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 post14 Mar 2019, 13:09

sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:
mixelflick wrote:Read today the F-15X will cost 80 million, and up to 125 million/copy when it's all said and done. And they want up to 144 of them..

Source? Not that I doubt it, but I want to be able to confirm it.


Certainly...

https://combataircraft.keypublishing.co ... new-f-15s/

Shanahan's involvement certainly seems suspect, especially if those derogatory comments about LM/pro Boeing comments are true. The real question in my mind is, "is there a requirement for additional, upgraded F-15's"? Try as I might, I can't find one..

1.) The F-35 is cheaper
2.) The F-35 is more capable. MUCH more capable
3.) The F-35 is currently rolling off production lines (no, "setup" charge as detailed for the F-15X)
4.) Buying more F-35's is only going to bring the per unit cost down further (and faster)
5.) Prior to Shanahan getting involved, nobody wanted more F-15's

After multiple Red/Green flag exercises it should be obvious to everyone the F-35 is a game changer. In fact, I believe that exact term was used by USAF leadership when testifying before congress? Whatever trepidation there was about the F-35's air to air capabilities should have disappeared after Green Flag, multiple Red Flag's and to a lesser extent (although it's an important perception thing), the Paris and 2019 F-35 airshow demos.

I don't know what more LM could have done to make it obvious its built a better mouse trap. I just hope more rational heads prevail, and we give our men the very best our aerospace engineers have to offer.

And that ain't the F-15X...
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post14 Mar 2019, 17:05

Why does there need to be any setup charge for the F-15? They are basically the same as the Qatari F-15QAs that are on the line now.
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sferrin

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Unread post14 Mar 2019, 17:55

SpudmanWP wrote:Why does there need to be any setup charge for the F-15? They are basically the same as the Qatari F-15QAs that are on the line now.


Because "X" means an opportunity to soak them for more $$$.
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Unread post14 Mar 2019, 21:25

FROM DEFENSE INDUSTRY DAILY:

The US Air Force on Tuesday unveiled a nearly $166 billion budget request for fiscal 2020. The Pentagon plans to buy eight Boeing F-15EX fighters FY 2020 as part of a purchase of 144 total aircraft over an undisclosed number of years. According to the budget request, it will cost $80 million per airframe. However, that cost will rise to approximately $125 million for each of the eight jets to set up the line and account for non-recurring engineering costs in the first year of procurement. The total deal will be priced at more than $1.1 billion and covers production of eight brand-new F-15EX fourth-plus generation fighters. The F-15EX is the latest version of the F-15 Eagle fighter jet. The Eagle is a twin-engine, all-weather tactical fighter aircraft that has an all-metal semimonocoque fuselage with a large-cantilever, shoulder-mounted wing.
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Unread post14 Mar 2019, 23:33

Please tell be is just another negotiation tactics to prod LM into even lower prices.
Otherwise this is one big @$$ waste of money.
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Unread post15 Mar 2019, 01:39

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ix-456480/

"We used the best cost estimate that we had at the time and looked at the various options. The most affordable options – as long as we keep the F-35 absolutely on track with our programme of record – was to look at an F-15 variant to replace the F-15C."

As part of the Department of Defense’s fiscal year 2020 funding request, the USAF is initially requesting $1.1 billion for eight F-15EXs. The service plans to request 80 of the aircraft in total over the next five years, costing roughly $80 million each. The first F-15EXs are expected to be delivered in FY2022.

The F-15EX is a slightly modified version of the Advanced F-15, a newer variant not in the USAF inventory, which has been purchased by Qatar.

Part of the expected operating savings will come from easier transitions for pilots and maintenance personnel from the F-15C to the F-15EX.

"If you transition an F-15 to any other airplane it takes about 24 months if it’s an active duty squadron, or 36 months if it's a [National] Guard squadron, for it to be deployable again and be back to the top of its readiness," the source says. "You’ve got to send all those pilots to Luke [AFB] to train them and then the maintainers to Sheppard [AFB], or wherever your conversion schools are going to be."

The USAF estimates that the transition time from an F-15 squadron to an F-35 squadron takes roughly 18 months for an active duty squadron and 36 months for an Air National Guard squadron. It estimates that six months or less will be required to transition from the F-15C to the F-15EX.

The transition period takes aircraft out of the USAF inventory, hurting its average readiness rates, which would be contrary to former Secretary of Defense James Mattis's goal of increasing this metric to above 80%.

In addition, as with any aircraft, when the USAF introduces the F-35A to its squadrons it has to re-equip those units with support equipment and an inventory of spare parts. The F-15 was introduced in 1976 and the USAF has already built a support structure around it.

"About 70% of the existing spare inventory already works on the [F-15EX]," says the source. “From the support equipment standpoint – so we are talking power carts [and] ladders – more than 90% of those [the USAF] already has."

The air force says it is still evaluating its spare inventory and equipment needs.

Lastly, the F-15EX is seen as a reliable launch pad for new, larger weapons, in particular hypersonic missiles that will not fit inside the F-35A's internal weapons bay, the source notes.

"We've got to carry a [7,000lb] to 8,000lb weapon that is enormous and doesn't fit in an internal bay," says the source. "And we need a very reliable platform that we well understand, that has power, space and cooling, and we can adapt quickly over the next 10, 12 or 15 years."

The USAF says hypersonic weapons are still in early stages of development, and that it is too early to know which platforms will be able to carry them.
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Unread post15 Mar 2019, 08:42

https://dod.defense.gov/News/Contracts/ ... e/1784315/

The Raytheon Co., Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, has been awarded a $21,186,712 firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee, and time-and-materials contract to retrofit the F-15 fleet. This contract provides for retrofitting the F-15 fleets current Identify Friend of Foe units, which provides Mode 5 capability for the APX-114 and APX-119 on the F-15 models C/D/E via a hardware retrofit and software upgrade. These units also provide National Security Agency approved cryptography and robust anti-jam interrogation and reply encryption capabilities. Work will be performed at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland; and Largo, Florida, and is expected to be complete by August 2022. Fiscal 2018 and 2019 procurement funds in the full amount are being obligated at the time of award. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8634-19-C-2700).
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sferrin

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Unread post15 Mar 2019, 11:49

"Lastly, the F-15EX is seen as a reliable launch pad for new, larger weapons, in particular hypersonic missiles that will not fit inside the F-35A's internal weapons bay, the source notes.

"We've got to carry a [7,000lb] to 8,000lb weapon that is enormous and doesn't fit in an internal bay," says the source. "And we need a very reliable platform that we well understand, that has power, space and cooling, and we can adapt quickly over the next 10, 12 or 15 years."

The USAF says hypersonic weapons are still in early stages of development, and that it is too early to know which platforms will be able to carry them. "


IMO that reason alone would be enough to justify it.
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Unread post15 Mar 2019, 13:20

The whole F-15X thing went from laughable to plausible pretty fast. Scary..

Assuming Congress doesn't intervene, we're going to be building a 4++ (or whatever) gen and fielding it. My question is: Why the F-15EX vs. F-15CX?

I we believe The Drive, the EX will be a two seater. I thought for certain the USAF was buying these birds for air superiority/homeland defense duties. Now we hear it needs to carry a 7 to 8,000lb air to ground weapon?

It sounds like the USAF was to procure a Super Strike Eagle, with a secondary air to air mission. This makes even less sense than buying F-15CX's (presumably the single seat version), because F-35's are already coming off the line and it's tailor made for air to ground. And it's no slouch in carrying big external loads so.... I just don't get it.

When I saw my first Eagle demo at age 17, it was state of the art. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined they'd still be rolling off the production lines at age 50+ LOL..
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Unread post15 Mar 2019, 13:24

sferrin wrote:"Lastly, the F-15EX is seen as a reliable launch pad for new, larger weapons, in particular hypersonic missiles that will not fit inside the F-35A's internal weapons bay, the source notes.

"We've got to carry a [7,000lb] to 8,000lb weapon that is enormous and doesn't fit in an internal bay," says the source. "And we need a very reliable platform that we well understand, that has power, space and cooling, and we can adapt quickly over the next 10, 12 or 15 years."

The USAF says hypersonic weapons are still in early stages of development, and that it is too early to know which platforms will be able to carry them. "


IMO that reason alone would be enough to justify it.


Other people have already brought up the F-15C/D/E/X is the only asset with a centerline to carry a single large hypersonic weapon. The F-16 has one, but is inadequate.
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Unread post15 Mar 2019, 13:28

mixelflick wrote:The whole F-15X thing went from laughable to plausible pretty fast. Scary..

Assuming Congress doesn't intervene, we're going to be building a 4++ (or whatever) gen and fielding it. My question is: Why the F-15EX vs. F-15CX?

I we believe The Drive, the EX will be a two seater. I thought for certain the USAF was buying these birds for air superiority/homeland defense duties. Now we hear it needs to carry a 7 to 8,000lb air to ground weapon?

It sounds like the USAF was to procure a Super Strike Eagle, with a secondary air to air mission. This makes even less sense than buying F-15CX's (presumably the single seat version), because F-35's are already coming off the line and it's tailor made for air to ground. And it's no slouch in carrying big external loads so.... I just don't get it.

When I saw my first Eagle demo at age 17, it was state of the art. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined they'd still be rolling off the production lines at age 50+ LOL..


Short sighted politicians and one military loathing president saw to it that the F-22 would never replace the F-15; they even shut down the line and made it impossible without billions of dollars and 2-3 years of start up time to build more. If they had just kept the line open and building 20-22/year we wouldn't be hear building a nearly 50 year old fighter.
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Unread post15 Mar 2019, 13:41

mixelflick wrote:The whole F-15X thing went from laughable to plausible pretty fast. Scary..

Assuming Congress doesn't intervene, we're going to be building a 4++ (or whatever) gen and fielding it. My question is: Why the F-15EX vs. F-15CX?

I we believe The Drive, the EX will be a two seater. I thought for certain the USAF was buying these birds for air superiority/homeland defense duties. Now we hear it needs to carry a 7 to 8,000lb air to ground weapon?

It sounds like the USAF was to procure a Super Strike Eagle, with a secondary air to air mission. This makes even less sense than buying F-15CX's (presumably the single seat version), because F-35's are already coming off the line and it's tailor made for air to ground. And it's no slouch in carrying big external loads so.... I just don't get it.

When I saw my first Eagle demo at age 17, it was state of the art. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined they'd still be rolling off the production lines at age 50+ LOL..


The F-35 cannot carry as large of weapons externally.
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Unread post15 Mar 2019, 13:43

crosshairs wrote:
sferrin wrote:"Lastly, the F-15EX is seen as a reliable launch pad for new, larger weapons, in particular hypersonic missiles that will not fit inside the F-35A's internal weapons bay, the source notes.

"We've got to carry a [7,000lb] to 8,000lb weapon that is enormous and doesn't fit in an internal bay," says the source. "And we need a very reliable platform that we well understand, that has power, space and cooling, and we can adapt quickly over the next 10, 12 or 15 years."

The USAF says hypersonic weapons are still in early stages of development, and that it is too early to know which platforms will be able to carry them. "


IMO that reason alone would be enough to justify it.


Other people have already brought up the F-15C/D/E/X is the only asset with a centerline to carry a single large hypersonic weapon. The F-16 has one, but is inadequate.


And?
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Unread post15 Mar 2019, 14:46

My question is: Why the F-15EX vs. F-15CX?


Because they can pinch them straight off the production line to make it a quick fait accompli deliverable tomorrow, remember the Boeing inclined Trump administration may only have another two years to get this project started and running. This new buy actually does make more sense as F-15E additional squadrons then anything else, long range strike standoff platforms like the Russians are doing with Mig-31 with fighters that can double as interceptors. Basically Shanahan is looking for any excuse to buy and deploy them. Only Congress can nip this at birth in the bud if they so desire as a collective to do so.
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Unread post15 Mar 2019, 17:47

sferrin wrote:"Lastly, the F-15EX is seen as a reliable launch pad for new, larger weapons, in particular hypersonic missiles that will not fit inside the F-35A's internal weapons bay, the source notes.

"We've got to carry a [7,000lb] to 8,000lb weapon that is enormous and doesn't fit in an internal bay," says the source. "And we need a very reliable platform that we well understand, that has power, space and cooling, and we can adapt quickly over the next 10, 12 or 15 years."

The USAF says hypersonic weapons are still in early stages of development, and that it is too early to know which platforms will be able to carry them. "


IMO that reason alone would be enough to justify it.


Except:

A. It's an additional training burden on the F-15C crews which contradicts the readiness claims
B. It's really superfluous now that the INF treaty is dead.
C. There's no evidence that the SLEP'ed F-15Cs couldn't do it
D. There's no evidence that the Air Force was concerned that the F-35 had to carry it externally (see the slide)
because in those threat laydowns even the B-2 couldn't penetrate

It's point C that seems to be completely lost because journalist are useless.
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