F-15 EPAWSS: Is it a front for B-21 EW development?

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
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chucky2

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Unread post06 Jun 2020, 00:49

If this should go in the existing F-15 thread so be it, but this is different subject in a way than the F-15EX...

So, I saw this: https://www.gao.gov/assets/710/707359.pdf Searched EPAWSS in it and the timelines are crazy out there.

For what is essentially appears to be a melding of F-15 DEWS + F-35 EW, both of which already exist, it is perplexing how they could be spending so much time to deliver EPAWSS. Looking at how long, and how much $, it is taking, and this paragraph below, I wonder if they're using F-15 EPAWSS as a building block of the B-21 or future F-22 replacement (and/or F-22 EW upgrade)? Paragraph from article:

"The EPAWSS program began system development more than 3 years ago with four immature critical technologies and two of them are still not mature. This immaturity is inconsistent with best acquisition practicesand has contributed to much of the development cost growth and schedule delay realized by the program to date. The program planned to demonstrate full technology maturity at the start of flight testing in April 2019, but was unable to because issues with the two critical technologies required additional time to resolve. Specifically, both technologies rely on a component that needed to be redesigned to address performance shortfalls discovered in the past year by component level testing, according to program officials. The redesigned component will not enter flight testing to demonstrate full maturity until June 2020."

Operational testing in April of 2023...just seems crazy that from program start to operational testing (which will likely slip, it always does), it could take that long for something like this...
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talkitron

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Unread post07 Jun 2020, 23:58

My guess is that EPAWSS is a next gen system better than DEWS or the F-35's tech. BAE Systems makes both the AN/ASQ-23 for the F-35 and the AN/ALQ-250 EPAWSS for the F-15E/EX. A development budget of $1.4 billion for an avionics upgrade is a fair chunk of change, so EPAWSS seems to be something more than porting F-35 systems to the F-15. The development issues in the report you cite seem more likely on a next gen system.

Also, EPAWSS is not being exported to lower-reliability ally Qatar.

I haven't previously thought about whether the B-21 could have EPAWSS directly installed. It depends a bit on whether the B-21 will have F-35 style sensor fusion, which might make the B-21 use upgrades of F-35 avionics rather than porting the latest F-15 systems. BAE Systems being involved in both the AN/ASQ-23 for the F-35 and EPAWSS does make you wonder if the B-21 could end up with the best of both platforms.
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marauder2048

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Unread post08 Jun 2020, 09:57

EPAWSS has been embroiled in a data rights dispute for years now; there's presently a case before
the US court of appeals on it as a result of Boeing losing its Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals case.

https://www.chamberlitigation.com/cases/boeing-co-v-secretary-air-force

It's rare to see disputes like this escalated this far.

But EPAWSS has been a strange program; the company selected by Boeing to do the EW work was the only one
*not* to submit hardware to AFRL for demonstration of system maturity and readiness.
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talkitron

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Unread post08 Jun 2020, 17:54

marauder2048 wrote:But EPAWSS has been a strange program; the company selected by Boeing to do the EW work was the only one
*not* to submit hardware to AFRL for demonstration of system maturity and readiness.


Wow on the lawsuit. Is the above quote a reference to BAE Systems or another subcontractor?
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marauder2048

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Unread post08 Jun 2020, 19:01

talkitron wrote:
marauder2048 wrote:But EPAWSS has been a strange program; the company selected by Boeing to do the EW work was the only one
*not* to submit hardware to AFRL for demonstration of system maturity and readiness.


Wow on the lawsuit. Is the above quote a reference to BAE Systems or another subcontractor?


BAE Systems.

It's not like the structural mods are non-trivial either. But they haven't gotten to that in quantity yet.
epawss-structural-mods.png
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mixelflick

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Unread post11 Jun 2020, 14:28

And thus, the need for the F-15EX lol.

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