DigitalSea
Posts: 119
Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:28 pm

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:30 am

You nerds are wandering off topic. Why would the government feel the F-15X is necessary? Are there any foreseeable issues with supply chain management RE: F-35? The contractors producing the F-35 can't just scale resources & production time on exponential/linear time scale, it's a complicated process. Maybe it's easier to fill in the gap for F-15s with alternative production rather than overpressuring the F-35 line. Regardless of whether the F-35 if is a more capable aircraft, the F-15 (which any pilot can tell you) is more than capable of fulfilling the roles it occupies. Get your head out of the book worm realm and use some common sense.
 
Ozair
Posts: 3790
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:01 am

DigitalSea wrote:
You nerds are wandering off topic. Why would the government feel the F-15X is necessary?

Industrial base decision for a start. The USAF also clearly has some concerns with upgrading the existing F-15C/D fleet and someone within the DoD doesn’t want to accept a lower availability of ANG units that comes if they convert to an aircraft that isn’t the F-15.

On the cost issue the following is an interesting quote
“There’s 80-90 percent commonality” between the F-15C and the F-15EX, Krumm said, adding the new aircraft can use all the aerospace ground equipment now used for the C-model of the Eagle.

http://airforcemag.com/Features/Pages/2 ... tform.aspx
So there is a significant saving from keeping all the same ground equipment and by extension hanger facilities etc with the F-15X which likely offsets the increased acquisition and operational cost of the aircraft compared to the F-35.

From the same source above is another interesting quote,
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 EX. “Typically, [with] an Active unit, that takes 18 months; with the Guard, it takes three years…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 use that would otherwise be sidelined, “And that’s important for us.”

The time to transition then could be as little as six months, which is 2.5 years less, for an ANG unit, than moving over to a new airframe such as the F-35. It really is a short term fix to the availability issue the USAF is facing while also getting rid of some maintenance heavy old airframes.

DigitalSea wrote:
Are there any foreseeable issues with supply chain management RE: F-35?

Turkey is the only obvious issue and even then they are the sole supplier on only two parts. Any Turkish disruption is expected to impact the line for between 3-6 months.

DigitalSea wrote:
The contractors producing the F-35 can't just scale resources & production time on exponential/linear time scale, it's a complicated process. Maybe it's easier to fill in the gap for F-15s with alternative production rather than overpressuring the F-35 line.

While it isn’t exponential the F-35 manufactured 91 aircraft last year, will do 131 this year and 167 two year afterwards. There is plenty of scale in the production line, especially as Congress keeps adding more aircraft each year, this budget submission is likely to see an additional 20 for a hundred aircraft across the three US services.

Conversely, the USAF will not receive the first F-15X for three and a half years and that first year will only see 8 aircraft delivered. With three and a half years notice the F-35 line could add another 30+ aircraft per year with little impact and replace the entire F-15C/D fleet in a little over

DigitalSea wrote:
Regardless of whether the F-35 if is a more capable aircraft, the F-15 (which any pilot can tell you) is more than capable of fulfilling the roles it occupies.

The F-15X is obviously able to replace the F-15C/D in its role. The question is whether it is a worthwhile investment to spend the same and more money on the F-15X today when it won’t be able to fulfil the roles the USAF require in 10 years. Earlier in the thread I quoted the US Office of the Secretary of Defense who made it very clear the F-15X won’t be operated against a near peer adversary and would only be used in an air environment where air superiority was assured.

DigitalSea wrote:
Get your head out of the book worm realm and use some common sense.

Common sense is the USAF never asked for the F-15X but are essentially having it forced upon them. They have made it perfectly clear that they want more F-35s and if the F-15X comes at the expense of that it is the wrong choice… The issue is they also want availability and therefore, as long as Congress keeps adding F-35s, they are willing to bite their tongue and go along for the ride.
 
texl1649
Posts: 949
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 5:38 am

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:23 pm

The USAF, since it was the USAAF has been in a position to essentially have to deal with accepting ‘not as good’ aircraft in addition to their preferred ones for industrial reasons. See, various mid-size bomber acquisitions in WW2 (B-26, B-25 etc.), as well as various fighter/pursuit aircraft.
 
Ozair
Posts: 3790
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:56 pm

texl1649 wrote:
The USAF, since it was the USAAF has been in a position to essentially have to deal with accepting ‘not as good’ aircraft in addition to their preferred ones for industrial reasons. See, various mid-size bomber acquisitions in WW2 (B-26, B-25 etc.), as well as various fighter/pursuit aircraft.

I don’t think it is a fair comparison to consider the World War Two period of aircraft acquisition when the nation is essentially in a war for national survival. Given how quickly the USAAF had to expand they needed every aircraft they could get their hands on, while having essentially an unlimited budget to do so.

But to put the F-15X acquisition in comparison you would have to consider situations where the USAAF/USAF has been provided an aircraft long after it first acquired the same type. In this case the USAF last received an F-15, an E model, in I think 2003. So if the F-15X is approved and ordered the USAF will then receive an updated F-15 twenty years after the last one arrived and 45 years after the first F-15 arrived.

Is there a single comparison to that for combat aircraft across the USAF history?
 
SuperiorPilotMe
Posts: 49
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2018 4:55 pm

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:59 am

DigitalSea wrote:
You nerds are wandering off topic.


Wow, that’s just the greatest literary sentence in the history of the English language right there, bravo, just bravo.
Stop the stupids!- Claus Kellerman
 
Spar
Posts: 184
Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2019 7:37 pm

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Mon Apr 08, 2019 5:39 am

DigitalSea wrote:
Why would the government feel the F-15X is necessary?

That is the question. That's how the discussion about Anti-satellite warfare that you see as off topic came about.

We can approach the question of why some in government believe the F-15X is necessary two ways. The first is what hypothetical reasons can be eliminated as reasons for its necessity and what unique feature does the F-15X offer that might make it necessary.

From the face of it it is obvious that this F-15X program is not necessary as a replacement for any of the current F-15 Cs that the National Guard are using to secure CONUS. The CONUS F-15Cs can be upgraded for about 40% of the cost of what the F-15X program will cost; this is a sixty million dollar apiece difference in cost. If this project is to include 200 planes, which is a number that has been thrown out by some, that would amount to 12 billion dollars with a "b" being wasted, as in taken out of the defense budget and flushed down the toilet. That justification for this purchase goes beyond not making any sense, that's a non starter, that premise is obviously a cover story. We can know that the "replacement for the NG/CONUS birds" story is false when we look at the anomalies and weak arguments that are being used to support this idea.

One of the anomalies is the story that this will save on pilot training costs over converting the NG to F-35s. This is nonsense because if we want to keep F-15 for defense of CONUS, that's easily and (comparatively) cheaply done by upgrading and putting new wings on the current fleet. But there's also the fact that someday in the near or far future the entire CONUS fleet will be replaced by F-35s anyway, so the whole pilot training issue is a moot point.

Another anomaly in the "replacement for the NG/CONUS birds" story is the supposed issue of cost savings that can be had by not having to replace the parts inventory and special F-15C equipment if there is a conversion to F-35s (which will be made necessary by the aging of the F-15Cs). See above.

There's an addendum to this strawman argument, which is that someone in the Pentagon is afraid that if the F-15C fleet is upgraded with new wings and all that, some new, completely unknown problem might develop in the rebuilt C models. More nonsense, we've been flying these planes for almost fifty years, we know every nook and cranny and how every part on them wears or fails or falls off.

Another anomaly with the F-15X story is the fact that we have been told that it will come in two different types and that both types will be two seaters, but that for the NG mission, the back seat will be empty. Now if that isn't an elephant under the rug.................................

Another odd thing that sticks out to me is the lack of any mention of a stealth upgrade for these proposed planes. Even for intercept missions of hostile bombers, stealth would be a valuable asset, especially if things ever got hot and the bombers had escorts. We are doing all this for real, aren't we? Planning on building a 1976 model airframe without upgrading its radar signature, which can be improved so easily in 2019, just doesn't sound right unless the real purpose of this plane would never bring it near hostile territory or near hostile aircraft.

So now that we have an idea of what the F-15X isn't, what is it and "why is it necessary"?

The one capability the F-15X has that exceeds anything else in our inventory (except the F-22) is its thrust to weight ratio. Even the current C models have more thrust and a lower weight than anything else in our inventory, and if we are to build new planes it would be criminal to not use current state of the art engines (for fuel efficiency if nothing else), so there's opportunity for the X model to have added thrust. In fact, if there is a reason why the F-15X would be superior to the current C model a reason that sticks out is that a new build gives the option of fitting new engines. One other possibility would be to provide new hard points in the end product. Then there's that empty rear seat, but who knows about that?

It doesn't take much imagination to see that the F-15X would be an ideal heavy lift vehicle, not quite in Paul Allen's strato launch league, but with a smaller cargo it could go higher and faster than anything else.

So DigitalSea, the somewhat nerdy conversation about the SM-3 and anti-satellite stuff wasn't really off the mark, in fact that conversation ended by exposing the fact that there is a lack of effective anti-satellite capability in our military as things currently exist and as they will continue to exist into the 2020s. The new SM-3 IIA missile that is coming online in a few years, which represents our nation's only anti-satellite capability in case of war, is incapable of taking down a satellite in the upper end of lower Earth orbit (forget about mid earth orbit) and its launcher has to be positioned fairly closely to the flight path of any satellite it is going against. All in all that leaves a lot to be desired.

So that's where I put my bets.

There is also a case to be made for the F-15X to be intended as a hypersonic launch vehicle. But the non-stealthy F-15X manned by National Guard doesn't sound like a match for that task.

Nothing so far explains the second seat that we are told it will have.
 
texl1649
Posts: 949
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 5:38 am

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:59 pm

Ozair wrote:
texl1649 wrote:
The USAF, since it was the USAAF has been in a position to essentially have to deal with accepting ‘not as good’ aircraft in addition to their preferred ones for industrial reasons. See, various mid-size bomber acquisitions in WW2 (B-26, B-25 etc.), as well as various fighter/pursuit aircraft.

I don’t think it is a fair comparison to consider the World War Two period of aircraft acquisition when the nation is essentially in a war for national survival. Given how quickly the USAAF had to expand they needed every aircraft they could get their hands on, while having essentially an unlimited budget to do so.

But to put the F-15X acquisition in comparison you would have to consider situations where the USAAF/USAF has been provided an aircraft long after it first acquired the same type. In this case the USAF last received an F-15, an E model, in I think 2003. So if the F-15X is approved and ordered the USAF will then receive an updated F-15 twenty years after the last one arrived and 45 years after the first F-15 arrived.

Is there a single comparison to that for combat aircraft across the USAF history?


I don't think it's wholly fair to cancel industrial considerations in WW2/Korea times (a similar need could be argued, as to total deliveries vs. individual/industrial capabilities), but respect the point.

I also am not sure how it is fair to restrict any analogy to only combat aircraft, as the various iterations of C-130/C-5/747/737/tankers etc. also would fall in that bucket otherwise. The evolution of tech. from the late 40's through the century series precluded long tactical/combat production runs (or bombers).

But, further to the point, the median time period for acquiring tactical/combat aircraft (procurement, not service) was, through about the intro of the F-15, only 3-10 years. The Phantom II would be the rare older exception (I think delivered over 11-12 years after initial USAF service by the type). Finally, it's noteworthy that many peers of the general era of F-15 development are still in production, including the F-16, F-18 (from F-17), Mig-29, Su-27 (in some derivative/renumbered forms). Tech from the frame isn't as irrelevant as, say, an F-82 would be in 1985, other than stealth.

However, the AC-130 would qualify. It flew in 1966 and they're still being delivered.
 
User avatar
bikerthai
Posts: 2834
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:45 pm

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Mon Apr 08, 2019 2:17 pm

From Defense Daily:

Schweizer added that budget documents indicate F-15 purchases would ramp up to 18 per year for about $1.8 billion per year, with the total 80 aircraft costing $7.8 billion. Over the revised five-year plan, the Air Force would be buying 56 more fighters than it could under an F-35-only buy.


So, unless as part of a conspiracy to "cooking the books" in favor of the F-15X, the above statement points to the Pentagon/Air Forces calculation that with the allotted budget, they can get more frames in to the war fighters hands than going all F-35. It does not say if it is true vs modifying the 'C. But my guess is that modifying the C though may cost less, would also not get the enough frames in to the pipeline for the short term. You have to bid the program, do the non recurring engineering and then schedule the mod. Not sure if they can even start modifying the C within a 4 year time frame.

An all this talk about reducing F-35 buys just muddle the water. The reduction in F-35 came from the Navy/Marines. If the Air Force could have absorbed the production slots left by the Navy/Marines they would have. So, talk about taking the F-15X funds to accelerate the buy of F-35 would seem not to give the Air Force relief in the short term. That is what they are trying to do plugging a short term gap.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
User avatar
ssteve
Posts: 1337
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 8:32 am

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Mon Apr 08, 2019 2:21 pm

Ozair wrote:
Is there a single comparison to that for combat aircraft across the USAF history?


The final U2 was delivered ~34 years after the first.

I suspect that sort of program longevity will become more common. They'll be delivering new F-35s when we're all dead of old age. :tombstone:
 
Spar
Posts: 184
Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2019 7:37 pm

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:16 pm

bikerthai wrote:
From Defense Daily:

Schweizer added that budget documents indicate F-15 purchases would ramp up to 18 per year for about $1.8 billion per year, with the total 80 aircraft costing $7.8 billion. Over the revised five-year plan, the Air Force would be buying 56 more fighters than it could under an F-35-only buy.


So, unless as part of a conspiracy to "cooking the books" in favor of the F-15X, the above statement points to the Pentagon/Air Forces calculation that with the allotted budget, they can get more frames in to the war fighters hands than going all F-35. It does not say if it is true vs modifying the 'C. But my guess is that modifying the C though may cost less, would also not get the enough frames in to the pipeline for the short term. You have to bid the program, do the non recurring engineering and then schedule the mod. Not sure if they can even start modifying the C within a 4 year time frame.

An all this talk about reducing F-35 buys just muddle the water. The reduction in F-35 came from the Navy/Marines. If the Air Force could have absorbed the production slots left by the Navy/Marines they would have. So, talk about taking the F-15X funds to accelerate the buy of F-35 would seem not to give the Air Force relief in the short term. That is what they are trying to do plugging a short term gap.

bt

This is another disingenuous argument in favor of the F-15X. This one is so shallow I didn't see a need to include it in the above post. There cannot be 56 more fighters, because the X is supposed to be a replacement for C models that will be retired. There will be no new squadrons created here, no new pilots trained, no new airbases.

Net gain in "frames in to the war fighters hands" will be, zero. That's obvious, why is anyone trying to sell that idea?
 
User avatar
bikerthai
Posts: 2834
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:45 pm

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:15 pm

Spar wrote:
This is another disingenuous argument in favor of the F-15X. This one is so shallow I didn't see a need to include it in the above post. There cannot be 56 more fighters, because the X is supposed to be a replacement for C models that will be retired.


"Disingenuous" or not is a matter of opinion. Having a quote saying this argument is spelled out in the budget document is closer to being fact, short of having access to the document itself, than anything we have been debating about with respect to ASAT. Whether or not they have ulterior motives for the -15X will only come out with time. For now, we can only go with what the government has written down on paper that just went to Congress. You just do not put out half-ass arguments when you submit stuff to Congress. Your argument can still be weak . . . just not half-assed.

Now let try to make it clearer. My interpretation of the quote is this. They need to have a certain number of fighters in the near future. With the current budget constraints, if they try to go from -15C to -35, they would come up with 56 fewer fighters. It doesn't say that if you retrofit the -15C you will get 56 fewer fighters.

So some reporter will have to dig a little further to see if they go with the with retrofitting the C, will they able to achieve there number of required frames in this short time frame to make the numbers work. My suggestion is that the flow time for a retrofit schedule would not make it work. You can call this argument disngenuous, then that would be your opinion. I can go with that. But dismissing what is spelled out in the budget as a not a fully thought out proposal would just show us that your mistrust in the people who wrote the proposal would be beyond our capability to convince you otherwise.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
Spar
Posts: 184
Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2019 7:37 pm

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:03 pm

bikerthai wrote:
For now, we can only go with what the government has written down on paper that just went to Congress.

Why can't you see that the statement "Over the revised five-year plan, the Air Force would be buying 56 more fighters than it could under an F-35-only buy" is disinformation that is meant to leave the impression that the F-15X program will boost the numbers of AF aircraft? Why can't you see that the premise behind the above is that the USAF is experiencing a dire shortage of aircraft, which is also bullshit?

Why are you willing to parrot obvious lies?
 
Ozair
Posts: 3790
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:08 pm

Spar wrote:
From the face of it it is obvious that this F-15X program is not necessary as a replacement for any of the current F-15 Cs that the National Guard are using to secure CONUS. The CONUS F-15Cs can be upgraded for about 40% of the cost of what the F-15X program will cost; this is a sixty million dollar apiece difference in cost. If this project is to include 200 planes, which is a number that has been thrown out by some, that would amount to 12 billion dollars with a "b" being wasted, as in taken out of the defense budget and flushed down the toilet. That justification for this purchase goes beyond not making any sense, that's a non starter, that premise is obviously a cover story. We can know that the "replacement for the NG/CONUS birds" story is false when we look at the anomalies and weak arguments that are being used to support this idea.

We have run the numbers of the upgrade of the C/D fleet against acquiring the X, I did it on the first page of the thread if you want to review and then again later when a lower acquisition cost was revealed. Depending upon the initial acquisition price of the X it falls between about 12-17 years for the USAF to break even. The higher per hour cost of the C/D fleet works against it eventually with the X likely to be available for more hours per year (noting pilots and not airframe hours are the likely limiting factor).

Spar wrote:
One of the anomalies is the story that this will save on pilot training costs over converting the NG to F-35s. This is nonsense because if we want to keep F-15 for defense of CONUS, that's easily and (comparatively) cheaply done by upgrading and putting new wings on the current fleet. But there's also the fact that someday in the near or far future the entire CONUS fleet will be replaced by F-35s anyway, so the whole pilot training issue is a moot point.

I agree that eventually the USAF has to make that move but as stated above for an ANG unit the issue is the three years to convert onto the F-35. For the F-15X it is likely as little as six months. That is a big factor in being able to generate the number of flight hours required from the ANG units and the issue becomes not one of cost because cost is only one factor in the decision, but also the availability of enough aircraft to meet USAF requirements.


Spar wrote:
There's an addendum to this strawman argument, which is that someone in the Pentagon is afraid that if the F-15C fleet is upgraded with new wings and all that, some new, completely unknown problem might develop in the rebuilt C models. More nonsense, we've been flying these planes for almost fifty years, we know every nook and cranny and how every part on them wears or fails or falls off.

Actually this isn’t nonsense at all. I don’t believe the USAF has a good understanding of how the jet has aged. Evidence for that can be seen by the following contract award,
Boeing Wins $254 Million To Carry Out Fatigue Test On Older USAF F-15 Fighters
Boeing has been awarded a $254 million contract for the purchase of F-15 C/E full-scale fatigue test services.
This effort is split into the following services sections: testing, repairs, and limited teardown and analysis of the FTA7 and FTE10 aircraft test articles. The testing section addresses tasks to be performed by the contractor for efforts associated with continuation of the FTA7 (F-15C) and the FTE10 (F-15E) full-scale fatigue tests to assess the ramifications of flying F-15 aircraft beyond the original design service life, the US department of defense said in a statement Friday.
The repair section addresses tasks to be performed by Boeing for efforts associated with repairing the test articles either during testing, or following post-cycling inspections to return the test article to cycling.
The limited teardown and failure analysis section addresses tasks to be performed by Boeing for efforts associated with the partial disassembly, inspection, and fractographic analysis of selected parts experiencing cracking during the course of the testing.
Work is expected to be completed by Aug. 31, 2021.
This contract includes a one-year base with four one-year ordering periods. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition.

http://www.defenseworld.net/news/16861/ ... 5_Fighters

The above contract was awarded in August 2016 and the work is not expected to be completed until 2021. Therefore is seems quite clear the USAF is still investigating the fatigue issues with the F-15 fleet and there will continue to be unknown unknowns that emerge. That makes the continued service of the F-15C/D fleet, even with the identified upgrades, a significantly more risky prospect than a new build aircraft.

Spar wrote:
Another anomaly with the F-15X story is the fact that we have been told that it will come in two different types and that both types will be two seaters, but that for the NG mission, the back seat will be empty. Now if that isn't an elephant under the rug.................................

What value does a second seat provide for the ANG CONUS defence mission? Plenty of aircraft fly a single seat strike mission. Having a second seat simply adds future flexibility to the new build aircraft with little performance impact.


Spar wrote:
Another odd thing that sticks out to me is the lack of any mention of a stealth upgrade for these proposed planes. Even for intercept missions of hostile bombers, stealth would be a valuable asset, especially if things ever got hot and the bombers had escorts. We are doing all this for real, aren't we? Planning on building a 1976 model airframe without upgrading its radar signature, which can be improved so easily in 2019, just doesn't sound right unless the real purpose of this plane would never bring it near hostile territory or near hostile aircraft.

Can it be improved so easily? Boeing suggested the F-15 Silent Eagle and required a significant investment in the airframe with things such as canted tails. No one, even the wealthy Saudis and Qataris took up the offer. In the end the F-15X is still going to carry its ordnance externally (no conformal weapons carriage has been funded) and the F-15 has an exceptionally large RCS already. Any changes may reduce that but it is unlikely to be able to do so to such a meaningful level that the expense is worth the investment.

Spar wrote:
So now that we have an idea of what the F-15X isn't, what is it and "why is it necessary"?

The one capability the F-15X has that exceeds anything else in our inventory (except the F-22) is its thrust to weight ratio. Even the current C models have more thrust and a lower weight than anything else in our inventory, and if we are to build new planes it would be criminal to not use current state of the art engines (for fuel efficiency if nothing else), so there's opportunity for the X model to have added thrust. In fact, if there is a reason why the F-15X would be superior to the current C model a reason that sticks out is that a new build gives the option of fitting new engines. One other possibility would be to provide new hard points in the end product. Then there's that empty rear seat, but who knows about that?

Again, no new engines, the F-15X will only use the latest versions of the F100 or F110, which are certainly no slouches. The F-15X will have the additional wing stations opened for payloads but the carriage of additional weapons is somewhat pointless. At a certain point the drag impacts the airframe enough and the tactical usefulness of the additional weapons, especially in the A2A mission, is negligible.

Spar wrote:
It doesn't take much imagination to see that the F-15X would be an ideal heavy lift vehicle, not quite in Paul Allen's strato launch league, but with a smaller cargo it could go higher and faster than anything else.

It doesn’t have that role now and why would that role become a significant one in the future given the way satellite technology, smaler satellites and lower launch costs, is moving.

Spar wrote:
So DigitalSea, the somewhat nerdy conversation about the SM-3 and anti-satellite stuff wasn't really off the mark, in fact that conversation ended by exposing the fact that there is a lack of effective anti-satellite capability in our military as things currently exist and as they will continue to exist into the 2020s. The new SM-3 IIA missile that is coming online in a few years, which represents our nation's only anti-satellite capability in case of war, is incapable of taking down a satellite in the upper end of lower Earth orbit (forget about mid earth orbit) and its launcher has to be positioned fairly closely to the flight path of any satellite it is going against. All in all that leaves a lot to be desired.

SM-3 Blk IIA is already in the fleet, installed in ground sites and has flown multiple test cycles.
 
Ozair
Posts: 3790
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:36 pm

Spar wrote:
The article you linked, provides a depiction of the constraints on an ABM missile which is attempting to intercept ICBMs launched from either an unstated location in southern Iran or Tatishchevo in western Russia. Because it is analyzing an ICBM intercept, the analysis is focused on the speed of the interceptor vs the flight path of an ICBM or the timing of an intercept. For an anti-satellite mission, such a speed analysis is irrelevant, any version of the SM-3 is fast enough to get to altitude because a satellite's inclination, velocity and period are known beforehand; even a relatively slow missile can be launched early enough to meet a targeted satellite.

What we, or at least I am looking for is information on what the slant range capabilities of an Aegis / SM-3 are when targeting a satellite. Some information on that spec can be derived from your link, but only some.

Sorry, missed this post as it was the last on the previous page.

I understand what you’re after, obviously the primary role of the SM-3 is ABM so it is very unlikely that it will have specific energy graphs for the ASAT role.

Spar wrote:
When plotting the hypothetical intercepts used at the linked page, we find that an SM-3 IIA launched from Redzikodo is capable of making an intercept of an ICBM launched from southern Iran but unable to make the intercept on an ICBM launched from Tatishchevo Russia. This tells me that an SM-3 can intercept a target passing at an altitude of about 1000km (derived from the chart) when the offset is about 100 miles, as is the case for the Iranian ICBM, but is unable to make the intercept (because of timing issues) when a similar trajectory is in the order of 500 miles offset from the launch point (derived from a plot).

Sure. It is an ABM mission set. I never pretended that it wasn’t.

Spar wrote:
(1) The chart, along with the text, suggests that a SM-3 IIA missile is able to get to the 1000km altitude of a flight path while offset by 500 miles and the chart also seems to indicate that an SM-3 IIA can get as high as 1400km (about 850 miles) which would be enough to cover the lower to mid regions of LEO. But no information is provided as to whether, or what the odds are for a successful hit on a target at longer ranges or greater angles of interception, or both.
(2)

The chart is quite clear on the time of flight and the distance the missile can reach. There is nothing hidden or mythical about it. A BM target is very different to a satellite. A BM has a constantly moving and changing trajectory. From a kinematics perspective the SM-3 doesn’t just hit a single point in space, it continues to have to adjust its trajectory to the latest point in space. That uses significantly more energy and creates more drag (for the atmospheric portion of the flight) than a satellite intercept.

Spar wrote:
(2) It is nowhere stated that the IIA can actually be effective on targets at the 1400km altitude, nor how that maximum altitude is affected by offset distance. Information revealing what the maximum total altitude/slant range abilities for the IIA are missing, and they are necessary for an understanding of the Aegis system's effectiveness against satellites.

Take a step back from the ABM role to the satellite role. In that context the graph is perfectly clear on the capabilities of the missile.

To add to that a previously linked statement I provided,
In many ways, attacking satellites is an easier task. Satellites travel in predictable orbits that ground facilities can accurately determine. An attacker could plan the time of the attack in advance, and would be able to take as many shots as necessary to destroy the target, without having to deal with the same sensor allows the interceptor to home in on the tar-get and destroy it by direct impact. If launched against satellites in low earth orbit, the interceptor could use some of its fuel to reach out laterally over thousands of kilometers, allowing it to hit satellites in orbits that do not pass directly over the launch site—placing a large fraction of satellites in low earth orbit within range of the GMD interceptors.

https://www.ucsusa.org/sites/default/fi ... lo-res.pdf

Note the text in bold above. The known trajectory of the satellite makes it a simply point in space intercept issue and not the constantly moving trajectory of a BM.

Spar wrote:
(3) The earlier models of the SM-3 (the ones we have now) don't have enough range (altitude capability) for actual anti-sat tasking other than picking off the low hanging fruit.

Sure, have I stated anywhere that the SM-3 Blk IA is a good missile for ASAT (even thoug it has already been used to do exactly that). The SM-3 Blk iB is a better missile but clearly the Blk IIA is the best option.

Spar wrote:
(4) The SM-3 IIA is scheduled for deployment in 2022 if I have this correct.

Nope, the SM-3 Blk IIA is deployed today in ground sites in Poland, probably Romania, and from USN vessels. From page 4 of testimony to the Senate Armed Servcies Committee,
In the 2018 timeframe, we will further enhance defensive coverage for NATO Europe against medium- and intermediate-range threats with the deployment of an Aegis Ashore site in Poland and the delivery of the SM-3 Block IIA and associated Aegis BMD weapon system upgrades for Aegis BMD ships and Aegis Ashore sites

https://www.mda.mil/global/documents/pd ... SC_SFS.PDF
 
User avatar
bikerthai
Posts: 2834
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:45 pm

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:16 pm

Spar wrote:
Why are you willing to parrot obvious lies?


Unfortunately if these are "obvious lies" then they are "official lies", and on the surface, these "lies" are the only unclassified data that we have to argue the merit of the buy.

If you have unpublished truths that can only be found in classified documents, then we can chalk it to unsubstantiated rumors and debate it as such.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
Ozair
Posts: 3790
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Tue Apr 09, 2019 12:03 am

bikerthai wrote:
From Defense Daily:

Schweizer added that budget documents indicate F-15 purchases would ramp up to 18 per year for about $1.8 billion per year, with the total 80 aircraft costing $7.8 billion. Over the revised five-year plan, the Air Force would be buying 56 more fighters than it could under an F-35-only buy.

So, unless as part of a conspiracy to "cooking the books" in favor of the F-15X, the above statement points to the Pentagon/Air Forces calculation that with the allotted budget, they can get more frames in to the war fighters hands than going all F-35. It does not say if it is true vs modifying the 'C. But my guess is that modifying the C though may cost less, would also not get the enough frames in to the pipeline for the short term. You have to bid the program, do the non recurring engineering and then schedule the mod. Not sure if they can even start modifying the C within a 4 year time frame.

I think the assertion of more fighters overall is misdirection. The USAF made it very clear in the unfunded priorities list that they wanted an additional twelve F-35s for the same money it will cost to acquire eight F-15X, and receive them two years earlier so there is some cosmic math going on that arrives at that conclusion. But taking the cost numbers as the only factor in how that additional 56 is arrived at doesn't look at the whole picture.

Clearly Goldfein doesn’t think this funding is coming at the expense of the F-35 as he has been more than clear on that. I think in some respects it might be a desire of the USAF to maintain F-35A numbers until full Blk 4 jets are available, at which point they will accelerate the yearly buy, budget permitting, to 80 or 100, instaed of having to upgrade later jets to the Blk 4 standard.

bikerthai wrote:
An all this talk about reducing F-35 buys just muddle the water. The reduction in F-35 came from the Navy/Marines. If the Air Force could have absorbed the production slots left by the Navy/Marines they would have. So, talk about taking the F-15X funds to accelerate the buy of F-35 would seem not to give the Air Force relief in the short term. That is what they are trying to do plugging a short term gap.

And it appears that Congress will fund those jets and more besides. The reduction was primarily around the decision to retire the classic hornet before the AV-8B. It is tied to increased USN SH orders which provide the aircraft numbers needed for the carrier airwings, which the USMC Hornets supplement.


bikerthai wrote:
Spar wrote:
Why are you willing to parrot obvious lies?


Unfortunately if these are "obvious lies" then they are "official lies", and on the surface, these "lies" are the only unclassified data that we have to argue the merit of the buy.

If you have unpublished truths that can only be found in classified documents, then we can chalk it to unsubstantiated rumors and debate it as such.

bt

It is certainly getting beyond ironic with the assertion of lies is being bandied about given the complete lack of reporting, despite being asked for it, provided to support the ASAT case.

As has been stated numerous times this decision, which I again emphasis I don’t agree with, is far more than just a cost question or a production question or a long term sustainment question. It is an unwieldy mix of a host of issues and at the moment the US DoD thinks the F-15X is the answer. I don’t like it but I don’t control the purse strings and it is now up to the Congress to decide if they will approve the budget request as submitted.
 
Spar
Posts: 184
Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2019 7:37 pm

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:49 am

Ozair wrote:
We have run the numbers of the upgrade of the C/D fleet against acquiring the X, I did it on the first page of the thread if you want to review and then again later when a lower acquisition cost was revealed. Depending upon the initial acquisition price of the X it falls between about 12-17 years for the USAF to break even. The higher per hour cost of the C/D fleet works against it eventually with the X likely to be available for more hours per year (noting pilots and not airframe hours are the likely limiting factor).

Those numbers are based on the premise that the per hour cost is approx. $42k for the C/D and $27k for the X, and there is nothing shown to support those numbers. If those numbers came from the DOD, the same DOD people who are trying to pass the innuendo that the F-15X program will give the nation 56 extra fighters, then those numbers are certainly bogus. Each of these F-15Xs costs sixty million dollars more than the cost to completely overhaul one of the C models. At the end of the C model upgrade the resulting plane will be essentially brand new just as the X model. The biggest difference in ongoing maintenance costs would be that all the currently existing spares would still be useful in rebuilt Cs, but not so much in X models. No amount of sleight of hand is going to make the X models anything other than a waste of sixty million dollars if their only task is to replace the current C models.

You did not address anything I said in post #500, every one of your responses to that post ignored the actual points you were supposedly responding to. In a nutshell, post 500 made mincemeat of your earlier claim that an SM-3 IIA could be launched on satellites displaced 1500 mi laterally from the launch site (NY to LA). Post 500 also brought out that the SM-3 IIA cannot reach altitudes higher than 1400 km in altitude which means that it cannot target the entire range of low Earth orbits nor even attempt to target mid earth orbit satellites. I'm not surprised that you let those points pass by without comment.

I fail to see any irony from my pointing out that 56 aircraft are not going to magically appear as is alluded to by the DOD propaganda and re-told here as if it were known fact, verses my use of deductive logic to predict that the real purpose of the F-15X is likely to be for an anti satellite role. I have made no assertions of inside knowledge or authority in the matter; I have stated numerous times that I am offering my opinion in the matter.

BTW neither you nor I know what type of engine is slated for the F-15X. In fact, when I see all the slipperiness that exists around this proposal I suggest that anyone keeping tabs on this project should be aware that a bait and switch might be in play here. Sometime about three years from now there may be a line item in a DOD budget for engines to power these airframes. Anyone asking about that line item would be told, "don't be silly, the engines were always supposed to be separate".
 
Ozair
Posts: 3790
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Tue Apr 09, 2019 3:40 am

Spar wrote:
Those numbers are based on the premise that the per hour cost is approx. $42k for the C/D and $27k for the X, and there is nothing shown to support those numbers. If those numbers came from the DOD, the same DOD people who are trying to pass the innuendo that the F-15X program will give the nation 56 extra fighters, then those numbers are certainly bogus.

We have a very good idea of the cost per flight hour of the F-15C/D fleet, it really is around that $42K per flight hour. We have a reasonable idea of what the F-15X will cost, not only from the reporting but given the airframe is very similar to the F-15E which we also know costs around 30-32k per flight hour. Sources below.
http://nation.time.com/2013/04/02/costly-flight-hours/
https://forums.tripwireinteractive.com/ ... t-per-hour
https://www.defenseone.com/technology/2 ... ce/150039/

The second is a forum that uses CDI as a source, CDI/POGO is a questionable source but the ratio works with everything else available on the cost difference.

Spar wrote:
Each of these F-15Xs costs sixty million dollars more than the cost to completely overhaul one of the C models. At the end of the C model upgrade the resulting plane will be essentially brand new just as the X model. The biggest difference in ongoing maintenance costs would be that all the currently existing spares would still be useful in rebuilt Cs, but not so much in X models. No amount of sleight of hand is going to make the X models anything other than a waste of sixty million dollars if their only task is to replace the current C models.

And you have the details for the F-15C/D upgrade? Where does the upgrade say it will zero hour the jet? We know of a number of upgrades that can be performed on the C/D fleet including US$1 million for the longerans up to US$40 million for a SLEP which would probably include wing replacement. A SLEP is not a zero hour program, it merely extends the useful life of the jet.

Given the very clear source I provided that shows the USAF is still investigating the fatigue life of the F-15C/D fleet there is no way you can make such a claim. If you have the evidence to support that claim, then provide it, we would all be very happy to review it.



Spar wrote:
You did not address anything I said in post #500, every one of your responses to that post ignored the actual points you were supposedly responding to. In a nutshell, post 500 made mincemeat of your earlier claim that an SM-3 IIA could be launched on satellites displaced 1500 mi laterally from the launch site (NY to LA). Post 500 also brought out that the SM-3 IIA cannot reach altitudes higher than 1400 km in altitude which means that it cannot target the entire range of low Earth orbits nor even attempt to target mid earth orbit satellites. I'm not surprised that you let those points pass by without comment.

Spar, I have provided clear evidence, as well as supporting documentation to explain my case. It really is very clear and understandable including a direct quote about the differences between the ABM and ASAT role and how that would impact the missile. If you chose to not to believe then that is your prerogative but as I have provided evidence and you have provided none that makes your assessment of the situation less convincing…

Spar wrote:
I fail to see any irony from my pointing out that 56 aircraft are not going to magically appear as is alluded to by the DOD propaganda and re-told here as if it were known fact, verses my use of deductive logic to predict that the real purpose of the F-15X is likely to be for an anti satellite role. I have made no assertions of inside knowledge or authority in the matter; I have stated numerous times that I am offering my opinion in the matter.

Irony in calling out someone for posting the details of an official US Government briefing and then indicating he is peddling the lies of the Government. BT is a good poster here who doesn’t jump to conclusions. He is supporting his assessments with sourcing.

The difference between what you are posting and what BT, myself and others are posting is rooted in the facts. There is supporting evidence we have provided and comment on, you have provided none other than as you claim your deductive logic. Given that logic is contrary to what is being posted in the media by both informed and uninformed sources, by what is being spoken and testified in front of Senate Committee hearings by USAF Star Ranked Officers you can see why we might find your deductive logic as not representing an accurate picture of the situation.

Spar wrote:
BTW neither you nor I know what type of engine is slated for the F-15X. In fact, when I see all the slipperiness that exists around this proposal I suggest that anyone keeping tabs on this project should be aware that a bait and switch might be in play here. Sometime about three years from now there may be a line item in a DOD budget for engines to power these airframes. Anyone asking about that line item would be told, "don't be silly, the engines were always supposed to be separate".

Spar, the facts present clearly point to the F100 or F110 being the powerplant for those aircraft, for starters no F-15 has ever been powered by anything else. No one else other than you is suggesting otherwise. You don’t simply drop a new engine into the aircraft, fly it a couple of times and yell yippee at the extra thrust. It would take a two to three year development program at a minimum to swap the engine to a different one.

By the way, have you actually considered whether a newer engine would fit? Looking at the F100 it is 490cm long while the F135 is 559cm. 70cm is not an insignificant length when integrating a new engine on an aircraft. The F135 has a fan inlet size of 117cm while the F100 is only 88cm. Don’t you think the additional length and the different fan inlet sizes would create some significant issues for integration? Before you go any further yes the F119 is shorter than the F135 but still longer/wider than the F100/F110 so additional work on the inside of the F-15X would be required to fit it or the F135.

Time to use some deductive logic on how that might impact the selection of the engine...
 
Ozair
Posts: 3790
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Tue Apr 09, 2019 5:54 am

texl1649 wrote:
I don't think it's wholly fair to cancel industrial considerations in WW2/Korea times (a similar need could be argued, as to total deliveries vs. individual/industrial capabilities), but respect the point.

I also am not sure how it is fair to restrict any analogy to only combat aircraft, as the various iterations of C-130/C-5/747/737/tankers etc. also would fall in that bucket otherwise. The evolution of tech. from the late 40's through the century series precluded long tactical/combat production runs (or bombers).

But, further to the point, the median time period for acquiring tactical/combat aircraft (procurement, not service) was, through about the intro of the F-15, only 3-10 years. The Phantom II would be the rare older exception (I think delivered over 11-12 years after initial USAF service by the type). Finally, it's noteworthy that many peers of the general era of F-15 development are still in production, including the F-16, F-18 (from F-17), Mig-29, Su-27 (in some derivative/renumbered forms). Tech from the frame isn't as irrelevant as, say, an F-82 would be in 1985, other than stealth.

However, the AC-130 would qualify. It flew in 1966 and they're still being delivered.


ssteve wrote:
Ozair wrote:
Is there a single comparison to that for combat aircraft across the USAF history?


The final U2 was delivered ~34 years after the first.

I suspect that sort of program longevity will become more common. They'll be delivering new F-35s when we're all dead of old age. :tombstone:


I take your points and good examples! Agree things are slowing down now and perhaps now that systems change more than the airframe, and airframes not necessarily designed around an engine or a radar anymore, that the trend will continue.
 
User avatar
bikerthai
Posts: 2834
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:45 pm

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:09 pm

More "official reasoning" from the Senate Hearing as quoted from Defense Daily:

The Air Force studied the benefits of doing a service life extension program from the F-15C, and ultimately decided against it, according to {Lt Gen. Alrnold} Bunch,


Bunch said the transition time from an F-15C to F-15EX is three to six months compared to 18 to 36 months for an F-15C to F-35.


Pretty mundane reasoning. Something that money alone can not solve.

Bunch said the Air Force is focused on getting the F-35 down to $30,000 per flight hour, while adding that Pentagon officials are still pushing to reach $25,000 per hour by 2025.


So "industrial competitiveness" is code word for keeping the pressure on LM to get to that $25,000 per flight hour value :stirthepot:

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
DigitalSea
Posts: 119
Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:28 pm

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:53 pm

bikerthai wrote:
Pretty mundane reasoning. Something that money alone can not solve.
bt


The Air Force is ALL IN on the F-35, no legacy attack platform is safe from its grasp (F-15, F-16, A-10).
 
User avatar
bikerthai
Posts: 2834
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:45 pm

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:38 pm

[*]
DigitalSea wrote:
The Air Force is ALL IN on the F-35, no legacy attack platform is safe from its grasp (F-15, F-16, A-10).


The BUFF when used in "attack" mode :rotfl:

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
SuperiorPilotMe
Posts: 49
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2018 4:55 pm

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:40 pm

bikerthai wrote:

Pretty mundane reasoning. Something that money alone can not solve

So "industrial competitiveness" is code word for keeping the pressure on LM to get to that $25,000 per flight hour value :stirthepot:

bt


Someone earlier brought up Occam’s Razor, one of the most misunderstood logic tools out there - but the n this case it was right, the conspiracy theories about ASAT were getting real stupid .

But Occam’s Razor has alot of basis in economics as much in logic. That’s where the F-35 guy comes in. As much as people feel it’s throwing good money after bad, it doesn’t make sense to suddenly quit a now proven system (in service with Japan, Isreal, Italy etc) in favor of a system that may or may not have just enough incompatibility to introduce enough logistical headaches to be self -defeating.

Not that legacy systems are leaving anytime soon. It’s gonna take a while to phase out the sheer numbers of legacy frames. BTW we have a firm established date when B-52 is mustered our.
Stop the stupids!- Claus Kellerman
 
Spar
Posts: 184
Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2019 7:37 pm

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu Apr 11, 2019 12:45 am

SuperiorPilotMe wrote:
the conspiracy theories about ASAT were getting real stupid

It has been shown conclusively above that the US currently, and for the foreseeable future, has very limited antisatellite capabilities. To be specific, the SM-3 IIA which is our only tool in this arena, cannot reach satellites in the upper end of lower Earth orbit let alone a possible enemy's communication satellites that would exist in actual middle Earth orbit (above 2,000km).

That tells me, and I believe it tells the Russians and the Chinese, that the whole sum of all our F-35s, B-1s, B2s ICBMs, SSBMs and future B-21s are a bluff. They can continue to nibble away, or swallow whole whatever they want and the US military isn't going to take action, because it really has no plan for anything other than ravaging third world nations: that or MAD. Predictably, we're still stuck in the cold war mutual assured destruction paradigm.

Someone in the military seems to have gotten to Trump and explained this problem to him, because he recently announced a space force. But our forum PR agent has only been cleared to sell the F-15X here. Maybe next week he'll catch up with reality; until then the Cool Aid drinkers only have the F-15X for posters on their wall.

And in case anybody here has missed it or forgotten it, the F-15X costs sixty million dollars more than it would cost to upgrade the plane that it is supposedly replacing. That's sixty million dollars each; for nothing, no added capability, nada, zip. It's actually 99 million dollars apiece more than just a longeron upgrade would cost, and a longeron upgrade would probably be all that is needed until F-35s replace the entire fleet, which will happen anyway.

Anyone who believes the Pentagon's fantastic justifications for the F-15X is pretty gullible IMO. But it won't be the first time for any but the youngest of them I'm sure.
 
Ozair
Posts: 3790
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:54 am

Spar wrote:
It has been shown conclusively above that the US currently, and for the foreseeable future, has very limited antisatellite capabilities. To be specific, the SM-3 IIA which is our only tool in this arena, cannot reach satellites in the upper end of lower Earth orbit let alone a possible enemy's communication satellites that would exist in actual middle Earth orbit (above 2,000km).

Spar, you need to research this stuff before you make these types of claims. To address each in turn,

The 1450k altitude for the SM-3 Blk IIA is likely the lower upper limit. Several publications, including here https://www.ucsusa.org/sites/default/fi ... ellite.pdf Table 2 in the document, have indicated the Blk IIA is likely capable of 5.5km/s. That would put the upper range above 2300km altitude.

But, that doesn’t really matter too much for the ASAT role anyway as the vast bulk of satellites in LEO sit below approx 1500km. See figure 2 in the above link. So that means that the majority of these LEO satellites are within reach of the SM-3 Blk IIA.

Taking that a step further, consider where the bulk of satellites sit.
What types of orbits are the satellites in?
For the current active satellites:
2.1% are in Elliptical orbits which vary between less than 1 000 km to above 40 000 km above the Earth.
29.1% are in Geostationary Earth Orbits (GEO) which is just under 36 000 km above the Earth.
5.9% are In Medium Earth Orbits which are anything between 8,000 km and 24,000 km above the Earth.
62.9% are in Low Earth Orbits (LEO) which varying between 250 km and 1 500 km above the Earth; and of these LEO’s (although 12 – 1.01% – have no track listed):
57.5% are in sun-synchronous orbits which means they pass the equator at the same time each day.
22.85% are in non-polar inclined orbits.
16.1% are in polar inclined orbits.
1.69% are in equatorial orbits
0.76% are in elliptical orbits.
0.08% (Actually, just 1 satellite) is in a cislunar orbit.

https://www.pixalytics.com/sats-orbitin ... arth-2018/


No nation has the ability currently to hit a GEO Satellite with an ASAT missile whatever way it is launched so those systems remain out of reach, likely barring some technical change, from attack.

Spar wrote:
That tells me, and I believe it tells the Russians and the Chinese, that the whole sum of all our F-35s, B-1s, B2s ICBMs, SSBMs and future B-21s are a bluff. They can continue to nibble away, or swallow whole whatever they want and the US military isn't going to take action, because it really has no plan for anything other than ravaging third world nations: that or MAD. Predictably, we're still stuck in the cold war mutual assured destruction paradigm.

Not sure how you can raw that conclusion from the data available. The US Military is the highest user of space assets of any military on the globe and therefore has the most to lose from ASAT related engagements.

Spar wrote:
Someone in the military seems to have gotten to Trump and explained this problem to him, because he recently announced a space force. But our forum PR agent has only been cleared to sell the F-15X here. Maybe next week he'll catch up with reality; until then the Cool Aid drinkers only have the F-15X for posters on their wall.

Can you point to where the sole role of the Space Force is ASAT? You can actually read the US DoD publication on the Space Force at the following link, https://media.defense.gov/2019/Mar/01/2 ... ERVIEW.PDF

The United States Space Force will be responsible for organizing, training, and equipping military space forces of the United States: to provide for freedom of operation in, from, and to the space domain; to provide independent military options for joint and national leadership; and to enable the lethality and effectiveness of the joint force. The Space Force will include both combat and combat-support functions to enable prompt and sustained offensive and defensive space operations and joint operations in all domains.

The Space Force will develop forces for: space situational awareness; satellite operations and global, integrated, command and control of military space forces; global and theater military space operations to enable joint campaigns (to include missile warning); space support to land, air, naval, and cyber forces; spacelift and space range operations; space-based nuclear detonation detection; and prompt and sustained offensive and defensive space operations to achieve space superiority


Note that ASAT is not mentioned anywhere in the document. Of the above definitions the last point is potentially where ASAT may fit in.

Spar wrote:
And in case anybody here has missed it or forgotten it, the F-15X costs sixty million dollars more than it would cost to upgrade the plane that it is supposedly replacing. That's sixty million dollars each; for nothing, no added capability, nada, zip. It's actually 99 million dollars apiece more than just a longeron upgrade would cost, and a longeron upgrade would probably be all that is needed until F-35s replace the entire fleet, which will happen anyway.

Spar, again while I don’t like the F-15X concept replacing the F-15C/D with the X will almost certainly bring a higher readiness rate to the ANG which appears to a primary motivator. Cost simply isn’t a significant factor in the debate, as much as I would like it to be.

SuperiorPilotMe suggestions to not throw good money after bad is the right direction but the USAF has enough other assets to replace between now and the mid 2030s that this plan, while not the best idea for future force structure, address the emerging C/D issue.

Spar wrote:
Anyone who believes the Pentagon's fantastic justifications for the F-15X is pretty gullible IMO. But it won't be the first time for any but the youngest of them I'm sure.

I don’t see how you cannot at the very least acknowledge that the USAF and Pentagon are taking this seriously. Those two organisations, minus the obvious political appointees, are full of professional people who are dedicated to providing the US Military with the best equipment, personal and training available and to maintain the capability edge the US has. If this wasn’t right or at least one of only a few viable alternatives, those professionals would not blindly follow along.
 
SuperiorPilotMe
Posts: 49
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2018 4:55 pm

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:58 am

Spar wrote:
SuperiorPilotMe wrote:
the conspiracy theories about ASAT were getting real stupid

It has been shown conclusively above that the US currently, and for the foreseeable future, has very limited antisatellite capabilities. To be specific, the SM-3 IIA which is our only tool in this arena, cannot reach satellites in the upper end of lower Earth orbit let alone a possible enemy's communication satellites that would exist in actual middle Earth orbit (above 2,000km).

That tells me, and I believe it tells the Russians and the Chinese, that the whole sum of all our F-35s, B-1s, B2s ICBMs, SSBMs and future B-21s are a bluff. They can continue to nibble away, or swallow whole whatever they want and the US military isn't going to take action, because it really has no plan for anything other than ravaging third world nations: that or MAD. Predictably, we're still stuck in the cold war mutual assured destruction paradigm.

Someone in the military seems to have gotten to Trump and explained this problem to him, because he recently announced a space force. But our forum PR agent has only been cleared to sell the F-15X here. Maybe next week he'll catch up with reality; until then the Cool Aid drinkers only have the F-15X for posters on their wall.

And in case anybody here has missed it or forgotten it, the F-15X costs sixty million dollars more than it would cost to upgrade the plane that it is supposedly replacing. That's sixty million dollars each; for nothing, no added capability, nada, zip. It's actually 99 million dollars apiece more than just a longeron upgrade would cost, and a longeron upgrade would probably be all that is needed until F-35s replace the entire fleet, which will happen anyway.

Anyone who believes the Pentagon's fantastic justifications for the F-15X is pretty gullible IMO. But it won't be the first time for any but the youngest of them I'm sure.


Correction:

The ASAT conspiracy theories *are* getting real stupid.
Stop the stupids!- Claus Kellerman
 
Spar
Posts: 184
Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2019 7:37 pm

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:59 am

Ozair wrote:
Spar, you need to research this stuff before you make these types of claims.
You have a lot of nerve telling me to "research this stuff" while throwing out misinformation and obfuscation. Your chart, the one you supplied above, showed an upper limit for the SM-3 IIA as 1400km and then provided a description of two intercept scenarios which undermined all your earlier claims. Now you have dug up an eight year old technical description of what was to be a future missile, the IIA, and you want me to take the projected 5.5km/s and translate that into an ultimate maximum altitude for the missiles? This is just spewing numbers to confuse the issue.

The reality is that the IIA has an approximate altitude limitation of 1,400km (from your data) and lateral displacement calculation would have to be subtracted from that maximum in order to determine the max altitude of an achievable kill for any particular mission. No matter what logical gymnastics you go through, the SM-3 IIA comes up short for an anti-sat weapon. It won't even get all the satellites in low or mid orbit, even if the Navy has located it's Aegis ships to accommodate an anti-sat mission. As the article in the PDF that you linked summarizes:
The PAA system as it gets to Phase 3 and 4 could hold at risk a significant portion of either China’s or Russia’s low earth orbiting satellites
"a significant portion" - "low earth orbiting"- that's not good enough.

Ozair wrote:
No nation has the ability currently to hit a GEO Satellite with an ASAT missile whatever way it is launched so those systems remain out of reach, likely barring some technical change
The operative word in the above is currently but that isn't even an issue in this discussion; I've never made a claim of geosynchronous orbit capability. But now that you mention it, it is possible that a big anti-sat missile is the justification for the X model. I suggest we just leave that dog lie.

Ozair wrote:
The US Military is the highest user of space assets of any military on the globe and therefore has the most to lose from ASAT related engagements.
We have a lot of soldiers, shall we remove their rifles lest they get shot? That's defective logic if I've ever seen such a thing.

Now you're arguing against the idea of satellite warfare, that's hypocritical seeing that in the above posts you've been making arguments and supplying links proclaiming the SM-3's antisat capability.

Ozair wrote:
Can you point to where the sole role of the Space Force is ASAT?
I never made that claim. I couldn't even if it was the case. As the boilerplate you provided shows, everything is multifaceted and has multiple roles and cost justifications, it kinda reminds me of Garrison Keeler telling us that in Lake Woebegone "all the children are above average". Same concept here.

Ozair wrote:
Spar, again while I don’t like the F-15X concept replacing the F-15C/D with the X will almost certainly bring a higher readiness rate to the ANG which appears to a primary motivator. Cost simply isn’t a significant factor in the debate, as much as I would like it to be.
You say you don't like the F-15X concept but in the very next sentence you act as the pitchman for the concept by denigrating the arguments against the blatantly obvious poor financial logic behind the proposal, by trying to portray the SM-3 as having much more capability than it actually does have and then by attempting to negate the idea of satellite warfare. You've been all over the place with those arguments. You even called me out a few posts back when I mentioned that there were treaties that may have made the DOD want to keep antisat missile development in the black. Now you post a link (the PDF) that discusses anti-satellite missile treaties and obligations that the US had entered into and how they affected missile tests.

None of the issues brought about by the F-15-X proposal are complicated, the summary from your link above will do for analyses of the SM-3 capability. The only complicated issue we're facing is the cost per hour of use of the aircraft and that would be too complicated to be analyzed on an internet forum such as this. Suffice to say, those numbers are no doubt very malleable, past present and future. Without detailed analysis by someone already familiar with DOD/USAF accounting practices they are meaningless. Actually they are less than meaningless while a sales campaign is underway.

Some of your argument is comical, look at this quote you provided:
Those two organizations, minus the obvious political appointees, are full of professional people who are dedicated to providing the US Military with the best equipment, personal and training available and to maintain the capability edge the US has.
You're talking about two hierarchal bureaucracies which are in disagreement about this project in the first place. But even on a good day these people are cutthroat negotiators who are all looking out for their own sacred cows.

BTW
It's great to see you and SuperiorPilotMe joining forces. :wave:
 
Ozair
Posts: 3790
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu Apr 11, 2019 12:04 pm

Spar wrote:
You have a lot of nerve telling me to "research this stuff" while throwing out misinformation and obfuscation. Your chart, the one you supplied above, showed an upper limit for the SM-3 IIA as 1400km and then provided a description of two intercept scenarios which undermined all your earlier claims. Now you have dug up an eight year old technical description of what was to be a future missile, the IIA, and you want me to take the projected 5.5km/s and translate that into an ultimate maximum altitude for the missiles? This is just spewing numbers to confuse the issue.

Spar, again you are not reading correctly. Clearly the chart I provided is from ~2013, before the SM-3 Blk IIA was tested, as was the 2011 document above that talks about the Blk IIA having potentially a higher altitude. I’m happy to just talk about the 1450km altitude but to claim that is a hard limit is disingenuous when sources indicate it will likely be capable of more than that.

Spar wrote:
The reality is that the IIA has an approximate altitude limitation of 1,400km (from your data) and lateral displacement calculation would have to be subtracted from that maximum in order to determine the max altitude of an achievable kill for any particular mission.

Indeed, remember I made it easy for you and did those calculations.

Spar wrote:
No matter what logical gymnastics you go through, the SM-3 IIA comes up short for an anti-sat weapon. It won't even get all the satellites in low or mid orbit, even if the Navy has located it's Aegis ships to accommodate an anti-sat mission. As the article in the PDF that you linked summarizes:
The PAA system as it gets to Phase 3 and 4 could hold at risk a significant portion of either China’s or Russia’s low earth orbiting satellites
"a significant portion" - "low earth orbiting"- that's not good enough.

Did you read what I wrote in the last post?
Ozair wrote:
So that means that the majority of these LEO satellites are within reach of the SM-3 Blk IIA.

Did I say all? Nope clearly not. Did I say a significant portion, I think we could equate majority to a significant portion. If you review everything I have spoken about in this thread on this ASAT topic I have been quite clear on LEO and the inability to hit MEO and GEO orbits.

The key to remember, and mentioned multiple times already by myself and the sources I have provided, is that dominating space and preventing other militaries use of satellites doesn't have to be a kinetic kill.


Spar wrote:
The operative word in the above is currently but that isn't even an issue in this discussion; I've never made a claim of geosynchronous orbit capability. But now that you mention it, it is possible that a big anti-sat missile is the justification for the X model. I suggest we just leave that dog lie.

We don’t need dogs, we need evidence. How about you provide some evidence for the above claim to be able to hit a GEO with a big missile?

Spar wrote:
We have a lot of soldiers, shall we remove their rifles lest they get shot? That's defective logic if I've ever seen such a thing.

Well these soldiers typically, except in very rare occasions, aren’t shooting each other but to carry your analogy further the US takes great care in avoiding friendly fire on land, air and sea.

To use ASATs against those targets in LEO would create an unacceptable level of debris in orbit that would initially restrict and then likely directly impact US satellite operations. This isn’t a debateable topic, it is simply a statement of fact.

Spar wrote:
Now you're arguing against the idea of satellite warfare, that's hypocritical seeing that in the above posts you've been making arguments and supplying links proclaiming the SM-3's antisat capability.

I’ve argued against ASAT warfare from the start. My statement and support for the SM-3 is purely about demonstrating that the SM-3 is sufficient for that role should it be required and that the ASAT mission is not the reason for the F-15X acquisition. Nothing more.


Spar wrote:
You say you don't like the F-15X concept but in the very next sentence you act as the pitchman for the concept by denigrating the arguments against the blatantly obvious poor financial logic behind the proposal, by trying to portray the SM-3 as having much more capability than it actually does have and then by attempting to negate the idea of satellite warfare.

LOL, I don't know how many times I have been accused of being an F-35 fanboy here on Anet, certainly more than I could count. Very amusing that now apparently I am a F-15X fanboy...

Spar, how many times do I have to say it, the poor financial logic, which I agree is poor, is essentially immaterial to the issue. The money is not the issue here, availability of aircraft is. I have stated so many times on this thread that I think the X is a bad idea, that the USAF should push those funds into increasing the F-35 production rate, and subsequently accept the short term reduction in the number of available aircraft for the long term benefit of more and cheaper F-35s. The US DoD is not prepared to take these squadrons offline for the 36 months required to transfer them to F-35 when they could prospectively switch to the X in 6 months.

In that context, the lower per hour cost and reuse of the same ground equipment are simply nice side benefits.

Spar wrote:
You've been all over the place with those arguments. You even called me out a few posts back when I mentioned that there were treaties that may have made the DOD want to keep antisat missile development in the black. Now you post a link (the PDF) that discusses anti-satellite missile treaties and obligations that the US had entered into and how they affected missile tests.

Please name the anti-satellite missile treaties.

Spar wrote:
None of the issues brought about by the F-15-X proposal are complicated, the summary from your link above will do for analyses of the SM-3 capability. The only complicated issue we're facing is the cost per hour of use of the aircraft and that would be too complicated to be analyzed on an internet forum such as this. Suffice to say, those numbers are no doubt very malleable, past present and future. Without detailed analysis by someone already familiar with DOD/USAF accounting practices they are meaningless. Actually they are less than meaningless while a sales campaign is underway.

We have enough information that the analysis of per hour costs is close enough to be good enough. Even if we are out by a year or two in costs the general calculation is good enough for us to understand the decision being made. What we don’t know, and despite you claiming it and being asked to prove it while continuing to dodge the question, is how long the C/D fleet will last even with an upgrade. The USAF is clear that the C/D won’t last past 2027-29 and any upgrades proposed come with the risk of unforeseen issues emerging post that while likely not improving availability.

Spar wrote:
Some of your argument is comical, look at this quote you provided:
Those two organizations, minus the obvious political appointees, are full of professional people who are dedicated to providing the US Military with the best equipment, personal and training available and to maintain the capability edge the US has.
You're talking about two hierarchal bureaucracies which are in disagreement about this project in the first place. But even on a good day these people are cutthroat negotiators who are all looking out for their own sacred cows.

If the alternative is your opinion and attitude to these people then I happy maintain my position.
 
Ozair
Posts: 3790
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:32 pm

Much of the same commentary and the continuing debate now in Congress on the F-15X acquisition. At this point in time it looks like the additional F-35 aircraft in the unfunded priorities list will get up and potentially even more beside, to a total 102 aircraft.

F-35 lobbying war unleashed by Pentagon’s bid to buy rival fighter

A dogfight in Congress over the stealthy F-35 and an older jet fighter has been rejuvenated and its outcome could impact Pratt & Whitney jobs in Connecticut.

The Pentagon surprised many by cutting back on the number of F-35 stealth fighters it has asked Congress to pay for this year.

At a cost of about $8 billion, the Pentagon requested 78 F-35 jets, which are built by Lockheed Martin. That’s down from the 84 fighter jets the Defense Department had projected for 2020. The Joint Strike Fighter’s engine is manufactured by Pratt & Whitney.

The Pentagon’s budget request also asked for eight new “advanced” F-15X jets—to be used by the Air Force and the Air National Guard. The F-15X is built by Boeing, whose engines are made by General Electric.

...

https://ctmirror.org/2019/04/11/f-35-lo ... l-fighter/

More at the link.
 
Ozair
Posts: 3790
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed Apr 24, 2019 1:16 am

With a current rate of one per month, and it appears the production line can’t currently do more than that one per month, clearly Boeing will need to increase the rate, if the USAF does eventually procure approx. 80 aircraft over a five year period.

Boeing prepares St. Louis plant for likely Air Force F-15 orders

Boeing is preparing to build F-15 fighter planes for the U.S. Air Force at its St. Louis County plant even though the military branch hasn’t bought the jet in over a decade.

The Chicago-based company began ramping up its F-15 production line near St. Louis after the Air Force submitted a nearly $8 billion budget request last month that included eight F-15s next year and 72 in the following four years. The request came as a surprise to many since the U.S. military has moved toward stealth fighters, such as Lockheed Martin's F-35, in recent years.

Prat Kumar, Boeing International’s vice president, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the company is investing before Congress approves the budget request so it can respond quickly should the Air Force seek rapid field deployment.

Engineers and manufacturing experts recently met at the St. Louis County facility to determine how to efficiently assemble the fighter jet with its modern defense, radar and operating systems.

The first F-15 was first developed in the early 1970s, and foreign orders from Singapore, South Korea and Saudi Arabia have kept the Missouri manufacturing line running in recent years.

...

https://www.airforcetimes.com/news/your ... 15-orders/

More at the link.
 
Ozair
Posts: 3790
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu Apr 25, 2019 10:57 pm

Shanahan has been cleared from any wrong doing over comments or allegations for supporting Boeing platforms including the F-15X.

This will likely smooth the path to the F-15X acquisition.

IG Report: Shanahan Called F-35 Program, Not Plane, 'F-----d Up'

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan did not use his position to promote Boeing, his former employer, while disparaging its competitors, the Pentagon's top watchdog said Thursday.

Shanahan "fully complied with his ethics agreements and his ethical obligations regarding Boeing and its competitors," according to a 47-page report released by the Defense Department's Inspector General's office. The findings end a month-long probe into allegations of wrongdoing and could pave the way for President Donald Trump to nominate Shanahan to serve in the defense secretary role permanently.

...

When Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller was asked whether Mattis was forced to intervene after Shanahan pushed the general to purchase Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornets, he said it never happened.

"Nobody gets [Secretary] Mattis to do anything," Neller said, after telling investigators he never felt pressured by Shanahan to buy products from certain companies.

Similar claims were made about the Air Force, with Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein facing alleged pressure to buy Boeing F-15Xs or risk facing cuts to other programs. Investigators found no evidence it had happened.

https://www.military.com/daily-news/201 ... e-f-d.html

More at the link.
 
texl1649
Posts: 949
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 5:38 am

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:32 pm

Interesting discussion of stealth vs super hornet and eagles.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... te-457459/
 
Ozair
Posts: 3790
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Sun Apr 28, 2019 10:29 pm

texl1649 wrote:
Interesting discussion of stealth vs super hornet and eagles.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... te-457459/

Pretty average article really. No doubt the Blk III has some good capabilities but anyone trying to claim it can replace or function as well as a stealth fighter is being disingenuous. It is at least commendable that towards the end they include the quote from RAND’s Brad Martin which essentially invalidates everything Boeing was trying to peddle.
"I think they are right to say for navy aviation tactical missions, the F-18 is, for the life of the airplane, perfectly satisfactory."
The F/A-18E/F remains relevant because of its ability to launch new, longer-range missiles from outside adversaries' anti access/area denial defences, as well as the jet's ability to perform strike missions against unsophisticated foes, says Martin.

As a capability the F-35C is so far ahead of the SH in any variation it isn’t worth the argument. We can look at the Danish competition for evidence of this difference.

Image

The USN has never operating a stealth aircraft from their carriers and only after 2021 when VFA-147 deploys will they truly realise the capability difference.

What the SH does have going for it is the large number in service with the USN and the Hornet mafia present within the service. It is clearly a priority for the USN as the SH, even when all F-35Cs are delivered to the USN, will be in greater numbers for the carrier air wings. I expect the same situation will occur 20 years for now though. The USN will continue to acquire F-35Cs while a new aircraft is being inducted given the known quantity, lower cost and established knowledge and user base makes the transition to a new platform more difficult than buying the old one in greater numbers.
 
checksixx
Posts: 1214
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 11:39 pm

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Mon Apr 29, 2019 12:09 am

Buying F-15EX is just plain stupid.
 
Spar
Posts: 184
Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2019 7:37 pm

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Mon Apr 29, 2019 3:22 am

checksixx wrote:
Buying F-15EX is just plain stupid.

I would like to see someone who supports this plan actually make a post here defending the idea, that way a debate might be had and all the reasons of why F-15 acquisitions replacing F-35 acquisitions are so stupid could be cited in reasonable fashion. As it is, with no one in defense of the F-15EX program, doing so would just be whipping a dead horse.
 
User avatar
bikerthai
Posts: 2834
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:45 pm

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Mon Apr 29, 2019 1:21 pm

I would like to one day see if any of these posts are from off shore trolls who do not read the rest of the discussion above before posting. For those non-fictional characters out there and have not read the history behind this posts . . .

The F-15X is not replacing the F-35. They are replacing the F-15C/D.
The reason why it was chosen the F-15X vs retrofitting the F-15C/D is that they think they can save money on the long run.
The reason why they propose the F-15 over buying more F-35 is: they can not re-train enough pilots and mechanics in the short terms to meet their force structure requirements.
An ulterior motive is to keep Boeing in the fighter business so they can bid on the next F-X project and to keep LM honest as the latest report suggests they are not convinced that the cost of the F-35 is coming down as fast as they like.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
User avatar
Amazonski
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri May 04, 2018 8:23 pm

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Mon Apr 29, 2019 8:56 pm

checksixx wrote:
Buying F-15EX is just plain stupid.

Buying a huge flying AESA radar, that can rack some 22 AA missiles and work in network with F-35 is not stupid. Maybe not the optimal solution, but not stupid.

And not only USAF and the Israeli think it's not stupid. USN also have tactical schemas that use together SH + F35.
 
Ozair
Posts: 3790
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Mon Apr 29, 2019 9:30 pm

Amazonski wrote:
checksixx wrote:
Buying F-15EX is just plain stupid.

Buying a huge flying AESA radar, that can rack some 22 AA missiles and work in network with F-35 is not stupid. Maybe not the optimal solution, but not stupid.

It is stupid in the context that that money could be used to acquire more F-35s, which can be used across the whole range of USAF missions, and not just for those where air superiority has already been established by 5th gen fighters or bombing within a permissive environment.

The only thing going for this deal is the quick time to transition for ANG F-15C/D fleet to a new aircraft with better availability and not having to buy as many spares. Nothing else about this deal makes sense.

Amazonski wrote:
And not only USAF and the Israeli think it's not stupid. USN also have tactical schemas that use together SH + F35.

Israel hasn’t actually ordered the F-15X, or IA, yet. They very well might but the reasons for that are not the same as the reasons the ANG may get F-15Xs.

The USN is still developing the conops for the F-35C but the expectation is it will be the premier strike aircraft and fly and fight in areas the SH cannot go. As we have already seen with the USMC where the F-35 is taking on a new fleet defence role in a way the AV-8B never could we will also see the USN exploit the ability of the F-35C to designate, target and direct long range SM-6 launches for fleet defence while remaining undetected by the adversary.
 
checksixx
Posts: 1214
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 11:39 pm

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Tue Apr 30, 2019 2:17 am

Amazonski wrote:
Buying a huge flying AESA radar, that can rack some 22 AA missiles and work in network with F-35 is not stupid. Maybe not the optimal solution, but not stupid.

And not only USAF and the Israeli think it's not stupid. USN also have tactical schemas that use together SH + F35.


It is, in fact, terribly stupid. You can't have a solution when there isn't a problem to begin with. Boeing just wants to sell jets...they're pawing for scraps.
 
mmo
Posts: 1719
Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:04 pm

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Tue Apr 30, 2019 12:03 pm

Spar wrote:
checksixx wrote:
Buying F-15EX is just plain stupid.

I would like to see someone who supports this plan actually make a post here defending the idea, that way a debate might be had and all the reasons of why F-15 acquisitions replacing F-35 acquisitions are so stupid could be cited in reasonable fashion. As it is, with no one in defense of the F-15EX program, doing so would just be whipping a dead horse.


First of all, the USAF is not the one pushing for the F-15EX, that force is coming out of the SEC AF office.

The F-35 has major problems that are not even close to being fixed. The plane itself is a good plane, but it reminds me of the B-58. The problems of the F-35 are not even close to being resolved. That is holding up a large block 5 purchase.

There is a tremendous parts shortage which is exacerbating the problems with a growing fleet. You end up cannibalizing aircraft to have others fly and as the parts shortage gets worse the problems get worse.


https://www.military.com/daily-news/201 ... rd%20Brief

I know it's a USMX issue but on the USAF side as deployments progress, the same problem will occur. The EX which is scheduled to replace the C/D models (if the purchase does occur), can do the job at a lower price until the problems are solved on the F-35 and that will take years.

Finally, just the transition time makes sense, especially for Guard and units. We are talking weeks for a Guard or Reserve unit to become mission ready vs years for an F-35 unit.

The SEC of AF has been adamant about the purchase remaining the same, but some of the existing F-15 C/D need to take a trip to DM.
If we weren't all crazy we'd all go insane!
 
User avatar
bikerthai
Posts: 2834
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:45 pm

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:20 pm

Ozair wrote:
The only thing going for this deal is the quick time to transition for ANG F-15C/D fleet to a new aircraft with better availability and not having to buy as many spares.


Could you say that this is a product of an all volunteer army? Not enough personnel (pilots and maintenance crew) to go through training and still maintain sufficient support to fly the F-15C?

Could you also say that this is a product of budgetary spending where much funds is slated to pay off debt as oppose to going to other activities?

It's not stupidity, it's priorities and philosophy. Like much of anything else, you can not know if you make the right decision until you are farther down the road. Even then, you are still left second guessing yourself.

LOL. For those of us here trying to second guess this decision or the decision to buy F-35. We just have to look at other countries in the world and their fighter development and purchasing. What we have done here, and is about to do, doesn't seem that bad . . . :old:

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
User avatar
bikerthai
Posts: 2834
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:45 pm

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:26 pm

mmo wrote:
We are talking weeks for a Guard or Reserve unit to become mission ready vs years for an F-35 unit.


Never thought about that . . . for Guard pilots, how many days a year are they pulled out for training? I mean if it takes one to two months to re-train a pilot, do they do it all in one shot, or do they have to break it into blocks? My impression is that Reserved personnel only serve 2 weeks a year but can be called for extended service in case of war or emergency. Does extended training fall under this category?

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
texl1649
Posts: 949
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 5:38 am

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Tue Apr 30, 2019 9:54 pm

I’ve read previously the Aussies have a pretty sophisticated integration/oplans for SH (including growlers) and F-35’s.
 
Ozair
Posts: 3790
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Tue Apr 30, 2019 11:29 pm

mmo wrote:
Spar wrote:
checksixx wrote:
Buying F-15EX is just plain stupid.

I would like to see someone who supports this plan actually make a post here defending the idea, that way a debate might be had and all the reasons of why F-15 acquisitions replacing F-35 acquisitions are so stupid could be cited in reasonable fashion. As it is, with no one in defense of the F-15EX program, doing so would just be whipping a dead horse.


First of all, the USAF is not the one pushing for the F-15EX, that force is coming out of the SEC AF office.

The F-35 has major problems that are not even close to being fixed. The plane itself is a good plane, but it reminds me of the B-58. The problems of the F-35 are not even close to being resolved. That is holding up a large block 5 purchase.

There is a tremendous parts shortage which is exacerbating the problems with a growing fleet. You end up cannibalizing aircraft to have others fly and as the parts shortage gets worse the problems get worse.


https://www.military.com/daily-news/201 ... rd%20Brief

I know it's a USMX issue but on the USAF side as deployments progress, the same problem will occur. The EX which is scheduled to replace the C/D models (if the purchase does occur), can do the job at a lower price until the problems are solved on the F-35 and that will take years.

We need to be clear on the parts issues. The bulk of the issues for the combat coded fleet will be fixed before the end of the year. The issue is primarily with the pre Lot 5 aircraft compared to the Lot 8/9 aircraft with have MC rates between 60-70%. To get to the mandated 80% is not difficult for those combat coded fleet and the plan as per below will likely be done by September this year. The whole fleet will see that MC rate improvement by September 2020.

Image

Source for above is here, https://armedservices.house.gov/_cache/ ... 190404.pdf

The GAO is very clear on the spares issues in their last report and I’d suggest reading it to get an understanding on how the issue originated and how the fixes are overcoming the problems.

mmo wrote:
The EX which is scheduled to replace the C/D models (if the purchase does occur), can do the job at a lower price until the problems are solved on the F-35 and that will take years.

The problem is the timeframe. The USAF will not receive the first F-15EX for 3.5 years. With the F-35A’s operating cost expected to be lower than the F-16 by 2025 the operating cost difference bewteen the two will be minimal for perhaps a year before the F-35A becomes cheaper to operate. It already is cheaper to acquire.

mmo wrote:
Finally, just the transition time makes sense, especially for Guard and units. We are talking weeks for a Guard or Reserve unit to become mission ready vs years for an F-35 unit.

The SEC of AF has been adamant about the purchase remaining the same, but some of the existing F-15 C/D need to take a trip to DM.

It is a 6 month transition from F-15C to EX but that is likely for an Active Duty squadron so for a reserve/ANG unit it is likely to be 12 months.
"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.

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

bikerthai wrote:
Ozair wrote:
The only thing going for this deal is the quick time to transition for ANG F-15C/D fleet to a new aircraft with better availability and not having to buy as many spares.


Could you say that this is a product of an all volunteer army? Not enough personnel (pilots and maintenance crew) to go through training and still maintain sufficient support to fly the F-15C?

Could you also say that this is a product of budgetary spending where much funds is slated to pay off debt as oppose to going to other activities?

It's not stupidity, it's priorities and philosophy. Like much of anything else, you can not know if you make the right decision until you are farther down the road. Even then, you are still left second guessing yourself.

Nothing to do with a volunteer army, definitely part of this is to do with funding not being sufficient to maintain aircraft to the required MC rates. This has been fixed now and the funding is flowing to up the MC rates.

It does remain stupidity if the USAF in the long run makes a decision that improves perhaps the situation initially but in the long term restricts the service on the number and capability of platforms it can deploy to operate in future conflicts. Yes there are obvious reasons why this makes sense for short term force readiness but in the long run the F-15EX is unlikely to be a viable platform for what the USAF wants and needs it to do.

bikerthai wrote:
[LOL. For those of us here trying to second guess this decision or the decision to buy F-35. We just have to look at other countries in the world and their fighter development and purchasing. What we have done here, and is about to do, doesn't seem that bad . . . :old:

bt

What examples would you like to review from other nations? The EU is pursuing a 5th/6th gen policy with FCAS or F-35. The UK is inducting 5th gen and starting a 6th gen program. The US has previously been all in on 5th gen and is already funding a 6th gen. Even non F-35 partner nations like Japan, South Korea, Belgium, Poland, Finland are all likely moving to 5th gen dominated fleets, The Japanese haven’t ordered a total of 140 F-35s for no reason...


bikerthai wrote:
mmo wrote:
We are talking weeks for a Guard or Reserve unit to become mission ready vs years for an F-35 unit.


Never thought about that . . . for Guard pilots, how many days a year are they pulled out for training? I mean if it takes one to two months to re-train a pilot, do they do it all in one shot, or do they have to break it into blocks? My impression is that Reserved personnel only serve 2 weeks a year but can be called for extended service in case of war or emergency. Does extended training fall under this category?

bt

A decent percentage of ANG units have aircrew that serve in full time positions, most having transitioned from Active service into those roles. Yes portions of these aircrew are in part time roles but they still need to meet minimum training standards for flight hours and they won’t get that doing one weekend a month and two weeks a year, nor would the units have the aircrew available to cover their responsibilities.
 
Spar
Posts: 184
Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2019 7:37 pm

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed May 01, 2019 4:35 am

bikerthai wrote:
The F-15X is not replacing the F-35. They are replacing the F-15C/D.
At the same time the inexplicable order for Boeing's F-15s comes along, the ongoing order for F-35's has been reduced.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... an-planned

2 and 2 does still equal 4 doesn't it?
 
Spar
Posts: 184
Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2019 7:37 pm

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed May 01, 2019 5:20 am

mmo wrote:
Spar wrote:
checksixx wrote:
Buying F-15EX is just plain stupid.

I would like to see someone who supports this plan actually make a post here defending the idea, that way a debate might be had and all the reasons of why F-15 acquisitions replacing F-35 acquisitions are so stupid could be cited in reasonable fashion. As it is, with no one in defense of the F-15EX program, doing so would just be whipping a dead horse.


First of all, the USAF is not the one pushing for the F-15EX, that force is coming out of the SEC AF office.
Why do you say "First off? I assume that everyone here knows that this idea is being pushed down the air forces' throat.

mmo wrote:
The F-35 has major problems that are not even close to being fixed. The plane itself is a good plane, but it reminds me of the B-58. The problems of the F-35 are not even close to being resolved. That is holding up a large block 5 purchase.
Exactly what are those "problems that are not even close to being fixed" and are "not even close to being resolved"?

BTW There are many "blocks" ahead of the F-35 because it is designed to be malleable / upscaleable, that's one of the F-35's great advantages. And what is it about block 5 that you think is so important? Please answer the questions I am asking.

The F-35 program in no way resembles the B-58; that comparison is silly. The B-58 had a habit of incinerating its crews and requiring re-paving on the end of runways after its wheels exploded and punctured its fuel tanks, but that wasn't even the ultimate reason it was cancelled. The B-58 was cancelled when the Army guys informed the USAF that the B-58 was a sitting duck for the Nike system. Everything after the B-58 was nap of the Earth.

Why does such a knowledgeable person as yourself make such absurd arguments?
mmo wrote:
There is a tremendous parts shortage which is exacerbating the problems with a growing fleet. You end up cannibalizing aircraft to have others fly and as the parts shortage gets worse the problems get worse.
Is that a reason to scale back the size of the currant purchase? You do realize that the F-35 is in the early stage of a program that will last for over forty years don't you? From what I have heard, the F-35 has a high mission availability rate. Do you know anything different?

mmo wrote:
I know it's a USMX issue but on the USAF side as deployments progress, the same problem will occur. The EX which is scheduled to replace the C/D models (if the purchase does occur), can do the job at a lower price until the problems are solved on the F-35 and that will take years.
The EX does the exact same job as the C model, for about two and a half times the price of a rewinged C model, with no significant added capability.

mmo wrote:
Finally, just the transition time makes sense, especially for Guard and units. We are talking weeks for a Guard or Reserve unit to become mission ready vs years for an F-35 unit .
Building Ex's to replace C's is an out and out waste when looked at from a financial point of view, and the Guard pilots are going to have to learn to fly the F-35 or else get new jobs anyway, so that argument is nonsense.

It is also absurd to say that it will take years to train a highly experienced multiengine fighter pilot to fly a new single engine fighter that has been designed from the ground up to be intuitive in all aspects. That's another Shannahan argument that is utter and complete nonsense. Why do you parrot that crap?
Last edited by Spar on Wed May 01, 2019 5:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
Spar
Posts: 184
Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2019 7:37 pm

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed May 01, 2019 5:22 am

texl1649 wrote:
I’ve read previously the Aussies have a pretty sophisticated integration/oplans for SH (including growlers) and F-35’s.
How many years do you think it takes them to transition a SH pilot to the F-35?
 
Ozair
Posts: 3790
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed May 01, 2019 6:47 am

Spar wrote:
texl1649 wrote:
I’ve read previously the Aussies have a pretty sophisticated integration/oplans for SH (including growlers) and F-35’s.
How many years do you think it takes them to transition a SH pilot to the F-35?

The US has a host of F-35 aircrew who have converted from multiple different platforms (F-16, F-15C/E, A-10 etc). The current time to transition an experienced pilot is approximately 90 days,

This year, Luke has a goal to train 45 F-35 pilots, all of whom are experienced fighter pilots and will transition to the F-35 after a rigorous training program that lasts about 90 days. Training for new fighter pilots (those who are trained pilots, but new to fighter jets) is scheduled to begin next year and will be closer to nine months in duration.

https://www.f35.com/in-depth/detail/tra ... ter-pilots

and as you can see from the above quote approximately 9 months for a new pilot. The above article is four years old though so that timeframe may have reduced.

The RAAF have already transitioned a few SH aircrew to the F-35 while the bulk have come from classic Hornet. I expect both classic and Super Hornet aircrew make the transition to the F-35A smoother than F-15/16 aircrew given they are used to the higher AoA capability of the aircraft.
 
mmo
Posts: 1719
Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:04 pm

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed May 01, 2019 10:39 am

1. The B-58 was not an "incinerator" as you wrote. Nor did it have anything to do with repaving the end of the runways. There are two reasons the B-58 was so short lived. Firstly, it could not do the low level SIOP requirement. The Army and the Nike had nothing to do with that. Everyone after Gary Powers was shot down knew that. Additionally, the cost/flight hour was the nail in the coffin for the Hustler.

2. OZAIR talks about transition time. Show me where you come up with your figure for a Guard or Reserve pilot. The quote you used was for active duty from an F-15 to another aircraft. There was an interview with the COS AF and in it, he specifically quoted the shortened transition time since the aircraft is essentially the same thing. It is a differences only program.

Everyone is talking about pilots out of Luke. Let me tell you, once their training is over there, they are only mission capable. To become mission ready it is more training at their home base. That applies for transition training, new pilots. You name it. For a Guard guy to go from a C/D to an E/X they will be mission qualified in a couple of rides back at their base.

The E/X is NOT the same aircraft as a C with a wing mod. One of the problems which keeps getting cited is until the first C/D is opened up, no one knows just how expensive it will be. The E/X is a 40-year airframe with much more potential than the rewinged C/D. Plus you still have the same old radar, not the AESA set.

The USAF has made it clear there will be no LOT 5 large purchase until the lot 4 problems are taken care of.

LM keeps stating the price will be lower than the F-15E/X and I just don't see it happening. If Turkey is removed from the F-35 program the cost will never come down. The USAF itself reduced the next buy amount. That was to pay for other programs which it has committed to. The frames will be made up in future years.

One issue I haven't seen discussed is the push to return to the Century Series philosophy. If that happens you will be lucky to see 50% of the F-35 program ordered.
If we weren't all crazy we'd all go insane!
 
User avatar
bikerthai
Posts: 2834
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:45 pm

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed May 01, 2019 12:55 pm

Spar wrote:
At the same time the inexplicable order for Boeing's F-15s comes along, the ongoing order for F-35's has been reduced.https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... an-planned2 and 2 does still equal 4 doesn't it?


The article stated that that the Air Force is not reducing their F-35 buys. The reduction in orders were from the NAVY or Marines. What the Navy and Marines are doing has nothing to do with the F-15 buy.

By the way Spar, would you happen to hail from St. Petersburg?

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos