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.
  • Author
  • Message
Offline
User avatar

That_Engine_Guy

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2310
  • Joined: 14 Dec 2005, 05:03
  • Location: Under an engine somewhere.

Unread post29 Jul 2018, 03:09

The USAF won't even spend the money to outfit their Eagle fleet with the newest PW-229 engines, why would they spend 10x more for new airframes?

Some ANG F-15s did get re-engined, and they came from ANG F-16s that received new engines that the GUARD lobbied Congress to get in their "combat coded" Vipers. The ANG F-15 fleet had it's readiness and capabilities greatly enhanced by hand-me-down engines that were almost 20 years old! If it wasn't for the ANG getting $$ directly from Congress, the USAF would have NEVER paid for ANG aircraft (that the USAF didn't want anymore in the first place....) to receive engine upgrades.

You're talking about the same USAF that has flown B-52s with outdated engines for the last 40 odd years. New engines would have paid for themselves way before now in fuel savings alone, not to mention maintenance costs of TF33 engines over the last 30 years. Now that they are 50 years old, the USAF is kicking the idea around again.... They should have done it the first time I saw the proposal kicked around in the mid 1990's when there were still hundreds of them flying.

Moral of my story; USAF typically isn't interested in 'upgrades' to their aircraft if it's going to exceed 25% of the aircraft's value; I highly doubt they're going to allocate funds/procurement of "legacy" aircraft if they cost even 75% of what the F-35 is costing. If the USAF had stood it's ground, and not paid politics with the F-22, we may still have Raptors rolling off the line, maybe the F-22B, and I'm sure they'd be less than $100M each; but then they couldn't have justified "waiting" for the more advanced F-35 to enter service 20 years later. Making future bets with money they had already invested in the Raptor.

Enter the aircraft "shortage" we have now, with "old aircraft" because NOBODY can stick with a program in the face of questions from the political hacks that know nothing of combat readiness or aviation in general.

Any Eagle driver out there would be "intrested" in a new Eagle, that is natural, but the USAF is not going to spend money on them.
For that matter any Viper driver out there would be "interested" in a new Viper, that is natural, but the USAF is not going to spend money on them.

Keep 'em flyin' :thumb:
TEG
[Airplanes are] near perfect, all they lack is the ability to forgive.
— Richard Collins
Offline

mixelflick

Elite 3K

Elite 3K

  • Posts: 3189
  • Joined: 20 Mar 2010, 10:26
  • Location: Parts Unknown
  • Warnings: 1

Unread post29 Jul 2018, 15:42

Fox1 wrote:It sounds like any interest is mostly in using the F-15X in the air sovereignty role, with a secondary ground attack capability which the C model lacks. I would not mind seeing the Air Force purchase a couple hundred of these for such purposes, so long as it doesn't take away from F-35 buys. It might actually make better long term sense to buy new F-15s as opposed to trying to upgrade old, worn out C models or using upgraded and likewise aging F-16s for the role. A new build F-15 with the features of the Saudi F-15SA model would be quite sufficient for defending U.S. air space or performing stand-off strike missions, while being cheaper and easier to maintain and fly. I'm just not sure there is enough service life left in the legacy fleet to warrant any significant upgrades. Once you start talking structural modifications and the like, you're probably just better off going with new builds, especially if you get the unit cost down into the $85 million range they seem to be implying.


Not so sure about the air sovereignty thing. Do you really need new build F-15's carrying 16-22 AMRAAM's for this role? Sounds to me more like they want these F-15's as missile trucks, flying alongside F-22's...
Offline

elvis1

Enthusiast

Enthusiast

  • Posts: 40
  • Joined: 05 Jun 2018, 01:51

Unread post29 Jul 2018, 21:48

mixelflick wrote:
Fox1 wrote:It sounds like any interest is mostly in using the F-15X in the air sovereignty role, with a secondary ground attack capability which the C model lacks. I would not mind seeing the Air Force purchase a couple hundred of these for such purposes, so long as it doesn't take away from F-35 buys. It might actually make better long term sense to buy new F-15s as opposed to trying to upgrade old, worn out C models or using upgraded and likewise aging F-16s for the role. A new build F-15 with the features of the Saudi F-15SA model would be quite sufficient for defending U.S. air space or performing stand-off strike missions, while being cheaper and easier to maintain and fly. I'm just not sure there is enough service life left in the legacy fleet to warrant any significant upgrades. Once you start talking structural modifications and the like, you're probably just better off going with new builds, especially if you get the unit cost down into the $85 million range they seem to be implying.


Not so sure about the air sovereignty thing. Do you really need new build F-15's carrying 16-22 AMRAAM's for this role? Sounds to me more like they want these F-15's as missile trucks, flying alongside F-22's...


The missile truck role is really about the only real advantage the F-15 has over the F-35. It can can carry a large load at higher altitude and at higher speeds providing better boost for missiles. With stealth, the F-35 can get closer to adversary (negating the altitude / speed advantage of the F-15); however, it cannot remain stealthy while carrying a large load in Beast Mode. This gives the F-15 an advantage in the missile truck role. Newer F-15X would serve as good support for 5th gen aircraft until another high/fast/long range jet (with stealth) entered service (FB-22 style PCA); however, the F-15 makes little sense outside of the missile truck support role, unless you didn't have access to a true 5th gen fighter.
Offline

talkitron

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 408
  • Joined: 07 Nov 2007, 10:55

Unread post29 Jul 2018, 22:16

elvis1 wrote:The missile truck role is really about the only real advantage the F-15 has over the F-35. It can can carry a large load at higher altitude and at higher speeds providing better boost for missiles. With stealth, the F-35 can get closer to adversary (negating the altitude / speed advantage of the F-15); however, it cannot remain stealthy while carrying a large load in Beast Mode. This gives the F-15 an advantage in the missile truck role. Newer F-15X would serve as good support for 5th gen aircraft until another high/fast/long range jet (with stealth) entered service (FB-22 style PCA); however, the F-15 makes little sense outside of the missile truck support role, unless you didn't have access to a true 5th gen fighter.


Israel might be disagreeing as the IAF is rumored to be buying a version called the F-15IA. They are using US military aid to pay for this but they certainly could instead use this aid to buy more F-35As. It is possible the IAF will use the F-15IA only as a missile truck, but I doubt it. Maybe the newer F-15s have a range / persistence advantage over the F-35A? Here is the Israel story:

https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-lo ... rm-boeing/

Take this with a grain of salt:

The F-15s being considered in the deal, to be dubbed IA for “Israel Advanced,” according to Israel Hayom, would be an upgraded version of the old plane that would include certain stealth capabilities, such as radar-absorbing paint and internal weapons carriage.
Offline

hythelday

Forum Veteran

Forum Veteran

  • Posts: 523
  • Joined: 25 Jul 2016, 12:43
  • Location: Estonia

Unread post29 Jul 2018, 22:32

Israel's adversaries do not have credible air forces to justify F-15 as a missile truck companion to the F-35. Even if Iran orderes a whole lot of Flankers today, Israel would still have the pole position.

If this report (that has already been floated around and caused so many rustled jimmies in the Israel thread) turns out to be true, then it'll have more to do with Eagles A-G prowess rather than anything else.
Offline

Corsair1963

Elite 5K

Elite 5K

  • Posts: 5389
  • Joined: 19 Dec 2005, 04:14

Unread post30 Jul 2018, 04:07

lrrpf52 wrote:

F-15X is a pipe dream like the Phantom 2000 or Super Phantom was.


Honestly, wasn't that long ago that Boeing was trying to sell us on the F-15SE (Stealth Eagle). Which, came to nothing. So, why would the F-15X being any different??? :doh:
Offline

aaam

Forum Veteran

Forum Veteran

  • Posts: 865
  • Joined: 21 Aug 2010, 22:52

Unread post30 Jul 2018, 07:14

That_Engine_Guy wrote:
Moral of my story; USAF typically isn't interested in 'upgrades' to their aircraft if it's going to exceed 25% of the aircraft's value; I highly doubt they're going to allocate funds/procurement of "legacy" aircraft if they cost even 75% of what the F-35 is costing. If the USAF had stood it's ground, and not paid politics with the F-22, we may still have Raptors rolling off the line, maybe the F-22B, and I'm sure they'd be less than $100M each; but then they couldn't have justified "waiting" for the more advanced F-35 to enter service 20 years later. Making future bets with money they had already invested in the Raptor.

TEG


In defense of USAF and the F-22, it wasn't a matter of standing their ground. Congress and DoD wanted the F-22 stopped. There was no question about it . It was going to happen, come hell or high water. Right or wrong became secondary, It became a matter of, "Who's in charge here". USAF was, "...made an offer they couldn't refuse". Heck! The Secretary of the Air Force and the USAF Chief of Staff were fired for trying to continue the F-22 (the official nuclear incident explanation was a smokescreen for press consumption). The message was received and understood.

As Kenny Rogers once said, "You've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em".

BTW, this isn't the only time such a thing has happened.
Offline

Corsair1963

Elite 5K

Elite 5K

  • Posts: 5389
  • Joined: 19 Dec 2005, 04:14

Unread post30 Jul 2018, 08:08

That_Engine_Guy wrote:The USAF won't even spend the money to outfit their Eagle fleet with the newest PW-229 engines, why would they spend 10x more for new airframes?

Some ANG F-15s did get re-engined, and they came from ANG F-16s that received new engines that the GUARD lobbied Congress to get in their "combat coded" Vipers. The ANG F-15 fleet had it's readiness and capabilities greatly enhanced by hand-me-down engines that were almost 20 years old! If it wasn't for the ANG getting $$ directly from Congress, the USAF would have NEVER paid for ANG aircraft (that the USAF didn't want anymore in the first place....) to receive engine upgrades.

You're talking about the same USAF that has flown B-52s with outdated engines for the last 40 odd years. New engines would have paid for themselves way before now in fuel savings alone, not to mention maintenance costs of TF33 engines over the last 30 years. Now that they are 50 years old, the USAF is kicking the idea around again.... They should have done it the first time I saw the proposal kicked around in the mid 1990's when there were still hundreds of them flying.

Moral of my story; USAF typically isn't interested in 'upgrades' to their aircraft if it's going to exceed 25% of the aircraft's value; I highly doubt they're going to allocate funds/procurement of "legacy" aircraft if they cost even 75% of what the F-35 is costing. If the USAF had stood it's ground, and not paid politics with the F-22, we may still have Raptors rolling off the line, maybe the F-22B, and I'm sure they'd be less than $100M each; but then they couldn't have justified "waiting" for the more advanced F-35 to enter service 20 years later. Making future bets with money they had already invested in the Raptor.

Enter the aircraft "shortage" we have now, with "old aircraft" because NOBODY can stick with a program in the face of questions from the political hacks that know nothing of combat readiness or aviation in general.

Any Eagle driver out there would be "interested" in a new Eagle, that is natural, but the USAF is not going to spend money on them.
For that matter any Viper driver out there would be "interested" in a new Viper, that is natural, but the USAF is not going to spend money on them.

Keep 'em flyin' :thumb:
TEG


Only way the USAF is going to keep the A-10 and/or F-15C. Is if Congress forces them too! In short by the numbers you can't make a case for either. Only a political decision could change that.... :?
Offline
User avatar

sferrin

Elite 5K

Elite 5K

  • Posts: 5232
  • Joined: 22 Jul 2005, 03:23

Unread post30 Jul 2018, 20:39

aaam wrote:BTW, this isn't the only time such a thing has happened.


Blackbird and Tomcat come to mind.
"There I was. . ."
Offline

aaam

Forum Veteran

Forum Veteran

  • Posts: 865
  • Joined: 21 Aug 2010, 22:52

Unread post30 Jul 2018, 22:46

sferrin wrote:
aaam wrote:BTW, this isn't the only time such a thing has happened.


Blackbird and Tomcat come to mind.


Tomcat is indeed one of the instances where this happened. In the case of Blackbird, AF wanted the F-12B as their interceptor to replace F-106. In that case, Congress supported the AF to th extant that they even funded the bird. McNamara wanted to force USAF to use more of his darling, the F-111, as its next interceptor and impounded the F-12B funds. it seemed likely that Congress was going to overrule him, so he ordered the Blackbird production line destroyed. This not only had the desired effect of preventing the F-12B from ever coming to fruition, it also precluded any possibility of any further production of any version of the Blackbird. I believe there were going to be three more SR-71s built as replacement birds, but that became impossible.
Offline

zero-one

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2036
  • Joined: 23 Jul 2013, 16:19
  • Location: New Jersey

Unread post31 Jul 2018, 11:36

I remember back then, mid to late 2000s, everyone was thinking future combat would be against insurgents and terrorist in caves. The word "non-state" actors became the new buzz word.

Almost every single weapons system being was being geared towards fighting "cave men" with no high end equipment.
*LCS
*Hi-Mars
*Zumwalt
*All them drones.

They we're all being described as a shift away from "cold war mentalities" where 2 rival forces go up against each other.
Instead they would be lighter, less armed, but more easily deployable than their counterparts.
Offline

mixelflick

Elite 3K

Elite 3K

  • Posts: 3189
  • Joined: 20 Mar 2010, 10:26
  • Location: Parts Unknown
  • Warnings: 1

Unread post31 Jul 2018, 14:04

zero-one wrote:I remember back then, mid to late 2000s, everyone was thinking future combat would be against insurgents and terrorist in caves. The word "non-state" actors became the new buzz word.

Almost every single weapons system being was being geared towards fighting "cave men" with no high end equipment.
*LCS
*Hi-Mars
*Zumwalt
*All them drones.

They we're all being described as a shift away from "cold war mentalities" where 2 rival forces go up against each other.
Instead they would be lighter, less armed, but more easily deployable than their counterparts.


Excellent point!

Now that these non-state actors have been marginalized, we're going back to defending large swaths of land/ocean vs. a near peer adversary. The new defense budget seems to reflect that (thankfully), but we missed the F-22 boat (and presumably other weapons systems) thought to be "cold war relics". The next war is almost always different than the last, but it's likely going to be with China. Russia wouldn't last long and it'd have to resort to nukes sooner or later. China has the numbers, the tech is improving and the will to impose its authority over said large swaths of land/ocean.

Relative to airpower, the F-35 and increasing numbers of autonomous, unmanned platforms will be necessary to offset the Chinese quantity. We're still ahead quite a bit in most areas qualitatively, but damn - F/B-22's rolling off the production line would be a nice hedge against a LOT of unforseen "issues". Personally, I hold out hope the F-23 survived in some black program. Even a small force of 50-100 jets would make a big difference, especially in less than an all out war in the South China sea...
Offline

madrat

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2208
  • Joined: 03 Mar 2010, 03:12

Unread post01 Aug 2018, 02:12

F-23, Huh? A hush program just like the fictitious XB-70 prototype converted to a space launch system. Wishful thinking.
Offline

zero-one

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2036
  • Joined: 23 Jul 2013, 16:19
  • Location: New Jersey

Unread post01 Aug 2018, 09:39

In the case of the F-35, it was so versatile that they we're able to sell it to congress as a true post cold war fighter for striking "non state" actors that are hiding inside other countries.

You need to strike a terrorist cell in Pakistan but are hesitating in asking for permission as they may have a mole. No problem. F-35s can get in, drop bombs and get out.

But now that we are returning to peer adversary conflicts, the F-35 can accurately locate air and ground assets better than anything else, shoot them or share targeting info to other shooters making them more effective.

So peer adversary with high end threats or cave men hiding inside other countries. the F-35 delivers
Offline

mixelflick

Elite 3K

Elite 3K

  • Posts: 3189
  • Joined: 20 Mar 2010, 10:26
  • Location: Parts Unknown
  • Warnings: 1

Unread post01 Aug 2018, 13:26

madrat wrote:F-23, Huh? A hush program just like the fictitious XB-70 prototype converted to a space launch system. Wishful thinking.


Have you seen the black budget? It exceeds Great Britain's total annual defense spending. I think it's pretty well established a lot of this is for work on things like the RQ-180, but there are undoubtedly others. I didn't say it was likely, I said I was holding out hope.

And the size of that black budget affords me a whole lot of hope... :)
PreviousNext

Return to Modern Military Aircraft

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 26 guests