Better strike fighter

Discussion in 'Modern' started by renrich, Dec 19, 2007.

  1. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    Would the US and the USN have been better served to have bought the newly manufactured strike fighter version of the F14 that was proposed by Grumman rather than the F 18 E-F Super Hornet.
     
  2. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    The F-14 as a bomber was a great aircraft. I don't know if the plan was to newly manufacture F14s but to rebuild the fleet. You do have a "common airframe" now although the Super Hornet is larger than the older F/A-18. If the F-14 was rebuilt or re manufactured, I could see a lot of costly mods that would be necessary to ensure longevity of the aircraft and opening up a mod or production line on a dated production airframe is no easy task. I don't know, in the long run it might of been better to go with the Super Hornet.
     
  3. SoD Stitch

    SoD Stitch Banned

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    I would have to say "probably"; I know there have been teething problems with the Super Hornet, even though I'm sure it'll be an excellent all-around fighter/bomber once they get the bugs all worked out.

    The advantage the F-14(E?) would've had was that it was a mature airframe (i.e.: more reliable), especially with the F110 engines, and it was also an incredibly efficient airframe from an aerodynamic point of view. On the downside, it was a little too big for the strike mission, and probably wouldn't have had as many hardpoints as the F-18E/F does (if I remember correctly, the F-14B/D "Bombcats" only had four hardpoints, even though each one was rated for 2,000 lbs.).
     
  4. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    My thought is this. In the late 80s, when the decision to go to the Super Hornet was made, Grumman still had the line going to build the last of the Tomcats and all the sub contractors were still operating. Grumman proposed a Strike Tomcat that would be newly manufactured but would incoporate all the latest technological advances. The Strike TC would have had the following advantages over the SH: Faster-2.4 mach versus 1.8 mach, longer range( I can't remember how much but substantial), launch without burner(big savings in fuel), zero wind over the deck capability(I don't believe SH has this), roughly same ordnance load but TC carries conformally so performance is about the same with or without bomb load and the Tomcat would have been able to carry out fleet defense duties with Phoenix missile. The only advantage the Super Hornet has is a slight stealth capability. I suspect the TC would have been in the long run just as cheap because development costs were mostly already spread over original TC production run. My suspicion is that the decision that was made was a political one. Possibly something about keeping McDonnel Douglas in business. I believe us taxpayers got screwed and the USN got a less capable AC.
     
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