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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weasel1962

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Unread post20 Mar 2019, 01:57

USAF has 55 fighter sqn, 44 of which will be F-35 by 2045. That program number won't change even with the F-15EX. The remaining 11 will comprise F-22 and F-15Es that will need to be replaced. If F-15EX, maybe 15-17 sqns. USAF wants 62 sqns.

No reason why PCA program can't gun for 18 sqns and ~700 units.
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crosshairs

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Unread post20 Mar 2019, 02:00

count_to_10 wrote:
sferrin wrote:
crosshairs wrote:But it makes zero logic. Bones, Buffs, Spirits, and raiders can hit anywhere on the planet in hours. Oh how that isn't the case with F-15s.


The same could be said of any air-dropped mission. Yet we still have F-15s, F-16s and Super Hornets dropping bombs. Funny that. Also, Bones can't carry them. (It's limited to weapons under 15 feet or so. For reference the X-51/ATACMs stack was about 25 feet long.)

I’m going to have to be shocked that those huge bomb bays are only 15 ft long.


If SFERRIN is proposing that the X be procured just because its the only USAF fighter capable of carrying the gbu28, what an incredible flawed line of thinking that is. The US should spend billions on hundreds of useless fighters, which is what the X is, just so that it might drop a half dozen of the 28s.

Bones, buffs and spirits can fly out of central conus and strike any target just about anyplace in the world and be back on base the next day. Don't have to worry about basing rights. Minimal tanking compared to a fighter. They don't need to be propositioned with hundreds of support personal. The 21 will be on the flight line soon enough. And yet somehow some people think the X is invaluable because it can carry 1 gbu28. Never mind needing to be propositioned. Nevermind support persons, spare parts, tankers..... Ohhhh and yeah you are TELEGRAPHING to the world what targets are within reach of the X. With a bomber based in conus or our little island, the entire world is at risk.

And yes, I know the size of the 1s weapons bays. Quantity can make up for the capability of the gbu28.

There is always more than way to skin a cat or threaten a hardened bunker.

Remember the saying, not a pound for air to ground? I say not a Nancy Pelosi dollar for the X.
Last edited by crosshairs on 20 Mar 2019, 02:05, edited 1 time in total.
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Corsair1963

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Unread post20 Mar 2019, 02:04

marsavian wrote:
Now it’s 144?


Long term apparently. So F-15EX will probably still be flying in 2050+. I don't believe this will seriously affect F35 long term buy but it will probably cut the future PCA numbers down if F-15E replacement is not so critical then. PCA will probably end up as limited edition as F-22 with only 1-2 a month being made.


An order for F-15X's could easily effect the F-35 buy in many respects. First, a handful of F-15EX's are useless to the USAF. So, say in a couple of years the budget is cut and money is tight. Yet, hard to cancel future buys of the F-15X. As they can't use just say 20-30 aircraft. So, they cut some more F-35's to fund them. Which, they just did with the FY2020 budget. Which, had "6" less F-35's than planned.....

Also, what about a prospective F-35 customer that is on the fence like Canada. Well, hell the USAF can buy New 4th Generation F-15X's. So, good enough for them. Then they're surely good enough for us....

Honestly, you could come up with a number of scenarios. Where a buy of F-15X's could impact future F-35 buys.... :shock:
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Corsair1963

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Unread post20 Mar 2019, 02:27

weasel1962 wrote:USAF has 55 fighter sqn, 44 of which will be F-35 by 2045. That program number won't change even with the F-15EX. The remaining 11 will comprise F-22 and F-15Es that will need to be replaced. If F-15EX, maybe 15-17 sqns. USAF wants 62 sqns.

No reason why PCA program can't gun for 18 sqns and ~700 units.


You seriously think the F-15EX will be a viable fighter much past 2030??? Plus, they won't even enter service before the mid 20's are the earliest. In addition don't they have a life span of 30+ years??? So, we are going to spend billions "more" for a type. That is nearly obsolete. Yet, with a life span that will reach 2055+

Hell, even if you could make a case for a "short-term" stop gap. (i.e. 4th Generation) The USAF would be far better off to just upgrade the existing fleet of F-15C's. As we wouldn't need them more than a decade anyways. This also wouldn't threaten sales of the F-35. As we wouldn't be buying New 4th Generation Fighters. We would be just upgrading a modest number of 4th Generation ones until enough F-35's come online....

This is nothing short of "Corporate Welfare" for BOEING.

Hell, only reason this came up. Was the USAF ran the numbers and said upgrading the F-15C wasn't really a good option. So, they just wanted to buy more F-35A's. Then Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan (Ex Boeing) came along and saw a window to make his ex company some money. By "forcing" the F-15X on the USAF.
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marsavian

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Unread post20 Mar 2019, 02:29

An order for F-15X's could easily effect the F-35 buy in many respects. First, a handful of F-15EX's are useless to the USAF. So, say in a couple of years the budget is cut and money is tight. Yet, hard to cancel future buys of the F-15X. As they can't use just say 20-30 aircraft. So, they cut some more F-35's to fund them. Which, they just did with the FY2020 budget. Which, had "6" less F-35's than planned.....


If it is being bought partly for unique load-bearing qualities then a handful maybe all that is needed for a particular task. It won't be a general purpose aircraft it will be for specific missions like the F-22. As for F-35 buy it is being held back on purpose until Block 4 comes online. However the total hasn't changed and considering Congress likes it probably won't. There are bigger ticket items like B-21/PCA that could take a hit first.

Also, what about a prospective F-35 customer that is on the fence like Canada. Well, hell the USAF can buy New 4th Generation F-15X's. So, good enough for them. Then they're surely good enough for us....


It's not really the job of the USAF to promote commercial F-35 buys :). I don't think the Canadians would need any encouragement to buy F-15 if they really liked the latest ones only the political problem with Boeing would hold it back. The fact that F-15 systems are still being updated in the future e.g. EPAWSS is clue enough that it is still good enough. The particular problem you might have is that it's not just Shanahan that is pushing F-15X but career Generals like Dunford and Mattis whose opinions hold a lot more sway with Congress than his.
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post20 Mar 2019, 02:40

sferrin wrote:What are your thoughts on the claim that F-35 costs are climbing?

I have not had a chance to do a deep dive yet, but he does tend to conflate procurement, development, and MX contracts.
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."
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Corsair1963

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Unread post20 Mar 2019, 03:14

marsavian wrote:
If it is being bought partly for unique load-bearing qualities then a handful maybe all that is needed for a particular task. It won't be a general purpose aircraft it will be for specific missions like the F-22. As for F-35 buy it is being held back on purpose until Block 4 comes online. However the total hasn't changed and considering Congress likes it probably won't. There are bigger ticket items like B-21/PCA that could take a hit first.


LOL The F-15EX will not perform similar missions to the F-22. As it will be obsolete shortly and is already "vastly" inferior to existing F-35's. As for Block 4 it's coming online now.


It's not really the job of the USAF to promote commercial F-35 buys :). I don't think the Canadians would need any encouragement to buy F-15 if they really liked the latest ones only the political problem with Boeing would hold it back. The fact that F-15 systems are still being updated in the future e.g. EPAWSS is clue enough that it is still good enough. The particular problem you might have is that it's not just Shanahan that is pushing F-15X but career Generals like Dunford and Mattis whose opinions hold a lot more sway with Congress than his.


If, 4th Generation Fighters are still so adequate. Funny, that most of the recent orders are going to the 5th Generation F-35. (Singapore, Poland, Belgium, Japan, etc.) Also, odd that many nations are rushing to develop 5th and even 6th Generation Fighters.

As for General Dunford he is an Infantry Officer and works for Shanahan. This while the current USAF Secretary Heather Wilson and other serious leaders have opposed the F-15X. I think they would know better! :roll:

QUOTE:


In an exclusive Sept. 5 interview, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said she believes the service needs to expend its precious financial resources on stealthy, fifth-generation platforms — specifically the F-35 — and thus buying even an advanced fourth generation fighter like the so-called F-15X is not in the cards.


"We are currently 80 percent fourth-gen aircraft and 20 percent fifth generation aircraft,” she said. "In any of the fights that we have been asked to plan for, more fifth gen aircraft make a huge difference, and we think that getting to 50-50 means not buying new fourth gen aircraft, it means continuing to increase the fifth generation.”
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marauder2048

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Unread post20 Mar 2019, 03:23

marsavian wrote:
If it is being bought partly for unique load-bearing qualities


There's no actual hypersonic weapons program of record. Just prototypes.

marsavian wrote:As for F-35 buy it is being held back on purpose until Block 4 comes online.


A demonstrably stupid strategy since it put the Air Force at the mercy
of the Block 4 strategy approval process, DOT&E and other forces beyond their control.


marsavian wrote:The fact that F-15 systems are still being updated in the future e.g. EPAWSS is clue enough that it is still good enough.


The main point of EPAWSS is to improve mission capability rates since TEWS is practically impossible to sustain.
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marsavian

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Unread post20 Mar 2019, 03:27

'Like' is not the same as 'To' i.e. they don't have to be the same specialist missions. However as a pure interceptor the F-15 is still closer to F-22 than F-35 is. The Israelis also still see the utility in buying more F-15 even though they are buying F-35. Yes the USAF would like all F-35 ... if overall cost was not an issue. Mattis also was in power before Shanahan so what's his excuse for promoting F-15X ?
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Corsair1963

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Unread post20 Mar 2019, 03:51

marsavian wrote:'Like' is not the same as 'To' i.e. they don't have to be the same specialist missions. However as a pure interceptor the F-15 is still closer to F-22 than F-35 is. The Israelis also still see the utility in buying more F-15 even though they are buying F-35. Yes the USAF would like all F-35 ... if overall cost was not an issue. Mattis also was in power before Shanahan so what's his excuse for promoting F-15X ?



Sorry, the F-35A would run circles around the F-15C and F-15EX in the Air Superiority Role. If, you think otherwise you don't under the subject matter. Actually, the F-15EX is nothing but an upgraded F-15E Strike Eagle. It doesn't have a primary "Air Superiority Role" like the F-15C.

Also, Israel has not purchased any new F-15's. They have only purchase some secondhand F-15D's from the US and upgraded them....

Mattis was also a US Marine Infantry General. Nor, have I seen anything "official" stating he wanted the F-15X over additional F-35's.
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marauder2048

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Unread post20 Mar 2019, 04:03

As a pure interceptor the F-15 is at the first-look, first-shot mercy of practically any type
built in the last 30 years. And new builds divert funds from what you actually need for interception:
persistent OTH sensors.

marsavian wrote:'The Israelis also still see the utility in buying more F-15 even though they are buying F-35.


The IAF lost their internal battle to the Army and now have to use their fast jets at glorified TELs.

Yes the USAF would like all F-35 ... if overall cost was not an issue. Mattis also was in power before Sh
anahan so what's his excuse for promoting F-15X ?


What's the overall cost of maintaining disparate types in the midst of a maintainers crisis?

And of course this again misses the main point: the big SLEP of the F-15Cs which was to start this year.

That was a truly low cost approach to the problem.

a. The claim about Mattis comes from OSD (he's not there to defend himself) which is run Shanahan.
b. CAPE was and is a creature of the Deputy SecDef; all CAPE initiatives come from the DepSecDef
the F-15EX was a CAPE initiative. Ergo it was Shanahan.
c. In any event, Mattis understood little about airpower: he questioned the utility of ICBMs and LRSO.
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chucky2

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Unread post20 Mar 2019, 04:32

I wonder if this is some kind of strategery to get LM to reduce costs on F-35. We can always sell the X's to Israel...or Canada, when the world's stock of Hornets runs out.
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Unread post20 Mar 2019, 05:12

chucky2 wrote:I wonder if this is some kind of strategery to get LM to reduce costs on F-35. We can always sell the X's to Israel...or Canada, when the world's stock of Hornets runs out.



Honestly, buying the F-15X is clearly not in the interest of the US and her major allies. Yet, if they just want to keep F-15 production going. There some options....


Like why not push the F-15X on somebody like Taiwan??? Especially, if Boeing can really make it for just $80 Million! :wink:
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Unread post20 Mar 2019, 05:14

If Boeing truly wanted to sell airframes to Canada they would have brought something forward that Trudeau and his ship of fools could have digested. Why not entertain their notion for Hornets with a SLEP program to bring them up to modern capabilities on the cheap and then hammer them on the backend for support? That's Boeing in a nutshell.
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Unread post20 Mar 2019, 13:18

chucky2 wrote:I wonder if this is some kind of strategery to get LM to reduce costs on F-35. We can always sell the X's to Israel...or Canada, when the world's stock of Hornets runs out.


I proposed the F-15X for Canada in the Politics section, and was summarily crucified for it. Too expensive on all fronts, which I can't disagree with. That's logical. But Canada's fighter acquisition process is anything but, so I say it's at least plausible. Two engines. BIG radar. Carries a LOT of missiles. Good range. Perfect for the homeland defense mission and if ordering the F-15EX, the swing role allows them to fulfill their NATO obligations. It's not like they'll be the only country flying 4 or 4.5 gens in the future.

With respect to the world's supply of Hornets running out.. It won't happen in my lifetime, perhaps not even in my son's! You really have to hand it to Boeing. They somehow convinced a number of foreign countries that a little naval strike fighter could be all things, to all people. When that ran its course, they fooled Congress into thinking the SH was a simple upgrade, vs. an almost entirely new aircraft. And when that started to wind down, they pitched the Super Duper Hornet to the Navy - and they bought it! Hook, line and sinker..

I see the Super Duper in the same light as the F-15X: It absolutely threatens the F-35 buy for all of the reasons mentioned prior (and then some, IMO). In fact, I'd say it's not just a possibility - it's extremely likely both airframes cut into the ultimate F-35 buy, causing not just an increase in unit cost but a massive decrease in capability.

I sure hope more rational minds prevail..
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