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OT Call: Military Question Thread

Military History 2004

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#121 Delvo

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Posted 13 May 2006 - 08:42 PM

View PostShalamar, on May 11 2006, 09:41 PM, said:

a bolt action gun is inherently more accurate than a semi auto.

View Posttennyson, on May 12 2006, 01:24 AM, said:

while allowing a higher rate of fire it is supposed to be less accurate than a bolt action set up
That seems such an obvious idea, that any design feature of a sniper's gun is that way for maximum accuracy, that I should have already known it or at least guessed it, but I just never imagined that the "action" type would make a difference. How does it do that?

View Posttennyson, on May 12 2006, 01:24 AM, said:

Other nations such as the Soviet Union and its sucessor states used and still use semiautomatic sniper rifles... semiautomatic sniper rifles have and are used in various missions in the US milittary but aren't the standard anymore.
What caused/causes people to choose a semiautomatic system, then, if bolt action allows greater accuracy?

#122 Shalamar

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Posted 13 May 2006 - 10:02 PM

The mechanics of the action? but I'll have to get with the gun bunny for the specifics - I think it goes like this - on a semi auto the mechanism brings the new bullet in wether one is wanted or not, and the parts move more. The more movemnt one has the less acurate the shot is.
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#123 tennyson

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Posted 14 May 2006 - 12:47 AM

Quote

What caused/causes people to choose a semiautomatic system, then, if bolt action allows greater accuracy?

I can't answer the question for everyone but the Soviet Union used the Dragamov mainly because it was easier to train a conscript on it since it used the same ammuntion and action as the standard AK-47. Almost thier entire army was made of conscripts serving out thier term and they needed to be equipped and trained fast before thier term was up.
I think the M14 was modified into a sniper rifle because it was cheaper than putting into service a rifle that used different ammunition and action than thier normal ones. But that I'm not so sure about.
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#124 Ilphi

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Posted 14 May 2006 - 06:53 AM

View PostShalamar, on May 14 2006, 04:02 AM, said:

The mechanics of the action? but I'll have to get with the gun bunny for the specifics - I think it goes like this - on a semi auto the mechanism brings the new bullet in wether one is wanted or not, and the parts move more. The more movemnt one has the less acurate the shot is.

I think Shal is along the right lines here. I only have experience handling the SA-80 and .22 rifles, but once you've "zeroed" the sights to the distance you're shooting at it's pretty easy just to knock them about a bit during a run and your sights lose their accuracy. For sniping work when the sights are even more intricate and wind etc needs to be adjusted for, you really don't want them to be knocked about, and I suppose the sheer force of automatic reloading is far more damaging than just a smooth bolt, which also allows the shooter complete control over when and how he reloades, so can brace the rifle with the shoulder and other hand accordingly as he works the mechanism, etc.
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#125 Lord Ravensburg

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Posted 14 May 2006 - 03:55 PM

View PostCJ AEGIS, on Jun 20 2005, 03:10 PM, said:

Solar Wind, on Feb 22 2005, 09:02 PM, said:

How long does it take to train a U.S. Army officer and enlisted soldier? Same question for U.S. Marines.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Basic Training for the Army is 9 weeks long.
Basic Training for the Marines is 12 week long.

For Officers or any advanced training for enlisted men you get into longer periods of training that I will detail later.


This is true, however it was my experience that a soldier straight out of Basic typically needed about an additional year of "seasoning" with his or her unit.   This is a strong argument against the idea of two-year enlistments, imo.

Junior officers are usually pretty competent by the time they arrive at their unit.  Of course, most of them are also wise enough to sit back, observe, and learn while the NCO's handle day-to-day operations.

#126 Corwin

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Posted 14 May 2006 - 05:55 PM

View Posttennyson, on May 13 2006, 11:47 PM, said:

Quote

What caused/causes people to choose a semiautomatic system, then, if bolt action allows greater accuracy?

I can't answer the question for everyone but the Soviet Union used the Dragamov mainly because it was easier to train a conscript on it since it used the same ammuntion and action as the standard AK-47. Almost thier entire army was made of conscripts serving out thier term and they needed to be equipped and trained fast before thier term was up.
I think the M14 was modified into a sniper rifle because it was cheaper than putting into service a rifle that used different ammunition and action than thier normal ones. But that I'm not so sure about.


Actually, the Dragunov 7.62x54mmR uses the original rifle version of the AK short round 7.62x39mm.  ( I have a Dragunov, and have fired the AK.  The dragunov was designed to be a "Battlefield sniping" semi-auto rifle and is not as accurate as a true sniper weapon especially at long ranges (in excess of 600m) although it is still effective out to about 1200m.  Using custom loaded ammunition can offset some of this inaccuracy and make the weapon into a nice and reliable (although VERY loud) sniper weapon but it will still not be as accurate as a properly outfitted bolt action sniper rifle. As an additional note, this is the only semi-auto rifle that I know of that uses a rimmed cartridge (same caliber and casing as in the Russian WWII bolt-action rifles).

Bolt Action Rifles have less moving parts than any semi-auto rifle and are engineered to much tighter tolerances than semi-auto ones.  This will inherently help to make a bolt action more accurate than a semi-auto rifle.  they are also much easier to clean and maintain as well as recover from any jams or misfires.

As an aside, I've shot a LOT of weapons in my days, but my favorite and most accurate is my Mauser M96 bolt action made in 1910.  With just the old iron sights, I've outshot people using the M21 (M14 scoped sniper configuration) at ranges in excess of 500m.
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#127 tennyson

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Posted 14 May 2006 - 06:05 PM

Quote

Actually, the Dragunov 7.62x54mmR uses the original rifle version of the AK short round 7.62x39mm. ( I have a Dragunov, and have fired the AK. The dragunov was designed to be a "Battlefield sniping" semi-auto rifle and is not as accurate as a true sniper weapon especially at long ranges (in excess of 600m) although it is still effective out to about 1200m. Using custom loaded ammunition can offset some of this inaccuracy and make the weapon into a nice and reliable (although VERY loud) sniper weapon but it will still not be as accurate as a properly outfitted bolt action sniper rifle. As an additional note, this is the only semi-auto rifle that I know of that uses a rimmed cartridge (same caliber and casing as in the Russian WWII bolt-action rifles).

Ah, the dangers of going purely from memory. Thanks Corwin.
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#128 emsparks

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 10:28 AM

Here is a bit of related trivia:

Donít remember the dates, 1936 comes to mind but I could be very wrong, however in the mid to late nineteen thirties the newly developed M1 Garand rifle was just going into production for the US military. There was a very interesting design flaw in the initial production run of the weapon. The Gas port was set to close to the muzzle of the weapon. The proximity of the gas port to the muzzle caused a problem with the bayonet lug, in that a fixed bayonet could brake off the gas port during combat. So the port was moved back down the barrel, and the problem was solved.

What makes this relevant here is that uniquely, the M1ís with the gas port in the original position had an interesting characteristic. It seam that a bullet fired by these early Garands was actually outside the barrel when the semiautomatic mechanisms began to cycle, giving the weapon legendary accuracy. This was noticed and a small number of these weapons where given to the Army Rifle team for use at the national matches.

I donít have any data on how the National Match Garands faired against the accurized 30-06 Springfield rifles normally used by the American military teams at the time. But I would love to know.
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#129 offworlder

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 01:39 PM

there was a question about promotion of officers, and censure, and incompetence .......

first, in the real military it is not just the highest officer who gets the promotion, a board of senior officers (this is aside from a battlefield promotion granted by a general in the heat) who consider an officer's whole record, his 'jacket', his performances, his troubles if any, competition with other equal rank officers, many things, and order promotions and recommend for billets such as 'Command' &etc

second, while I believe a censure can be made by a high org of generals, 'High Command', it is usually the result of court martial, and if outside of court martial the officer may request court martial to clear himself, then it happens in court martial, which is done by a high presiding officer, or  run by him with decision and recommends by a panel of high officers called the 'members' of the court; there is HOWEVER another form of bad record that has nothing to do with courts martial or censure or incompetence and I know about this with daddy: a commander, during review time, can make a not favourable 'fit rep' report on an officer, not recommending him for higher command; daddy refused to do an illegal financial act requested behind closed doors by his commanders commander, and then later got a not favourable fit rep from his commander in the chain (we missed that convo of commanders behind other closed doors so can only surmise), and daddy was thus not promoted to highest command by the board when they saw the rep but not knowing the real circumstances which would have been denied even if. :( (while daddy could guess, daddy heard from an admiral friend on a later board who knew an admiral on his board, who confirmed and commiserated... )

yes you can get stabbed in the back by politico types!

Incompetence: this is not usually in a court martial though can be the result of one; it would usually be a claim made by command in a rep, but makes a black mark.

Now of course, on Galactica, they are estranged from the former org, they have only themselves, so no board, and no personnel, and the admiral-generalissimo must make the promotions based on his own criteria. ;)
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#130 Delvo

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 08:09 AM

Tranquilizer darts are used routinely to subdue animals, so what about criminals or other people you'd rather capture than kill? I know the trouble with most other less-than-lethal weapons is that they are still sometimes lethal, and sometimes ineffective. Is that the deal with tranquilizer darts? Is it really hard to get just the right dosage for the size of person you're going to shoot (and even harder or impossible to account for multi-target environments)? If so, why do we never hear of animals that died from a shot or needed an extra shot? Do we avoid using them on humans because of what a shot human might do in the next minute before it fully takes effect?

And, aside from obvious SWAT teams and other police or military uses, what about civilians? Are we not permitted to possess the drugs for the darts?

Is a separate, specialized kind of gun required for darts, or can they be loaded in a normal gun as just another kind of ammo? If you need another kind of gun for them, where would you get one? Wouldn't they be lighter than bullets? Are the gun and ammo together more expensive with one system than the other?

Edited by Delvo, 21 June 2006 - 10:24 AM.


#131 emsparks

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 10:11 AM

View PostDelvo, on Jun 21 2006, 09:09 AM, said:

Tranquilizer are used routinely to subdue animals, so what about criminals or other people you'd rather capture than kill? I know the trouble with most other less-than-lethal weapons is that they are still sometimes lethal, and sometimes ineffective. Is that the deal with tranquilizer darts? Is it really hard to get just the right dosage for the size of person you're going to shoot (and even harder or impossible to account for multi-target environments)? If so, why do we never hear of animals that died from a shot or needed an extra shot? Do we avoid using them on humans because of what a shot human might do in the next minute before it fully takes effect?

And, aside from obvious SWAT teams and other police or military uses, what about civilians? Are we not permitted to possess the drugs for the darts?

Is a separate, specialized kind of gun required for darts, or can they be loaded in a normal gun as just another kind of ammo? If you need another kind of gun for them, where would you get one? Wouldn't they be lighter than bullets? Are the gun and ammo together more expensive with one system than the other?

There are a number of problems with Tranquilizers; weíll deal with the easy parts first.
Yes a Tranquilizer uses a special gun. The good news is that he guns are modified air guns, and are not as expensive as a standard police issue handgun. It is a special round looking like an elongated metal syringe with a needle front end and feathers or a cotton wad on the rear. Itís a fragile round and has to be handled carefully. The weapons however have a very limited range and could not be used as a snipers round.

The main problem with tranquilizers are, drug reactions, common drug allergies, and the time it takes to become effective. In fact tranquilizers are a very tricky class of drugs, and can only be given with a full medical work up.

If you think back to the hostage situation in the Moscow theater disaster, the Russian SWAT teams used a very potent tranquilizer in the form of a gas. Some reports say that more hostages died due to the police not accounting for the reaction to the gas then where killed by the terrorist. A very bad situation all around, and donít second-guess the police on this one, it was a no win situation from the beginning.
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#132 Shalamar

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 11:11 AM

From the vetrinary end of things - no you don't hear about all the deaths due to reactions from the tranqs- and they are common, as is needing multiple shots to take them down.

What is the most commonly used on animals as a tranq -  is PCP - it may make an animal drunkenly drowsy, but what it does to humans in infamously the other way. Inhumanly strong, besserk and nearly impossible to subdue.

Animlas are shot in more free range conditions - fields, pastures, the brush, forests etc -open areas where they aren't necessarily crowded together, where others can be hurt while the drug takes effect.

Humans are shot in mostly urban environments, where there are uprotected others about, putting those in possible danger while the criminal does what ever he does before the drug takes effect. and no drug - despite what you see in the movies or books- is instantaneous ( not a drug that is safe to use as a tranq - there are all but instantaneous drugs out there but such are fatal when applied in an uncontrolled situation such as shot with a tranq gun )

EM's comments about tranq and physiology above are correct, as are his comments about the fragility of the round itself.  A bullet won't hunt you if you accidentlly jab your thumb against it, but accidentally jab yourself with the tranq round as you are tyring to load it, and you'd be the one going beddie-bye.

Edited by Shalamar, 21 June 2006 - 11:13 AM.

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#133 Delvo

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 01:39 PM

View PostShalamar, on Jun 21 2006, 12:11 PM, said:

From the vetrinary end of things - no you don't hear about all the deaths due to reactions from the tranqs- and they are common
So when scientists drug an animal to attach a tag or collar in the wild, you're telling me they're knowingly running their study in a way that is likely to kill the animals they're studying? That just doesn't make any sense.

View PostShalamar, on Jun 21 2006, 12:11 PM, said:

What is the most commonly used on animals as a tranq -  is PCP - it may make an animal drunkenly drowsy, but what it does to humans in infamously the other way.
Well, ya, I figured it goes without saying that a dart meant for use on humans would use a drug that's appropriate for humans. Are you saying that no such drug is known because the ones we can use on humans are too easy to cause overdoses of?

View PostShalamar, on Jun 21 2006, 12:11 PM, said:

Humans are shot in mostly urban environments, where there are uprotected others about, putting those in possible danger while the criminal does what ever he does before the drug takes effect.
Ya, that's why I figured it would be used in situations that aren't so public, like a "bust" of a house where the people in it are the targets anyway. I was also thinking of home defense, in which there are only a few other people around or none, typically in separate rooms if there are others at all, so it's really going to be just the shooter and the shootee there when the shooting happens. (Such private, close-quarter situations also make the short range issue not a problem.) For home defense, I don't particularly mind if the criminal happens to die instead of merely snoozing; the fact that I used a dart instead of a bullet is all the consideration (s)he gets. But I can see how if you're in the police or a military unit and the reason you're not killing is to interrogate later, you wouldn't want to run that risk... maybe they could just err on the other side by using a slightly lower dose...

View PostShalamar, on Jun 21 2006, 12:11 PM, said:

and no drug - despite what you see in the movies or books- is instantaneous
Before posting I read a news story about a guy who was shot with a tranquilizer dart by the police in a small private gym, immediately began charging at the police, and fell to the floor in a few steps.

#134 Shalamar

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 03:21 PM

Quote

So when scientists drug an animal to attach a tag or collar in the wild, you're telling me they're knowingly running their study in a way that is likely to kill the animals they're studying? That just doesn't make any sense.

No I'm trying to say that those scientist have the time to adjust the dose of thr drug, and a variety of drugs - but deaths do happen- you have to be especially careful with any of the felines, as they are prone to havin their esophogaus close up and them 'smothering' to death. They aslo have what are called 'antagonist' drugs - drugs they can and do quickly administer to reverse the actions of the tranq drug, should the animal show any signs of distress.

Quote

Are you saying that no such drug is known because the ones we can use on humans are too easy to cause overdoses of?

There are  wide variety of drugs out there but most of them do have to be very specifically tailored to at least body weight.

Also most darts end up as IM injections - and that changes activation rates as well. What ends up down your throat and is absorbed in the stomach/ GI tract is different from Intra Muscular (IM), or subcutaneous (SUBQ), or ineterveinous(IV) doses.

and as to the man that got a few steps, perhaps the doses was too high, or he took the dart into a blood vessel insead of a muscle, or he was sensitive to the drug used.

And like I said, if you fumble and drop a bullet on your foot while loading, it won't kill you - the dart just might.

There aren't any 'clip' fed dart guns that I'm aware of- each has to be loaded seperately. ( IE all are single-shot guns )

Edited by Shalamar, 21 June 2006 - 03:22 PM.

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#135 Delvo

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Posted 23 June 2006 - 01:51 PM

View PostShalamar, on Jun 21 2006, 04:21 PM, said:

There are  wide variety of drugs out there but most of them do have to be very specifically tailored to at least body weight.
Strange... I saw websites discussing animal darts for wide weight ranges, like "150-600 pounds". Too bad we just happen to be a freaky species that a broad-ranged drug like that can't be used on. Maybe one can be found later. I wouldn't mind even a good enough approximation to merely make some people groggy instead of totally unconscious...

View PostShalamar, on Jun 21 2006, 04:21 PM, said:

if you fumble and drop a bullet on your foot while loading, it won't kill you - the dart just might.

There aren't any 'clip' fed dart guns that I'm aware of- each has to be loaded seperately. ( IE all are single-shot guns )
Magazines/clips could be invented easily enough, if we had a drug to put in them.

#136 Delvo

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 10:35 AM

Until recently, the Air Force and Navy have both primarily used two kinds of jet in the fighter/attack role(s): the Air Force's F-15 and F-16 and the Navy's F-14 and F-18. The reason they'd have two apiece has usually been described in terms of their roles: one for fighting other planes in the air (14/15) and one for striking targets on the ground (16/18).

But there's some overlap in their abilities, so we get a mess of "F" and "A" and "FA" and "AF" designations that I've simplified to just "F" in the last paragraph because I can't sort it out (at least not without a lot more time, outside research, and verbage), planes of either type sometimes being used for the other role, and special versions of one (like the "strike eagle") that are meant to have specially enhanced abilities in the "other" role. So it caught my attention when I saw a different way of classifying the two types in another thread around here: bigger planes and smaller planes.

I looked up the numbers and found that the 14 and 15, the ones usually referred to as dedicated fighters (except that they're not), are the longest, widest, and heaviest, but fairly close to each other in scale, whereas it's a substnatial step down from there in length and weight to the 16 and 18 (the ones usually described as dedicated attack planes, except that they're not), especially the 16, which is significantly smaller and lighter than the 18. The pattern holds if you look at what's replacing what. The 15's replacement, the 22, is long, wide, and heavy; the 14, which is already getting retired, is to be replaced by a plane that's based on the 18 but scaled up so its length, width, and weight make it less like an original 18 and more like a 14/15/22; the 35, which could someday replace the 16 and/or 18, is smaller and lighter than the 14/15/22; and in that other thread, size was first brought up when someone said that the 35, which could someday replace the 16 and/or 18, is smaller and lighter than the 14/15/22 and meant to maintain the big/little companion-pair structure of the overall force when the new big fighters take over.

But WHY? What do you want a light plane for and what do you want a heavy plane for, and how does that affect what roles you put them in? And if they've somehow usually found that bigger is better for aerial fighting and smaller is better for striking ground targets, then what's with the exceptions and crossovers like the Strike Eagle?

#137 emsparks

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 12:48 PM

Iím basically a ground ponder, the way I understand it today as you point out the terms are pretty much meaningless especially with the advent of fly-by-wire computer systems. Which if I am not mistaken, the first came into use in the f16.

To over simplify greatly a fighter aircraft, in essence is a machine designed to do aero acrobatics. Aircraft able to twist, turn, and roll at high mach numbers, to get as much of an edge over their adversaries as possible. A role that requires beefed up frames, and control surfaces, along with big engines. In the past fighters had specialized and redundant aeronautic control systems. Up until the f16, fighters used wires and leavers controlled by the stick to control the flight surfaces. These wire and leaver systems were required to be set up for either a fighter or a bomber, (attack) aircraft and where very different, due to the needed flight characteristics, based on the mission requirements. Also a fighter needs endurance and protection from the fire from enemy combat aircraft.

Since World War I when they were introduced the main job of a fighter was to protect their forces reconnaissance and bomber aircraft, and attack the enemies. Attack aircraft when compared to a fighter, fly a slow and level in and out mission, hit and run as it were. Because of this they could be smaller lighter, and most important of all cheaper.

It has long been known that fighters could perform the attack role if their control systems could be adjusted. Fly-by-wire system permit that, in that since they use hydraulic and electric actuators instead of wires and leavers, a mere flip of a switch can change the flight surface response curve, there by the flight characteristics, hence the FA18 and Strike Eagle.

Edited by emsparks, 23 August 2006 - 12:55 PM.

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#138 offworlder

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 03:22 PM

yeah it's time to kiss off a grand ol lady, ... http://www.globalsec...mcat-flight.htm

byebye me luvlies! .............. I grew up listening to Tomcat jocks waving their hands around in dogfights and tellin tall tales ;) I have always believed that the way that the top fighters are often large is that they fill an interceptor role too, but then there's always more to something than what I think, I bet the large control surfaces make for great dogfighting on those Toms and Eagles. And I too wondered how such a smaller plane like the F16, and single engine too, can carry such ordnance and be a great attack bomber, but then it DID replace daddy's Skyhawk, so ................. :D

it does make like a topsy turvy logic to see a Skyhawk loaded down with bombs and rockets, and then a Crusader which is bigger up there with just four missiles or something ........... and see a Tomcat up there with sidewinders when you see a little Falcon loaded down with bomb racks! it makes your eye go HUHNHG?? You would think a single engine would go with fighter and the double engine would go with attack but nooooooooo.

I think the F16 was originally designed to replace the aging-at-time F5, then wound up doing a lot o bombing, but then: by the 70s and 80s more of our flying was about bombing than fighters: just look at desert shield, and this new 2003 Iraq air thing, desert emerging freedom or what the heck they called it? it was all about bombers, heck they even had the friggin Tomcats doing bombing! (not the mention the F117, designed to be a stealth fighter and it's now really a bomber, 'attack') Our needs just changed.
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#139 tennyson

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 03:23 PM

Actually the F-16 and F/A-18 are what is described as true multirole aircraft. They can perform a wide variety of missions with the same airframe, although the initial versions were less capable than the modern ones.
Each fighter was originally designed as a light-wieght, less complex and therefore less expensive fighter that could supllement the F-15 in a "high-low" mix. The F-15 was so expensive that we couldn't buy enough of them to match the swarms of MIGs the Soviets could put into the air, so a cheaper fighter was designed for the Air Force. The YF-16 and YF-17(which became the F/A-18 but that's getting ahead of things) competed for the light-weight fighter role. The F-16 won the Air Force competition and they tried to get the Navy to buy it as well as a supllement for the F-14. But the Navy refused to buy a single-engined fighter for overwater work and developed the YF-17 into the F/A-18. So each was designed as a suplement to a larger, more expensive fighter.
As far as size is concerned, its rather simple, the larger a fighter is the more fuel, avionics and weapons load it can carry. All other things being equal the larger fighter will have longer range. When initially designed the F-15 and F-14 had only a vestigal ground attack capability because they were supposed to be "pure" air superiority fighters. But as the world changed and multirole aircraft became more important an attack variant that still retains all of its air combat capability was developed of the F-15 while the F-14 started recieving updates that allowed it to drop ground attack munitions. The F-15E, British, German, Saudi and Italian Tornado IDS and Russian Su-24 Flanker are all what is termed "interdiction/strike" aircraft. They have long-range, a large load of weapons and are designed to attack well defended targets deep behind enemy lines. Now the F-16 is a multirole aircraft that can perform this mission as well, and the Israelis used it in this manner at Osrik in 1981, but that isn't its primary mission and it isn't as capable at it as a dedicated aircraft.
On the other side of the attack mission, is the American A-10 and Russian Su-25 Frogfoot, both are heavilly armed and armoured attack aircraft whose mission is the close support of ground forces. So they are large to carry a large load of weapons and fuel but then they loiter around the battlefied, supporting ground troops and operating closely with them. The F-16 can do this as well but it is not as good at it as the A-10, being a fast jet that uses up it fuel quickly.





The official designations are A=Attack
B=bomber
C=cargo or transport
E=electronic, such as an electronic warfare aircraft or an aircraft designed to listen for signals
F=fighter
H=helicopter
R=reconnaissance
"Only an idiot would fight a war on two fronts. Only the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Idiots would fight a war on twelve fronts."

— Londo, "Ceremonies of Light and Dark" Babylon-5


#140 Delvo

Delvo
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Posted 23 August 2006 - 06:07 PM

View Posttennyson, on Aug 23 2006, 04:23 PM, said:

Actually the F-16 and F/A-18 are... originally designed as a light-wieght, less complex and therefore less expensive fighter that could supllement the F-15 in a "high-low" mix.
If they were originally meant to be fighters, not ground-attackers, then what does "high/low" mean? The last time I saw it used around here, I took it as a reference to their respective altitudes of operation: high for the fighters working against other planes, low for the ground-attack planes. But if both the big one and the little one were meant to be fighters, then that means both the "high" and the "low" are fighter descriptions, so they can't refer to what it sounded like to me. Instead of high and low altitudes, is it high and low prices?

View Posttennyson, on Aug 23 2006, 04:23 PM, said:

The F-15 was so expensive that we couldn't buy enough of them to match the swarms of MIGs the Soviets could put into the air, so a cheaper fighter was designed for the Air Force... As far as size is concerned, its rather simple, the larger a fighter is the more fuel, avionics and weapons load it can carry. All other things being equal the larger fighter will have longer range.
I figured that would be the key difference, but I also wondered about mobility; a larger object has more inertia and, all else being equal, less speed/acceleration/deceleration/maneuverability. The fastest, longest-jumping, and such animals, for example, are always the light ones, not the strong, muscular ones. But that would give the 16 or 18 an advantage over the 14 or 15 when the distance they travel to the fight isn't so long, and I've never heard that that would be the case. And if it had been the case, then 14s and 15s would frankly not have been worth continuing to make and operate, so I'm figuring someone out there in charge either figures that most or all battles do happen at long distances away from the base, or figures that the big ones are the better dogfighters anyway even when distance isn't an issue. I mean, when they retired the 14 and had nothing left but the 18 to go for air superiority with, their response was to make it bigger, so they must figure bigger=better for air superiority... but given the laws of physics, how could they be unless that long-range issue is practically always at work? Are the small ones not just small, but also underpowered? If a big plane and a little plane had to fight and neither was too far from its base, which would you expect to win?

View Posttennyson, on Aug 23 2006, 04:23 PM, said:

But as the world changed and multirole aircraft became more important...
Is that really the trend, though? I could say I've seen some signs that that's the case, but here we are looking at the next generation and it's still one of each of the two types.

Minor sidetrack: the troubles with the 35 project that have been reported lately make me wonder if anybody's trying to make a smaller version of the 22, like they made a bigger version of the 18. If a single design can be modified into both sizes like that, it seems like that could yield us a small plane that would be as much better than other small planes as the 22 is compared to other big planes...

View Posttennyson, on Aug 23 2006, 04:23 PM, said:

They have long-range, a large load of weapons and are designed to attack well defended targets deep behind enemy lines. Now the F-16 is a multirole aircraft that can perform this mission as well, and the Israelis used it in this manner at Osrik in 1981, but that isn't its primary mission and it isn't as capable at it as a dedicated aircraft.
Is the range the reason, or is there also something else?

Edited by Delvo, 23 August 2006 - 06:10 PM.




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