F-15EX

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

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Unread post12 Apr 2022, 14:37

charlielima223 wrote:
mixelflick wrote:
He's right, of course. The F-35 is the future, and between new weapons, engines, sensors etc. its capabilities are rapidly maturing. It seems its really picking up steam now though, with new info coming to light like it can out-accelerate and F-22 up to mach 1!

That covers virtually all air combat scenarios, save for accelerating to mach 1.2 or above to lob AAM's farther and faster. Not that it can't get there, but from mach 1 to 2 F-35 will lag the F-22 in that regard. Still, vs. virtually all other legacy platforms its going to hold a massive advantage.


I'll take that claim about an F-35A out dashing an F-22 to mach 1 with a few shakes of salt. The F-22 is a much sleeker aircraft with 2 OP engines on it. While the F-22 is a well known aircraft many of its capabilities (stealth sensors and kinematics) are still highly classified topic.

No doubt the F-35 is the future of western air combat power. With so many being produced and so many users it will be the corner stone for western fighter aircraft. The F-15EX however is a good enhancement to numbers and interim capabilities. For those who cant get the F-35 but they want something better than the latest Viper or Rhino, the Eagle 2 would be a very promising option.


Well, that's not just my opinion.

Reportedly, the F-35 outperforms the F-22 in acceleration up to Mach 1, says Eielson Commander Col. David Berkland.

Col. Berkland, Keeper Of F-35s At Eielson AFB, On Russia, Fear, More
Mar 22, 2022 Jim Clash
FORBES

Eielson Air Force Base, just below the Arctic Circle near Fairbanks, Alaska, is one of the more remote U.S. military operations. Conditions are harsh up there, especially in winter, when temperatures can plummet to - 40 F, and where darkness can take up more than 20 of the 24 hours in a day. It is also quite close to Russia, just across the Bering Strait, making it an important and strategic base for U.S. interests.

I visited Alaska last week to fly in the backseat of an F-16D, and to immerse myself in Eielson’s unique Arctic Survival School. As part of my itinerary, I sat down with Col. David Berkland, Commander of the 354th Fighter Wing. Basically, he runs the show at Eielson, responsible for some 3,ooo airmen and airwomen, plus a number of fighter jets including 49 new F-35s and 18 F-16s. Berkland, 47, an F-35 and F-16 pilot himself, is a 22-year Air Force veteran with several combat tours under his belt, including Afghanistan. Following are edited excerpts from a longer conversation.

Jim Clash: You’ve flown the fourth-generation F-16 and the new fifth-generation F-35. What are the main differences between them? Also, how does the fifth-generation F-22 fit in?

Col. David Berkland: In many ways, the F-16 and F-35 are similar. They are both single-engine, single-seat, multi-role Lockheed Martin products, with side-stick controls. The F-16 is hard to beat as you saw today on your own flight. It’s a muscle car, like a Dodge Viper. It’s got the thrust, turns great, is versatile in terms of the missions it can do. The F-35, on the other hand, is more like a very lethal Tesla. It has stealth characteristics as well as sensor fusion. In that F-16 today, your pilot was flipping through different displays to combine information for three-dimensional situational awareness. The F-35 lays all of that information over top of one display, fusing it.

The F-35 also has really good acceleration. The engine is a beast. If you start at say, 200 knots, the F-16 and F-35 side-by-side using full afterburners, the F-35 will reach Mach 1 faster. It will also beat an F-22 to Mach 1.

But at Mach 1, the F-22 pushes faster to Mach 2, and will overtake the F-35. The F-35 was not built to be strictly an air-dominance aircraft. The F-16 will also overtake the F-35 between Mach 1 and Mach 2. The F-35 actually maxes out at about Mach 1.7, fast enough to get the job done. Think of the F-35 as the quarterback in an air combat fight with several other planes because of its stealth and sensor-fusion capabilities.

Clash: Eielson is just across the Bering Strait from Siberia. With the current Ukraine situation, are you on any heightened level of readiness?

Berkland: To be honest, it’s business as usual. We’re always ready to go. And because of our strategic location here in Alaska, we can get into the Pacific or Europe or anywhere in the northern hemisphere in a single-fighter sortie, using air-fueling. Billy Mitchell in the 1930s said, “Whoever holds Alaska holds the world.” That remains true today. That’s why we’ve got the F-35s here. The world map is very deceptive. We are closer to Beijing than Hawaii is to Beijing. Alaska is actually further west than Hawaii. We can also take the polar route. Our base is named after Ben Eielson, who was first to fly from North America to Europe over the North Pole. [Charles] Lindbergh took the easy route across the Atlantic, Eielson took the north route out of Barrow and landed in Spitzbergen, Norway.

Clash: What are some challenges you face up here in the arctic versus USAF bases in more forgiving climes?
Berkland: The challenges run the gamut to keep the installation and infrastructure sound. Our big thunder-dome hangar was started in 1952, seven years before Alaska became a state. You feel the extreme cold up here, and you have to dress carefully for it. Being in charge of all of the airmen and their families is always a challenge of extremes, darkness and cold, and it’s always on my mind. On Dec. 21, we get three hours and 41 minutes of daylight, and that light just skims the Delta range, and not like the sun is really up. It’s physical as well as psychological. Look at how much Vitamin D you don’t get. Look at your circadian rhythms - they’re not happening. I’ll be honest, before my first winter here, I scoffed at how difficult I had heard it would be. But in the middle of December, I’m laying in bed eating carbs, didn’t want to get up. So I got some “happy” lamps and started downing Vitamin D. In the summer, on the other hand, the sun never really goes down. Again, that affects circadian rhythms. You black out your windows, mow the fast-growing grass. The mosquitos come in waves. The initial wave is May and June, and they are really big, slow and dumb. But later in the summer, they evolve into a smaller, faster, more intelligent brand [laughs].

Clash: I know you’ve seen combat in an F-16 over Afghanistan. Any close calls you want to mention?

Berkland: I’ve had countless close calls in my 3,000 hours in the F-16 and hundreds of hours in the F-35. Most of those are when you’re younger and learning the importance of flight discipline, meticulous planning, when flying as aggressors. I have employed 20-millimeter machine gun fire just 30 meters away from our friendlies from a mile out. The friendlies were being engaged by the enemy team, and they needed my gun to help them out. Now that’s a close call.

Clash: How do you deal with fear, and what are you afraid of?

Berkland: As an American fighter pilot, I don’t fear anything. I do have concerns. I tell my kids not to be afraid of anything, either. If you’re nervous about something, you need to prepare, have a plan. Be ready to be flexible, too, because the enemy gets a vote and things will often change. And then rely on your teammates. I always fly with a wingman. I’ve been a fighter pilot in the Air Force for 22 years, and have never gone anywhere without one.
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Unread post12 Apr 2022, 14:52

Corsair1963 wrote:
tphuang wrote:
Do you think F-15EX serves a certain future role of being a maneuverable bomb truck or mini-AWAC/drone controller that you simply can't do with F-35?


No, I don't because #1 the F-35 is far more maneuverable than the F-15 and #2, the F-15 is even less maneuverable when loaded up with external stores. In fact, the F-35's manueverability advantage will only increase as it's "clean", even with fuel/weapons. At best then, the EX be a slower and less maneuverable bomb truck.

Mini-AWACS? Possibly, but again it will lag the F-35 here again given its inferior sensor suite and inability to "get close". The F-35 IMO would be the ultimate "mini-AWACS", being far better suited given its stealth and sensor advantage.

Drone controller? Possibly, but it'll depend largely on what drones and how far forward they can operate.

The real "niche" the F-15EX fills is the homeland air defense mission, or as a hypersonic missile carrier. They will largely replace the F-15E when it's time, and operate in permissive enviornments only after the airspace has been sanitized by F-22's and 35's. Love, love that jet (the F-15). But the available scenarios in which it'll be used shrink every passing day. Carrying large, hyperonic weapons with extreme ranges (air to air and air to ground) being the possible exception..
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Unread post13 Apr 2022, 00:50

mixelflick wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:
tphuang wrote:
Do you think F-15EX serves a certain future role of being a maneuverable bomb truck or mini-AWAC/drone controller that you simply can't do with F-35?


No, I don't because #1 the F-35 is far more maneuverable than the F-15 and #2, the F-15 is even less maneuverable when loaded up with external stores. In fact, the F-35's manueverability advantage will only increase as it's "clean", even with fuel/weapons. At best then, the EX be a slower and less maneuverable bomb truck.

Mini-AWACS? Possibly, but again it will lag the F-35 here again given its inferior sensor suite and inability to "get close". The F-35 IMO would be the ultimate "mini-AWACS", being far better suited given its stealth and sensor advantage.

Drone controller? Possibly, but it'll depend largely on what drones and how far forward they can operate.

The real "niche" the F-15EX fills is the homeland air defense mission, or as a hypersonic missile carrier. They will largely replace the F-15E when it's time, and operate in permissive enviornments only after the airspace has been sanitized by F-22's and 35's. Love, love that jet (the F-15). But the available scenarios in which it'll be used shrink every passing day. Carrying large, hyperonic weapons with extreme ranges (air to air and air to ground) being the possible exception..


I doubt the F-15EX would ever be used to carry a 7,000 lbs class Hypersonic Weapon. As such large weapons would likely be carried by a Bomber instead........

Really, hard to see a mission for the aircraft. Especially, past 2030...... :shock:
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Unread post13 Apr 2022, 02:23

F-15EX Exceeding eXpectations :devil:
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Unread post13 Apr 2022, 14:28

B-52's and we're told B-1B's are being modified to carry hypersonics. Which ones, how many etc. aren't specified. Hypersonic air to ground weapons carried by bombers I could see. Hypersonic AAM's? More likely a platform like the F-15EX IMO. That's their mission - air superiority. It's what they do and USAF has stated it's being procured to "refresh" the F-15C fleet.

Bomber crews don't fly this mission, or at least not yet. Hard to see B-52's keeping up with our current fighters, nevermind what's on the drawing board. B-1B's with hypersonic AAM's .... maybe. But their crews aren't familiar with the mission either, and there will only be so many to go around.

Plus, hypersonic AAM's will probably be smaller than their air to ground counterparts AND their size will likely come down somewhat as the tech advances. Carrying 2 or 3 hypersonic AAM's will likely at some point materialize - and I'm talking about an F-15 sized fighter. How soon nobody knows, a long way to go in the hypersonics game.

But as a platform for carrying heavy weapon loads to higher altitudes and greater speeds, the F-15 has always shined. At least in USAF's eyes, and I think it had a large part in the EX procurement decision. More to do with keeping Boeing in the fighter business yes, but hypersonics factored in too IMO...
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Unread post15 Apr 2022, 08:10

Corsair1963 wrote:
charlielima223 wrote:
Modern avionics package. Large mutlimode AESA radar with proven technologies. Respectable kinematics. Decent combat range. EPAWSS.

I dont see why not but IMHO they would be best suited to taking over the role of the Mudhen and ANG air sovereignty patrol missions.



The majority of F-15EXs won't enter service before 2030. So forget about it performing in the Air Superior Role by then....


Get off your "F-35 is bestest at everything" horse for once...

https://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display ... t-fighter/
The 173rd Fighter Wing at Kingsley Field Air National Guard Base, Oregon is in line to become the first F-15EX formal training unit in 2024. The first operational F-15EX squadron will function in the Oregon ANG for critical homeland defense alert missions.


https://www.defensenews.com/air/2021/03 ... st-f-15ex/

https://www.acc.af.mil/News/Article/282 ... ellis-afb/

https://www.eglin.af.mil/News/Article-D ... ire-event/

From initial delivery to operational test in under a year is very quick. From 2021 to the intended time of 2024 as a formal training unit. Looking at how fast the Eagle II is progressing full up deliveries is looking promising for next year (barring dumb political and economic decisions). Remember that the EX isnt being built on a cold production line and it isnt a completely new design. It will be built along with it's Middle Eastern sisters the F-15QA and SA which the EX is largely based on.
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Unread post22 Apr 2022, 08:47

The F-15EX sports state of the art avionics, sensors and weapons in an airframe with a high payload capacity, long range, massive radar aperture and a second crew member that might be exploited in scenarios when controlling U(C)AVs from a fighter might become more relevant in the future. The "undefeatable" myths of modern ground based airdefences is just that, a myth. Yes they pose a threat and yes a VLO platform has better chances to survive in a contested environment, but not everybody is fielding state of the art double, tripple, whatever digit SAMs and airdefense networks on such a scale and VLO is not needed for any mission and comes at a price as well. We'll see "4th" gens flying around for decades to come, as we still see some 2nd and 3rd gens flying around as of today. The numbers will decline, their operational relevance will decline as newer generation platforms proliferate themselfes, though as it looks now the F-15 may even outlast the F-22, because the former is still in production, the later is out of production for a decade now.
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Unread post01 May 2022, 03:27

It seems like current Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall is not a fan of the F-15EX, thinks money is better spent on NGAD.

https://twitter.com/MIL_STD/status/1520 ... 23u0MU8YTA
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Unread post02 May 2022, 10:32

disconnectedradical wrote: .. it was a capability that the DOD, for right or wrong, said they wanted back in 2018.

Yes, it was added to the books during the brief period that a Boeing executive was acting SecDef, because that doesn't smell like conflict of interest at all.
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Unread post09 May 2022, 03:50

Cleaned up some of the garbage posts here. If I see anymore posts of "Democrat" / "Republican" jet nonsense, you can expect it to be deleted or the topic locked.

The F-15Ex is going to be in our inventory. Like it, or don't like it. Live with it, or don't. Move on with your point(s) or go somewhere else.
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Unread post09 May 2022, 04:02

Aw, it was fun calling out some nonsense, almost like fishing. :lol:

Anyways...

This is what current major procurement looks like, pending changes from Congress of course.

https://aviationweek.com/defense-space/ ... nter-china

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Unread post09 Jun 2022, 03:52

Media has been pointing to FY23 budget docs to suggest termination of F-15EX program. That may not be entirely accurate. GAO highlights the F-15EX program status in their weapons systems annual assessment which spaz had posted in a separate thread.

https://www.gao.gov/assets/gao-22-105230.pdf
viewtopic.php?f=58&t=12237&p=469313#p469313

The relevant para:
The F-15EX program plans to begin transitioning to the major capability acquisition pathway in May 2022. As part of the transition, the program will seek the approval of the Air Force milestone decision authority to move from the MTA pathway into the major capability acquisition pathway. If approved, the program will establish an official Acquisition Program Baseline outlining cost, schedule, and performance objectives for the remainder of the acquisition.

weasel's note: I suspect next year's budget docs may provide a more accurate picture of what the USAF intends in terms of F-15EX numbers. Also noted the forward fuselage manufacturing change.
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Unread post23 Jun 2022, 00:00

The last F-15C has departed Nellis AFB
https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_ ... e=timeline

With no F-15C/D at Nellis, that means no future F-15 Fight Weapons School classes for F-15 Air to Air mission. Wasn’t F-15EX supposed to recapitalize the F-15C/D fleet?
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Unread post24 Jun 2022, 15:41

f119doctor wrote:The last F-15C has departed Nellis AFB
https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_ ... e=timeline

With no F-15C/D at Nellis, that means no future F-15 Fight Weapons School classes for F-15 Air to Air mission. Wasn’t F-15EX supposed to recapitalize the F-15C/D fleet?


Yes, although even the original plans to buy 144..... wouldn't get them there (on a 1:1 replacement basis). Now, the buy is supposedly down to just 80 jets. Maybe to make a fleet of 187 Raptors look gigantic, LOL.
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Unread post05 Jul 2022, 23:08

mixelflick wrote:
f119doctor wrote:The last F-15C has departed Nellis AFB
https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_ ... e=timeline

With no F-15C/D at Nellis, that means no future F-15 Fight Weapons School classes for F-15 Air to Air mission. Wasn’t F-15EX supposed to recapitalize the F-15C/D fleet?


Yes, although even the original plans to buy 144..... wouldn't get them there (on a 1:1 replacement basis). Now, the buy is supposedly down to just 80 jets. Maybe to make a fleet of 187 Raptors look gigantic, LOL.


Well, regarding the fleet of 186 Raptors (one got written off as impractical to repair), what USAF wanted to do in addition to cutting the F-15EX buy was to retire the 33 Block 20s which it says would be too costly to bring up to Block 30/35+. The savings would go to help fund NGAD. Congress weighed in and said they couldn't be retired, and just upgrade them anyway, no guidance on where the USAF estimated $1 billion for the upgrades will come from. Additionally, USAF wants to start retiring the F-22 fleet starting in 2030 due to obsolescence and saying the F-22 can't go where USAF wants to go: greater stealth, which means agility isn't as important (build agility into the missile). Congress said no to that as well. Again, not exactly sure where the money will come from.

Will be instructive to see what's in the final National Defense Authorization Act
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