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An open letter from "The Wild Weasels"...

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An open letter from "The Wild Weasels"...

Old 12th Feb 2015, 23:42
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An open letter from "The Wild Weasels"...

Some of you may find this amusing...
The following is a letter, written in 1993 by members of the 190th FS, Idaho ANG, the last squadron to fly the F-4G and indeed the F-4 in active service in the USAF, in response to an article in a magazine which was touting the F-16 as the Phantom of the 90s!. It covers the comparison between the F-16 and the F-4, and the F-16 being a replacement for the F-4G.

FROM: The Wild Weasels
SUBJECT: Gross Written Buffoonery
1. For your consideration... The following is reprinted, without permission. from Aimpoint, Naval Strike Review, Volume 9, Issue No.1, Winter 1993. Page 47.
CONCLUSION
(U) Today, the F-16 is one of the most widely deployed fighters in the world. Therefore, the likelihood is high of flying composite operations with the F-16 in the next exercise of war. With it's versatility and capability, the Viper has rapidly become the F-4 of the 1990s. Because of the newness of some of these missions, many F-16C units are starting on the ground floor. "Magnum", "Laser On" and "Fox III" are relatively new in the vocabulary of many Viper drivers. Despite this fact, we flex well to any situation, learn fast, and should always be a positive factor in the overall mission outcome.

2. In case you haven't noticed, the F-4 is the F-4 of the 1990s. Any comparison between that worthless piece of flying FOD that you buzz around in, and the mighty Phantom II, is insulting to the many men who have fought and died in the F-4. The Phantom II was flying Defence Suppression and Air Superiority missions over Hanoi, dropping LGB's with PAve Knife on the Paul Doumer Bridge, and flying CAS in the Iron Triangle (to mention just a few) long before your flying toy was a wet dream in the minds of the Texas Congressional Delegation.

3. The misplaced belief that the F-16 is a true multi-role fighter is no doubt a contributing factor to the common occurence of Vipers spearing into rocks, dirt, trees, other aircraft and large bodies of water with the pitot tube. The F-16 was designed to be a cheap, day VFR fighter and no amount of training or money will ever be able to overcome that limitation. If any aircraft today approaches the potential for comparison to the F-4, it is another two-seat, two-engined McDonnell Douglas product in the Air Force Service.

4. Any attempt to inflate your basement-level status by comparison to what is quite simply the best jet fighter ever built, and the defender of the free world for over 30 years, is a pitiful attempt to boost your egoby comparing yourself to better men flying a better aircraft. The F-4 has flown more types of mission, in a superlative fashion, than the F-16 could ever consider. We would all love to see the day when an F-16 lifts off with 24 Mk.82s and four AAMs on a combat mission. And the F-4 became the world's best ever distributor of MiG parts with 1950s technology AIM-7Es, AIM-9Bs and cannon, all without having to wait for the introduction of the AMRAAM.

5. The simple fact of the matter is that the dismal comabt performance of the F-16 in the Gulf War is directly responsible for the continuing service of both the F-4 and the A-10. The F-16's inability to deliver ordnance loads accurately resulted in the need to reattack targets, endangering men needlessly and wasting resources. It wasn't the F-16 that ran a SAM-killing 8-ship over Baghdad, through the most intense air defenses ever encountered by the USAF on the first night of the war. The only reason "Magnum" is even in your vocabulary is because the dwindling number of Phantoms led to the conclusion that an F-16 on the wing is better than nothing at all, but only just.

6. The only people that have not caught on to the glaring inadequacy of the F-16 are the people who drive them. The only foreign customer stupid enough to purchase the F-16 since the war has been Taiwan, largely because: (1) they placed their order long before the war, and (2) they had no real option because they were not offered the FA-18 and don't already operate the Phantom II. Even your own manufacturer bailed out of the the business as soon as they realized that they could no longer rely on general and gross stupidity to sell their flying failure.

7. To wrap this up, we greatly resent the misguided and faulty comparison of the F-4 Phantom II to the Fighting Falcon, the only fighter in history to be named after a second-rate college football team. Any resemblance between the McDonnell Douglas Phantom II Suoersonic All-weather Fighter Bomber (mostly bomber) and the miserable, single-seat, single-engine, computer designed, fly-by-wire, composite airframe, software-driven, day VFR, ice-FOD sucking, weakdick bubble canopied, target missing, ground impacting, non-hook raising, autotrimming, piddlepack ejecting, G-LOCing piece of flying pork barrel politics is limited to the fact that both aircraft have an F- designation. Your aircraft should have a blue stripe painted around the nose and " FOR TRAINING USE ONLY" stenciled on the fuselage. And you can go to the club tonight knowing that you, your article, and this letter occupy a significant place in our Doofer Book.

THE WILD WEASELS

-RP
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Old 13th Feb 2015, 01:49
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That is just gold.
Particularly the last para.
I can just imagine the grizzled old toom driver who wrote it.
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Old 13th Feb 2015, 04:23
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And yet now in 2015 the F-16 is a far more relevant aircraft in all phases than the F-4 was in the 1990s…gotta love the Phantom, but the F-16 of today is a far cry from the "VFR Only, target missing, ground impacting" machine the author predicted.

Wonder what F-16 drivers will be writing about the F-35 over the next few years…and wonder how much of it will stick in 2040...
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Old 13th Feb 2015, 04:38
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Couldn't agree more with what NickPilot said above. Doesn't mean the letter isn't funny though!
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Old 13th Feb 2015, 09:00
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Fantastic! The most enjoyable cleaning-of-dirty-laundry-in-public I've read for ages.

What's a piddlepack?
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Old 13th Feb 2015, 09:07
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S1,`restroom` in a bag....
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Old 13th Feb 2015, 12:11
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Telling it like they see it.
I wonder what they think of the Jaguar?!?
KB
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Old 16th Feb 2015, 09:36
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'Piddlepack-ejecting' - I remember it well. Son of a 4* spins his Lawn-Dart into the Adriatic and he hadn't even taken his leak.

ABS
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Old 17th Feb 2015, 13:26
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3. The misplaced belief that the F-16 is a true multi-role fighter is no doubt a contributing factor to the common occurence of Vipers spearing into rocks, dirt, trees, other aircraft and large bodies of water with the pitot
tube.
There's a book out about a Wild Weasel F-16 pilot who also flew CAS and used his cannon in OIF. I'll find the name, I suspect the author is a back seater who met single seat fighter pilots and didn't care for them.

My experiences working with Vipers, and the various upgrades and mods, found them to be a remarkably good multi mission platform. The guys who flew them were crazy in the good way that fighter pilots are crazy.
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Old 17th Feb 2015, 14:15
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Old 17th Feb 2015, 14:22
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For those people arguing against the contents of the letter, don't forget that it was written in 1993!! That's 22 years ago.

While I'm no expert on the development of the F-16 series, presumably it was a lot less capable in 1993 than it is today. Therefore comparing the 1993 ANG WW assessment of a 1993 F-16 with the capabilities of todays version isn't very fair.
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Old 17th Feb 2015, 14:40
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While I'm no expert on the development of the F-16 series, presumably it was a lot less capable in 1993 than it is today. Therefore comparing the 1993 ANG WW assessment of a 1993 F-16 with the capabilities of todays version isn't very fair.
Yep, pretty much (exactly) what NickPilot said.
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Old 17th Feb 2015, 15:23
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Ooops - my bad!!
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Old 17th Feb 2015, 19:04
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OK

You think that was bad, I remember a Guard unit, can't recall the state now, that had F-89s and they were replaced by U-3As, Cessna 310s.
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Old 17th Feb 2015, 21:28
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And yet now in 2015 the F-16 is a far more relevant aircraft in all phases than the F-4 was in the 1990s…gotta love the Phantom, but the F-16 of today is a far cry from the "VFR Only, target missing, ground impacting" machine the author predicted.
Well, to be precise, even 1993's F-16C Block 40 had been a far cry from the machine described in that sentence. The only thing lacking in comparison with the F-4G was the ELS, and that one would come as an option with the Block 50s.

Teething problems aside, even the basic 1980s-vintage F-16A, with its pulse-doppler radar, state-of-the-art INS and weapons computers, was both a better fighter and fighter-bomber than any F-4 at that time.

It is funny to read though
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Old 18th Feb 2015, 19:26
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There's a book out about a Wild Weasel F-16 pilot
It's called 'Viper Pilot: A Memoir Of Air Combat' by Dan Hampton. You can smell the testosterone before you open the book. It's actually a damn good read.
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Old 18th Feb 2015, 20:52
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I read it a couple of months ago. You are right, it was a very enjoyable read for a pilot from about the same era. (Though I are not a Viper Pilot). Thanks for reminding me of the author's name, I have some Powder Blue friends who may know him personally.
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Old 19th Feb 2015, 00:37
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The F-16C entered production in 1984 - with AIM-7 (BVR) capability.
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Old 19th Feb 2015, 01:01
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I was once an F-4G EWO. For the Weasel mission the F-16 has far less capability than the F-4G. It really is a child's toy by comparison.

I'd be surprised if the F-22 had a better system.
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