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texl1649
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Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Tue Feb 02, 2021 5:59 pm

https://twitter.com/thedewline/status/1 ... 23524?s=21

First flight for an “EX” is for today. QA model delivery flight earlier I guess.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Wed Feb 03, 2021 4:22 pm

So they plan to deliver the two test planes early (second quarter 2021 as opposed to third quarter). Manufacturing and integration must have gone smoothly.

Add to that with the Democrat controlling the Senate, and Washington State has two senior Democratic Senators (arguably as pro-Boeing as any Democratic politician can get since Norm Dicks), it will be hard to cut back this program now. At least for the next two years.

bt
 
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bikerthai
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Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Wed Feb 03, 2021 5:20 pm

Take off video here

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/3 ... first-time

Note the two pilots.

bt
 
ThePointblank
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Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Wed Feb 03, 2021 8:46 pm

bikerthai wrote:
So they plan to deliver the two test planes early (second quarter 2021 as opposed to third quarter). Manufacturing and integration must have gone smoothly.

Add to that with the Democrat controlling the Senate, and Washington State has two senior Democratic Senators (arguably as pro-Boeing as any Democratic politician can get since Norm Dicks), it will be hard to cut back this program now. At least for the next two years.

bt

The F-15 is made in St. Louis, Missouri.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Wed Feb 03, 2021 11:41 pm

ThePointblank wrote:
The F-15 is made in St. Louis, Missouri.


Yep. Been there, seen the production line. The Boeing lobby does not differentiate itself as defense, or commercial.

There is a large contingent of Boeing Defense worker in the Puget Sound area. So if St. Louis sells F-15s the Puget Sound defense workers will also gets the benefit.

Case in point, Boeing Defense carried the company all of last year. Because of that, their employee will get a larger performance bonus this years than their commercial counterpart. Those in the defense division in the Puget Sound includes P-8, KC-46 workers and to a lesser extent VC-25B.

This bonus will be a shot the arm for the local community during this pandemic. You can be sure, those Senators will be well aware of the ramification, even if some of the local politicians don't.

Note also that Boeing success in the commercial arena will also be noticed in Missouri as Boeing is starting to move significant commercial sub-component work there.

bt
 
 
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Nomadd
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Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Thu Feb 04, 2021 8:41 pm

kc135topboom wrote:
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/boeing-s-f-15ex-with-digital-backbone-completes-its-first-test-flight/ar-BB1doEFt?ocid=msedgdhp

"the entire run of 144 planes expected to cost no more than $23 billion"

So, paying $160 million per F-15 instead of half that for F-35s is "the more budget-conscious option"?
 
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bikerthai
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Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Fri Feb 05, 2021 4:00 am

Nomadd wrote:
So, paying $160 million per F-15 instead of half that for F-35s is "the more budget-conscious option"?


Really depends on which budget you are saving doesn't it?

How much more would it cost to train extra pilots switch over the 15 pilots to man more F-35's while maintaining required operation level? If there are enough pilots out there to be trained.

I read somewhere that even with two engines cost of operating the new F-15 will be less than the F-35 per flight hours.

Ozair may dispute this, but that's what the selling point of the F-15. The article also talked about the possibility of getting more F-16s. So it's not strictly a bone for Boeing.

bt
 
CRJockey
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Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Fri Feb 05, 2021 10:06 am

bikerthai wrote:
I read somewhere that even with two engines cost of operating the new F-15 will be less than the F-35 per flight hours.



That is somehow hard to imagine if you stick to flight associated cost. Surely, if you unfairly distribute any given share of R&D expenses over the fleet, I can see the F15 being cheaper in the hour. Otherwise? Not so much. But would be interesting to see non-tilted numbers.
 
Ozair
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Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Fri Feb 05, 2021 11:48 am

bikerthai wrote:
Nomadd wrote:
So, paying $160 million per F-15 instead of half that for F-35s is "the more budget-conscious option"?


Really depends on which budget you are saving doesn't it?

How much more would it cost to train extra pilots switch over the 15 pilots to man more F-35's while maintaining required operation level? If there are enough pilots out there to be trained.

There isn't a cost saving for the F-15EX as far as acquisition cost, the URF is a minimum of US$87 million as per the USAF budget docs and increases every FY to 2025. where the URF is around US$100 million (budgeted, not actuals yet of course).

The cost saving comes somewhat as you suggest with using existing infrastructure and spares, already trained aircrew/maintenance staff etc. The USAF will have to, at least for the first few lots, be using different engines (GE instead of PW) so there are some costs associated with them although the USAF does use the F110 on the F-16. The USAF has also confirmed F-15EX will initially be flown as single seat.

The main reason the USAF is doing this is fighter availability numbers. If they convert ANG units to the F-35 from the F-15C it will take approx 3 years for the unit to be back at trained levels. That same squadron should be able to convert to F-15EX from F-15C in about 6 months. Makes sense then to top up the ANG with these aircraft and with the production numbers it should be a squadron a year.

bikerthai wrote:
I read somewhere that even with two engines cost of operating the new F-15 will be less than the F-35 per flight hours.

At the moment the USAF lists the F-35 per hour cost at 35k but that is dropping rapidly as older Blk aircraft are upgraded and the spares situation stabilises. LM is aiming for 25k by 2025, not sure they will get there for the USAF but the recently released Australian DoD budget docs list a per hour cost of US$24k (appreciating that it is very hard to compare one nation's per hour cost to another).

The USAF lists the F-15E at around the US$30k per flight hour. Boeing are claiming 27k per flight hour for the F-15EX but I don't consider that realistic, at least past the first couple of years.

bikerthai wrote:
Ozair may dispute this, but that's what the selling point of the F-15. The article also talked about the possibility of getting more F-16s. So it's not strictly a bone for Boeing.


There won't be any more F-16s, there simply isn't enough rationale to do so. This is the USAF trying to send LM a signal on the sustainment cost of the jet being too high. If LM can make that 25k in 2025 then I expect the USAF will increase their yearly buy of F-35 from the 60 planned to 80 as the fleet will have stabilised and all Blk 4 upgrades, which the USAF really wants, will have been completed.
 
Ozair
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Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Fri Feb 05, 2021 12:01 pm

CRJockey wrote:
bikerthai wrote:
I read somewhere that even with two engines cost of operating the new F-15 will be less than the F-35 per flight hours.



That is somehow hard to imagine if you stick to flight associated cost. Surely, if you unfairly distribute any given share of R&D expenses over the fleet, I can see the F15 being cheaper in the hour. Otherwise? Not so much. But would be interesting to see non-tilted numbers.

I did a comparison the other day on using the F-15E versus the F-16C in a DCA profile. The numbers come from a RAND study which I can link if anyone is interested. The jist is that the F-15E was getting about 25 minutes more loiter time for the DCA profile, something like 160 versus 135. The interesting comparison though was that both jets were maxed with three tanks and the F-15E also had the CFTs. The F-15E fuel used for the profile was 36K lbs while the F-16 was using only 17.5K lbs...

Put that in context then, even just for fuel an F-15E was using about 1.7 times the fuel for an extra 2 AAMs. To put it in further context, the F-35A has 18k lbs of internal fuel (no coincidence that is close to max F-16C fuel load with three tanks), so would fly that DCA profile with six AAMs internal, essentially minimal drag, compared to F-15E and F-16C. That is where the impressive range comes from and why F-35 pilots have stated they have more range than F-15E. Minimal drag also means the F-35A is going to be able to accelerate faster and fly faster, hence why the top speed of M1.6 is actually realistic and obtainable.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Fri Feb 05, 2021 12:40 pm

Besides the internal weapon bay, don't forget that the F-35 have significantly larger percentage of composite structure that gives it a greater weight advantage over both the F-16 and the F-15.

I wonder if you just take the F-35 and eliminate any radar absorbing coating, thus the associated maintenance, will you get significantly reduced maintenance hours?

Even with out the coatings, the radar profile would still be pretty good.

bt
 
744SPX
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Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Fri Feb 05, 2021 2:14 pm

bikerthai wrote:
Besides the internal weapon bay, don't forget that the F-35 have significantly larger percentage of composite structure that gives it a greater weight advantage over both the F-16 and the F-15.

I wonder if you just take the F-35 and eliminate any radar absorbing coating, thus the associated maintenance, will you get significantly reduced maintenance hours?

Even with out the coatings, the radar profile would still be pretty good.

bt


It would have the added benefit of removing the restrictions on supersonic flight time and solve the issue of the afterburner damaging the stealth coatings.

The coatings seem to be more trouble than they are worth.
 
744SPX
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Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Fri Feb 05, 2021 2:16 pm

Ozair wrote:
CRJockey wrote:
bikerthai wrote:
I read somewhere that even with two engines cost of operating the new F-15 will be less than the F-35 per flight hours.



That is somehow hard to imagine if you stick to flight associated cost. Surely, if you unfairly distribute any given share of R&D expenses over the fleet, I can see the F15 being cheaper in the hour. Otherwise? Not so much. But would be interesting to see non-tilted numbers.

I did a comparison the other day on using the F-15E versus the F-16C in a DCA profile. The numbers come from a RAND study which I can link if anyone is interested. The jist is that the F-15E was getting about 25 minutes more loiter time for the DCA profile, something like 160 versus 135. The interesting comparison though was that both jets were maxed with three tanks and the F-15E also had the CFTs. The F-15E fuel used for the profile was 36K lbs while the F-16 was using only 17.5K lbs...

Put that in context then, even just for fuel an F-15E was using about 1.7 times the fuel for an extra 2 AAMs. To put it in further context, the F-35A has 18k lbs of internal fuel (no coincidence that is close to max F-16C fuel load with three tanks), so would fly that DCA profile with six AAMs internal, essentially minimal drag, compared to F-15E and F-16C. That is where the impressive range comes from and why F-35 pilots have stated they have more range than F-15E. Minimal drag also means the F-35A is going to be able to accelerate faster and fly faster, hence why the top speed of M1.6 is actually realistic and obtainable.


...and how often is the Eagle going to be flown with 36k of fuel? Pretty much never.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Fri Feb 05, 2021 2:51 pm

744SPX wrote:
It would have the added benefit of removing the restrictions on supersonic flight time and solve the issue of the afterburner damaging the stealth coatings.


That is one thing that composite can not do well.

Even though the F-35 has the high temp composite that can handle higher temperature than regular graphite epoxy, at supersonic speed the skin temperature will heat up.

With a metal skin, the heat conduct to the fuel in the wing much more quickly, thus keeping the skin temperature lower longer. With composite being less conductive, that surface ply will reach the higher temperature faster.

Supposedly the F-35 high temp composite skin can handle the higher temperature than the F-15 aluminum skin. But I suppose the paint may not fare as well.

bt
 
Ozair
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Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Fri Feb 05, 2021 9:12 pm

744SPX wrote:
Ozair wrote:
CRJockey wrote:

That is somehow hard to imagine if you stick to flight associated cost. Surely, if you unfairly distribute any given share of R&D expenses over the fleet, I can see the F15 being cheaper in the hour. Otherwise? Not so much. But would be interesting to see non-tilted numbers.

I did a comparison the other day on using the F-15E versus the F-16C in a DCA profile. The numbers come from a RAND study which I can link if anyone is interested. The jist is that the F-15E was getting about 25 minutes more loiter time for the DCA profile, something like 160 versus 135. The interesting comparison though was that both jets were maxed with three tanks and the F-15E also had the CFTs. The F-15E fuel used for the profile was 36K lbs while the F-16 was using only 17.5K lbs...

Put that in context then, even just for fuel an F-15E was using about 1.7 times the fuel for an extra 2 AAMs. To put it in further context, the F-35A has 18k lbs of internal fuel (no coincidence that is close to max F-16C fuel load with three tanks), so would fly that DCA profile with six AAMs internal, essentially minimal drag, compared to F-15E and F-16C. That is where the impressive range comes from and why F-35 pilots have stated they have more range than F-15E. Minimal drag also means the F-35A is going to be able to accelerate faster and fly faster, hence why the top speed of M1.6 is actually realistic and obtainable.


...and how often is the Eagle going to be flown with 36k of fuel? Pretty much never.

The RAND study, https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/p ... /DB102.pdf starting on page 77, provided that configuration because it gave the best endurance in the DCA config, acknowledge it is a max fuel config, but it is very standard for the F-15E to fly with the CFTs and two external tanks, so 32k of fuel. F-15Cs rarely fly with the centreline as the drag is less with two wing tanks than a single centreline. The thing to remember is an F-15E or EX with AAM weapons on the CFTS is carriage limited to 660KCAS or M1.4 while with some A2G weapons they are restricted to subsonic speeds (source is the F-15E -1). I expect the F-15EX will fly with the CFTs and two tanks except perhaps when conducting BFM training but ... given the F-15EX for the USAF is initially going to ANG units who will use them single seat in an air superiority role, not a pound for air to ground to quote the initial Eagle mantra, perhaps the CFTs will be removed and rarely flown with.
 
Ozair
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Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Fri Feb 05, 2021 9:30 pm

bikerthai wrote:
Besides the internal weapon bay, don't forget that the F-35 have significantly larger percentage of composite structure that gives it a greater weight advantage over both the F-16 and the F-15.

It does but holes inside planes are heavy... The internal weapons bay results in a higher empty weight than if the aircraft were restricted to external carriage only. Likley a lot les than carrying that payload, either fuel or weapons, external but still a factor.

bikerthai wrote:
I wonder if you just take the F-35 and eliminate any radar absorbing coating, thus the associated maintenance, will you get significantly reduced maintenance hours?

Even with out the coatings, the radar profile would still be pretty good.

bt

Perhaps but the radar coating is baked into the skin of the aircraft at manufacture. Remove that and the rest of the external treatments, including the IR reduction paint, you would still get an RCS reduction based on planform alignment, better likely than most 4.5gen aircraft but probably not markedly so.

Remove the coatings though and you lose the massive advantage, in both offensive and defensive scenarios, the VLO provides. I think that is significant enough to make that extra maintenance cost worth it. If the per hour cost does come down to F-16 levels, and cost effective stealth management was the whole point of the program, then the sky is the limit.
 
Ozair
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Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Fri Feb 05, 2021 9:33 pm

744SPX wrote:
bikerthai wrote:
Besides the internal weapon bay, don't forget that the F-35 have significantly larger percentage of composite structure that gives it a greater weight advantage over both the F-16 and the F-15.

I wonder if you just take the F-35 and eliminate any radar absorbing coating, thus the associated maintenance, will you get significantly reduced maintenance hours?

Even with out the coatings, the radar profile would still be pretty good.

bt


It would have the added benefit of removing the restrictions on supersonic flight time and solve the issue of the afterburner damaging the stealth coatings.

The coatings seem to be more trouble than they are worth.

Just to be clear the A model that the USAF operates has no supersonic restrictions, that is only in place for the B and C model and only in very specific parts of the flight envelope.
 
tomcat
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Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Sat Feb 06, 2021 10:13 pm

Ozair wrote:
bikerthai wrote:
Besides the internal weapon bay, don't forget that the F-35 have significantly larger percentage of composite structure that gives it a greater weight advantage over both the F-16 and the F-15.

It does but holes inside planes are heavy... The internal weapons bay results in a higher empty weight than if the aircraft were restricted to external carriage only. Likley a lot les than carrying that payload, either fuel or weapons, external but still a factor.


Also because of this internal bay the frontal area of the F-35 seems much bigger than the one of the F-16. The F-35 must need more thrust than a lightly loaded F-16 to maintain the same speed as the latter.
 
LightningZ71
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Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Sun Feb 07, 2021 1:02 am

It’s certainly not a leap on logic that a clean (and near useless) f16 has a lower drag profile than an F-35 with two sraam and two mraam. However, when you load that same load out on the F-16, and you give it enough tanks to max out its range, it now flies more like a pig, has a bunch more drag, still doesn’t match the range, and can be spotted from orbit with a high school science project quality radar. Want it to have the same targeting and jamming capability that the F-35 has? That’s two more pods.
 
RJMAZ
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Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Sun Feb 07, 2021 6:53 am

I still can't believe the F-15EX is being ordered. I guess this is the price of keeping a production line open. No objective procurement process would have allowed the F-15EX to be purchased.

The problem was transitioning to the F-35 caused a short term shortage of operational pilots and maintenance crews. Instead of spending millions of dollars to speed up transition to the F-35 they are spending billions on F-15EX.

This was an easy staff management issue solved by shuffling around the right people, extra hiring and running some training in parallel to keep the squadrons operational. This would have resulted in thousands of extra flight hours put on the current available F-35 aircraft in the short term. But in 20 years time when there are 1000+ F-35 aircraft the flight hours are totally insignificant.

Was it Boeing trying to keep the line open or Senators trying to keep jobs in their electorate? I guess they need to fabricate a semi believable excuse to justify the purchase.

I'm not fooled one bit.

LightningZ71 wrote:
However, when you load that same load out on the F-16, and you give it enough tanks to max out its range, it now flies more like a pig, has a bunch more drag, still doesn’t match the range,

A pig indeed. The F-16 carrying two 2,000lb bombs and two AMRAAM missiles can only fly half of the distance of the F-35 when both are using internal fuel. Add three external fuel tanks to the F-16 and it still can't fly as far as the F-35. The F-16 can no longer fly supersonic in this layout and it is limited to 5G off memory. Transit speed with the tanks is also about 20% slower. The F-35 can still hit Mach 1.6 and can perform 9G.
 
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seahawk
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Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Sun Feb 07, 2021 8:50 am

Every plane but the F-35 is obsolete. (Only exception might be the Russian and Chinese 5th gen. designs)
 
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bikerthai
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Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Sun Feb 07, 2021 2:17 pm

RJMAZ wrote:
Was it Boeing trying to keep the line open or Senators trying to keep jobs in their electorate? I guess they need to fabricate a semi believable excuse to justify the purchase.


It is politics alright, but I doubt the Senators in Boeing's camp has anything to do with the initial concept.

Recall the idea came at the time when Trump hired the Boeing Exec to become Sec of Def. Because of domestic issue, he was never confirmed. But the idea lived on. It would not have lasted that long if there isn't some backing from some faction in the Pentagon.

My sense is, and maybe Ozair would agree, that the F-15X is the only card the Pentagon has to make sure the cost per flight hour for the F-35 comes down as promised. Its like paying for insurance. You burn money on something that you may never use, but it's there in case your other plan doesn't work out.

Besides, if the F-35 operation cost goes down, you can always integrate the F-15X in to the F-15E squadrons which will operate way into the future.

If you really want political intrigue, then one could suggests that its the Israelis who really wanted the F-15X but wanted the US to pay for the R&D. And if by some miracle the Indians decides to buy some F-15's, then I'd say the gambit worked for how much tax payer money was spent.

bt
 
texl1649
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Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Sun Feb 07, 2021 2:27 pm

The F-15EX program justification also is based on the fact that you don’t really need stealth for an interceptor (homeland defense). It’s job is often to...visibly show up, after all.

Cost aside, a diversity both industrially, and operationally, in the TACAIR fleet is a good thing. By 2040, maybe something from the new ‘century series’ will be on the cusp of acquisition/opeval but putting all of your eggs in one basket isn’t a great idea for a fleet the size of the USAF. There was a near term training/capability gap, and a long term benefit to diversity which alike make the Eagle a good fit for at least a couple more decades, imho.

Finally, as a missile truck, possibly integrated with F-35 data links, it’s a great sled.

https://www.19fortyfive.com/2021/02/why ... s-fighter/

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/ ... ets-177601

And frankly, if a cost effective long term replacement can then be procured, I’m sure the used EX aircraft can be sold to allies as used but very capable non-stealth aircraft.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Sun Feb 07, 2021 3:22 pm

texl1649 wrote:
Cost aside, a diversity both industrially, and operationally, in the TACAIR fleet is a good thing.


Seems like this is the new thinking coming from the Pentagon. Distribute your assets across multiple platforms. This started with the canceling of the J-STARS replacement.

bt
 
Ozair
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Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Sun Feb 07, 2021 9:51 pm

bikerthai wrote:

It is politics alright, but I doubt the Senators in Boeing's camp has anything to do with the initial concept.

Recall the idea came at the time when Trump hired the Boeing Exec to become Sec of Def. Because of domestic issue, he was never confirmed. But the idea lived on. It would not have lasted that long if there isn't some backing from some faction in the Pentagon.

To clarify, the idea didn’t come from Shanahan, it came from Mattis,
At the rollout of the 2020 defense budget request, however, Pentagon Comptroller Elaine A. McCusker revealed that it was former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis who ordered the Air Force to buy new Eagles.
Creating a “balance between the fourth and fifth-generation aircraft… [was] a decision that was made by Secretary Mattis before he left,” she said, noting that he had paid a lot of attention to “our cost calculus” in the field of tactical aviation.

https://www.airforcemag.com/article/f-1 ... t-ask-for/

bikerthai wrote:
My sense is, and maybe Ozair would agree, that the F-15X is the only card the Pentagon has to make sure the cost per flight hour for the F-35 comes down as promised. Its like paying for insurance. You burn money on something that you may never use, but it's there in case your other plan doesn't work out.

No I don’t think the EX buy has anything to do with the F-35 sustainment cost, the buy was in place before F-35 sustainment became an issue the USAF was complaining about. It really is about force structure numbers. The USAF has been clear it needs to bring in approx. 72 fighters every year to maintain the force and retire older airframes.

In this case the F-15EX makes sense because it replaces an aging out fleet with a new airfraems and significantly reduces the time for the squadron to convert.
“There’s 80-90 percent commonality” between the F-15C and the F-15EX, Krumm said, noting that the new aircraft can use all the aerospace ground equipment now used for the C-model of the Eagle.
“That’s all already in the inventory,” he said, but the similarity of aircraft also means “we’re looking at a transition time of months—less than six months”—to transition units now flying the C-model to the EX. “Typically, [with] an Active unit, that [process] takes 18 months; with the Guard, it takes three years.” He went on to say that “If you average that out, Active and Guard, each time we do that we save about two years of readiness,” meaning aircraft available for combat, “And that’s important for us.”

Same source link as above.

What we do know is they got the acquisition numbers wrong, the aircraft isn’t cheaper to acquire than the F-35 but that is okay, the time for conversion is more important to the USAF than the acquisition cost being US$10-20 million higher per aircraft.

bikerthai wrote:
Besides, if the F-35 operation cost goes down, you can always integrate the F-15X in to the F-15E squadrons which will operate way into the future.

That is possibly the plan. The USAF could move the F-15Es back to the ANG and move the EX to the active force. Not sure it will happen, the EX isn’t significantly better than the E and that would be another 6 month transition but never say never…

bikerthai wrote:
If you really want political intrigue, then one could suggests that its the Israelis who really wanted the F-15X but wanted the US to pay for the R&D. And if by some miracle the Indians decides to buy some F-15's, then I'd say the gambit worked for how much tax payer money was spent.

The USAF paid and has paid very little for EX development, it was almost exclusively funded by SA and Qatar. The major difference between the QA and EX is EPAWSS which was already funded and being integrated onto the F-15E fleet. Israel may get some but have declared recently that the next 25 F035s will come first before a decision on the F-15 fleet. Now the USAF has ordered they don’t need to rush so can take their time and order in a year or two.

It is important to note the USAF is getting two aircraft this year and then no more until 2023 when the aircraft has finished T&E and the first squadron will begin conversion.
 
tomcat
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Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Sun Feb 07, 2021 10:43 pm

LightningZ71 wrote:
It’s certainly not a leap on logic that a clean (and near useless) f16 has a lower drag profile than an F-35 with two sraam and two mraam. However, when you load that same load out on the F-16, and you give it enough tanks to max out its range, it now flies more like a pig, has a bunch more drag, still doesn’t match the range, and can be spotted from orbit with a high school science project quality radar. Want it to have the same targeting and jamming capability that the F-35 has? That’s two more pods.


The F-35 is indeed a more capable aircraft than the F-16 but in practice, if the cost per hour is a concern, what percentage of its operational life will an F-16 fly with a significant load out? Also, when you compare the respective [max practical bomb weight]/thrust ratios of the F-16 and the F-35, one wonders why the F-35 is so powerful especially considering that it is so slow. It seems that a lot of power is required to push it through the air.
 
Ozair
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Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Mon Feb 08, 2021 12:57 am

tomcat wrote:
The F-35 is indeed a more capable aircraft than the F-16 but in practice, if the cost per hour is a concern, what percentage of its operational life will an F-16 fly with a significant load out?

When you say operational life do you mean on combat operations/deployments or do you mean every single flight hour the aircraft will fly? Generally when factoring in operational life I think it is valuable to consider the aircraft actually conducting combat operations. It might only be a small subset of overall use but that is the whole point of acquiring the aircraft. If it can’t execute the combat missions you want it to do the money you save in peacetime is somewhat meaningless.

tomcat wrote:
Also, when you compare the respective [max practical bomb weight]/thrust ratios of the F-16 and the F-35

A review of the specs for the two aircraft show the following,
F-35A
empty weight – 29k lbs
Gross weight – 49.5k lbs
MTOW – 70k lbs

F-16C
empty weight – 19k lbs
Gross weight – 26.5k lbs
MTOW – 42.5k lbs

So the delta between an F-35 and an F-16 is only 10k in empty weight but total payload weight is 27.5k lbs. Makes sense given the F-35 carries 18k of fuel internally and is also capable of lifting 18k of ordnance with internal and external payload. The F-35 empty weight also includes an EW system and TGT pod which are external extras for the F-16C.
tomcat wrote:
one wonders why the F-35 is so powerful especially considering that it is so slow. It seems that a lot of power is required to push it through the air.

The maximum speed of the F-16 commonly listed is not obtainable by an operationally representative aircraft, same as the M2.5 claims of the F-15. If you review the F-16C Dash 1 available here, https://info.publicintelligence.net/HAF ... lement.pdf

You can see starting on page A8-7 the various maximum speeds for the aircraft at various altitudes and drag configurations. As a comparison according to the Dash 1
Drag 7 only wingtip AAMs
Drag 50 wingtip AAMs with pylons under the wings
Drag 72 wingtip AAMs and two Mk84
Drag 136 two 370 gal fuel tanks and two Mk84s and wingtip AAMs

Therefore the F-16 is limited just over M1.8 at Drag 50, limited to M1.7 at Drag 100, limited to M1.4 at drag 150. Now put that in context with the fuel and weapon loads of the jet, the above config with highest fuel load of the F-16 (drag 136) has 12.5k and only two bombs and two AAMs. That is a very similar config to the F-35 with two internal AIM-120 and two Mk-84 JDAMs. The difference is if you add a TGT pod to the F-16 (very standard for A2G work, can’t remember the last time the F-16 dropped via CCIP only and is standard even for JDAM use) the drag goes up to 158, now the F-16 is limited to less than M1.4. Add an ECM pod on again and the drag increases again. Those are max AB numbers noting the F-35 has a higher bypass engine that is more efficient and carries more fuel in every single configuration than the F-16 in USAF service. (An F-16 with CFTs could increase total fuel over an F-35 but suffers a weapons payload penalty).

Meanwhile the F-35 has a small increase in drag from additional weight to the airframe when loading with fuel/weapons but with internal carriage it is significantly less than the above. In the above drag numbers the F-16 with wingtip AAMs is listed as drag 7. I have seen reports (although cannot prove it via sourcing) the F-35 in comparable configuration is drag 9. If that is true it is a massive difference but also makes sense, a lot of aerodynamic improvements have occurred between the F-16 and F-35 and additionally the F-35 likely has more body lift than the F-16, which already had something like 45% of lift coming from the body in some flight regions.

Finally it is worth reviewing the comments made by a Norwegian F-35 pilot who also flew F-16s in Libya.

- Depending on the mission, the F-35 enjoys a 30-70 percent higher combat radius
- In Libya, operating from Crete, F-16 typically had to refuel several times - the F-35 would have done the whole mission without refueling

- In a similar full combat configuration F-35 cruises comfortably 10-15000 feet higher in MIL power than the F-16
- F-35 has a 50-80 kts higher cruising speed in this scenario
- F-16 needs full AB in order to turn at high altitude whereas F-35 can operate in MIL
- F-16 has to use AB to gain speed to extend missile range where as the F-35 cruises higher and faster and thus doesn't need to

Modern air combat; The Right Stuff, Top Gun or something else entirely?
https://translate.google.com/translate? ... t-annet%2F
 
744SPX
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Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Mon Feb 08, 2021 5:10 am

That's some eye-opening info Ozair. All the more reason to take full advantage of the F-35's design and try to free up as much internal space as possible. I think it is realistic (if a little effort was made) to carry these combinations completely internally:

6 AMRAAM and 2 ASRAAM/AIM-9x
4 Meteor and 4 ASRAAM/AIM-9X
6 Meteor and 2 ASRAAM/AIM-9X (this might be more difficult)

Given that AIM-9X and ASRAAM (in particular) have nearly non-existent fins, that should be doable.
Both 8-missile combinations come out to only 2400 lbs of weight, far below maximum internal payload. For the F-35A in air to air mode, external stores of any type should be a rarity, an exception to the rule. A number of aerodynamic compromises (area ruling in particular) were made to enable internal storage and stealth, so everything you hang on the outside will have a disproportionately large impact on aerodynamics vs 4th gen aircraft. I also think the gun in the A model should either be removed entirely or replaced with the Mauser BK-27. It is without doubt the draggiest "internal" gun mounting in history, and has very little ammo. Its basically an externally mounted gun with the bodywork extended out and over it. The Mauser revolver cannon would at least have a much lower profile and make better use of the limited space for ammunition as it has no spin up time.

In these A to A configurations with full internal fuel you would have a TO weight of just under 50,000 lbs. Add in a 50K version of the F-135 or the new adaptive engine (at the cost of some engine life perhaps, which given the longevity of current US gas turbines is a no-brainer trade-off) and you have a 1 to 1 thrust to weight ratio at TO and a fighter/interceptor with truly excellent kinematics and zero limitations on speed (which could possibly be increased to mach 1.8 if it isn't already there for the A model).
 
Ozair
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Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Mon Feb 08, 2021 10:33 am

744SPX wrote:
That's some eye-opening info Ozair. All the more reason to take full advantage of the F-35's design and try to free up as much internal space as possible. I think it is realistic (if a little effort was made) to carry these combinations completely internally:

6 AMRAAM and 2 ASRAAM/AIM-9x
4 Meteor and 4 ASRAAM/AIM-9X
6 Meteor and 2 ASRAAM/AIM-9X (this might be more difficult)

Given that AIM-9X and ASRAAM (in particular) have nearly non-existent fins, that should be doable. Both 8-missile combinations come out to only 2400 lbs of weight, far below maximum internal payload.

I doubt the program will spend the money on that. A far more likely situation is a mixed load of Peregrine and AIM-260 missiles, perhaps in the case of the F-35 one AIM-260/Meteor of each door and four peregrine on the A2G station. That would give a ten AAM load out.

744SPX wrote:
For the F-35A in air to air mode, external stores of any type should be a rarity, an exception to the rule. A number of aerodynamic compromises (area ruling in particular) were made to enable internal storage and stealth, so everything you hang on the outside will have a disproportionately large impact on aerodynamics vs 4th gen aircraft. I also think the gun in the A model should either be removed entirely or replaced with the Mauser BK-27. It is without doubt the draggiest "internal" gun mounting in history, and has very little ammo. Its basically an externally mounted gun with the bodywork extended out and over it. The Mauser revolver cannon would at least have a much lower profile and make better use of the limited space for ammunition as it has no spin up time.

The BK-27 was initially selected as the gun for the aircraft but it changed to the GAU-22, maybe in 03 or 04. A better option IMO as a weapon suited to both A2A and A2G work. Agree the positioning isn't great but I'm not sure there would be a better position had it still been the BK-27.

744SPX wrote:
In these A to A configurations with full internal fuel you would have a TO weight of just under 50,000 lbs. Add in a 50K version of the F-135 or the new adaptive engine (at the cost of some engine life perhaps, which given the longevity of current US gas turbines is a no-brainer trade-off) and you have a 1 to 1 thrust to weight ratio at TO and a fighter/interceptor with truly excellent kinematics and zero limitations on speed (which could possibly be increased to mach 1.8 if it isn't already there for the A model).

Yeah there is some great potential in the airframe still to realise. Perhaps it comes in the form of an F-35D in 2030 or an A+?
 
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seahawk
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Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Mon Feb 08, 2021 4:44 pm

Any plane that is not a F-35 is just a target.
 
texl1649
Posts: 1963
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Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Mon Feb 08, 2021 6:55 pm

seahawk wrote:
Any plane that is not a F-35 is just a target.


I laughed, but in the world of in-production today fighters that’s not really an understatement. Again, LOL, good post.
 
744SPX
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Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Mon Feb 08, 2021 10:05 pm

Ozair wrote:
744SPX wrote:
That's some eye-opening info Ozair. All the more reason to take full advantage of the F-35's design and try to free up as much internal space as possible. I think it is realistic (if a little effort was made) to carry these combinations completely internally:

6 AMRAAM and 2 ASRAAM/AIM-9x
4 Meteor and 4 ASRAAM/AIM-9X
6 Meteor and 2 ASRAAM/AIM-9X (this might be more difficult)

Given that AIM-9X and ASRAAM (in particular) have nearly non-existent fins, that should be doable. Both 8-missile combinations come out to only 2400 lbs of weight, far below maximum internal payload.

I doubt the program will spend the money on that. A far more likely situation is a mixed load of Peregrine and AIM-260 missiles, perhaps in the case of the F-35 one AIM-260/Meteor of each door and four peregrine on the A2G station. That would give a ten AAM load out.

744SPX wrote:
For the F-35A in air to air mode, external stores of any type should be a rarity, an exception to the rule. A number of aerodynamic compromises (area ruling in particular) were made to enable internal storage and stealth, so everything you hang on the outside will have a disproportionately large impact on aerodynamics vs 4th gen aircraft. I also think the gun in the A model should either be removed entirely or replaced with the Mauser BK-27. It is without doubt the draggiest "internal" gun mounting in history, and has very little ammo. Its basically an externally mounted gun with the bodywork extended out and over it. The Mauser revolver cannon would at least have a much lower profile and make better use of the limited space for ammunition as it has no spin up time.

The BK-27 was initially selected as the gun for the aircraft but it changed to the GAU-22, maybe in 03 or 04. A better option IMO as a weapon suited to both A2A and A2G work. Agree the positioning isn't great but I'm not sure there would be a better position had it still been the BK-27.

744SPX wrote:
In these A to A configurations with full internal fuel you would have a TO weight of just under 50,000 lbs. Add in a 50K version of the F-135 or the new adaptive engine (at the cost of some engine life perhaps, which given the longevity of current US gas turbines is a no-brainer trade-off) and you have a 1 to 1 thrust to weight ratio at TO and a fighter/interceptor with truly excellent kinematics and zero limitations on speed (which could possibly be increased to mach 1.8 if it isn't already there for the A model).

Yeah there is some great potential in the airframe still to realise. Perhaps it comes in the form of an F-35D in 2030 or an A+?


I forgot about the Peregrine. That could probably improve internal loadout to 10-12
 
steman
Posts: 1677
Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2000 4:55 pm

Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Wed Feb 10, 2021 11:03 am

Hello everyone,

I would like to ask a question regarding the naming of the F-15EX.
I am sorry if it has been written before but I can´t get through all the posts and the search function is lacklustre at best

Will the USAF call the new variant F-15EX? Or is this just Boeing´s commercial name like F-15QA , F-15SG, F-15I, F-15K or F-15SA?
Shouldn´t the USAF version be called F-15F?

Thank you
 
Ozair
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Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Wed Feb 10, 2021 11:20 am

steman wrote:
Hello everyone,

I would like to ask a question regarding the naming of the F-15EX.
I am sorry if it has been written before but I can´t get through all the posts and the search function is lacklustre at best

Will the USAF call the new variant F-15EX? Or is this just Boeing´s commercial name like F-15QA , F-15SG, F-15I, F-15K or F-15SA?
Shouldn´t the USAF version be called F-15F?

Thank you

It is referred to as F-15EX in the USAF budget docs so that is likely going to be the name. It really is just an updated E model, the E has or is receiving a lot of the upgrades the EX has so no surprise they are keeping it similar. If we get a PW powered version they may give it, as with the F-16, a different block number to distinguish the engine.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Wed Feb 10, 2021 12:38 pm

I would not write F-15EX in stone just yet. The two frames being delivered are still test frames. There is still a chance they will revise the nomenclature by the time the first production frame is delivered.

I would place my bet on F-15F or F-15US.

bt
 
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bikerthai
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Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Fri Mar 12, 2021 2:51 pm

 
Toddice09
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Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Sat Mar 13, 2021 3:15 am

What isn’t the EX called the F-15D?
 
VMCA787
Posts: 264
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Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Sat Mar 13, 2021 7:53 am

Toddice09 wrote:
What isn’t the EX called the F-15D?

Because thee is already an F-15D.

Could be an F model or some other alpha designatorf.
 
texl1649
Posts: 1963
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Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Sat Mar 13, 2021 12:33 pm

Interesting reference to hypersonic missile sled duties in the future;

“ In addition, it’s capable of carrying hypersonic weapons, giving it a niche role in future near-peer conflicts," Colonel Dorey, the Air Force's F-15EX Program Manager, said in his statement. This role has been hinted at by both the service and Boeing in the past and was something that we here at The War Zone posited could be a secondary mission set for the aircraft when we broke the F-15EX story back in 2018. This does appear to be the first official confirmation that it is, at least, actively being explored as a role for these new aircraft.

It's not clear what, if any, specific hypersonic weapon the Air Force might be looking at integrating onto the F-15EX already, but there are a number of possible options, including multiple air-breathing hypersonic cruise missiles, in various stages of development now. Boeing, in the past, has said that the F-15EX's centerline pylon can accommodate weapons up to 22 feet long and that weigh up to around 7,000 pounds. It has shown off a model with a notional 7,300-pound hypersonic missile previously, as well.”

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/3 ... -air-force
 
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bikerthai
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Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Sat Mar 13, 2021 1:49 pm

texl1649 wrote:
22 feet long and that weigh up to around 7,000 pounds.


Something like the AGM-183A (3-3.5 tons?) which had a flight test delayed recently.

bt
 
Toddice09
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Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Sat Mar 13, 2021 5:47 pm

Lol. I meant to say F-15F. Not sure why I said D.
 
Newark727
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Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2009 6:42 pm

Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Mon Mar 15, 2021 4:31 am

They won't call it the F-15F because that would make too much sense.
 
744SPX
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Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Mon Mar 15, 2021 5:24 am

Newark727 wrote:
They won't call it the F-15F because that would make too much sense.


How true.

They seem to feel the need these days to hype things up more than they used to, as with the "MAX" nomenclature.
 
dk1967
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Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Mon Mar 15, 2021 11:04 am

Was the CX ultimately not chosen just due to production simplicity/availability (meaning only two seaters still in production), or were there operational reasons as well?
 
889091
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Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Mon Mar 15, 2021 11:23 am

Is the USAF going to be flying the EX around with an empty rear seat, or will they be removing that to save some weight?
 
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bikerthai
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Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Mon Mar 15, 2021 1:25 pm

As I recall the option for single seat VS dual seat may still be pending. It is logical to keep the dual seat as this is a stop gap measure due to short term pilot training and other staffing issues.

Once they get past this crunch and or they get a new fighter (more F-35 as they told us last year they really wanted) the two seat configuration can be easily integrated into the E fleet which will be around for the foreseeable future
bt
 
744SPX
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Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Tue Mar 16, 2021 1:29 am

889091 wrote:
Is the USAF going to be flying the EX around with an empty rear seat, or will they be removing that to save some weight?


My personal preference was for the single seat version as its lighter and has a more aerodynamic canopy (and looks better IMHO) but alas, in the name of economies of scale that have been the USAF/DOD mantra since the early 80's, I doubt we will see it.(which is ironic, as the US military is perhaps the only one in the world that can actually afford to have more specialized aircraft)

It is interesting how the "Joint" language/philosophy that emerged with the end of the Cold War has further reinforced this approach. Less specialization, less innovation, less competition; which inevitably leads to designs that have to play it safe as there are few if any alternatives. Makes sense for a small country perhaps, and certainly wasn't the way this country's Air Force was run from the 40's to the 70's.

I'm just sayin'.
Last edited by 744SPX on Tue Mar 16, 2021 1:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
ThePointblank
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Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Tue Mar 16, 2021 1:37 am

744SPX wrote:
889091 wrote:
Is the USAF going to be flying the EX around with an empty rear seat, or will they be removing that to save some weight?


My personal preference was for the single seat version as its lighter and has a more aerodynamic canopy (and looks better IMHO) but alas, in the name of economies of scale that have been the DOD mantra since the early 80's, I doubt we will see it.

Boeing/McDonnell Douglas hasn't produced a single seat F-15 in decades, and I believe the tooling to produce single seat F-15's is gone. That's why every F-15 produced since the 1980's are all twin seat versions.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: USAF F-15EX News and Discussion Thread

Tue Mar 16, 2021 12:40 pm

744SPX wrote:
Less specialization, less innovation, less competition; which inevitably leads to designs that have to play it safe as there are few if any alternatives.


I wouldn't say the F-35 was playing it safe.

ThePointblank wrote:
and I believe the tooling to produce single seat F-15's is gone.


Which may be true, but that would not be the reason as there would not be that many tools required with the advanced digital manufacturing process they are using. Assuming the skin OML is the same for noth versions, then the only tool that would be different would be the canopy die. The majority of the internal structure would be made from simple sheet metal or high speed machining and would require minimal tooling.

I'm sure they could have gotten a single seat version if they want. My sense is it would have required new Engineering (at a minimum they would have had ro generate new digital design for the one seater configuration), which would have added at least six month to the design process, and perhaps 1 year (if not more) to the procurement and manufacturing flow, something at the time they could not afford.

Wait, wouldn't they still have tools for the single canopy as they still have to support the C fleet?

bt

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