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"Could an Advanced Super Hornet Outmaneuver the ..." Topic

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576 hits since 11 Apr 2017
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP11 Apr 2017 11:20 p.m. PST

…Navy's F-35C?.

"A debate over the future of US naval fighter jets has been on a slow burn for months, but it's starting to heat up. There are reports that Boeing is surreptitiously marketing the F/A-18XT or ‘Block III Super Hornet' to decision-makers in Washington via a one-page ‘white paper'. The chain of events stretches back to at least December, when Donald Trump announced to the Twitterverse that he'd ‘asked Boeing to price-out a comparable F-18 Super Hornet' as an alternative to the F-35. (Though Boeing has had plans for a further evolution of the Super Hornet for several years.)

The notion of a Super Hornet alternative to the F-35 Alpha or Bravo models for the Air Force and marines respectively was promptly (and rightly) squashed, but Defense Secretary Mattis ordered a review of current plans for acquiring the F-35C carrier variant. The Pentagon's thinking about how much they're willing to pay for the extra capabilities afforded by the F-35C, and how many aircraft they need for the kinds of missions only an F-35 can do.

I can't find the white paper online (and it apparently doesn't have ‘Boeing' branding), but as reported, it suggests the USN could save US$8b in procurement costs by reducing the number of F-35Cs and making up the numbers with Block III Super Hornets. Based on their cost estimates—US$79m for an XT or US$120m for an F-35C—that works out to a reduction from 340 to fewer than 150 F-35Cs…"
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Personal logo Andrew Walters Supporting Member of TMP12 Apr 2017 9:32 a.m. PST

We really don't know what the F/a-18XT can do, but it can probably do some kind of maneuvering under some conditions better than the F-35C. The real question is stealth. Being more difficult to target is *probably* more important than extremes of maneuverability during the decades this next plane will be operating.

Then again, the pilotless air superiority vehicles may get here soon. I'm surprised more people aren't arguing we should skip the F-35 generation.

jdginaz12 Apr 2017 3:21 p.m. PST

Since WWII maneuverability hasn't been the most important ability for fighters in air-to-air combat.

Pilotless fighters lack the situational awareness to replace piloted fighters.

GROSSMAN Supporting Member of TMP12 Apr 2017 9:14 p.m. PST

Just about anything can outmaneuver a F-35…

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP12 Apr 2017 11:00 p.m. PST



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