Author Topic: F-16 never happens  (Read 7760 times)

Offline taiidantomcat

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F-16 never happens
« on: August 27, 2016, 01:50:34 AM »
F-16 never happens:

Was reading revolt of the majors and at the end the author pointed out that the F-16 was a real winner, but USAF could have made due without it. I thought that was interesting.

So what if the LWF never happened? Would we see more F-15s sold globally? Would Europe go a different way? If so which? Would the F-20 be a runaway hit?

If there was no LWF there would not be a YF-17 either, so what happens on the navy side? Do the Marines stick with the Tomcat?
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Offline Weaver

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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2016, 02:07:09 AM »
The immediate question that spings to mind is: in exactly what way does it not happen? Is there simply no 'Fighter Mafia' at all to push for it so the cost/complexity spiral simply goes ever upwards, or does it all happen as per real life up to the point of the YF-16/YF-17 flyoff, but the USAF finds a way through the politics to not buy either of them?

If the prototypes get built but not bought, you could see one or both of them being adopted as an export fighter in the same style as the F-5, in which case the story would be pretty much the same for export customers, just not for the USAF who yes, would end up buying a lot more F-15s. In this scenario, you might even see the USN pick up the YF-17 and develop it into the F-18 in the same way as real life too.

On the other hand, if the Fighter Mafia and the LWF never happened at all, it gets very interesting. Would the Dutch, Danish, Belgian and Norwegian air forces have gone for the Mirage F.1 M53 + Jaguar combo they were offered, or even all-Mirage F.1s? Alternatively, might the Danes and Nowegians have been persuaded by the Viggen?

What would the USN have done to replace the A-7? In the absence of the YF-17, might they have been more interested in the more radical joint US/UK 2nd generation Harrier proposals like the AV-16?

What would all the other F-16/18 export customers have done? Would Canada and Australia have gone for the F-15, or maybe the Tornado ADV and Mirage 2000 respectively? It's a pretty safe bet that there would have been a lot more F-15s, Mirage 2000s, Mirage F.1s and Tornados (of both versions) sold at the top end, and more F-5s and Jaguars at the cheaper end too.
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Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2016, 03:41:10 AM »
Very interesting idea.  As Harold mentioned, the circumstances behind this happening would really determine the outcomes.

If the LWF contest is still run but nothing is purchased I believe you would eventually still see something enter service...just a few years later.  Maybe under the guise of President Reagan with a scheme similar to the 600-Ship Navy strategic plan (5000 aircraft Air Force?) which can only be satisfied by a cheaper platform.  I can also see the mindset of the Fighter Mafia types matching well with President Reagan.  Of course if re-started in the early '80s this allows the likes of Northrop Grumman and others to have refined their offerings more which might even allow the F-20 a better chance.  Maybe one could also see someone like Boeing partner to offer a US version of the Mirage F.1.

If the Fighter Mafia and the LWF never happened at all I still think one would see something eventually introduced.  Maybe Northrop finally gets ahead and convinces the USAF to buy some F-20s (though would there be a F404 engine without the YF-17 or F/A-18?).  Would something maybe grow out of a USN requirement for a A-7 replacement - would the USAF accept yet another Navy jet?  Maybe we would see the original VFAX competitors (see here - especially the last post) turn into something for both USN and USAF?

In all of these cases it really depends upon the role envisaged too - would the requirement be more to the ground attack side or would it be more to the light air-to-air side?  If the former, something along the A-7/Jaguar side gets a look.  If the latter, then something more of the F-20/F.1 side.
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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2016, 03:53:03 AM »
Assuming the YF-17 and YF-16 never got beyond the flyoff...

The F-20 would have most probably covered the market freed up by the absence of the F-16. Denmark, Belgium, Norway, the Netherlands, Portugal and Pakistan would have gone with it.

Greece would have ordered only Mirage 2000s. Turkey the F-20, most probably.

Israel would have sped up the development and inducted into service the IAI Lavi instead (:-*)

Japan could have developed an indigenous aircraft, rather than building the F-2.

Oh, the possibilities...

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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2016, 04:05:21 AM »
Another option might be to see low cost/reduced capability versions of the F-15 and F-14 developed.  What might these look like?
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Offline Weaver

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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2016, 07:16:20 AM »
The problem with proposing the F-20 as a shoe-in alternative to the F-16/18 is that it's development depended on the F-404 engine (as Greg has pointed out) and it's highly unlikely that would have gone ahead without the F-18 program to finance it. I can't see an export-only programe carrying the cost of a new and advanced engine even in the US.

If the Fighter Mafia/LWF process had never happened, the issue of what to export to 'top-tier' allies as a follow-on to the Starfighter would have remained. In real life, the IFA (International Fighter Aircraft) competition of 1970 was intended to find an F-5A Freedom Fighter successor, and was won by the F-5E Tiger II, but this was too small and simple for most Starfighter operators. In an alternative timeline, with no LWF rumblings promising a Starfighter replacement, might the IFA have been expanded into a two-aircraft high/low capability requirement?

The other three IFA contenders were a 'lightweight' Phantom (kinda sorta adopted by Germany), the Lockheed CL-1200 Lancer (a big-wing, low tail Starfighter) and the LTV V-1000 (a J-79-engined Crusader). Any of these could have formed the basis of a higher-spec export fighter that could have taken the place of the F-16/18 in export markets. My personal feeling is that the lightweight Phantom was still too complicated and heavy for this requirement. I've never liked the Starfighter but I have to admit that the Lancer fixed it's biggest problems, and on the flip side, I've always had a liking for the Crusader, but I'd have to admit that rear view and radome size would have remained an issue.
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Offline Weaver

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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2016, 07:36:37 AM »
Another thought: there was a proposal for a big-wing Jaguar knocking around in the early 1980s, which had more power and much better agility. If the export market had been less dominated by US products like the F-16/18, might BAE have been persuaded to put some serious company money behind it as an export prospect? With it still using most of the standard Jaguar fuselage, it wouldn't have been nearly as expensive to jig up as an all new aircraft, in fact it might even have been possible to insert big-wing Jags into the standard production line.

Oman would have been an obvious customer, but probably couldn't take enough to justify a start-up order on their own. Other existing Jaguar customers might have been interested: Ecuador, Nigeria (although they never paid for the ones they had!) and India.
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Offline elmayerle

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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2016, 09:42:44 AM »
Delayed F-20 ends up going with PW1120, same as Lavi?  Or Northrop buys into Lavi (that was definitely looked at) either as a co-developer or as the US lincensee?  Several interesting possibilities.

I rather like Greg's idea of a Mirage F1.W built in the US by Boeing (W for Wichita, much as they were looking at building a version, IIIW, of the Mirage III there at an earlier date).  I wonder if we then would have seen a J79 dropped into the Mirage F.1?

Offline ysi_maniac

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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2016, 11:14:54 AM »
... a J79 dropped into the Mirage F.1?

Love this idea ;)

Offline elmayerle

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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2016, 11:34:23 AM »
... a J79 dropped into the Mirage F.1?

Love this idea ;)
And I just happen to have a pair of Mirage F.1's that donated their ATAR 9K exhausts to a high French content Phantom II which also leaves a pair of J79 nozzles to fit them.  Probably will need a cooling scoop like that on the Kfir since the J79 runs hotter, but doable.

Offline Weaver

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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2016, 03:07:13 PM »
... a J79 dropped into the Mirage F.1?

Love this idea ;)
And I just happen to have a pair of Mirage F.1's that donated their ATAR 9K exhausts to a high French content Phantom II which also leaves a pair of J79 nozzles to fit them.  Probably will need a cooling scoop like that on the Kfir since the J79 runs hotter, but doable.

You could probably just graft a Kfir tail fin on from the Italeri or Hasegawa kits. The shape is almost identical apart from the scoop and Kfir kits are dirt cheap 2nd hand (at least here in the UK).

I've always liked the idea of a Mirage F.1 with a Spey. Obviously not a straight-forward mod, but then neither was the F-4K.
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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2016, 03:06:33 AM »
If going with a Crusader derivative for the "new F-16" why not go with the Vought Super V-1000.  This brings the F100 engine as used on the F-15s and thus the same commonality advantage as the real world F-16 had.



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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2016, 03:16:18 AM »
Re the Boeing Mirage F.1, it seems that in the real world Boeing did indeed breifly team with Dassault to develop a J79 Mirage F1 but had to abandon that idea for a totally new design.  This was for the F-XX program started in 1971 to develop a light, highly maneuverable fighter that could be produced at a cost significantly below that of the F-14 and that could be used in combination with, or as a substitute for, the F-15.

BTW, the Spey engined F.1 was also later an option for the F-1E (for Europe) to rival the F-16 before they settled on the M53 engine.
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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2016, 03:18:24 AM »
BTW, here is where Boeing ended up with the LWF (aka the contest won by the F-16 in the real world):

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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2016, 03:22:29 AM »
BTW, here was Vought's eventual contender for the LWF contest - the model V1100:



I suppose it too could have been revamped for later re-use.
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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2016, 03:26:26 AM »
Delayed F-20 ends up going with PW1120, same as Lavi?  Or Northrop buys into Lavi (that was definitely looked at) either as a co-developer or as the US lincensee? 

I do like either a PW1120 "F-20" (or perhaps the same in the Mirage F.1 or even Mirage 2000).  The NG Lavi would also be very cool.  As I said above I think a lot of the selection comes down to whether the need is ground attack centric or air to air centric.
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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2016, 05:47:43 AM »
Another thought: there was a proposal for a big-wing Jaguar knocking around in the early 1980s, which had more power and much better agility.


I wonder if this is that one:

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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2016, 06:29:43 AM »
Another option out of this is that we see a European design fill the hole left by the F-16.  Maybe one of the late '70s/eary '80s British Aerospace designs?  Maybe a joint European project involving British Aerospace, Dassault, MBB, Saab etc to create something akin to the Gripen.  There were certainly many lightweight fighter looked at and this could be a good follow on project for the likes of the Panavia consortium. Maybe even something around a single RB199 engine?  In fact, the RB199 might provide an interesting gap filler also if the F404 wasn't available now - RB199 powered F-20 anyone?  Keep the  thrust reversers from the Tornado as well to satisfy the likes of Swedish STOL operations.

Maybe something around the likes of the P.106 design:

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Offline Kelmola

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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2016, 07:28:05 AM »
I would say the 37E "Eurofighter" variant of the Viggen gets developed and at least Norway and Denmark operate it. Maybe the increased prevalence of Viggen in the neighbouring countries will cause Luftwaffe to re-evaluate their "no single engine plane after Starfighter" policy? Also, BAe did contribute to Gripen design, so it would not be so strange to see them contributing to the Viggen Eurofighter already. Sea Viggen? The landing gear was already stressed for carrier-grade sink rates, the automatic landing system placed the plane on a runway with the accuracy that would have been good enough for carrier landings, the rudder folded already, and corrosion prevention was probably also pretty good considering it had to withstand outside parking in Nordic winter, so "only" catapult fittings and arrestor hook were missing (yes, I know, navalizing an aircraft is not that simple outside whiffverse, and for example, the thrust reverser would have been so much dead weight on a carrier aircraft).

F-20 proliferation is also a certainty, given that Northrop was going to develop an update for the F-5 series anyway, LFW or not. Of course, Vought might actually find customers for their A-7F StrikeFighter too. With no F-16 sales to be endangered, Lavi goes forward too.

If the Hornet is also absent, I see Canada and Australia definitely going for either F-14 or F-15. Maybe the USMC will also get to keep their almost-realized 'Cat squadrons? Naval variant of A-7F is a given, unless it's a naval machine to begin with. Spain and Finland, anyone's guess. Switzerland, depending on the year of decision, either Viggen or Gripen, or even AV-8B+ Harrier.

Offline elmayerle

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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2016, 10:26:34 AM »
"Sea Viggen" with a new nose gear that includes the bar for the shuttle?  Might be simpler than adding structure properly for catapult bridle fittings.

With no LWF, might we see both subsonic and supersonic AV-16 variants?  If not, then definitely AV-8B+ and an equivalent British version (Harrier FG.11 or Sea Harrier FRS.2? - or both but with different radars used?)

Whatever was done with the F-20, I could see the production version having to have a bigger wing,  Perhaps first of all there could have been the variant Northrop's support engineering organization put together with enlarged wing with additional hardpoint on each side and power from two GE J97s.  Oh, another thought for F-20, if the YF-17 existed but the F/A-18 never came into being, I could see the F-20 using the J101 from the YF-17; not as large or powerful, but available.

Offline Weaver

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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #20 on: August 28, 2016, 11:48:18 AM »
Another option out of this is that we see a European design fill the hole left by the F-16.  Maybe one of the late '70s/eary '80s British Aerospace designs?  Maybe a joint European project involving British Aerospace, Dassault, MBB, Saab etc to create something akin to the Gripen.  There were certainly many lightweight fighter looked at and this could be a good follow on project for the likes of the Panavia consortium. Maybe even something around a single RB199 engine?  In fact, the RB199 might provide an interesting gap filler also if the F404 wasn't available now - RB199 powered F-20 anyone?  Keep the  thrust reversers from the Tornado as well to satisfy the likes of Swedish STOL operations.

Maybe something around the likes of the P.106 design:




There were in fact many studies done on various "half Tornados" with single RB.199s and either fixed or VG wings and with and without afterburners. It's likely that if one had been adopted, it would have taken the place of the AMX, and in fact been very similar to it, just with more power.

Britain looked at some tasty lightweight fighters too, with Brough's P.153/P.159 projects being in the right timescale and very doable, involving no structural techniques beyond those of the Jaguar/Tornado, the Buccaneer's blown wing and a single RB.199 with a thrust reverser.

In reality, nothing like this could have been developed in the UK alone in the same timeframe as the F-16 because the Tornado programme ate up all the available funds until the mid 1980s, and by then we were into the Eurofighter. A joint project by Panavia might have been possible, but the Panavia nations wern't the potential F-16 customers, so why would they? What is interesting is that the initial MRCA discussions involved Canada and the European F-104 consortium. With Tornado too expensive for all the latter except Germany and Italy (and they held out for ages for a cheaper single-seat CAS version of the Tornado) and no lightweight US fighter in prospect, might the F-104 consortium have been persuaded to build something like the P.159 as part of an expanded, two-aircraft Panavia consortium? The choice for the F-104 group might therefore have been between the Panavia option and the Mirage F.1-M53 rather than between the latter and the F-16 as it was in rela life.

It's hard to imagine Dassault and British Aerospace in the same consortium in the 1970s following the AFVG debaclé and Dassault's attitude problems with the Jaguar when they took over Breguet.
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Offline taiidantomcat

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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #21 on: August 29, 2016, 02:40:28 AM »
Enjoying all this immensely! Lot of great ideas all around. I had not considered how the nature of the LWF not happening would also change the outcomes. I suppose anything is possible when you remove the a top seller from a potentially crowded market.

 :)

Has anyone done a profile for a Turkish F-15? 
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Offline Volkodav

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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #22 on: August 29, 2016, 08:38:13 PM »
As much as I like the F-16 things certainly would have been more interesting without it.  Actually considering Pierre Sprey and Co. were of the opinion that the Pentagon ruined their light fighter by making it multi role I wonder what would have happened if they had actually gotten their way and the USAF had been lumbered with a single role light fighter with no air to ground and very limited all weather (if any) capability? 

I know the Light Fighter Mafia were also the champions of the A-10 but even the most ideologically impaired individual would have to have seen there was a need for all weather air superiority and strike, the USAF would pretty much have had to buy more F-15s as well as acquire either a specialist strike aircraft or a fighter bomber to supplement the light fighter.  Start buying extra F-15s and strike fighters to do what the light fighter cant and the whole cheap part of the equation goes out the window, as too would most export sales as many nations could not afford split fleets and needed multi role aircraft.

Best outcome I could see is the F-14B and C would likely have survived and seen very long and productive service, as well as improved follow on derivatives with the F-14A being nothing more than an interim.  Likely the light fighter and attack requirements could have been met by evolved A-7 and V/STOL, perhaps an evolved Sea Harrier type for USN as well as USMC service if the more ambitious options proved to great a stretch.  Maybe the SCS would have survived, or even an evolved through deck Strike Cruiser.

Offline Weaver

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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #23 on: August 30, 2016, 12:19:14 AM »
Enjoying all this immensely! Lot of great ideas all around. I had not considered how the nature of the LWF not happening would also change the outcomes. I suppose anything is possible when you remove the a top seller from a potentially crowded market.

 :)

Has anyone done a profile for a Turkish F-15?

The F-16 didn't just change the marketplace, it also profoundly changed thinking across a wide variety of air forces too. For instance in the early 1970s, the next RAF requirement was AST.396 which was written around a common Jaguar/Harrier replacement in the CAS/BAI role for the mid 1980s. Low price, low risk and rough-field/STOL capability were all high priorities. A lot of the resultant proposals were very unsexy, with the high-end being roughly equivalent to the AMX and the low end having little more capability than an armed trainer.

Then the F-16 came out, and the RAF were somewhat startled to realise that you could now combine the kind of attack capability they were looking for with an agile dogfighter in one airframe. Their thinking shifted radically, and AST.396 was replaced with AST.404 which relaxed airfield limits and called for a BIG increase in maneuverabilty. STOVL was hived off into AST.409 (?) for a separate Harrier replacement that became the AV-8B/GR.5. The Germans were thinking along the same lines, and, combined with the good working relationships developed over Tornado, this lead to the genesis of the Eurofighter programme.

Without the F-16 or something like it to change minds and paradigms, would this shift in thinking have ever occured, or would the European air forces continued to be obsessed with buying large volumes of cheap light attack aircraft to blunt the projected Soviet land attack?
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Offline Weaver

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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #24 on: August 30, 2016, 12:38:43 AM »

I know the Light Fighter Mafia were also the champions of the A-10 but even the most ideologically impaired individual would have to have seen there was a need for all weather air superiority and strike, the USAF would pretty much have had to buy more F-15s as well as acquire either a specialist strike aircraft or a fighter bomber to supplement the light fighter.  Start buying extra F-15s and strike fighters to do what the light fighter cant and the whole cheap part of the equation goes out the window, as too would most export sales as many nations could not afford split fleets and needed multi role aircraft.


That lead to an intriguing thought. The F-15 was extensively promoted in Europe and a stretched version of the Tornado was proposed to the USAF. With no F-16 to undercut the F-15 and divert European attention from Tornado, might a deal have been cut whereby European air forces bought the F-15 in exchange for the USAF buying the Tornado? The USAF had excellent reasons to want something like the Tornado for strike operations in Europe, it was a high quality product that already incorporated a degree of US hardware, and 'Americanising' it to fit US requirements should have been straight-forward. On the European side, Germany and Italy could certainly make a good case for buying the F-15 to replace the F-4F and F-104S and with a European manufacture and support infrastructure in place (and subcontract work to be won), smaller nations might also have been persuaded to take it on a 'common fleet' basis. The Netherlands and Spain seem like good candidates for this.

The only fly in the ointment would be the UK's Tornado ADV programme. The proposed US Tornado used the ADV's stretched forward fuselage, so if the Eagles-for-Tornados deal was done after it was launched, and the UK was pressured into swapping over to F-15s, then the quid-pro-quo might have been that the UK would use it's now redundant ADV jigs to build the forward fuselages for some or all of the USAF Tornados.

Alternatively, BAC could just hand over the ADV fuselage jigs to McDD in exchange for UK contracts to adapt the F-15 to RAF requirements. An optimised 'F-15K' would be based on the F-15B airframe with  UK-redesigned cockpits for a pilot & RIO, a retractable refuelling probe instead of the boom socket, and possibly the Foxhunter radar, either from new or as a future mid-life upgrade (I know that in practice Foxhunter had problems, but those were in the future at the time that these decisions would be made in the late 1970s). The availability of this option might also help F-15 exports to other countries too (Canada, for example).
« Last Edit: August 30, 2016, 01:05:46 AM by Weaver »
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Offline elmayerle

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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #25 on: August 30, 2016, 02:11:14 AM »
Absent a Navy variant of the LWF, or something else to drive development of the J101/F404, development of the F101DFE/F110 would be delayed because that rolled a lot of tech and knowledge from the F404 onto the larger F101 core (heck, on a non-dimensionalized basis, the F404 and F110 have the same contours).  That could cause delays to developed F-14's, especially if the F401 continued having problems and picked up more in common with its F100 sibling.  I could see Allison actively pitching a developed afterburning variant of the TF41 as a replacement for the problematical TF30 in the F-14A and this engine being available for other efforts.

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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #26 on: August 30, 2016, 02:23:07 AM »
Another possibility is that the Panavia 100 gets a boost:



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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #27 on: August 30, 2016, 02:24:24 AM »
Yet another possibility is that the Mirage 2000 takes more orders that the F-16 got in reality.
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Offline ChernayaAkula

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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #28 on: August 30, 2016, 04:11:18 AM »
<...>
Has anyone done a profile for a Turkish F-15?


Only ever did this one.

Cheers,
Moritz

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Offline Volkodav

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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #29 on: August 30, 2016, 09:28:16 AM »
Navalised Tornados for the USN and USMC as a replacement for the Phantom, Crusader and eventually the A-4, A-6 and A-7?
Had the USN recommissioned some of their Essex class CVA/CVS during the 80s as proposed, could the Tornado have operated from them?  I believe the F/A-18 was thought to be unsuitable and that was one of the reasons the recommissioning's never happened, as they would have required refurbishment of F-8s to provide them with a fighter and there may also have been issues with Viking and Hawkeye requiring Trackers and Tracers.

Actually that s a thought, USN recommissions their remaining Essex class carriers as part of their 600 ship Navy, equipping them with F/A Tornados, a light weight Hawkeye or re-engine, modernised Tracers and either re-engined, modernised Trackers or even a Hawkeye / Greyhound derived ASW platform.  This leads to new build CVS being developed and these ships, along with the modernised Essex class and airgroups then become available to close allies.  With a navalised Tornado in production the RN is able to justify the construction of two new multirole CTOL carriers post Falklands and also offer the design for export.

The F-16 never happening could see the RN return to conventional carrier ops post Falklands as well as Australia having a viable replacements for Melbourne available.  Big stretch I know but......
« Last Edit: August 30, 2016, 09:53:25 AM by Volkodav »

Offline taiidantomcat

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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #30 on: August 30, 2016, 10:03:57 AM »
As much as I like the F-16 things certainly would have been more interesting without it.  Actually considering Pierre Sprey and Co. were of the opinion that the Pentagon ruined their light fighter by making it multi role I wonder what would have happened if they had actually gotten their way and the USAF had been lumbered with a single role light fighter with no air to ground and very limited all weather (if any) capability? 


The guy who designed the F-16 actually has a thought. (and no its not Pierre Sprey that designed the F-16, everytime someone mis-attributes that I die a little inside :-X)

Quote
Boyd and Sprey would later admonish you for not sticking to the fighter mafia’s original intent summed up by the group’s motto “make it simple.” They fault the aircraft for getting heavy and overloaded with gadgetry. What is your response?

If we had stayed with the original lightweight fighter concept, that is, a simple day fighter, we would have produced only 300 F-16s, the same number of F-104s that were built.


However earlier in the interview he also said this:

Quote
You see, the F-15 was the first air-superiority fighter that the Air Force had put under contract in twenty-five years. They were committed to the F-15. They felt strongly that our airplane was just a hotdog airplane that was good only for air shows on sunny Sundays at the state fair. This view was strengthened to a degree by their experience with the Lockheed F-104. The F-104 was a really hot airplane that people loved to fly, but it didn't have much capability and not much range. The Air Force bought only 300 of them.

We were threatening for another reason. We were perceived as being anti-technology. Our slogan was "make it simple." The slogan itself may have been an oversimplification. We didn't articulate ourselves well early on.


The whole thing is worth a read and is certainly right at home on this topic:

http://www.codeonemagazine.com/article.html?item_id=37

<...>
Has anyone done a profile for a Turkish F-15?


Only ever did this one.




Thats hot  :-* I love how it follows the F-4 scheme, black nose, sharp turn aft the cockpit  :)

So is anyone audacious enough to make a list by country of what might have gone where best guess/rule of cool?  ??? 
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Offline elmayerle

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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #31 on: August 30, 2016, 10:53:00 AM »
Just a few ideas - Italy to replace their F-104s and take over the strike role from the G.91Y; in the 1990's, Poland to replace/supplement Soviet aircraft (see Larry Bond's Cauldron for some ideas; France - replace F-100s; UK - already discussed

Offline Volkodav

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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #32 on: August 30, 2016, 02:39:13 PM »
I know Sprey was involved in developing the requirements not any of the designs and it was the requirement for a light, predominately day fighter I was referring to.  They seemed to have this idea that swarms of LCFs and AXs would take off and overwhelm swarms of swarms of Migs and Sukhois. 

He strikes me as being a bit like a couple of blokes we have over here in Aus, Paul Dibb and Hugh White.  They were the movers and shakers behind DOA (Defence of Australia) in the late 80s early 90s, we tried it, it failed, we moved on, taking years to fix the things it stuffed and now they resurface every few months and tell everyone how they were right and what we are doing now is wrong etc. etc.  They didn't design anything but managed to ham-sting the requirements for a generation of equipment that ended up never quite being fit for the roles they ended up filling.

What I was alluding to is that if their concept was adopted as is instead of being evolved into a capable multi-role type, it would have been as inflexible and incapable as the F-104A-C and other types would have been required to supplement it.

Offline Rickshaw

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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #33 on: August 30, 2016, 02:55:37 PM »
Ah, Paul Dibb.  Well, he was right, in a way.  He was part of the Continental Defence versus the Forward Defence schools of thinking which existed in the 1970s.  Forward Defence had failed dismally, in Vietnam.  So it was the turn of the Continental Defence boys as represented by Dibb.  The problem was the ADF didn't really have anybody to defend Australia against.  We didn't want to upset the Indonesians, so we didn't name them in the 1986 Dibb Report or the following White Paper that grew out of it.  So, it was a bit hard for the ADF to frame it's strategy other than "lets defend Australia and not interfere in anybody else's affairs".  That managed to upset the Americans and then the Indonesians invaded East Timor.  I remember writing a Masters paper on the Dibb Report and I interviewed the Indonesian Defence Attache and he was at a loss why everybody in Australia was so frightened of Jakarta.  Suharto looked more northwards, than southwards and saw Timor as an aberration forced on him by the Fretlin victory in the Timorese civil war.  What everybody appeared to have forgotten was that Suharto had come to power by destroying the Indonesian Communist Coup in 1965 and he was committed to stopping Communism.  Fretelin was a hard-left Communist movement, so it represented a danger to Indonesian unity, so it had to be snuffed out.  Unfortunate but that was the thinking at the time.  Some good thinks, such as the Collins and ANZAC classes came out of the Dibb Report.  Some bad things, which saw the Army lose it's way.   I agree that Dibb needs to change his views now that the world has moved on, though.

Offline perttime

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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #34 on: August 30, 2016, 03:24:54 PM »
...   Oh, another thought for F-20, if the YF-17 existed but the F/A-18 never came into being, I could see the F-20 using the J101 from the YF-17; not as large or powerful, but available.
And with the F-16 not existing, the J101 F-20 might have got pretty significant sales? Then GE might have gone forward, developing the  F404 as an upgrade?

Offline Volkodav

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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #35 on: August 30, 2016, 08:03:23 PM »
Ah, Paul Dibb.  Well, he was right, in a way.  He was part of the Continental Defence versus the Forward Defence schools of thinking which existed in the 1970s.  Forward Defence had failed dismally, in Vietnam.  So it was the turn of the Continental Defence boys as represented by Dibb.  The problem was the ADF didn't really have anybody to defend Australia against.  We didn't want to upset the Indonesians, so we didn't name them in the 1986 Dibb Report or the following White Paper that grew out of it.  So, it was a bit hard for the ADF to frame it's strategy other than "lets defend Australia and not interfere in anybody else's affairs".  That managed to upset the Americans and then the Indonesians invaded East Timor.  I remember writing a Masters paper on the Dibb Report and I interviewed the Indonesian Defence Attache and he was at a loss why everybody in Australia was so frightened of Jakarta.  Suharto looked more northwards, than southwards and saw Timor as an aberration forced on him by the Fretlin victory in the Timorese civil war.  What everybody appeared to have forgotten was that Suharto had come to power by destroying the Indonesian Communist Coup in 1965 and he was committed to stopping Communism.  Fretelin was a hard-left Communist movement, so it represented a danger to Indonesian unity, so it had to be snuffed out.  Unfortunate but that was the thinking at the time.  Some good thinks, such as the Collins and ANZAC classes came out of the Dibb Report.  Some bad things, which saw the Army lose it's way.   I agree that Dibb needs to change his views now that the world has moved on, though.

The submarine replacement project preceded the Dibb report by more than a decade and the ANZAC project was a dumbed down version of the required River Class DE / frigate replacement, eight glorified OPVs / Light Frigates instead of six high end ASW frigates.  Even the proposed increase in frigate numbers was actually a follow on from the decision not to replace the RANs sole remaining aircraft carrier and had originally been intended to be six to ten Australian built Oliver Hazard Perry class FFGs, subsequently cut to only two ships intended primarily to rebuild the lost naval shipbuilding capability. 

Dibbs contribution was to see the RAN acquire eight patrol frigates fitted for but not with the minimum required systems to permit them to operate in even medium threat environments instead of acquiring a similar or slightly smaller number of Type 23s, additional FFG-7s, M Class or even Type 123s.  Defence cuts that followed the fall of the Berlin Wall meant that both the planned replacements for the Perth Class DDGs and original four Adelaide Class frigates, an integral part of the Dibb report, was cancelled and the proposed modernisation of the two Australian built AFP FFGs was expanded to include the four US built ships, while the only sensible part of the report, the twelve or so missile armed, helicopter equipped corvettes, were cancelled.

Like Sprey Dibb occasionally pops up and whinges that the ANZACs were to large and too capable for the requirement, when ironically they actually proved too small to be upgraded as required, making them part of the capability decline rather than the planned increase.  For example imagine a larger Type 23 or Type 123 with the enhanced ASMD upgrades that the ANZACs received, imagine an Ocean type LPH instead of Bill and Ben, Dibb was wrong and when you read the actual intention behind the enhanced fleet it had little to do with interdicting Indonesia and more to do with controlling choke points, even to keep them open rather than closing them.

This is way off topic now and I think I will get back to visualising a bash of the Dragon 1/144 Tonka F3s, GR1s, F/A-18Es and F-14Ds I have sitting in my stash into some aircraft that would fit an F-16less world quite well.  A Tornado based naval fighter attack aircraft, maybe a 1970s or 80s F/A-14 and a single seat Tonka of some sort.

Offline taiidantomcat

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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #36 on: August 31, 2016, 01:23:47 AM »
I know Sprey was involved in developing the requirements not any of the designs and it was the requirement for a light, predominately day fighter I was referring to.  They seemed to have this idea that swarms of LCFs and AXs would take off and overwhelm swarms of swarms of Migs and Sukhois. ..

...What I was alluding to is that if their concept was adopted as is instead of being evolved into a capable multi-role type, it would have been as inflexible and incapable as the F-104A-C and other types would have been required to supplement it.


No offense intended and I didn't count you in that group i mentioned, I just figured since you mentioned it we could hear it straight from the horses mouth. Hillaker didn't seem to think it would go on to do much. Which is very likely true.  :)

Quote
He strikes me as being a bit like a couple of blokes we have over here in Aus, Paul Dibb and Hugh White.  They were the movers and shakers behind DOA (Defence of Australia) in the late 80s early 90s, we tried it, it failed, we moved on, taking years to fix the things it stuffed and now they resurface every few months and tell everyone how they were right and what we are doing now is wrong etc. etc.  They didn't design anything but managed to ham-sting the requirements for a generation of equipment that ended up never quite being fit for the roles they ended up filling.

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Offline Weaver

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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #37 on: August 31, 2016, 03:33:55 AM »
Navalised Tornados for the USN and USMC as a replacement for the Phantom, Crusader and eventually the A-4, A-6 and A-7?
Had the USN recommissioned some of their Essex class CVA/CVS during the 80s as proposed, could the Tornado have operated from them?  I believe the F/A-18 was thought to be unsuitable and that was one of the reasons the recommissioning's never happened, as they would have required refurbishment of F-8s to provide them with a fighter and there may also have been issues with Viking and Hawkeye requiring Trackers and Tracers.

Actually that s a thought, USN recommissions their remaining Essex class carriers as part of their 600 ship Navy, equipping them with F/A Tornados, a light weight Hawkeye or re-engine, modernised Tracers and either re-engined, modernised Trackers or even a Hawkeye / Greyhound derived ASW platform.  This leads to new build CVS being developed and these ships, along with the modernised Essex class and airgroups then become available to close allies.  With a navalised Tornado in production the RN is able to justify the construction of two new multirole CTOL carriers post Falklands and also offer the design for export.

The F-16 never happening could see the RN return to conventional carrier ops post Falklands as well as Australia having a viable replacements for Melbourne available.  Big stretch I know but......

As I understood it, the proposal for reactivated Essex class carriers would have seen them used as 'light strike carriers' with an air group of mostly USMC A-4s. The idea wasn't that they operate independently, rather that they operate alongside a CVN, taking over the light strike role and thereby allowing the supercarrier to ship A-6s instead of A-7s/F/A-18s.

The Tornado has a normal loaded weight of about 44,500lb while the equivalent figure for the F/A-18 is just under 37,000lb, so if the F/A-18 was a non-starter on the Essexs, I'd imagine the Tornado was too.
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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #38 on: August 31, 2016, 03:47:01 AM »
Looking at the real world operators of the F-16, it is interesting to contemplate what they may have ordered instead:

 Bahrain
 Belgium
 Chile
 Denmark
 Egypt
 Greece
 Israel
 Indonesia
 Iraq
 Italy - briefly
 Jordan
 Morocco
 Netherlands
 Norway
 Oman
 Pakistan
 Poland
 Portugal
 Republic of China (Taiwan)
 Republic of Korea
 Romania - on order
 Singapore
 Thailand
 Turkey
 United Arab Emirates
 United States
 Venezuela
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline perttime

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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #39 on: August 31, 2016, 04:08:14 PM »
Looking at the real world operators of the F-16, it is interesting to contemplate what they may have ordered instead:

...
More sales for Mirage 2000 and F1, SAAB Viggen and Gripen, MiG-23.

I'm pretty sure USA would have looked for a domestic solution.

Offline Volkodav

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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #40 on: August 31, 2016, 05:55:47 PM »
Looking at the real world operators of the F-16, it is interesting to contemplate what they may have ordered instead:

...
More sales for Mirage 2000 and F1, SAAB Viggen and Gripen, MiG-23.

I'm pretty sure USA would have looked for a domestic solution.

Would love to see more F1 export and more versions of it.  I have often thought that the F1 would have been great to package with Jaguar to cover off more roles more effectively and more cheaply.

Offline Weaver

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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #41 on: August 31, 2016, 07:51:48 PM »
Looking at the real world operators of the F-16, it is interesting to contemplate what they may have ordered instead:

...
More sales for Mirage 2000 and F1, SAAB Viggen and Gripen, MiG-23.

I'm pretty sure USA would have looked for a domestic solution.

Would love to see more F1 export and more versions of it.  I have often thought that the F1 would have been great to package with Jaguar to cover off more roles more effectively and more cheaply.

That was what BAC proposed to the F-104 consortium in competition with the F-16. The problem was that Dassault didn't support it, and insisted on pushing the F1-M53 (at that time a paper plane) for the whole requirement.
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Offline Volkodav

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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #42 on: August 31, 2016, 08:10:14 PM »
Smart move, they scored a larger share of nothing!

Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #43 on: August 31, 2016, 11:20:21 PM »
Antarctic Eagles ;)

Finland:

Norway:


Regards.

Offline Logan Hartke

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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #44 on: August 31, 2016, 11:23:23 PM »
That Norwegian ones looks very natural.

Cheers,

Logan

Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #45 on: September 01, 2016, 02:23:44 AM »
That Norwegian ones looks very natural.

Cheers,

Logan


Thank you!

Thinking a little bit more about the Antarctic Eagles theme, I suddenly realized I could've made a Canadian Eagle as well...but you know, nah!

A Canadian Viggen sounds better:


Regards.

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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #46 on: September 01, 2016, 03:07:24 AM »
Love the Norwegian F-15 and the Canadian Viggen
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Offline Crbad

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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #47 on: September 01, 2016, 10:57:18 AM »
Would it be possible to put a J-79 in an F-20? They tried putting one in an F-16. What if the USAF put money to develop the Lockheed CL-1200? Perhaps there would be more interest from countries that already had the Starfighter. Would Mig-21s sell better in Asia and the middle East? Maybe Mig-29s later? What kind of price tags do the French and Swedes carry? Sorry, for all the questions but this is an interesting topic.
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Offline elmayerle

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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #48 on: September 01, 2016, 11:00:26 AM »
Would it be possible to put a J-79 in an F-20? They tried putting one in an F-16. What if the USAF put money to develop the Lockheed CL-1200? Perhaps there would be more interest from countries that already had the Starfighter. Would Mig-21s sell better in Asia and the middle East? Maybe Mig-29s later? What kind of price tags do the French and Swedes carry? Sorry, for all the questions but this is an interesting topic.
Nope, F-20 airframe is too small for a J79 (J79 is 6" greater in diameter than the F404); J79 in the F-16 fits a smaller engine in place of the F100; not a larger one.  An export F-16 for countries not cleared for the F100 could have used an afterburning TF41.

Offline Weaver

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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #49 on: September 01, 2016, 01:26:27 PM »
Would it be possible to put a J-79 in an F-20? They tried putting one in an F-16. What if the USAF put money to develop the Lockheed CL-1200? Perhaps there would be more interest from countries that already had the Starfighter. Would Mig-21s sell better in Asia and the middle East? Maybe Mig-29s later? What kind of price tags do the French and Swedes carry? Sorry, for all the questions but this is an interesting topic.

It's hard to put an actual 'shelf price' on any aircraft because the deals are more complicated than that, involving politics, offsets, subsidies, support contracts etc, etc..

Mirage F.1 was generally affordable. Mirage 2000 was, I think, somewhat more expensive than the F-16, although that might be down to production numbers, and several operators complained about expensive spares backup too.

With Sweden, politics and production scheduling have been bigger problems than price. Several export deals fell through because SAAB was maxed out building aircraft for the Swedish Air Force and the latter wouldn't give up early production slots (the way the French government has frequently made the French Air Force do) to get an export customer an acceptable delivery date. Sweden's ethical export policy has also been very restrictive (at least on conspicuous big-ticket items) so there's no way they'd let themselves sell to many of the customers the French, British and Americans have.
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Offline perttime

  • The man has produced a Finnish Napier Heston Fighter...need we say more?
Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #50 on: September 01, 2016, 03:56:31 PM »
Antarctic Eagles ;)

Finland:

I cannot see the Finnish one?

The Finnish fighter acquisition in early '90s was between Mirage 2000, F-16, Gripen and F/A-18 Hornet. MiG-29 was considered but dropped early.

Now, the next round is being prepared, and requests for information have been sent about at least F-35, Eurofighter, Rafale, Gripen, Super Hornet, F-16 and ... F-15. Looks like Boeing and LM will NOT be responding about F-15 and F-16.

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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #51 on: September 02, 2016, 03:18:52 AM »
Would it be possible to put a J-79 in an F-20? They tried putting one in an F-16. What if the USAF put money to develop the Lockheed CL-1200? Perhaps there would be more interest from countries that already had the Starfighter. Would Mig-21s sell better in Asia and the middle East? Maybe Mig-29s later? What kind of price tags do the French and Swedes carry? Sorry, for all the questions but this is an interesting topic.
Nope, F-20 airframe is too small for a J79 (J79 is 6" greater in diameter than the F404);

IIRC I drew up a speculative J79 powered F-20 years ago - it was UGLY!!!
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Offline taiidantomcat

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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #52 on: September 03, 2016, 02:29:19 AM »
I found the original passage I mentioned from the OP


Quote
Probably the Critics most lasting impact was the F-16. The Criticsí idea of a
lightweight fighter blended nicely with Lairdís and Packardís desire to test their ideas of
aircraft acquisition through prototyping, as well as for the Air Forceís need for force
structure based on the expectation of a long period of limited defense budgets.

 Once the Air Force accepted the F-16 and changed it into a fighter-bomber, it gradually became the
most important military aircraft in the world. Today more than 4300 have been produced, and it is still in production.

One can argue that the Light Weight Fighter/F-16 was not the right choice for the Air
Force. The F-15 offered considerably more potential as a fighter-bomber. A normal F-15
could carry eighteen 500-pound bombs to the F-16ís four, as well as having much more
room for internal growth for improved weapons systems. The FAST Packs, which added
6000 pounds of fuel, gave it a range of 3500 miles, more than twice the range of the F-16.
Had the Air Force opted to buy more F-15s for use as fighter-bombers, it would have had
an aircraft with much greater range and load carrying capability than the F-16 and would
have avoided the delays involved in the AMRAAM and LANTIRN programs caused by
having to make the systems small enough to fit on the F-16. An F-15 fighter-bomber
could also have used the Pave Tack all-weather targeting device immediately, rather than
waiting for LANTIRN. However, the F-15 versus F-16 arguments only apply to the USAF.


Arguably, themain impact of the F-16 was in its acquisition not only by Americaís allies but also by
the Air Forceís National Guard and Reserve forces. While the Israelis provided the
combat experience, the F-16s gave the NATO allies, the National Guard, and the
Reserves a modern, credible fighter, and one that was completely compatible with firstline
USAF equipment. The result was that throughout the 1980s western air forces were
far more capable than those of the Warsaw Pact.

https://etd.auburn.edu/bitstream/handle/10415/595/MICHEL_III_55.pdf

PDF^

The whole thing is free to DL BTW
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Offline M.A.D

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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #53 on: September 15, 2016, 08:54:28 AM »
Ok, my take in this scenario, is as follows:

The USAF's LWF/ACF program is first and foremost an 'American designed and built'. The American-centric Military Industrial/Congressional Complex wouldn't allow anything but an American design - so the suggested Dassault Mirage F1, SEPECAT Jaguar derivatives are out! (I know, it's What If!)
I would assume that if, as so correctly denoted, that the GE YF101 engine would still potentially be developed further, as the Northrop P-530, from which the eventual P-600/YF-17 would be developed, was in fact a private development and marketing Northrop program; so the acclaimed F404 might still eventually be derived (Although saying this, the driving force behind the F404, was the USN's adoption and further development of the YF-17 Cobra into the larger and heavier F-18 and A-18 [and eventual F/A-18A/B] Hornet.)
Although saying this I think the P-530 Cobra was far less carrier adaptive than the YF-17!
There's also the prospective scenario that Northrop builds the single-engine F100 powered P-610 variant of the YF-17!!

I know and appreciate that the Vought 'Super V-1000' would have been a good and affordable choice for a air force lightweight air superiority fighter. But I think the fact that the Super V-1000 was just the same fundamentally based on a 1950's design, I'm thinking the USAF (and NATO air force's) wouldn't appreciate this lineage - regardless of its F-8 Crusader combat proven capability.
Also ironically even though the USAF favoured the V-1000 over the proposed lightweight F-4E Phantom II and F-5E Tiger II, as it's preference choice for the 'International Fighter Aircraft (IFA) competition (which was won by the Northrop F-5E Tiger II), even with the USAF favoured F100 engine fitted, I don't know if the USAF would have allowed another Navy lineage fighter within its service!
There is also the question of the Super V-1000's offensive weapons capability 're NATO requirements! Unfortunately I don't have enough information/knowledge about the Super V-1000 wing pylon capability - and hence weapons carrying capability - it's true multi-role capability being preeminent in its NATO want and selection.
I also think the USAF would frown at the Super V-1000's two single 20mm cannons, as opposed to its favoured 20mm M61 multi-barrel cannon (Although the USAF and LTV did remedy this exact issue with the USAF's A-7D!)
Then there's the inherent Crusader issue of minimalist size/volume for avionics/sensors/systems. I think it's clearly known and appreciated that the Crusader design had reached its growth potential. Would the likes of the APG-66 multi-media radar system been able to be fitted to the Super V-1000?
On a positive side, I love the thought of the Super V-1000 meeting the original American Congressional decree that the USN VFAX/NACF adopt the selected winning design of the USAF's LWF/ACF. I would like to envisage a USN Super V-1000 equipped with the F401 turbofan (yes the F-14B Tomcat gets its F401's!!). But once again, I don't know if the Super V-1000 could/would meet the 'attack' requirements of the USN's 'VFAX' specifications! Maybe the USN would opt for a A-7F (with F401) and Super V-1000 mix to meet VFAX?

Then again, I really really like the notion of a of the Vought/LTV V-1100!!
Although denoted as yet a further evolution of the F-8 Crusader, the V-1100, clearly went beyond the Super V-1000 attempted refinements, into what appears to be an almost a completely new tailored air-superiority design. I'm thinking with its Vought lineage, it could have been adapted for carrier operations to meet USN's VFAX/NACF specifications!

P.S. As a side note, I wouldn't mind seeing some of the NATO air force's adopting the Saab Viggen either!!

M.A.D
« Last Edit: September 15, 2016, 04:07:01 PM by M.A.D »

Offline Weaver

  • Skyhawk stealer and violator of Panthers, with designs on a Cougar and a Tiger too
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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #54 on: September 17, 2016, 12:17:11 AM »
I don't think anyone's suggesting the USAF would take the Mirage F1 or Jaguar, it's more that they'd do better in the export market without the F-16 to compete with, getting custom from some of the countries who bought the latter in real life. The USAF would probably just buy more F-15s, possibly followed up with USAF-spec Tornados (since that was a real world proposal).

Given that the APG-66 was shoe-horned into both the Skyhawk and the Hawk 200, I doubt whether there'd be a problem fitting it in the Crusader.
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Offline M.A.D

  • Also likes a bit of arse...
  • Wrote a great story about a Christmas Air Battle
Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #55 on: September 17, 2016, 01:38:02 PM »
I don't think anyone's suggesting the USAF would take the Mirage F1 or Jaguar, it's more that they'd do better in the export market without the F-16 to compete with, getting custom from some of the countries who bought the latter in real life. The USAF would probably just buy more F-15s, possibly followed up with USAF-spec Tornados (since that was a real world proposal).

Given that the APG-66 was shoe-horned into both the Skyhawk and the Hawk 200, I doubt whether there'd be a problem fitting it in the Crusader.

Cool, thanks Weaver  ;)
Seeing ironically that the USAF would predominantly employ the F-16 as a bomb-truck, the USAF-spec Tornado would be an interesting piece of kit for USAF! (Wasn't the real-world USAF Tornado geared towards Wild Weasel role?)!

M.A.D

Offline nils

  • 1/144 addict
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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #56 on: September 17, 2016, 04:42:27 PM »
in the case of Belgium, i think they would have gone for the Tornado, Viggen, Mirage F1 or F/A-18 instead, they were concidering joining the MRCA project with the Netherlands and Canada, before they found out how much they would have to pay for it.

as for the USAF and other countries, the F-20 Tigershark might have never been cancelled.
on the bench:
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Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #57 on: September 18, 2016, 03:08:57 AM »
Speaking of USAF Tornadoes:



All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline M.A.D

  • Also likes a bit of arse...
  • Wrote a great story about a Christmas Air Battle
Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #58 on: September 19, 2016, 09:16:13 AM »
Ok, my take in this scenario, is as follows:

The USAF's LWF/ACF program is first and foremost an 'American designed and built'. The American-centric Military Industrial/Congressional Complex wouldn't allow anything but an American design - so the suggested Dassault Mirage F1, SEPECAT Jaguar derivatives are out! (I know, it's What If!)
I would assume that if, as so correctly denoted, that the GE YF101 engine would still potentially be developed further, as the Northrop P-530, from which the eventual P-600/YF-17 would be developed, was in fact a private development and marketing Northrop program; so the acclaimed F404 might still eventually be derived (Although saying this, the driving force behind the F404, was the USN's adoption and further development of the YF-17 Cobra into the larger and heavier F-18 and A-18 [and eventual F/A-18A/B] Hornet.)
Although saying this I think the P-530 Cobra was far less carrier adaptive than the YF-17!
There's also the prospective scenario that Northrop builds the single-engine F100 powered P-610 variant of the YF-17!!

I know and appreciate that the Vought 'Super V-1000' would have been a good and affordable choice for a air force lightweight air superiority fighter. But I think the fact that the Super V-1000 was just the same fundamentally based on a 1950's design, I'm thinking the USAF (and NATO air force's) wouldn't appreciate this lineage - regardless of its F-8 Crusader combat proven capability.
Also ironically even though the USAF favoured the V-1000 over the proposed lightweight F-4E Phantom II and F-5E Tiger II, as it's preference choice for the 'International Fighter Aircraft (IFA) competition (which was won by the Northrop F-5E Tiger II), even with the USAF favoured F100 engine fitted, I don't know if the USAF would have allowed another Navy lineage fighter within its service!
There is also the question of the Super V-1000's offensive weapons capability 're NATO requirements! Unfortunately I don't have enough information/knowledge about the Super V-1000 wing pylon capability - and hence weapons carrying capability - it's true multi-role capability being preeminent in its NATO want and selection.
I also think the USAF would frown at the Super V-1000's two single 20mm cannons, as opposed to its favoured 20mm M61 multi-barrel cannon (Although the USAF and LTV did remedy this exact issue with the USAF's A-7D!)
Then there's the inherent Crusader issue of minimalist size/volume for avionics/sensors/systems. I think it's clearly known and appreciated that the Crusader design had reached its growth potential. Would the likes of the APG-66 multi-media radar system been able to be fitted to the Super V-1000?
On a positive side, I love the thought of the Super V-1000 meeting the original American Congressional decree that the USN VFAX/NACF adopt the selected winning design of the USAF's LWF/ACF. I would like to envisage a USN Super V-1000 equipped with the F401 turbofan (yes the F-14B Tomcat gets its F401's!!). But once again, I don't know if the Super V-1000 could/would meet the 'attack' requirements of the USN's 'VFAX' specifications! Maybe the USN would opt for a A-7F (with F401) and Super V-1000 mix to meet VFAX?

Then again, I really really like the notion of a of the Vought/LTV V-1100!!
Although denoted as yet a further evolution of the F-8 Crusader, the V-1100, clearly went beyond the Super V-1000 attempted refinements, into what appears to be an almost a completely new tailored air-superiority design. I'm thinking with its Vought lineage, it could have been adapted for carrier operations to meet USN's VFAX/NACF specifications!

P.S. As a side note, I wouldn't mind seeing some of the NATO air force's adopting the Saab Viggen either!!

M.A.D

Ok, a little more research confirms the naval derivative of the V-1100 was the V-523, which in itself was a more refined derivative too meet USN's VFAX requirements......
So I'm more confident in throwing my weight behind the Vought V-1100/V-523 design to meet both the USAF LWF/ACF and USN's VFAX competitions ;)

Would greatly appreciate profiles of the V-1100 in F-16 user colours and marking :P

M.A.D
« Last Edit: September 19, 2016, 10:24:18 AM by M.A.D »

Offline taiidantomcat

  • Plastic Origamist...and not too shabby with the painting either!
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Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #59 on: September 25, 2016, 08:27:28 AM »
Is this a subject that would make a good group build idea?
"They know you can do anything, So the question is, what don't you do?"

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Offline secretprojects

  • Newly Joined - Welcome me!
Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #60 on: January 24, 2017, 07:15:31 PM »
One of the primary motivations behind the US Air Force LWF program was the terrifying threat that the *real* evil opposition - the NAVY - were going to build a lightweight fighter and then Congress would force it on the Air Force, repeating the horrible ignominy of having had to buy the F-4 Phantom.

In fact the Navy *was* studying lightweight fighters with various manufacturers from 1970 in two main areas - V/STOL (leading to the Convair Model 200 and Rockwell XFV-12) and VFAX for an F-4/A-7 replacement.

So an alternate scenario might be the USAF sticks to its guns on F-15 and doesn't submit a prototype proposal while the Navy continues with VFAX and selects the Vought V-536 or McDonnell-Douglas Model 263 or Northrop P.630 which ends up selling to most of the "high end' customers who bought F-16 plus the F-18 operators.

Offline Volkodav

  • Counts rivits with his abacus...
  • Much older now...but procrastinating about it
Re: F-16 never happens
« Reply #61 on: June 09, 2017, 10:25:57 PM »
Having just reread this topic a thought crosses my mind, for the same money the USAF spent on F-15s and F-16s they could have increased F-15 numbers, including perhaps a single seat F-15E equivalent (maybe the E single seater and the real world E becomes the F) and then the F-20 could have been ordered to make up numbers to the total actual USAF Sqn numbers of F-15 / F-16 then gone on to reequip the Air national Guard, etc. and the lower end of the export market.  As I see it increased numbers and the expansion of the roles of F-15s ordered by the USAF would likely have seen a reduced unit price and increased export opportunities, while the cheaper F-20 would have been further developed and also done very well.

Considering the F/A-18 arose out of the requirement that the USN and USMC adopt one of the USAF LWF finalists as there new light fighter and attack aircraft the cancelation of the LWF requirement would have left the USN on their own.  Maybe with no NACF, VFAX may have been revitalised to deliver a replacement for the F-8, remaining F-4s, A-4, A-7 etc.  Then again there are other possibilities that come to mind, for example the F-14B (original version)is fully developed and introduced into service, as is the F-14C (without the AWG-9 system) which could have been a good option for the USMC and maybe even a single seat version of the C as well as an earlier Bomcat F-15E equivalent would have been developed as (maybe) the F/A-14?.  The USN / USMC would have needed a replacement for the A-4 and A-7 which could perhaps have been filled by a navalised A-7F, using the same engine as the various improved F-14 derivatives.  A thought that also crossed my mind is that without the F/A-18 the USMC may have accelerated the AV-8B+ program, or possibly there may have been a joint USN/USMC project for an Americanised Seaharrier, primarily for the USMC, but also for the USNs Sec Control Ships that would have replaced the old Essex based CVS.