F-15EX (is useless)

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

Is the F-15EX really unnecessary?

Yes
10
31%
No
22
69%
 
Total votes : 32

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jetblast16

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Unread post22 Apr 2021, 16:10

This is the "official" bashing thread of the, evidently, useless and unnecessary, pork barrel F-15EX "Eagle II", an endeavor to fill Boeing's coffers and justify their continued existence in the fighter business.

Please DO post all such commentary in this thread. Please do NOT post (much) such commentary in the "F-15EX" thread. Thank you!
Last edited by jetblast16 on 23 Apr 2021, 14:48, edited 1 time in total.
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sferrin

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Unread post23 Apr 2021, 14:27

madrat wrote:That's not how discussion/debate works.


"This is the "official" bashing thread"

And this is? It's a thread worthy of Key. I guess that's why you're so disappointed it wasn't taken seriously. :roll:
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jetblast16

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Unread post23 Apr 2021, 14:37

I'll start it then..

A case can certainly be made...that the F-15EX is (almost) useless. Does it really make sense to buy such an old design in the early 2020s with modern avionics? Is the F-35A a better deal? Can an F-15EX defeat an F-35A in a BVR contest, carrying, say, a Legion Targeting and Sensing Pod? Or, will the F-15EX always lose in such a scenario?

If the USAF had the opportunity today to make new B-52s...would they? What about new B-1s? Are the only real reasons the F-15EX is being offered are from political and economic reasons, or are there tactical/ resource issues at play?
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jetblast16

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Unread post23 Apr 2021, 14:43

Does an F-15EX make sense in the post 2030 timeframe? How about the F-15E Strike Eagle? Should the F-15EX replace, eventually, the F-15E? Should the entire force structure of the United States Air Force be of only top-end assets, or are there arguments for a mix of "hi" and "lo" assets?

These are all very fair questions. The reason I created this thread is to, if necessary, unabashedly bash the new Boeing offering, without polluting another thread with politics and pages of arguments. For the time being, it is what it is...the F-15EX appears to be with us. So, I want to chronicle it.
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sferrin

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Unread post23 Apr 2021, 14:58

It's all about being able to carry large weapons. The F-35 isn't a good candidate for that. And there's nothing else on the shelf. The End.
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jetblast16

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Unread post23 Apr 2021, 15:02

Good point. But is it a case of: because it came into existence, possibly from political and/ or economic reasons, planners saw a way of justifying it in the current force structure, possibly the future force structure, by observing it had the ability to carry outsized stand-off weapons, or was it ordered to deal with just that? To help in a potential near-peer fight of the future?
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Unread post23 Apr 2021, 15:41

What stations on the F-15EX are capable of carrying more than 5,000lb?
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Unread post23 Apr 2021, 16:04

steve2267 wrote:What stations on the F-15EX are capable of carrying more than 5,000lb?


Who said anything about weight?
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Unread post23 Apr 2021, 16:07

jetblast16 wrote:Good point. But is it a case of: because it came into existence, possibly from political and/ or economic reasons, planners saw a way of justifying it in the current force structure, possibly the future force structure, by observing it had the ability to carry outsized stand-off weapons, or was it ordered to deal with just that? To help in a potential near-peer fight of the future?


Basically a missile truck for CEC warfare that can carry large weapons. For example:

ELVSCHU.png


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df-bahype-office_of_naval_research_promo.jpg


(Yes, yes, we all know these aren't weapons.)

Or larger AAMs that wouldn't be suitable for internal carriage with bays designed around the AIM-120 box.

Notional:

Picture1.png


Or a lot of them:

message-editor_1529958967572-ajja1.jpg
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Unread post23 Apr 2021, 16:38

Useless is a rather finite term. It might not be survivable first day of war, but after that? I'm thinking they'll be plenty of uses, including carrying the aforementioned large weapons that won't fit in the F-35's weapons bays.

Look at it like this: It's a big, powerful platform capable of carrying very large radars/sensors, lots of weapons/fuel to higher altitudes and at higher speeds. Now roll all that into the recent headline about and F-15/AIM-120D making the "longest known air to air missile shot".

Said platform also happens to have the most dominant air to air combat record in the history of aerial warfare. I wouldn't call all of that "useless"...
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Unread post23 Apr 2021, 18:16

steve2267 wrote:What stations on the F-15EX are capable of carrying more than 5,000lb?


Boeing has touted the new Eagle's centerline store capability of 7,000 LBS.

It's not clear what, if any, specific hypersonic weapon the Air Force might be looking at integrating onto the F-15EX already, but there are a number of possible options, including multiple air-breathing hypersonic cruise missiles, in various stages of development now. Boeing, in the past, has said that the F-15EX's centerline pylon can accommodate weapons up to 22 feet long and that weigh up to around 7,000 pounds. It has shown off a model with a notional 7,300-pound hypersonic missile previously, as well.

Source: https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/3 ... -air-force
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jetblast16

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Unread post23 Apr 2021, 18:19

Useless is a rather finite term.


Agreed. But then, there is this:

USAF has said that 2028 is probably the latest the jet could conceivably operate close to contested enemy airspace. However, CAPE and Air Force officials see viable continuing missions for the F-15EX in homeland and airbase defense, in maintaining no-fly zones where air defenses are limited or nonexistent, and in delivering standoff munitions.

Source: https://www.airforcemag.com/article/f-15ex-vs-f-35a/
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Unread post23 Apr 2021, 18:25

continuing missions for the F-15EX in homeland and airbase defense


Couldn't the F-35A do this?
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Unread post23 Apr 2021, 23:07

I'm actually in favor of buying the F-15EX. Not every mission requires low observability. And if you are going to buy a 4th generation fighter to fill the non-LO mission, why not get the most capable one in production? The F-15EX is no threat to the F-35 program, so this isn't a case of pick and choose. We're going to buy the number of F-35's we're going to buy, with or without F-15EX procurement. So the F-15EX is just gravy atop the mashed potatoes. The F-15 is a big aircraft, capable of carrying large weapons (or a lot of weapons). It can perform nearly every mission a fighter can perform. It is fast. It has a big radar. It is powerful. It carries lots of fuel. And it is capable or carrying a backseater should you need one for controlling drones or human in the loop guided weapons.
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Unread post24 Apr 2021, 08:47

sferrin wrote:It's all about being able to carry large weapons. The F-35 isn't a good candidate for that. And there's nothing else on the shelf. The End.


GBU-43/B large? For instance, if USMC has to land vehicles on a contested beach island in five minutes, it would sure beat 14-inch naval guns and a few rocket barrages. Optionally manned networked C-17 then a dedicated drone to drop big bombs tactically with high repeatability. Plus a GBU-43 with a rocket-boosted glide-kit would help for some standoff, plus EW and a couple of 50 kW lasers cued by EOTS DIRCM on the C-17A. Those could also launch numbers of boosted hypersonic weapon in high numbers.

The desire to retain F-15 is not unlike arguing to retain F-111 after F-15E reached IOC. Why? They are not needed to win and, not as capable, F-111 would be a massive logistics, manpower, resources and money-soak that distracts from the newer strike technology sensors, avionics, comms and weapons options, and the need to integrate a conventional F-111 with that.

F-15EX is a very low-rate production run to replace old F-15 airframes that are ready for recycling in order to maintain (not grow) fighter numbers, while the F-35 fleet grows. Plus it is a production hedge that can ramp up if required to cover attrition gaps or a higher threat. Not a bad thing, but I don't think F-15EX represents anything more than that.
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