F-15X: USAF Seems Interested

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sferrin

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Unread post04 Jan 2019, 01:29

marsavian wrote:
element1loop wrote:F-22A and F-35A/B/C are the real deal from here and F-35 can provide data to make the F-16C/D and the F-15E actually useful sooner in a fight to use the legacy A2G, but they can't make the F-15C very useful in A2A, except in a lower threat situation, which the F-15C is still more or less not needed for anyway ... if the F-35A/B/C and F-22A are around.

So the F-16C/D is clearly a more desirable choice to keep longer, and according to guys like Gums they don't lack for range when loaded.

I appreciate your points Weasel, but I think you have this wrong when it comes to the in-practice implications.


Disagree. F-22/F-35 could be forward controllers vectoring in F-15 missile trucks which would be radar silent either outside of an enemy's radar cone detection or inside that cone but protected by the stealth aircraft's EW jamming. The stealth aircraft then passes target tracks through Link 16 for the radar silent F-15 to shoot their missiles to. The advantage of the F-15 over the F-16 in this scenario is twice the missiles and twice the endurance as well as superior high altitude performance which increases missile range.


In the early days of the F-22 they did this in an exercise and the F-15s doing so cleaned everybody's clocks. (Maybe they still do this. . .probably.)
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element1loop

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Unread post04 Jan 2019, 01:46

marsavian wrote:
element1loop wrote:F-22A and F-35A/B/C are the real deal from here and F-35 can provide data to make the F-16C/D and the F-15E actually useful sooner in a fight to use the legacy A2G, but they can't make the F-15C very useful in A2A, except in a lower threat situation, which the F-15C is still more or less not needed for anyway ... if the F-35A/B/C and F-22A are around. So the F-16C/D is clearly a more desirable choice to keep longer, and according to guys like Gums they don't lack for range when loaded.


Disagree. F-22/F-35 could be forward controllers vectoring in F-15 missile trucks which would be radar silent either outside of an enemy's radar cone detection or inside that cone but protected by the stealth aircraft's EW jamming. The stealth aircraft then passes target tracks through Link 16 for the radar silent F-15 to shoot their missiles to. The advantage of the F-15 over the F-16 in this scenario is twice the missiles and twice the endurance as well as superior high altitude performance which increases missile range.


I question the premises of this whole 'scenario'.

There's some real and anticipated need for this?

And even if there were a need for it for say 2-years of bridging capability (which I think is already covered from 2020 anyway) the F-35 fleet is set to grow by 360 new jets every 2-years. So there goes the presumed ‘need’ for F-15C, or F16C/D, for front-line A2A mix in 2021. That mix requirement is going to evolve very quickly after the current year is over.

And why should the F-22A or F-35A need or want to be 'forward controllers' for F-15Cs even prior to that? Do we think the initial squadrons of 5th-gens will empty their missile load and fail to get sufficient kills to decisively stymie an air attack? Or that there will be insufficient follow-on 5th-gens coming in, within minutes, to replace them? Will the OPFOR presume there will be no more 5th gens from that point?

In two years the USAF alone is going to have hundreds of F-22As and F-35As available to fight that way. Let's say there's 200 5th-gens with an average of 6.5 AAM missiles per jet, or 1,300 missiles per flight cycle of that force. That conservatively equates to a kill potential of ~325 opposing fighters per flight cycle of that force (presuming 4 missiles expended per kill). What opposing force could sustain that battle for a week, and hope to win? And that's from USAF F-35A FOC time-window forward.

And it's the F-35A that's the adjunct to the smaller fleet of F-22As. The F-15C was that and now the F-35A's growing numbers are supplanting it. USAF FOC of F-35A will be the final part of the replacement of F-15C within that F-22A A2A support role. That was made clear years ago. Hence the higher numbers of F-35A to be bought for the USAF. Thus the prior Hi-Lo mix paradigm is fading away due to the relative lack of F-22A and the better than expected F-35A A2A result, plus the lack of need for it when you have BVR air dominance coming from both types.

Achieving VERY high BVR missile range is also moot with the F-35A as they can flank, ambush and kill unseen, as a stealthy wolf-pack, against non-alerted opponents, from 40 to 80 km BVR radius with excellent pk and energy killing. Just fly to not get closer and fight to not be seen.

Thus the supposed speed and altitude BVR ‘advantage’ of mixing in F-15s has also become moot – that’s a 4th-gen consideration and will be increasingly operationally inconsistent with a rapidly evolving 5th-gen CONOPS

But if more missiles were actually required (which I currently don't accept) F-35A could carry them externally too, and could be made to do so long before you could build an F-15X. So much for that aircraft. Consequently an F-15 "magazine depth" argument is misguided and not a solution to anything, including with respect to keeping the F-15C longer. It’s back of the bus now and in a few more years it will be dead wood – and time to go.

Plus even the F-16C/D will be on the ground when a large-scale stealth fight gets rolling. Having those in the air and forwards would just provide early-warning markers (same applies to F-15C so where's its 'magazine' when you want it? Going to sacrifice/compromise surprise?).

Plus an OPFOR will be almost all 4th-gens with low SA and getting totally reamed by 5th-gens. It’ll be a long time until that changes. And the F-35A could do both A2A and A2G Day-1, Hour-1. If the OPFOR don’t know where you are then you can do that, plus complete your attack mission, especially when using an AIM-120D as you won't even need to use the afterburner to throw it within the NEZ. And even if it missed do they know where you are? No. So keep on truckin'.

The only sensible question is how do you get more F-35A faster and retire legacy A2A sooner and save more money in the process?
Last edited by element1loop on 04 Jan 2019, 01:52, edited 2 times in total.
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marauder2048

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Unread post04 Jan 2019, 01:47

sferrin wrote:
In the early days of the F-22 they did this in an exercise and the F-15s doing so cleaned everybody's clocks. (Maybe they still do this. . .probably.)


How did that work given that the F-22 is only now Link-16 receive? IFDL gateways on the F-15s?
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marsavian

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Unread post04 Jan 2019, 02:15

F-35 will be kept busy doing ground attacks in any serious sustained conflicts like F-16 was in the Gulf Wars with the F-22/F-15 force providing air cover and superiority. In stealth ground attack mode the F-35 will only carry two AMRAAM which they probably wouldn't even use if they can help it to avoid alerting the enemy.

So along with this high altitude air superiority dedicated hunting pack capability the F-15X could also provide high kinematic continental defense against incoming missiles and long range bombers. Could the F-35 do the job as well ? Mostly yes but why waste an F-35 standing by just for air defense and superiority when it is more suited to deliver payloads on contested battlefields ? Sure it is a Boeing political ploy to prolong the life of the F-15 but the F-15 still is one hell of an interceptor and if it can basically back up F-22 in its air superiority tasks it will not be a useless new aircraft even if it is non-stealthy.
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Unread post04 Jan 2019, 02:40

marsavian wrote:F-35 will be kept busy doing ground attacks in any serious sustained conflicts like F-16 was in the Gulf Wars with the F-22/F-15 force providing air cover and superiority. In stealth ground attack mode the F-35 will only carry two AMRAAM which they probably wouldn't even use if they can help it to avoid alerting the enemy.

So along with this high altitude air superiority dedicated hunting pack capability the F-15X could also provide high kinematic continental defense against incoming missiles and long range bombers. Could the F-35 do the job as well ? Mostly yes but why waste an F-35 standing by just for air defense and superiority when it is more suited to deliver payloads on contested battlefields ? Sure it is a Boeing political ploy to prolong the life of the F-15 but the F-15 still is one hell of an interceptor and if it can basically back up F-22 in its air superiority tasks it will not be a useless new aircraft even if it is non-stealthy.


This is still not taking into account the total effect of a large penetrating VLO F-35 attack force. It will positively eat up an OPFOR with DEAD and ground attack OCA, much faster and more persistently than the legacy force ever did, along with far better sensors and weapons that are basically immune to weather, noise and obscurants and a faster engagement cycle, with more decisions being made from cockpits.

And will the USA be fighting alone in such a large-scale fight? Very unlikely. But we'll necessarily presume it is. I would then agree that until about 2021, the F-15C will have a place working with the F-22A to provide support. And because of the potential for multi theatre fighting, it may have a place to do it until about 2023.

At which point there will be more than enough upgraded F-22A and initial implementations of Block 4 on hundreds of US F-35s of all types, to not need the legacy A2A fleet to support F-22A at all, so I would have all F-15Cs in storage from end of 2023. The A2G effect of that many penetrating Bk3f and Bk4 F-35s can eliminate the bulk of the A2A threat on the ground and render the whole grand BVR battle scenario a nothin'-burger.

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Unread post04 Jan 2019, 03:48

marsavian wrote:F-35 will be kept busy doing ground attacks in any serious sustained conflicts like F-16 was in the Gulf Wars with the F-22/F-15 force providing air cover and superiority. In stealth ground attack mode the F-35 will only carry two AMRAAM which they probably wouldn't even use if they can help it to avoid alerting the enemy.



I'm sure the F-22/F-35 force is going to just *love* having hot, flying corner reflectors betraying their position; the
geometry for the missile truck arrangement is going to be obvious to a high-end adversary.

I also like this battlefield where the F-35 is compelled to fly around with no external stores but the F-15X can
fly around with impunity.

marsavian wrote:the F-15X could also provide high kinematic continental defense against incoming missiles and long range bombers.


So could SLEP'ed F-15Cs at a fraction of the cost of new builds.
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Unread post04 Jan 2019, 03:49

marauder2048 wrote:
sferrin wrote:
In the early days of the F-22 they did this in an exercise and the F-15s doing so cleaned everybody's clocks. (Maybe they still do this. . .probably.)


How did that work given that the F-22 is only now Link-16 receive? IFDL gateways on the F-15s?


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sferrin

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Unread post04 Jan 2019, 03:51

marauder2048 wrote:
marsavian wrote:F-35 will be kept busy doing ground attacks in any serious sustained conflicts like F-16 was in the Gulf Wars with the F-22/F-15 force providing air cover and superiority. In stealth ground attack mode the F-35 will only carry two AMRAAM which they probably wouldn't even use if they can help it to avoid alerting the enemy.



I'm sure the F-22/F-35 force is going to just *love* having hot, flying corner reflectors betraying their position; the
geometry for the missile truck arrangement is going to be obvious to a high-end adversary.


Why would they? They wouldn't be flying in formation. F-22s would be miles away, sitting up at 65k ft.
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Unread post04 Jan 2019, 04:56

sferrin wrote:Why would they? They wouldn't be flying in formation. F-22s would be miles away, sitting up at 65k ft.


Sure but you have a very observable F-15 flight that's responding to threat movement that's
beyond the range of the flight's organic sensors. That threat movement (along with comms analysis)
could be deliberately contrived to help tease out the unseen AWACS.
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Unread post04 Jan 2019, 08:51

Can always put a freedom 550 on an F-15X instead of a U2 or global hawk. Might be a better platform to go into battle with.

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2017/08 ... hawk-uavs/

Forgot too, Talon Hate.
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Unread post04 Jan 2019, 10:35

The Air Force rightly regards gateways as band-aids which is why only 4 Talon Hate pods were purchased;
it's an fairly limited capability.

Shouldn't an essentially new build/new type have integrated MADL/IFDL antennae?
That's always been the pitch for the ease of enhancing non-LO, legacy designs.
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Unread post04 Jan 2019, 11:06

Another possibility not requiring a gateway ... L3 Communications' Chameleon waveform demoed as part of Project Missouri. It utilizes existing the L-band antenna on fighters to transmit and receive data transmissions spread within in background noise,
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
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vilters

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Unread post07 Jan 2019, 01:51

Modern warfare is not WW2 any more.

First waves are cruise missiles only.

Then send in the lot of F-15/F-16/F-18 to keep the remaining enemy radars/fighters/ busy so you can find out where these cruise missiles attacks survivors are.

Let the F-35 go in lower and do guerilla style prime target attacks and the clean-up of the leftovers.
Unseen in, unseen out.
All the enemy sees is the rest of their assets blowing up...

Let the F-22 stay at 65K + and do the "on site organization/coordination", and "emergency help here and there.
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Unread post07 Jan 2019, 03:13

marauder2048 wrote:
So could SLEP'ed F-15Cs at a fraction of the cost of new builds.



Yes, and the USAF doesn't even want to do that! Speaks volumes in my book..... 8)
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Unread post07 Jan 2019, 06:38

vilters wrote:Modern warfare is not WW2 any more.

First waves are cruise missiles only.

Then send in the lot of F-15/F-16/F-18 to keep the remaining enemy radars/fighters/ busy so you can find out where these cruise missiles attacks survivors are.

Let the F-35 go in lower and do guerilla style prime target attacks and the clean-up of the leftovers.
Unseen in, unseen out.
All the enemy sees is the rest of their assets blowing up...

Let the F-22 stay at 65K + and do the "on site organization/coordination", and "emergency help here and there.


Nah, disagree.

Cruise weapons plus MALDs to provide EA and then simulate legacy jets, with the F-35 maxing its altitude to keep well away from GBAD. That provides a much better footprint for sensors and comms, plus almost no cloud, precipitation and lower turbulence, plus far better fuel burn for more distance and much better loiter. Plus a much lowered thermal-signature in cold air cooling the airframe and skin. Plus far better weapon application parameters and range, plus more vertical standoff. And altitude can be converted quickly into speed to get somewhere, and it's much harder for any SAM to track, lock or hit. And much easier to kill a SAM's engagement radar, or a VHF sensor. And to hunt for and locate IADS elements. Even a snap-shot of AIM-120D or AIM-9X-3 at precisely located sensors from altitude would often be enough.

If you go down low you just get more disadvantages that far outweigh the presumed advantages, and the effective enema sensor footprints are all much greater volumes at lower altitude, and overlap more, and the number of weapons enema can use on you goes up sharply.

And it remains to be seen how well VHF can operate against area-EA from so many potential noise-floor altering sources. Not that well I expect. Plus HF and VHF emitters will effectively be 'fixed' first-wave cruise missile targets, so getting tracked becomes just a weapon management issue.

So it's EO that's the lingering quiet potential problem for the F-35, and that's much better to defeat if you're high as possible, in cold air with a fighter DIRCM and EA.

Legacy jets are ...................... --> "... back of the bus ...".

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Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth
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