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Saudi Arabia orders Eurofighter


Rod

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...which was derived from an official Greek requirement from the Icarus Commission, which called for a single seat air superiority arm-powered flyer... ;)

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And that was a cheap Chinese knock off of an M109!

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You speak of the TKF-90?

 

I've got an idea: let's get back to the Saudis. I'm still baffled by them wanting to replace the Tornado ADVs. They have about 85 F-15C/D, & about 20 ADV (originally 24, IIRC). AFAIK, the Tornado ADVs are a bit pointless anyway. If they want to boost their air-defence capabilities with a better plane than their F-15s (& there's not much chance of the USA agreeing to upgrade them to the point where they're competitive with the Typhoon), fine. but that's not really replacing the ADVs.

 

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The RAF is schedule to withdraw the ADV in 2010. After that the aircraft is going to become very hard to support. Add to that its limitations as a fighter in the Middle East environment and its not hard to figure out why they would want to replace it. Additionally, with Typhoon's replacing F-5's and ADV's the number of different types in operation is reduced, making support easier.

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There are only a few things of value that come out of looking at the Eurofighter's early origins.

 

Agreed. It's meaningless because requirements almost always change the more time goes by and the more defined a program becomes. It is both unfair and unrealistic to base the Eurofighter of today on the ideas the RAF was tossing about but hadn't fully defined in 1977. The real requirements were not nailed down for nearly another 10 years.

 

A truly interesting comparison would be to take a good look at the development of recent fighters, say Rafale, Gripen, Typhoon, and F-22, to figure out what the most efficient way of going about things would be.

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That's easy. The national programs (except the F-22) were all faster and (relatively) cheaper than the multi-national Eurofghter. However, Eurofighter cost each of the partner nation far less than a purely national solution would have. AS long as one can put up with the BS from the German's , Eurofighter represents a great value to those partners making the inevitable political delays acceptable.

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Earlier there were questions about wieght and payload for various version of the F-16, including IIRC a claim that it has an external stores load over 20,000 lb. The following is data I pulled out of the library I have immediately at hand, for everyones amusement.

 

According to “General Dynamics F-16, Aero Series #26” published in 1976 the F-16A has a “design gross weight of 21,500 pounds with a maximum operating weight tipping the scales at 33,000 pounds. The aircraft can carry an amazing 6,600 pounds of fuel (internally)… On the various external mounts on the F-16 15,000 pounds of payload can be accommodated.”

 

A chart deeper in the volume gives external load as 15,200 pounds.

 

“With a full fuel load in the planes internal tanks, the F-16 can carry approximately 11,500 pounds externally without exceeding the 33,000 pound maximum take-off weight. While carrying stores externally, the F-16 still can fly and maneuver at high G’s…”

 

Another chart shows the pylon arrangement (excluding chin pylons – not available at the time the book went to press).

 

The wingtip and outer wing pylons (#1, 2, 8, 9) are stressed to 250 pounds and 9G. In other words, AAM’s only. Stations 7 and 3, the center underwing pylons are stressed to 2,500 lb at 5.5G. The inner underwing pylons 4 & 6 are stressed to 3,500 lb at 5.5G and the centerline pylon to 2,200 lb (998 kg) at 5.5G.

 

Jane’s Encyclopedia of Aviation published in 1980 gives MTOW as 14,968 kg (33,000 lb) and external load as 6,894 kg (15,200 lb) so the sources concur on those major points of the original F-16A.

 

Jane’s All the Worlds Aircraft also from 1980 gives more details.

Weight empty F-16A – 6,607 kg (14,567 lb)

F-16B – 6,868 kg (15,141 lb)

Internal Fuel Load F-16A – 3,162 kg (6,972 lb)

F-16B – 2,624 kg (5,785 lb)

Max External Stores Load

F-16A – 6,894 kg (15,200 lb)

Structural Design Gross Weight (9.0G) with full internal fuel

F-16A – 10,205 kg (22,500 lb)

Max T-O weight – air-to-air, no external tanks

F-16A – 10,335 kg (22,785 lb)

F-16B – 10,051 kg (22,160 lb)

Max T-O weight with external load

F-16A – 16,057kg (35,400 lb)

 

The Encyclopedia of World Air Power published by Crescent Books, edited by Bill Gunston printed in 1980 and re-printed in 1987 generally concurs with the information above;

Operational weight empty, F-16A 6,607 kg (14,567 lb)

Internal Fuel 3,162 kg (6,972 lb)

Maximum External Load 6,894 kg (15,200 lb)

Design gross T-O, Clean 10,205 kg (22,500 lb)

Max T-O without external tanks 10,335 kg (22,785 kg)

Max T-O with external load 14,968 kg (33,000 lb)

 

“Air Forces of the World” from Chartwell Books 1983 lists the following (presumably for F-16A)

Weight Empty 8,065 kg (17,780 lb)

Normal TOW 11,633 kg (25,647

MTOW 16,057 kg (35,400 lb)

This source gives different figures for all but the centerline stores station than those listed above. The loading for the inboard wing pylons 4 & 6 is given as 4,500 lb (2,041 kg) instead of 3,500 lb, for stations 7 & 3 3,500 lb (1,587 kg) instead of 2,500 lb, 700 lb (318 kg) for the outer underwing stations with the wingtip stations as 425 lb (193 kg).

 

Maximum "disposable load" is given as 9,276 kg (20,450 lb).

 

This is the only place I could find such a high figure. Possibly it might be adding full internal fuel to max external load with full internal fuel???

 

The Worlds Great Interceptor Aircraft, Gallery Books 1989 gives the following F-16A data.

Empty weight 7,070kg (15,586 kg)

MTOW, air combat, no external tanks 10,800 kg (23,810 lb)

MTOW full external load 16,057 kg (35,400 lb)

Max Internal Fuel 3,162 kg (6,972 lb)

Max weapon load 5,443 kg

 

Note the “max weapon load” figure is substantially lower than the figures given above. In the text it says the F-16A can “accommodate up to 6,895 kg (15,200 lb) of ordnance on no less than nine external stores stations, although this configuration limits the amound of fuel which may be carried. Alternatively, with full internal fuel, payload is reduced somewhat but at 4,627 kg (10,200 lb) is still respectable.

 

Fast forward to Jane’s All The Worlds Aircraft 1990-91. Data is given for the F-16C/D. The version is not specified. I suspect it is for the Block 40/42 because that aircraft represented an increase in MTOW over the Block 30/32.

Empty weight F100-PW-220 8,273 kg (18,238 lb)

Empty weight F-110-GE-100 8,627 kg (19,020 lb)

Max Internal Fuel F-16C 3,104 kg (6,846 lb)

Max Internal Fuel F-16D 2,567 kg (5,659 lb)

Typical Combat Weight C (F110) 10,780 kg (23,765 lb)

Max T-O:

air-to-air, no external tanks (C F110) 12,331 kg (27,185 lb)

With external load © 19,187 kg (42,300 lb)

Max external Load (C & D) 5,443 kg (12,000 lb)

 

Underwing pylon loadings are consistent with “Air Forces of the World” above. Additional data is given however:

 

The centerline station has a limit of 544 kg (1,200 lb) for 9g flight, the inboard stations 1,134 kg (2,500 lb) each, the two center underwing stations 907 kg (2,000 lb) each and the outer underwing stations 204 kg (450 lb) each.

Data is also given for the two chin stations (LANTIRN pod pylons) which are stressed for 408 kg (900 lb) at 5.5g and 250 kg (550 lb) each at 9g.

 

The 1993-94 edition fleshes things out a bit more.

 

Weight Empty:

F-16C F100-PW-220 8,273 kg (18,238 lb)

F-16C F110-GE-100 8,627 kg (19,020 lb)

F-16D F100-PW-220 8,494 kg (18,726 lb)

F-16D F110-GE-100 8,853 kg (19,517 lb)

Max T-O with external load:

F-16C Block 30/32 17,010 kg (37,500 lb)

F-16C Bllock 40/42 19,187 kg (42,300 lb)

Max external Load (C & D) 5,443 kg (12,000 lb)

 

Fast forward a few more years (1998-99)… (this data is I believe for the Block 50/52 but again, Jane’s are not specific).

Weight Empty:

F-16C F-100-PW-229 8,443 kg (18,591 lb)

F-16C F-110-GE-129 8,581 kg (18,917 lb)

Max External Load (full internal fuel)

F-16C F100-PW-229 7,226 kg (15,930 lb)

F-16C F110-GE-129 7,072 kg (15,591 lb)

Typical combat weight (2 AIM-9, 50% fuel)

F-16C F100-PW-229 10,659 kg (23,498 lb)

F-16C F110-GE-129 12,292 kg (23,837 lb)

MTOW, full external load 19,187 kg (42,300 lb)

 

World Air Power Journal Vol 36, Spring 1999 describes the Block 40 as having an empty weight of 8,511 kg (18,765 lb) “a massive 3,100 lb (1,406 kg) increase over the F-16A which had the same shape, and in the case of the Block 42 about the same thrust. The same edition states that all IDF C/D models have had MTOW increased to 21,772 kg (48,000 lb) to undertake long-rage strike and SEAD missions. Empty weight is also increased, by how much is not given. These same figures apply to the Block 60.

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The RAF is schedule to withdraw the ADV in 2010.  After that the aircraft is going to become very hard to support.  Add to that its limitations as a fighter in the Middle East environment and its not hard to figure out why they would want to replace it.  Additionally, with Typhoon's replacing F-5's and ADV's the number of different types in operation is reduced, making support easier.

 

You miss my point. You talk about "replacing" the ADVs - but what use are they anyway, to an air force with a much larger number of aircraft that are superior in the role which Saudi Arabia has them for? Is the idea of replacing them meaningful?

Do you see? Withdrawing the ADVs is one thing, buying another air superiority aircraft is another thing - a separate decision, which there is no need to link to the withdrawal of the ADVs. A bit picky, I know, but it's what I was getting at.

 

As far as I can see, they'd be better off switching the ADVs to something like the SEAD role proposed for spare RAF ADVs, for the rest of their lives, & leaving the air-air stuff to the F-15s. BTW, I've found the answer to my earlier question, & the RSAF does have AMRAAM for its F-15s. But I don't know if it's been fitted to the Saudi ADVs. May have been, as the Saudis have tended to pay to keep their Tornados close to the RAF standard, much to BAes profit.

 

Also, I don't see much problem supporting them after the RAF retires them. The degree of commonality with the IDS, the availability of ex-RAF spares, & the fact that Saudi Arabia has much of its maintenance done under a long-term support contract with the manufacturer, means they should be fine.

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You miss my point. You talk about "replacing" the ADVs - but what use are they anyway, to an air force with a much larger number of aircraft that are superior in the role which Saudi Arabia has them for? Is the idea of replacing them meaningful?

 

Do you see? Withdrawing the ADVs is one thing, buying another air superiority aircraft is another thing - a separate decision, which there is no need to link to the withdrawal of the ADVs. A bit picky, I know, but it's what I was getting at.

 

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The Tornado ADV is operated by No. 29 squadron, King Abdullah Aziz Air Base, Dhahran. This is the single largest base in Saudi Arabia in terms of the numbers of units operating from it, but only one other unit is air-defense tasked - No. 34 squadron with the F-15C/D. That leaves just one air defense squadron covering the entire Persian Gulf (and facing Iran) with the withdrawal of the ADV.

 

Apparently the Saudi's don't see that as adequate.

 

As for the ADV's themselves, there are certainly enough dissimilarities and unique items of equipment to make support of such a small fleet, in the face of withdrawal by its primary customer - a matter of some suspicion. The ADV is also far from ideal as a fighter. The threat it was designed to face in northern England is not at all the threat it is likely to face in the Middle East.

 

It is likely F-5's will go before the ADV's anyway, though I have seen no actual timetable as to which units get what aircraft and when.

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Earlier there were questions about wieght and payload for various version of the F-16, including IIRC a claim that it has an external stores load over 20,000 lb.  The following is data I pulled out of the library I have immediately at hand, for everyones amusement.

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Thanks FITZ.

 

Those figures all pretty much concure with my sources.

 

20,450 lbs is a theoretical limit for which the weapons pylons are stressed to 5.5G.

 

The maxinum usable payload for the F-16A Block 1 is 15,200 lbs (900 lbs more than that quoted for the Typhoon) & each new version had a MTOW increase to at least maintain that.

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The maxinum usable payload for the F-16A Block 1 is 15,200 lbs (900 lbs more than that quoted for the Typhoon) & each new version had a MTOW increase to at least maintain that.

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What combination of external stores, tanks etc. would actually come to 15,200lb?

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The threat it was designed to face in northern England is not at all the threat it is likely to face in the Middle East. 

 

What threat was it designed to face 'in northern England' - men in flat 'ats weilding black puddings? Trouble 't Mill? The northern club circuit? :)

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What threat was it designed to face 'in northern England' - men in flat 'ats weilding black puddings?  Trouble 't Mill? The northern club circuit? :)

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Umm... Soviet bombers coming in over Norway.

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The Tornado ADV is operated by No. 29 squadron, King Abdullah Aziz Air Base, Dhahran.  This is the single largest base in Saudi Arabia in terms of the numbers of units operating from it, but only one other unit is air-defense tasked - No. 34 squadron with the F-15C/D.  That leaves just one air defense squadron covering the entire Persian Gulf (and facing Iran) with the withdrawal of the ADV. 

 

<snip>

 

It is likely F-5's will go before the ADV's anyway, though I have seen no actual timetable as to which units get what aircraft and when.

 

Do you know where the other F-15C/Ds are?

 

Presumably the F-15S force is reserved for strike use, though capable of air combat.

 

Aren't most of the F-5Es in reserve?

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What combination of external stores, tanks etc. would actually come to 15,200lb?

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Using 1980's weapons or todays weapons?

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Do you know where the other F-15C/Ds are?

 

Presumably the F-15S force is reserved for strike use, though capable of air combat.

 

Aren't most of the F-5Es in reserve?

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F-5E/F/RF-5E's were active during ODS but most are now thought to be stored, long overdue for replacement. RF-5E's and the two-seat F-'s may still be active. These may be concentrated at Tabuk - the only tactical type at the only air base near Israel. The F-5 still equips 5 squadrons - roughly 1 squadron at each major tactical air base - and most are rumoured to have fairly low hours and a high standard of equipment for original F-5's, making them possibly attractive for export (Phillipines, Africa). Replacement was originally to be achieved with 90 F-16 Block 50's in 1998 but that deal fell apart, or was never really finalized - who knows.

 

No. 5 squadron operates the F-15C/D at King Fahd AB in Taif, just southest of Mecca not far from the Red Sea coast.

 

No. 6 squadron has C/D's at King Khalid (or Khaled) AB in the south west of the country near the Yemeni border, also home to the F-15S Strike Eagles of No. 55 and No. 92 squadrons.

 

No. 42 squadron at Prince Sultan AB, Al Kharj south of Riyadh is also a C/D operator.

 

I believe I made an error in an earlier post. Both No. 13 and No. 34 squadrons operate the F-15C/D out of King Abdullah AB, Dhahran. I think I missed #13 squadron earlier.

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20,450 lbs is a theoretical limit for which the weapons pylons are stressed to 5.5G.

 

The maxinum usable payload for the F-16A Block 1 is 15,200 lbs (900 lbs more than that quoted for the Typhoon) & each new version had a MTOW increase to at least maintain that.

 

The quoted figures for the Typhoon aren't equivalent. The maximum load on each of the 13 pylons is still classified (though the outer 2 are only short-range AAM-capable), but if you consider the weights of weapons and/or tanks they've officially been said to be able to carry, or been seen carrying, & on how many pylons, the quoted figure for the Typhoon is clearly well below the sum of what the pylons are stressed for. That's at least 7500 kg.

 

Edit:

 

Thanks, FITZ.

Edited by swerve
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The quoted figures for the Typhoon aren't equivalent. The maximum load on each of the 13 pylons is still classified (though the outer 2 are only short-range AAM-capable), but if you consider the weights of weapons and/or tanks they've officially been said to be able to carry, or been seen carrying, & on how many pylons, the quoted figure for the Typhoon is clearly well below the sum of what the pylons are stressed for. That's at least 7500 kg.

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I agree but 14,300 lbs maximum payload is the only number I have seen anywhere. It is likely the "maximum usable payload" which, as I said, is 900 lbs less than that of the F-16A.

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I agree but 14,300 lbs maximum payload is the only number I have seen anywhere.  It is likely the "maximum usable payload" which, as I said, is 900 lbs less than that of the F-16A.

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I'm still waiting to hear what you could actually hand on an F-16A that would come to 15,200lb so I'll have a go.

 

A 300* gal drop tank (the 600 gal ones came much later) contains 2052lb of fuel. Lets say the tank itself weighs another 250 = 2302 x 3 = 6906

 

AIM 9 Sidewinder 190lb x 2 = 380lb

 

GBU-10/Mk 84 2000lb bomb 2562lb x 2 = 5124lb (I think this is the heaviest weapon you can legitimately specify on a USAF F-16A - although they would require buddy-lasing)

 

Total weight of weapons + external fuel = 12410lb (excluding the pylons and weapon racks/rails)

 

With the F-16A your loadouts are severely limited by the number of hardpoints on the aircraft, compared to an A-10 or F-15E for example.

 

*Some sources say 370

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Interesting one, this.

 

[Delete, dumb comment because Chris already mentioned the pylons etc.]

 

I wonder what sort of range an F-16A with 15000 lbs of weapons would have, not to mention the performance.

 

David.

Edited by DB
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I'm still waiting to hear what you could actually hand on an F-16A that would come to 15,200lb

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During the flight test program a number of interesting loads were tried which were probably never actually used operationally.

 

1 drop tank on the centerline, 4 MER's each with 6 Mk 82 227 kg bombs (yes, 24 bombs) and 2 AIM-9 on the wingtips. Theoretically you could carry 1 more Mk 82 on the centerline instead of the drop tank.

 

A slightly more practical option is for 2 MER's (inboard) and 2 TER's (center) for 18 Mk 82 bombs plus a centerline tank and 2 AIM-9.

 

In operation though a typical load would have been something like; 1 AN/ALQ-119 ECM pod on the centerline, 2 1,700 liter drop tanks, 6 Mk 82's, Rockeye CBU's or Durandal cratering bombs on 2 TER's plus 4 AIM-9L and a Pave Penny laser spot tracker.

 

Alternatively 2 Mk 83 484 kg or Mk 84's 907 kg bombs or 4 AGM-65A's plus 2 tanks, ECM pod, 4 AIM-9 and Pave Penny. Norwegian F-16A's could carry 2 Penguin anti-ship missiles instead of the bombs.

 

For air-to-air just the load was an ECM pod, 2 tanks, 6 AIM-9L.

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I'm still waiting to hear what you could actually hand on an F-16A that would come to 15,200lb so I'll have a go. 

 

A 300* gal drop tank (the 600 gal ones came much later) contains 2052lb of fuel.  Lets say the tank itself weighs another 250 = 2302 x 3 = 6906

 

AIM 9 Sidewinder 190lb x 2 = 380lb

 

GBU-10/Mk 84 2000lb bomb 2562lb x 2 = 5124lb (I think this is the heaviest weapon you can legitimately specify on a USAF F-16A - although they would require buddy-lasing)

 

Total weight of weapons + external fuel =  12410lb (excluding the pylons and weapon racks/rails)

 

With the F-16A your loadouts are severely limited by the number of hardpoints on the aircraft, compared to an A-10 or F-15E for example.

 

*Some sources say 370

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Here is the best I could come up with so far.

 

wingtip: Sidewinder (190 lbs)

outer wing: Sidewinder (190 lbs)

middle wing: GBU-10 or GBU-15 (2,500 lbs)

inner wing: six Mk 82 (3,300 lbs) [actual weight of Mk 82 varies from 510-570 lbs so I used 550 lbs]

centerline: 300 gal drop tank (2,200 lbs) [i did not think the tank itself was that heavy & that is what the pylon is rated at]

inner wing: six Mk 82 (3,300 lbs)

middle wing: GBU-10 or GBU-15 (2,500 lbs)

outer wing: Sidewinder (190 lbs)

wingtip: Sidewinder (190 lbs)

 

Total Payload Weight: 14,560 lbs

 

It appears that the 15,200 lbs figure is the theoretical maximum for the early F-16As.

wingtip: 250 lbs

outer wing: 250 lbs

middle wing: 2,500 lbs

inner wing: 3,500 lbs

centerline: 2,200 lbs

inner wing: 3,500 lbs

middle wing: 2,500 lbs

outer wing: 250 lbs

wingtip: 250 lbs

 

Total Payload Weight: 15,200 lbs

 

Which was increased on the F-16C.

wingtip: 425 lbs

outer wing: 700 lbs

middle wing: 3,500 lbs

inner wing: 4,500 lbs

centerline: 2,200 lbs

inner wing: inner wing: 4,500 lbs

middle wing: 3,500 lbs

outer wing: 700 lbs

wingtip: 425 lbs

 

Total Payload Weight: 20,450 lbs

This does not include the chin pylons on later F-16Cs.

Edited by pfcem
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Which was increased on the F-16C.

wingtip: 425 lbs

outer wing: 700 lbs

middle wing: 3,500 lbs

inner wing: 4,500 lbs

centerline: 2,200 lbs

inner wing: inner wing: 4,500 lbs

middle wing: 3,500 lbs

outer wing: 700 lbs

wingtip: 425 lbs

 

Total Payload Weight: 20,450 lbs

This does not include the chin pylons on later F-16Cs.

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The pylon ratings you credit to the F-16C already existed on the F-16A/B (see my post above). There was no increase in pylon loadings for the F-16C. Also, the 20,450 lb disposable load (not necessarily external load) figure I gave earlier referred to the F-16A/B, not the C. If used as a measure of what the F-16 could carry if all of its external stores pylons were fully loaded the figure is meaningless. Sure, the sum total all the pylons could carry if each was loaded to capacity was 20,450 lb. But the maximum external load the aircraft can handle was 15,200 lb so who cares? Even at that figure the aircraft had to dispense with about half its internal fuel load just to take off.

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Sure, the sum total all the pylons could carry if each was loaded to capacity was 20,450 lb.  But the maximum external load the aircraft can handle was 15,200 lb so who cares?  Even at that figure the aircraft had to dispense with about half its internal fuel load just to take off.

 

Exactly. Those pylon ratings are almost certainly intended to give flexibility in loading, not to use them all to maximum load at the same time.

 

One thing to remember is that we don't actually know exactly how much a Typhoon can take off weighing. The quoted maximum T/O weight looks low for an aircraft with that wing area & thrust. Same with the payload. It's less than estimates of the sum of the pylon ratings - which are only estimates, since official figures have not been published.

 

BTW, the currently quoted max T/O weight minus empty weight & internal fuel gives a residual of about 7000 kg.

Edited by swerve
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The pylon ratings you credit to the F-16C already existed on the F-16A/B (see my post above).  There was no increase in pylon loadings for the F-16C. 

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A week ago I would have agreed with you on this but am not longer 100% convinced it is true. There is just too much information now out there that (correct or not) states otherwise. The weights I indicated on Post #150 are just too close to be coincidental but the fact that F-16 weopons pylons have load ratings for both 9 G & 5.5 G could also be causing confusion.

 

The general consensus tent towards what I had indicated on Post #150. I have yet to find any reliable source that states definitively that there was no change in the pylon ratings from the F-16A to F-16C.

 

With all that said, you could still very well be correct.

 

[i am still looking through some of my older books]

 

 

 

Also, the 20,450 lb disposable load (not necessarily external load) figure I gave earlier referred to the F-16A/B, not the C.  If used as a measure of what the F-16 could carry if all of its external stores pylons were fully loaded the figure is meaningless.  Sure, the sum total all the pylons could carry if each was loaded to capacity was 20,450 lb.  But the maximum external load the aircraft can handle was 15,200 lb so who cares?  Even at that figure the aircraft had to dispense with about half its internal fuel load just to take off.

265572[/snapback]

FlyingCanOpener seems to care very much.

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