HMS EAGLE in the Falklands

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by flasheart, Jul 14, 2018.

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  1. JamesHunter Well-Known Member

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    I was talking about the F-14 with fixed wings actually. In any case while the flying wing design is interesting it got very expensive OTL. Cue the bean counters...
     
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  2. Cryhavoc101 Well-Known Member

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    Ahh fair enough

    Yes it was a big old bird

    And the A12 was correctly ended IMO
     
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  3. JamesHunter Well-Known Member

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    Problem is the same as all dedicated attack planes since about 1970. Once Strike Fighters came along dedicated Attack designs became surplus to requirements as a Strike fighter could do the job just as well while defending against enemy aircraft. Also from a Naval point of view dedicated attack aircraft take up room and while CV-90 and Nimitz are big they don't have unlimited space so if an aircraft can be multi role that's one less type you need to carry.
     
  4. Zheng He Well-Known Member

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    I don't know if it was designed in or so much that it was a big aircraft with strong hard points (Phoenix was a big missile after all) so you can attach dumb bombs to it if you really want to. NOT A POUND FOR AIR TO GROUND was the motto of the F-15 program in the 1970s but that didn't stop the Israelis from hanging GBU-15s and Mk 82s on them when they wanted to strike the PLO HQ in Tunisia in 1985.

    The other big invention in the 1990s that made adding strike capability to the F-14 a relatively lost cost endeavor (along with using an off the shelf targeting pod) was the GPS guided munition. Those literally made every fighter and attack aircraft PGM capable. In DESERT STORM only 10% of the munitions were PGMs (yes skewed due to all of the dumb bombs dropped by B-52s) and most of the coalition aircraft were not capable of employing PGMs. PGMs were expensive and required specialized equipment like PAVETACK pods. After ODS, developing a PGM that was cheaper and more versatile became a huge priority for the US Air Force and GPS guided bombs (JDAMs and such) were the result. Suddenly all of those F-16s that were dropping dumb bombs in ODS were now PGM carriers and that applied to other aircraft as well like the F-14. Eight years later when the Kosovo campaign was fought, I think it was something like 90% of the bombs dropped were PGMs.
     
  5. Cryhavoc101 Well-Known Member

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    During the 1991 Gulf war RAF Buccaneers were equipped with Laser designation Pods and escorted PGM armed Tonkas on bombing missions after their Doctrinal low level attack mission that they had trained so hard for resulted in the loss of several aircraft and the missions value were questioned by the British forces commander Gen. Sir Peter de la Billière
     
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  6. Zheng He Well-Known Member

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    And it was that sort of thing that really spurred the development of the GPS guided bombs. LGBs are so cumbersome - too many missions with one aircraft designating the target and another aircraft dropping the bombs and if there was cloud cover or smoke over the target you couldn't employ the weapon. The GPS guided bombs while not quite as accurate as a properly employed LGB can be used in lousy weather or when there is smoke over the target and from what I understand they are orders or magnitude cheaper because all it involves is strapping a GPS guidance kit on a standard dumb bomb.

    WRT the Buccaneers in ODS - I was under the impression they were not even deployed to theater until they needed replacements for the Tonkas because of the losses they took. Is that correct?
     
  7. kaymay Commonwealth Citizen Alas in the good old days

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    the Buccaneers were brought in due to the low level issues and our planes getting shit down. The on the planes qualified to carry the targeting pod were the Buccs. I can happily say watching Buccs and Tonkas going max chat over you was a sight to see.
     
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  8. Mike D Well-Known Member

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    From memory, the Tornado didn't have a laser designator cleared onto it yet so when they moved from low level airfield denial missions with JP233 to the medium level missions they needed the Buccs to lase for them (I think they got pods cleared onto Tonka by the end of the war). They only lost a handful of Tornado (six, I think) so I don't think they'd have been that desperate to replace them from a numbers perspective - the Coalition was hardly short of aircraft!
     
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  9. Blue cat Well-Known Member

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    A bit of subsequent google searching on my part turned up comments re the F14 being test flown with Mk82's during the original flight test program.

    I seem to recall reading references to the F14 originally having an air to ground capability similar to early A7's.

    As you say, later developments in air to ground weaponary were helpful when the F14 was given an air to ground role.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
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  10. Gunnarnz Well-Known Member

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    The Coalition might not have been, but the RAF would have been getting nervous. They deployed fewer than 60 Tornados, out of a total of about 220. Losing over 10% of your deployed force would raise eyebrows: I can see why the RAF might be keen to make sure their total numbers didn't dwindle much more.
     
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  11. edgeworthy Well-Known Member

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    Would anyone believe that the Deck Tetris is still co-ordinated entirely by hand. With little plastic models on a board!
     
  12. Errolwi Well-Known Member

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    Just mentioning that the Tomcat's wings could 'oversweep' to overlap the horizontal stabilizers to ease parking, so not quite as bad as this diagram (which is making a different point) suggests.
     
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  13. WILDGEESE WARNING: Left-handed & extremely accident prone!!!

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    Correct . . . but it was over a three week period against Soviet style layered anti air defenses.

    It's not actually at the levels of the IAF/IDF loses in the Yom Kippur War of '73.

    The Falklands War of '82, the FAA/RAF lost around 21% of the total number over a 10 week campaign (7 of actual fighting).

    You might find the losses were well within parameters expected.

    Regards filers
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
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  14. Mark1878 Well-Known Member

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    But buying all the carriers and planes cost a lot. Won’t that have forced cuts to the raf and dented British aerospace’s research
     
  15. Zheng He Well-Known Member

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    Any 5th generation fighter is going to be done in collaboration with the US. Part of 5th generation means stealth and the US is the only country with practical experience in those areas so I imagine a lot of the upfront costs will be borne by the Americans.
     
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  16. JamesHunter Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps not as bad as you might fear, as of 2006 it only cost around 30 million to buy each F-18 and if that was what was bought in place of things like Eurofighter (between 90 and 125 million depending on who you ask) the whole program will probably be alot cheaper. That said I fear any 5th gen fighter program is going to get out of hand again although if VTOL is abandoned (due to it only being proven on attack aircraft ITTL) in favour of just upgrading to a Harrier 3 that might cut out some of the vast costs. The Carriers will still cost quite a bit, but since they won't happen at the same time as the Destroyer replacement program they shouldn't cause the same level of drawdown as OTL.
     
  17. Zheng He Well-Known Member

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    You just raised an interesting point. If the RN has stuck with CATOBAR carriers then they will not need a VSTOL 5th generation fighter. Let's just call that fighter the F-35 for simplicity sake. That means the RN will be joining the USN in the F-35C program. This could endanger the entire F-35B program because initially the USMC will be the only customer for that plane unless other initial export customers can be drummed up for the F-35B. This could lead to a more capable F-35C and F-35A because there won't be the requirement to shoehorn the entire design into the size limitations of the F-35B. This could lead to an interesting situation in the US. No F-35B radically changes the future of USMC TACAIR and I don't know how they will respond. The Marines do a good job of punching above their weight with Congress and the debate in the US could get pretty sticky.
     
  18. Spencersj345.346 Well-Known Member

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    Plus a lot of the F-35's problems are the result of having to cram so much into such a relatively small airframe, if this changes the program producing results will still probably be latter than was originally scheduled but by today's time in otl we could easily see the F-35 being a reasonably mature platform in active frontline service with multiple nations.
     
  19. Mike D Well-Known Member

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    Don't forget that different countries have different ways of pricing military equipment. For UK/European equipment it's generally the fly away price but US prices apparently often don't include items such as engines, ejector seats and a lot of the electronic fit because the US Government buys them separately. That $30m might end up being a lot more if the FAA/RAF want to buy more than a hollow fuselage and some tyres...
     
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  20. Mark1878 Well-Known Member

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    Hmm that might be better for UK as

    Ejection seats will be Martin Baker even for USA
    Engine well I am sure that UK will use rolls Royce.
    Electronics well UK tend unfortunately to use their own

    So the extra cost will be paid to UK
     
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