Advanced Fighter Design: Operational Experience and Future Requirements,
SOCIETE ANONYME BELGE DE CONSTRUCTIONS AERONAUTIQUES GOSSELIES (BELGIUM)
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In order to present such a broad subject, it is maybe interesting to analyse the introduction of several different aircraft in the inventory of european air-forces since 1970. Having flown different types of aircraft, such as the F84F, the MIRAGE 5, the F104G and recently the F16, I can compare the possibilities they have and what is more critical, the deficiencies they show for the mission they are employed. Thus before going into the analysis of these aircraft, it is necessary to state in what role each of them will be employed. To do this, the requirements have to be considered. These are mostly imposed by NATO, but national requirements could be considered also, especially for those nations which produce aircraft. This last aspect of the problem is beyond the scope of this lecture. Usually, NATO requirements are so broad that all nations do have problems to give a correct response to them. Due to the large variety of missions to be performed, in the air-to-air AA or in the air-to-ground AG roles, it is evident that non specialised aircraft will be used and also low cost aircraft will be chosen because more and more often, the public opinion does not easily accept large expenditures for its defense programmes. The analysis will then be limited to the different aircraft which were or are still in use in european air-forces or more generally in the european theatre of operations. This theater is very demanding due to different factors which will be underlined, such as the threat, and the weather.
- Attack and Fighter Aircraft