A very much needed piece. Thank you very much.
There is just one part I wish to add. Just like you did “fighter” and interceptor are in fact two different type of planes and missions.
- Fighter’s main strength is to manuvering sharply, being cheap and being available, being as small as possible.
- Interceptor’s main strength is very high “cruising speed” and “top speed” (not to be confused with each other) , long range, heavy payload, sophisticated electronics for search and jamming.
Fighters: F-16, F-15, Mig-29, Su-27…
Interceptors: Mig-25. Mig-31, Mig-41 (currently being designed), Avro Arrow (if ever existed) , F-102…
Also a simple addition would be I (interceptor) designition i.e. I-14 etc…
About BF-15… I think suitable term would be Tactical Bomber; thus TB-15. It may have a gun but burdened with all these bombs it is not manuvering to defeat anything in the sky anytime soon. (I also considered Light Bomber —LB-15- but a light bomber still would have to be a bomber design first. )
Also the F-35 question. If you are designing a multipurpose plane just designate it with M (M-35). Thus everyone will know that they will be calling to help an aircraft that wasn’t designed to do any single task. And infantry or commander will exactly know what he/she can expect from that specific unit in combat.
And for three different services you can call them either M-35A, M-35B and C or go other way and call them M-35, M-36, M-37.
Finally about the mission selection of Bombers and attack aircraft and fighter bombers (or tactical bombers) :
Bombers such as B-52 and Tu-95 can not hit moving targets easily in a realistic war swcenario. They are best suited against hard targets, big in size and preferebly, unable to move. Such as factories, mountain passes, harbors, airfields so on…
Smaller but hard targets or tactically problematic targets (a previously undetected heavily fortified building or bunker, command vehicles, unprotected electronic installations, warships of all sizes) should be delegated to tactical bombers. They are few in number and not big enough to send a whole bomber group. Also PGMs are more effective on Tactical bombers than real bombers.
Any other ground target goes to Attack aircraft (A-10 etc) Only they can survive in that scenario and can effectively elaminate targets that are small, moving fast, very close to friendlies and heavily armored (tanks, IFVs, tacticals, front line artillery, smaller fortifications that are bogging down friendly infantry etc)