Mr. CUNNINGHAM. Mr. Speaker, I would particularly recommend that the gentleman in the other body get the briefings on potential threats posed by forces by Iran, Iraq and Libya, in North Korea and China. Specifically, Mr. Speaker, I would recommend that the Speaker look at the Russian SU-37 with the AA-10, the AA-11 and AA-12 missile, because in today's fleet, if our pilots in the F-14, the F-15, the F-16 or current F-18 meet this SU-27, with the Russian missiles and their jammer and their radar, our pilots will die 95 percent of the time.
That is not spin, Mr. Speaker. That is fact.
I would recommend these briefings on the capabilities of carrier battle groups to meet and defeat these particular threats and the tactics involved in them, which I deal with on a daily basis. The capabilities of carrier aviation today center on two tactical aircraft, both of which I have flown, the F-14 and the F-18 Hornet. The Navy has upgraded them throughout the years. As they buy an airplane, new equipment, new electronics, new stealth capabilities, are placed on those aircraft.
The F-14 airframe was designed in the 1960s, and the F-18 in the 1970s. We have added many things to those aircraft, trying to keep them with the capability to meet those threats that I have previously talked about.
When the F-14 was designed, the Navy desperately needed a high speed interceptor. Right after the Vietnam War, Mr. Speaker, there were many that thought that our only threat was going to be Backfire bombers coming in from the former Soviet Union. We trained many of our pilots as interceptor pilots, although the Navy Fighter Weapons School, which we know as Top Gun, continued to learn how to fight the F-14 and F-18 in what we commonly call a dog fight.
Counterfleets of projected cruise missiles were also a threat coming in not only at the carriers but our battleships and our troops embarked, and our aircraft were designed to meet that particular threat. That performance dominated the design at the expense of reliability, maintainability, survivability, and versatility.
The F-14 today is very expensive to maintain, and each cost per flight hour is an extreme mode.
In early mid-1970, Congress, in its wisdom, directed both the Navy and the Air Force to develop their next generation of tactical aircraft. The F-18, and for the Air Force the F-16; and if we want to look I do not have a model, Mr. Speaker, of the F-16 but if we want to look at the Russian-built MiG 29, it is very similar. As a matter of fact, the Soviets stole the plans of our F-18 and our F-16 and devised this particular airplane called the MiG 29.
They also stole the plans for our older F-111 and created a MiG that is very poor performing. They stole the wrong plans, because in my opinion the F-111 could not shoot down the Goodyear Blimp, but they stole the plans and thought it would be a good airplane because it had variable swept wing like the F-14.
All of these aircraft have served our Nation well and they have been equally successful by our forces, by both our men and women in Desert Storm and other areas. But they are limited.
The aging fleet of the F-14 Tomcats, many of which are over 20 years old, Mr. Speaker, are difficult and expensive to maintain because they were designed before modern survivability. We call it VSEVO.
Mr. Speaker, we know it as stealth capability, and those techniques have been developed over the years since the F-14 and the F-18 models were developed. Like the F-14, the early models of the F-18 were growing long in the tooth; and even the most recently built F-18C/D model are no longer able to keep up with the evolving threat, i.e., the SU-27, which is a Russian variant, the SU-35 and SU-37, which are projected Russian threats in the next few years, along with their AA-10, AA-11, and AA-12 missiles, which are superior to our best missiles in a dog fight.
The limitations of the F/A-18C/D Hornet and the ability to handle that threat is a serious threat today, Mr. Speaker. They performed well in Desert Storm and Allied Force and Desert Fox. All I can say is we are very, very fortunate, Mr. Speaker, that the SU-27, with the Russian add-ons were not available in Kosovo, because our long-range stand-off weapons, our aircraft would not have known, both in the intercepted and the dog fight, that they were coming, and our pilots would have suffered at the hands of those pilots
Полностью текст тут:http://www.house.gov/cunningham/congressional_record/false_statements_concerning15Feb00.htm
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