Author Topic: F-16 never happens  (Read 7315 times)

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...
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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.