USAF ‘Improved Manned Interceptor’ (IMI) Program

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USAF ‘Improved Manned Interceptor’ (IMI) Program


On 9 February 1968, the Defence Department announced they were not going to purchase the Lockheed F-12A interceptor (later the SR-71), opting instead to remain with the F-106 as the primary interceptor to protect the continental USA from air attack.
The USAF's Improved Manned Interceptor program, which was an attempt to find a replacement for the Convair F-106 Delta Dart.




North American/Rockwell NR-349
Grumman (F-14 IMI)
Convair (F-106E/F)

Does anyone have any art work, drawing, and specifications for these three proposals
And was there others?
The North American/Rockwell NR-349 looks very interesting with its three General Electric J79 turbojets, although a two Pratt & Whitney F100 turbofan arrangement would had been better and more efficient engine arrangement (I think).
I also think the semi-recessed arrangement for its six Phoenix AAM’s would also be very efficient.
–Some say it could have been America’s equivalent to the Soviet
MiG-25 Foxbat

Regards
Pioneer
 

GTX

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Pioneer,

Here's a photo of the F-14 mockup:

F-14IMI.jpg


Regards,

Greg
 

elmayerle

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The French Prototypes.com site has this picture of the NAR-349 proposal:

http://prototypes.free.fr/a5/images/a5_21.jpg

If you can find it, the old Aerofax minigraph on the A-5/RA-5 has some more info.
 

sferrin

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Pioneer said:
USAF ‘Improved Manned Interceptor’ (IMI) Program


On 9 February 1968, the Defence Department announced they were not going to purchase the Lockheed F-12A interceptor (later the SR-71), opting instead to remain with the F-106 as the primary interceptor to protect the continental USA from air attack.
The USAF's Improved Manned Interceptor program, which was an attempt to find a replacement for the Convair F-106 Delta Dart.




North American/Rockwell NR-349
Grumman (F-14 IMI)
Convair (F-106E/F)

Does anyone have any art work, drawing, and specifications for these three proposals
And was there others?
The North American/Rockwell NR-349 looks very interesting with its three General Electric J79 turbojets, although a two Pratt & Whitney F100 turbofan arrangement would had been better and more efficient engine arrangement (I think).
I also think the semi-recessed arrangement for its six Phoenix AAM’s would also be very efficient.
–Some say it could have been America’s equivalent to the Soviet
MiG-25 Foxbat

Regards
Pioneer

I think the F-106E/F was slightly before IMI. It was proposed in '68 where IMI wasn't until '71 or so. For the Vigilante (NR-349) the 3 J79s would have put out much more power than a pair of F100s especially at high speed and altitude. However there WAS a version of the Vigilante kicked around with a pair of J58s. Sombody here posted a couple of excellent pictures of the NR-349 on the Key Publishing forum (ironically I even suggested they might want to post them here :) ) I think it might have been Martje? Anyway here they are. . . As far as it being a Foxbat equivalent none of these were designed for high heat so Mach 2.8 would have been iffy. The F-12B and F-108 would have easily been up to the task though.
 

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Matej

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I planed to use it in new three engined figters thread together with my latest finding - 3 engined F-106, but OK, why not here :)

For IMI was proposed final development variant called F-106X. If I remember correctly, it was already discussed in this forum.

[image removed - Overscan]
 

sferrin

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Here's a color one:

[image removed - Overscan]
 

GTX

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I thought you might also be interested to know that there was even a patch developed for the F-14 proposal:

USAFTomcat.jpg


Regards,

Greg
 

elmayerle

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However there WAS a version of the Vigilante kicked around with a pair of J58s.

According to a friend of mine who was in NAA-Columbus Advanced Design that the time, that proposal never made it past upper management because it would've required a redesign of the forged and massive spindle frame that included the spindles for the all-moving tail surfaces. Any change in engine size would've impacted this and upper management there refused. Besides J58-powered versions, this also impacted some studied with J93s.
 

Tophe

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Did you know that IMI was the name (® trademark?) of Israel Military Industries
See the M-141 UAV at http://www.designation-systems.net/dusrm/m-141.html
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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F-14 (ADC) IMI 3 view

Source:
  • Air Enthusiast February 1973

Planned to use GAU-7/A 25 mm caseless cannon + F100 turbofans

Clean weight: 54,000lb (24,494kg)
Maximum weight: 70,000lb (31,751kg) external fuel and weapons
Span: 62 ft 10 in (19.15m) 37 ft 7 in (11.45m)
Length: 62 ft 0 in (18.9m)
Height: 16ft (4.88m)
 

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Pioneer

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Thanks 'Overscan'

The info on the F-14 (ADC) & 3-view drawing is what I am looking for.

Any chance of finding out more about the article it came from in the Air Enthusiast Feb 1973 ????


Regards
Pioneer
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Its an "Airdata File" entry, so its just a brief description of the program and a 3 view.
 

F-14D

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sferrin said:
Pioneer said:
USAF ‘Improved Manned Interceptor’ (IMI) Program


On 9 February 1968, the Defence Department announced they were not going to purchase the Lockheed F-12A interceptor (later the SR-71), opting instead to remain with the F-106 as the primary interceptor to protect the continental USA from air attack.
The USAF's Improved Manned Interceptor program, which was an attempt to find a replacement for the Convair F-106 Delta Dart.




North American/Rockwell NR-349
Grumman (F-14 IMI)
Convair (F-106E/F)

Does anyone have any art work, drawing, and specifications for these three proposals
And was there others?
The North American/Rockwell NR-349 looks very interesting with its three General Electric J79 turbojets, although a two Pratt & Whitney F100 turbofan arrangement would had been better and more efficient engine arrangement (I think).
I also think the semi-recessed arrangement for its six Phoenix AAM’s would also be very efficient.
–Some say it could have been America’s equivalent to the Soviet
MiG-25 Foxbat

Regards
Pioneer

I think the F-106E/F was slightly before IMI. It was proposed in '68 where IMI wasn't until '71 or so. For the Vigilante (NR-349) the 3 J79s would have put out much more power than a pair of F100s especially at high speed and altitude. However there WAS a version of the Vigilante kicked around with a pair of J58s. Sombody here posted a couple of excellent pictures of the NR-349 on the Key Publishing forum (ironically I even suggested they might want to post them here :) ) I think it might have been Martje? Anyway here they are. . . As far as it being a Foxbat equivalent none of these were designed for high heat so Mach 2.8 would have been iffy. The F-12B and F-108 would have easily been up to the task though.

Although this is an old topic, I'm posting this here in case someone gets curious and drops by. The Improved Manned Interceptor program was a program of the mid 1960s to replace the F-106. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, still trying to salvage his reputation over the F-111 debacle, insisted that an interceptor version of the F-111 was the way to go (he was serious!). The Air force's choice was the F-12B, the production version of the YF-12A. They envisioned a program that could possibly grow as large as 216 aircraft, to begin deployment in FY 1969 and complete deployment by FY 1973. In 1965 Congress authorized and funded the first 93. However McNamara refused to start the program and said the money should be used for F-111 interceptors. Congress wouldn't permit this, because it was a really stupid idea. Next year, much the same thing happened, McNamara impounded the money and would not let the F-12B be developed. It became apparent he wouldn't get his F-111 interceptor since neither the funder nor the customer wanted it. In 1968 he tried to force the issue his way by ordering all Blackbird tooling destroyed, so that production of the F-12B would be impossible. This also had the effect of killing SR-71 production early, but he really didn't care, his ego was at stake.

To show how he was open to all alternatives, he said that Convair's proposed F-106E/F (E single seat F two seat) would be considered, along with the interceptor F-111. The F-106E/F's nose would have been longer, housing a new radar with "look-down/shoot-down" tracking and missile launch capability. It would use nuclear and nonnuclear missiles, including the AIM-26 Nuclear Falcon and the AIM-47. It's not known whether McNamara was serious or whether this was just a smoke screen. USAF passed on the F-106E/F because it would cost too much and taken too long to develop, given its performance relative to alternatives. There was no way USAF was going to buy an interceptor F-111. Soon after McNamara departed, but with the choice being the F-111 or nothing for IMI, USAF wisely chose nothing.

NR-349 was really a non-starter for many reasons similar to that of the F-106E/F. The three J79s were the right choice. For a pure interceptor, turbojets are a better choice than turbofans. Putting F100s in the NR-349 wouldn't have worked because they weren't ready at the time needed, and given their poor performance and reliability when they entered service and for many years after probably wouldn't have worked anyway. The J79, IMHO, was one of the great fighter jet engines to enter service in the US (along with the F404 and F110).

Later, F-14 (ADC) had promise, but its genesis was a response to an AF move to try and get the Tomcat canceled and a navalized F-15 on carriers. F-14(ADC) would have worked, but there was NO way USAF would accept a Navy plane as one of its primary combat aircraft. Plus doing so, would have jeopardized support for the F-15. Basically USAF abandoned the interceptor mission. The later "Air Defense Fighter" competition was just a smokescreen to insure the F-20 never went into production.
 

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As for McNamara, history has proven that he was, is, and will be remembered as an "overeducated idiot." While he did understand the political implications involved during the Cuban Missile Crisis, he had no clue to the literal implications of his decisions upon the U.S. military and industrial base. After all, he was the guy at FoMoCo (before becoming SecDef) who was a huge proponent of the concept of basic transportation.......no frills, no styling, small motors, and cookie-cutter styling........in the 1950s! The proceding 15 years would prove him 180 degrees wrong in his perception of the market which at the time was wanting bigger, faster, gaudier, and more expensive.

As for the F-14 as USAF interceptor? I am one of those guys who believes the F-14 was a totally uneccesary aircraft from the beginning. The F-4 airframe was wholely capable of taking on the radar and the weapon in the form of the Phoenix and it has proved to this day a extremely resilient and capable aircraft.
 

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Well, I'd say the Phantom PLUS a patrol interceptor... The Missileer wasn't the bizarre idea it's normally talked about. Navy asked for performance, expecially for the loiter time and loiter distance, that was impossible for a Phantom armed with the complement of Phoenixes the Navy wanted. In mid-to-late '60s with analog electronics. No way. Even Phantom plus F-111B was an acceptable proposition, just add early on a fixed gun to the Navy F-4, just in case...
 

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Thanks gents for keeping me (or should I say my Forum!!!) in mind.
Nothing like chipping away at information and bring up more info!

Regards
and Merry Christmas to all
Pioneer
 

JoeinTX

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All I'm really saying here is this:

-The AIM-54 Phoenix was a long-ranged weapon.....but it had limited change of course ability. It was an anti-large, longe range bomber weapon......not a long-ranged air superiority missile. Against a Tu-16/-20/Myaischev-20 it was fine. Against an Su-17 or Tu-26 or even a MiG-21 toting the right load it was not able to adjust to any of the potential speed/altitude/manuever changes that might occur in order to launch an attack. For unsuspecting formations of gangly aircraft en masse without cover......it would have been a wonderful weapon.

For things like those we see in the "Top Gun" movie..........it was dead, useless weight.


I do talk in hindsight now, fine, but improved versions of the Phantom could have carried pairs of Phoenix-es and defended U.S. carrier groups fine throughout the remainder of the Cold War with little worry. Hand the duty off the Super Hornet of today with little worry as well.
 

sferrin

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JoeinTX said:
All I'm really saying here is this:

-The AIM-54 Phoenix was a long-ranged weapon.....but it had limited change of course ability. It was an anti-large, longe range bomber weapon......not a long-ranged air superiority missile. Against a Tu-16/-20/Myaischev-20 it was fine. Against an Su-17 or Tu-26 or even a MiG-21 toting the right load it was not able to adjust to any of the potential speed/altitude/manuever changes that might occur in order to launch an attack. For unsuspecting formations of gangly aircraft en masse without cover......it would have been a wonderful weapon.

It's hit targets pulling 7.5 Gs (That I know of.)
 

Rosdivan

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JoeinTX said:
All I'm really saying here is this:

-The AIM-54 Phoenix was a long-ranged weapon.....but it had limited change of course ability. It was an anti-large, longe range bomber weapon......not a long-ranged air superiority missile. Against a Tu-16/-20/Myaischev-20 it was fine. Against an Su-17 or Tu-26 or even a MiG-21 toting the right load it was not able to adjust to any of the potential speed/altitude/manuever changes that might occur in order to launch an attack. For unsuspecting formations of gangly aircraft en masse without cover......it would have been a wonderful weapon.

For things like those we see in the "Top Gun" movie..........it was dead, useless weight.

While granting that the Iraqi Air Force wasn't anywhere near the best in the world, the combat results of the Iran-Iraq War don't seem to bear out your assertion. ACIG.org records the following kills by AIM-54: 6 MiG-21MF, 1 MiG-21RF, 1 MiG-21, 1 MiG-21bis, 2 MiG-23MLA, 1 MiG-23ML, 5 MiG-23BN, 5 MiG-23MF, 7 MiG-25RB, 1 MiG-25PD, 2 MiG-25BM, 1 MiG-25 RBS, 2 MiG-27, 4 Tu-22B, 1 Su-20M, 5 Su-22M, 9 Mirage F.1, 1 Super Etendard, 1 SA.321GV, 1 B-60?, 1 C.601, two classified as MiG-21 or Su-20, and two unknown whether MiG or Su. ACIG obviously might be wrong but unless they managed to get massively hoodwinked, I think it shows that the AIM-54 was quite capable against more maneuverable opponents. From what I recall reading, the dogfight mode of an AIM-54 was ~20 miles which would make it preferable over an AIM-7 before the actual dogfight began (the much larger weight being a penalty in a dogfight).

I do talk in hindsight now, fine, but improved versions of the Phantom could have carried pairs of Phoenix-es and defended U.S. carrier groups fine throughout the remainder of the Cold War with little worry.

Would only a pair of AIM-54 per Phantom have been enough to protect a CVBG during a full scale Russian attack however?
 

F-14D

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Let me opine on a number of topics in this thread, not necessarily in the order in which they occurred.

The Missileer was not that bizarre a concept (a pic is attached), but it was only viable, given the large number of available carriers the USN had at its disposal in the late '50s and early '60s, because the only thing it could do was loiter for a long time and throw missiles at incoming bombers. It could not perform the fighter mission (F-4s and F-8s were to do that). Interestingly, the Missileer mission was what McNamara's F-111B was supposed to perform, which he decided could be performed by the same design that would do USAF's low level supersonic strike mission.

Regarding AIM-54, remember its function was expanded from that of the Eagle missiles the Missileer was armed with. In addition to bombers, AIM-54 had to be able to knock down cruise missiles, subsonic and supersonic, high or on the deck. Cruise missiles were fighter sized or smaller. They also were to be used against fighters at extremely long range. While Phoenix was not a dogfight missile by any means, it still could pull more gs than any manned fighter. It's turn radius was a function of its great speed, but large turns would be made enroute not at the very end. That speed was a significant factor in its own rite. AIM-54 was the fastest missile to enter service in the West (probably the world for many years). Given where it normally would be firing from, the target wouldn't even know it was coming until AIM-54s (very large) warhead went off alongside. Also, even if the target happened to be aware, given the speed with which it was coming, there wouldn't be that much time to try evasion. Don't forget AIM-54 would be using terminal homing at the endgame, it was the first radar missile that could effectively do this. That's why the Iranians lost so many aircraft to it (arguably the ACIG.org numbers are low).

AIM-54 would not be the weapon of choice in a close-in dogfight, but normally by the time the adversaries had closed, the Phoenixes would already have been launched. Also, two AIM-54s don't anchor the Tomcat as much as you'd think (but four have a dramatic effect, even carried conformally). The analogy many lightweight fighter advocates like to use of carrying a rifle to a knife fight in a phone both is particularly apt. However, that analogy also begs the question: If you have a rifle, why get in a phone booth with a guy who's got a knife? Shoot him from across the street! As an aside, the close-in dogfight is probably the least effective way to kill lots of enemy aircraft, but sometime you just gotta deal with it.

Regarding the F-4 carrying Phoenix. Yes, it would be theoretically possible for an improved F-4 to carry a pair, but as far as being effective, that's another story. First you'd have to repackage the AWG-9 to fit in the space available in a radically redesigned F-4 fuselage. You'd have to change the whole nose to accomodate the larger antenna, and find some way for the F-4 to generate enough electricity to run the whole thing. Of course, with the dramatic cg change and the requirement to get back aboard the carrier, that's more redesign (problems it would generate when coming back aboard the boat is one of the reasons the Navy made the correct decision not to put a gun in later models of its F-4s). Naturally all this means more weight, which requires a redesign of the wing. But then, you'd have to redesign the wing and internals anyway since the AIM-54A (which was the version at the time) required cooling oil to be pumped from the aircraft (later versions didn't) so you'd have to put that system in. More weight, more wing. A lot of extra fuel would have to be carried to try and meet the range and loiter requirements (which it probably wouldn't). Problem here, is the larger engines needed to lift all this (another extensive redesign) might want some of that fuel themselves.

Not of this even addresses the air superiority or strike missions. At the end, you'd have an aircraft that would cost far more and be less capable than a clean sheet of paper design (one of the reasons the F3H Demon wasn't improved into the F4H Phantom). In short, the F-4 was a magnificent aircraft, to my mind the greatest all-around fighter design ever. But, even it had its limits. There was no way it could be modified into anything even approaching what the F-14 was designed for (and probably this Super F-4 would have been supplied with inadequate engines by the Government, same as the F-14 was).

The F-14 would have made a superb interceptor for USAF, better than anything else they would have been able to field. It would actually have been easier than the Navy mission since the aircraft wouldn't have to handle air superiority or strike, USAF had other aircraft for that, and wouldn't have to be carrier capable. Realistically, though, no way was USAF going to buy another Navy plane and in any case, they had abandoned the interceptor mission after the IMI debacle.

Regarding Super Hornet carrying Phoenix and/or defending the CVBG, when USN lost A/FX and AIM-152 (other forums) and it was apparent that the Hornet E/F was going to be it as far as Navy fighter capability went, that job was turned over to the AEGIS cruisers.
 

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Antonio

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Anybody has an F-111X-7 IMI drawing?

Thanks in advance

Antonio
 

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Here's one of the first news reports at the time on the insertion of the F-111 into the IMI requirement: Now an Air Defence F-111 (Flight International, February 9th, 1967)

YET ANOTHER VARIANT of the ubiquitous GD F-111 is under consideration in Washington by the Department of Defence—this time as a long-range intercepter to replace the ageing F-102 and F-106s of Air Defence Command.
The development is being considered in competition with Lockheed's Mach 3 F-12 project, on which small-scale spending is continuing through the next financial year.

Prospects for the long-range F-111 intercepter depend in part upon the
feasibility of the AWACS (airbornewarning and control system) aircraft for
which Boeing and Douglas are now making contract definition studies based
upon the 707 and DC-8 airliners respectively.
The AWACS system is necessary to provide detection and control at
ranges far beyond those of ground-based radars. The AWACS concept is heavily
dependent upon the development of airborne radars which are sufficiently
discriminatory to direct and track lowflying aircraft against the background of
ground return. Development of these "overland" radars is in hand, with five
different types due to be evaluated incompetition this year.

So a decision on a USAF F-111 intercepter (the problematical F-111B
intended for the USN is, of course, primarily an intercepter version) remains
a fairly distant possibility. If indeed it is adopted, it will be a great feather in
the cap of GD, which will then be providing variants of the same basic aircraft
for the USAF's three major combat commands—Strategic, Tactical and Air
Defence.
 

Pioneer

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Nice find Grey Havoc!!
Would have been an interesting and practical long-range and endurance interceptor!
It would have also stimulated F-111 production some what.

Thanks again

Regards
Pioneer
 

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GTX said:
Pioneer,

Here's a photo of the F-14 mockup:

F-14IMI.jpg


Regards,

Greg


... the same pic already posted but in a form perhaps slightly better...
Nico
 

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F-14D

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Pioneer said:
Nice find Grey Havoc!!
Would have been an interesting and practical long-range and endurance interceptor!
It would have also stimulated F-111 production some what.

Thanks again

Regards
Pioneer


F-111 as an ADC interceptor would have been a disaster. Although it could travel good distances at high speed, it lacked the other performance characteristics that would have made in useful in that role. Even the F-111B, which did carry Phoenix, was envisioned as being already patrolling on station when the bad guys showed up, not as an interceptor where reaction started when the inbounds were detected.

The "Department of Defense" interest was Robert McNamara pushing the plane in this role on an unwilling Air Force so he could claim another victory for the controversial aircraft he championed so much. It was AF's refusal to be saddled with the plane in this role that led to the destruction of the Lockheed Blackbird line. I've (modest plug) written more about this earlier in this topic:
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,423.msg24920.html#msg24920
 

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F-14D said:
This also had the effect of killing SR-71 production early, but he really didn't care, his ego was at stake.

...And now, two years after he died, one really has to wonder what Circle of Dante's Inferno McNamara actually wound up in. I honestly suspect they created a new Canto for politicians, bureaucrats and other lord high muckity-mucks who deliberately sabotages and endangers the military technological superiority of their respective nations. Whatever Canto he landed in, no doubt he's sharing the same fate as Stuart Symington and Charles E. Wilson, with the latter still probably having this blank stare, whining about how he couldn't understand what he'd done that was so wrong that he was hung and burned in effigy in several places in and around Huntsville and the Redstone Arsenal, all over the Russians having launched Sputnik I while he and Eisenhower twiddled their thumbs and prohibited Medearis and Von Braun from launching first. I'm told that some news reporters - including Chet Huntley - tried to explain it to him, but he was still so shocked at all the hatred directed towards him that he never ever appeared to have caught the free clues given him before he died in September of 1961.

But hey, what should anyone have expected from a micromanager who, like McNamara, slashed military budgets in the middle of a war, and then topped that off with calling those serving in the National Guard as "nothing but a bunch of yellowstained draft dodgers"... ::)

[thinks]

...Heh, when I get OMBlog back up and running here in a few weeks, I may just run a poll to see who can come up with the best punishment for these three losers, with extra points if you can come up with a plausible damnation that'll cover Saddam and Bin Laden, just for efficiency's sake ;D ;D ;D
 

Grey Havoc

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Pioneer said:
Nice find Grey Havoc!!
Would have been an interesting and practical long-range and endurance interceptor!
It would have also stimulated F-111 production some what.

Thanks again

Regards
Pioneer

James said:
That news report is a good find Grey Havoc. Cheers.

Thanks guys.
 

GTX

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Does anyone know I'd the F-14IMI proposal proposed a change from probe to boom refueling given the USAF connection?
 

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OM said:
F-14D said:
This also had the effect of killing SR-71 production early, but he really didn't care, his ego was at stake.

...And now, two years after he died, one really has to wonder what Circle of Dante's Inferno McNamara actually wound up in. I honestly suspect they created a new Canto for politicians, bureaucrats and other lord high muckity-mucks who deliberately sabotages and endangers the military technological superiority of their respective nations. Whatever Canto he landed in, no doubt he's sharing the same fate as Stuart Symington and Charles E. Wilson, with the latter still probably having this blank stare, whining about how he couldn't understand what he'd done that was so wrong that he was hung and burned in effigy in several places in and around Huntsville and the Redstone Arsenal, all over the Russians having launched Sputnik I while he and Eisenhower twiddled their thumbs and prohibited Medearis and Von Braun from launching first. I'm told that some news reporters - including Chet Huntley - tried to explain it to him, but he was still so shocked at all the hatred directed towards him that he never ever appeared to have caught the free clues given him before he died in September of 1961.

But hey, what should anyone have expected from a micromanager who, like McNamara, slashed military budgets in the middle of a war, and then topped that off with calling those serving in the National Guard as "nothing but a bunch of yellowstained draft dodgers"... ::)

[thinks]

...Heh, when I get OMBlog back up and running here in a few weeks, I may just run a poll to see who can come up with the best punishment for these three losers, with extra points if you can come up with a plausible damnation that'll cover Saddam and Bin Laden, just for efficiency's sake ;D ;D ;D


You would find a passage from David Halberstam's The Reckoning, a look at the US and Japanese automotive industries from immediately post-WW II to the mid- to late- 80's, with special emphasis on the #2 companies, Ford and Nissan. When Kennedy tapped McNamara for SecDef, the comment was "A geat day for Ford; a helluva day for the country but a great day for Ford." McNamara was not well liked there at all, even if he was one of the "whiz-kids" Henry II brought in right after WW II to save Ford Motors from the mess Henry I had brought it too.
 

GTX

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GTX said:
Does anyone know I'd the F-14IMI proposal proposed a change from probe to boom refueling given the USAF connection?


Further to my earlier question, I was recently made aware that one Iranian F-14A (BuNo 170378) was kept within the USA for use as a testbed. Part of this was the supposed conversion to use boom style refuelling (see here for one reference to it). Does anyone have any more details, especially as to the location of the refuelling receptacle?
 

Archibald

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his ego was at stake

If McNamara ever come back from hell in the shape of a vampire, somebody should drive a stake, not into his ego, but into his heart. So that he never come back for a third round.

And 216 YF-12s ? yowza ! always found that 93 number a bit light. Now I know it was only a beginning. Maintenance of that fleet would have been a money black hole, however.
 

Archibald

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Of course the ultimate ADC fleet would be those 216 F-12B backed with the Iranian fleet of Tomcats. And with a little luck, not having the Tomcats might have screwed the crazy mullahs just enough for Saddam to kick their ugly rear ends in 1982... although it really amounts to trading SARS for Ebola. Or Plague for smallpox.
 

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I've never seen the F-12's as valid interceptors. Yes, they were fast, but the preflight takes so damn long it was almost an oxymoron. "Hey can you guys hold up until we're ready to take off?" The F-108 would have been a much more valid interceptor, if it actually worked. Since it would have been built like the XB-70, I'm not sure about that either. The F-106X probably would have been perfectly fine.
 

kaiserd

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While spectacular the F-12B wasn’t really a practical proposition for a day-to-day air defence role.
While, say, a tailored F-14 might have suited the real-role better the US ended up doing relatively OK given the actually relatively limited threat of Russian bombers to the continental US until the emergence of Bear-H’s and Blackjacks much later in late 70’s and the 80’s.
 

Michel Van

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some clarification
The F-12 was Long range mach 3 interceptor with 3 missile on board and no Gun.
The propose alternative was F-111 with 9 missile (with Nuclear option) and a Gun.
And with Long range i mean around 2140 km or 1330 miles.

But the F-111 debacle let paradox situation that US NAVY went for the F-14
While USAF change there specification and went for F-15
Also CIA wrong estimation about Mig-25, capability play a litte role in this case
 

sferrin

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some clarification
The F-12 was Long range mach 3 interceptor with 3 missile on board and no Gun.
The propose alternative was F-111 with 9 missile (with Nuclear option) and a Gun.
And with Long range i mean around 2140 km or 1330 miles.

But the F-111 debacle let paradox situation that US NAVY went for the F-14
While USAF change there specification and went for F-15
Also CIA wrong estimation about Mig-25, capability play a litte role in this case

Any details on the F-111 with nine missiles? The F-111B would have carried 6 Phoenix. What was this other F-111 to carry?

As strictly an interceptor, an F-111 with 6 Phoenix, the AWG-9 and a pair of 30k TF30s might not have been too shabby.
 

JFC Fuller

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While spectacular the F-12B wasn’t really a practical proposition for a day-to-day air defence role.
While, say, a tailored F-14 might have suited the real-role better the US ended up doing relatively OK given the actually relatively limited threat of Russian bombers to the continental US until the emergence of Bear-H’s and Blackjacks much later in late 70’s and the 80’s.

The F-12B was intended to intercept long range supersonic air launched missiles as much as it was supersonic bombers. Full deployment of the 216 operational F-12s was planned for FY73, the Soviets first flew a Tu-95K-22 in October 1975. USAF ADC's timing may have been ahead of the threat but not by much.
 

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