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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mixelflick

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Unread post17 Mar 2019, 13:27

marauder2048 wrote:
mixelflick wrote:I have a sneaking suspicion that the ability to carry a hypersonic weapon is really what's driving this.


Except they started TBG and HAWC 5 years ago; they would not have been intended for a type that did not yet exist.


I can see your point..

So what type do you think it was designed for, the B-52?

That launch platform has fantastic range, but has a monster RCS. More worrisome is that it's a lumbering giant, unable to dodge incoming missiles and comparatively slow vs. fighters.. The Russians saw fit to attach their hypersonic strike weapon to a Mig-31. I have to believe it was selected because it could impart extra launch energy, thereby improving 1.) Speed and 2.) Range.

Given the F-15 is the fastest fighter the US fields, might this also be a good idea? I understand the added drag of a 5,000lb weapon will be substantial, but surely it could launch it at super-sonic speeds?
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sferrin

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Unread post17 Mar 2019, 14:10

marauder2048 wrote:
mixelflick wrote:I have a sneaking suspicion that the ability to carry a hypersonic weapon is really what's driving this.


Except they started TBG and HAWC 5 years ago; they would not have been intended for a type that did not yet exist.


F-15Es have been around for decades. Strengthening pylons for heavy loads has been looked at before:

DARPA's ALASA

(Let's see somebody put that on an F-35 inboard pylon. :wink: )

Silver Sparrow is about 6,500lbs.
p1481687.jpg


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madrat

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Unread post17 Mar 2019, 18:24

The BU-28 Bunker Buster manufactured from spent 203mm howitzer barrels weighed 4,400 pounds according to this article. $146K well 'spent'.

https://www.wearethemighty.com/articles ... er-barrels

We really don't have much stuff in that size range. ASAT, in contrast, was only about 2,600 pounds. The next size up - MOAB - is five times the weight. However, its size means it needs a larger airframe than the F-15X for parcel delivery. GBU-43 is the ultimate 'Bunker Buster' and the B-2A is it's delivery method.

https://youtu.be/UESxpNrC0wU
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Corsair1963

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Unread post18 Mar 2019, 00:09

mixelflick wrote:I have a sneaking suspicion that the ability to carry a hypersonic weapon is really what's driving this.

Nothing else makes sense. The F-15X is going to cost just as much as an F-35, probably more. It's going to be a whole lot less capable, in any air to air or air to ground mission. And for CON US air defense? These Super Eagles are way, way overkill.

They made a big deal about one of the F-15EX's selling points being it would carry the world's fastest mission computer, or some such verbage. You'd need that for a hypersonic weapon, as you would a platform big enough to carry one or two and carry it to altitude/long distances. Fighting and winning in the SCS with Eagles firing hypersonics could be what they're angling for.


No, only thing driving this is "Corporate Welfare" for Boeing. In order to keep the F-15 Production Line (St Louis) going. As they have no more orders or even good prospects on the horizon.

As for large external weapons. The F-35 can easily carry "5,000 lbs class weapons" and personally I doubt the F-15 would ever carry anything larger in the real world. Besides such heavy weapons would be carried by US Bombers. (B-1B, B-2, and most likely B-21) Which, would be vastly more "survivable"....

Regardless, Congress has not approved any funding to acquire the F-15X or at least not yet. As a matter of fact the debate is already heating up within the hall of congress among Republicans. Let alone "Democrats". :shock:

To add to that I was on CSPAN (TV) Thursday Morning and brought up the subject with US Representative Jim Banks from Indiana. Which, he made clear that the FY 20 Budget was nothing but a baseline to start the debate. Further, that he expected a very "vigorous" debate over the F-15X within Congress.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Banks
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sferrin

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Unread post18 Mar 2019, 01:09

madrat wrote:The BU-28 Bunker Buster manufactured from spent 203mm howitzer barrels weighed 4,400 pounds according to this article. $146K well 'spent'.

https://www.wearethemighty.com/articles ... er-barrels

We really don't have much stuff in that size range. ASAT, in contrast, was only about 2,600 pounds. The next size up - MOAB - is five times the weight. However, its size means it needs a larger airframe than the F-15X for parcel delivery. GBU-43 is the ultimate 'Bunker Buster' and the B-2A is it's delivery method.

https://youtu.be/UESxpNrC0wU


Yep, the original ones used the gun barrels (to avoid lead time for the forgings). New production uses custom casings. The barrels weren't so much "spent" as replaced. At one point the M110 had barrels like this:

M110_Howitzer.JPEG


They swapped those out for barrels like this:

m-110a2-dvic497.jpg


They kept the old barrels because they still had life in them and who knew if they might be useful someday. One of the guys around the brain-storming table happened to know of their existence and the rest is history.
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sferrin

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Unread post18 Mar 2019, 01:17

Corsair1963 wrote:As for large external weapons. The F-35 can easily carry "5,000 lbs class weapons" and personally I doubt the F-15 would ever carry anything larger in the real world.

The F-35 isn't cleared for any 5,000lb class weapons on it's inboard pylons. Nor is it planned to bw anytime soon. The only reason an F-15 wouldn't carry anything larger "in the real world" is because such weapons don't exist yet. If they did, they could.


Corsair1963 wrote:Besides such heavy weapons would be carried by US Bombers. (B-1B, B-2, and most likely B-21) Which, would be vastly more "survivable"....


There are only 20 B-2s. The B-1B cannot currently carry weapons even in the 5,000lb class and there are no plans to change that. And how precisely would a B-52 be "vastly more survivable" than an F-15?
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Corsair1963

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Unread post18 Mar 2019, 01:49

sferrin wrote:
There are only 20 B-2s. The B-1B cannot currently carry weapons even in the 5,000lb class and there are no plans to change that. And how precisely would a B-52 be "vastly more survivable" than an F-15?



The F-15EX is nothing but a paper airplane at the moment. Nonetheless, the B-21 would be the most likely platform for any such weapons. As the Eagle won't be survivable against as serious near peer threat....
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Unread post18 Mar 2019, 02:37

We don't have much info yet on the hypersonic programs. Far to little to determine range and even warhead size. Nothing to amount to anything has been published. The near-term boost-glide vehicle shaped like the conical Swerve vehicle (and Pershing II reentry vehicle) depending on booster size I would imagine would have appreciable range. The Pershing II with a first stage booster plus a second stage had a range of over 1100 miles and that's without the hypersonic glide to extend range.. Using a B-52 for the first stage and bulking up the second might yield a range that is greater than that. If you're standing off 1,500 or 2,000 miles won't that aid the survivability of the launch platform? A B-52 carries 12 cruise missiles externally. Conservatively 12 X 2,000 lbs. = 24,000 lbs. So it can carry 2 extremely large Hypersonic weapons or 4 with a weight of 6,000 lbs. Won't F-15X will be limited to just two of the smaller boost glide vehicles?
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Unread post18 Mar 2019, 03:24

wolfpak wrote:We don't have much info yet on the hypersonic programs. Far to little to determine range and even warhead size. Nothing to amount to anything has been published. The near-term boost-glide vehicle shaped like the conical Swerve vehicle (and Pershing II reentry vehicle) depending on booster size I would imagine would have appreciable range. The Pershing II with a first stage booster plus a second stage had a range of over 1100 miles and that's without the hypersonic glide to extend range.. Using a B-52 for the first stage and bulking up the second might yield a range that is greater than that. If you're standing off 1,500 or 2,000 miles won't that aid the survivability of the launch platform? A B-52 carries 12 cruise missiles externally. Conservatively 12 X 2,000 lbs. = 24,000 lbs. So it can carry 2 extremely large Hypersonic weapons or 4 with a weight of 6,000 lbs. Won't F-15X will be limited to just two of the smaller boost glide vehicles?


No such weapon even exists today. Honestly, this is just the Boeing/Eagle Supporters. Trying to make a case for the F-15X. Yet, it isn't convincing anybody.............
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marsavian

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Unread post18 Mar 2019, 04:36

The F-15EX is nothing but a paper airplane at the moment.


No it exists for it is only a rebadged/reacquired F-15QA. What is paper at the moment is additional external fuel for the F-35.
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Corsair1963

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Unread post18 Mar 2019, 04:49

marsavian wrote:
The F-15EX is nothing but a paper airplane at the moment.


No it exists for it is only a rebadged/reacquired F-15QA. What is paper at the moment is additional external fuel for the F-35.



While, the F-15EX would be similar to the F-15QA/SA. It still has a number of "improvements" and doesn't physically exist. (FACT)


Nonetheless, you can't make a good case for the F-15EX over the F-35A based on merit. This is supported by senior USAF Leadership. Which, are already on the record. Stating they didn't want anymore 4th Generation Fighters. Including the New F-15X Eagle....(by name)

Hell, we have a number of former F-15C/E Pilots now flying the F-35A and love it. Go ask them if they would rather have the F-15X over the F-35.......... :lmao:
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charlielima223

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Unread post18 Mar 2019, 05:14

If they're going to blow their wad of money on an older design they might as well just restart the F-22 production. 20 additional Raptors would be far more capable in the air-to-air than 40 F-15X
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Corsair1963

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Unread post18 Mar 2019, 06:24

charlielima223 wrote:If they're going to blow their wad of money on an older design they might as well just restart the F-22 production. 20 additional Raptors would be far more capable in the air-to-air than 40 F-15X



Would cost a lot more than that....

Yet, the F-15X is likely to cost over $100 Million each. With the first batch reportedly ~ $125 Million each! This is what has gotten so many up-set. As you could get far more F-35A's for the money than F-15X's. Which, are vast less capable.... :?
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sferrin

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Unread post18 Mar 2019, 13:40

Corsair1963 wrote:As the Eagle won't be survivable against as serious near peer threat....


You do realize the whole point of a hypersonic missile is so it doesn't have to be, right?
Last edited by sferrin on 18 Mar 2019, 14:14, edited 1 time in total.
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sferrin

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Unread post18 Mar 2019, 13:41

marsavian wrote:
The F-15EX is nothing but a paper airplane at the moment.


No it exists for it is only a rebadged/reacquired F-15QA. What is paper at the moment is additional external fuel for the F-35.


Or any large weapons on the F-35s external pylons.
Last edited by sferrin on 18 Mar 2019, 14:15, edited 1 time in total.
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