super Hornet design may leave pilots "overtasked" by the complexities of handling the new and sophisticated systems, particularly during the high stress of combat. (A two-person version of the Super Hornet, the F/A-18F, is being tested by other squadrons.) "They say it takes 1.8 persons to fly a Super Hornet, but there's only one of us in the plane," said Lt. Rob Kihm aboard the Lincoln. "The goal is to be on top of everything when you're in the cockpit." Navy brass believe the Super Hornet is the combat workhorse of the future, at least until the Joint Strike Fighter being built for the Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps is delivered late this decade or early in the next. Vice Adm. John Nathman, commander of Naval Air Force, Pacific Fleet, said the Super Hornet brings "quantum improvements" in range, payload and the ability to "strike targets deep in-country," like those in Afghanistan. With the increasing difficulty of convincing foreign countries to allow the U.S. to base planes on their soil, the longer-range Super Hornet will be able to reach targets from a carrier, Nathman said. Innovation does not come cheaply. At $57 million each, the Super Hornet is nearly double the cost of the earlier version. (The Marine Corps, which flies the Hornet, decided that the Super Hornet was too expensive.) Boeing Co. has a contract to build 222 Super Hornets for the Navy at its St. Louis plant, with the possibility of 300 more, although Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld is considering trimming the order as a cost-cutting measure. The main subcontractor, Northrop Grumman Corp., has 1,500 employees at its El Segundo plant working on Super Hornets. Raytheon Co. in El Segundo has 200 workers providing the radar and targeting technology. The goal is for the Super Hornet to replace the aging Tomcats and Hornets. The new plane's increased size--taller, longer, wider and 8,000 pounds heavier than the "heritage" Hornets--has earned it the nickname Rhino. It does not have the top-end speed of the Hornet, not to mention the super-fast Tomcat, the Tom Cruise plane from the movie "Top Gun." "I miss that [the Tomcat speed], I'll be honest with you," said Horan, a former F-14 pilot. "But tactics are such I should never get in that situation where I need that extra speed." Any drop-off in speed, Super Hornet pilots say, is more than compensated by other improvements in the plane. "A short guy with a gun beats a big guy with a knife," said Cmdr. Brian Gawne. "The ability to point your nose and shoot in the Super Hornet is unmatched." If you want other stories on this topic, search the Archives at latimes.com/archives. For information about reprinting this article, go to www.lats.com/rights. Copyright 2002 Los Angeles Times
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 1:47:39 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 1:51:00 PM EDT
Watched the engineers doing zero cat shoots on the Super Hornet when I was on the Stennis, they see what the lowest pressure is for the a/c to be shot off the deck at different weights. They were getting close and shot the a/c at the same time lost the head wind, the main mounts almost touched the water, sat on the hanger deck that night beating our lot seven a/c with a hammer an talked to the pilot. he said he almost cr*pped his flight suit.
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 1:53:41 PM EDT
From the Boeing site: "The F414 produces a combined 44,000 pounds of thrust. Its nine-to-one thrust-to-weight ratio is one of the highest of any modern fighter engine." 44,000 / 9 = 4889 lbs. That would mean that the F/A-18E weighs less than 5000 pounds empty? Am I confused? It was a big deal when the F15 broke the 1:1 thrust ratio so it could accelerate straight up, so this would be an insane leap in power?
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 1:58:49 PM EDT
Cool. I got a friend on the Abraham Lincoln! Too bad she went off and married some sailor earlier this year. She said she was in love with me, and wanted to move back here, marry me, and drink margaritas. Oh well. Time to rethink my plans!
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 2:01:24 PM EDT
I've read in several diff. puplications that the "super hornet"is a compromise/POS,stop gap.Does lots of things OK,but none exceptionally.The Navy doesn't have a deep strike replacement for the Intruder possessing similar range/payload capabilities,except for the F-14 of which there aren't many.
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 2:01:48 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SJSAMPLE: From the Boeing site: "The F414 produces a combined 44,000 pounds of thrust. Its nine-to-one thrust-to-weight ratio is one of the highest of any modern fighter engine." 44,000 / 9 = 4889 lbs. That would mean that the F/A-18E weighs less than 5000 pounds empty? Am I confused? It was a big deal when the F15 broke the 1:1 thrust ratio so it could accelerate straight up, so this would be an insane leap in power?
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I think they mean power of the engine to weight OF THE ENGINE, not the airframe, so you figured the weight of ONE of the two motors.
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 2:03:13 PM EDT
My brother-in-law in with VFA-115. He works on the FLIR systems on the F-18E/F He is currently on-board the Lincon and looking forward to his first cruse(sucker!) echo6
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 2:21:56 PM EDT
[img]www.boeing.com/defense-space/military/fa18ef/images/e35-13-106.jpg[/img]
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 2:37:23 PM EDT
[img]http://www.airforce-technology.com/projects/rafale/images/rafale4.jpg[/img] More than a match for any version of the Hornet. And a nightmare for the Tomcat. Don't believe me? Read this month's Air Forces Monthly. Page 47, July issue:
"Fighting against the Hornet is a bit harder, but thanks to its high thrust-to weight ratio, low wing loading and extreme agility, the Rafale is markedly superior, and has a leading edge. Also, the Hornet is less protected against a departure from controlled flight at very low speed, and F/A-18 pilots have to be more careful than us.... Americans refuse to take part in a full-scale combat simulation. They do not want Rafales with MICA's to be pitted against Hornets with AIM-120 AMRAAM's"
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Maybe a naval version of the F-22 is not such a bad idea after all.
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 2:42:29 PM EDT
Originally Posted By platform389: [img]http://www.airforce-technology.com/projects/rafale/images/rafale4.jpg[/img] More than a match for any version of the Hornet. And a nightmare for the Tomcat. Don't believe me? Read this month's Air Forces Monthly. Page 47, July issue:
"Fighting against the Hornet is a bit harder, but thanks to its high thrust-to weight ratio, low wing loading and extreme agility, the Rafale is markedly superior, and has a leading edge. Also, the Hornet is less protected against a departure from controlled flight at very low speed, and F/A-18 pilots have to be more careful than us.... Americans refuse to take part in a full-scale combat simulation. They do not want Rafales with MICA's to be pitted against Hornets with AIM-120 AMRAAM's"
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Maybe a naval version of the F-22 is not such a bad idea after all.
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It doesn't matter HOW good that thing is. Once hostilities against France start, there is a command controlled force wide bailout of all French pilots. There was nothing wrong with French RIFLES during WWII, was there? The problem is with the French, not their equipment. Plus, that's a pretty one-sided story, the French guy explaining why the Amis won't play war with them.
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 2:47:20 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/31/2002 2:47:57 PM EDT by platform389]
The problem is with the French, not their equipment.
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No, actually the problem is who the French sell this next generation plane to. When the carrier arrives off the coast of Somewherebadville, it could be bad if these come out to meet them.
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 2:50:15 PM EDT
I guess none of you saw the X-47A test run the other day. [url]http://www.irconnect.com/noc/pages/news_releases.mhtml?d=29780[/url] A UAV that can take off and land on carriers! This thing doesn't look too far out. Wait till we throw a bunch of these on deck. I was dissapointed with the A-12 failure and i'm not all that jazzed about the F-18E either. But with UAV making big strides, it may have all worked out for the best. How long till we only have a handful of manned planes on the carriers?
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 2:50:32 PM EDT
platform389 Not really a fair comparison since the Rafale is a half generation newer in design,a plane that has been under development for the last twenty years. You guys see the latest Popular mechanics?It has a study of an F-22F/B version.Tail less,large delta wing,Much greater fuel load and payload.Looks and sounds like a real killer.I hope they do build these for the Air Force and possibly for the Navy aswell.
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 2:50:43 PM EDT
Bigger, heavier and more expensive.a large, pricey conveyance that gives away some speed and maneuverability in exchange for enhanced mission capabilities and greater protection in case of a mishap.
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Isn't this attitude what got us in trouble over North Vietnam?A 1-1 kill ratio for awhile when we tried to dogfight the Migs?This is exactly why the F16 was designed.
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 2:54:54 PM EDT
MY only Beef with the super hornet is that i think it is going to be put into roles that it really was not Built for. I mean as a strike Fighter, the role that the navy bought it for, it will probably be supurb. but useing it to replace the F-14 kinda seems like a dumb idea, as the F-14 is a fundemntaly a much better interceptor. now Im not gonna say we need to up date the tomcat, give it thrust vectoring and all of that, its too late for that now. they are running very low on parts, and the b/d versions are going to soldier on until the very last bit of airframe time is run out. But the navy really should have gotten its ATF type fighter. THe SH can't hold a candle to the F-22 wich will enter service (hopefully) in 3 years. And the navys JSF will be inferior to the airforce JSF in almost every repect. It just seems to me like the navy is gettin the short end of the stick here.
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 3:11:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/31/2002 3:13:44 PM EDT by platform389]
Originally Posted By byron2112: Not really a fair comparison since the Rafale is a half generation newer in design,a plane that has been under development for the last twenty years.
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I certainly agree completely it is not fair at all. But you can be sure a "real world" comparison will take place when the French sell this to anyone with the cash. Meanwhile E/F version is the best the USN will field for a good long while. That is the kind of comparison we can do without, don't you agree?
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 3:13:05 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 3:30:23 PM EDT
Yeah,I agree. What I've read infers that the Navy will be basically emasculated and certainly less capable with the S/Hornet trying to fullfill every role,till we get the JSF operational.Why we used a compromised,bastardised "upgrade"of an orginally multi role ltwt airframe doesn't make much sense too me. What they need is a large two seat aircraft that caries lots of ordinance and fuel ala F-14.Seems a plane like that can fullfill standoff interception,deepstrike,E-warefare and any other tactical type situation.Why can't another larger more pedestrian airframe handle command and control,anti sub, and tanker duties?Instead we've got a half dozen older and compromised types (some performing missions there not optimized for)performing these jobs. One article I read suggested we purchase airframes in the Su-27 type from the russians(as a stopgap till JSF) and install our own electronics,since this type possesses the required speed,manueverability, size and resulting range and weapons handling cpability we're losing with the demise of the Intruder and the Tomcat. Apparently we can't construct more F-14's cause Cheney had the molds and tooling dumped into the ocean,when he was GB#1's defense secretary,in anticipation of the next generation taking flight with those dollars rather than the older tech, high$ Tomcat. I guess Clinton took care of that for us......eh?
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 3:39:46 PM EDT
Paul, I was composing my last post before reading yours.I appreciate your firsthand knowledge as oppossed to my book read enthusiasm. I never question the skill or tenacity of our pilots,I just hope the politicians are giving THEM the most survivable aicraft,and the nation the most effective weapons. Just seems like we have less margine for wasting funds these days.We need longrange effeective solutions. Thanks again.
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 3:44:38 PM EDT
Fighting there way in with a full bomb load sounds pretty hairy.High pucker factor.....No?
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 3:55:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/31/2002 4:30:54 PM EDT by LWilde]
Originally Posted By platform389: [img]http://www.airforce-technology.com/projects/rafale/images/rafale4.jpg[/img] More than a match for any version of the Hornet. And a nightmare for the Tomcat. Don't believe me? Read this month's Air Forces Monthly. Page 47, July issue:
"Fighting against the Hornet is a bit harder, but thanks to its high thrust-to weight ratio, low wing loading and extreme agility, the Rafale is markedly superior, and has a leading edge. Also, the Hornet is less protected against a departure from controlled flight at very low speed, and F/A-18 pilots have to be more careful than us.... Americans refuse to take part in a full-scale combat simulation. They do not want Rafales with MICA's to be pitted against Hornets with AIM-120 AMRAAM's"
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Maybe a naval version of the F-22 is not such a bad idea after all.
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Yup...your probably right about the merits of the two airframes. The Frog bird is most likely a better airplane than the Turkey...and I suspect by a fairly big margin too. And why is that? Well, the Tomcat is 30+ years old now and the Hornet design is not far behind. Additionally, I suspect that the Rafale will never be called upon to carry out the multitude of missions that either of the two American attack fighters have and will continue to do. Now the Turkey is humping bombs for crissake. When I was in the Navy, the F-14 was just an interceptor...and the best in the world at that. I suspect that in a BVR engagement, the advantage is still with the Tomcat since they still carry (for the time being anyway) the Phoenix. Even the Rafale can't get away from that bird without a good bit of luck. No doubt that the F/A-18s are more susceptible to stalls than the Frog plane. Just look at the canards on the Rafale and you'll know why. In a dogfight, I might well opt for the Frog plane...but getting close is the hard part. You may also be right about the Americans refusing to engage in air to air combat games. I wouldn't if I were in charge. It is a no-win situation for us. The Frogs have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain. Why should I try that silly gambit? Hey...the Germans do a pretty fair job on our guys at the Red Flag training in Germany with their MiG-29s. The Frogs in their Rafales would probably do as well or better against our guys...so why waste the money? Bottom line, as has always been the case, it is usually the relative abilities of the individual pilots that make the difference. Finally, what are the Frogs going to fly their new planes from? Their new carrier the Charles de Gaulle has turned out to be a super dud. They have what...one...and it still hasn't passed sea trials? We have 13?...plus the escorts, plus the subs? Pretty plane though. I like it a lot better than the butt ugly Hornet. Building pretty planes doesn't make a country a world power. They Frogs know that...and the realization that their time is long past drives their Gallic egos crazy! That's why they are so envious of us. They would love for a Napoleon redux...but that ain't gonna happen. The world is our oyster now. [soapbox] Edited 'cause beers and typing don't mix worth a damn! [beer]
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 4:17:26 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 4:57:43 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Paul: LWilde - no kidding! When is France going to lay the keel on their super carrier? The answer to that would be NEVER! Naval aircraft are heavier and larger due to thier mission - flying off of the super carriers. Everything needs to be built heavy into the aircraft to make them carrier worthy. About 20 or 30 years from now when France builds an aircraft carrier to fly these off of we'll be a couple of generations beyond them. Our Air Force fighters would be a better and more of a fair match against the frog's Rafale. I think the F-15 Eagle's kill ratio is like 200:1 if I recall correctly [:D]. The Falcon is no slacker either.
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Sorry Paul, I miss your point. I was speaking of the Frogs' new CVN, the Charles de Gaulle. I don't classify her as any sort of "super" carrier and here's why: LOA: 850' Beam: 215' Full load displacement: 41,000 tons Two reactors, max speed available 27 knots Aircraft: 40 max (F1EQ-5 Super Etendards, Rafales, E-2C Hawkeyes, & helos. Combat system consists of traditional rotating radars, EW gear, comms and missiles somewhat analoguous to our NATO Seasparrow. In other words...this pig is a lot like my first ship in sheer size...the USS YORKTOWN (CV-10) back in 1966. The Essex class with the SCB-27 conversions that included the angle decks displaced about 37,000 tons fully loaded. This Frog is about the same size...albeit far more advanced than the old Essex class...but far less than our Nimitz ships. I learned last month that the Frogs were experiencing some very severe engineering problems and that is why the ship is years behind her scheduled delivery. The Frogs don't have anything near the infrastructure or will to make a Nimitz class ship...or anything close for that matter. Only we do. As to the merits of each fighter, including our USAF birds...I can't say which is better. An Air Force Eagle driver friend of mine is convinced that his is the best...UNLESS he had to go up against a Turkey with Phoenix. In an eyeball to eyeball fight, he thinks the F-16 is most maneuverable, like the old Mitsubishi Zero Sen...but then it had weaknesses too. He happens to like the Eagle and I guess if I was a fighter pilot, I'd want to fly one of those too. The best pure fighter in the entire world RIGHT NOW is probably the Russian MiG-29 and its derivatives...WITH the latest radar, missiles and EW self protection systems. I realize that this may be hard to accept but believe me that plane is a wonderful mix of raw flight capabilities, superb weapons, and killer EW self protection. I would say that it isn't the BEST at every single characteristic or trait...but when all tied together, it is an awesome weapons system platform. That is why our Naval aviators go to Germany to train with the Fulcrum drivers. That plane is one good reason we need the JSF and the F-22. Finally, I agree, the French are never going to build a super carrier. Like I said...that is something that so far, only we can do. Crap...they haven't been the same since the Marquis de Lafayette. Even Napoleon screwed up a good thing.
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 5:28:17 PM EDT
There was a show on the History (I think) Channel last week concerning the F/A-18E Super Hornet. At the end of the program, they mentioned that the Navy is looking at the 18E to be a replacement for just about every fixed wing aircraft currently used aboard a carrier (except the COD). The 18E will replace: Fighter Role: The F14 Tomcat, due to be retired from the fleet in 2004-2006. Attack Role: A-6 Intruder Refueler: A-6 Intruder Attack ECM: E-6 Prowler. Proposed name of the F18 version will be Growler. I don't know if this is true or not, but according to the show, the Navy is reviewing all these variants. They didn't mention what they were going to do for ASW aircraft, but I can't imagine using an F18 variant in a ASW role. I doesn't have the 'legs' required without constant refueling. As good an aircraft as the F/A-18 is, using it for more than it was designed, will put it into roles that are not suitable and may even be deficient.
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 5:43:49 PM EDT
Not sure if this is a pic of 2 of the same type of Hornets (one above the other) of a pic of one of the bigger Super Hornets next to (side by side) the first generation smaller one. [img]http://www.boeing.com/defense-space/military/fa18ef/images/fa18ef17.jpg[/img]
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 5:51:41 PM EDT
Ahh, now I can tell they are an older and newer version. Quite a size difference. [img]http://www.boeing.com/defense-space/military/fa18ef/images/fa18ef19.jpg[/img]
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