F-15X: USAF Seems Interested

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
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Corsair1963

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Unread post26 May 2020, 10:27

zero-one wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:Every generation we hear the same thing. When the F-15 and F-16 started to come into service. We heard the F-4 Supporters beating the drum beat for upgraded F-4's instead of new Eagles and Vipers. (sorry Fightning Falcons)

Wasn't a good idea then and isn't a good idea now........ :?


Well to me it depends on what the "new generation" is. The F-15 was better than the F-4 in all aspects of the A-A mission, from long range intercept to ACM.

On the Flip side the DDG-1000 was not better than the Arleigh Burke in BMD and deep water combat operations so they scrapped it and went with upgraded Burke's instead.

From what I read the Virginia class is actually a cheaper and a bit less capable version of the sea wolf class, at least the early models. maybe the newer flights have reached the sea wolf's capabilities.


The F-22 and F-35 are vastly more capable than the F-15 and F-16. Actually the gap is far greater than the latter two and the F-4.
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zero-one

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Unread post26 May 2020, 11:48

Corsair1963 wrote:The F-22 and F-35 are vastly more capable than the F-15 and F-16. Actually the gap is far greater than the latter two and the F-4.


I agree with that and thats why I love those 2 aircraft to my bones. I'm actually referring to some of the proposals for 6th gen suggestions. since combat trends don't put a premium on traditional fighter performance, maybe the next fighters will be slower and less agile and put a premium on range and networking capability.

They always use combat trends of the last 30 years to point this out. Well if we are going to use combat trends, then we can scrap all the Abrams tanks since tank to tank combat has been nearly non existent in the last 30 years or so.

Besides late combat trends show just how hard it is to get total BVR clearance outside of an all out war. In most cases you need to show the enemy you are there, even the F-22 has shown itself to enemy fighters at times just to scare them away. How will you do that if you have a big lumbering slow poke fighter.

To me thats the Zummwalt\F-4 all over again. Predicting on what future combat should look like and removing traditional capabilities. I think New capabilities should always be on top of existing capabilities not a replacement for them. Fighter pilot podcast host Jelo shared this view as well, he said that hopefully 6th gen still retains classic fighter performance because if someone does manage to sneak past and gets close, then what do you do.
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sferrin

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Unread post26 May 2020, 13:13

zero-one wrote:On the Flip side the DDG-1000 was not better than the Arleigh Burke in BMD and deep water combat operations so they scrapped it and went with upgraded Burke's instead.


They were never meant to be.

zero-one wrote:From what I read the Virginia class is actually a cheaper and a bit less capable version of the sea wolf class, at least the early models. maybe the newer flights have reached the sea wolf's capabilities.


Unlikely. The Seawolfs are much faster, have larger torpedo tubes, and more weapons.
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jetblast16

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Unread post26 May 2020, 14:17

Corsair1963 wrote:The F119 and/or F135 wouldn't fit. Nor, is it ever going to happen......... :roll:


Wow, that's news there :doh:
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Unread post27 May 2020, 02:53

It's strange how long the whole quip about F119 got drawn out when it was obviously in jest from the beginning.
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Corsair1963

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Unread post27 May 2020, 04:35

jetblast16 wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:The F119 and/or F135 wouldn't fit. Nor, is it ever going to happen......... :roll:


Wow, that's news there :doh:



Maybe you should consider directing your comments. Towards the members pushing the idea....... :roll:
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zero-one

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Unread post27 May 2020, 09:44

Some questions about the F-15EX, isn't it basically an F-15QA that the US will use for A-A missions.

So:
1. will they equip it with CFTs? I hear that the only reason why the F-15E isn't out performing the C is because of those CFTs that actually produce more drag than 2 bags on the wings.

2. will it potentially be a replacement for the F-15E once it gets retired. See, as good as the F-35 is for Strike, retiring the F-15E means the USAF will loose it's heaviest strike fighter. When you're fighting against countries without IADS (which is most countries) but with a target rich environment, the F-15E can carry more and is cheaper to operate.
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Corsair1963

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Unread post27 May 2020, 10:04

zero-one wrote:Some questions about the F-15EX, isn't it basically an F-15QA that the US will use for A-A missions.

So:
1. will they equip it with CFTs? I hear that the only reason why the F-15E isn't out performing the C is because of those CFTs that actually produce more drag than 2 bags on the wings.

2. will it potentially be a replacement for the F-15E once it gets retired. See, as good as the F-35 is for Strike, retiring the F-15E means the USAF will loose it's heaviest strike fighter. When you're fighting against countries without IADS (which is most countries) but with a target rich environment, the F-15E can carry more and is cheaper to operate.



Answer is "YES" and "MAYBE"....

Personally, considering COV-19 and future US Defense Budgets. I think the F-15EX is still very much a question mark???
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Unread post27 May 2020, 13:00

zero-one wrote:Some questions about the F-15EX, isn't it basically an F-15QA that the US will use for A-A missions.

So:
1. will they equip it with CFTs? I hear that the only reason why the F-15E isn't out performing the C is because of those CFTs that actually produce more drag than 2 bags on the wings.

2. will it potentially be a replacement for the F-15E once it gets retired. See, as good as the F-35 is for Strike, retiring the F-15E means the USAF will loose it's heaviest strike fighter. When you're fighting against countries without IADS (which is most countries) but with a target rich environment, the F-15E can carry more and is cheaper to operate.


On #1, sure USAF will equip it with CFT's. I think your question though, may be will they regularly fly with them. On that score, I'd say no. There's nothing about the F-15EX airframe or CFT's that fundamentally changes the laws of aerodynamics. Operational units (with possible exception of Iceland) don't fly CFT's, they fly 2 EFT's. They do so because EFT's can be punched, and CFT's can't AND... as previously mentioned, a 2 CFT bird doesn't hold any range advantage over a 2 EFT bird. In fact, it was stated that sometimes the EFT configuration has even better range. So unless the EX's new engines somehow make up for the CFT's drag and other penalties, I see them flying 2 bags.

The only possible exception to this rule would be when maximum air to air loadout is required. Even then though, the EX has two additional weapons stations (1 and 9). This would allow a 2 EFT equipped EX to still carry an easy 10-12 AMRAAM's or mixed AMRAAM/9x loadout. A CFT equipped bird could theoretically carry 14-20, depending upon what artist conception you're looking at.

With respect to #2, I believe the answer is yes... whether its been publicly stated or not. F-15E's won't last forever, and as the EX ages it'll make a mighty tempting transfer to Strike Eagle units IMO. Too tempting, especially given the cost of building new ones. It will still be relevant in the strike role, primarily for the reason you cite here. Not always going to need stealth, and she can carry a lot of weapons very far/fast..
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aaam

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Unread post15 Jun 2020, 00:04

I dunno.

Seems to me they'll use the CFTs. It's noteworthy that all illustrations of the F-15QA (which the -EX essentially is) show it with the CFTs. In fact, on the very first flight of a-QA (and it hadn't even been painted yet, picture below) the CFTs were onboard. Personally, I've never seen an artist's concept of the -EX that didn't show conformals onboard. Israel retrofitted them to their Baz F-15s.




One of CFT's advantages is that they free up stations that can be used for weapons, while not compromising range and can even be used to mount different kinds of weapons depending on design. For example, the upcoming Super Hornet Block III is getting them to free up weapons stations, not to increase range. In the Super Bug's case, the CFTs carry less fuel than the drop tanks they're replacing, but their drag is so much less that the fuel savings make up for it. In fact, on the Super Bug, because of the change in airflow, it's been found that the plane flies better with them on. That's similar to the F-4. It actually flew better with the AIM-7s in the belly than clean. Of course, CFTs added to EFTs can give a big increase in range.

As far as not being jettisionable, I suspect that's been looked at and thought to be a worthwhile tradeoff. The kind of sustained, close-in turning fight of Korea and earlier just doesn't happen that much anymore. There is a weight penalty for CFTs with fuel relative to jettisoned tanks and pylons, but OTOH you've retained more fuel to keep higher power settings as needed. And even with tanks jettisoned there are now potential adversary aircraft that are more agile than the F-15, so might as well keep the fuel. Plus I suspect that given its cost, the Talon Hate pod is going to stay on for the whole flight. That's like the IRST/fuel tank on the Super Hornet: not jettisonable in flight. Again, I think they believe the tradeoffs are worth it to get the capability.
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talkitron

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Unread post15 Jun 2020, 18:21

My guess is that the F-15EXs will use conformal fuel tanks for most missions.

Replacing F-15Es is say thirty years or more in the future. For the F-15EX, the active duty forces have three squadrons of F-15Cs that will not be upgraded but are also not explicitly planned to be disbanded. The F-15C is also used by squadrons the Air National Guard. Then there are F-16s and A-10s to get rid of before the F-15Es, which are getting new radars and EPAWSS.

Is the Talon HATE pod still an active program? I haven't read about it recently in the last few years. Same with the Legion Pod. With the F-15C not being further upgraded, I could see neither program going forward for domestic upgrades. I know Japan wants to upgrade its F-15Js.
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aaam

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Unread post15 Jun 2020, 22:16

talkitron wrote:.

Is the Talon HATE pod still an active program? I haven't read about it recently in the last few years. Same with the Legion Pod. With the F-15C not being further upgraded, I could see neither program going forward for domestic upgrades. I know Japan wants to upgrade its F-15Js.



I'm confused by that myself. I believe Talon Hate is a communications pod and Legion is an IRST pod. The latter uses IRST21 which is an updated version of the IRST on the F-14D. Contracts for it were let by Boeing a couple of years back and an F-15C was toting one during Northern Edge last year. Talon Hate was to have an IRST and supposedly started with an interim system but will have IRST21 incorporated. Like you, except for the sighting at Northern Edge I haven't heard much about either of them lately. It's be nice if all this stuff was incorporated internally into the F-15EX, but since they're trying to keep costs down, they appear to be keeping changes from the -15QA to a minimum.
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Unread post15 Jun 2020, 22:34

Maybe EPAWSS will be enough for the F-15EX? It will probably end up mimicking the F-15E and doing ground attack in more permissive environments.
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Unread post16 Jun 2020, 03:46

A few TALON HATE pods were acquired but the MADL/IFDL gateways on Loyal Wingmen look like the better option
moving forward.

AFAIK, the F-15 IRST program is still going; per the most recent contracts they've shifted IRST21 to the IRST Block II stack.
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aaam

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Unread post16 Jun 2020, 03:46

talkitron wrote:Maybe EPAWSS will be enough for the F-15EX? It will probably end up mimicking the F-15E and doing ground attack in more permissive environments.


EPAWSS is a defensive and electronic warfare system (installation of which on the F-15C was canceled). As such, its capabilities do not intersect with the missions of Talon Hate (communications) and/or Legion (IRST an offensive sensor).

It's highly likely that given the capabilities of the F-15QA, when they man the second seat the -EX could be at least as capable, if not even more so, than the -15E
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