Weapons that changed the world

Re: Weapons that changed the world

Postby McAvoy » Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:53 pm

None. I just dealt with it.

The stealth portions of the Super Hornet is paint which costs $5,000 a can and if I really wanted to I could have stolen a can. Anyway, the material on the canopy of the Super Hornet is RAM as well. That shit is soft enough for you to peel it away with your finger nails. If it gets damaged it was my job to either repair the RAM or replace the whole canopy. The security on the RAM for US Navy is laughable.
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Re: Weapons that changed the world

Postby BigJKU316 » Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:58 pm

McAvoy wrote:How the F-14 drops its bombs vs. how a Super Hornet does is different. Tomcat comes in low at high speeds to drop it's bomb. A Super Hornet comes in at a more steeper angle to do it. In other words, if it's a cloudy day, a Super Hornet cannot drop it's bomb, but a Tomcat can. Simple reason why a Super Hornet cannot do it the way a Tomcat can is pure speed. You need time to get away from the explosion.


No one is dropping bombs 100 feet from the deck anymore. That approach went out the window years ago with the proliferation of GPS bombs which were designed in large part to allow poor weather use. Furthermore even in a low risk environment no one is risking a $50 million plus airplane to drop bombs from that altitude any longer. There is just flat no reason to do it. The ROE in both the 1st Gulf War and most subsequent wars have called for bombing from medium to high altitude to take full advantage of SEAD operations. Hell, the RAF learned this lesson when they tried to operate Tornadoes and their runway denial munitions at very low altitude because they had to during the 1st Gulf War and the suffered horribly. You can read Chuck Horner's auto-biography on the issue where he basically all but says the low level tactics were stupid and got people killed for no good reason. Low level attacks just are not done anymore with high end fighters.

Again, I said the F-14 has some things it does better than the SH but not many of them are relevant to the wars being fought today. I get that people love them some F-14's. It is a cool plane and I very much wish it had been properly replaced. But at its heart it was a plane designed around the AIM-54 missile and stopping incoming bombers.

McAvoy wrote:In other words, if they wanted to, the Tomcat could have been upgraded to the same standards of the Super Hornet with less money. The fact that the SH can carry more weapons is pure PR. Nor Hornet or SH would be caught without a drop tank or two with it. It still had a shorter range than a Tomcat with equal amount of fuel.


Weapons the F-18 carried in 1994 that the F-14 could not

HARM
Harpoon
Maverick
SLAM
Walleye
JDAM
JSOW

That was from the GAO in 1994 and seems pretty clear on the issue. The primary issue at hand here is cost. By the GAO's own estimate in 1994 dollars it would have cost $45 million a pop to upgrade the A/B models which comprised like 80% of the force on hand at the time. A brand new SH today cost just around $50 million. It was much less in 1994 dollars. With the fleet air defense mission looking almost like a non-issue in the mid 90's there just was no reason to keep the F-14 on.

The fact that the F-18's were new was just an added benefit in that equation. The F-14D program was cut short because it just was not relevant anymore.
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Re: Weapons that changed the world

Postby Thorin » Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:07 pm

Right. So nothing at all to do with its shape, engine signature and output, or shielding its internal workings? Oh, okay.
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Re: Weapons that changed the world

Postby BigJKU316 » Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:08 pm

McAvoy wrote:As far as the F-117 is concerned. It was the first completely stealth plane. But did it really change the world? Maybe on how we view wars in the media. Really all the famous combat footage from the first Gulf War could have been any plane. F-117 just had the coolness factor. Same thing with the recommissioned battleships. They really didn't do anything except fire a few missiles and guns, but they had the coolness factor for the news.

If anything the B-2 changed the world more than the F-117, IMO.


The F-117 changed the air defense equation for everyone. It vastly multiplied the effectiveness of every other allied plane during the 1st Gulf War in that it played a critical role in gutting the Iraqi air defense system. Where it had been best to have a vertically integrated system to allocate and manage your defensive systems with the major control nodes behind many layers of defense the F-117 made that a near death wish for the air defense system by allowing an aircraft to make a precision strike against those command and control nodes without having to fight its way through your defenses.

It completely changed how aircraft were allocated for strike attacks. Rather than a pile of planes including jamming support, weasels and strike craft you could send one or two in to do the job.

You are right that it was technologically a dead end in that you can't really make a fast plane out of a faceted stealth design but during the time period it operated it was probably the largest force multiplier in any air force.
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Re: Weapons that changed the world

Postby Thorin » Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:09 pm

Deepcrush wrote:Where did you get the idea that only the AK47 changed the modern world???


From my explanation... Which I already wrote...

Oh, wait, you were trying to be smart. Ingenius.
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Re: Weapons that changed the world

Postby McAvoy » Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:10 pm

When I meant low level, I didn't mean hugging the ground. It was more like 200 or 300 feet off of the ground. Also those high level bombing doesn't work that well with semi-bad weather. I don't know how many times our pilots came back when they had the target but couldn't drop the bombs because of clouds.

Keep in mind that was in 1994. The Tomcat was upgraded since then.

Super Hornet came out in 1996.

The F-14D program was cut short because of the failed A-12 Program. That program was a huge money pit taking away the budgets of others.

F/A-18 is only five years younger than the F-14. 1981. It wasn't until the F/A-18C/D came out that the Hornets became abit more to the US Navy's liking. Hell the Hornet is basically a hand-me-down from the Air Force, forced by Congress. The Y-17 had to be scaled up, and altered considerably. If you take a look at the Y-17 it looks like a mini-Super Hornet. Basically the Super Hornet was what the F-18 was supposed to be. The US Navy has been throwing money at the whole F/A-18 to get it working the way it wants to.

The US should have used the billions and billions they spent designing the Super Hornet (it really is a whole new aircraft that looks like a Hornet) and either made something new or upgraded the Tomcat. Or split the money between the Tomcat and the Hornet.
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Re: Weapons that changed the world

Postby BigJKU316 » Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:23 pm

McAvoy wrote:When I meant low level, I didn't mean hugging the ground. It was more like 200 or 300 feet off of the ground. Also those high level bombing doesn't work that well with semi-bad weather. I don't know how many times our pilots came back when they had the target but couldn't drop the bombs because of clouds.


I know you were not saying hugging the ground. What I am saying is no one bombs that way anymore. It is not really a useful capability and no one even did that much of it (except for A-10's) during the 1st Gulf War.
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Re: Weapons that changed the world

Postby Mikey » Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:41 am

What about the stealth tech known as the deHavilland Mosquito, employed during WWII? It wouldn't be considered "stealth" today, but it can really only be fairly judged against the sensor tech of its own time. While the goal was to save metal and employe cabinetmakers, the result was a plane nearly invisible to contemporary radar.
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Re: Weapons that changed the world

Postby Deepcrush » Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:10 am

Thorin wrote:
Deepcrush wrote:Where did you get the idea that only the AK47 changed the modern world???


From my explanation... Which I already wrote...

Oh, wait, you were trying to be smart. Ingenius.


Look kid, I read your "explanation" which was a hand wave that even my 8th graders wouldn't get away with for a drill. So I asked a serious question that I didn't think we be so far above your head.

You stepped right over Nuclear power, high altitude recon, guided missiles, stable jet flight, stealth technology... Hell, your comment on the advance of the Super Carrier is that it raised the water level. Since you pretend to be educated and I asked a serious question, I was hoping for a serious answer.
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Re: Weapons that changed the world

Postby Thorin » Wed Jul 13, 2011 10:33 am

Deepcrush wrote:Look kid, I read your "explanation" which was a hand wave that even my 8th graders wouldn't get away with for a drill. So I asked a serious question that I didn't think we be so far above your head.


Which I answered before you asked your very clever question.

You stepped right over Nuclear power, high altitude recon, guided missiles, stable jet flight, stealth technology... Hell, your comment on the advance of the Super Carrier is that it raised the water level. Since you pretend to be educated and I asked a serious question, I was hoping for a serious answer.


Nuclear 'power' - Well, I'll assume you're talking about the nuclear bomb as nuclear power isn't a weapon. It might take some digging through university libraries and archives, but I think (from memory) that there was a nuclear bomb used in WW2. Which would disqualify it from 'weapons that changed the world since WW2'. I'll send an email to some national museums and see if I can get in contact with some modern history expert and confirm that nuclear weapons exist, and whether they were used.

High altitude recon - Very good surveillence, undoubtedly increased surveillence capacity of various states. Don't think it's done too much otherwise.

Guided missiles - Again, the V-2, I think, was used during WW2. Understandable you wouldn't have heard of them, they're not too well known, just like nuclear bombs.

Stable jet flight - jet fighters actually began production in WW2, but your nonsensicial use of 'stable' might just pass to mean after WW2. However, I don't think a 'stable' jet fighter improved enough over a 'jet fighter' to be considered world changing.

Stealth - already addressed that it has given rise to many developments, but again, not really world changing.

The AK-47 has led to such a black market that has indirectly and directly initiated wars (with the majority of combatants using said gun) and developed conflicts and shaped global politics in a way that nothing else has.
Now, I do understand why you struggle to get this: because the gun isn't as big as a Nimitz, because it doesn't have the range of a cruise missile, or the silence of a stealth jet, you think it can't possibly have changed the world. How can it? It doesn't have a loud enough explosion!

Well, we're all entitled to our opinions.
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Re: Weapons that changed the world

Postby Reliant121 » Wed Jul 13, 2011 11:51 am

On the stable jet fighters, the German ME-262's were reasonably stable IIRC....At least, I don't know of any truly bad issues with them.
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Re: Weapons that changed the world

Postby Mikey » Wed Jul 13, 2011 11:58 am

Reliant121 wrote:On the stable jet fighters, the German ME-262's were reasonably stable IIRC....At least, I don't know of any truly bad issues with them.


Flying wasn't really the problem with them... it was their ridiculous undercarriage which tended to make them crash upon landing. That, and like most German innovations during WWII, the fact that Germany couldn't produce nearly enough to make them significant contributors.
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Re: Weapons that changed the world

Postby Thorin » Wed Jul 13, 2011 3:45 pm

Mikey wrote: That, and like most German innovations during WWII, the fact that Germany couldn't produce nearly enough to make them significant contributors.


What about the V-1 and V-2 obliterating London? I'd have said those are one of the biggest innovations of all time, and at a time when people thought it was almost laughable to consider vertical flight (whether manned/unmanned or into the sky/space). Though I'm not sure how much of the Blitz was due to the rockets or the Luftwaffe bombers.
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Re: Weapons that changed the world

Postby Captain Seafort » Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:33 pm

Thorin wrote:What about the V-1 and V-2 obliterating London?


They never came anywhere remotely close to achieving that, partially because the Twenty Committee convinced the Germans that most of them were landing well to the north west of London, leading them to adjust their aim and blow up bits of Kent instead, partially because there were never enough of them. They certainly deserve a mention in terms of historical milestones, but they were never particularly effective.

Though I'm not sure how much of the Blitz was due to the rockets or the Luftwaffe bombers.


There were two completely separate London Blitzes - the first (September '40 - May '41) was carried out purely by bombers. The second (June '44 - March '45) was purely V-weapons.
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Re: Weapons that changed the world

Postby Mikey » Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:42 pm

Yeah, what he said. :lol:

I'd say the V-2 was a step that helped change the world in terms of technology, but not for its qualities as a weapon.

And while not exactly on the topic, I have to add the words of Tom Lehrer:
"... 'Once they go up, who cares where they come down?
That's not my department,' says Werner von Braun."
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