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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sprstdlyscottsmn

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Unread post25 Apr 2019, 15:19

The Silent Eagle took most of the fuel out of the CFTs in order to house a small internal weapon capacity.
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sferrin

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Unread post25 Apr 2019, 15:45

sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:The Silent Eagle took most of the fuel out of the CFTs in order to house a small internal weapon capacity.


So basically it had different CFTs? (And canted vertical stabilizers that were a no-go almost from the start.)
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Unread post25 Apr 2019, 15:53

Yup. Here's the old commercial from Boeing, where you can judge how big the loss of fuel in the CFTs would have been : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kn6nx_GGERQ
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Unread post25 Apr 2019, 16:23

There is a far too low resolution cutaway drawing that indicates 290 or 296 gal capacity. That may be for each CWB, hard to be sure, but given how much of the CFT is taken up by the weapons and that they are ~650gal each as full CFTs I think that (290gal) is the combined capacity.
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Unread post25 Apr 2019, 16:53

sferrin wrote:
krieger22 wrote:Would the Silent Eagle in the same situation be under as much scrutiny as the X?


What's the difference between the two? :?


Besides the above CFT changes, the "Silent Eagle" basically gave the F-15 some RCS reduction upgrades like canted vertical tails, surface/edge treatments, possible radar engine face blockers, etc.
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Unread post25 Apr 2019, 20:28

Image

McAir already proposed it decades ago.

Image

Didn't realize my meme would be getting so much play...


the "Silent Eagle" was going to be one of those things, where the funding would completely determine what it ended up being. Willing to pay for Canted fins and all the testing that comes with that? then it has Canted fins. Willing to pay for RAM? then it will have RAM. Willing to pay for CFTS with weapons? Then it will have that too.

It was a case of if it would be an F-15E with different CFTs or some kind of flight of the old dog wunderburd
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sferrin

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Unread post26 Apr 2019, 02:14

I always thought the "augmented thrust" (RATO) and "spray tanks" the most interesting.
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Unread post26 Apr 2019, 06:48

sferrin wrote:Why don't you tell us how spending money on F-15Xs gets you MORE money for F-35s.


Its easier to justify the top up budget for the F-35 than the F-15. Place the F-15 in the main budget. Let everyone else make the easy case that the forces are buying too few F-35s and hope no one cuts the F-15X. Cutting F-15X also more difficult as job loss etc. One can ask for 24 F-35 more from 48.

If the AF buys 56 F-35. Asking for more F-15 funds is more difficult than defending a cut. One can only ask for 16 more F-35 to 72.

That's why those top, highly paid people do budgeting.
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Unread post26 Apr 2019, 13:53

weasel1962 wrote:
sferrin wrote:Why don't you tell us how spending money on F-15Xs gets you MORE money for F-35s.


Its easier to justify the top up budget for the F-35 than the F-15. Place the F-15 in the main budget. Let everyone else make the easy case that the forces are buying too few F-35s and hope no one cuts the F-15X. Cutting F-15X also more difficult as job loss etc. One can ask for 24 F-35 more from 48.

If the AF buys 56 F-35. Asking for more F-15 funds is more difficult than defending a cut. One can only ask for 16 more F-35 to 72.

That's why those top, highly paid people do budgeting.


I read this explanation 5 times. Still can't follow how buying F-15X's helps the F-35 buy.

How about something a bit more straight forward? "The F-15X will cost more than the F-35, be significantly less capable and take longer to come off the production line". That's the reality of the situation. They can talk all day about how the F-15X isn't going to affect the F-35 buy, but money is money. There's only so much to go around, and every dollar spent on the F-15X takes away from the F-35.

Shannahan and anyone pushing for F_15X needs to have their head examined. It'll be obsolete as soon as it comes off the factory floor, and it only gets worse as the years tick by. The F-15 has served admirably over its distinguished career. It's still undefeated in air to air combat.

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Unread post26 Apr 2019, 19:30

mixelflick wrote:
I read this explanation 5 times. Still can't follow how buying F-15X's helps the F-35 buy.



Because that explanation is irrational and completely nonsensical; no sane service with a priority
for a certain type would ever risk *introducing* a new type that could be seen as even somewhat
interchangeable. Especially at a sensitive time where a full-rate production decision is looming.

The jobs argument doesn't make sense either unless you think Boeing would have lost the F-15C/D
SLEP contracts; the wing replacement at least was going to be competed. And if Boeing can't
win those contracts then the argument for retaining them as a fighter manufacturer looks pretty weak.

Of course the service didn't make the decision. CAPE did and at a very late
stage (Dec 2018) that doesn't suggest it was the product of some deep gamesmanship.
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Unread post28 Apr 2019, 14:16

sferrin wrote:I always thought the "augmented thrust" (RATO) and "spray tanks" the most interesting.


When I saw these, my thoughts were that someone was getting carried away with what FAST Packs/CFT's were there for. I mean, how about a carrier COD variant? Crazy, LOL.

But in terms of additional fuel it brings the pounds up to a Flanker at full internal fuel - which could be very important. unfortunately, I could never get a straight answer on how it affected performance. The best I could do was "no impact while subsonic, real/substantial impact when going supersonic..".

To this day, I'm kind of confused. Most Eagle drivers say just carry 2 wing tanks, at least they can be jettisoned. I think that pretty much sums it up..
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Unread post29 Apr 2019, 00:54

weasel1962 wrote:
sferrin wrote:Why don't you tell us how spending money on F-15Xs gets you MORE money for F-35s.


Its easier to justify the top up budget for the F-35 than the F-15. Place the F-15 in the main budget. Let everyone else make the easy case that the forces are buying too few F-35s and hope no one cuts the F-15X. Cutting F-15X also more difficult as job loss etc. One can ask for 24 F-35 more from 48.

If the AF buys 56 F-35. Asking for more F-15 funds is more difficult than defending a cut. One can only ask for 16 more F-35 to 72.

That's why those top, highly paid people do budgeting.


The USAF own budget for FY2020 had "less" F-35's. While, adding the F-15EX. So, to say it doesn't cut into F-35 numbers doesn't hold water. In addition the defense budget isn't limitless. So, even if they increased the numbers of F-35's purchased. Funds would still have to come from some place else. Which, means another program or programs would have to be cut to fund the F-15EX's.

Plus, not funding the F-15EX is hardly a "cut" for Boeing and Saint Louis. As they recently won contracts for the MQ-25A and T-X Trainer will bring considerable work to St Louis. With development work (MQ-25A) and Production (T-X Trainer) heading there..........

QUOTE: The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Missouri, is awarded a ceiling price $805,318,853 fixed-price-incentive-firm-target contract to provide the design, development, fabrication, test, verification, certification, delivery, and support of four MQ-25A unmanned air vehicles, including integration into the carrier air wing to provide an initial operational capability to the Navy. The work will be performed in St. Louis, Missouri.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/2 ... ompetition

QUOTE:
In a generational win for Boeing Co.’s north St. Louis County manufacturing operations, the U.S. Department of Defense on Thursday awarded the company a contract worth up to $9.2 billion to build the Air Force’s new training jet.


The contract, which is expected to extend until 2034, should secure the future of Boeing’s St. Louis operations and the 14,000 regional jobs they support for more than a decade. Combined with the uptick of foreign and U.S. Navy purchases of the plant’s signature fighter jet — the F/A-18 Super Hornet — the T-X Trainer contract represents a reversal of fortune for an assembly line whose future seemed tenuous only a few years ago.

https://www.stltoday.com/business/local ... 682a8.html

QUOTE:
If it wins trainer contract, Boeing will assemble T-X in St. Louis


Boeing will assemble the new T-X Air Force training jet at its north St. Louis County campus — supporting 1,800 jobs locally — if it beats out rivals for the lucrative defense contract, company officials said Monday.


Industry analysts had mostly expected St. Louis to get T-X work if Boeing wins the contract, but Monday’s announcement —
complete with members of the area’s congressional delegation, local politicians and regional business leaders — made it official.


https://www.stltoday.com/business/local ... 48cd6.html
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Unread post29 Apr 2019, 06:09

Fighting Over Fighter Jets: Pentagon Plan to Buy F-15EX Sparks Controversy

By Mandy Mayfield

A battle is brewing between the Pentagon, congressional purse-holders and two of the country’s top defense contractors over President Donald Trump’s controversial 2020 budget request calling for the Air Force to acquire a souped-up variant of the F-15 jet fighter.

The initiative to replace older Boeing-built F-15C/D Eagle aircraft with the new F-15EX comes as the service is aiming to ramp up purchases of the Lockheed Martin-built fifth-generation F-35 joint strike fighter, which is expected to be the centerpiece of the future fleet. The request for the F-15EXs was not originally part of the service’s plans, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson confirmed to reporters in early March.

“Our fiscal year [2020] budget proposal that we originally submitted [to the office of the secretary of defense] did not include fourth-generation aircraft,” she said at the Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Florida.

When Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein was asked if the service wants to purchase the F-15EX, he replied: “We want to buy new aircraft.”

However, the service’s tune has since changed. In late March, after the president’s budget was released, Wilson said the decision to ask for the Boeing platform would help the service meet its capacity and readiness goals through 2030.

“We think it was the right thing to do to keep that capacity high,” Wilson said.

“We are seeing a decline in the number of fighters available,” she added. Meanwhile, there is an “increase in the average age of those fighters, and if we look at the whole system and the whole capacity over the next 10 to 20 years, one of the airframes that is not going to make it is the F-15C.”

The budget request calls for eight F-15EX aircraft for fiscal year 2020 and an additional 72 through 2024. The Pentagon plans to eventually buy a total of 144.

The request asks for $1.1 billion for the F-15s. It also asks for $11.2 billion for 78 F-35 jets, only 48 of which would be used by the Air Force.

The proposal is creating a divide among members of Congress as they prepare to debate authorization and appropriations bills for the next fiscal year.

The congressional joint strike fighter caucus announced in April that a group of 103 lawmakers cosigned a letter calling on their colleagues to add 24 F-35s above the president’s budget request. The add-on would make for a total of 102 procured in 2020.

“We strongly urge your continued support for the F-35 Lightning II program,” the lawmakers wrote. “Our adversaries continue to advance surface-to-air missile systems and develop their own stealth fighters. It is essential that we continue to increase production of our nation’s only fifth-generation stealth aircraft in order to ensure the United States maintains air dominance and to further reduce overall program costs.”

Rep. Martha Roby, R-Ala., co-chair of the caucus, said in the letter the F-35 is the military’s most cutting-edge war machine, and is critically important to the national security of the United States and its allies.

“Congress must increase procurement of this next-generation fighter jet to ensure our country’s continued dominance in the skies,”
she added.

The recent disagreements regarding jet fighter procurement are rooted in the platforms’ core differences, said Aviation analyst and Vice President of the Teal Group Richard Aboulafia.“Part of it, of course, is the ongoing argument between whether you want an amazing equipment package [that comes with the F-35] or you want an air vehicle with range, payload and speed” similar to the F-15, he said.

The F-35 has unique stealth capabilities as well as advanced situational awareness and a highly integrated operating system.

John Venable, senior research fellow for defense policy at the Heritage Foundation and a former fighter pilot, noted that China and Russia are investing in their own next-generation fighters.

“If I’m a Chinese J-20 or Russian Su-57, I’m the ninja that’s going to be sent after those [U.S.] assets … to take them out,” Venable said during a panel discussion in Washington, D.C., hosted by the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies. “This is where the F-15EX I think falls short. It would not be able to survive in that environment and it will not be good for the long term. … It is not a good investment for the Air Force to make.”


While Congress gears up to debate program funding, observers alleged that Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, who worked at Boeing for more than 30 years, might have been biased in favor of his former employer. Shanahan was under investigation by the Pentagon’s Office of Inspector General over allegations that he has advocated for Boeing to receive government contracts. The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a Washington, D.C.-based government watchdog group, filed a complaint against Shanahan, citing news reports that he promoted Boeing in procurement discussions at the Pentagon.

On April 25, the inspector general released a statement clearing Shanahan of any wrongdoing.

Proponents of the F-15EX have also cited budget constraints.

Gen. James “Mike” Holmes, head of Air Combat Command, told reporters in February that purchasing the F-15EX could be the “affordable answer” to meeting the Air Force’s goal of acquiring 72 new fighter jets each year.

The service needs to purchase 72 aircraft a year to improve and retain readiness, according to Wilson.

The price tag for the F-15EX is $80 million for the aircraft and $131 million for the gross weapon system cost. The F-35A comes out to $90 million per unit and $101 million for the gross weapon system, according to budget documents. However, procurement cost is not the only thing to consider in the debate to purchase the F-15EX over the F-35, Holmes said.

“There’s the cost to operate the airplane over time,” he said. “Does it require new military construction? Does it require extensive retraining of the people, and then how long does it take?”

Those are all costs that should be factored into the decision, he added.

Wilson said in March that Lockheed Martin “has not driven down the sustainment cost as much as we want” for the F-35. The company said it is working with the Air Force to address the issue.

“We have a shared goal of reducing sustainment costs to $25,000 per flying hour by 2025, which is equal to or less than fourth-generation aircraft,” a Lockheed spokesman told National Defense. “We are taking aggressive action investing and partnering to achieve that goal.”

Another issue is the future of the defense industrial base.

After the decision was made to insert another jet into the budget proposal to continue with a mix of fourth- and fifth-generation aircraft, “the conversation then turned to how are we going to maintain a robust industrial base,” said a defense official, who spoke to reporters on the condition of anonymity during a briefing at the Pentagon.

“For the future of the Department of Defense, it’s going to be good to have multiple providers in the tactical aircraft portfolio … and that’s what led our way into the F-15EX decision,” the official added.

In the future, the F-15EX may not be able to penetrate enemy air defenses like the F-35, the official acknowledged. However, it could be part of a mix of aircraft, each with different roles.

“The services are starting to examine more and more the interaction between stand-in and stand-off and the additional capability that kind of teaming brings to the battlefield,” the official said. “The F-15 is never going to be a stand-in weapon, but [a] stand-in weapon with sensors, communicating back to a stand-off platform that carries a lot more munitions is a pretty powerful combination.”

The strategic decision to pursue a mix of aircraft came from former Defense Secretary James Mattis. Then the question turned to which fourth-generation aircraft the Air Force should pursue, the official said. That was when defense industrial base issues came into play and Boeing’s F-15EX was chosen. At no time was Shanahan involved in the discussions, said the official. As a former Boeing executive, ethics rules prevented him from being part of the conversation, said the official, who spoke before the inspector general cleared the acting secretary.

While the Air Force pursues the souped-up F-15EX, Wilson has been outspoken about the service’s desire to move forward with the joint strike fighter. “The Air Force is all in on the F-35. It is a complete game-changing aircraft,” she said. “It is not just an aircraft, it is an information-fusion engine.”

A Defense Department cost analysis showed that over the course of a year, fifth-generation aircraft are more expensive to operate and maintain than four-generation aircraft, which affected the decision to buy fewer F-35s and the eight F-15EX, the Pentagon official said. “We can simply buy more capacity with a mix of planes that appropriately matches the mission set than we can if we went into a full fifth-gen portfolio.”

Aboulafia said he believes Congress will go along with the proposal for now. However, it’s unlikely the Defense Department will seek to purchase the F-15EX after Trump leaves office, he added.

The fate of the F-15EX could therefore be partly dependent on the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

“My assumption with the F-15 buy is pretty simple — basically, this lasts about as long as the Trump administration,” Aboulafia said. “This appears to be fairly unique and specific to the Trump administration.”


http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/ ... ontroversy
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Unread post30 Apr 2019, 08:49

The 8 Biggest Corporate Welfare Recipients in America

Sam Becker -June 20, 2017

1. Boeing — $13.18 Billion

The top welfare recipient of them all is aerospace giant Boeing, which has operations spread all across the country building aircraft and working on numerous Department of Defense projects. The amount of work Boeing does for the federal government no doubt plays a part in the amount of subsidies the company has been able to secure, but Boeing has also played hardball with local jurisdictions to get enormous tax breaks. With more than $13 billion coming in from 148 handouts, Boeing has thoroughly entrenched itself in the interest of the government and taxpayers.

Despite the immense amount of money the company receives, it has still gone on to hold cities hostage in tax negotiations, threatening to remove jobs and open up shop in friendlier climates. In 2013, Boeing secured the highest ever tax break at the state level when it cornered the Washington legislature into ceding to its demands, lest it move its production plants to another part of the country. The legislature granted Boeing its wish, but Boeing went on to announce drastic layoffs anyway, angering many locals.

Boeing has become the king of corporate handouts, and other corporations have a long way to go to catch up.

https://www.cheatsheet.com/money-career ... xr6KPM-LvU
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Unread post30 Apr 2019, 20:18

Corsair1963 wrote:Fighting Over Fighter Jets: Pentagon Plan to Buy F-15EX Sparks Controversy


So basically everything you did not cherry pick and bold justifies the F-15EX purchase. The folks in St. Louis are excited to see Eagles in Air Force markings again. Truly the C-130 of the tactical aircraft world.
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