F-15X or F-15SE, F-35, F-22 as air fighter

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

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Unread post11 Jun 2019, 03:57

While it seems the F-15X could provide some roles in the immediate future and even less in the distant future I have a MAJOR concern with making more of them vs other options.

The good and okay from how I see it: I think roles such as an interceptor, joint fighter with 5th gen jets (missile carrier or a decoy for example), or using it against other 4th gen fighters seem good. Even a Satellite killer isn't to bad. Also, while not cost affective, it could also be used in place of older F-15 upgrades as a "bonus".

The Bad from how I see it: Fighting 5th gen fighters or modern defenses is where I see the money being thrown away and even worse pilots getting injured or killed. I remember seeing videos of how 4 F-16's (my favorite) or 4 F-15's getting destroyed by an F-22 (A Jet with an introduction date of Dec 15th 2005- already 14 years ago!).

So the question is wouldn't it be better to pay more for the F-15 SE variant- something that should have a better chance in the future against modern adversities? Or perhaps just have more F-35s or spend more for a F-22 hybrid? Finally, why not just pay the extra cost for the F-22 reboot?

How I see it is, UNLESS radar in the future can render stealth and put everyone on the 4th gen playing field I just don't see how the F-15/F-16/F-18 can survive.

And I know it's not in the Subject line- but why not see if an F-16 stealth fighter can be made as a cheaper compliment to the F-35?

My point to all this is that I see little value in the F-15X vs other options for that kind of price being asked.
It should be noted- I'm not a military fighter pilot/expert. This is just based off of what I read from here and around.

Thank you everyone!
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wrightwing

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Unread post11 Jun 2019, 04:23

rowbeartoe wrote:While it seems the F-15X could provide some roles in the immediate future and even less in the distant future I have a MAJOR concern with making more of them vs other options.

The good and okay from how I see it: I think roles such as an interceptor, joint fighter with 5th gen jets (missile carrier or a decoy for example), or using it against other 4th gen fighters seem good. Even a Satellite killer isn't to bad. Also, while not cost affective, it could also be used in place of older F-15 upgrades as a "bonus".

The Bad from how I see it: Fighting 5th gen fighters or modern defenses is where I see the money being thrown away and even worse pilots getting injured or killed. I remember seeing videos of how 4 F-16's (my favorite) or 4 F-15's getting destroyed by an F-22 (A Jet with an introduction date of Dec 15th 2005- already 14 years ago!).

So the question is wouldn't it be better to pay more for the F-15 SE variant- something that should have a better chance in the future against modern adversities? Or perhaps just have more F-35s or spend more for a F-22 hybrid? Finally, why not just pay the extra cost for the F-22 reboot?

How I see it is, UNLESS radar in the future can render stealth and put everyone on the 4th gen playing field I just don't see how the F-15/F-16/F-18 can survive.

And I know it's not in the Subject line- but why not see if an F-16 stealth fighter can be made as a cheaper compliment to the F-35?

My point to all this is that I see little value in the F-15X vs other options for that kind of price being asked.
It should be noted- I'm not a military fighter pilot/expert. This is just based off of what I read from here and around.

Thank you everyone!


There is no such thing as a stealth F-16, much less being cheaper than F-35s.
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hornetfinn

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Unread post11 Jun 2019, 06:58

wrightwing wrote:
rowbeartoe wrote:How I see it is, UNLESS radar in the future can render stealth and put everyone on the 4th gen playing field I just don't see how the F-15/F-16/F-18 can survive.

And I know it's not in the Subject line- but why not see if an F-16 stealth fighter can be made as a cheaper compliment to the F-35?


There is no such thing as a stealth F-16, much less being cheaper than F-35s.


Exactly. Basically F-35 is a stealth F-16 (similar role and dimensions) and there is no realistic way of making cheaper aircraft with good avionics and capabilities. Even currently F-35 is about the same price as 4++ gen fighters and seems to become cheaper than those aircraft pretty soon. Hell, even latest F-16 variants aren't really cheaper than F-35 AFAIK.

Also there is no realistic future radar which could level the playing field between VLO 5th gen fighters and earlier generation fighters. It would require totally unknown and unforeseen technologies and associated theories. Even if quantum radar becomes reality and works as advertised, it will still see 4th gen fighters much further away than 5th gen fighters. It could only have better capability against VLO targets than current radar systems as it could in theory better filter out real signals from background noise. But still the return from VLO targets are going to be much smaller than from 4th gen fighters and thus the range much shorter.
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kei80

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Unread post11 Jun 2019, 10:17

I can briefly list the below reasons for F-15X:

A) Requirement to replace old 4th Gen jets and F-35 production line is quite filled at this moment.(I maybe wrong)
B) New airframe with minimum cost. It is noted that aircraft cost is not the cheapest at this moment but there are cost-saving of reusing existing infrastructure, reduction in pilot training, low development cost are the main reasons.
C) Ability to carry larger weapons which cannot fit into F-35.
E) Maintain Boeing in jet business, if only left with LM, there will not be any competitive advantage in future jet competition.

I guess B) will answer your question of not getting F-22 , F-15SE as F-15X will be using existing upgrades done by overseas customer which bear some of the development cost.

About survivability of 4 or 5th gen jet against evolved threats, I guess there are future programs to take care of it but there are still conflicts happening in low-threat environment which a 4th gen jet can do the job and save airframe hours on 5th gen jet.

Anyway, above are just my 2cents.
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Unread post11 Jun 2019, 12:41

I'm not interested in handouts to Boeing. What makes their design any more valid that previous generations of discontinued production lines? Lockheed Martin has no fewer than three families of product solutions that I'd build before F-15X: F-22, F-35, and F-16. I can consciously justify F-16 with CFT and an enlarged spine for maximum internal space much easier than an F-15.
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Unread post11 Jun 2019, 15:52

I think at this time buying any F-15 variant is just waste of money. Even with F-15SE, you'll be paying huge money for something inferior to F-35. If you can throw that kind of money around you might as well restart F-22 production, which is also a bad idea but even that's better than this F-15EX nonsense.

F-35 production capacity is not even fully used yet, so just increase production if there's a problem with number of fighters. Also, use this pointless F-15EX money to fund F-22 MLU. For example, give it an IRST, more efficient engines, etc.
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Unread post11 Jun 2019, 16:03

The only real solution is to just buy more F-35's/accelerate the buy.

There is nothing the Eagle can do that the F-35 can't, other than perhaps cost per flight hour. I would expect the F-35's to come down over time, just like with any new aircraft. The F-35 will be able to carry large, external weapons like hypersonics (where I think all of this originated from). It won't be as stealthy as internal carriage, but it will be infinitely better/lower RCS than the F-15X carrying the same.

This whole mess could have been avoided if the F-35 had more of an air superiority slant coming out of the gate. That isn't it's primary mission though, so many assumed it couldn't hang with Russia's SU-35's, China's J-11D or J-20. It most certainly can, it's just that public perception is still "stuck". Hopefully, the 2019 demo team will help to change that. I think it already is.

Just look at the Red/Green Flag exercise results. It's killing everything - on the air, on the ground. Anywhere from 15-1 to 20-1 air to air, depending how you count them. That's far and away superior to the best would could manage with F-15's/16's (about 3-1). Will it be invincible? Of course not.

But the ratio is awful lopsided in its favor. The F-35 is cheaper. It does more. It performs better. Build it then, and keep building it..
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Unread post11 Jun 2019, 16:59

Unrefueled range, but that is one of the least important attributes given the sheer amount of IFR the US has at it's disposal.
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Unread post11 Jun 2019, 19:30

mixelflick wrote:


Just look at the Red/Green Flag exercise results. It's killing everything - on the air, on the ground. Anywhere from 15-1 to 20-1 air to air, depending how you count them. That's far and away superior to the best would could manage with F-15's/16's (about 3-1). Will it be invincible? Of course not.

But the ratio is awful lopsided in its favor. The F-35 is cheaper. It does more. It performs better. Build it then, and keep building it..

Actually, the lowest kill ratio it's had, was 20:1. In the last Red Flag, it was 28:1. Your points are otherwise correct.
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Unread post11 Jun 2019, 19:53

SpudmanWP wrote:Unrefueled range, but that is one of the least important attributes given the sheer amount of IFR the US has at it's disposal.


See, it's here where I'm confused.

Chip Burke (or however you spell it) said in an interview the F-35 had considerably better persistence vs. the F-15. I don't think he specified though, which version. But he clearly indicated the F-35 could stay longer in the battle space before hitting a tanker.

An F-15 with CFT's carries more fuel, but you also have to factor in external stores, drag etc.. If there is an advantage the F-15 holds insofar as unrefueled range, it's hard to imagine its a lot more. The F-35 generates so much lift, there is so little drag and you're talking 1 engine vs. 2. Having a hard time understanding under what conditions the F-15 would out-range it..
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post11 Jun 2019, 20:00

If you only load 2 AAMs and 2 bombs on a F-15E then you should be ok.

However, they don't usually fight that way as 4 AAMs minimum (if not more) is the norm as are more than two bombs.

Context is king.
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Unread post11 Jun 2019, 20:55

Every single combat mission (post AMRAAM) of the F-15E had a few things in common. CFTs, 2 AIM-9, 2 AIM-20, 2 610gal wing tanks, TGT Pod, NAV pod. The only variable is what was on the CFTs and centerline. two GBU-10s and nothing else was done. Remember, total fuel load doesn't matter as much as fuel fraction. Fuel Fraction, Lift over Drag, and TSFC will give you theoretical endurance. If two planes have the same fuel fraction and TSFC then whoever has the best L/D will have the best range/endurance. The F-15E can have an unrivaled fuel fraction, but only if it sacrifices L/D. I am losing count of the number of times I have had to discuss the F-15E vs the F-35A in terms of range. With the same payload, the Strike Eagle can out range the Stubby, but not by much.
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Unread post12 Jun 2019, 01:03

SpudmanWP wrote:Unrefueled range, but that is one of the least important attributes given the sheer amount of IFR the US has at it's disposal.


I wholly disagree. Longer unrefueled range permits the tankers to stay further from the target, which does wonders for their survivability. Remember that tankers are currently sitting ducks without an escort.
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Unread post12 Jun 2019, 04:07

I'm just happy to finally see fighter aircraft being purchased in quantity again. I'm not going to squabble too much over how many from each manufacturer's production line is chosen. We have a need and the room for both aircraft. And much of that present need is a direct result of not purchasing enough combat aircraft over the past 20 years. So yeah, I'm just happy to finally see a "buy" attitude coming from Washington, which is refreshing after years and years of neglect. It is just terribly sad that attitude wasn't around back in 2009/2010. It sure would have been nice to have had another hundred or so Raptors in the inventory today. Ceasing production of that aircraft at 187 was one of the stupidest decisions I've seen in my lifetime. Obama and Gates sure were some amazing visionaries, huh?
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rowbeartoe

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Unread post12 Jun 2019, 06:46

Fox1 wrote: It sure would have been nice to have had another hundred or so Raptors in the inventory today. Ceasing production of that aircraft at 187 was one of the stupidest decisions I've seen in my lifetime. Obama and Gates sure were some amazing visionaries, huh?


Yes! Then we wouldn't be talking about F-15x or SE etc. That and Dick Cheney and his dislike of the F-14 for a bigger F-18. If only the Navy/Marines went for a F-22 variant at the time rather than the super bug. Perhaps the F-22 would have never been discontinued then?

Anyhow- that said- I guess it's a good thing we are getting more aircraft and the F-35 dropped in price for hopeful more purchases. I just hope that the F-15X, should it arrive in 144 or so aircraft that they are used to their best advantage and save airframe time from the F-22 until we get a hybrid 5th gen fighter or 6th gen fighter (hopefully a piloted one).

As a fan of the F-16- be nice if we continue to upgrade the ones we have so that they network with our 5th gen fighters. To me it's still the most beautiful bird ever made. :)
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