F-15X: USAF Seems Interested

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marsavian

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Unread post23 Mar 2019, 12:52

I suspect the real reason is that the single-seater of the latest Eagle is just not ready so they will update the software so a single pilot will be able to use it effectively. However one can't help feel that eventually these EX will replace E and the E will replace the C in the ANG when the latter are retired. Boeing I suppose is now on life support, like Mikoyan, until they actually win a fighter competition again on merit.
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mixelflick

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Unread post24 Mar 2019, 14:24

That's an interesting scenario.

So you think if it comes to pass the F-15EX will replace the F-15E, and those F-15E's will in turn replace aging F-15C's?

I don't think that's likely, for a few reasons. One, the F-15E carries 300lbs less fuel*. There goes the persistence argument. 2nd, it won't be capable of carrying up to 22 AMRAAM's/AAM's, one of the F-15X's big selling points. Third, the E won't have the X's more robust sensor/EW suite, making it less survivable than the X. But who knows, we're a long way from that. Hopefully, more rationale heads prevail in Congress and we just buy more F-35's.

The USAF really needs to learn from this pickle they're in. The catalyst for all of this was not buying enough F-22's. The capacity shortfall they have, the average age of the fleet etc.. This is what happens when key decision makers like Gates blows a big call.

It is damn fortunate we haven't (yet) been involved in a conflict with a near peer adversary. They had to be cheering when Gates cancelled the F-22, and they're undoubtedly cheering now as we get set to build the fighter of yesteryear..
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marsavian

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Unread post24 Mar 2019, 14:34

With CFTs that 300lb is negligible and ALL F-15E will be retrofitted with EPAWSS. As for AAMs the standard F-15E can carry enough to do ANG duty. It's all bait and switch, the EX will become the new frontline E in time and then ultimately in twenty/thirty years time those Es can be retired for new F-35A for 'industrial' reasons ;) No-one should really worry because in the end the USAF/DoD is pushing to get more fighters, it's just the actual mix that's up for debate now.
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wrightwing

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Unread post24 Mar 2019, 20:44

mixelflick wrote:That's an interesting scenario.

So you think if it comes to pass the F-15EX will replace the F-15E, and those F-15E's will in turn replace aging F-15C's?

I don't think that's likely, for a few reasons. One, the F-15E carries 300lbs less fuel*. There goes the persistence argument. 2nd, it won't be capable of carrying up to 22 AMRAAM's/AAM's, one of the F-15X's big selling points. Third, the E won't have the X's more robust sensor/EW suite, making it less survivable than the X. But who knows, we're a long way from that. Hopefully, more rationale heads prevail in Congress and we just buy more F-35's.

The USAF really needs to learn from this pickle they're in. The catalyst for all of this was not buying enough F-22's. The capacity shortfall they have, the average age of the fleet etc.. This is what happens when key decision makers like Gates blows a big call.

It is damn fortunate we haven't (yet) been involved in a conflict with a near peer adversary. They had to be cheering when Gates cancelled the F-22, and they're undoubtedly cheering now as we get set to build the fighter of yesteryear..


F-15Es are all getting APG-82, EPAWWS, ADCPII computers, new cockpit displays, etc..... so from a sensor standpoint there won't be any significant differences. The biggest differences are the hard points and FBW.
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XanderCrews

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Unread post24 Mar 2019, 23:25

mixelflick wrote:
The USAF really needs to learn from this pickle they're in. The catalyst for all of this was not buying enough F-22's. The capacity shortfall they have, the average age of the fleet etc.. This is what happens when key decision makers like Gates blows a big call.


All of this falls on gates, not the USAF. In fact the air forces top dogs fought until gates fired their a$$. For all the smack talk the internet likes to level at people the USAF did about everything it could.
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Corsair1963

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Unread post25 Mar 2019, 01:24

marsavian wrote:Industrial base considerations played role in F-15X decision

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2019/03 ... -decision/

WASHINGTON — When it came time for the U.S. Defense Department to make a decision on which fourth-generation fighter to buy for the Air Force, industrial base considerations — and not acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan — helped tip the scale in favor of Boeing’s F-15X, a senior defense official said Friday.

“There were other things on the table” besides the F-15X, said the official, who disclosed that the Pentagon’s Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation office drove the department’s decision to procure new fourth-gen planes to replace the Air Force’s aging F-15C/Ds.

But when CAPE, the Air Force and former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis finally agreed on the broad decision to more fourth-gen fighters, “the conversation then turned to: How are we going to maintain a robust industrial base?” the official said during a briefing with reporters.

The defense official speaking to reporters on Friday denied that Shanahan had any knowledge of when Boeing or any of its platforms was being considered during budget deliberations, though Shanahan was aware that discussions were happening broadly about the optimum mix of fifth-generation jets — like the F-35 — and fourth-gen platforms, which can include Boeing’s F-15 as well as Lockheed Martin’s F-16.

“CAPE ran the program budget review” that assessed whether to buy new fourth-gen jets, the official said.

“Working with the standard of conducts office, we put in place a pretty strict regime of keeping anything related to Boeing out of his purview during the program budget review process,” he added. “He was involved in broad capability discussions or broad force shaping discussions, [but] when it came to any specific platform that involved Boeing, those conversations were held strictly away from him.”

So why did CAPE push so strongly for buying additional fourth-generation jets?

The official pointed to two major factors. First was the need for additional capacity.

The average age of the F-15C/D fleet is 35 years, with some aircraft nearing the end of their service lives. FY20 budget documents note “SERIOUS structures risks, wire chafing issues, and obsolete parts” and add that “readiness goals are unachievable due to continuous structural inspections, time-consuming repairs, and on-going modernization efforts.”

CAPE considered accelerating procurement of the F-35, which in FY20 is limited to 48 units. However, its cost analysis — which pegs the cost of each F-15X at about $90 million for the aircraft and spares — found that F-35 operations and maintenance costs outweigh that of fourth-gen planes like the F-15, the official said.

The second argument in favor of buying new fourth-generation planes is that the national defense strategy establishes the need for both stealthy tactical aircraft that can penetrate into a contested zone, as well as planes with large payloads that can launch ordnance from standoff distances, the official said.

Out of the Air Force’s inventory, the F-15 in particular has that as a selling point. Of all the service’s fighters, it can carry the largest payload.


Total spin in hopes of keeping Shanahan out of trouble and not supported by the facts.


As I said in another tread. Then just hold a "Fighter Competition" between the two. :wink:
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Corsair1963

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Unread post25 Mar 2019, 01:28

marsavian wrote:Saudi Red Flag Involvement Gives USAF Glimpse of Advanced Eagle

https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news ... -eagle?amp



Yes, the Saudi F-15's would be very close to the proposed F-15EX's. So, let's compared it with the F-35A head to head and see the "FACTS". Not the spin we are getting now from Shanahan and the Boeing Supporters.

:doh:
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Unread post25 Mar 2019, 01:39

XanderCrews wrote:
mixelflick wrote:
The USAF really needs to learn from this pickle they're in. The catalyst for all of this was not buying enough F-22's. The capacity shortfall they have, the average age of the fleet etc.. This is what happens when key decision makers like Gates blows a big call.


All of this falls on gates, not the USAF. In fact the air forces top dogs fought until gates fired their a$$. For all the smack talk the internet likes to level at people the USAF did about everything it could.


The USAF and DoD did everything they could to secure the viability of the F-22's including building it in a prominent democrat senators state. Obama's hatred for the US military was the final nail in the coffin started by Bush/Gates. Doesn't anyone but Captain 0 know that a strong USA is a world destabilizing threat?

It will be a very long time before the USAF digs out of the hole the politicians put it in assuming the next pres after Trump cares about the military.
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Unread post25 Mar 2019, 01:57

crosshairs wrote:
XanderCrews wrote:
mixelflick wrote:
The USAF really needs to learn from this pickle they're in. The catalyst for all of this was not buying enough F-22's. The capacity shortfall they have, the average age of the fleet etc.. This is what happens when key decision makers like Gates blows a big call.


All of this falls on gates, not the USAF. In fact the air forces top dogs fought until gates fired their a$$. For all the smack talk the internet likes to level at people the USAF did about everything it could.


The USAF and DoD did everything they could to secure the viability of the F-22's including building it in a prominent democrat senators state. Obama's hatred for the US military was the final nail in the coffin started by Bush/Gates. Doesn't anyone but Captain 0 know that a strong USA is a world destabilizing threat?

It will be a very long time before the USAF digs out of the hole the politicians put it in assuming the next pres after Trump cares about the military.


The problem here is future Defense Budgets are "very" likely to decline. Yet, "8, 14, 40, or whatever" won't be enough. So, the USAF will be committed to buy 140+. Yet, if the Dept of Defense (i.e. USAF) ends up with much smaller budgets. Many within Congress. Would happily say just cut back a few more F-35's to pay for the F-15's.

In short buying even "8" today is committing to large numbers in the coming decade. Which, could easily be at the expense of the F-35 Program. Regardless, how some claim it won't.....Which, is honestly absurd.
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Corsair1963

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Unread post25 Mar 2019, 02:02

Also, what happens when any Allied Air Force. Announces that it is going to buy a 4.5 Generation Fighter over the F-35. As it will be "good enough"....


Canada already comes to mind.... :doh:
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Corsair1963

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Unread post25 Mar 2019, 03:05

Considering a number of former F-15C/E Pilots now fly the F-35A. Maybe we should ask any of them. If, they would prefer to go into combat with the F-35A or F-15EX....
:wink:
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Unread post25 Mar 2019, 05:40

EDITORIAL: Fighter Math

April 2019
Tobias Naegele
Editor in Chief

An F-15 will never be an F-35.


Today’s Air Force has too few squadrons, people, and planes to meet the requirements demanded by our National Defense Strategy, and the Pentagon’s 2020 budget request doesn’t do enough to address the shortfall.


The Air Force we have has 312 operational squadrons. “The Air Force We Need,” as defined by Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson last fall, should have 386 squadrons, a force built to match the demands of a strategy that anticipates great power competition and, potentially, great power conflict in the future.


The Air Force has yet to share all the math behind that assertion, but it has laid out some details and more can be surmised. Consider, for example, the fighter force.


At the dawn of the current fiscal year, the Air Force possessed 2,073 fighters organized into 55 operational squadrons. Those planes average nearly 27 years of age—old and getting older. At the present pace of fighter acquisition—56 planes per year in the 2019 budget and the 2020 request—the fighter fleet will surpass 35 years of age, on average, in less than 10 years.


That’s not a force built to deter a peer competitor, let alone win a major war.

The Air Force We Need requires 62 operational fighter squadrons. At 24 jets per squadron, plus jets for test and development, training, and spares, that works out to a requirement for 2,232 fighters.



(62 squadrons x 24 fighters) x 1.5 = 2,232


To sustain that force, the Air Force must buy 72 fighters per year. Doing so would ensure the average age of the fleet declines to 15.5 years and that all jets are retired after 31 years of service—which is still too old, but better than the current path the Air Force is on. This is not rocket science:



2,232 fighters ÷ 72 jets = 31 years service life


Now look at the 2020 budget request. The Air Force is asking for 48 F-35As, down eight from the 56 approved by Congress for 2019. In their place, the budget request includes $1.1 billion to buy the first eight of a planned 144 F-15EX aircraft, which would be purchased over the next 12 years. Here’s what happens when you buy 56 planes a year and try to fulfill a requirement for 2,232 jets:



2,232 fighters ÷ 56 jets = 39.85 years service life


The reason this is a hot topic today is that current F-15Cs will be 44 years old in 2030. They can’t make it that long. But buying the F-15EX—a “new, old airplane”—is hardly the solution. That’s a 30-year fix to a 10-year problem.

The wiser course is to buy more F-35s more quickly. Instead of a short-term solution that presents a new long-term liability, accelerating the shift to 5th generation aircraft improves the long-term outlook for the fighter fleet.


The alternative is not viable. Do we really want to rush into an age of great power competition buying airframes conceived 50 years ago that will stay in our inventory for the next 40 years? That’s like fighting the air war over Bosnia with the Wright Flyer. That air war was hard enough on then-state-of-the-art F-16s. We even lost an F-117 stealth jet. Whose sons and daughters are we dooming to such a fate?


China and Russia continue to advance their anti-aircraft defenses. They are developing long-range, hypersonic missiles designed to threaten US aircraft carriers and push them father and farther away from China’s shores. In time, they will sell those capabilities to allies, undermining US air superiority around the world. To counter and deter Chinese aggression, the US needs the kind of deep penetrating capability that only comes with low-observable technology.


Critics will counter that stealth is expensive and the cost of operating low-observable aircraft remains too high. That’s only true if you look at airplanes as one-for-one replacements. In reality, stealth reduces the number of aircraft needed to accomplish the same mission.


1 F-35A ≠ 1 F-15EX


When one plane can do the job of six or eight or 12—depending on the mission—the cost per desired effect declines precipitously. That single plane, pilot, and maintainer crew will never be as costly as the dozen legacy aircraft and all the people needed to support them.


Air Force Chief of Staff David L. Goldfein knows too well the cost of flying into a sophisticated air defense system. His 4th gen F-16 was shot down over Serbia in 1999. He celebrates his rescue annually.


Would he want to fly similar technology into the teeth of a modern Chinese air defense system today? How about 20 years from now? How about 40?


Here’s his answer: “In a perfect world, where we’d have the resources available to us, the 72 fighters a year would be F-35s, because an F-15, or any variant, will never be an F-35.”


Indeed, buying more F-15s was not the Air Force’s idea. Secretary Wilson made that clear Feb. 28: “Our budget proposal that we initially submitted did not include additional 4th generation aircraft.”


Then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis made that call, having decided the Air Force needed an alternative source of fighters to counter Lockheed’s position as the sole supplier of 5th generation fighters.


Mattis was a fine Marine general, a great leader, and steward as Secretary, but this decision missed the mark. It doesn’t even make economic sense. The F-15EX will cost no less to acquire than the F-35A, which Lockheed says will cost $80 million a copy by 2020. With increasing production, it should grow less expensive. By contrast, F-15s are selling for closer to $100 million each and building just a dozen a year reflects far smaller economies of scale.


More importantly, if America has to go to war against China in the next 40 years, this plane must be left at home. Our Air Force needs planes it can take to the fight now, and for decades to come. It needs planes that adversaries find sufficiently threatening to deter them from provoking a US response.


The difference between the Air Force “we have” and the Air Force “we need” boils down to this: The Air Force needs 72 new fighters a year to sustain a lethal, fighting force. Until something better is developed, the F-35 is the best plane for the money. Expressed mathematically, we can say unequivocally:


F-35 > F-15EX


Fortunately, the Pentagon does not get the final word. Congress has a chance to do the right thing: Say, “no” to F-15EX. Say, “yes” to more F-35s.

http://www.airforcemag.com/MagazineArch ... -Math.aspx
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charlielima223

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Unread post25 Mar 2019, 10:23

XanderCrews wrote:
mixelflick wrote:
The USAF really needs to learn from this pickle they're in. The catalyst for all of this was not buying enough F-22's. The capacity shortfall they have, the average age of the fleet etc.. This is what happens when key decision makers like Gates blows a big call.


All of this falls on gates, not the USAF. In fact the air forces top dogs fought until gates fired their a$$. For all the smack talk the internet likes to level at people the USAF did about everything it could.


:applause: :applause: :applause: :applause:
TOO TRUE!
This is all a symptom of not having enough F-22s.
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sferrin

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Unread post25 Mar 2019, 14:23

marauder2048 wrote:The Russians also don't have the large combat coded bomber fleet or the transport fleet
that, as has been shown in MDA testing, can toss ASBMs.

It always strikes me that very long range standoff doesn't utilize the fighter's main strength
in excellent organic sensors and agility.


Just in:

Russia Moves 20 Hypersonic Missiles to Testing Site, Signaling Another Milestone for the Weapons Program (excerpt)

"What’s more, in another U.S. intelligence report, according to a source, the hypersonic missile was mounted and launched 12 times from a Russian MiG-31 fighter jet. Additionally, work is underway to mount the weapon on a strategic bomber."

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/03/21/russia- ... ter%7Cmain

We're years away from having a missile to mount on our bombers. Meanwhile, Russia is already working on outfitting theirs with one. :(
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sferrin

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Unread post25 Mar 2019, 14:34

More confirmation that this seems shady:

"Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson has said publicly that the Air Force did not request the F-15EXs in its initial FY2020 budget submission. This proposal appears to have been added by the Office of the Secretary of Defense during the budget build process, without a request for proposals or explanation.

However, Air Force officials have subsequently offered several justifications for the F-15EX:"


Sounds like the former Boeing guy added them to the shopping list, whether the USAF wanted them or not, and now the USAF is being told to play ball. :bang: :bang: :bang:

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articl ... hters.html
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