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Vought (LTV) A-7 Corsair II Projects

overscan (PaulMM)

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Due to concerns over the survivability of the subsonic A-10 over the modern battlefield, the USAF in 1985 launched a program (CAS/BAI) to procure an A-10 replacement with full 24 hour attack capability. 4 firms responded; General Dynamics proposed a modified F-16C (A-16), McDonnell-Douglas a modified AV-8B "Harrier II", Northrop suggested their F-20 and LTV proposed deep upgrade of the A-7D initially called A-7D+ (other sources: A-7+).

The General Dynamics and LTV proposals were both favourably regarded. LTV were awarded a contract to build two prototype A-7D+, later redesignated YA-7F. The YA-7F replaced the Allison TF41 engine with the afterburning Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-220 (alternatively, the General Electric F110-GE-100) used on the F-16. This was expected to increase maximum speed to about Mach 1.2. The fuselage was extended ahead of (0.9m) and behind (0.46m) the wings to increase fuel capacity and provide racking space for upgraded avionics. The vertical fin was made 0.25m taller, and LERX and improved flaps fitted to the wing. A modern cockpit was designed with wide-angle HUD and MFDs, a LANA FLIR was incorporated, and laser ring inertial/GPS navigation equipment. Blisters on the lower rear fuselage housed twin ALQ-165 or 184 ECM systems. The existing Pave Penny laser spot tracker and APQ-126 radar retained.

The first flight of the first YA-7F was made on 29 Nov 1989, the second joining the test program on 3 April 1990. LTV were hoping to modify about 307 ANG A-7D to the new standard, for a unit flyaway cost of $4.93 million (other sources say $6.5 million) per aircraft, extending the life of the aircraft as far as 2018. In 1990 the YA-7F was returned to Vought for re-engining with the F110 engine, but never flew with it. The program was cancelled in late 1990 in favour of modified F-16s, and all A-7s withdrawn from service in the early 1990s.

Length: 14.94m
Wingspan: 11.8m
Height: 5.33m

Empty Weight: 10,460kg (F100) 10825kg (F110)
Max Takeoff Weight: 20,865kg
Internal Fuel: 4700kg
Ferry Range: 4260km with 4 external 1,135l fuel tanks

Sources
  • Vought Heritage Site http://www.vought.com/heritage/products/html/ya-7f.html
  • Al Adcock A-7 Corsair II in Action Squadron-Signal, 1991
  • Roy Braybrook Attack Aircraft Haynes, 1990
  • Joe Baugher http://home.att.net/~jbaugher4/newa7_7.html
  • http://www.airwar.ru/enc/attack/a7f.html [Russian Language]
 

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TinWing

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1. Early artwork of the A-7F depicted a F-8 style radome. I wonder if a radical avionics upgrade was proposed early on and then dropped?

2. Joe Baugher's site refers to the upgrade of 96 Navy A-7Es to the A-7F configuration. This reference has always been a mystery to me? Would the Navy have operated a very small fleet of less than 100 A-7Fs or would the 96 airframes in question have been passed on to the Air National Guard?
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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I've never seen the early A-7F configuration. I assume it would be associated with a radar upgrade. In 1987 Carlo Kopp wrote an article which mentions TFR (terrain following radar) on the A-7 Plus.

The most detailed source #I have on the A-7F is Al Adcock's Squadron-Signal volume, he says the first proposal was called "A-7 Strikefighter", then "A-7 Plus", but doesn't mention any differences between the versions.

Al Adcock mentions a separate LTV proposal to upgrade Navy A-7s to a KA-7F tanker-capable version with larger fuselage and 4 x 450 gallon external fuel tanks and an under-fuselage hose and drogue system, rejected in favour of KA-6D.

Sources
  • Carlo Kopp http://www.ausairpower.net/TE-Evading-Missiles.html
  • Al Adcock A-7 Corsair II in Action Squadron-Signal, 1991
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Some additional unbuilt projects

A-7D(ER)
1972 project, lengthened fuselage and the GAU-8A 30mm cannon from the A-10. Outgrowth of their AX proposal, but the A-10 won a flyoff against the A-7D in 1972 and ended the project.

Vought A-529D
Twin F404 engined version for the Navy

A-7G
Version offered to Switzerland in 1971. Uprated TF41-A-3 engine, radar/Loran removed (to be replaced by Swiss specified equipment), Vulcan cannon replaced by 2 23mm Madsen cannons. Two built, flown against G-91M and A-4M Skyhawk. Refurbished Hunters were purchased instead.

Source

  • Al Adcock A-7 Corsair II in Action Squadron-Signal, 1991
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Guy Alcala posted this on rec.aviation.military:

The A-7F, Corasair III, Strikefighter, etc. all included an airframe stretch
and extra fuel in addition to an F100 or F110. The airframe stretch was to
allow the a/c to be supersonic (Mach 1.4 level IIRR), and the extra fuel was
to keep the range/endurance in the same ballpark.

For instance, here's the proposed Corsair III changes, which was designed to
use rebuilt A-7A/A-7B airframes from the Boneyard, although A-7D/Es would be
easier to convert: An F110-GE-100, 16,700 lb. mil and 27,600 lb. A/B; A
constant-section plug of 29.5" to extend the fuselage around the wing root
area; another plug of 7.5" to the aft fuselage to tailor the airframe to the
F110 and its remote accessory gearbox. Rear fuselage canted upwards 5 degrees
to provide ground clearance for the longer tailpipe. A more sharply-pointed
nose cone (see F-8); the original was made blunter to reduce length on
carriers. Internal configuration changed to increase fuel capacity.

The "Strikefighter" was an upgraded A-7D with an F100 vice F110, and was the
design entered in a CAS/BAI contest against the F-16, AV-8B and F-20.

All data above from Dorr's Osprey book "Vought A-7 Corsair II." There are also
various issues of Air International from the '80s which describe the various
proposals in slightly more detail, but I'm too lazy to hunt them up.

Guy
 

TinWing

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overscan said:
Some additional unbuilt projects

A-7D(ER)
1972 project, lengthened fuselage and the GAU-8A 30mm cannon from the A-10. Outgrowth of their AX proposal, but the A-10 won a flyoff against the A-7D in 1972 and ended the project.

Vought A-529D
Twin F404 engined version for the Navy



Source

  • Al Adcock A-7 Corsair II in Action Squadron-Signal, 1991
I'm familiar with many of the AX proposals. Jay Miller's "Skunkworks" has drawings of both J52 and TF34 powered Lockheed proposals.

However, I'm very surprised by this mention of of a GAU-8 armed A-7 derivative.

I'm also left to wonder whether or not the Vought A-529D proposal's F404 engines featured reheat. An A-7 with a pair of "dry" F404s would make an interesting comparison with the cancelled A-6F.
 

TinWing

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Deino said:
Would it be possible to post these two proposals ??

Cheers, Deino
Yes, here are the Lockheed drawings. The top drawing shows the TF-34 powered concept, the bottom depicts the J-52 engined proposal.

Source: Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works by Jay Miller (Midland Publishing LTD, 1995).
 

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elmayerle

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overscan said:
Some additional unbuilt projects

A-7D(ER)
1972 project, lengthened fuselage and the GAU-8A 30mm cannon from the A-10. Outgrowth of their AX proposal, but the A-10 won a flyoff against the A-7D in 1972 and ended the project.

Vought A-529D
Twin F404 engined version for the Navy

A-7G
Version offered to Switzerland in 1971. Uprated TF41-A-3 engine, radar/Loran removed (to be replaced by Swiss specified equipment), Vulcan cannon replaced by 2 23mm Madsen cannons. Two built, flown against G-91M and A-4M Skyhawk. Refurbished Hunters were purchased instead.
i've got a scan of an artist's conception of the V-529 with the twin F404s, that was partly a political move since the F404 is/was built in Teddy Kennedy's home state and "Tip" O'Neill's (the Speaker of the US House at that time) district. I'm thinking of trying to work that one up along with a similar re-engining of an F-8.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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The GAU-8 equipped, stretched, A-7DER is also mentioned by Dennis R. Jenkins in Warbirdtech 20: A-10 Warthog
 

elmayerle

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I believe the V529D proposal with the twin F404s used afterburning ones. For the time period (late 1970s) it was an astute political move given that the F404 was built in the district of the person who was Speaker of the House at the time and in Ted Kennedy's home state. Commonality in engines with the F-18 would not have hurt, either. I wonder how many other systems would've been common?
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Vought building two seat A-7E derivative (Vought V-519) as advanced trainer; seat advanced attack version, with F100 turbofan and second crew member space given over to 30mm cannon ammo also considered.

Source:
  • Air Enthusiast June 1972, p330
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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According to Roy Braybrook, the V-529D twin engine Corsair project used 2 x 10,000lb st F404s without afterburner. The company aimed to convert 336 Navy A-7Es for $500m, and to provide a twin seat USAF derivative (V-531) to the FAC-X requirement. Other changes include an improved flap and 26% greater fuel, with a 20in centre fuselage stretch.

Air International, April 1978
 

Antonio

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I don't know the precise source but it is an italian mag from 1986.

A-7 CAS/BAI (Close Air Support/Battlefield Air Interdiction)

Interim solution for the USAF consisting in reengining the 337 Air National Air Guard A-7 fleet with a new afterburning engine (no more details :- ???), updated avionics and structural modifications.
 

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TinWing

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overscan said:
Vought building two seat A-7E derivative (Vought V-519) as advanced trainer; seat advanced attack version, with F100 turbofan and second crew member space given over to 30mm cannon ammo also considered.

Source:
  • Air Enthusiast June 1972, p330
The bit about the "F100 turbofan" leads me to believe that the YA-7F had a very long gestation period.
 

TinWing

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pometablava said:
I don't know the precise source but it is an italian mag from 1986.

A-7 CAS/BAI (Close Air Support/Battlefield Air Interdiction)

Interim solution for the USAF consisting in reengining the 337 Air National Air Guard A-7 fleet with a new afterburning engine (no more details :- ???), updated avionics and structural modifications.
The date is just about right for the F-100 (or F-110?) powered YA-7F, but the drawing looks more like the twin F404 V-529D?
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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A-7X

Source:
Sandy, SLUF and Little Hammers Part 2, Air International, April 1982
 

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sferrin

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TinWing said:
overscan said:
Some additional unbuilt projects

A-7D(ER)
1972 project, lengthened fuselage and the GAU-8A 30mm cannon from the A-10. Outgrowth of their AX proposal, but the A-10 won a flyoff against the A-7D in 1972 and ended the project.

Vought A-529D
Twin F404 engined version for the Navy



Source

  • Al Adcock A-7 Corsair II in Action Squadron-Signal, 1991
I'm familiar with many of the AX proposals. Jay Miller's "Skunkworks" has drawings of both J52 and TF34 powered Lockheed proposals.

However, I'm very surprised by this mention of of a GAU-8 armed A-7 derivative.

I'm also left to wonder whether or not the Vought A-529D proposal's F404 engines featured reheat. An A-7 with a pair of "dry" F404s would make an interesting comparison with the cancelled A-6F.
I think the question given the location of the A-7's intake is where in the world would they stuff a GAU-8?
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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A-7X is being proposed in two versions, one with a pair of unreheated F404s and the other with a single reheated F101 derivative engine. With a speed capability ranging from M=1.1 at sea level to M=1.6 at attitude, the A-7X/F404 has an estimated HI-LO-LO-HI radius (including 50nm/93km dash) with 4 Mk 83 bombs, a pair of AIM-9 Sidewinders and FLIR of 435nm (806km) on internal fuel and 635nm (1117km) with external fuel, similar estimates for the A-7X/F101 being 500nm (926km) and 745nm (1380km) Both versions have a similar 20,000lb (9072kg) external payload to the A-7E, but internal fuel is increased to 12,674lb (5749kg) for the A-7X/F404 and to 10,899lb (4944kg) for the A-7X/F101, both havin a max gross weight of 46,000lb (20866kg). The A-7X will add self-escort strike, reconnaissance and deck launched intercept potential
Air International Sept 1981
 

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Here's a few charts from the CBO's (Congressional Budget Office) study from May 1982 concerning "Costs of Expanding and Modernizing the Navy's Carrier-based Air Forces"

http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/51xx/doc5140/doc15b-Entire.pdf

At the time the F/A-18A program was receiving a good deal of flak. A New York Times hit piece in 1981 had lambasted the program from increasing unit price despite nearly doubling the number of aircraft ordered. In 1982 a production F-14 cost $38 million while the F/A-18A cost $37. Congress was seriously looking at alternative light attack aircraft to replace the A-7E in Navy service. The choices were:
I. purchasing more A-6E aircraft
II. continue purchasing the A-7E
III. develop and purchase the A-7X, GE F101 powered A-7 derivative
IV. purchase the Navy's preferred aircrat the F/A-18A

The report also explore stopping F-14 production and ordering more F/A-18s for the air defense role.
 

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overscan (PaulMM)

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At target ranges of less than 400 nautical miles, the reengined option [A-7X] would be about 10 percent less capable than the Navy's preferred option [FA-18]. At longer ranges, however, it would be up to 2.3 times more capable. Compared with the current force [A-7E], it would be about 15 percent more capable at all ranges.
Interesting reading.
 

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Because of the length, I’m going to break this up into two posts, the second one coming later. Here’s a brief synopsis of the various versions up to the A-7F:

A-7X: After the Hornet had been ordered into production, there was still a lot of controversy both within and without the Navy. Some studies indicate that if the Navy dropped developing and procuring the Hornet and instead bought F-14s, A-7Es and developed the AV-8B, it would save $8 billion in early 1980s dollars. DoD said that this alternative would not give the agility and performance needed. So, a Request For Proposals went out to see if there were any concepts other than the Hornet that could do this. It was not expected that anyone would actually have an affordable concept, but they wanted to go through the motions. Vought resounded with a proposal that envisioned buying the original number of F-14s at a faster production rate coupled with their new concept, the A-7X.


The A-7X was proposed in two new production versions, the first using two non-afterburning F404s for a total thrust of 20,000 lbs. Internal fuel would go up to 12,645 lbs. Carrying four Mk 83s, two AIM-9s and FLIR, it would have a HI-LO-LO-HI radius of 435 nm on internal fuel alone, 635nm with external fuel. The second version would use an afterburning F101DFE (which became the F110). Internal fuel would be only 10,933 lbs., but radius under the same conditions would be 500 and 745 nm respectively. On a strike escort mission carrying 1,000 rounds of 20mm and four AIM-9s, radius for both versions would be 905 and 1,170 nm respectively. The fuselage would be stretched 8 inches aft of the wing and 20 inches forward. There wold have been some system upgrade, including self start, FLIR and a new cockpit. While not as good a fighter as the Hornet, although it would have 90% of the turn capability, it would be a better strike/CAS aircraft (fighter duties would be handled by the F-14). It would have been less expensive as well, given its 90% commonality with the A-7E. In series production, depending on the engine chosen and the production rate, flyaway costs were expected to be as low $8.9 million, with program unit costs estimates of $11.06 to $13.02 million. Flight testing could begin in 1983 with 487 delivered by FY89. Faced with this data, DoD/USN realized they had only one course of action: They canceled the request for proposals. Vought submitted it anyway as an “unsolicited proposal”, which was immediately ignored. The Gov’t is not required to evaluate “unsolicited proposals”.

As an aside, it has been said by some that no a/c in naval history ever missed its original performance targets by as much as the Hornet did. Without getting into that here, it’s worthy of note that the “extended range” of the Hornet E/F still does not equal what was promised for the original F/A-18.

“Modernized Corsair”, was a program to rebuild older Navy A-7s for export with uprated TF30s, A-7E equivalent avionics, new wiring and customized for the individual customer. Corsair III was essentially the Modernized Corsair with a stretched fuselage and an F110 engine. Other options were the F100 or the proposed afterburning TF41. Work on this stopped in order to concentrate on the “Strikefighter” proposal, which is what eventually become the A-7F.
 

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In the study, how was it determined that the F/A-18 would have better payload-range than the A-7X for missions shorter than 450 nautical miles? Is this another case of the military acquisition community trying to make an unfair comparison between a hypothetical/unproven system versus a flight-tested system? Or was there enough F/A-18 test data by this point to make a fair assessment?

Either way, the A-7's superior range on long-distance strike missions would have been appreciated in Afghanistan, especially in the early phases of OEF before bases were established in-country. There's much to be said about the ability to pack fuel into a thick, subsonic airfoil.

I will admit, I have often maintained the Navy should have chosen a re-engined A-7 (I was thinking along the lines of the A-7F) with new avionics instead of developing the F/A-18. The info posted seems to reinforce that belief in my mind.

Should have, would have, could have...
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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I believe it was purely based on the F/A-18's higher maximum payload over the A-7X.
 

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CFE said:
In the study, how was it determined that the F/A-18 would have better payload-range than the A-7X for missions shorter than 450 nautical miles? Is this another case of the military acquisition community trying to make an unfair comparison between a hypothetical/unproven system versus a flight-tested system? Or was there enough F/A-18 test data by this point to make a fair assessment?

Either way, the A-7's superior range on long-distance strike missions would have been appreciated in Afghanistan, especially in the early phases of OEF before bases were established in-country. There's much to be said about the ability to pack fuel into a thick, subsonic airfoil.

I will admit, I have often maintained the Navy should have chosen a re-engined A-7 (I was thinking along the lines of the A-7F) with new avionics instead of developing the F/A-18. The info posted seems to reinforce that belief in my mind.

Should have, would have, could have...
I would question the payload/range comparison since I believe that given equal payloads, the A-7 would always have more range. The only way their statement could work would be to use a trick Hornet proponents have used for years. Namely, put the same ordnance on both, but on the Hornet carry three or more external tanks while requireing the A-7 to use internal fuel only.

Keep in mind that the Hornet lobby is the most powerful in the history of naval aviation, and the US Congress thought they had come up with the concept of the NACF (Naval Air Combat Fighter), so the F/A-18 stroked their ego. It wouldn't have mattered if the A-7X had the speed of the SR-71, airfield performance of the Harrier and payload of the B-52, the Hornet program would still have continued. Note how when the A-7X numbers came in, the request was immediately canceled. I'll get to the A-7F later.
 

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Wow full cricle, in the end it looks like a Crusader.
 

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Creative said:
Wow full cricle, in the end it looks like a Crusader.
Or maybe, in an incredible display of foresight, Vought built around 1,200 technology demonstrators for the A-7F
 

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I recall reading an article where it joked about it more aptly being called the F-8 Minus.


Creative said:
Wow full cricle, in the end it looks like a Crusader.
 

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Aside from the ability to break Mach 1, what advantages did the F100 have over the TF41 in the A-7? Was there an appreciable improvement in specific fuel consumption? And how did the A-7F stack up against potential air-to-air threats in areas of maneuverability like rate of roll and turning radius?
 

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CFE said:
Aside from the ability to break Mach 1, what advantages did the F100 have over the TF41 in the A-7? Was there an appreciable improvement in specific fuel consumption? And how did the A-7F stack up against potential air-to-air threats in areas of maneuverability like rate of roll and turning radius?
Primarily thrust and responsiveness, and the fact that it was a newer engine that would be staying in the inventory for years to come. Supersonic capability was a byproduct, but it was very macho, a consideration not to be underestimated. The F110 would be all that and much more.

A-7F would probably have around 90% of the turning capability of the F-16 just like the A-7X, which is not surprising since the A-7F essentially was the A-7X. I'll go into more detail on the A-7F when I get time, but remember, the A-7F wasn't intended to be an air-to-air aircraft. That was one of its strengths, that it was designed around the CAS/strike mission and was uncompromised by fighter considerations. As such it was better in its design role than any fighter trying to perform it would be. Its air-to-air capability would rest primarily in the AIM-9s it carried. It wouldn't go out on sweeps looking for fighters, although carrying four AIM-9s, it could be tasked with self-escort on strike missions.
 

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One of the Hornet's biggest selling-points comes from the Desert Storm mission where two Hornets successfully engaged two MiG-21's and then proceeded on to their target. Would the A-7F have a realistic chance of pulling off the same mission?
 

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CFE said:
One of the Hornet's biggest selling-points comes from the Desert Storm mission where two Hornets successfully engaged two MiG-21's and then proceeded on to their target. Would the A-7F have a realistic chance of pulling off the same mission?
Depends on the air-to-air modes of the radar installed, and how well trained said A-7F, A-7X if you're using the naval equivalent, pilots were in the air-to-air regime. I'd hazard a guess (ass-u-me) that the A-7F electronics upgrade would have not have as much air to air capability as the APG-65 or -73 series. If an export MiG-21 without an all aspect heater stumbles infront of your boresight then by all means unleash the Lima or Mike on him. If he gets the drop on you, I would run away to live to fight another day, and complain over the radio how those extra F-14s per carrier the Navy purchased, instead of a redesigned YF-17, let the -21 get through to me!

However, I wouldn't want to be going up against any more of a threat level than the MiG-21/23 baseline, even then its iffy, but this is a blessing in disguise. The F-18's self escort capabilities are nice and dandy when you're beating up 3rd worlders in monkey machines but over hostile territory in Europe encountering a fighter threat (MiG-29, MiG-31, Su-27) is a certain mission kill. Even if you do punch your weapons and fuel, you're up against airframes that you only have parity against clean... maybe. The Big old "A" infront of the designation would also prevent the mission planners from stealing sorties from the big fighters who would have a reasonable chance against said threats. Finally, the aircrew would be able focus and specialize on the dangerous, dirty work of BAI.
 

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Pyrrhic victory said:
CFE said:
One of the Hornet's biggest selling-points comes from the Desert Storm mission where two Hornets successfully engaged two MiG-21's and then proceeded on to their target. Would the A-7F have a realistic chance of pulling off the same mission?
Depends on the air-to-air modes of the radar installed, and how well trained said A-7F, A-7X if you're using the naval equivalent, pilots were in the air-to-air regime. I'd hazard a guess (ass-u-me) that the A-7F electronics upgrade would have not have as much air to air capability as the APG-65 or -73 series. If an export MiG-21 without an all aspect heater stumbles infront of your boresight then by all means unleash the Lima or Mike on him. If he gets the drop on you, I would run away to live to fight another day, and complain over the radio how those extra F-14s per carrier the Navy purchased, instead of a redesigned YF-17, let the -21 get through to me!

However, I wouldn't want to be going up against any more of a threat level than the MiG-21/23 baseline, even then its iffy, but this is a blessing in disguise. The F-18's self escort capabilities are nice and dandy when you're beating up 3rd worlders in monkey machines but over hostile territory in Europe encountering a fighter threat (MiG-29, MiG-31, Su-27) is a certain mission kill. Even if you do punch your weapons and fuel, you're up against airframes that you only have parity against clean... maybe. The Big old "A" infront of the designation would also prevent the mission planners from stealing sorties from the big fighters who would have a reasonable chance against said threats. Finally, the aircrew would be able focus and specialize on the dangerous, dirty work of BAI.
Two points here:

First, while not taking anything away from the crews, the two Hornet kills were Iraqi pilots flying straight and level toward the strike formation without any real fighter tactics and essentially making themselves targets. There was no real ACM involved. One indication was that the Hornets never dropped any external stores. Any aircraft carrying both air to air and air to ground ordnance could have done what they did, the Hornets just had to flip fewer switches to use SARH missiles.

Second, The upgrades to the A-7Fs avionics were less than you'd think because there wasn't that much needed. I'll go into this later when I get a chance. The A-7Fs avionics didn't have the air-to-air capability of the APG-65 or -73 (which wasn't available then), but who cares? If attack aircraft drop ordnance to go off and play "Maverick and Goose", the enemy has won without firing a shot (Actually, if they have to drop ordnance the optimum tactic is to run). Their "self escort" capability means that if they can't evade the fighters (and attack aircraft, especially down low or in weather can evade pretty good) they have the weapons and agility to respond to threats closing on them, but it doesn't mean they can be fighters. Remember, these are Attack assets. They were optimized for that, and that's what their crews trained for, they would be much more effective in that role than F/A-18s or F-16s.

Oh yeah, a lot fewer -21s would get through if the A-7s were protected by F-14s, even As, than by "redesigned YF-17s" ("Be right back to protect you as soon as I hit the tanker again"). BTW, if there had been no redesigned YF-17 the Navy also could have afforded to build the (original) F-14B, which was supposed to be the production version.
 

r16

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ı believe one of the Hornet pilots fired a Sidewinder first and assuming that it would miss he also fired a Sparrow . Scott Speicher was also from this squadron and it appears to have become agreed that he was downed air to air probably on the same mission .
 

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r16 said:
ı believe one of the Hornet pilots fired a Sidewinder first and assuming that it would miss he also fired a Sparrow . Scott Speicher was also from this squadron and it appears to have become agreed that he was downed air to air probably on the same mission .
A bit outside the range of this topic, but for accuracy's sake:

LCDR Scott Speicher was shot down on the first night of the war, during the third wave attack. The most likely "killer" was a MiG-25. What is particularly troubling about this is that prior to encountering LCDR Speicher, that MiG was apparently detected, tracked, radar and visually ID'ed and locked up by another F/A-18. AWACS, however, withheld permission for the Hornet pilot to fire. The MiG eventually disengaged and was last seen heading in the direction of where the LCDR was located. A large green flash was observed in that area, and that was probably the LCDR's Hornet.
 
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