JayinKitsap
Posts: 1724
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2005 9:55 am

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:47 pm

In an opinion piece at RCD a retired Col writes how important to order the F-15ex, he has valid points but it smacks of a Loren Thompson article where contributors to his site asked him to write, basically PR not news.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articl ... 14972.html


I agree on the big importance of diversity, why I do like getting the F-15ex, but only if we keep going full throttle on acquiring F-35's , we should at this stage have hundreds more F-35's in service but for the program delays.
 
Ozair
Posts: 4520
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:12 pm

JayinKitsap wrote:
In an opinion piece at RCD a retired Col writes how important to order the F-15ex, he has valid points but it smacks of a Loren Thompson article where contributors to his site asked him to write, basically PR not news.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articl ... 14972.html


I agree on the big importance of diversity, why I do like getting the F-15ex, but only if we keep going full throttle on acquiring F-35's , we should at this stage have hundreds more F-35's in service but for the program delays.


A couple of problems with the article. He talks about diversity but ignores that the USAF will continue to operate F-15s, in the form of the E, until at least 2040. The USAF will also continue to operate F-16s until at least the mid 2030s and potentially longer. Who knows how long the A-10s will last. Add in the F-22s which aren’t going anywhere and you have all the diversity you need.

The flight hour cost is also wrong in that it is only factoring in the cost of operating the jet on a per hour basis and ignores the costs involved in maintaining a sub fleet of aircraft. The USAF wants economies of scale that come with operating large numbers of a single type and the number is approx. 150+ for that to happen.

An F-15EX carrying 22 A2A missiles is not going to have a very good range nor speed given the drag and number of pylons occupied by that loadout. It is better to consider alternative arrangements for the carriage of additional missiles for 5th gen assets, such as loyal wingmen, than maintain a 4th gen aircraft as a bomb truck in threat environments it likely cannot survive in.

The final issue I have is this continual problem with people claiming the F-35 cannot take hypersonics in its internal weapons bay, and therefore isn’t suited to that weapon/role. The F-35 has external pylons rated to the same weight as the F-15 and is more than capable of hosting larger weapons. The F-35 also has the advantage of having all its fuel internal and therefore not sacrificing range for the carriage of a hypersonic weapon, which the F-15EX would do with a large hypersonic weapon taking the place of the wing drop tanks. The F-35 could also deploy a hypersonic weapon and then follow that up with a stealth configuration into the battlespace using payload held within its internal bomb bay.

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