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All that a fighter needs to be: The F-16XL; ...and debunking airpower myths
Topic Started: Jun 2 2006, 08:50 AM (8,545 Views)
possible
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Of course, israeli, I simply added what you had not mentioned. The Block 20s sold to Taiwan are hybrids, new-build F-16 ADF-equivalents with MLU capabilities. Regarding modding ADF's to MLU's, like I said I already posted on the other thread about Jordan upgrading their ADFs. The article quoted states:

Quote:
 
Peace Falcon II

The US embassy in Amman stated that these 6 aircraft were the first of a batch of another 17 (12 A's and 5 B's) that would be delivered to Jordan during the year 2003. All these aircraft are former US ANG F-16 ADF's. These aircraft are to be upgraded with the MLU modification (See Modifications and Armament).

Mid-life Update

For a number of years the Royal Jordanian AF recognized the need to give the leased aircraft a mid-life update in the next 2 or 3 years. It was unclear for a long time whether reference was made to the MLU-program, or just to updates in general.

In January of 2004 however a LOA for an $87 million contract was signed between Jordan and Lockheed-Martin for the update of the 17 Peace Falcon II aircraft. This modification consists of enhancements to the cockpit, avionics, sensors and weapons. These upgrades also improve system reliability and supportability. Together with this upgrade this package also includes Falcon UP and Falcon STAR structural upgrades. These structural upgrades will extend the service life to 8,000 flight hours with these aircraft being able to remain in service for another 20 years. The upgrades will be performed by Turkish Aerospace Industries in its Ankara fascilities. 

http://www.f-16.net/f-16_users_article11.html

In addition:

Quote:
 
FORT WORTH, Texas, October 21, 2004 -- Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] recently received a contract valued at $87 million to support upgrades to 17 F-16A/Bs transferred to the Royal Jordanian Air Force.

The main upgrade is the F-16A/B Mid-Life Update (MLU), essentially the same as being performed on 400 F-16s operated by the five European Participating Air Forces (EPAF). This modification consists of enhancements to the cockpit, avionics, sensors and weapons. These upgrades also improve system reliability and supportability. In addition, future software upgrades will be available through the common M-series F-16 software upgrade program being implemented by the U.S. Air Force and the EPAF.

“This will be a low-risk, cost-effective modification for Jordan’s F-16s,” said David T. Wesolka, Lockheed Martin’s director of F-16 Sustainment Product Group. “No development is required, and they will be upgrading their jets to the same state-of-the-art capability as the five EPAF partners are implementing currently. Plus, they will benefit from the advantages of interoperability with other users of modern F-16s and be able to share in future software updates in a very cost-effective manner.”

The 17 aircraft to be modified are USAF Block 15 F-16A/Bs with the Air Defense Fighter modification provided to Jordan under the Peace Falcon II Foreign Military Sales program. Some were flown to Jordan in 2003 and the rest are in storage in the United States. These aircraft are in addition to the 16 F-16A/Bs received by Jordan in 1997-98 in the Peace Falcon I program.

The upgrade package also includes Falcon UP and Falcon STAR structural upgrades. The structural upgrades will extend the service life to 8,000 flight hours under demanding usage criteria. With typical flight rates, these aircraft could remain in service for another 20 years.

http://www.lockheedmartin.com/wms/findPage...129&ti=0&sc=400

I assume that the price offered to Jordan is the minimum as far as MLU kits are concerned.


War. What is it good for?--James Brown

What's love got to do with it?--Tina Turner

Only the intelligent are brave.
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possible
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edwin
Jul 15 2006, 12:39 AM
possible
Jul 3 2006, 02:23 AM
Try modifying an F/A-18A, edwin. Will you end-up with something almost as good as a Super Hornet?

Which aircraft therefore endured the more expensive and radical alterations to its basic design in order to deliver the full range of capabilities of a true multirole fighter?

Sir Possible,

It is an obvious fact that HOrnet and SuperHornet are the same when it comes to its nature being a Highly versatile Strike fighter Aircraft doing Multi role function since from the start.

appearance wise ,SuperHornet is much larger frame than F/A-18 A to D, but it does exactly all the same role of what was the original F/A-18 A-B are doing from the beginning it was conceived and created.
What was conceived from the start of F/A-18 A-B to do Multi role function is also the same what the SuperHornet is doing as of this moment.

So, in the mind of its inventor or whoever it is, F/A-18 HORNET has the flexibility catch up on whatever Technology that will come in the future.

F/A-18 A,B can be as good as SuperHornet or other 4th generation aircraft because the plane has the flexibility in mind to capitalize on whatever latest technology available since it was created and become operational from the start.

Cheers :armycheers: Peace to all.

:wow: Really, edwin? Technology alone can bridge the gap between the Hornet and the Super Hornet?--But, uhm, why do these people say otherwise?

Quote:
 
1.1 Evolution of the Hornet

The F/A-18A was optimised from the outset as a dual role fighter, with BVR missile capability, superb manoeuvrability for the period, and a fully digital weapon system and glass cockpit which allowed reconfiguration between air-air and air-ground software modes at the touch of a pushbutton. Reliability and low support costs were deemed a priority, and the engines and electronics were significantly derated against contemporary designs to achieve an unprecedented mean Time Between Failure for the period. Top end performance was sacrificed to achieve cost and reliability optimisation. 

The aircraft's principal limitation was in its combat radius
- the combination of `leaky turbojet' engines, pylon drag and 11,000 lb of internal fuel resulted in an effective unrefuelled radius between 250-400 NMI, depending on load, profile, combat fuel reserves and external tank configuration.

Operationally the F/A-18A-D series has proved to be a popular aircraft, with excellent operational reliability, handling and flexible weapons capabilities. Its principal limitation was in combat radius performance, which proved to be a major issue with the progressive retirement of the A-6 fleet, which provided the USN's primary KA-6D tanker aircraft. As the larger KA-3D tankers had already been retired, tanking capacity was becoming an ever scarcer commodity by the nineties.

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

The Super Hornet is substantially a new aircraft, which shares only limited structural commonality with the F/A-18A-D family of fighters. While the F/A-18E/F forward fuselage is derived from the F/A-18C design, the wing, centre and aft fuselage, tail surfaces and powerplants are entirely new. The baseline avionic system is however largely derived from the F/A-18C, with planned growth through further evolved derivatives of the radar, EW and core avionic systems, and entirely new systems where appropriate.

The designation F/A-18E/F reflects the fact that the aircraft is derived from the F/A-18A-D, even if it is a significantly larger airframe design - the program was implemented as an Engineering Change Proposal (ECP) to avoid a costly demonstration program and fly-off, as has occurred with the F-22/YF-23 and JSF. A side effect of this idiosyncrasy in nomenclature is that the F/A-18E/F is frequently dismissed as `just another Hornet', yet the aircraft is different in many respects.

From a design perspective, the most notable change in the Super Hornet is its size, designed around an internal fuel (JP5) capacity of 14,700 lb, or 36% more than the F/A-18C/E. This most closely compares to the F-15C, which has around 10% less internal fuel than the Super Hornet.

Sizing around a 36% greater internal fuel load, with the aim of retaining the established agility performance of the F/A-18C, resulted in a larger wing of 500 sqft area, against the 400 sqft area of the F/A-18C, a 20% increase. The consequent sizing changes result in a 30,885 lb empty weight (31,500 lb basic weight) aircraft, a 30% increase against the F/A-18C. Not surprisingly, the aircraft's empty weight is 8% greater than the F-15C, reflecting the structural realities of catapult launches and tailhook recoveries. 

The larger F414 engine, a refanned and evolved F404 variant, delivers 20,700 lb static SL thrust in afterburner, which is around 8% less than the F100-PW-220 in the F-15C. (Photo Neville Dawson)

The simplest metric of the F/A-18E/F is that it is an F-15A-D sized F/A-18C derivative, optimised for the naval environment. The similarity in size between the F/A-18E/F and F-15A-D is no coincidence - as the original VFAX studies in the 1960s and 1970s showed, this is the optimal fighter size for the given combat radius. In effect, the F/A-18E/F is what the F/A-18A Hornet should have been from the outset, had it not been hobbled at birth by a budget driven bureaucracy.

http://www.sci.fi/~fta/aviat-5.htm

F/A-18E/F Super Hornet

Without the single-seat F/A-18E and the two-seat F/A-18F Super Hornet, the Navy would have little justification for the aircraft carrier in the next decade. Unless the sea service can equip its flattops with an aircraft more capable against modern defenses, the striking power of the aircraft carrier will be limited, and the risk of losses in action against any modern adversary will be high.

To save on logistics costs, the Navy about a decade ago decided to move toward fewer types of aircraft on the flight deck at sea. The Navy chose to focus its carrier striking power in the F/A-18C Hornet because it was the newest fighter in the inventory and promised to be a flexible design. Thus, the plain Hornet became the carrier workhorse of the 1990s.

The F/A-18C, however, has run out of room for improvement. The Hornet has no more unused fuselage space in which the Navy could install new avionics equipment. Moreover, the plain Hornet cannot land safely on a carrier deck while still carrying a bomb load. As a result, pilots have gotten in the habit of dumping good ordnance into the sea before bringing the fighter down. This, said Navy officials, has become too costly to bear.

"It's reached its maximum growth capability," Rear Adm. Evan M. Chanik Jr., chief of naval aviation plans and requirements, said of the F/A-18C. "We've run out of electrical power, we've run out of cooling power, so we really can't do any more modifications or improvements. We've run out of weight, so we can't add any weight in terms of growing it."

The plain Hornet has also been infamous for its short range, limited maneuvering capability against contemporary fighters, and relatively small offensive payload.

Despite these shortcomings, the F/A-18 became the centerpiece of naval aviation in 1991 because, at that point, the Navy had been hit, in close succession, with cancellations of an F-14 upgrade, an A-6 upgrade, and the entire A-12 program. The Navy chose to "grow" the F/A-18 design to allow it to replace the F-14 in the interceptor role and to become a respectable bomb truck to carry the kind of heavy load in which the A-6 Intruder specialized.

http://www.afa.org/magazine/July2001/0701fighter.asp

Quote:
 
"The F/A-18A was optimised from the outset as a dual role fighter...which allowed reconfiguration between air-air and air-ground software modes at the touch of a pushbutton."

Do you realize what this statement means, edwin?

The F/A-18A's multi-role capability has nothing to do with its airframe.

Sure, the Bug has its BVR missile capability (can you say "F-16 ADF?") and its superb manoeuvrability for the period (hello, Gripen, MiG-29, Su-30MKI OVT--and, uhm, isn't the F/A-18's "contemporary" the F-16 also a fearsome dogfighter?). But as far as attack capability is concerned, what has the F/A-18 got to offer?--a fully digital weapon system that can switch between air-air and air-ground software modes at the touch of a button.

Congratulations to the programmers of the Bug's software. In fact, the article says the following about the gadgets of the Super Hornet:

Quote:
 
The baseline avionic system is however largely derived from the F/A-18C,

But what do the experts say about the airframe of the F/A-18C?--As in, the plane itself?

Quote:
 
The Super Hornet is substantially a new aircraft, which shares only limited structural commonality with the F/A-18A-D family of fighters. While the F/A-18E/F forward fuselage is derived from the F/A-18C design, the wing, centre and aft fuselage, tail surfaces and powerplants are entirely new.

"It's reached its maximum growth capability," Rear Adm. Evan M. Chanik Jr., chief of naval aviation plans and requirements, said of the F/A-18C. "We've run out of electrical power, we've run out of cooling power, so we really can't do any more modifications or improvements. We've run out of weight, so we can't add any weight in terms of growing it."

Compare this to the F-16:

Quote:
 
F-16: THE BEST-SELLER

A success story like that of the F-16 is of course no accident. If the Fighting Falcon's external appearance has hardly changed since the roll-out of the YF-16 in December 1973, as far as its equipment and capability are concerned there is no comparison between the first aircraft and the F-16C/D Block 50/52 currently being built.

The comparatively small size of the aircraft, which was imposed in the early 1970s as a means of keeping the spiralling cost of fighter aircraft within reasonable bounds, benefited particularly from two developments. Firstly, Pratt & Whitney and General Electric succeeded in extracting ever more power from their engines, and secondly the electronics, which today play such a critical role, gradually occupied less and less space while at the same time producing a whole order of magnitude more capability. In this way an aircraft originally intended for air combat in fair-weather operations turned into a multi-role, multi-purpose fighter. For example, there is hardly any other fighter jet which is cleared for so many different weapons.

http://www.flug-revue.rotor.com/FRheft/FRH0009/FR0009e.htm

This is very surprising. The F-16A is smaller than the F/A-18A yet its designers were able to squeeze in so many electronics and weapons without running out of space as has happened with its rival. This proves that the F/A-18's initial edge in gadgetry is irrelevant since the F-16A "grew" into the F-16C without a change in its external appearance aka size.

Otoh, why did the F/A-18C need to "grow" in the first place, given that it had already grown from YF-17 to F/A-18A then "A" model to "C" model afore that?

Quote:
 
The aircraft's principal limitation was in its combat radius - the combination of `leaky turbojet' engines, pylon drag and 11,000 lb of internal fuel resulted in an effective unrefuelled radius between 250-400 NMI, depending on load, profile, combat fuel reserves and external tank configuration.

The plain Hornet has also been infamous for its short range, limited maneuvering capability against contemporary fighters, and relatively small offensive payload.

Ugh, it hurts to read this if you're a Bug fan. But that's NOTHING compared to this diss:

In effect, the F/A-18E/F is what the F/A-18A Hornet should have been from the outset, had it not been hobbled at birth by a budget driven bureaucracy.

The Super Hornet is what the Hornet should have been from the outset or from the Start if only the brass had not been so cheap!--Yeesh...obviously not very flattering by any means! I believe the Tagalog language has a very colorful and appropriate term:

"Panakip-butas."

edwin
Jul 15 2006, 12:52 AM
F-16 large air intake produces high amount of signature when head on with other aircraft using High resolution radar.
It was tried before to put ram coating on F-16 air intake to reduce its High Output of signature to other aircraft , but it will affect the performance of the plane.

When head on BVR with other aircraft using high resolution radar, the pilot can see clearly the turbo fan of F-16 turning like a metallic disc.

Ooopss

Touche, edwin, that is indeed a legitimate weakness of the F-16. I say "legitimate" because it has been admitted and addressed by the manufacturer in the form of the F-16C Block 30/32:

Quote:
 
In addition, the inlet of both variants, always a major contributor to the F-16s radar cross section (RCS), has been specially treated with several radar absorbing material (RAM) coatings, which radically reduces its detectability.

http://www.f-16.net/f-16_versions_article6.html

However, do note that saying that the F-16's inlet design significantly increases its RCS doesn't mean that its RCS per se is large. Kindly remember the other area addressed by the change from F/A-18C to F/A-18E:

Quote:
 
Some stealth technology will be incorporated in the F/A-18E/F, notably on the wing leading edges to augment the beneficial effect of skinning with large areas of carbon epoxy. The radar cross section is expected to be approximately that of the F-16.

http://www.fighter-planes.com/info/f18e.htm

Ooopss

edwin
Jul 15 2006, 01:19 AM
Possible,

The outcome of that competition will not be the same if F/A-18 HORNET is included.

So why don't you post your own information about the outcome of a direct comparison between the F-16 and F/A-18?--But while we're waiting:

F-16 vs. MiG-29:

Quote:
 
MiG-29 Mission Sampler:

During the Cold War the following "fighter escort mission" scenario was common. The MiG-29 would start from an airbase considerably closer to the FEBA (forward-edge-of-the-battle-area) than its Su-27 partner, around 100 NM. It would carry the standard six missiles and a centerline tank. Total takeoff fuel would be around 11,000 lbs. Consider a 500 kts., 5,000 ft., escort profile, with an air-combat package of 2000 lbs., held in reserve. The Fulcrum could manage a 125 NM. escort run. The combat reserve would translate to an additional 30 to 50 NM., if unused. If the escort condition slowed the MiG-29 to 300 to 350 kts. cruise, then the range would increase to almost 200 NM. Additional MiG-29's on a "Fighter Sweep" from the same base would be used to support the route of the escorting fighters. They could go out 50 NM., loiter for 30 minutes, and then vector at 1.2 Mach from 90 to 100 NM., with enough fuel to still engage with one missile attack. In general terms, F-16C's with the same six missile configuration (using AIM-120's and AIM-9's) and centerline fuel tank could do the same profiles and missions as the MiG-29's, but they could also do them having departed from bases twice as far from the FEBA, i.e., around 200 NM. This scenario describes closely the situation that air forces from NATO and the Warsaw Pact would have faced across the inner German frontier.

http://www.saunalahti.fi/~fta/MiG-29-2b.htm

F-16 vs. F-15

Quote:
 
Israeli Deep Strike Capabilities

In the more than two decades since the Osirak strike, the IAF’s deep strike capability has improved dramatically. This has increased the range and lethality of Israel’s “Long Arm.” An early display of this growing capability was the 1985 IAF strike on the Palestinian Liberation Organizations headquarters in Tunis, a more than 4000 km round trip.

In terms of aircraft, Israeli deep strike capability remains centered on F-15s and F-16s. However, Israel now fields 25 of the F-15I Ra’am and approximately 25-50 of the F-16I Soufa, both of which are specially configured for the deep strike mission.

The F-15I is the Israeli version of the F-15E Strike Eagle, an extremely capable variant of the F-15 which has been modified to optimize its air-to-ground capability. The F-15I is equipped with conformal fuel tanks (CFTs), which combined with external drop tanks could likely give it an unrefueled combat radius of roughly 1700 kilometers while carrying four 2000-lb bombs. These bombs, discussed in more detail below, can be targeted using either the LANTIRN or LITENING targeting pod. In addition, the F-15I has a built in electronic warfare and countermeasures system and can carry AIM-120 AMRAAM , AIM-9 Sidewinder, and Python 4 missiles for air-to-air combat.

The F-16I is an F-16 Block 52/60 variant produced specifically for Israeli deep strike requirements. Like the F-15I, the F-16I has CFTs to extend its radius of action. The F-16Is exact combat radius is unknown, but is believed to be in the 1500-2100 km range with CFTs and external fuel tanks. Given the Israeli decision to forgo additional F-15I procurement in favor of increased F-16I procurement, its range is presumably not significantly less than the F-15I. It is equipped with the same targeting systems as the F-15I and could deliver two 2000-lb bombs while carrying external fuel tanks.

In addition to these dedicated deep strike aircraft, Israel also has a large fleet of F-16s which could potentially be retrofitted with the F-16I’s CFTs. In particular, Israel has approximately 50 F-16D aircraft which have a “dorsal spine” modification. This dorsal spine is a fairing extending from the rear of the cockpit to the vertical stabilizer. It apparently houses a significant anti-radar Wild Weasel system, self-protection jamming, as well as other specialized electronics. These aircraft, if retrofitted with CFTs, coud accompany the deep strike aircraft and provide significant suppression of enemy air defense (SEAD) capability.

http://web.mit.edu/ssp/Publications/workin...ers/wp_06-1.pdf

F/A-18 vs...F-16? F-15?

Quote:
 
According to one source, US Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornets from the Balkans theater recently engaged in mock combat with Israeli Air Force fighters. The Hornets were armed with AIM-9s, and the Israeli fighters carried Python 3 and Python 4 missiles and Elbit DASH helmet sights. IDR's source describes the results as "more than ugly", the Israelis prevailing in 220 out of 240 engagements.

http://www.janes.com/defence/air_forces/ne...10529_1_n.shtml


War. What is it good for?--James Brown

What's love got to do with it?--Tina Turner

Only the intelligent are brave.
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edwin
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I have a DVD/Video of an Interview of 3 pilot( 1 Canadian and 2 Germans) regarding their view about MIG-29 compared to western fighter like F-15, 16 and 18.
Those pilot are just only complaining about the technology of MIG-29 being 10 to 15 years behind compared to western fighters.

In the process of interview the camera is focused on the cockpit of MIG 29 and you can see that there are no Multi function display where in all those rounded or dialled instrument are the thing visible in front of the pilot.

According to the interview, MIG-29 are using MECHANICAL DEVICE OR NUMERIC FEAUTURES INSTEAD OF Electronic Devices(fly by wire) to control the plane, but even MIG-29 are using those primitive Mechanical devices the plane AeroDynamic concept is very stable , easy to fly, and extremely Maneouverable.

the conclusion of those pilot is that, even Russian design A/C like MIg -29 are not using fly by wire and instead the approach to control the plane is mechanical device the aerodynamic concept is getting to the same point just only in different ways.

In maneouverability between MIG-29 and F/A-18, those Nato pilot found out that F/A- 18 has edge in maneouverability in slow speed characteristic than MIG-29. IN acceleration MIG-29 is a littile bit better than F/A-18.

They(pilot interviewed) said in dog fighting it is a matter of which pilot is better in tactics than the plane itself. That was according to the interview to those Pilot.

I observed from the interview that western Pilot are confident because they think the technology is overwhelming on the western made fighter plane.

cheers :armycheers: Peace to all.

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possible
Jul 16 2006, 04:20 AM

So why don't you post your own information about the outcome of a direct comparison between the F-16 and F/A-18?--But while we're waiting:


Sir Possible,

This is the only thing i can found out., sa competition or fly off againts other plane.Research pa ako.

Quote:
 
The Hornet had experienced stiff competition from the F-16, a type which was already in service with the Republic of Korea Air Force. Among the attractive features of the Hornet was its twin-engined safety and its ability to carry out maritime anti-shipping missions. In addition, the South Korean government regarded the adverse-weather performance of the F/A-18 as being superior to that of the F-16, which meant that it would be better equipped to carry out poor-weather interceptions. Also, since at that time the F/A-18 was able to carry a forward-looking infra-red pod but the F-16 was not, it was thought that the Hornet would be more effective than the F-16 against North Korea's fleet of Antonov An-2 fabric-covered biplanes which have a very small radar cross section but which could be spotted via infrared. Finally, the Koreans felt that the F/A-18 would be more capable than the F-16 against North Korean MiG-29s in air-to-air combat.


That was 1989 sir Possible. Hindi pa rin pa ba FLIR capable yung F-16 at that time while HORNET from the beginning...

Other things I know about F/A-18 or F-16 is not the one you can find in the net, Im just relying on what the other source told to me about those plane.


More about F/A-18 againts Mirage-2000, JAS-39 Gripen and the famous F-16 proven TO BE THE BEST WORLDWIDE againts its competitor As Stated Below:

Quote:
 
The main factor for the Swiss Air Force to choose the F/A-18 Hornet after a thorough evaluation, was the top performance of this aircraft.The Hornet has a very short reaction time from its alert position, very good aeroplane performance and flying characteristics and is able to accelerate extremely fast, reaching sonic speed within seconds. Its extremely good manoeuvrability in curvilinear flight is important in aerial combat in visual flight conditions and is proven to be of the best worldwide.
.
Its high performance radar allows the F/A-18 to detect and simultaneously engage multiple low flying targets with its long-range guided missiles, by day and night and in bad weather conditions. The Hornet is also well tested in electronic warfare. This aircraft, developed to operate from aircraft carriers, is very well fitted for our mountainous regions and narrow valleys as well as our short runways.



F/A-18 is competing againts the best the world has to offer in Combat aircraft like 4th generation JAS-39 Gripen, MIRAGE-2000 and the most famous F-16 but AFTER THOROUGH EVALUATION, F/A-18 comes out to be the best compared to other aircraft even fourth Generation Plane.

Quote:
 
In search of a new fighter aircraft, the Swiss government looked at the Dassault Mirage 2000, the Israel Aircraft Industries Lavi, the Northrop F-20, and the SAAB JAS-39 Gripen. These aircraft were all deemed unsuitable to Swiss requirements. In April/May of 1988, the Swiss government held a fly-off between the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon and the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18. In October of 1988, the government of Switzerland announced that the Hornet would be the next fighter of the Schweizerische Flugwaffe/Troupe d'Aviation Suisse (Swiss Air Force).


Nobody make a fuss about F/A-18 performance if given a thorough evaluation compared to other aircraft.

Gusto pang humirit ng iba pero F/A-18 pa rin.
Quote:
 
In 1991, the competition was reopened so that the MiG-29 and the Dassault Mirage 2000-5 could be considered. However, even a personal appeal on the part of French President Francois Mitterand could not overturn the original plan to buy 26 F/A-18Cs and 8 F/A-18Ds


cheers :armycheers: Peace to all.





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israeli
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some clarifications about the Pakistanis' plan to acquire surplus F-16A/Bs and F-16 MLU upgrade kits from the US:

1. the 26 F-16A/Bs that the Pakistanis wanted to acquire from the US are NOT those surplus F-16A/B ADFs that lie around AMARC but could be those 26 Pakistani Air Force F-16A/B Block 15OCUs that the Americans embargoed after Pakistan tested nuclear devices. these F-16A/B Block 15OCUs, which, for a time, were offered to the PHILIPPINES (the planes that Enrile called "low-tech") and New Zealand, are currently in service with research and aggressor training units of the US Air Force and the US Navy after being stored for quite some time in AMARC. these F-16A/B Block 15OCUs were FULLY PAID by Pakistan prior to them being embargoed by the Americans.

2. the F-16 MLU upgrade kits that Pakistan wished to purchase are intended to upgrade the 40(?) F-16A/B Block 15s that are currently in service with the Pakistani Air Force and, maybe, those 26 F-16A/B Block 15OCUs which the Pakistanis wished to get from the Americans.
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possible
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israeli
Jul 17 2006, 04:54 PM
some clarifications about the Pakistanis' plan to acquire surplus F-16A/Bs and F-16 MLU upgrade kits from the US:

1. the 26 F-16A/Bs that the Pakistanis wanted to acquire from the US are NOT those surplus F-16A/B ADFs that lie around AMARC but could be those 26 Pakistani Air Force F-16A/B Block 15OCUs that the Americans embargoed after Pakistan tested nuclear devices. these F-16A/B Block 15OCUs, which, for a time, were offered to the PHILIPPINES (the planes that Enrile called "low-tech") and New Zealand, are currently in service with research and aggressor training units of the US Air Force and the US Navy after being stored for quite some time in AMARC. these F-16A/B Block 15OCUs were FULLY PAID by Pakistan prior to them being embargoed by the Americans.

2. the F-16 MLU upgrade kits that Pakistan wished to purchase are intended to upgrade the 40(?) F-16A/B Block 15s that are currently in service with the Pakistani Air Force and, maybe, those 26 F-16A/B Block 15OCUs which the Pakistanis wished to get from the Americans.

:thumb: Thanks for correcting the wrong information you posted on the other thread, israeli.

israeli
May 24 2006, 11:47 PM
as for the Pakistanis, they might be targetting some of those F-16A/B ADFs stored at AMARC alongside their purchase of brand new F-16C/D Block 50/52s.

israeli
Jun 13 2006, 01:17 AM
the Philippine Air Force now has two choices supposing it decides to get surplus F-16s- either by buying surplus F-16A/B ADFs that are stored in AMARC and compete with the Pakistanis

I guess I should have waited for confirmation instead of trusting you to be correct. Nevertheless, this information is moot as far as upgradability of F-16 ADFs is concerned since that has already been established with the Jordanian contract.

possible
Jul 16 2006, 04:08 AM
FORT WORTH, Texas, October 21, 2004 -- Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] recently received a contract valued at $87 million to support upgrades to 17 F-16A/Bs transferred to the Royal Jordanian Air Force.

The main upgrade is the F-16A/B Mid-Life Update (MLU), essentially the same as being performed on 400 F-16s operated by the five European Participating Air Forces (EPAF). This modification consists of enhancements to the cockpit, avionics, sensors and weapons. These upgrades also improve system reliability and supportability. In addition, future software upgrades will be available through the common M-series F-16 software upgrade program being implemented by the U.S. Air Force and the EPAF.

“This will be a low-risk, cost-effective modification for Jordan’s F-16s,” said David T. Wesolka, Lockheed Martin’s director of F-16 Sustainment Product Group. “No development is required, and they will be upgrading their jets to the same state-of-the-art capability as the five EPAF partners are implementing currently. Plus, they will benefit from the advantages of interoperability with other users of modern F-16s and be able to share in future software updates in a very cost-effective manner.”

The 17 aircraft to be modified are USAF Block 15 F-16A/Bs with the Air Defense Fighter modification provided to Jordan under the Peace Falcon II Foreign Military Sales program. Some were flown to Jordan in 2003 and the rest are in storage in the United States. These aircraft are in addition to the 16 F-16A/Bs received by Jordan in 1997-98 in the Peace Falcon I program.

The upgrade package also includes Falcon UP and Falcon STAR structural upgrades. The structural upgrades will extend the service life to 8,000 flight hours under demanding usage criteria. With typical flight rates, these aircraft could remain in service for another 20 years.

http://www.lockheedmartin.com/wms/findPage...129&ti=0&sc=400

All in all, what this means is that there will be more ADFs available for the Philippines. And since all F-16 ADFs are Block 15OCU models as I had already pointed-out on the other thread

possible
Jun 12 2006, 04:43 AM
The Block 15 airframes used for the ADF program were all meant to be upgraded to Block 15OCU standard, and both programs ran in conjunction. Aircraft entering the Ogden ALC for ADF upgrade also received the Block 15OCU avionics installation. The net result is that all ADF aircraft are Block 15OCU airframes.

http://www.f-16.net/f-16_versions_article14.html

this means F-16 ADFs can be upgraded to a state-of-the-art standard with the latest radar and electronics same as to be fitted on the Pak F-16s.

Bottom line: the F-16 ADF remains the most viable and flexible option for the PAF should it decide to acquire MRFs anytime soon.


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It seems there’s some sign of life on the F-20 nostalgia thread. Tora^2 wrote:

Tora^2
Jul 17 2006, 01:03 AM
To bad the F20 never hit the market for folks like us who cannot afford or are not willing to spend for more expensive combat aircraft like F4Es, F15s, F16s or FA18s.

Even though the F16 is the better lightweight jet as Sir Possy argues, an F20 then cost $15 Million a piece (compare that to a P9.6 Billion F/A22). It was also able to fire Sparrows. Furthermore, thanks to a Honeywell LASER Inertial Nav System, it holds the record for any US-built Fighter for the fastest to scramble.

The implication being that the F-16 is more expensive than the F-20. So, is this statement true or just another myth?

First, let us look at the original articles where the claim about the F-20’s costing $15 Million a piece appears:

Quote:
 
Published: April 5, 1985

The Northrop Corporation said that it delivered an offer on Wednesday to Verne Orr, Secretary of the Air Force, to sell the service 396 of its F-20 Tigershark jet fighters at a fixed price of $15 million each, including initial service and spare parts.

Under the offer, the Tigershark would replace half of the anticipated purchases of 792
F-16C fighter planes from the General Dynamics Corporation in the next four years. The F-16C is expected to cost about $20 million each. Northrop has spent more than $800 million of its own money to develop the F-20, but has not received any orders.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html...757C0A963948260

So, it is true that circa-1985 (when I was 20 years younger and gasoline was a hell of a lot cheaper) the F-20 indeed cost $15 million a piece. However, the F-16 cost $20 million back then, or a mere $5 million more. Please note that this is the 1985 price of an USAF-standard “C” model.

However, did the then-manufacturer of the F-16, General Dynamics, respond to this challenge by sitting on their asses?

Quote:
 
June 24, 1985

In a highly publicized move, new GD vice chairman Stanley C. Pace offered to underbid the company's own multi-year contract for 720 F-16s by converting 216 of them to specific task configurations from the current multi-purpose F-16C versions. According to Herbert F. Rogers, GD Fort Worth division vice president and general manager, that can strip $2.3 million from the current flyaway cost per aircraft, or $6.2 million over the service life of each fighter, including revised support projections.

General Dynamics, engine vendors General Electric Co. and Pratt & Whitney Aircraft division of United Technologies Corp., and radar supplier Westinghouse Co. all have offered full guarantees on the price ($9.7 million flyaway cost per fighter), operating costs ($554 per flying hour) and performance. It is the most extensive guarantee the company has ever offered on an aircraft, according to Rogers.

"We have finally shot down the price of the F-16,' a spokesman for Northrop Corp. claimed last week. "We clearly have established a competitive situation,' he added, "which is what the Air Force wanted. It is to the taxpayers' benefit on a continuing basis.'

The spokesman said the Air Force has had the Northrop fixed price commitment for the F-20, at $15 million each for 396 aircraft plus a fixed contract for $475 per flying hour over a 20-year period for spare parts.

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_..._v93/ai_3828100

(Please note the dates of the articles.) In just two months the F-16 consortium had reversed the situation, offering a version of the F-16C whose sticker price undercut the F-20’s by more than $5 million ($9.2 million vs. $15 million) and a cost per flying hour only $79 higher than the F-20’s ($554 vs. $475).

Also, please note the more accurate figures supplied by the GD people:

Quote:
 
strip $2.3 million from the current flyaway cost per aircraft, or $6.2 million over the service life of each fighter, including revised support projections.

This means the price for a full-spec F-16C in direct competition with the F-20 is only $12 million--or $2.3 million higher than the $9.7 million quoted for the F-16C variant meant to be an F-20 killer—which is a lot less than $20 million non-specific/generally-quoted price posted in the earlier article.

And please note the wording of the F-20 praise release:

Quote:
 
"We have finally shot down the price of the F-16,'

“Finally?”—As in, only then? These words straight from the horse’s mouth can only mean that the F-20 always had a difficult time shooting down/competing with the price of the F-16, and isn’t cheaper by default as many mistakenly believe.

But these prices are for the F-16C, how about the F-16A?

The Military Procurement International site states that prices for F-16A’s sold to the USAF hovered around the $15 million mark for most of the 1980s. Some might wonder how the F-16C could be cheaper than the F-16A, but please note that the $12 million price for an F-16C cited earlier was for a 720 a/c order, which obviously reduces the price considerably from the normal $20 million.

But this only makes things worse for the F-20, since under the same contract and with 396 planes on offer to the USAF, the absolute best price Northrop could come up with is $15 million. Now imagine what that price would be for a country like the Philippines, who could probably order no more than 20-40 a/c.

Interestingly, the same MPI table lists:

1995 $5.0m w/o MLU 2nd Hand Unit Cost from USAF Stocks as F-16A-POF(Previously Owned F-16/Not Excess to be Replaced) for 18 to PHILIPPINES.

http://www.dapss.com/MRA/MRAdata/MRAF16Acx.htm

Interestingly, the terminology indicates that these F-16s weren’t excess defense articles or used American equipment intended to be replaced. Rather, they are designated as Previously-Owned: since these were to be sourced from “USAF Stocks”, that can only mean the practically brand-new embargoed Block 15OCU F-16As previously-bought by Pakistan and placed in AMARC storage in the early nineties:

Quote:
 
Peace Gate III

As a result, in accordance to the Pressler amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act, which forbids military aid to any nation possessing a nuclear explosive device, the United States government announced on October 6th, 1990 that it had embargoed further arms deliveries to Pakistan. The 11 Peace Gate III aircraft were consequently stored at AMARC (Aircraft Maintenance and Regeneration Center) at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona, also known as the Boneyard. There, they were put in 'Flyable Hold' for 5 years, during which time 85% of each aircraft's fuel system was preserved with JP-9, and each aircraft had its engine run once every 45 days. This resulted in the curious situation that most of those aircraft now have more engine run time than air time, the latter being only 6 hours. This low air-time figure, plus the fact that these aircraft are the most modern F-16A/B's built, is the main reason why countries interested in second-hand F-16s first look at the Pakistani airframes.

Peace Gate IV

In September of 1989, plans were announced by Pakistan to acquire 60 more F-16A/B's. A contract was signed in the same year under the Peace Gate IV Foreign Military Sales Programs, for the delivery of 60 F-16s for US $1.4 billion or approximately US $23 million a piece. By March of 1994, 11 of these planes had been built and were directly flown into the Sonoran desert where they joined the 11 Peace Gate III aircraft in storage. A further six aircraft were stored by the end of 1994, so that a total of 17 aircraft (7 F-16A's and 10 F-16B's) of the Peace Gate IV order are now stored. A stop-work order affected the remaining 43 planes of the Peace Gate IV contract.

The saga of the embargoed F-16s

In March 1996, nine aircraft out of those which had already been manufactured for Pakistan, were sold to Indonesia. However, Indonesia cancelled this order on June 2nd, 1997.

At the end of 1997, with chances of finding a buyer close to zero, it was decided to take the PAF F-16s out of flyable hold and into the Boneyard. The airframes were offered to the Philippine Air Force, in view of its modernization plans. However, lack of funds precluded this deal as well.

http://www.f-16.net/f-16_users_article14.html

Which are now being returned to their previous owners.

Of course we all remember 1995 to be the year the the sale of the Fort Bonifacio property to Metro Pacific for a gazillion pesos took place, so the AFP Modernization fund then was bursting with money…unfortunately, the Asian economic crisis triggered by the devaluation of the Thai baht struck the Philippine economy soon after in 1997, accounting for the sudden lack of funds mentioned…of course it is also common knowledge that then-President Ramos was later implicated in the notorious Centennial Expo scam, in which AFP Modernization funds were siphoned-off to fund projects which never materialized in the form promised, which was “discovered” only when Estrada took over in 1998. I guess it was a case of taking the money and running before the other fella could put his hands on it. :devilwink:

Haaay, might-have-beens…

:dunno:


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edwin
Jul 16 2006, 04:40 PM
In the process of interview the camera is focused on the cockpit of MIG 29 and you can see that there are no Multi function display where in all those rounded or dialled instrument are the thing visible in front of the pilot.

According to the interview, MIG-29 are using MECHANICAL DEVICE OR NUMERIC FEAUTURES INSTEAD OF Electronic Devices(fly by wire) to control the plane, but even MIG-29 are using those primitive Mechanical devices the plane AeroDynamic concept is very stable , easy to fly, and extremely Maneouverable.

the conclusion of those pilot is that, even Russian design A/C like MIg -29 are not using fly by wire and instead the approach to control the plane is mechanical device the aerodynamic concept is getting to the same point just only in different ways.

Already noted that, edwin.

possible
Jul 14 2006, 04:12 AM
Another member of the exclusive blended wing club of fighter a/c. The Fulcrum has it all: widely-spaced engines with dropped intakes, big wings with F-16 style LERXs, lifting body fuselage. Whoever said Russian fighters were primitive?--The Russkies have a catch-phrase to counter that myth: "technologically-conservative yet conceptually-advanced".

Technology, in their view, being manufacturing techniques and electronics, concept being airframe design per se. So the phrase basically means building a/c following the latest scientific design concepts using proven aka recycled manufacturing techniques--that is why Russian fighters look crude in terms of fit and finish but are every inch as good in terms of performance as Western fighters.

Unfortunately, that is also why Russian fighters are gas guzzlers: Western fighter a/c manufacturers have long embraced modern materials and assembly methods for the sake of reduced weight ergo lower fuel consumption--something which is obviously lost when one opts to build MiG-29s using the same technology used to build MiG-21s!

Another area sacrificed as a consequence of this philosophy is flight controls. The original MiG-29 failed to reach its full potential because it only had hydraulic flight controls (which is probably why it had a lousy service record). Electronically-actuated fly-by-wire flight controls mean less effort for the pilot lending more time for tactical decision-making instead of stick-pulling. FBW controls are also less complex than the maze of wires and pumps infesting non-FBW machines meaning less maintenance headaches for the people on the ground.

Russian a/c are every bit as advanced aerodynamically as their Western counterparts but are inferior technologically because they rejected FBW systems for cheaper hydraulic flight-controls (except for the Su-27/Su-30, which have always been equipped with FBW controls). That the Russians are now regretting this mistake is demonstrated by the fact that the latest MiG-29 models come with FBW flight controls:

Quote:
 
The MiG-29M/MiG-29M2 single-seat/two-seat aircraft versions are longer range derivatives of the original MiG-29. The aircraft supports improved avionics, a four fold redundant, three-channel, fly-by-wire system, higher weapon load and extended range of carried weapons. This version of the aircraft can be refueled in-flight.

The cockpits are equipped with liquid-crystal multifunction displays (MFDs) and support HOTAS operations.

The aircraft can be retrofitted for installation of equipment and weapons of non-Russian origin.

http://kuku.sawf.org/Fact+Sheets/1679.aspx

As you can see they also extended the range of the Fulcrum therefore confirming the glaring weakness I had pointed-out versus the F-16. As for the inferiority of the MiG-29 cockpit vis-a-vis the CF-18, kindly look at the following pictures:

Posted Image

The switches in the Fulcrum is hard to operate and it does take a lot of switch actions to operate different system - not like the F-16 that is designed "hand-on" stick and throttle.

http://www.jetpilot.dk/Pictures/F16/Mig29DACT.htm

Posted Image

The upgraded Sniper cockpit, with new HUD, and displays. The display on the left is showing weapons information and the display on the right is showing navigational information.

http://www.acig.org/artman/publish/article_28.shtml

Posted Image

Cockpit of the MiG-29M2 is dominated by three huge MFDs. The quality of MFDs is exceptional, offering excellent visibility despite outside light.

http://www.acig.org/artman/publish/article_293.shtml

The top picture is the cockpit of a German AF MiG-29 Fulcrum-A. The one in the middle is the cockpit of a Romanian MiG-29 Fulcrum-A upgraded to the Sniper configuration by the Romanian company Aerostar, with avionics from Israeli company Elbit. The last cockpit shown is that of the MiG-29M2, a brand-new model from Russia.

Obviously, as I had pointed-out in the case of the F-16, electronics are an irrelevant consideration when it comes to a/c procurement, as even the ancient MiG-21 can be crammed with state-of-the-art avionics and weapons. What more the MiG-29?

Interestingly, when we talk about performance:

edwin
Jul 16 2006, 04:40 PM
In maneouverability between MIG-29 and F/A-18, those Nato pilot found out that F/A- 18 has edge in maneouverability in slow speed characteristic than MIG-29. IN acceleration MIG-29 is a littile bit better than F/A-18.

They(pilot interviewed) said in dog fighting it is a matter of which pilot is better in tactics than the plane itself. That was according to the interview to those Pilot.

I observed from the interview that western Pilot are confident because they think the technology is overwhelming on the western made fighter plane.

So despite its lack of FBW controls and lousy ergonomics, the MiG-29 is still the equal of the F/A-18, coming down to the pilot as you say: that can only mean the CF-18 is an inferior fighter because despite the CF-18's technological edge a MiG-29 pilot can defeat a CF-18 pilot simply because he is better in tactics.

That is not supposed to happen, edwin, because the question that really counts is what happens when you have two equally-skilled pilots go up against each other?--are you saying that those German pilots were really that much better than Canadian CF-18 pilots? Kindly remember that Canada was the first export customer of the F/A-18, receiving their "A" birds in the 1980s, while the Germans got their MiG-29s in the mid-1990s as a consequence of reunification; these German pilots aren't the ones who used to fly for communist East Germany (who were replaced for obvious reasons) but rather NATO pilots forced to adjust to Russian equipment

--are you saying that, despite all their advantages, Canadians in Western-built CF-18s were unable to dominate Germans in Russian MiG-29s? Then what were the Canucks doing all the time they owned their CF-18s? Wrapping them in plastic and shooing away any pilot who wanted to sit in them?

Tell me then, edwin, who among our Spratlys co-claimants China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan and Vietnam have the incompetent pilots that you can confidently tell your men to go up against despite these nations' superior fighter fleets?--It seems edwin that you have succumbed to the mistake of being dazzled by the F/A-18's software that can switch between air-air and air-ground modes at the push of a button, rather than looking at the merits of the airframe itself.

edwin
Jul 16 2006, 05:51 PM
Other things I know about F/A-18 or F-16 is not the one you can find in the net, Im just relying on what the other source told to me about those plane.

Talking about what unknown sources tell you is easy, edwin. What we need is hard information that other people can look at for themselves. Allow me to demonstrate:

Quote:
 
More about F/A-18 againts Mirage-2000, JAS-39 Gripen and the famous F-16  proven TO BE THE BEST WORLDWIDE againts its competitor As Stated Below:

Quote:
 
The main factor for the Swiss Air Force to choose the F/A-18 Hornet after a thorough evaluation, was the top performance of this aircraft.The Hornet has a very short reaction time from its alert position, very good aeroplane performance and flying characteristics and is able to accelerate extremely fast, reaching sonic speed within seconds. Its extremely good manoeuvrability in curvilinear flight is important in aerial combat in visual flight conditions and is proven to be of the best worldwide.
.
Its high performance radar allows the F/A-18 to detect and simultaneously engage multiple low flying targets with its long-range guided missiles, by day and night and in bad weather conditions. The Hornet is also well tested in electronic warfare. This aircraft, developed to operate from aircraft carriers, is very well fitted for our mountainous regions and narrow valleys as well as our short runways.



F/A-18 is competing againts the best the world has to offer in Combat aircraft like 4th generation JAS-39 Gripen, MIRAGE-2000 and the most famous F-16 but AFTER THOROUGH EVALUATION, F/A-18 comes out to be the best compared to other aircraft even fourth Generation Plane.

Nobody make a fuss about F/A-18 performance if given a thorough evaluation compared to other aircraft.

Gusto pang humirit ng iba pero F/A-18 pa rin.

cheers :armycheers: Peace to all.

That's nice, edwin. But a little bit of Internet time revealed these bits of information:

Quote:
 
[1.5] HORNET IN FOREIGN SERVICE

* The Swiss ordered 26 F/A-18Cs and 8 F/A-18Ds in June 1993, with these machines replacing the Dassault Mirage III. Competitors included the F-16, the SAAB Gripen, and the Dassault Mirage 2000-5. The buy was heavily contested, the selection of the Hornet having originally been made in 1988 -- only to be challenged by Dassault, with the challenge leading to reopening the competition in 1990. The buy ultimately had to be approved by a national public referendum.

The Mirage 2000-5 might have been thought to have an edge as it was a logical follow-on to Swiss Mirage IIIs, which had proven very satisfactory in service. However, surprisingly the carrier-based features of the Hornet were a plus in the deal, since the Swiss operate from airfields in tight mountain valleys where good approach characteristics are handy, and also store aircraft in mountainside caves, making the folding wings very useful.

Swiss machines feature F404-GE-402 EPE engines -- in fact, this engine variant was developed specifically for this deal, since the Swiss had concerns over the Hornet's acceleration and rate of climb -- and AN/APG-73 radar.

http://www.vectorsite.net/avhorn_1.html#m5

Tsk, so the Hornet won primarily because it was a carrierborne fighter and so was suited to a country with restrictive operating bases like mountainous Switzerland. That criteria eliminates the land-bound F-16 and the Mirage 2000 right away (although RSAF F-16s do practice takes-off and landings from roads regularly); what I find intriguing about this is why the Gripen was eliminated, since it is touted to be the premier STOL fighter a/c.

Oh, and did the article mention that Switzerland is a land-locked country less than half the size of Mindanao, therefore making range performance irrelevant?--Therefore, one of the key advantages of both the F-16 and Mirage 2000 being disregarded, we can safely say that the F/A-18 basically won the Swiss competition by default.

I see the makers of the F/A-18 had to design new engines to capture the Swiss contract, since the performance of the existing F/A-18 was deemed lacking in terms of acceleration and rate of climb--Uhm, I thought the F/A-18 was a great multi-role fighter from the outset or from the Start?

Once again, a case of an a/c which dazzles in terms of technology but falls short when it comes to performance. :dunno:


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I observed that Soviet MilCraft designs do have one fascinating advantage. They're more resistant to Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP).

Wikipedia defines it as:

Quote:
 

1.The electromagnetic radiation from an explosion (especially nuclear explosions) or an intensely fluctuating magnetic field caused by Compton-recoil electrons and photoelectrons from photons scattered in the materials of the electronic or explosive device or in a surrounding medium. The resulting electric and magnetic fields may couple with electrical/electronic systems to produce damaging current and voltage surges. See Electromagnetic bomb for details on the damages resulting to electronic devices. The effects are usually not noticeable beyond the blast radius unless the device is nuclear or specifically designed to produce an electromagnetic shockwave.

2.  broadband, high-intensity, short-duration burst of electromagnetic energy.

In the case of a nuclear detonation or a meteor impact[1], the electromagnetic pulse consists of a continuous frequency spectrum. Most of the energy is distributed throughout the lower frequencies between 3 Hz and 30 kHz


This advantage was brought to light when defecting PVO pilot Lt Viktor Belenko flew his MiG 25 Foxbat to Japan in 1976. When western experts examined the Mach 3-capable interceptor, they were surprised that for a high performance interceptor, it carried very primitive electronics (vacuum tubes) when at the time, it was relatively easy for KGB and GRU operators to obtain examples of more modern Western Electronics (Sony Transistor Radios) and study them.

Western analsysts concluded that the Russians chose ancient valves for the plane's avionics so that EMP won't cause those planes to crash when a nuke explodes nearby.

the USSR's Cold War strategy provided for the extensive use of Strat and Tac Nukes in its invasion plans for the West.

This can also be seen in the MiG 29 which was designed to withstand EMP with its construction (hydraulics Da, FBW Nyet). Fulcrums were capable of conducting Tac Nuke strikes. Though the EMP can disable its flight computers, analog intruments and mag compass, not to mention, its hydraulics can fly that MiG back to base.

Nowadays, fielding nukes in the battlefield is the greatest Military taboo. However, non-nuclear EMP weapons can be potentially devatating for Aircraft.

I wonder what EMP countermeasures the West have for their planes especially FBW-reliant types like F16s and FA22s?

Posted Image



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:aberet: Ah, another notorious myth inflicted on the unknowing. Electromagnetic pulse weapons are a staple of action movies but their real-life effects are widely misunderstood. Tora^2, if I may quote from the source you provided:

Quote:
 
In telecommunications and warfare, the term electromagnetic pulse (EMP) has the following meanings:

  1. The electromagnetic radiation from an explosion (especially nuclear explosions) or an intensely fluctuating magnetic field caused by Compton-recoil electrons and photoelectrons from photons scattered in the materials of the electronic or explosive device or in a surrounding medium.

Practical considerations

It is important to note that many nuclear detonations have taken place using bombs dropped by aircraft. The aircraft that delivered the atomic weapons at Hiroshima and Nagasaki did not fall out of the sky due to damage to their electrical or electronic systems. This is simply because electrons (ejected from the air by gamma rays) are stopped quickly in normal (dense) air for bursts below 10 km, so they don't get a chance to be significantly deflected by the Earth's magnetic field (the deflection causes the powerful EMP seen in high altitude bursts), but it does point out the limited use of smaller burst altitudes for widespread EMP.

If the B-29 planes had been within the intense nuclear radiation zone when the bombs exploded over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, then they would have suffered effects from the charge separation (radial) EMP. But this only occurs within the severe blast radius for detonations below about 10 km altitude. EMP disruptions were suffered aboard KC-135 photographic aircraft flying 300 km from the 410 kt Bluegill and 410 kt Kingfish detonations (48 and 95 km burst altitude, respectively) in 1962 [2], but the vital aircraft electronics then were far less sophisticated than today and did not crash the aircraft.

Several major factors control the effectiveness of an EMP weapon. These are:

  1. The height of the weapon when detonated
  2. The yield of the weapon
  3. The distance from the weapon when detonated
  4. Geographical depth or intervening geographical features

Weapon height


A high-altitude nuclear detonation produces an immediate flux of gamma rays from the nuclear reactions within the device. These photons in turn produce high energy free electrons by Compton scattering at altitudes between (roughly) 20 and 40 km. These electrons are then trapped in the Earth's magnetic field, giving rise to an oscillating electric current. This current is asymmetric in general and gives rise to a rapidly rising radiated electromagnetic field called an electromagnetic pulse (EMP). Because the electrons are trapped essentially simultaneously, a very large electromagnetic source radiates coherently.

The height indicated above is greater than that of the International Space Station and many low Earth orbit satellites. Large weapons could have a dramatic impact on satellite operations and communications; smaller weapons have less such potential.

Weapon distance

The range of deposition of gamma rays would be smaller for a surface burst because of the greater air density, which shields the initial gamma rays that cause the EMP.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_pulse

Posted Image

Obviously, EMPs are of two types, depending on how they are generated: the first is a direct result of nuclear explosions (radial or limited by the size or radius of the blast, which are blocked by the air below 10 kms.), the second is an indirect effect in that radiation emitted by the explosion has to interact with a medium in the form of the Earth's atmosphere: gamma rays (which are photons by nature) excite electrons in the Earth's E-M field, which is strongest in the upper atmosphere, therefore resulting in the oscillating electric field that is the true progenitor of an EMP.

Obviously, the lower the altitude at which a nuke is detonated, the smaller the area affected by the atmospheric EMP, which is clearly seen from the map.

Obviously, tactical nuclear weapons fired to stop the advance of enemy armored formations would have to be detonated at or near ground level to have maximum destructive effect--it is of course common knowledge that all modern MBTs are routinely-protected against NBC (nuclear/biological/chemical) threats which affect both the vehicle and the men inside, for example:

Quote:
 
The design of Challenger 2 has given emphasis to crew safety and tank survivability. The turret is protected with second generation Chobham armour which provides increased resistance to penetration by anti-tank weapons. The tank is protected against nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) warfare by an NBC protection system (with full overpressure filtered air) located in the turret bustle. The electronics systems are protected against nuclear electromagnetic pulse (EMP).

The movement of the turret and gun is by a solid state electric drive rather than by high pressure hydraulic drive. The electric drive removes the risk associated with rupturing of high pressure hydraulic hoses in the crew compartment.

http://www.fprado.com/armorsite/chall2.htm

(Hence atmospheric detonation would be a mere slap on the wrist against such heavily-armored monsters.) This implies that the tactical nuke would be designed to explode in such a way that its destructive effects--including emission of lethal gamma radiation--spread horizontally on the ground within its radius rather than upwards into the atmosphere (therefore negating its impact on enemy ground forces).

Also, weapons for tactical use imply the close proximity of friendly forces, hence commanders must take into consideration protecting their own soldiers from being irradiated by their own weapons. There is also the question of civilian casualties in densely-populated areas like Europe. We know that the biggest threat posed by nukes to humans is not the blast itself but the radioactive fallout or irradiated airborne particles carried huge distances in the atmosphere (re Chernobyl).

Hence, for the sake of both sound tactics and humanitarian reasons, the sane commander employing tactical nukes will for certain exploit geographical features like valleys and mountain ranges to concentrate the explosion and therefore contain its effects and deny inflicting casualties on friendly forces and contamination of the environment.

Since the explosion is contained, aircraft operating near the blast zone need only fear the immediate and direct effects of the nuclear blast itself (radial EMP), safe from a wider-ranging atmospheric EMP attack since the dangerous gamma rays have been directed into the ground and natural barriers rather than towards the atmosphere.

As for the delivery platform or the bomber itself, as pointed out by the article the B-29s that dropped Little Boy and Fat Man escaped without themselves being damaged by the radial EMP emission.

Evidently, a supersonic a/c like the F-16 can easily outrun a B-29, hence the effects of radial EMP which are blocked by the atmosphere below a height of 10 kms. or approx. 33,000 ft., easily within the operating altitude of such a plane. Consider that the time-to-altitude (30,000 ft.) from take-off or zero airspeed of a KAI/Lockmart T-50 is a mere 102 seconds, a performance which can evidently be bettered by the far more powerful F-16, much more by an F-16 already travelling at supersonic speed at bomb release.

Also, it is common knowledge that all nuclear weapons--and all air-dropped explosives for that matter--are designed to explode in such a way that the attack a/c is allowed to escape the area affected by the blast wave before detonation. This can be achieved by fuzing or by retarding the speed of the bomb upon release. For example:

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Quote:
 
The B61 (Mk-61) Bomb

Intermediate yield strategic and tactical thermonuclear bomb

Delivery Method

Deliverable by any U.S. or NATO nuclear qualified aircraft including:

    * B-52
    * B-1
    * B-2B
    * F-15E
    * F-16
    * F/A-18
    * A-6
    * AV-8A
    * Tornado (NATO)

Fuzing and Delivery Mode

    * Parachute retarded laydown delayed surface burst (delivery altitudes up to 5000 feet), 31 and 81 sec delays available

The Mod 11 has a special ground impact time delay feature to allow it to penetrate into the earth before detonating.

Delivery accuracy <600 feet.

http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Usa/Weapons/B61.html

As for the ability of an F-16 to withstand an EMP should it be hit by one, it should be noted that EMP is simply a form of electromagnetic interference (EMI), another being lightning strikes, hence protection against the same brings a degree of protection against EMP, which, similar to lightning and as mentioned in your Wikipedia link, is also a burst or instantaneous effect lasting less than a second. Established techniques for military and civilian a/c already take this into account:

Quote:
 
804. TYPES OF EMI PROTECTION.

a. Structure Shielding. Structure shielding is a method of protecting susceptible circuits inside the aircraft from lightning, HIRF, and EMI. Metal structures provide a low-impedance path for currents generated by EMI, so that these currents will be minimized on systems and wiring. In addition, enclosed structures, such as the fuselage, provide some shielding for radiated fields. The principle of shielding is derived from the fact that the total charge completely enclosed by a conductive surface will be zero, regardless of electromagnetic fields external to the surface. The completely closed conductive surface is often called a Faraday cage, named after Michael Faraday, the English physicist and chemist who provided experimental data proving the concept. Of course, no aircraft can be a perfect Faraday cage since there must be openings, doors, windows, vents, etc. The goal of the structure shielding is to seal the cracks or holes in the fuselage to make it as close to a Faraday cage as possible with respect to external EMI that may disrupt internal circuits of the aircraft. It is becoming more common to see aircraft structure shielding in new aircraft designs. These lead to greater susceptibility to EMI, especially lightning and HIRF (radar, radio transmitters, etc). Composites are not as conductive as metal and do not provide the same level of shielding, particularly for lightning.

b. Bonding. Bonding is the process of establishing a low-impedance (good electrical contact) path between two metal surfaces. The purpose of the bond is to allow radio frequency or lightning current to flow between metallic components, preventing a potential difference or voltage which may result in EMI.

(1) Structural bonding of all parts of the aircraft structure is essential for controlling conducting path currents associated with lightning, HIRF and EMP. In addition, structural bonding is important to eliminating static charge buildup, which can couple into communication systems. Discontinuities in the aircraft skin (skin joints, access doors, etc.) can create a high-impedance boundary (poor electrical contact) across the joint. Therefore, all discontinuities in the aircraft structure should be designed to provide electrical bonding.

http://www.airweb.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_G...43-206part2.pdf

Furthermore, fly-by-wire systems were designed from the start with a specific emphasis on reliability. Again, from Wikipedia:

Quote:
 
Fly-by-wire

Mechanical and hydraulic flight control systems are heavy and require careful routing of flight control cables through the airplane using systems of pulley and cranks. Both systems often require redundant backup, which further increases weight. Furthermore, both have limited ability to compensate for changing aerodynamic conditions.

The main concern with fly-by-wire systems is reliability. While traditional mechanical or hydraulic control systems usually fail gradually, the loss of all flight control computers will immediately render the airplane uncontrollable. For this reason, most fly-by-wire systems incorporated redundant computers and some kind of mechanical or hydraulic backup. This may seem to negate some advantages of fly-by-wire, but the redundant systems can be simpler, lighter, and offer only limited capability since they are for emergency use only.

Digital

Nonetheless the top concern for computerized, digital fly-by-wire systems is reliability, even more than analog systems. This is because a computer running software is the only control path between pilot and control surfaces. If the computer software crashes, the pilot cannot control the aircraft. Therefore virtually all fly-by-wire systems are triply or quadruply redundant: they have three or four computers in parallel, and three or four separate wires to each control surface. If one or two computers crash, the others continue working. In addition most early digital fly-by-wire aircraft also had an analog electric, mechanical or hydraulic backup control system.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fly-by-wire

Hence the claimed advantage of the early model MiG-29 in its possessing a mechanical flight control system is non-existent in that it is simply a result of ignorance of the fact that all FBW systems possess multiple-redundancy including emergency back-up control systems in case of failure.

Also, it should be remembered that technology since the defection of Belenko has far outstripped things like vacuum tubes in terms of both threats and defenses:

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EUROFIGHTER SUBJECTED TO STRONG ELECTROMAGNETIC PULSES

IN OCTOBER 2005, a test was conducted on Eurofighter, during which the weapon system was subjected to strong electromagnetic pulses (EMP). The aim of this test campaign, which is unique in Europe, was to gather information on the behaviour of the aircraft when it is exposed to this type of interference and to verify that the specified values are not exceeded.

Similar processes have now been used for the EMP certification of the aircraft. The objective of this EMP test was to examine the aircraft's resistance to jamming when it is subjected to very strong and short pulses. Such electromagnetic pulses occur after nuclear explosions, for instance, and can lead to malfunctions or system failures of technical installations and equipment. In the near future, specially-developed HPM weapons (HPM = High Power Microwave) could become available, which would also have similar effects. This is why proof of immunity is so important for Eurofighter.

http://www.eads.com/xml/content/OF00000000...91/41347919.pdf

Air Force High-Power Microwave Technology Program

The Air Force Phillips Laboratory in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is the lead DoD agency for directed energy weapons (DEW) research and development. It manages and conducts the nation's largest technology programs for both high-energy lasers (HEL) and high-power microwaves (HPM). Formerly, lab personnel also worked on development of high-energy particle beam weapons. Recently, the potential for HPM weapons has dramatically increased due to major advances in source technology and the increased vulnerability of targets because of widespread use of solid state electronics.

The Phillips Laboratory just completed a multiyear program to measure and understand the effects of HPM on an F-16 testbed aircraft and to evaluate possible hardening technologies. A major program objective was to develop a methodology to assess HPM effects on large complicated systems. Electromagnetic coupling to the many critical electronic systems was measured with specially developed diagnostics and instrumentation. Computer simulations guided the experiments and aided understanding of the results. Coupling paths into the aircraft compartments were characterized and effects on electronic boxes were measured in the aircraft and separately in the laboratory. As part of this program, the susceptibility of the low-altitude navigation and targeting IR system for night (LANTIRN) to electromagnetic radiation was measured and hardening countermeasures developed and demonstrated. This hardening technology was transitioned to the LANTIRN System Program Office (SPO) for implementation. The results of this comprehensive assessment of the effects of HPM on a fly-by-wire aircraft have been reported to the F-16 SPO and have also been transferred to other organizations with a need-to-know. The F-16 testbed program helped to develop an understanding of the potential HPM threat to fly-by-wire aircraft and to assess the feasibility of using HPM weapons on board such aircraft.

The Air Force is the lead service for research and development of HPM technology for aircraft self-protection. HPM can potentially provide a robust countermeasure to the full spectrum of missile threats. It could defeat missiles by disrupting or destroying the electronics in the seeker, guidance, and possibly the fuze, with little or no knowledge of missile details. The Air Force is working to develop and demonstrate a high-power ultra-wide bandwidth (UWB) system for protection of aircraft against missile threats. The effects of UWB radiation on aircraft and threat missiles are being measured and modeled. In the late 1990s, the Air Force plans to demonstrate the technical feasibility of using HPM for aircraft self-protection.

Fly-By-Light and Aircraft Survivability

The results of recent experiments and testing in the Fly-By-Light (FBL) technology area indicate applications of this technology can improve flight control survivability. The much publicized electromagnetic immunity usually takes the forefront in survivability discussions. There are, however, two other contributory characteristics that can be attributed to fiber optics: 1) optical bussing does not require a ground path, and 2) optical fiber is physically very small compared with its electrical equivalent. Without a ground path, the signal medium is the only survivability concern, reducing the vulnerable components by 50 percent. The small physical size makes an optical bus less likely to be hit, reducing the kill probability for the system. Overall, an optical network can be more survivable than its electrical equivalent.

http://www.bahdayton.com/surviac/archive/a...l.html#afhighpo


Posted Image

An F-16 fighter jet sits in an echoless chamber, where the effects of high-power microwaves are appraised.

http://tech2.nytimes.com/mem/technology/te...751C0A9659C8B63

Posted Image

Military researchers are working on perfecting high-power microwave weapons that can invisibly smash enemy electronics.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/2847029.stm

Evidently High-Power Microwaves or HPM will be a greater threat than EMP in the future since these can be used without the complications of detonating nuclear weapons. Obviously, an aircraft which can survive HPM attacks can also survive EMP attacks (see Typhoon), and an aircraft which employs HPMs as defensive aids (replacing today's jammers, see F-16) must be able to survive HPMs itself. Finally, there is the prospect of fly-by-light or fiber-optics replacing copper wiring in today's FBW systems, giving total immunity to EMP since light after all is susceptible only to the pull of gravity (re black holes) not electromagnetic interference.

Bottom line: EMP is old news.


War. What is it good for?--James Brown

What's love got to do with it?--Tina Turner

Only the intelligent are brave.
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