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F-18H fleet interceptor

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  • F-18H fleet interceptor

    This is mainly for JGetti, but i'm interested in anything useful anyone else has.

    Anyway, what is the feasibility of a purpose designed F-18"H" model with more powerful supercruise engines, vectored thrust, and a new high sweep wing to provide a viable replacement for the F-14D?

    I'm thinking since the S.Hornet is really the only show in town it would be extremely wise for the USN to at least study a dedicated air superiority fleet defense variant.

  • #2
    This is just my gut response, but upthrusting and rewinging the Super Hornet would mean a new center barrel and a beefed up airframe (at the very least), so up goes the weight. It would really take an all new airframe, imo.

    The F-35 already has a slight advantage over the Super Hornet in T/W (in a pure A2A configuration, at least), and a better wing for high speed. We would want more than a marginal improvement over the F-35 to justify the cost, and I'm not sure the SH can deliver that. If I was going to go that route, I think I would be looking at a larger, twin-engined, possibly two-seater F-35.

    Either way, I guess we're talking about a totally new AC, for all practical purposes. Does the threat matrix justify it? I think right now, we can handle Flankers/Sunburns okay, is it better to invest in longer range AAM's and shipboard SAM's for existing platforms? Upgrading/replacing the E2-C for better AEW so existing AC have more response time?

    Complicated question, especially since we don't really know the true capabilities of the F-35.
    "We will go through our federal budget – page by page, line by line – eliminating those programs we don’t need, and insisting that those we do operate in a sensible cost-effective way." -President Barack Obama 11/25/2008