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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quicksilver

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Unread post28 Feb 2019, 20:22

marauder2048 wrote:
weasel1962 wrote:
marauder2048 wrote:
You got to take it context. Clearly the USAF as highlighted has done service life studies which basically states the F-15C can't go past 2030. When the chief says I'm going to ignore what Boeing says about SLEP extension, what do you think he means?


If he can't get the budget, you can be sure the SLEP goes back on the table. If he pitches both new planes & SLEP, they'd do a comparison and guess what, SLEP wins because of the costs savings. Need to study game theory. You don't see the analysis, I see helluva thought going into how to pitch this.


The Chief means the F-15X was imposed on them from without and that he's doing his best to present
the flimsy arguments given to him by OSD as he is ethically and legally bound to do. There's no
real analysis because there really wasn't any.

He is signaling that they don't have control over this current FYDP. Actual game theory gets reserved
for formal, sworn testimony to Congress when you present AFCAA's analysis which implies that the
request is unsound. Then CAPE gets subpoenaed.


Kaboom. This^ :thumb: (Although the Congress probably wouldn't have to resort to a subpoena).
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marauder2048

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Unread post28 Feb 2019, 21:21

It was an OSD diktat and nothing more.


“Our budget proposal that we initially submitted did not include additional fourth-generation aircraft,”
Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson told reporters during a Feb. 28 roundtable at the Air Force
Association’s Air Warfare Symposium.

Wilson’s comments confirm reporting by Defense News and other outlets who have reported
that the decision to buy new F-15X aircraft was essentially forced upon the Air Force.





https://www.defensenews.com/digital-show-dailies/air-warfare-symposium/2019/02/28/the-air-force-doesnt-want-f-15x-but-it-needs-more-fighter-jets/
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marsavian

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Unread post28 Feb 2019, 22:08

So it's shenanigans of Shanahan aided and abetted by The Drive ;). So more F-35s then once Congress rewrites the request, I suspect Turkey's order will be available soon for redeployment ;).
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mkellytx

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Unread post02 Mar 2019, 06:27

Surprised this hasn't been posted yet.

It looks like force structure is the driver for putting the F-15X into the budget.

Air Force Didn’t Ask for New F-15s, But Needs to Bolster Fighter Buy
Date: 2/28/2019

​There are new F-15s in the Air Force’s fiscal year 2020 budget, but the service didn’t ask for them, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson revealed Thursday.

[...]

​There are new F-15s in the Air Force’s fiscal year 2020 budget, but the service didn’t ask for them, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson revealed Thursday.

The add was made by other entities to meet force structure capacity demanded by the National Defense Strategy, she and other top service leaders said, and buying more F-35s is seen as not affordable just now, chiefly because of the sustainment cost.

[...]

Source: http://www.airforcemag.com/Features/Pag ... r-Buy.aspx

The article is a really good read, lots of nuance. Once upon a time I was an acquisition officer and involved with budgeting... All that to say, this was in motion before Mattis resigned. I suspect he laid down the law about the budget and then applied some persuasion to the secretary and chief. Probably along the lines of something like this:

"Let me be very clear, the Air Force will abide by the constraints of the budget. Am I clear? You can meet your force structure targets or you can have 72 F-35's a year. My expectation is that you make the choice that supports the National Defense Strategy."

Marines tend to be masters of making do with good enough. Also, there's enough institutional memory here that the current chief won't be insubordinate because he doesn't want to be replaced by a C-130 pilot.

Given that it looks like they're in the budget, the Air Force leadership chose not be insubordinate and repeat the F-22 saga. Any lukewarm public statements are likely face saving gestures allowed by DOD so the leadership doesn't have to walk back 20 years of congressional testimony, so long as they don't say anything insubordinate.

My take, the leadership wants a larger force preserving the hi/lo mix more than they want an all 5G force when they're constrained by a budget.

Cheers
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marsavian

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Unread post04 Mar 2019, 00:38

Asked if he would prefer to buy all F-35s, Holmes said, “I think that’s the Air Force’s position. The fifth gen airplane gets us breadth and depth across everything that we do, but to afford 72 a year, fifth gen is going to cost more, for a variety of reasons.”

Those include not just sustainment costs but beddown and military construction costs, he said, because modernizing an airbase to accept F-35s and build a low observables maintenance shop costs more than simply substituting new versions of older aircraft in the same locations. Training of maintainers and pilots would be lower, too, Holmes noted.

And the F-15 plan is certainly not a done deal. Holmes pointed out: “The Air Force has a view and the Department of Defense has a view, and Congress is the ultimate arbiter of what ends up in our budget, according to the Constitution.”


Sounds like the battle has just begun and the Air Force , DoD maybe asked to quantify all these assumptions. Also does it really matter if the average age is 30 if the aircraft are modernized and well maintained ? Obviously sticking new F-15s into an existing F-15 base does sound relatively easy but it all still has to be quantified.Congress in the end may just meet the USAF halfway and say increase the F-35 buy to 60 or so and forget the F-15X. Many permutations possible.
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weasel1962

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Unread post04 Mar 2019, 01:54

Apparently Janes is reporting that the USAF is open to any other 4th gen aircraft (i.e. F-16s), not necessarily F-15s. So long as it grows capacity. The idea is that USAF save on milcon costs, not having to modernise (yet) a base for F-35 basing so that's the savings.
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marauder2048

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Unread post04 Mar 2019, 03:46

weasel1962 wrote:Apparently Janes is reporting that the USAF is open to any other 4th gen aircraft (i.e. F-16s), not necessarily F-15s. So long as it grows capacity. The idea is that USAF save on milcon costs, not having to modernise (yet) a base for F-35 basing so that's the savings.



That's just Jane's inference. And the Air Force is post peak-MILCON for the F-35 anyway.
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Corsair1963

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Unread post04 Mar 2019, 05:22

Let's see the USAF doesn't want the F-15X. Nor, the Republicans or Democrats..... :wink:
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post04 Mar 2019, 19:57

So much for the F-15X not affecting the F-35 Buy...

The Pentagon will request 78 F-35 jets built by Lockheed Martin Corp., six fewer than previously planned, in the budget expected to be sent to Congress next week, according to defense officials.

The cutback from the 84 fighters projected a year ago for fiscal 2020 is a setback for Lockheed, the No. 1 defense contractor, even as interest in the plane from foreign buyers increases. The officials asked not to be identified in advance of the budget release.


https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... an-planned

Since we know that the F-15X was NOT in the budget when it was submitted to OSD, I wonder what the total number of F-35s was at that time. Also, what service lost the 6 or was is a little off the top of each.
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."
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marsavian

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Unread post04 Mar 2019, 20:24

The congressional F-35 supporters will not like that one bit !
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post04 Mar 2019, 22:14

Another option is: Were the services told that they only had $X to spend in the FY2020 budget, they then submitted the request for 78 (begrudgingly less than last year's plan), and now they are being told "hey, we have some extra money over here so... F-15X"?

This would "technically" meant that the F-15X did not affect the F-35, but it definitely violates the spirit of the whole thing.
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."
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Corsair1963

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Unread post05 Mar 2019, 02:03

SpudmanWP wrote:So much for the F-15X not affecting the F-35 Buy...

The Pentagon will request 78 F-35 jets built by Lockheed Martin Corp., six fewer than previously planned, in the budget expected to be sent to Congress next week, according to defense officials.

The cutback from the 84 fighters projected a year ago for fiscal 2020 is a setback for Lockheed, the No. 1 defense contractor, even as interest in the plane from foreign buyers increases. The officials asked not to be identified in advance of the budget release.


https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... an-planned

Since we know that the F-15X was NOT in the budget when it was submitted to OSD, I wonder what the total number of F-35s was at that time. Also, what service lost the 6 or was is a little off the top of each.



Well, what the USAF request and what they get are often to very different things! Yet, what I don't get is why the Secretary of Defense (Patrick Shanahan) would make such a blatant move to acquire new F-15's in the first place??? As he would have to realize the major push back he would get. As a matter of fact the list is both long and powerful. Right at a time when Trump has more problems than he can count. This would offend Republicans that he needs to push his agenda. While, giving Democrats more ammunition to attack his administration. (perplexing)
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Corsair1963

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Unread post05 Mar 2019, 02:18

SpudmanWP wrote:Another option is: Were the services told that they only had $X to spend in the FY2020 budget, they then submitted the request for 78 (begrudgingly less than last year's plan), and now they are being told "hey, we have some extra money over here so... F-15X"?

This would "technically" meant that the F-15X did not affect the F-35, but it definitely violates the spirit of the whole thing.



Regardless, I just don't seeing this happening. As it doesn't have support of either party. Yet, maybe they will throw Boeing a bone somewhere else? Like additional work with the B-52, T-X, MQ-25, etc. etc.
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Corsair1963

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Unread post05 Mar 2019, 03:29

MUST READ


Mitchell Weighs In: More F-35s or New, Old F-15s?

Fifth gen or fourth gen? F-35A or F-15X. Stealth, sensors and fusion or lots of missiles? Lockheed or Boeing? See what the Mitchell Institute says.

By David Deptula and Doug Birkey
March 04, 2019


The Air Force needs to buy more new fighter planes. The constricted size and increasing age of the Air Force’s fighter inventory is the product of long-standing deferred investment; the 2009 decision to prematurely curtail the F-22 buy at less than half its required inventory; failure to boost F-35 production to originally planned rates; and the fact that 234 of 1970’s era F-15Cs will be hitting the end of their service lives in the next decade. Maintaining the current fighter inventory size demands that the Air Force buy at least 72 fighters per year into the 2020s. Failure to meet this requirement is not an option given the burgeoning global threat environment. With the fiscal year 2020 defense budget set for release next month, Congress will prove critical in charting a prudent path forward..................




https://breakingdefense.com/2019/03/afa ... old-f-15s/
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madrat

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Unread post05 Mar 2019, 03:55

I think it would make more sense to stand down F-15E from the attack roles and incorporate them into a secondary A2A role, with F-35A tasked to supplement F-22A in Air Dominance. F-15X lacks situational awareness to truly fill capability gaps. Once F-35A numbers ramp up the F-15E role diminishes.
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