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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zero-one

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Unread post16 Jan 2019, 19:32

sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:
zero-one wrote: Is it possible for them to make the F-15QA at around $80M... Who knows.

F-15SK was $100M in 2006, why would the SA or QA be cheaper now?


Well I'm not sure how the politics work but exports seem to be more expensive than local purchases all the time.

Australia bought their 24 SHornets for...what was it $6 billion. The USN got theirs for $75M each.

Now I know economies of scale made each unit cost more because they are buying so few. And the Aussie deal had upgrade and weapons support and all that.

But perhaps Boeing knows what their doing. You don't become the largest aviation company ever if you're not a business genius. So if they say they can sell it bellow F-35 prices and are confident enough to offer fixed price contracts. Then hey maybe they know something we don't.

I'm just worried at what Qatar, SArabia and Singapore would say if they found out that Boeing can make advanced F-15 variants for $75M each instead of the $250M they were buying from. Cause if you think about it the US will buy around the same number of birds as those countries.
So the whole economies of scale excuse won't work anymore.
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post16 Jan 2019, 21:37

While FMS sales are at the same price that the US Gov pays for these items, FMS packages contain much more than the plane itself and will often contain parts, multi-year support & training, transport services, weapons, spares, etc.

These items are also in the US budgets, but will be spread across multiple services, line items, and budget years.

This is why it's nice to have FMS sales bids that cover multiple platforms for the same bid as it gives us a chance to get a hit of the "actual" cost of platforms in an apples-to-apples comparison.

Btw, there is a big difference between "knowing what you are doing" and "knowing who to payoff... er I mean lobby".
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vanshilar

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Unread post16 Jan 2019, 23:44

zero-one wrote:Some new insights on the cost of the F-15X

http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/22 ... nt-fighter

Boeing intends to deliver the F-15X at a flyaway cost well below that of an F-35A....Boeing will offer the F-15X under a fixed priced contract. In other words, whatever the jets actually end up costing, the Pentagon will pay a fixed price—Boeing would have to eat any overages.


Uh it's not a new insight, it was published (and discussed) half a year ago. Not only that, but Boeing (or the author) was unwilling to give an actual number, or even a range of possible numbers, for the price. The way Tyler wrote it, it seems like Boeing was saying it'll be cheaper than the F-35, with Tyler inserting that the F-35 is $95 million. Not that Boeing said it would be under $95 million. Big difference.

Sounds like salesman "whatever price they're offering, we'll do it for less!" talk until they give a firm number.
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vanshilar

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Unread post17 Jan 2019, 01:29

weasel1962 wrote:Sure, if I compare F-15C and F-15E with the F-35A on internal fuel only, definitely the F-35A clearly out-range both. Now how do I reconcile that with the USAF "lying" about aircraft ranges.... or is the USAF and LM lying after 18 years of range claims?

The best part of the above is reading the F-35As doing a 3000+nm transit and needing 7 air refuels...


I'm a bit late to the party but this comes up every now and then. Like many misleading statements, it carries with it a grain of truth, but what the truth reveals when you look into it is actually in the opposite direction of what the statement implies.

(As an aside, another example is when DOT&E Gilmore said the F-35's loiter time was very short compared with the A-10, but he used the Marines F-35B in his comparison. When you use the Air Force F-35A instead with its extra 5000 lb of fuel, to make a proper comparison with the Air Force A-10, using Gilmore's own numbers and with some very simple calculations, you get that...the F-35A's loiter time should be similar to the A-10's. But it gets there in half the time.)

In this case, as already mentioned above, for transatlantic crossings the guys are concerned about protecting the aircraft as a valuable asset, not to set any endurance records. So fuel levels are kept high enough such that at any point in the trip, with whatever fuel the aircraft has onboard and with no further refuelings, it can make it to the nearest airbase along with an additional reserve of fuel. From out in the middle of the ocean.

The plane is also accompanied by a tanker and rescue aircraft (such as a C-130). So the group does not fly at the F-35's most efficient (cruising) speed; it flies at a speed that saves the most fuel for the group as a whole, barring any other restrictions. So the F-35 is flying heavy (since frequently topped off with fuel in case of a divert) and also flying slow (for the sake of the other aircraft in the formation), compared to its most efficient speed. Hardly the parameters that one uses to compare for ferry range.

You're probably referring to the USAF's first transatlantic flight. Perhaps you noticed that articles discussing it said it took close to 8 hours. Do you really think the F-35 really needs to be refueled nearly once per hour in combat use? With a stated fuel burn of roughly 80-100 pounds per minute and a 18,000-lb tank, it can last roughly three hours in the air. That should've clued you in that these refuelings were strictly for safety and were precautionary, not because of necessity.

In fact, perhaps you should look at the first transatlantic flight, which was done by Italy. An article for it:

https://sldinfo.com/2016/02/ninja-discu ... ian-style/

In it, the pilot says that if he flies high, he can make it from Azores to Canada, presumably without refueling -- because he then says if he goes low he'll need one refueling. It's 2600 miles from the Azores to St John's (the closest part of Canada to the Azores). He does say "after 30 minutes after takeoff" so if you want to infer that he means if they refuel right after takeoff (and no more refueling after that), that's fine, knocking say ~200 miles off that distance. So you're looking at a ferry range of somewhere over 2000 miles right there.

As already mentioned above, when unspecified, the meaning of "range" is unclear; it could refer to a one-way ferry range assuming straight line travel at optimum altitude/speed the whole way, all the way down to combat radius meaning travel both to and from (cutting the range in half), with weapons, combat maneuvering, and oftentimes with altitude restrictions which are going to be less than optimum for range. Thus, combat radius is roughly one-third of ferry range as a rule of thumb. People have already brought up several quotes from pilots directly comparing the F-35's range favorably to the F-15, and its official combat radius is 669 nm for an air-to-ground mission (so that includes to and from, carrying bombs which are heavier than missiles, combat maneuvering, and usually involves a non-optimal altitude restriction in its flight profile). Why do you hang on to ">600 nm" when it clearly means it's more than that and there are multiple statements that it's significantly greater?

Although a 3000-nm ferry range is often stated for the F-15, the F-15C manual I have says that the ferry range with 3 EFT's is 1933/2144 nm without CFT's or 2294/2582 nm with CFT's, depending on if the EFT's are dropped as they get used up or not. Guess maybe they later came out with bigger EFT's or something.
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Unread post17 Jan 2019, 14:55

I thought the F-15 could complete an Atlantic crossing with no air to air refueling? Seem to recall it being a requirement, given getting more to Europe would have been a priority if trouble kicked off. Obviously not optimal and probably takes 3 bags plus CFT's, but I'm positive that's what I read. Whether they achieved that or not I'm not sure. I bet if push came to shove though, they could pull it off.

As for the F-35, great legs all around. The fact people are even comparing it to a Strike Eagle speaks volumes. Much, much bigger jet and probably the air force's longest range tactical aircraft. The F-35 flies clean, so I don't think there's any question it out ranges an Eagle in that configuration. In fact, I'm positive I heard an F-35 pilot (Chip Burke?) say it out-ranges an Eagle with 2 bags.

Strong statement IMO, and it's just getting better when more fuel efficient engines get here...
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zerion

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Unread post27 Jan 2019, 02:44

If the money is there, new and improved F-15s could be coming soon to the Air Force
By: Jeff Martin


IN THE AIR OVER KENTUCKY — The U.S. Air Force could buy a new version of the F-15, known as the F-15X, as long as there is enough money in future defense budgets, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein told Defense News Saturday.

And regardless of whether the service does buy the new jets this year, Goldfein said the new aircraft won’t be taking money from the Lockheed Martin F-35.

“I’m not backing an inch off of the F-35” Goldfein said. “The F-35 buy that we’re on continues to remain on track. And I’m not interested in taking a nickel out of it when it comes to buying anything else in the fighter portfolio.”...

https://www.defensenews.com/newsletters ... air-force/
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marauder2048

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Unread post27 Jan 2019, 08:51

zerion wrote:
If the money is there, new and improved F-15s could be coming soon to the Air Force
By: Jeff Martin


https://www.defensenews.com/newsletters ... air-force/


The deeply suspect reasoning there sounds like talking points from OSD.
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Unread post27 Jan 2019, 11:57

The figures supposedly leaked to said bloggers that (they say) are going to appearing the budget request was for 12 x F-15X at $1.2Billion. Don't know what that entails but it looks about right doesn't it. :D[/quote]
Which was explained above that Boeing would eat the losses. They cannot make them at ~$80M, but they will sell them at ~$80M.[/quote]

That's just crazy. Unless Boeing plans on becoming a not for profit company, this is ridiculous. Whoever at Boeing is OK with producing fighters to lose money.. ought to be fired. This is America/capitalism. Boeing has a long history with the SH of delivering aircraft on time and on or under budget. To make these F-15X's one off for a loss isn't just crazy, it's irresponsible.

If you're a Boeing shareholder, you should be irate. And shareholders drive business decisions, not pie in the sky not for profit managers. I'd go so far as to call it un-American to be involved in this. Upgraded Eagles for our allies, sure. F-35's for the USAF. Cheaper, more capable, can and will be committed to the fight much more effectively..
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marsavian

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Unread post27 Jan 2019, 21:24

Maybe it's a ploy to keep the production line ticking over so to be able to bid Strike Eagle profitably for future foreign contracts after the current orders are fulfilled in which case an extended low annual non-profit F-15X buy is not a bad thing, a bit like the Su-57 purchase strategy ;).
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southernphantom

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Unread post28 Jan 2019, 04:27

marsavian wrote:Maybe it's a ploy to keep the production line ticking over so to be able to bid Strike Eagle profitably for future foreign contracts after the current orders are fulfilled in which case an extended low annual non-profit F-15X buy is not a bad thing, a bit like the Su-57 purchase strategy ;).


Yeah, this is a thing in my industry (mining) as well. It sometimes makes sense to operate at a loss for a short period in anticipation of market conditions improving, so as not to lose skilled labor and site-specific institutional knowledge by firing your entire workforce and shutting down until the market improves.

Whether or not this is Boeing's strategy with the F-15X remains to be seen.

Shareholders need to realize that quarterly profit is not the only indicator of a company's health. Plenty of companies have been run into the ground by private equity firms focused only on short-term value while neglecting the long-term health of the company. This is why I jumped from a publicly-traded to a privately-owned employer - planning is long-term and looks beyond the next quarter!
I'm a mining engineer. How the hell did I wind up here?
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Corsair1963

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Unread post28 Jan 2019, 05:22

Again no way is this going to happen. First, you can't buy a F-15X for less than a F-35A. Second, "12" Eagles wouldn't be enough for a single squadron. Which, means they would need many many more. So, where would that funding come from???

Clearly, the F-15X Supporters are trying to sell it as a replacement for at least the F-15C operated by the ANG. So, we aren't talking 12 F-15X's but 150+.

:doh:


Also, let's no forget the US will soon have a large surplus of F-16's. Which, are already paid for and more than adequate for the task. (short-term)
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Unread post28 Jan 2019, 10:59

150/12 equals 12+ years of low rate production, enough time for more sales of F-15E to appear. As for F-16 about 300 will be kept going with AESA with the rest going to the boneyard/spares. Not saying F-15X is a great idea but as a pure big rangey interceptor truck it's not a bad idea plus some of the value of the aircraft will be in the long 20,000hr life and not just the initial price.
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Unread post28 Jan 2019, 11:49

marsavian wrote:150/12 equals 12+ years of low rate production, enough time for more sales of F-15E to appear. As for F-16 about 300 will be kept going with AESA with the rest going to the boneyard/spares. Not saying F-15X is a great idea but as a pure big rangey interceptor truck it's not a bad idea plus some of the value of the aircraft will be in the long 20,000hr life and not just the initial price.



The USAF is not going to buy New F-15's for the next decade. While, the market for 4th Generation Fighters is on the decline with few prospects.
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Unread post28 Jan 2019, 12:59

“...the long 20,000hr life...”

Where did this number come from?
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Unread post28 Jan 2019, 14:05

Corsair1963 wrote:
marsavian wrote:150/12 equals 12+ years of low rate production, enough time for more sales of F-15E to appear. As for F-16 about 300 will be kept going with AESA with the rest going to the boneyard/spares. Not saying F-15X is a great idea but as a pure big rangey interceptor truck it's not a bad idea plus some of the value of the aircraft will be in the long 20,000hr life and not just the initial price.



The USAF is not going to buy New F-15's for the next decade. While, the market for 4th Generation Fighters is on the decline with few prospects.


Agree wholeheartedly.

This isn't Canada. We're not buying 4th gen aircraft when new 5th gen's that do it better are available for less...
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