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US Navy F/A-18s would 'destroy' China's J-15 carrier fighters in air-to-air combat today, but the future could be a different story


F/A-18E Super Hornets
F/A-18E Super Hornets. US Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Shannon Renfroe
China's carrier-based J-15 fighter jets have some advantages over the US Navy's F/A-18s in air-to-air combat, but the limitations of China's existing carriers negate them.
"If you're talking about the J-15 going up against the F/A-18 at sea, then the F/A-18 is going to destroy the J-15," a defense expert told Insider.
But the new carrier that China is building could give the J-15 the opportunity to leverage its advantages, making it more of a threat for US navy fighters.
The Chinese navy's Shenyang J-15 fighters do not stand much of a chance against the US Navy's F/A-18s today, but that may not always be the case, especially as China builds a better aircraft carrier, experts told Insider.

China has the world's largest navy, according to the Pentagon's latest assessment, and it continues to grow. In recent years, the country has managed to field two aircraft carriers, the Liaoning and the Shandong, both of which carry complements of Shenyang J-15 "Flying Shark" fighter jets.

The Soviet-style carriers have air wings consisting of 20 to 30 J-15 fighter aircraft.

China argues that the J-15 is comparable to the US Navy's F/A-18, in some cases even possessing advantages over the Navy's primary carrier-based strike fighter. The J-15 is capable, but if the Chinese carrier fighter went head-to-head with an F/A-18, it would likely get slaughterered.

The Chinese navy's Shenyang J-15 fighters do not stand much of a chance against the US Navy's F/A-18s today, but that may not always be the case, especially as China builds a better aircraft carrier, experts told Insider.









J-15 fighter jets are seen on the flight deck of the Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning. ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP via Getty Images
Shenyang Aircraft Corporation's J-15 is based on an incomplete prototype of the Russian Sukhoi Su-33 carrier-based air-superiority fighter that China acquired from Ukraine and then reverse engineered. As such, it has not always been the most reliable of aircraft.

It also has underpowered engines, but that is not to say it is without positive attributes.

Compared to the US F/A-18s, both the Hornet and newer Super Hornet, the J-15 is a heavier aircraft able to carry more weapons and fuel, and it can fly higher and faster. "In air-to-air combat, those can be really important factors," Timothy Heath, a RAND Corporation senior defense researcher, told Insider.

The Liaoning, the Chinese sister ship of Russia's Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, is "not very impressive," China experts have told Insider. The ship was originally an unfinished hull of a Soviet heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser that China obtained from Ukraine and refitted. The Liaoning was commissioned into the People's Liberation Army Navy in 2012.

China then built the Shandong, the country's first homegrown aircraft carrier. Although the Shandong, which was commissioned last December, is an improvement over its predecessor, the design is similar to the Liaoning. Both aircraft carriers use ski jump-assisted short take-off launch systems rather than catapults.
5a01ddff58a0c19d378b6d5e.jpeg


Liaoning China Aircraft Carrier
The Liaoning, China's first aircraft carrier. AP Photo/Kin Cheung
"With a ski-slope configuration, weight becomes your enemy, and the J-15, as a heavy airplane, starts to be the victim of its own design," Heath said.

The J-15 is the heaviest carrier-based fighter in service, and because the fighter jet has to launch under its own power, the aircraft can take off with only a fraction of the weapons and fuel it was designed to carry, reducing its range and overall combat capability.
It also has underpowered engines, but that is not to say it is without positive attributes.
"If you're talking about the J-15 going up against the F/A-18 at sea, then the F/A-18 is going to destroy the J-15."

The end result would be the same if US and Chinese aircraft carriers each launched their respective carrier air wings at one another in carrier-to-carrier combat.

The US Navy's F/A-18s, on the other hand, can take off from the carrier with a full load of fuel and weaponry because all US carriers have catapult-assisted takeoff.

Then, there's the avionics. "The US aircraft has a superior radar," Heath said. "That's a huge advantage being able to shoot from a very long range because you can see the enemy first. That gives the F/A-18 a big advantage, even over a more nimble and faster aircraft.


US carriers have an air wing roughly twice the size, and they can put that larger combat force of fixed-wing aircraft in the air faster, thanks to the four onboard catapults. Heath said, "It would probably be a slaughter if there was an air-to-air battle between aircraft launched from the Liaoning and a Nimitz-class carrier."

5a031aec3dbef4db018b493b.jpeg

The US Navy's F/A-18s, on the other hand, can take off from the carrier with a full load of fuel and weaponry because all US carriers have catapult-assisted takeoff.

Then, there's the avionics. "The US aircraft has a superior radar," Heath said. "That's a huge advantage being able to shoot from a very long range because you can see the enemy first. That gives the F/A-18 a big advantage, even over a more nimble and faster aircraft.
5a031aec3dbef4db018b493b.jpeg


USS Reagan and USS Carl Vinson
Two US Nimitz-class aircraft carriers. Reuters
China is upping its game
"The pace of technological change within China versus the pace of technological change in America ... is one thing that has alarmed a lot of defense watchers," retired Cmdr. Guy Snodgrass, a former naval aviator, told Insider.

"They are able to see a shortfall in their military capability, identify how they want to approach it, and then rapidly develop and then test and subsequently field" new systems, he said.

China is building a new type of aircraft carrier, possibly the country's first modern flattop, that could allow the J-15 to achieve its full potential.


The Pentagon reported that China's new carrier "will be larger and fitted with a catapult launch system," a design that "will enable it to support additional fighter aircraft, fixed-wing early-warning aircraft, and more rapid flight operations and thus extend the reach and effectiveness of its carrier based strike aircraft."

5b6dfd1c0ce5f511178b4ae9.jpeg

US Navy F/A-18s would 'destroy' China's J-15 carrier fighters in air-to-air combat today, but the future could be a different story


F/A-18E Super Hornets
F/A-18E Super Hornets. US Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Shannon Renfroe
China's carrier-based J-15 fighter jets have some advantages over the US Navy's F/A-18s in air-to-air combat, but the limitations of China's existing carriers negate them.
"If you're talking about the J-15 going up against the F/A-18 at sea, then the F/A-18 is going to destroy the J-15," a defense expert told Insider.
But the new carrier that China is building could give the J-15 the opportunity to leverage its advantages, making it more of a threat for US navy fighters.
The Chinese navy's Shenyang J-15 fighters do not stand much of a chance against the US Navy's F/A-18s today, but that may not always be the case, especially as China builds a better aircraft carrier, experts told Insider.

China has the world's largest navy, according to the Pentagon's latest assessment, and it continues to grow. In recent years, the country has managed to field two aircraft carriers, the Liaoning and the Shandong, both of which carry complements of Shenyang J-15 "Flying Shark" fighter jets.

The Soviet-style carriers have air wings consisting of 20 to 30 J-15 fighter aircraft.

China argues that the J-15 is comparable to the US Navy's F/A-18, in some cases even possessing advantages over the Navy's primary carrier-based strike fighter. The J-15 is capable, but if the Chinese carrier fighter went head-to-head with an F/A-18, it would likely get slaughterered.

The Chinese navy's Shenyang J-15 fighters do not stand much of a chance against the US Navy's F/A-18s today, but that may not always be the case, especially as China builds a better aircraft carrier, experts told Insider.









J-15 fighter jets are seen on the flight deck of the Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning. ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP via Getty Images
Shenyang Aircraft Corporation's J-15 is based on an incomplete prototype of the Russian Sukhoi Su-33 carrier-based air-superiority fighter that China acquired from Ukraine and then reverse engineered. As such, it has not always been the most reliable of aircraft.

It also has underpowered engines, but that is not to say it is without positive attributes.

Compared to the US F/A-18s, both the Hornet and newer Super Hornet, the J-15 is a heavier aircraft able to carry more weapons and fuel, and it can fly higher and faster. "In air-to-air combat, those can be really important factors," Timothy Heath, a RAND Corporation senior defense researcher, told Insider.

The Liaoning, the Chinese sister ship of Russia's Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, is "not very impressive," China experts have told Insider. The ship was originally an unfinished hull of a Soviet heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser that China obtained from Ukraine and refitted. The Liaoning was commissioned into the People's Liberation Army Navy in 2012.

China then built the Shandong, the country's first homegrown aircraft carrier. Although the Shandong, which was commissioned last December, is an improvement over its predecessor, the design is similar to the Liaoning. Both aircraft carriers use ski jump-assisted short take-off launch systems rather than catapults.
5a01ddff58a0c19d378b6d5e.jpeg


Liaoning China Aircraft Carrier
The Liaoning, China's first aircraft carrier. AP Photo/Kin Cheung
"With a ski-slope configuration, weight becomes your enemy, and the J-15, as a heavy airplane, starts to be the victim of its own design," Heath said.

The J-15 is the heaviest carrier-based fighter in service, and because the fighter jet has to launch under its own power, the aircraft can take off with only a fraction of the weapons and fuel it was designed to carry, reducing its range and overall combat capability.
It also has underpowered engines, but that is not to say it is without positive attributes.
"If you're talking about the J-15 going up against the F/A-18 at sea, then the F/A-18 is going to destroy the J-15."

The end result would be the same if US and Chinese aircraft carriers each launched their respective carrier air wings at one another in carrier-to-carrier combat.

The US Navy's F/A-18s, on the other hand, can take off from the carrier with a full load of fuel and weaponry because all US carriers have catapult-assisted takeoff.

Then, there's the avionics. "The US aircraft has a superior radar," Heath said. "That's a huge advantage being able to shoot from a very long range because you can see the enemy first. That gives the F/A-18 a big advantage, even over a more nimble and faster aircraft.


US carriers have an air wing roughly twice the size, and they can put that larger combat force of fixed-wing aircraft in the air faster, thanks to the four onboard catapults. Heath said, "It would probably be a slaughter if there was an air-to-air battle between aircraft launched from the Liaoning and a Nimitz-class carrier."

5a031aec3dbef4db018b493b.jpeg

The US Navy's F/A-18s, on the other hand, can take off from the carrier with a full load of fuel and weaponry because all US carriers have catapult-assisted takeoff.

Then, there's the avionics. "The US aircraft has a superior radar," Heath said. "That's a huge advantage being able to shoot from a very long range because you can see the enemy first. That gives the F/A-18 a big advantage, even over a more nimble and faster aircraft.
5a031aec3dbef4db018b493b.jpeg


USS Reagan and USS Carl Vinson
Two US Nimitz-class aircraft carriers. Reuters
China is upping its game
"The pace of technological change within China versus the pace of technological change in America ... is one thing that has alarmed a lot of defense watchers," retired Cmdr. Guy Snodgrass, a former naval aviator, told Insider.

"They are able to see a shortfall in their military capability, identify how they want to approach it, and then rapidly develop and then test and subsequently field" new systems, he said.

China is building a new type of aircraft carrier, possibly the country's first modern flattop, that could allow the J-15 to achieve its full potential.


The Pentagon reported that China's new carrier "will be larger and fitted with a catapult launch system," a design that "will enable it to support additional fighter aircraft, fixed-wing early-warning aircraft, and more rapid flight operations and thus extend the reach and effectiveness of its carrier based strike aircraft."

5b6dfd1c0ce5f511178b4ae9.jpeg
With a carrier like that, "you're starting to talk about a potential competitor for a Nimitz," Heath said, adding that the "catapults would allow the J-15's advantages to come into play."

"Things look promising for the Chinese," he said. "They seem to be rolling out better avionics, better air-to-air missiles. They've got some pretty good missiles that can really cause trouble for US aircraft."

"You can imagine a Chinese carrier with more advanced J-15 variants with more sophisticated avionics, high-quality missiles, maybe 10, 11, 12 missiles loaded on each aircraft, plenty of fuel, good range, good performance," Heath said. "You could see that at that point the US with its F/A-18s might face a real challenge."
The USS Nimitz was commissioned in 1975 and is the first of 10 nuclear-powered aircraft carriers in that class. The Navy is building a new class of carriers, starting with USS Gerald R. Ford, that feature advanced systems like electromagnetic catapults designed to increase the rate at which the ship can launch planes. The Navy plans to build at least five Ford-class flattops.

The US Navy is also working to deploy F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters on its carriers, but these stealth aircraft are not really built for dogfighting.

"The US is really banking on the sensor battle, this idea that the US can see first and shoot first to compensate for general limitations on speed and maneuver and weapons load," Heath said.

For years, there have been rumors that the Chinese are developing a next-generation carrier fighter. For now, China's carrier-based fighter is the J-15, and it's unclear how that aircraft would do against the fifth-generation F-35.

HOMEPAGE

HOME MILITARY & DEFENSE
US Navy F/A-18s would 'destroy' China's J-15 carrier fighters in air-to-air combat today, but the future could be a different story
Ryan Pickrell Oct 23, 2020, 3:01 PM

F/A-18E Super Hornets
F/A-18E Super Hornets. US Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Shannon Renfroe
China's carrier-based J-15 fighter jets have some advantages over the US Navy's F/A-18s in air-to-air combat, but the limitations of China's existing carriers negate them.
"If you're talking about the J-15 going up against the F/A-18 at sea, then the F/A-18 is going to destroy the J-15," a defense expert told Insider.
But the new carrier that China is building could give the J-15 the opportunity to leverage its advantages, making it more of a threat for US Navy fighters.
Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The Chinese navy's Shenyang J-15 fighters do not stand much of a chance against the US Navy's F/A-18s today, but that may not always be the case, especially as China builds a better aircraft carrier, experts told Insider.

China has the world's largest navy, according to the Pentagon's latest assessment, and it continues to grow. In recent years, the country has managed to field two aircraft carriers, the Liaoning and the Shandong, both of which carry complements of Shenyang J-15 "Flying Shark" fighter jets.

The Soviet-style carriers have air wings consisting of 20 to 30 J-15 fighter aircraft.

China argues that the J-15 is comparable to the US Navy's F/A-18, in some cases even possessing advantages over the Navy's primary carrier-based strike fighter. The J-15 is capable, but if the Chinese carrier fighter went head-to-head with an F/A-18, it would likely get slaughtered, experts said.


J-15 fighter jets are seen on the flight deck of the Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning
J-15 fighter jets are seen on the flight deck of the Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning. ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP via Getty Images
Shenyang Aircraft Corporation's J-15 is based on an incomplete prototype of the Russian Sukhoi Su-33 carrier-based air-superiority fighter that China acquired from Ukraine and then reverse engineered. As such, it has not always been the most reliable of aircraft.

It also has underpowered engines, but that is not to say it is without positive attributes.

Compared to the US F/A-18s, both the Hornet and newer Super Hornet, the J-15 is a heavier aircraft able to carry more weapons and fuel, and it can fly higher and faster. "In air-to-air combat, those can be really important factors," Timothy Heath, a RAND Corporation senior defense researcher, told Insider.

The problem is that the J-15 is unable to leverage a lot of its advantages because of the limitations of China's current aircraft carriers.


The Liaoning, the Chinese sister ship of Russia's Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, is "not very impressive," China experts have told Insider. The ship was originally an unfinished hull of a Soviet heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser that China obtained from Ukraine and refitted. The Liaoning was commissioned into the People's Liberation Army Navy in 2012.

China then built the Shandong, the country's first homegrown aircraft carrier. Although the Shandong, which was commissioned last December, is an improvement over its predecessor, the design is similar to the Liaoning. Both aircraft carriers use ski jump-assisted short take-off launch systems rather than catapults.

Liaoning China Aircraft Carrier
The Liaoning, China's first aircraft carrier. AP Photo/Kin Cheung
"With a ski-slope configuration, weight becomes your enemy, and the J-15, as a heavy airplane, starts to be the victim of its own design," Heath said.

The J-15 is the heaviest carrier-based fighter in service, and because the fighter jet has to launch under its own power, the aircraft can take off with only a fraction of the weapons and fuel it was designed to carry, reducing its range and overall combat capability.


The US Navy's F/A-18s, on the other hand, can take off from the carrier with a full load of fuel and weaponry because all US carriers have catapult-assisted takeoff.

Then, there's the avionics. "The US aircraft has a superior radar," Heath said. "That's a huge advantage being able to shoot from a very long range because you can see the enemy first. That gives the F/A-18 a big advantage, even over a more nimble and faster aircraft.

"If you're talking about the J-15 going up against the F/A-18 at sea, then the F/A-18 is going to destroy the J-15."

The end result would be the same if US and Chinese aircraft carriers each launched their respective carrier air wings at one another in carrier-to-carrier combat.


US carriers have an air wing roughly twice the size, and they can put that larger combat force of fixed-wing aircraft in the air faster, thanks to the four onboard catapults. Heath said, "It would probably be a slaughter if there was an air-to-air battle between aircraft launched from the Liaoning and a Nimitz-class carrier."

USS Reagan and USS Carl Vinson
Two US Nimitz-class aircraft carriers. Reuters
China is upping its game
"The pace of technological change within China versus the pace of technological change in America ... is one thing that has alarmed a lot of defense watchers," retired Cmdr. Guy Snodgrass, a former naval aviator, told Insider.

"They are able to see a shortfall in their military capability, identify how they want to approach it, and then rapidly develop and then test and subsequently field" new systems, he said.

China is building a new type of aircraft carrier, possibly the country's first modern flattop, that could allow the J-15 to achieve its full potential.


The Pentagon reported that China's new carrier "will be larger and fitted with a catapult launch system," a design that "will enable it to support additional fighter aircraft, fixed-wing early-warning aircraft, and more rapid flight operations and thus extend the reach and effectiveness of its carrier based strike aircraft."

Shenyang J-15 'Flying Shark' fighter jets aboard China's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning
Shenyang J-15 "Flying Shark" fighter jets aboard the Liaoning. Kin Cheung/AP
With a carrier like that, "you're starting to talk about a potential competitor for a Nimitz," Heath said, adding that the "catapults would allow the J-15's advantages to come into play."

"Things look promising for the Chinese," he said. "They seem to be rolling out better avionics, better air-to-air missiles. They've got some pretty good missiles that can really cause trouble for US aircraft."

"You can imagine a Chinese carrier with more advanced J-15 variants with more sophisticated avionics, high-quality missiles, maybe 10, 11, 12 missiles loaded on each aircraft, plenty of fuel, good range, good performance," Heath said. "You could see that at that point the US with its F/A-18s might face a real challenge."


The USS Nimitz was commissioned in 1975 and is the first of 10 nuclear-powered aircraft carriers in that class. The Navy is building a new class of carriers, starting with USS Gerald R. Ford, that feature advanced systems like electromagnetic catapults designed to increase the rate at which the ship can launch planes. The Navy plans to build at least five Ford-class flattops.

The US Navy is also working to deploy F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters on its carriers, but these stealth aircraft are not really built for dogfighting.

"The US is really banking on the sensor battle, this idea that the US can see first and shoot first to compensate for general limitations on speed and maneuver and weapons load," Heath said.

For years, there have been rumors that the Chinese are developing a next-generation carrier fighter. For now, China's carrier-based fighter is the J-15, and it's unclear how that aircraft would do against the fifth-generation F-35.


Snodgrass told Insider the J-15 "could be a very good dogfighter," assuming the pilot was well-trained, but a big advantage for the US Navy is that its pilots have more experience.

The former Navy pilot and TOPGUN instructor said that when he fought against Air Force pilots in F-22 Raptors in an F/A-18, he would usually win because he had a lot of experience dogfighting.

"The F-22 pilot was in a better plane but didn't have as much experience," he said. "We're really good at what we do, and we have a lot of practice doing it."

He said US naval aviators assigned to squadrons in the Indo-Pacific had been increasingly attending TOPGUN training.
HOMEPAGE

HOME MILITARY & DEFENSE
US Navy F/A-18s would 'destroy' China's J-15 carrier fighters in air-to-air combat today, but the future could be a different story
Ryan Pickrell Oct 23, 2020, 3:01 PM

F/A-18E Super Hornets
F/A-18E Super Hornets. US Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Shannon Renfroe
China's carrier-based J-15 fighter jets have some advantages over the US Navy's F/A-18s in air-to-air combat, but the limitations of China's existing carriers negate them.
"If you're talking about the J-15 going up against the F/A-18 at sea, then the F/A-18 is going to destroy the J-15," a defense expert told Insider.
But the new carrier that China is building could give the J-15 the opportunity to leverage its advantages, making it more of a threat for US Navy fighters.
Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The Chinese navy's Shenyang J-15 fighters do not stand much of a chance against the US Navy's F/A-18s today, but that may not always be the case, especially as China builds a better aircraft carrier, experts told Insider.

China has the world's largest navy, according to the Pentagon's latest assessment, and it continues to grow. In recent years, the country has managed to field two aircraft carriers, the Liaoning and the Shandong, both of which carry complements of Shenyang J-15 "Flying Shark" fighter jets.

The Soviet-style carriers have air wings consisting of 20 to 30 J-15 fighter aircraft.

China argues that the J-15 is comparable to the US Navy's F/A-18, in some cases even possessing advantages over the Navy's primary carrier-based strike fighter. The J-15 is capable, but if the Chinese carrier fighter went head-to-head with an F/A-18, it would likely get slaughtered, experts said.


J-15 fighter jets are seen on the flight deck of the Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning
J-15 fighter jets are seen on the flight deck of the Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning. ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP via Getty Images
Shenyang Aircraft Corporation's J-15 is based on an incomplete prototype of the Russian Sukhoi Su-33 carrier-based air-superiority fighter that China acquired from Ukraine and then reverse engineered. As such, it has not always been the most reliable of aircraft.

It also has underpowered engines, but that is not to say it is without positive attributes.

Compared to the US F/A-18s, both the Hornet and newer Super Hornet, the J-15 is a heavier aircraft able to carry more weapons and fuel, and it can fly higher and faster. "In air-to-air combat, those can be really important factors," Timothy Heath, a RAND Corporation senior defense researcher, told Insider.

The problem is that the J-15 is unable to leverage a lot of its advantages because of the limitations of China's current aircraft carriers.


The Liaoning, the Chinese sister ship of Russia's Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, is "not very impressive," China experts have told Insider. The ship was originally an unfinished hull of a Soviet heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser that China obtained from Ukraine and refitted. The Liaoning was commissioned into the People's Liberation Army Navy in 2012.

China then built the Shandong, the country's first homegrown aircraft carrier. Although the Shandong, which was commissioned last December, is an improvement over its predecessor, the design is similar to the Liaoning. Both aircraft carriers use ski jump-assisted short take-off launch systems rather than catapults.

Liaoning China Aircraft Carrier
The Liaoning, China's first aircraft carrier. AP Photo/Kin Cheung
"With a ski-slope configuration, weight becomes your enemy, and the J-15, as a heavy airplane, starts to be the victim of its own design," Heath said.

The J-15 is the heaviest carrier-based fighter in service, and because the fighter jet has to launch under its own power, the aircraft can take off with only a fraction of the weapons and fuel it was designed to carry, reducing its range and overall combat capability.


The US Navy's F/A-18s, on the other hand, can take off from the carrier with a full load of fuel and weaponry because all US carriers have catapult-assisted takeoff.

Then, there's the avionics. "The US aircraft has a superior radar," Heath said. "That's a huge advantage being able to shoot from a very long range because you can see the enemy first. That gives the F/A-18 a big advantage, even over a more nimble and faster aircraft.

"If you're talking about the J-15 going up against the F/A-18 at sea, then the F/A-18 is going to destroy the J-15."

The end result would be the same if US and Chinese aircraft carriers each launched their respective carrier air wings at one another in carrier-to-carrier combat.


US carriers have an air wing roughly twice the size, and they can put that larger combat force of fixed-wing aircraft in the air faster, thanks to the four onboard catapults. Heath said, "It would probably be a slaughter if there was an air-to-air battle between aircraft launched from the Liaoning and a Nimitz-class carrier."

USS Reagan and USS Carl Vinson
Two US Nimitz-class aircraft carriers. Reuters
China is upping its game
"The pace of technological change within China versus the pace of technological change in America ... is one thing that has alarmed a lot of defense watchers," retired Cmdr. Guy Snodgrass, a former naval aviator, told Insider.

"They are able to see a shortfall in their military capability, identify how they want to approach it, and then rapidly develop and then test and subsequently field" new systems, he said.

China is building a new type of aircraft carrier, possibly the country's first modern flattop, that could allow the J-15 to achieve its full potential.


The Pentagon reported that China's new carrier "will be larger and fitted with a catapult launch system," a design that "will enable it to support additional fighter aircraft, fixed-wing early-warning aircraft, and more rapid flight operations and thus extend the reach and effectiveness of its carrier based strike aircraft."

Shenyang J-15 'Flying Shark' fighter jets aboard China's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning
Shenyang J-15 "Flying Shark" fighter jets aboard the Liaoning. Kin Cheung/AP
With a carrier like that, "you're starting to talk about a potential competitor for a Nimitz," Heath said, adding that the "catapults would allow the J-15's advantages to come into play."

"Things look promising for the Chinese," he said. "They seem to be rolling out better avionics, better air-to-air missiles. They've got some pretty good missiles that can really cause trouble for US aircraft."

"You can imagine a Chinese carrier with more advanced J-15 variants with more sophisticated avionics, high-quality missiles, maybe 10, 11, 12 missiles loaded on each aircraft, plenty of fuel, good range, good performance," Heath said. "You could see that at that point the US with its F/A-18s might face a real challenge."


The USS Nimitz was commissioned in 1975 and is the first of 10 nuclear-powered aircraft carriers in that class. The Navy is building a new class of carriers, starting with USS Gerald R. Ford, that feature advanced systems like electromagnetic catapults designed to increase the rate at which the ship can launch planes. The Navy plans to build at least five Ford-class flattops.

The US Navy is also working to deploy F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters on its carriers, but these stealth aircraft are not really built for dogfighting.

"The US is really banking on the sensor battle, this idea that the US can see first and shoot first to compensate for general limitations on speed and maneuver and weapons load," Heath said.

For years, there have been rumors that the Chinese are developing a next-generation carrier fighter. For now, China's carrier-based fighter is the J-15, and it's unclear how that aircraft would do against the fifth-generation F-35.


Snodgrass told Insider the J-15 "could be a very good dogfighter," assuming the pilot was well-trained, but a big advantage for the US Navy is that its pilots have more experience.

The former Navy pilot and TOPGUN instructor said that when he fought against Air Force pilots in F-22 Raptors in an F/A-18, he would usually win because he had a lot of experience dogfighting.

"The F-22 pilot was in a better plane but didn't have as much experience," he said. "We're really good at what we do, and we have a lot of practice doing it."

He said US naval aviators assigned to squadrons in the Indo-Pacific had been increasingly attending TOPGUN training.


Snodgrass said that if US and Chinese carrier-based fighters were to battle at sea, experience would likely tip the scales in favor of the US, even if China could leverage the J-15s strengths.

"We're really good at what we do, and we have a lot of practice doing it," he said.

But, there are always other factors in combat that could change the outcome. Fighters could, for example, face a storm of surface-to-air missiles from carrier escort ships. Snodgrass added, "It's all theoretical until the shooting starts."
 

Tai Hai Chen

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J-15 is a much bigger plane. J-15 is F-15 sized and mainly used for air superiority / fleet air defense. F-18 is a much smaller plane and mainly used for anti ship attack. Different size. Different roles.
 

LeGenD

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J-15 is a much bigger plane. J-15 is F-15 sized and mainly used for air superiority / fleet air defense. F-18 is a much smaller plane and mainly used for anti ship attack. Different size. Different roles.
You present crude arguments with little substance. Air superiority missions with STOBAR (ski-jump) launch technique? This technique is known to create operational and payload bottlenecks in jet fighters.

CATOBAR (Nimitz class; America class) and EMALS (Ford class) are much more efficient launch techniques in comparison to STOBAR. Both F-/A-18E/F Block II and EA-18G Growler will not have operational and payload bottlenecks by extension.

F-/A-18E/F Block II is one of the most advanced jet fighters in existence:


Link: https://www.quora.com/Will-the-US-A...n-in-service-once-the-F-35-order-is-completed


LINK: https://slideplayer.com/slide/4079945/


LINK: https://slideplayer.com/slide/4079945/

F-/A-18E/F Block II have a small RCS and is well-equipped for both WVR and BVR combat situations.

EA-18G Growler is the most advanced dedicated EW/SEAD/DEAD platform of its kind in the world.

- - -

Chinese Liaoning is modernized and suitable for regional battles in the Pacific (e.g. Taiwan), or against INS Vikramaditya for the sake of argument. Further hype is misplaced.

Chinese Type 003 will have EMALS launch technique but it will be operational in 2023 at earliest. China is developing J-15T for use on Type 003. This arrangement will make it possible for PLAN to utilize J-15 variants without bottlenecks.

China might also consider another type of jet fighter for use on Type 003 in 2023.

American options will be following however:

1. F-/A-18E/F Block III (significant leap from Block II)
2. F-35C (5th generation); BLOCK 4 updates hinted
3. EA-18G Growler with Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) pods

Well...
 

Tai Hai Chen

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Air superiority missions with STOBAR (ski-jump) launch technique? This technique is known to create operational and payload bottlenecks in jet fighters.
J-15T used on Type 003 and onwards are CATOBAR.

American options will be following however:

1. F-/A-18E/F Block III (significant leap from Block II)
2. F-35C (5th generation); BLOCK 4 updates hinted
3. EA-18G Growler with Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) pods
USN used to operated F-14 which is used for air superiority / fleet air defense but they don't have that anymore.

The more types operated, the more strain on logistics and servicing.

F-35C is even smaller than F-18. Like F-18, it is also used mainly for strike rather than for air superiority / fleet air defense. Pretty much all modern combat jets carry advanced jamming pods. There is no need to develop a EW specialized version. This eases logistics and servicing.

All Flanker types jets carry the advanced Khibiny jamming pod on wingtips.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khibiny_(electronic_countermeasures_system)

 
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LeGenD

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J-15T used on Type 003 and onwards are CATOBAR.

Repeating myself: Chinese Type 003 will have EMALS launch technique.

From the link you shared:

"Work on a new version of the J-15 adapted for catapult assisted take-off but arrested recovery, or CATOBAR, configured carriers was first reported in late 2014. The Liaoning, in contrast, has arresting cables for aircraft recovery, but no catapults, and is instead equipped with a “ski jump” take-off ramp on the bow.

The first prototype J-15T reportedly took to the air for the first time in July 2016. In November 2016 it was reported that a J-15 — perhaps a second J-15T prototype — launched successfully for the first time from the ground-based electromagnetic catapult facility at Huangdicun, a Chinese equivalent to the troubled Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) for the U.S. Navy’s Ford class carriers. It seems that parallel tests were also conducted using the steam-powered catapult that’s also found at Huangdicun."


1. Two different prototypes reported (Prototype BLUE; Prototype RED)
2. Prototype RED is relevant for Type 003 (and my statement in relation)

You need to read statements carefully and not argue for the sake of argument.

The more types operated, the more strain on logistics and servicing.
Did you see USN complaining about it?
1. F/A-18 E/F and EA-18G Growler are similar airframes = reduced strain on logistics and servicing.
2. Logistics and servicing for F-35 variants is well-established by now. These jets are in serial production.

China have fielded following in the present:
1. J-15 standard
2. J-15D EW oriented

F-35C is even smaller than F-18. Like F-18, it is also used mainly for strike rather than for air superiority / fleet air defense.
Being "smaller" is useless argument. Both F-/A-18E/F and F-35C are multirole jet fighters; both are well-equipped for air superiority / fleet air defense missions as you put. Did you carefully check the information that I shared in my previous post? What are those images telling you? Why equip a jet fighter with a powerful AESA radar system, EO/IRST solution, comprehensive EW suite, data fusion capabilities, JHMCS, and different types of A2A munition? To strike targets on the surface?

You have this unfortunate habit of ignoring valuable information and sticking with your misinformed opinions and spamming. You are hereby CAUTIONED; you need to drop this habit.

Pretty much all modern combat jets carry advanced jamming pods. There is no need to develop a EW specialized version. This eases logistics and servicing.

All Flanker types jets carry the advanced Khibiny jamming pod on wingtips.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khibiny_(electronic_countermeasures_system)

Well said.... NOT.

Khibiny is good but nothing substantial in view of various EW solutions that have emerged over time.




EA-18G Growler is much more comprehensive EW solution than a Khibiny pod. In my previous post, I have posted a link in which an image provides an overview of EW systems of this jet fighter. Have a good look at it and then get back to me.
 

Tai Hai Chen

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Being "smaller" is useless argument. Both F-/A-18E/F and F-35C are multirole jet fighters; both are well-equipped for air superiority / fleet air defense missions as you put. Did you carefully check the information that I shared in my previous post? What are those images telling you? Why equip a jet fighter with a powerful AESA radar system, EO/IRST solution, comprehensive EW suite, data fusion capabilities, JHMCS, and different types of A2A munition? To strike targets on the surface?
EA-18G Growler is much more comprehensive EW solution than a Khibiny pod. In my previous post, I have posted a link in which an image provides an overview of EW systems of this jet fighter. Have a good look at it and then get back to me.
Fleet air defense / air superiority fighters are typically big in size to carry big air to air missiles that have lots of range. Case in point. F-14. F-15, J-15. F-18 was built for strike, not for fleet air defense / air superiority. It can do that, but not as well. By the way this topic is about F-18 vs J-15, not about F-35, much less EA-18.
 
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White and Green with M/S

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Fleet air defense / air superiority fighters are typically big in size to carry big air to air missiles that have lots of range. Case in point. F-14. F-15, J-15. F-18 was built for strike, not for fleet air defense / air superiority. It can do that, but not as well. By the way this topic is about F-18 vs J-15, not about F-35, much less EA-18.
There no need for big fighter on carriers, bigger means less fighter on the carrier, and AMRAAM C-7 has enough range to deny enemy at long ranges
 

LeGenD

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Fleet air defense / air superiority fighters are typically big in size to carry big air to air missiles that have lots of range. Case in point. F-14. F-15, J-15.
My FIRST revelation to you was the drawback of STOBAR launch system on Liaoning. This technique is known to create operational and payload bottlenecks in jet fighters. Even if J-15 is as good as you tout (which is doubtful), your point is moot.

F-18 was built for strike, not for fleet air defense / air superiority. It can do that, but not as well.
Seriously now? Air Superiority comes from thin air or something?

Electronic components such as sophisticated avionics with powerful sensor systems including high-performance AESA radar system, sophisticated EO/IRST solution, comprehensive EW suite, data fusion capabilities and JHMCS are put together within a well-constructed airframe to enable Air Superiority role with relevant A2A payload. Does any missile work in vacuum or something?

AMRAAM don't have range of PL-15. PL-15 range is 200 km same as future AIM-260 which is slated to replace AIM-120.
Maximum range of an A2A munition is premature argument in the face of signature suppression techniques and jamming conditions. Even the very best of BVR munition will not deliver results in vacuum. There must be substantial electronic muscle behind it to make it work (i.e. your jet fighter should be better than the opposing jet fighter on many counts). You need to catch up with times in fact.

Take your time to contemplate information in this thread; you really need it.
 

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