Originally posted by FredT
Boeing has put forth a proposal for an advanced version of the F-15E... It also is trying to make a acase that the a/c is needed in any
Sounds like the salesmen are doing their jobs.
The notational F-15E - Plus would feature in addition to its 60 million per flyaway cost:
Raytheon APG-63(V)3 active electronically scanned array (Can offer both ground and air attack at the same time)
digital radar-warning receiver
15 "smart stations" under the wing and conformal fuel tanks for advanced weapons
F-15 is probably my favorite aircr aft to reach production. This
being a decent
explanation as to why I'm such a fan of the aircraft. I'd love to have a chance to fly one someday... but that's probably not realistic.
That said, I can't see any reason to continue investing in either the F-15 or the F-35 for that matter. I'm probably prematurely tipping this thread
towards UAVs, but the USAF's current aquisition plans remind me of the Navy's Iowa/Montana class project(s) going into WWII, which were cut short by
a dose of reality (ooh look, aircraft carriers... why didn't we see that coming?).
J-UCAS gave us a good idea of what UCAVs can do now. They could react to unexpected threats, scan for targets, and cooperate to better execute their
missions. Range was equal (X-45C) or better (X-47) than F-15E, and without a pilot there's no need to worry about combat search & rescue. All that,
and stealth to boot.
As for cost, Boeing claimed that X-45C cost "less per pound" than manned aircraft. Since the X-45C only weighed 8,000lbs unloaded, that means ~$15
mil or less per plane, roughly 1/4 the cost of a Super Eagle. And the cost of "training" UAVS (aka "storage") is a tiny fraction of pilot training
and aircraft maintainence the F-15s would require during peacetime.
So given "all that," I'd rather see the funds used to bring back J-UCAS, to get the USAF's UACV capabilities rolling.
Now to return to our regularly scheduled, "dang that F-15 sounds cool" program:
The AESA updates to the F-15E/F-15E+ would mean a big increase in capability, given both their vastly superior scanning ability, LPI, and
So I'm all for upgrading the aircraft we already have in inventory, and Japan should be welcome to as many as they can afford,
along with any other F-15 customers with sufficiently deep pockets.
[edit on 18-8-2006 by RedMatt]