Author Topic: F-18 Hornet and Super Hornet Ideas and Inspiration  (Read 45089 times)

Offline Daryl J.

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Re: F-18 Hornet and Super Hornet Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #50 on: February 02, 2014, 03:35:51 AM »
 Continuing the presumption the US Army deployed fixed wing aircraft and continuing the presumption elmeyerle's OF-5F saw service, how about a variant based on the ATARS F/A-18D.   And for some visually distinguishing features, remove the wing folds and put a dog tooth on the leading edge.   
« Last Edit: February 02, 2014, 03:57:46 AM by Daryl J. »
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Online elmayerle

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Re: F-18 Hornet and Super Hornet Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #51 on: February 02, 2014, 05:43:25 AM »
Continuing the presumption the US Army deployed fixed wing aircraft and continuing the presumption elmeyerle's OF-5F saw service, how about a variant based on the ATARS F/A-18D.   And for some visually distinguishing features, remove the wing folds and put a dog tooth on the leading edge.
You're getting close to the F/A-18L configuration.  An Army two-seater with those differences (including the extra hardpoint under each wing) could look sharp.  I'd argue that it's a toss-up as to whether they'd go with the F/A-18L's simpler main landing gear or go with the stock F/A-18 landing gear.

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Re: F-18 Hornet and Super Hornet Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #52 on: March 15, 2014, 04:34:10 AM »
A different sort of weapons load out:

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Offline Volkodav

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Re: F-18 Hornet and Super Hornet Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #53 on: March 15, 2014, 07:07:29 AM »
A different sort of weapons load out:




That load out and more importantly the out of site systems upgrades and networking to the various new force multipliers really puts the lie to the nay sayers who protest the RAAF have been completely left behind buy the proliferation of Sukhios through the region.  Start supplementing them with Growlers and the IOC F-35As in the coming decade and an opforce would need significantly more than just dozens of SUs the be the critical threat some propose they are.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2014, 07:12:07 AM by Volkodav »

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Re: F-18 Hornet and Super Hornet Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #54 on: March 15, 2014, 08:59:29 AM »
Interesting...I was just reading that when they set up the production of F/A-18 Hornets in Australia in the '80s the Australian Government hoped that Singapore and New Zealand would purchase Australian-built Hornets.  Might make for some interesting whiffs.
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Offline Volkodav

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Re: F-18 Hornet and Super Hornet Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #55 on: March 15, 2014, 11:30:11 AM »
We also hoped the Kiwis would buy Mirages from us.

There was a suggestion during the late 80s early 90s that Canada was looking to buy beween 30 and 50 low hour RAAF A and B models and that Australia would switch production to the C/D for the replacement frames for the RAAF possibly following on with an aditional batch of Night Attack D models to replace the F-111.  Surrounding this was also discussion of providing the remaining A and B frames to NZ at a knock down price and exporting Ds to Malaysia.  May have my wires crossed on the later though. 

Would have been interesting if production could have been stretched through to the E/F coming on line instead of going for the HUG BUGs.

Still go F-35 but do so as a final assembly partner transitioning from a hot SH line.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2014, 11:36:04 AM by Volkodav »

Offline Rickshaw

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Re: F-18 Hornet and Super Hornet Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #56 on: March 15, 2014, 12:15:13 PM »
That Canadian proposal lasted about five minutes until the exchange rate changed and US company said "No!" pointing out the licenses for manufacture prevented Australia marketing their Hornets anywhere outside of Oceania.   They weren't going to lose their Canadian business, which was a real shame because I've long been a proponent of greater defence co-operation between Canada and Australia.  We are both a "good fit" for each other, with similar societies, similar viewpoints on world affairs and similar histories.   

Offline Volkodav

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Re: F-18 Hornet and Super Hornet Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #57 on: March 15, 2014, 02:04:25 PM »
Definitely a dumb move on MD part as the deal was for used Hornets to Canada and new improved ones to Australia, I.e an extra 30 to 100 airframes all up that they would have received licensing fees on instead they got zero fees for zero additional aircraft,  smart move not!

imagine how many extra sales they could have swung out of a hot line in Australia in the long run based on the same model. Friendly neighbour needs new aircraft, cant afford the latest and greastest but the friendly neighborhood RAAF has several dozen near new Hornets and a current production line to replace them. Win win.

Do it with the A and B repeat with C and D then E and F

Offline Rickshaw

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Re: F-18 Hornet and Super Hornet Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #58 on: March 15, 2014, 03:59:29 PM »
Clearly a case of "penny wise, pound foolish" but how often do we see short-sighted thinking resulting in the "cutting off off one's own nose to spite one's face"?   I seem to remember the deal was for new manufactured F/A-18As from Oz though, not used ones, which is why McD were jealous of losing money to downunder (this was before the F/A-18C was even in prototype form IIRC, back in 1986.  When was our dollar floated, which saw it go through the floor value wise?  It was getting about $Au1.00 to $US0.60 at the time, which is why it made so much sense.  Yet at the time, the Government of the day was severely criticised for floating it, yet today the same people are screaming for the exchange rate to return to that level.   ;) ).

Offline Volkodav

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Re: F-18 Hornet and Super Hornet Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #59 on: March 15, 2014, 05:31:12 PM »
There may have been more than one deal as I am certain the one I am familiar with came about when Canada realised their current usage rates would preclude the then planned service life for the fleet following the delivery of their final airframes. USN were seen as unsuitable due to additional fatigue racked up with carrier landings,  McD had already switched over to the C/D leaving only Spain and Australia.  Australia was the better option as their fleet was newer with lower hours and with an active line there were other possibilities open.

Looking back Australia had quite a few oportunities that didnt get up for a variety of reasons.  Offers to manufacture and market Mirage F1 and Hawk come to mind and then there were some of the shipbuilding deals, including barters that were very interesting.  Post Falklands the RN needed a new pair of LSLs long out of build in the UK but in Australia we had just built the Tobruk, based on the LSL design, the rumored deal was Australia builds two modified LSLs for the RN and the UK builds a modified Invincible for the RAN.  Plans to build a carrier locally before Invincible was offered as surplus,  plans to build a minimum of 6 FFGs locally, M Class instead of FFGs, Amazons built earlier. 

Considering how much was on offer it is stuning that so little actually ever came about, politicians across the board need a slapping.

Offline kitnut617

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Re: F-18 Hornet and Super Hornet Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #60 on: March 15, 2014, 10:09:51 PM »
A different sort of weapons load out:

Well, depending on which party gets to be in control of Canada, that could very well be a look into our future airforce ---  :-X

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Re: F-18 Hornet and Super Hornet Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #61 on: March 16, 2014, 02:40:10 AM »
There was a suggestion during the late 80s early 90s that Canada was looking to buy beween 30 and 50 low hour RAAF A and B models and that Australia would switch production to the C/D for the replacement frames for the RAAF possibly following on with an aditional batch of Night Attack D models to replace the F-111. 

The Canadian interest was in 1988.  it involved an approach from the Canadian Govt for approx 25 new-built Australian Hornets.  The reason being that Australia still produced the A/B model (the basis for the Canadian CF-188) whereas the US line had moved onto the C/D.  If it had been taken up, the Canadian order would have extended the production programme by approx 18mths.
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Re: F-18 Hornet and Super Hornet Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #62 on: March 16, 2014, 02:45:59 AM »

Well, depending on which party gets to be in control of Canada, that could very well be a look into our future airforce ---  :-X

Heaven help your pilots if they don't do a major (read very expensive) re-lifing.  The RAAF Hornets (which have similar fatigue etc) have been deemed far too expensive to keep in service beyond 2021 (and that is the s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d target achieved through a number of compromises already) with a re-lifing being the more expensive option than simply replacing.  Hence the desire to get the F-35 soon (first aircraft rolls off production line this July ;)).
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Offline kitnut617

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Re: F-18 Hornet and Super Hornet Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #63 on: March 16, 2014, 02:56:09 AM »
My sentiments exactly Greg, even if you do consider that 75% of the CF-188's are in storage or in the process of being 're-lifed', I still think they need to be replaced.

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Re: F-18 Hornet and Super Hornet Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #64 on: March 16, 2014, 03:07:49 AM »
The costs to keep them in service longer also includes increased maintenance costs for engines and other systems which isn't necessarily inexpensive.
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Offline Volkodav

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Re: F-18 Hornet and Super Hornet Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #65 on: March 16, 2014, 11:29:42 AM »
There was a suggestion during the late 80s early 90s that Canada was looking to buy beween 30 and 50 low hour RAAF A and B models and that Australia would switch production to the C/D for the replacement frames for the RAAF possibly following on with an aditional batch of Night Attack D models to replace the F-111. 

The Canadian interest was in 1988.  it involved an approach from the Canadian Govt for approx 25 new-built Australian Hornets.  The reason being that Australia still produced the A/B model (the basis for the Canadian CF-188) whereas the US line had moved onto the C/D.  If it had been taken up, the Canadian order would have extended the production programme by approx 18mths.

Cool thanks for that, I suppose the rest of it was probably spectulation at the time on the part of the mag I read it in.

Offline Volkodav

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Re: F-18 Hornet and Super Hornet Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #66 on: March 16, 2014, 11:57:18 AM »
The costs to keep them in service longer also includes increased maintenance costs for engines and other systems which isn't necessarily inexpensive.

Something politicians never seem to comprehend, upfront purchase price is a very small part of the whole through life cost of ownership and sometimes replacement is the most cost effective option.  Infact a smart operator could factor a sustainable supply line for replacements into their sustainment model and opt for smaller more frequently replaced batches instead of upgrades and large (allegedly but usually far from) homogeneous fleets. 

For instance had Australia opted for a batch A and B followed by one of C and D and a third of D to keep production running through the 90s at a slower rate it is conceivable that production could have switched to the E and F ( or another type) in the late 90s early 2000s to replace rather than upgrade the by then 15 to 20 year old and in need of centre barrel replacement A and B models in the HUG program.  Looks expensive and would not be cheap, but if you graph capability vs cost early replacement backed buy sustainable production is usuall much better value for money in the long run.

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Re: F-18 Hornet and Super Hornet Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #67 on: March 16, 2014, 12:08:39 PM »
In their defence:

  • it is rarely the politicians that make these decisions - usually it is the result of those, often uniformed personnel, who advise them and provide the details of the options; and
  • more importantly, it is not that easy to know for certain what is the correct option.  For instance, an upgrade can be better if it allows a faster end result whilst allowing the maintenance of existing infrastructure/support base. It will also typically depend upon the age of the platform and the nature of the upgrade.  Other times, an off the shelf purchase of new platforms can be more effective if done quickly and offering enough of a capability improvement to justify the additional up front expense.

Even when looking at straight new acquisitions, one can get it wrong.  For instance with the ARA Eurocopter Tiger ARHs, the upfront acquisition was a no-brainier...at the time.  The Tiger was, at the time, roughly half the price (due to a combination of offered price and exchange rates) when compared to platforms such as the Cobra or Apache.  It also seemingly offered a better development potential being at the start of its life rather than the other two which were seen to be nearing the end of theirs.  However, years later and with all the pain and delays witnessed, many would say that the Tiger was the wrong decision.  The benefit of hindsight...

Getting back to the Hornet: does anyone want to profile up a RSAF F/A-18?
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Offline Volkodav

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Re: F-18 Hornet and Super Hornet Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #68 on: March 16, 2014, 12:12:46 PM »
Yes but batch buys gives far mre wiff fodder ;)

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Re: F-18 Hornet and Super Hornet Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #69 on: March 16, 2014, 12:13:28 PM »
Yes but batch buys gives far mre wiff fodder ;)

Touché.
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Offline Volkodav

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Re: F-18 Hornet and Super Hornet Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #70 on: March 16, 2014, 12:33:54 PM »
Also look at the less glamorous fleets, transports, MPAs, ISR, trainers and others.  You have a dozen of these half a dozen of those etc. Often unique airframes or multiple marks and a range of ages and configurations of outwardly similar airframes.  This is managed and supported.

For the air combat force you would still concentrate the different marks and configurations within specific wings and squadrons limiting the adverse effect on frontline support.  You would never want a F/A-18A flying in the same Sqn as Fs but in the same airforce, different units, no problem.

Anyway, I will pull my head in now and stop derailing the thread.  Its just that picture you posted brought back to me the costs associated with HUG and CBR and that if we had batched our buys and planned for a mid 2000s replacement batch there would not have been the need for the upgrade.   The C and D s already had the new systems and beefed up structures and an E/F buy would have filled the rest of the gap, leaving us ready now, stress free to introduce the F-35 to service.

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Re: F-18 Hornet and Super Hornet Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #71 on: March 16, 2014, 12:45:07 PM »
Given this commenting the other thread:

... watching the Australian F1 GP, bored stupid,  annoying Greg on the Hornet thread.


Maybe you will appreciate this photo:


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Online elmayerle

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Re: F-18 Hornet and Super Hornet Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #72 on: March 16, 2014, 01:02:57 PM »
Odd thought, I wonder how many of the F/A-18E/F systems and, in some cases, discrete components, could be fitted to the F/A-18A/B fleet as part of a SLEP (Service Life Extension Program) action such as replacing the "barrel section" of the A/B aircraft (perhaps even making it a CILOP - Conversion In Lieu Of Procurement program).  You might well end up with something equivalent to the USN's F/A18A++/B++ where the new systems reduce weight enough to improve performance and capability.

Getting back to the topic of alternate users, I could see RNZAF aircraft in the same scheme as the late schemes applied to the A-4K's as well or RSAF ones in a scheme analogous to what's on their late-model F-16's.

Offline Volkodav

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Re: F-18 Hornet and Super Hornet Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #73 on: March 16, 2014, 01:29:56 PM »
Given this commenting the other thread:

... watching the Australian F1 GP, bored stupid,  annoying Greg on the Hornet thread.


Maybe you will appreciate this photo:



was litterally just watching that

Offline Volkodav

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Re: F-18 Hornet and Super Hornet Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #74 on: March 16, 2014, 01:36:38 PM »
Odd thought, I wonder how many of the F/A-18E/F systems and, in some cases, discrete components, could be fitted to the F/A-18A/B fleet as part of a SLEP (Service Life Extension Program) action such as replacing the "barrel section" of the A/B aircraft (perhaps even making it a CILOP - Conversion In Lieu Of Procurement program).  You might well end up with something equivalent to the USN's F/A18A++/B++ where the new systems reduce weight enough to improve performance and capability.

Getting back to the topic of alternate users, I could see RNZAF aircraft in the same scheme as the late schemes applied to the A-4K's as well or RSAF ones in a scheme analogous to what's on their late-model F-16's.

seriously it would be in Australia’s interest to be a good neighbor and cascade combat aircraft to NZ.  Make it as affordable for them as possible by sharing our support structures and reap the benefits of bringing along our highly capable and friends who are hamstrung by budgets.