F-15X: USAF Seems Interested

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
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131stfwfan

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Unread post04 Aug 2020, 18:30

mixelflick wrote:Earlier, USAF reasoned the following...

"The USAF estimates that it will take six months or less to transition from the F-15C/D to the F-15EX given the significant commonality between the F-15C/D and F-15EX aircraft components and ground support equipment, while the transition time from F-15s to the F-35 (or any other airframe) will take approximately 18 months for an Active Duty squadron and 36 months for an Air National Guard squadron.."

And yet, has anyone taken into consideration this 18 month EX "testing period"? Because when you add that, the earliest new EX units will be ready is... 24 months. Which is 6 months LONGER than it'll take an active duty F-15C squadron to transition to... brand new F-35's.

What am I missing?


In this regard, you are missing the nearly 3 billion in transition costs saved from moving Eagle units to the F-35. Basing costs alone are astronomical to convert the infrastructure.

Buying the F-15EX “will save the USAF $3 billion over the Future Years Defense Program compared to replacing that fleet with F-35s by avoiding significant transition costs required for a new aircraft
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marauder2048

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Unread post04 Aug 2020, 20:44

131stfwfan wrote:
In this regard, you are missing the nearly 3 billion in transition costs saved from moving Eagle units to the F-35. Basing costs alone are astronomical to convert the infrastructure.


Almost all of that is pilot conversion cost: $9.5 million/pilot * 240 pilots.
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edpop

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Unread post04 Aug 2020, 22:20

The US Air Force may replace its external link 218 F-15Es with F-15EXs, which could expand the new program to over 400 aircraft, according to service documents justifying the sole-source contract to Boeing. In its F-15EX Justification and Approval (J&A) document, which was dated March 2018 but only published this month, the flying branch said while the F-15EX acquisition program is “initially” intended to refresh the aging F-15C/D, a decision to similarly replace the F-15E Strike Eagle fleet with the EX “has not been made, but remains an option.” The documents also disclosed that Boeing will most likely build 144 F-15EX fighters to replace the 234 F-15C/Ds that are currently in USAF service. It also quoted the F-15 system program office as saying the EX will enjoy “90-95 percent commonality” with the F-15QA that Qatar has ordered. Deliveries of the F-15QA will commence soon. It further justified the purchase by stating that it takes approximately “six months or less to transition from the F-15C/D to the F-15EX.” And transitioning from “F-15s to the F-35 (or any other airframe) will take approximately 18 months for an Active-duty squadron and 36 months for an Air National Guard squadron.”
Vietnam veteran (Combat Engineer) 1967
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basher54321

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Unread post05 Aug 2020, 00:29

edpop wrote:The US Air Force may replace its external link 218 F-15Es with F-15EXs, which could expand the new program to over 400 aircraft, according to service documents justifying the sole-source contract to Boeing.


Assume you refer to the document posted on page 114 of this thread.
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weasel1962

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Unread post05 Aug 2020, 00:50

A decision to also refresh F-15E aircraft has not yet been made, but remains an option.


F-15EX for F-15Es can't happen under the existing contract though (being limited to only 200 planes). The production line currently only builds 12 per year so ~12 years is required.

The Qatar production runs from Oct 2019 so 48 will take ~4 years i.e. to 2023. That's why F-15EX gets delivered thereafter or mixed into the queue. Not because it can't be built now but because there is a queue. So the 5 year extension is most likely needed if all 144 are built. In the meantime, that's all the 2 F-15EX can do which is test.

It also suggests the Israeli F-15IA won't happen because if it does, US will need to give up its queue, the Israelis wait or production ramps up (which is unlikely and also 200 can't be reached within 15 years unless Qatar gives up the contract).

PCA by 2035? F-15E replacement solved.
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talkitron

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Unread post05 Aug 2020, 03:50

I believe Boeing could ramp up production if it is getting orders for hundreds of planes from the USAF and maybe two or three dozen from Israel.
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mixelflick

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Unread post05 Aug 2020, 17:16

talkitron wrote:I believe Boeing could ramp up production if it is getting orders for hundreds of planes from the USAF and maybe two or three dozen from Israel.


I agree. This isn't just possible, it's likely IMO.

We have come so far in the F-15 saga, it's really amazing. Just a few short years ago there was talk of USAF retiring them altogether. The Eagle looked destined for the srap heap, at least in USAF service (F-15C's) and the F-16 would fly its remaining mission profile. This, after being heavily upgraded with AESA radars and the like.

But then the unthinkable - brand spankin' new F-15EX's for USAF. Boeing was selling "Super Eagles" even before the USAF order, as the premiere US aircraft if you couldn't get the F-35. Now with USAF going all in for an F-15C "refresh" buy... and talk now of even more if F-15E's are to be replaced. The way its looking, the F-15 will out-last the F-16 in USAF service. Now that I think about it, I've never seen a QF-15 target drone. But I am seeing more and more QF-16's...

Who would have thouht? The "not a pound for air to ground" air superiority fighter might turn out to be USAF's longest serving muli-role aircraft. You have to give Boeing credit...

First they hoodwinked the USN on the "Super Hornet", and now the USAF w/the F-15EX. Hell of a sales department there fella's... well done!
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Unread post05 Aug 2020, 18:32

mixelflick wrote:Now that I think about it, I've never seen a QF-15 target drone. But I am seeing more and more QF-16's...


Because drones like that have to affordable to convert and operate for a few hundred hours.
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131stfwfan

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Unread post05 Aug 2020, 20:54

weasel1962 wrote:
A decision to also refresh F-15E aircraft has not yet been made, but remains an option.


F-15EX for F-15Es can't happen under the existing contract though (being limited to only 200 planes). The production line currently only builds 12 per year so ~12 years is required.

The Qatar production runs from Oct 2019 so 48 will take ~4 years i.e. to 2023. That's why F-15EX gets delivered thereafter or mixed into the queue. Not because it can't be built now but because there is a queue. So the 5 year extension is most likely needed if all 144 are built. In the meantime, that's all the 2 F-15EX can do which is test.

It also suggests the Israeli F-15IA won't happen because if it does, US will need to give up its queue, the Israelis wait or production ramps up (which is unlikely and also 200 can't be reached within 15 years unless Qatar gives up the contract).

PCA by 2035? F-15E replacement solved.


Well, good thing we just finished a production line remodel for the F-15! I believe the new rate capacity will be up to 40 a year, but you can wait for the press release later this fall to confirm. :)
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marauder2048

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Unread post05 Aug 2020, 22:08

131stfwfan wrote:Well, good thing we just finished a production line remodel for the F-15! I believe the new rate capacity will be up to 40 a year, but you can wait for the press release later this fall to confirm. :)


Which means a lot of over capacity since the rest of the supply chain can't deliver at that rate.
Or customers are willing to take delivery of aircraft without radars or EW systems.
For EPAWSS that might actually be true.
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talkitron

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Unread post06 Aug 2020, 00:02

marauder2048 wrote:Which means a lot of over capacity since the rest of the supply chain can't deliver at that rate.
Or customers are willing to take delivery of aircraft without radars or EW systems.
For EPAWSS that might actually be true.


If it's just one component that is missing, airplanes can be parked until that component shows up in quantity.
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weasel1962

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Unread post06 Aug 2020, 01:55

131stfwfan wrote:Well, good thing we just finished a production line remodel for the F-15! I believe the new rate capacity will be up to 40 a year, but you can wait for the press release later this fall to confirm. :)


H/T for the head's up!
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marauder2048

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Unread post06 Aug 2020, 02:56

talkitron wrote:
marauder2048 wrote:Which means a lot of over capacity since the rest of the supply chain can't deliver at that rate.
Or customers are willing to take delivery of aircraft without radars or EW systems.
For EPAWSS that might actually be true.


If it's just one component that is missing, airplanes can be parked until that component shows up in quantity.


The last thing Boeing needs on its asset sheet is more billions of dollars of undeliverable aircraft.
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madrat

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Unread post06 Aug 2020, 07:35

QT-38A should be an option shortly.
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mixelflick

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Unread post07 Aug 2020, 15:44

Recent articles discuss Boeing offering the advanced Eagle to India for their fighter tender. It's hard to imagine them springing for it. They have yet to operate a US fighter, and it would seriously complicate the supply chain (spare parts, engines, weapons etc).

But hey, more for the US I guess. Hard to believe I'll be taking my son to airshows where brand spanking new F-15's will be flying soon. When I asked an F-15C pilot about this recently, he shrugged his shoulders and just said, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it..".
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