Vietnam and the Wild Weasels....

Discussion in 'Modern' started by Lucky13, Apr 27, 2014.

  1. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Which was the better suited aircraft during the Vietnam war?
     
  2. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    I think most would vote for the F-4. The F-105 could carry more farther and, clean and on-the-deck, nothing could catch it, but the twin engine F-4 would get the nod on survivability.

    The Wild Weasel mission were a dangerous mission that took extreme courage. Its unofficial motto is "You gotta be sh***in' me", taken from veteran electronic warfare officer (EWO) ( who actually said "You want me to fly in the back of a little tiny fighter aircraft with a crazy fighter pilot who thinks he's invincible, home in on a SAM site in North Vietnam, and shoot it before it shoots me, you gotta be sh***in' me!". Quote is from wikipedia.
     
  3. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    Jan, as with most things, it is POV. While the fighter Jocks got all the press from a Ground-Pounder's view, the sight of a Skyraider or two was the sight of an angel come to save your bass. The same for that beautiful "Puff" or the "Jolly Green". Jets just did not have the loiter time and missed half the time though the AF loved their Jets.
    The F-104s had a lousy record but the scared the crepe out of the NVA pilots. Once the AF decided that missles were not the answer to everything and gave the F-4 cannons it proved to be a great aircraft.
     
  4. silence

    silence Active Member

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    I was just thinking about this myself. On a tangent, could the J-79s in the F-4 be replaced with the J-75 in the F-105?

    Looks like the -75 is about 92mm larger diameter and 1200lb heavier, but puts out about 6600lbs more thrust each, so its a trade of 2400lbs to gain 13200lbs. The sfc of the -75 is 0.05 less in military thrust. Looks like they were both introduced in the same year.
     
  5. silence

    silence Active Member

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    What was it about the F-104 that scared the NVA?
     
  6. BobR

    BobR Member

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    Legend.
    Former N. Vietnam pilots have said as such.
     
  7. XBe02Drvr

    XBe02Drvr Active Member

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    What you trying to do, turn the F-4 into a widebody? Have you ever seen an F-4 with its engine bays open and a swap in progress? Happened at least once a week right outside my workspace. Those J-79s were shoe-horned in. Stick a couple J-75s in, the already broad-beamed Phantom phuselage would look like Fat Albert! Besides, adding that much weight behind the CG would require more weight forward to compensate, and you'd have to re-stress the entire airframe, and add more fuel for the extra thrust, and increase the wing area to keep loading within reason, and re-stress the airframe again, and now you need stronger landing gear and this macho-heavy monster is going to come into the arresting gear at an even higher speed, and so it goes. Is it still an F-4?
     
  8. Token

    Token Active Member

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    #8 Token, Jul 25, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2016


    Without a doubt the F-4C Wild Weasel. It was the most capable of the breed used in that conflict in number. When someone says "Wild Weasel" and "SEA" the F-105 is often the first thing that comes to mind, because the F-4C arrived so late, but the F-4C Weasel was the best of them.


    The F-100F was the prototype, essentially a test bed that got forced into service. It was an emergency response to the threat of the SA2 in Vietnam, this threat caused several programs to be started at the highest priorities, the Weasel project was one of them. The original contract for the effort was written on a chalk board, everyone signed it, and a picture was taken of the board, they did not have time to do it the "normal" way. The concept got proven as functional in that platform, but the capability was pretty limited, it could work with the existing generation of the Fan Song radar, and that was about it. And the aircraft could not keep up with the F-105's they supported after the F-105's were clean and out bound. The electronic systems eventually had to be modified to detect the later versions of the Fan Song, as well as the Flap Wheel, Fire Can, and Gun Dish radars.


    Since the F-100 could not keep up with the F-105 after the F-105 dropped their load, the use of an F-105 as a platform was a natural decision. With the F105F and then the F-105G the Thud started to be a good system, and was effective, and it flew by far the most Wild Weasel flights in SEA. Out of both Korat and Takhli this aircraft really started to work well. But the F-4C was the one that, as far as SEAD went, got to be what was needed for the job.


    Both the C and E's predate me (I was working in other realms of EW at that time), but I worked a good bit with the F-4G Weasel (from pretty early in its cycle), and everything that followed it to date. I also knew/know many of the gentlemen involved from the F-100 on.


    The Navy did the same tasking with other aircraft, and until the EA6B came along they were a step behind the Air Force in many ways. EA6B's conducted more than 700 sorties in Vietnam late in the conflict. The EA6B may not have had guns to press the attack into the teeth of the enemy, but between the SHRIKES, ARMS, and bombs they could handle more targets, with greater precision, in a hotter environment, than the F-4. Three ECMO's (or 2 ECMOs and a "gunner" in the right seat, ECMO 1) can handle a lot of things. People think of it as an EA / ELINT platform, but it can also drop ordinance if that is the tasking. But it can't defend itself from fighters.


    T!
     
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