What do you think of the F-18 Hornet

Discussion in 'Modern' started by Soundbreaker Welch?, Apr 7, 2006.

  1. Soundbreaker Welch?

    Soundbreaker Welch? Active Member

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    I guess a common response is: Blue Angels.

    But in combat what do you think of it?
     
  2. R988

    R988 Member

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    which one? the early models ABCD or the later EF Super hornets?

    Perhaps the best F/A-18 was the one they never made, the F-18L

    http://home.att.net/~jbaugher4/f18_9.html

    Otherwise it's done a good job as a reasonably priced light attack multirole aircraft with respectable air to air ability for those who need something with a bit more reliability than an F-16 (ie twin engines, probably stronger structure due to having to take carrier landings)

    An interesting read on how the RAAF came about selecting the Hornet here
    http://www.boeing.com.au/YearOfHornet/History.html

    This one made it back after a midair collision, so it must be able to take a fair amount of punishment
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Soundbreaker Welch?

    Soundbreaker Welch? Active Member

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    I guess the old F-18 Hornet, not the new "Growler" super Hornet.


    But you can discuss it too if you want.
     
  4. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    The F18 is a fair enough aircraft, but compromises had to be made for it to perform bombing and fighter missions.

    Remember the airframe is still a mid to late 70's design and its coming on 30 years of design age.
     
  5. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Agree!

    I was told by some of my former navy buddies it was a great aircraft to maintain, especially when compared to the F-14
     
  6. Twitch

    Twitch Member

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    "F-18 in combat-" I guess the main thing is how can we evaluate a combat aircraft's effectiveness from its endless training excercises that has little or no real world combat immersion?
     
  7. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I think it is a good aircraft overall. A good eneogh replacement in the interceptor role for the F-14? Hell no!
     
  8. R988

    R988 Member

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    Well it has seen a bit of combat actually, though nothing major except perhaps the first Gulf war.

    (summarised from wikipedia)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F/A-18_Hornet

    So 2 kills, 2 losses, MiG-21s aren't much to brag about (then again most F-16 and F-15 kills weren't exactly top grade opponents either). Being shot down by a MiG25 isn't that shocking, they are fast enough to get in and take a shot with both IR and Radar missiles for an effective kill then get out using it's high speed, a rather underrated threat IMHO.

    Full known combat record for F/A-18:
    Libya - Operation El Dorado Canyon (USN, 1986)
    Iraq - Operation Desert Storm (USN, USMC, Canada, 1991)
    Iraq - Operation Southern Watch (USN, USMC, 1991-2003)
    Bosnia - Operation Deliberate Force (USN, USMC, Canada, Spain, 1995)
    Iraq - Operation Desert Fox (USN, 1998)
    Kosovo - Operation Allied Force (USN, Canada, Spain, 1999)
    Afghanistan - Operation Enduring Freedom (USN, USMC, 2001-present)
    Iraq - Operation Iraqi Freedom (USN, USMC, Australia, 2003-present)

    Not much aircombat but some mud moving.

    It is a very well thought out aircraft design wise, very easy to maintain and repair and cheap to run, it will last 2 or 3 times longer between servicing and the servicing should only take half as long. It was one of the first aircraft to make good use of digital systems so it can be upgraded more easily and cheaply and it's cockpit is supposed to be well thought out with HOTAS and lessons learned from McDonnell Douglas' experience on the F-15, but updated of course, with lots of MFDs. When you consider that it has now basically replaced the A-6, F-4, A-4, F-14 and EA-6 that's quite remarkable, the Navy must have saved a shedload of cash from that sort of commonality alone, of course they are also compromised by trying to squeeze so many tricks out of one design, and for us enthusiasts it's a bit boring to see a carrier with virtually only one type of aircraft on it.

    The F404 engine is supposed to be very good, reliable, reasonable consumption to thrust and able to be throttled back and forth without too much worry about the engine health or compressor stalls. Some of it's design features were later even added to the F101 series (F-15/F-16/F-14D) after the US Govt gave the details to P&W (to GEs obvious disgust). Even the JAS-39 Gripen uses the same F404 engine licence built by Volvo.


    Known Operators:
    Australia (Royal Australian Air Force)
    Canada (Canadian Armed Forces, Air Command)
    Finland, Suomen Ilmavoimat (Finnish Air Force)
    Kuwait, al-Quwwat al-Jawwiya al-Kuwaitiya (Kuwaiti Air Force)
    Malaysia, Tentera Udara Diraja Malaysia (Royal Malaysian Air Force)
    Spain, Ejército del Aire Española (Spanish Air Force)
    Switzerland, Schweizer Luftwaffe (Swiss Air Force)
    United States (US Marine Corps)
    United States (US Navy)
    United States (NASA)
     
  9. Twitch

    Twitch Member

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    Exactly, the combat immesion of the F-18 is incomplete. I'm unconvinced. besdies I personally like more substantial craft like the F-14 and its systems where the F-18 is a compromise due to size.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. R988

    R988 Member

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    The SuperHornet is pretty big, I'd rather be a smaller target than a bigger one ;)

    I'd prefer a dedicated interceptor/air superiority aircraft and dedicated attack aircraft though it's probably doubtful whether carriers are actually needed these days with the cruise missiles and unmanned aircraft improving all the time.

    Probably cheaper to keep a bunch of long range missiles than to keep a carrier floating around, though it's imposing psychological value is probably worth something.
     
  11. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    I think youre right. A fighter only and a bomber only aircraft.

    The biggest problem with the F18 is its lack of hard points to carry lots of bombs.
     
  12. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    The Super Hornet has quite a bit, actually. Remember, it is an attack aircraft, not a bomber. Bombers are Air Force missions.

    From Boeing's website:
    The Super Hornet's versatility applies to its weapon stations and payload types:
    * 11 weapon stations
    * Supports a full complement of smart weapons, including laser-guided bombs
    * Carries a full spectrum mix of air-to-air and air-to-ground ordnance

    From the FAS site:
    And to replace the EA-6B Prowler, the F/A-18 Growler
    F/A-18G "Growler"
    The EA-6B will begin retirement in the 2010 timeframe, after a career that exceeded 40 years of deployments in support of USN, USMC, and USAF strike forces. As of early 2000, Defense Department planning for replacing the EA-6B Prowler include a scheme under which the Navy would buy an F/A-18G "Growler" -- an F/A-18E/F modified for escort and close-in jamming. The Air Force would provide standoff jamming with modified EB-52s or EB-1s, and close-in jamming with unmanned air vehicles such as the Northrop Grumman Global Hawk or General Atomics Predator.

    Sources
    http://www.boeing.com/defense-space/military/fa18ef/index.htm
    http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ac/f-18.htm
    http://www.chinfo.navy.mil/navpalib/aircraft/fa18/fa18ord.html
     
  13. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Here is a regular Hornet, showing 4 underwing hardpoints, 2 wingtip hardpoints and a drop tank. Doesn't seem like it's lean on that to me...
     

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  14. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Thats six bombs. Whoop de doo!
     
  15. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Like I said, it's an attack aircraft, not a bomber. Surely you don't think it would be one lone hornet for a strike?
     
  16. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Just for the argument - someone sent this to me today, F-18 killing an F-22...
     

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  17. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    I think the F-18 is a quite capable aircraft, and obviously so does that bug-driver, Joe!
     
  18. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Yep - just one thing, that might be a Sim shot - some of the guys here have been arguing about this all day.
     
  19. R988

    R988 Member

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    How many bombs do you need to carry these days, it's not WW2 anymore?

    Most bombs these days are guided meaning you dont need to carry loads and carpet bomb, you can hit exactly what you want.

    It's at least equal to an F-16, probably equal to an A-6 as well, early model F/A-18s with drop tanks can carry the same amount as an A-7 corsair without drop tanks.
    F/A-18 has been doing a good enough job trucking bombs so far in Iraq and Afghanistan, it's clever placement of AIM-7 and now AIM-120s semi conformally and AIM 9 on the wing tips means it can carry credible air to air capability along with a full load of bombs.

    Can carry a fair few AIM-120s if needed as well
     

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  20. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    Ummm, more cluster munitions were dropped in Iraq than any other weapon....
     
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