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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wrightwing

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Unread post20 Aug 2020, 08:46

marauder2048 wrote:



What? The F-15 RCS is variously given between 15 and 25 m^2.
That was probably a clean F-15C with 4 x AAMs on the fuselage.

Add CTFs, IRST, and pylons and it's worse.

The Su-35 is estimated in the 0.1 - 3 m^2 region. Add AAMs and it's still
easily a 50% reduced range relative to the classic Flanker. And no CFTs.

That's not a winning proposition in terms of observables.



There's literally no estimates of the Su-35 having an RCS of .1m^2, and even claims of 3m^2 are extremely optimistic, given that there are no improvements in shaping vs the Su-30 with a ~20m^2 RCS. The F-15 is in the 10-15m^2 RCS range, and it's not unrealistic that the EX version has improvements. Whatever the case, the AIM-120/9 have far lower RCS than R-27/77/74, and the APG-82 is far more difficult to detect than the Irbis.
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wrightwing

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Unread post20 Aug 2020, 08:48

marauder2048 wrote:The Russians are basically claiming they achieved, in relative terms,
Hornet -> Super Hornet scale RCS reductions 20 years after the Super Hornet first flew.

This does not strike me as far fetched.

And IIRC, the Russians had spray-on RAM coatings for missiles and pylons.

Collectively, that might get it close to the HAVE GLASS F-16s.

Which is bullshit.
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Corsair1963

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Unread post20 Aug 2020, 09:58

You could cover the Su-35 head to toe with RAM and it would still have the RCS of a BARN............ :shock:
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mixelflick

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Unread post20 Aug 2020, 12:54

Well, whatever SU-35 RCS is I'm sure it's known by now after being used in Syria for years. And presumably, carrying various external loads. We've flown everything from F-15C's to F-22's to F-35's to AWACS in the area, so whatever it is it was likely quantified long ago. I tend to think the truth lies somewhere in the middle: Some RCS reduction measures, but nothing like Russians claim. They're fond of CLAIMING a lot. Real, operational experience is usually something different.

EDIT: I realize the F-15EX is being built to fill a requirement, and nothing in that requirement says anything (overt) about the Flanker. What follows though is an interesting observation, about how both continue to one up each other.

It's ironic the EX will come later and presumably be much more advanced than the penultimate Flanker (SU-35), as the Flanker was designed to best the Eagle from inception. For nearly 50 years, these two have been going back and forth, inviting comparisons. Incredibly, neither the fielding of the F-22 nor 35 in the West nor the planned SU-57 in Russia could end it, LOL.

I can't recall another instance of said thing happening (for so long) in the history of aviation. Airpower and technology has always moved on. In the case of these two however, they appear to be timeless adversaries...
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jetblast16

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Unread post20 Aug 2020, 14:43

Air frame 20,000-hour design life...29,500 LBS weapons load...F110-GE-129E engines..

F-15EX
Attachments
the-muscles-369784_640.png
Have F110, Block 70, will travel
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sprstdlyscottsmn

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Unread post20 Aug 2020, 15:12

mixelflick wrote:I can't recall another instance of said thing happening (for so long) in the history of aviation. Airpower and technology has always moved on. In the case of these two however, they appear to be timeless adversaries...


Because they never met to settle the matter.

jetblast16 wrote: 29,500 LBS weapons load


as long as you have no EFTs or CFTs.
"Spurts"

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milosh

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Unread post20 Aug 2020, 17:57

madrat wrote:I think someone is drinking sauce. Su-35S is not low RCS,


Compared to other Flankers (expect Su-34) it is.

It use lot more composite, have RAM coatings and cockpit anti radar coat (same as Su-57 one).

For example Su-30 is something like 20m2, it is metallic with any RAM and with big a$$ cockpit which nicely reflect radar waves.

so 2m2 which is mentioned for Su-35 is quite realistic RCS if you look Su-30 RCS.
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marauder2048

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Unread post20 Aug 2020, 17:59

wrightwing wrote:
There's literally no estimates of the Su-35 having an RCS of .1m^2, and even claims of 3m^2 are extremely optimistic, given that there are no improvements in shaping vs the Su-30 with a ~20m^2 RCS.


0.1 m^2 was absolute the lower bound. Even if it's 1 m^2 that's a huge reduction in RCS compared to the classic Flanker.

The F-15 has nothing comparable.

The source for the RCS reductions comes from a presentation the Russians made back in 2003:

https://www.fighter-planes.com/stealth2.htm



wrightwing wrote:The F-15 is in the 10-15m^2 RCS range, and it's not unrealistic that the EX version has improvements.


It's much larger: 20 - 25 m^2. If the F-15EX had signature reduction it would have to go through
the EXCOM export license process for Stealth (LO) and Counter-Stealth (CLO). There's no evidence it has.

And of course, Boeing would be screaming about enhancements in this regard. They aren't.

wrightwing wrote:Whatever the case, the AIM-120/9 have far lower RCS than R-27/77/74, and the APG-82 is far more difficult to detect than the Irbis.


Never claimed that AIM-120/AIM-9X were huge RCS contributors just that the Russians have
known efforts to reduce the RCS of their weapons.

At $100 million a pop, it would be ludicrous to hinge the F-15EX's survivability
on the APG-82s LPI/LPD modes on which Raytheon has made very few claims.

And EPAWSS being same-ship only (the towed decoy is years out) limits the sorts of
jamming techniques available.
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sferrin

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Unread post20 Aug 2020, 19:43

jetblast16 wrote:Air frame 20,000-hour design life...29,500 LBS weapons load...F110-GE-129E engines..

F-15EX


-132s would be better. :twisted:
"There I was. . ."
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wrightwing

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Unread post20 Aug 2020, 20:20

marauder2048 wrote:




0.1 m^2 was absolute the lower bound. Even if it's 1 m^2 that's a huge reduction in RCS compared to the classic Flanker.

The F-15 has nothing comparable.

The source for the RCS reductions comes from a presentation the Russians made back in 2003:

https://www.fighter-planes.com/stealth2.htm
It's not .1m^2 or 1m^2. Nobody has suggested numbers like that. Even the 3m^2 numbers are exceedingly optimistic, given that no shaping changes (ala the Super Hornet vs Legacy Hornet), and that's only when unarmed. Russian missiles are RCS disasters, and will easily bump up the overall RCS. The Irbis will also be lighting up every ESM/RWR like a Christmas tree, from extreme ranges.




It's much larger: 20 - 25 m^2. If the F-15EX had signature reduction it would have to go through
the EXCOM export license process for Stealth (LO) and Counter-Stealth (CLO). There's no evidence it has.

And of course, Boeing would be screaming about enhancements in this regard. They aren't.

Wrong. You're off by 10 to 15m^2. Secondly, there wouldn't be any more export issues than for F-16s and F-18s.
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marauder2048

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Unread post20 Aug 2020, 20:47

wrightwing wrote:It's not .1m^2 or 1m^2. Nobody has suggested numbers like that. Even the 3m^2 numbers are exceedingly optimistic, given that no shaping changes (ala the Super Hornet vs Legacy Hornet), and that's only when unarmed. Russian missiles are RCS disasters, and will easily bump up the overall RCS. The Irbis will also be lighting up every ESM/RWR like a Christmas tree, from extreme ranges.

I've seen average RCS quoted at 0.5 m^2 for the Su-35.

You need shaping changes on the Super Hornet to minimize empty weight.
The Su-35 is much heavier but that's fine for a land-based fighter so they can
tolerate heavier RCS reduction techniques.

The Russians do have treatments for the weapons on the RCS front.

And if Irbis gets a FCQ quality track at longer ranges than the APG-82...who cares?


wrightwing wrote: Wrong. You're off by 10 to 15m^2. Secondly, there wouldn't be any more export issues than for F-16s and F-18s.


I've yet to see a credible published RCS estimates for the F-15 that wasn't in the 20 m^2 range.
The Super Hornet did have to go through LO/CLO EXCOM approval. The F-15K/SG/SA/QA has not.

No one, not even the manufacturer has claimed these F-15 variants have any RCS reduction efforts whatsoever.
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milosh

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Unread post20 Aug 2020, 21:00

Why would F-15EX need to have any RCS reduction? It is bigger target then Su-35? So what. USAF have big fleet of stealths so no need to make more expensive F-15 variant just so folks here can bargain how it have smaller rcs then Su-35.

I look at F-15EX as MiG-31BM analog. Big a$$ phased radar, irrelevant RCS (how need it if you hunt cruise missiles) excellent platform to carry big a$$ hypersonic missiles.
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marauder2048

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Unread post20 Aug 2020, 21:50

milosh wrote:Why would F-15EX need to have any RCS reduction? It is bigger target then Su-35? So what. USAF have big fleet of stealths so no need to make more expensive F-15 variant just so folks here can bargain how it have smaller rcs then Su-35.

I look at F-15EX as MiG-31BM analog. Big a$$ phased radar, irrelevant RCS (how need it if you hunt cruise missiles) excellent platform to carry big a$$ hypersonic missiles.


Because some people are pitching the F-15EX as a viable (in terms of exchange ratios)
air-to-air contender against modern threat aircraft.

It's just not.

If you are using it in the counter-cruise missile role then that's a perfectly fine
and reasonable justification.

Except it's not clear that the F-15EX is the best suited for that job since you
want endurance and the F-16 Block 70s with CFTs would beat it on that front and be
cheaper to acquire and operate.

That leaves the notional role as a carrier for a single BGV. But nobody is projecting
a shortage of hypersonic standoff weapons platforms since you have two other services
acquiring the same capability and putting them on TELs, ships and subs.
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wrightwing

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Unread post21 Aug 2020, 00:34

milosh wrote:Why would F-15EX need to have any RCS reduction? It is bigger target then Su-35? So what. USAF have big fleet of stealths so no need to make more expensive F-15 variant just so folks here can bargain how it have smaller rcs then Su-35.

I look at F-15EX as MiG-31BM analog. Big a$$ phased radar, irrelevant RCS (how need it if you hunt cruise missiles) excellent platform to carry big a$$ hypersonic missiles.

It is bigger than the Su-35, but not so much that the Su-35 has a first look advantage, unlike certain whimsical assertions being bandied about.
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mixelflick

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Unread post21 Aug 2020, 00:35

milosh wrote:Why would F-15EX need to have any RCS reduction? It is bigger target then Su-35? So what. USAF have big fleet of stealths so no need to make more expensive F-15 variant just so folks here can bargain how it have smaller rcs then Su-35.

I look at F-15EX as MiG-31BM analog. Big a$$ phased radar, irrelevant RCS (how need it if you hunt cruise missiles) excellent platform to carry big a$$ hypersonic missiles.


Some really good points here IMO..

No evidence I've seen of F-15EX RCS reduction measures. I too think Boeing would be screaming about it. But that's fine for its intended role, and adding cost to reduce RCS makes zero sense. Especially when you have a full up stealth bird in production alongside it.

In a way, it's quite brash: "Here I am, big honking RCS too. Try me...". All kidding aside, Boeing and the USAF have to (again, in a way) deal with that reality. They have to load that sucker up with as many weapons, radars, EW systems etc. to give it a shot of coming out on top vs. more stealthy fighters.

I like the swagger :) And if there's one fighter that's earned the right to have it, it's the F-15.
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