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This is a discussion on Republic of Singapore Air Force Discussions within the Air Force & Aviation forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Originally Posted by Transient The most accurate reply would be : because the Super Hornet didn't meet Singapore's needs. Well, ...


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Old May 20th, 2006   #46
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Originally Posted by Transient
The most accurate reply would be : because the Super Hornet didn't meet Singapore's needs.
Well, that's certainly an action-packed and inspiring first post!

Sources please!

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Old May 20th, 2006   #47
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Originally Posted by Transient
The most accurate reply would be : because the Super Hornet didn't meet Singapore's needs.
Thank you for the very in-depth and documented response... I will make sure to use you for my next brain-trust.
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Old May 20th, 2006   #48
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The F-15SG is a logical choice for Singapore as they already operated US systems and there is a weapons compatibility that also safes money. It's possible to integrate such weapons into Eurofighter or Rafale too, some of them are or will be integrated into the european platforms, however every additional weapon not integrated by other customers needs integration and the money for that has to be spend by the customer who requires the weapon.
Eurofighter was primary not selected as the singaporeans had concerns that the aircraft could not the deliver the capabilities (to name it AG-capabilities) at the intended time schedule. Also political and the above mentioned reasons played a role which also led to the elemination of the Rafale.
However in my opinion every of the three fighters would have provided the SAF with a capable and flexible platform.
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Old May 20th, 2006   #49
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HK_Thoughtful, I agree the F-15SG is a reasonable aircraft. However, is reasonable good enough to last another 20-30 years? Where and what is the F-15 MLU going to look like? The F-15SG is already a MLU of the original F-15 in its own right.

I think the Eagle is a poor choice for 2 reasons:
1. Legacy issues. Although packed with new wepaons/avionics systems, the integrated logistics support concept remains largely unchanged. Mostly, it would probably be maintained like a current generation F-16C. Another issue is training. You flip less than 10 switches to start the Rafale. You take 15 mins and a whole full checklist to start a Strike Eagle with 2 crew (assuming the jet has not been prepared for alert duties). Which is easier to train the pilot? These has long term implications.

2. No real sustainable air superiority edge. While capable, it does not have a real significant air superiority edge against the SU-30 class threat. The SU-30 class threat should not be underestimated. Thrust vectoring enables very efficient/effective launch and leave BVR missile tactics (Think launch high and fast, decelerate, and accelerate very quickly to leave the engagement). That combined with the superior weapon carriage of the SU-30, Israeli/Indian/French avionics makes the SU very formidable. The AESA/Link-16/AMRAAM capability is already available in some F-15Cs today. Although the F-15SG's AESA would be improved, I doubt it would be significant. Also, the US is famous for selling to foreign nations FMS versions, which are usually downgraded from their true capabilities. The RSAF can only hope that the US will eventually develop a newer and more capable AMRAAM and sell it to them.

I am not advocating the Rafale or Typhoon. However, they have a different type of edge over the Flanker. For the Rafale, the French is reputed to have one of the best EW systems in the world. The aircraft MMI is also one of the best. Electronic attack can be employed to delay enemy detection, deny target tracking and spoof weapons employment (among other things). The caveat to this approach is that nationally, Singapore must have a very strong in-house EW software developing capability.

The Typhoon/Meteor combination is in my opinion quite deadly. The meteor is designed to have such a large no escape zone that the Flanker will not be able to escape once it maneuvers to the R-77's launch envelope to engage the Typhoon.

I consider comparisons between the three platforms with regards to networked operations/capabilities to be extraneous. All 3 fighters are equipped with the Link-16, and is thus supportable by the same compatible command and control support infrastructure.

Unfortuntately, neither the Typhoon or Rafael have the legs or payload of the Eagle.

Hence, my answer to your question is that I think the Singapore government should have waited out a few years for the Typhoon, Rafale and perhaps the JSF to mature. Perhaps, Singapore really cannot wait. But I do not really understand why, since neighbourly relations have never seemed to be better.

rossfrb_1, the GE 129 engine is the same thrust class (29,000 lbs) as the PW-229 engine that is being used on Singapore's F-16. I think that Singapore chose the GE engine so that the entire advanced fighter fleet is not dependent on a single engine manufacturer. In the end, this means diversification.

Magoo, I think the non-recurring engineering (NRE) cost is very high for the UAE Blk 60s. however, I believe that the Singapore government has been pretty cost smart about its purchases by waiting for other nations to pay for most of the NRE, then requesting aircraft of the similar configuration. This is evident in the F-16s. If we purchase a Block 60 today, I do not think it will cost as much. However, I think the Singapore government dropped the F-16 Block 60 for the same reason they selected the GE-129 engine for the F-15SG (See above).
G'day mate, welcome to the Forums, nice to see some considered thought put into the threads, as opposed to the one liners we so often get...

I think F-15SG is a far better buy than anything else CURRENTLY available for Singapore.

For one thing it has better range, payload, radar and weapons loadout capacity than any teen series fighter or "Euro canards". It has similar capabilities, performance wise to SU-27/30 series fighters, though it's avionics, radar, EWSP and weapons capabilities are better, IMHO.

Evolved AMRAAM variants are under development. The current spec is AIM-120C-7 which features greatly improved range over early variants. The AIM-120D will improve on this and will go close to matching "ramjet" equipped BVR missiles in range and performance. This next variant is due in the 2008/9 timeframe (I believe). Meteor is not yet operational and is some years off being so. It hardly makes a deadly combination with Eurofighter, YET. 2-3 years time it may well be a different story.

Singapore is a level 3 partner in the JSF program. It will be buying JSF's down the track to replace it's F-16's and probably remaining F-5's.

The purchase of the advanced F-15 gives it some "breathing" space however and is not forcing them to rush into the program to maintain top level air combat capabilities, unlike the RAAF.

If JSF is delayed significantly, RAAF will be in a terrible strategic position and perhaps forcing it to lease or purchase an interim aircraft. Such a situation would have MASSVIVE long term effects on RAAF force structure...
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Old May 22nd, 2006   #50
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Originally Posted by Transient
The most accurate reply would be : because the Super Hornet didn't meet Singapore's needs.
LOL. Ok, I expected jabs, and perhaps deserved it. But I did qualify myself in saying that that was the most accurate answer. THe simple problem is, nobody outside the relevant parties actually knew what exactly the RSAF was looking for. What we do know, is that Singapore is an exacting customer that does choose what it needs very carefully, and has gained a reputation for that. What we also know is that the Super Hornet was eliminated from the competition early, along with the SU-35 and the F-16 Blk 60. For them to be eliminated this early, there must be something fundamentally inadequate in the proposals, that was glaringly obvious enough to not allow it for further consideration. (I also must kick myself, because I didn't add the word 'proposal' after the word Super Hornet, making it seem that the Super Hornet didn't meet technical requirements. Perhaps it did, maybe it didn't - we don't know.) We could speculate on Singapore's requirements, but that would then be an analysis based on fundamental assumptions, thus making it inherently less accurate than my initial answer.
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Old May 23rd, 2006   #51
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F-15 Eagle hmm....

In my opinion F-15 is a apt choice,from a layman's point of view Rafale ,Typhoon,JSF and F-22 are all awesome machines but when it comes to buying a machine all airforces in the world tend to go for a proven and successfully integrated and deployed package & all above fighters somehow fail to meet em,moreover cost is also a major consideration.Now from the remaining lot if we see the major contenders we have Flankers,Super Hornets,F-16 & Gripen and the Eagles.Singapore AF mostly has inventory of US or European origin and I guess are apprehensive of Russian H/W in terms of spares and compatibility issues.F-16,Gripen being single engine dont fit into an air superiority role when we see them competing against Su-30 MKM and Mig-29 (in a dogfight scenario,for speed does matter).Finally F-15 might have edged past Super bug interms of sheer speed ,climb rate and of course the cost(I assume that Singapore is getting the most advanced avionics suite integrated with Eagle that would nullify the only advantage that Super bug boasts of).
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Old May 23rd, 2006   #52
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Originally Posted by powerslavenegi
(in a dogfight scenario,for speed does matter).Finally F-15 might have edged past Super bug interms of sheer speed ,climb rate and of course the cost(I assume that Singapore is getting the most advanced avionics suite integrated with Eagle that would nullify the only advantage that Super bug boasts of).
Speed does matter not only in dog fights. I think you hit the nail on the head why Singapore wants the F-15 over the SH... speed!
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Old May 23rd, 2006   #53
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I suspect that range is the defining advantage the F-15 has over the SuperBug, in terms of airframe advantage. Speed would not matter too much in a normal warload configuration (which is when cruise speed is the norm)- I do not think the speed difference is that great? Perhaps when interception and afterburners are used, then yes, speed would be a big issue. Otherwise, I say range is the main difference. (And I do suspect that range is what made the SuperHornet a drop-out. But this is a baseless guess)
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Old May 23rd, 2006   #54
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I do not think the speed difference is that great?
M2.5 to M1.8, no big difference there.

In AAW speed is life, even in BVR.
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Old May 23rd, 2006   #55
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M2.5 to M1.8, no big difference there.

In AAW speed is life, even in BVR.
Big-E you may have read Transient's post more care fully as he wrote:

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in a normal warload configuration (which is when cruise speed is the norm)- I do not think the speed difference is that great?
In that direction he is fully right.
Further more I hardly doubt any operational Strike Eagle reach the often stated Mach 2.5 figure. Its more like Mach 2.3. However maximum top speed is not important if you can't fly faster than another platform with an operational load.
Many advanced fighter designs do not fly much faster than Mach 2, as their airlift intakes aren't desinged to do, but these aircraft will operationally match or even exceed the performance of basically fast designs like F-15 or Su-27.
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Old May 23rd, 2006   #56
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Big-E you should. . . read Transient's post more care fully


I read it and my initial statement still applies. Just b/c the operational loadouts reduce speed of the aircraft an op loaded F-15 can still outpace an op loaded Hornet by M .5. It does not even out the max speeds that greatly. In AAW that half a mach can mean getting in or out of the basket. The air force of Singapore knows this and I'm sure it was part of their deciding factors for selecting F-15s along with extended range.

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Further more I hardly doubt any operational Strike Eagle reach the often stated Mach 2.5 figure
While it is not the norm there have been several occasions where it was necessary, ie high altitude interception during the Cold War. I have personally tracked an F-15 interception of Mig-25s at those speeds in Op Iraqi Freedom. Needless to say the Migs turned tail and ran but it was thanks to the F-15s speed they got their in time to cover our tails since we only had AG and AIM-9 munitions.

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However maximum top speed is not important if you can't fly faster than another platform with an operational load.
Whats your point? It's not like the other aircraft is coming in empty. I gaurantee you a loaded F-15 can out-fly a loaded Hornet by a fair margin which is important in combat.

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Many advanced fighter designs do not fly much faster than Mach 2, as their airlift intakes aren't desinged to do, but these aircraft will operationally match or even exceed the performance of basically fast designs like F-15
Name one that matches the F-15 in speed/ordinance ratio.

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Old May 23rd, 2006   #57
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G'day mate, welcome to the Forums, nice to see some considered thought put into the threads, as opposed to the one liners we so often get...

I think F-15SG is a far better buy than anything else CURRENTLY available for Singapore.

For one thing it has better range, payload, radar and weapons loadout capacity than any teen series fighter or "Euro canards". It has similar capabilities, performance wise to SU-27/30 series fighters, though it's avionics, radar, EWSP and weapons capabilities are better, IMHO.

Evolved AMRAAM variants are under development. The current spec is AIM-120C-7 which features greatly improved range over early variants. The AIM-120D will improve on this and will go close to matching "ramjet" equipped BVR missiles in range and performance. This next variant is due in the 2008/9 timeframe (I believe). Meteor is not yet operational and is some years off being so. It hardly makes a deadly combination with Eurofighter, YET. 2-3 years time it may well be a different story.

Singapore is a level 3 partner in the JSF program. It will be buying JSF's down the track to replace it's F-16's and probably remaining F-5's.

The purchase of the advanced F-15 gives it some "breathing" space however and is not forcing them to rush into the program to maintain top level air combat capabilities, unlike the RAAF.

If JSF is delayed significantly, RAAF will be in a terrible strategic position and perhaps forcing it to lease or purchase an interim aircraft. Such a situation would have MASSVIVE long term effects on RAAF force structure...

I know you hate stupidity in posts so I don't expect you to answer my know doubt uneducated post, but I really am confused as to how leasing an interim aircraft would have MASSIVE long term effects of RAAF force structure?
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Old May 23rd, 2006   #58
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It's not like the other aircraft is coming in empty.
Which begs the question of why you are talking about theoretical max speeds.

Well, I fully respect your experience, but perhaps you really may need to read more carefully. I did state that my statements were applied in the case when the Eagle was in a normal loadout. That means that if an air-to-air engagement was required, then air-to-ground stores would have to be jettisoned, and my earlier statement would not hold anymore, as I have qualified myself so. I also said that that would not be the case when in afterburner, or when in an intercept - and you brought out an exact case where an interception occurs to illustrate your point. By the way, did Mig-25s even come up to challenge the USAF? I am under the impression that they were buried, 3 feet under.

I am also fairly certain that Mach 2.5 is rarely achieved. I heard that at that speeds the canopy actually started melting from the heat, though I have no way to confirm that.

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I'm sure it was part of their deciding factors for selecting F-15s
proof? It is exactly this reason why my first post was the way it was. It was exactly so to underline the one constant among all who participate in this thread - no one knows what are Singapore's requirements for sure. Hence no one can say 'I'm sure' with respect to the reasons for Singapore's aircraft choice.
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Old May 23rd, 2006   #59
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I know you hate stupidity in posts so I don't expect you to answer my know doubt uneducated post, but I really am confused as to how leasing an interim aircraft would have MASSIVE long term effects of RAAF force structure?
I think this belongs in the RAAF stopgap thread.
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Old May 23rd, 2006   #60
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I read it and my initial statement still applies. Just b/c the operational loadouts reduce speed of the aircraft an op loaded F-15 can still outpace an op loaded Hornet by M .5. It does not even out the max speeds that greatly. In AAW that half a mach can mean getting in or out of the basket. The air force of Singapore knows this and I'm sure it was part of their deciding factors for selecting F-15s along with extended range.
Transient spoke about the normal cruise speed and there the F-15 don't fly much faster. I never suggested anywhere that the F-15 can't fly faster with weapons than the F/A-18.

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While it is not the norm there have been several occasions where it was necessary, ie high altitude interception during the Cold War. I have personally tracked an F-15 interception of Mig-25s at those speeds in Op Iraqi Freedom. Needless to say the Migs turned tail and ran but it was thanks to the F-15s speed they got their in time to cover our tails since we only had AG and AIM-9 munitions.
In Iraqi Freedom? When then in Desert Storm, but in Iraqi freedom there was no single iraqi fighter airborne AFAIK, simply because Saddam let all pilot be killed and the aircraft were sunk into the desert sand.
And exact at what speed?

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Whats your point? It's not like the other aircraft is coming in empty. I gaurantee you a loaded F-15 can out-fly a loaded Hornet by a fair margin which is important in combat.
Right but some new designs may fly as fast or even faster with weapons than the Eagle. F-22 is here a very good example and Eurofighter is good in that region too. Also acceleration and the flight envelope is important.
Its the overall combination of different factors that makes an aircraft superior.
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