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Old 01-08-2020, 10:17 PM   #1
alexkon3
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Hi!

I'm reading up a bit on the Super Hornet and I got a question that I can't seem to find an answer to. There are currently 11 Squadrons in the Navy fully equipped with the twin seat F Rhino. My question would be why exactly are the 11 Squadrons of 2 seat super bugs? From hoggit I know that the second seat allows the Rhino to do JTAC work. The Hornet is already an "easy" aircraft which can do pretty much everythig so why are there that many 2 seat squadrons? Do they do all missions the single seat super bug does like normal strike/CAP missions or are those 11 Squadrons only there to do JTAC work and buddy refueling?

Cheers!
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Old 01-09-2020, 01:52 AM   #2
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Split workload improves efficiency. Many times hornets are required to self escort, find and strike their target, and manage communications with ground forces, all at the same time. The days of sending up one aircraft for one job are over. So It can get pretty get overwhelming and a pilot can only multitask so much, before fatigue sets in. That's what the usn loved about the phantom and tomcat.

By having two crew members to share the load, a pilot doesn't need to focus on everything at the same time. Most strike fighters are two seat configuration, it's not exclusive to the USN or the Rhino. It also provides some flexibility for JTAC missions as you said, as well as training and check rides. Things that would be impossible with a single seat aircraft. But the extra seat comes with a cost in gas which is something the navy considered when they outlined the force structure. So by having about the same number of each type per ship, they strike a balance between max performance and flexibility. Other then that there's really no disadvantage to the F Rhino, It's as effective as the E just with shorter legs.

Generally what you will find is the dedicated counter air missions are flown with single seat and ground pounding sorties will be done with two seat aircraft. But that is by no means a hard and fast rule. Buddy tanking is almost exclusively done in the E because it can carry more fuel. It also comes down to what's available to the airwing the time of the mission, the E and F can be interchanged at will, due to maintenance issues or deck and hanger parking. Occasionally Fs will even fly with no back seater if the mission doesn't require one/there is not one available. Or many times an element will consists of 2 aircraft and 3 aircrew with the mission commander in the back seat of the F. Giving you the best of both worlds and one extra set of free eyes keeping peak situational awareness for the whole element.



As a side note it will be interesting see how the fleet changes in the future with the F-35C, and super hornet together on the same deck. Since the Lighting is exclusively single seat, my guess is we'll likely see more and more Fs and less and less Es.
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Old 01-09-2020, 05:28 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Wizard_03 View Post
Split workload improves efficiency. Many times hornets are required to self escort, find and strike their target, and manage communications with ground forces, all at the same time. The days of sending up one aircraft for one job are over. So It can get pretty get overwhelming and a pilot can only multitask so much, before fatigue sets in. That's what the usn loved about the phantom and tomcat.

By having two crew members to share the load, a pilot doesn't need to focus on everything at the same time. Most strike fighters are two seat configuration, it's not exclusive to the USN or the Rhino. It also provides some flexibility for JTAC missions as you said, as well as training and check rides. Things that would be impossible with a single seat aircraft. But the extra seat comes with a cost in gas which is something the navy considered when they outlined the force structure. So by having about the same number of each type per ship, they strike a balance between max performance and flexibility. Other then that there's really no disadvantage to the F Rhino, It's as effective as the E just with shorter legs.

Generally what you will find is the dedicated counter air missions are flown with single seat and ground pounding sorties will be done with two seat aircraft. But that is by no means a hard and fast rule. Buddy tanking is almost exclusively done in the E because it can carry more fuel. It also comes down to what's available to the airwing the time of the mission, the E and F can be interchanged at will, due to maintenance issues or deck and hanger parking. Occasionally Fs will even fly with no back seater if the mission doesn't require one/there is not one available. Or many times an element will consists of 2 aircraft and 3 aircrew with the mission commander in the back seat of the F. Giving you the best of both worlds and one extra set of free eyes keeping peak situational awareness for the whole element.



As a side note it will be interesting see how the fleet changes in the future with the F-35C, and super hornet together on the same deck. Since the Lighting is exclusively single seat, my guess is we'll likely see more and more Fs and less and less Es.
We will be flying New and Rebuilt Fs as Block IIIs by 2025 and they all are two seat configuration.
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Old 01-09-2020, 01:42 PM   #4
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We will be flying New and Rebuilt Fs as Block IIIs by 2025 and they all are two seat configuration.
That’s what I imagine, and I wonder if they will even bother sending Es through the SLEP and retrofits for block 3 standard at all or if they’re just gonna give them all over to the USMC and let them figure it out.
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Old 01-09-2020, 09:30 PM   #5
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That’s what I imagine, and I wonder if they will even bother sending Es through the SLEP and retrofits for block 3 standard at all or if they’re just gonna give them all over to the USMC and let them figure it out.

I thought the USMC fighters were meant to become all F-35B/C ?
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