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Stitch
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USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:32 pm

Would be a direct replacement for the F-15C and F-15D fleets and based on the F-15QA being purchased by Qatar. The USAF was evidently the driver of the program and asked Boeing to develop a proposal.

http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/22 ... nt-fighter
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:05 pm

What ever happened to the F15 Silent Eagle?
When wasn't America great?


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TranscendZac
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:40 am

Excellent idea. Still a very capable aircraft and with the new mods should prove very effective for a long time.
Zac
 
Ozair
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu Jul 26, 2018 2:08 am

Stitch wrote:
Would be a direct replacement for the F-15C and F-15D fleets and based on the F-15QA being purchased by Qatar. The USAF was evidently the driver of the program and asked Boeing to develop a proposal.

Everything I have read up to now has indicated the opposite, that Boeing is the one making the offer to the USAF. This is probably the third or even fourth different proposal Boeing has made to the USAF regarding new build F-15s and frankly is not in line with what the USAF has been indicating, at least through ACC investigating the retirement of the fleet and by cancelling the EW upgrade for the C.

If the USAF needed new jets today they could have ordered years ago and the additional work done for Qatar and Saudi Arabia (which is where the real development was completed) hasn’t IMO drastically improved the jet to the point where an additional acquisition is justified. Looking ahead the acquisition timeframe only gets worse with KC-46, B-21, F-35 and T-X all coming or in production and therefore competing for budget.

Does anyone honestly see a long life for a new F-15 within the USAF, especially within the context of current and future threats?
 
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Slug71
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu Jul 26, 2018 3:06 am

Ehh... I just don't see it happening TBH. It makes too much sense to replace the F-16s and F-15s entirely with the F-35. A lot of money and effort (which seems to be paying off) has been put into the project and it's really maturing now. The F-35 can easily replace both, with negligible Cons VS all the Pros.

Doesn't look like it will be replacing the A-10 though. Or at least not majority. The F/A-18 will also not likely see much more development unless India choose to go with it. The F-35B will be favourable too.
Boeing should be going for a A-10 replacement.
 
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smithbs
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:14 am

I agree with the above. I think it is more Boeing trying to nudge USAF, who is looking in a different direction right now. I could maybe see a top-up of F-15E...maybe...but with F-35 coming online the writing is on the wall.
 
RJMAZ
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:54 am

This is 100% Boeing trying to market the F-15.

The USAF did not approach Boeing. Anything that says the opposite will be fake news.

Regarding the F-35, people either get how it works or they don't. The people that don't understand could think the F-15X idea will work.

The manned force structure of the F-22, F-35 and B-21 covers nearly every mission set. All three can drop bombs, two are highly agile fighters, they have overlapping capbility.

There is no additional capability the F-15X could provide that isnt already covered. You could just buy a few more F-35's and a couple extra B-21. The F-35 will definitely cheaper per aircraft than the F-15X.

For some member who aren't aware of the force plan:

The F-22 is the fast mover. As the number aircraft are small it will get used for missions that require speed. Intercepting enemy aircraft and quick strike of fixed ground targets.

The B-21 will deliver large payloads to deep within enemy territory. It can strike fixed and mobile targets so it will be more flexible than a traditional bomber.

The F-35 will make up the bulk of the force. It is the most controversial but is relatively cheap to purchase by comparison. It compliments the F-22 and B-21 perfectly. You take away the high speed and long range mission and give those to the F-22 and B-21 respectively. The remaining bulk of core missions the F-35 can not only do well, but do them better than any other aircraft in the world. These bulk core missions require very good avionics and sensors that can provide situational awareness as the missions would be very fluid. This is where the F-35 excels.

Speed
Stealth
Avionics
Endurance
Agility
Cost

I give the F-35 atleast 8/10 in every category giving it a very high total score. Having such a capable aircraft operating off ships makes the US quite potent. Its a great aircraft for smaller countries to operate as their only fixed wing combat aircraft.
 
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seahawk
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu Jul 26, 2018 5:42 am

If you have a mission for the Golden Eagles, you have a mission for the F-15X. The rest is pure accounting. If the purchase price and support costs of a fleet of F-15X is lower than the upgrade and support costs of the old eagle fleet until the planed retirement of the F-15, the buy can make sense.
 
morrisond
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:09 pm

Wouldn't it just make more sense to restart F-22 production? An F-22B? Upgraded Engines, F-35 Avionics, improved Stealth coatings and call it a day?

You know a 6th Gen fighter will take way longer than anyone anticipates - probably not joining the fleet in bulk until 2040's.

This would be a better use of taxpayer funds I believe and if bought in enough bulk (Call it 200-300) to replace legacy F-15 they would be the frontline and the F-22A's could be used for training and Continental Defense (and stop upgrading them which will cost billions - the money could be used to restart the line).
 
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bikerthai
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:17 pm

If anything else, it had to be seen as complementary to the F-35, not as an alternative to it.


People, stealth is not a panacea. It works great for top cover and the initial engagements. However, for everyday grunt work, it is more expensive to maintain.

Seems like the USAF is just looking for a few mules to haul massive loads of missiles/bombs that can sit behind a line of F-35's to counter any attempt to overwhelm the front line fighters with mass quantities. And if you think about it, the F15 bomb hauler could be more of a A-10 replacement than the F-35. You just need to put a pod on the belly that can spit out something larger than 20mm rounds.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
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QuarkFly
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:29 pm

We already have F-22's with no real mission....why would we go back to F-15's ??

Hopefully the F-35 and it's similar relatives around the world are the last tactical aircraft ever built in large numbers, actually the F-35 is a dubious aircraft as well...the world is moving to drones. Tactical aircraft are now a total waste of $$.

Air-to-air combat is for history buff's...long range missiles with AI and drones for attack and recon are the future, for better or worse.
Always take the Red Eye if possible
 
texl1649
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:32 pm

That's a lot more ordinance than an F35 can deliver, and no matter what anyone says, in a future conflict there will be a need for bombs in areas not covered in top tier air defenses.

Plus, practically speaking, why wouldn't the USAF want to keep two prime vendors in the inventory for the next 30 years in TAC-air? Sure, the up front cost vs. F-35 is similar, but there's not much doubt that the F-15 fleet is going to be cheaper to operate. For CONUS missions, surely, stealth isn't really needed, anyway; why keep sending F-22's to intercept Tu-95's (and/or why go to a single engine plane to do it)?
 
LightningZ71
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:58 pm

This is a supplement to the F-22's mission set and nothing more. The F-22 is being wasted on missions where it's stealth isn't needed. That's putting hours on the frame that don't need to be there, and wasting it's expensive logistics costs. It is also a replacement for the C/D models that are going to be retired. This replaces the expensive upgrade projects that have been programmed, and replaces the expensive SLEP that was supposed to deal with a handful of air frame corrosion and wear issues. With Boeing agreeing to a fixed price contract for this, and that price being less than the F-35, why not get a known good platform for those missions that don't require stealth? The US will be flying air soverignty missions as long as its in existence. Those missions don't have to be done with stealth aircraft, and benefit from having an aircraft that has a high sustained dash speed and long legs, two things that the F-15x has.

I see this as a logical decision, and, with the expected 20,000 hour airframe life expectancy, its going to be cost efficient over its lifetime.
 
mmo
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:12 pm

QuarkFly wrote:
Air-to-air combat is for history buff's...long range missiles with AI and drones for attack and recon are the future, for better or worse.


Funny thing, that was said in the late 50's and early 60's. Thus we had the F-104, the F-4 (originally, F-110), F-102/106 and the F-111 all of which were built or initially built without any internal gun. The logic was, "after all the fight will be BVR". We know how that turned out.

Personally, I think the F-15X would be a great supplement to the F-22/F-35 force which is planned. The aircraft provides lower operating costs, plenty of internal room for added systems and expansion. The loadout of 24 AAm would be a great addition, the upgraded avionics would also provide a tremendous boost to the capability of the aircraft. The current stable of F-15C/D are rapidly reaching the end of their useful life. Either money will have to be spent soon upgrading things such as radar and a SLEP or they will be relegated to the boneyard. While the F-16 is a great aircraft, it can't fill the shoes of an F-15.
If we weren't all crazy we'd all go insane!
 
Ozair
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:19 pm

texl1649 wrote:
That's a lot more ordinance than an F35 can deliver, and no matter what anyone says, in a future conflict there will be a need for bombs in areas not covered in top tier air defenses.

The F-15X concept is about replacing the F-15C/D air superiority fleet. Despite what Tyler is suggesting the aircraft would almost certainly conduct very little to no strike role in USAF service. As for ordnance, the F-35 stacks up very well against an F-15 in payload capability.

texl1649 wrote:
Plus, practically speaking, why wouldn't the USAF want to keep two prime vendors in the inventory for the next 30 years in TAC-air?

The USAF is not there is keep corporations in business. There are enough manufacturers that Boeing’s exit from manned fighter aircraft will have no long term detraction on the maintenance and sustainment of the future USAF fleet. Don’t forgot that the USAF can tender for the maintenance and support of both the F-22 and F-35 to any company they like, LM does not have sole ownership of that business. Sure LM almost certainly have an advantage but it is not clear cut nor guaranteed.

texl1649 wrote:
Sure, the up front cost vs. F-35 is similar, but there's not much doubt that the F-15 fleet is going to be cheaper to operate.

There is no way Boeing can offer an F-15X for less than an F-35, simply no way. Already the USAF operates a comparable number of F-35s to the F-15C/D fleet, and in four years will operate more F-35 than all F-15s, and four years after that will operate more F-35s than it has ever operated F-15s…

The F-15 is a large twin engine aircraft that costs more to operate per hour and costs more to acquire. Boeing will not lose money selling F-15s to the USAF nor would their executives sanction and shareholders be happy with a loss making exercise of selling aircraft below cost price.

texl1649 wrote:
For CONUS missions, surely, stealth isn't really needed, anyway; why keep sending F-22's to intercept Tu-95's (and/or why go to a single engine plane to do it)?

Why not use a single engine aircraft to do it? That works for many other nations around the globe, including the USAF who also use single engine aircraft for that role. Aircraft and aircrew have to fly to maintain proficiency and there is no massive over burden of flight hours on the F-22 fleet that it needs to be rationed by not conducting these interceptions. In fact stopping the F-22 fleet from WVR practise would better preserve flight hours than long range low G interception missions.
LightningZ71 wrote:
This is a supplement to the F-22's mission set and nothing more. The F-22 is being wasted on missions where it's stealth isn't needed. That's putting hours on the frame that don't need to be there, and wasting it's expensive logistics costs.

As already stated the F-22 needs to fly to maintain aircrew and airframe proficiency. The fleet is not short of hours nor are current hours being wasted.
LightningZ71 wrote:
It is also a replacement for the C/D models that are going to be retired. This replaces the expensive upgrade projects that have been programmed, and replaces the expensive SLEP that was supposed to deal with a handful of air frame corrosion and wear issues.

The maximum cost of the F-15C/D SLEP was going to be US$30 million that would likely have included replacing the wings. A much cheaper cost, approx. US$1 million per aircraft, would have allowed the airframe to serve for longer.
Over the past two years, the USAF has discussed options for keeping a subset of the F-15C fleet in service through the mid- to late-2030s. Those aircraft would require a longeron replacement with a $1 million cost per shipset, Parker says. Some Air Force officials also are discussing options to keep the F-15Cs in service even longer, which could require a wing replacement, Parker says.
The additional life extension is currently “not required, but it my be something they want to do”” Parker says. “We’re just giving them some options.”

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... af-446189/

LightningZ71 wrote:
With Boeing agreeing to a fixed price contract for this, and that price being less than the F-35, why not get a known good platform for those missions that don't require stealth? The US will be flying air soverignty missions as long as its in existence. Those missions don't have to be done with stealth aircraft, and benefit from having an aircraft that has a high sustained dash speed and long legs, two things that the F-15x has.

Boeing has not agreed to any fixed cost price, that is Tyler making that claim with no evidence to support it.

LightningZ71 wrote:
I see this as a logical decision, and, with the expected 20,000 hour airframe life expectancy, its going to be cost efficient over its lifetime.

20,000 hour airframe life is meaningless. The aircraft currently are funded for 250-300 hours per year of operational use. The USAF will not operate an F-15X for the next 66 years just because the airframe life allows it to fly that many hours, someone still have to pay for that flight time and the USAF has to find enough pilots to fly those hours…

bikerthai wrote:
People, stealth is not a panacea. It works great for top cover and the initial engagements. However, for everyday grunt work, it is more expensive to maintain.

Bk, while that is true for the F-22 it is not correct when it comes to the F-35. The cost to maintain the aircraft is approximately 10-15% more than the F-16, significantly less than the per hour cost to maintain the F-15C/D fleet or a new F-15X fleet.

bikerthai wrote:
Seems like the USAF is just looking for a few mules to haul massive loads of missiles/bombs that can sit behind a line of F-35's to counter any attempt to overwhelm the front line fighters with mass quantities.

The arsenal idea has some merit but the USAF could do that with existing F-15C/D aircraft by re-winging them and extending the airframe life. That would easily allow for the fleet to live until the late 2030s when a UCAV could replace that arsenal role.

bikerthai wrote:
And if you think about it, the F15 bomb hauler could be more of a A-10 replacement than the F-35. You just need to put a pod on the belly that can spit out something larger than 20mm rounds.

Respectfully, that concept is absurd. Given the move to smaller munitions the CAS mission doesn’t really need more bomb haulers, it needs aircraft that can survive in any threat environment. The F-15X is not that aircraft and the per hour cost would be more than both the A-10 and F-35, while being less capable in that CAS role than both.

Let us put some sanity to this, EPAWSS has been cancelled and the USAF has investigated replacing the role of the F-15C/D fleet with an upgraded F-16 until enough F-35s come online. The future of the F-15 fleet was indicated by this news report earlier in the year.

Information about the planned retirement of the F-15C/D are among the few redacted portions of the IG report, showing the lengths that the Air Force is willing to go in order to conceal exactly when it may mothball the F-15C/D fleet or the internal guidance supporting such a decision.
“In February 2017, the DCS AF/A5/8 issued the [redacted] to retire the F-15C aircraft beginning in [redacted] and fully retire the aircraft by the end of [redacted]. However, [redacted],” reads one section of the report, using an acronym that refers to part of the Air Force headquarters staff.
“The [redacted] communicated the Air Force’s long-term strategic intention to build and sustain a capable, right-sized Air Force and directed program resource allocation. The DCS AF/A5/8 planned to use F-15C EPAWSS procurement funds to develop a higher priority Air Superiority program.”
In response to the IG’s findings, the Air Force has agreed to provide Congress with “specific plans and justifications” for phasing out the F-15C/D.
According to the report, the service was expected to finalize its decision on the F-15 retirement issue as part of FY19 planning choices — which took place late last year. The Air Force has still not publicly announced when the F-15 could begin leaving its inventory.

https://www.c4isrnet.com/electronic-war ... e-upgrade/

That does not read as the USAF looking to acquire new F-15 aircraft…
 
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bikerthai
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:36 pm

Ozair wrote:
The F-15 is a large twin engine aircraft that costs more to operate per hour and costs more to acquire.


Yeah, that second engine, while giving you extra payload capability, hit you on the cost and maintenance side.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
texl1649
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Mon Jul 30, 2018 11:01 pm

Ozair wrote:
texl1649 wrote:
That's a lot more ordinance than an F35 can deliver, and no matter what anyone says, in a future conflict there will be a need for bombs in areas not covered in top tier air defenses.

The F-15X concept is about replacing the F-15C/D air superiority fleet. Despite what Tyler is suggesting the aircraft would almost certainly conduct very little to no strike role in USAF service. As for ordnance, the F-35 stacks up very well against an F-15 in payload capability.

texl1649 wrote:
Plus, practically speaking, why wouldn't the USAF want to keep two prime vendors in the inventory for the next 30 years in TAC-air?

The USAF is not there is keep corporations in business. There are enough manufacturers that Boeing’s exit from manned fighter aircraft will have no long term detraction on the maintenance and sustainment of the future USAF fleet. Don’t forgot that the USAF can tender for the maintenance and support of both the F-22 and F-35 to any company they like, LM does not have sole ownership of that business. Sure LM almost certainly have an advantage but it is not clear cut nor guaranteed.

texl1649 wrote:
Sure, the up front cost vs. F-35 is similar, but there's not much doubt that the F-15 fleet is going to be cheaper to operate.

There is no way Boeing can offer an F-15X for less than an F-35, simply no way. Already the USAF operates a comparable number of F-35s to the F-15C/D fleet, and in four years will operate more F-35 than all F-15s, and four years after that will operate more F-35s than it has ever operated F-15s…

The F-15 is a large twin engine aircraft that costs more to operate per hour and costs more to acquire. Boeing will not lose money selling F-15s to the USAF nor would their executives sanction and shareholders be happy with a loss making exercise of selling aircraft below cost price.

texl1649 wrote:
For CONUS missions, surely, stealth isn't really needed, anyway; why keep sending F-22's to intercept Tu-95's (and/or why go to a single engine plane to do it)?

Why not use a single engine aircraft to do it? That works for many other nations around the globe, including the USAF who also use single engine aircraft for that role. Aircraft and aircrew have to fly to maintain proficiency and there is no massive over burden of flight hours on the F-22 fleet that it needs to be rationed by not conducting these interceptions. In fact stopping the F-22 fleet from WVR practise would better preserve flight hours than long range low G interception missions.
LightningZ71 wrote:
This is a supplement to the F-22's mission set and nothing more. The F-22 is being wasted on missions where it's stealth isn't needed. That's putting hours on the frame that don't need to be there, and wasting it's expensive logistics costs.

As already stated the F-22 needs to fly to maintain aircrew and airframe proficiency. The fleet is not short of hours nor are current hours being wasted.
LightningZ71 wrote:
It is also a replacement for the C/D models that are going to be retired. This replaces the expensive upgrade projects that have been programmed, and replaces the expensive SLEP that was supposed to deal with a handful of air frame corrosion and wear issues.

The maximum cost of the F-15C/D SLEP was going to be US$30 million that would likely have included replacing the wings. A much cheaper cost, approx. US$1 million per aircraft, would have allowed the airframe to serve for longer.
Over the past two years, the USAF has discussed options for keeping a subset of the F-15C fleet in service through the mid- to late-2030s. Those aircraft would require a longeron replacement with a $1 million cost per shipset, Parker says. Some Air Force officials also are discussing options to keep the F-15Cs in service even longer, which could require a wing replacement, Parker says.
The additional life extension is currently “not required, but it my be something they want to do”” Parker says. “We’re just giving them some options.”

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... af-446189/

LightningZ71 wrote:
With Boeing agreeing to a fixed price contract for this, and that price being less than the F-35, why not get a known good platform for those missions that don't require stealth? The US will be flying air soverignty missions as long as its in existence. Those missions don't have to be done with stealth aircraft, and benefit from having an aircraft that has a high sustained dash speed and long legs, two things that the F-15x has.

Boeing has not agreed to any fixed cost price, that is Tyler making that claim with no evidence to support it.

LightningZ71 wrote:
I see this as a logical decision, and, with the expected 20,000 hour airframe life expectancy, its going to be cost efficient over its lifetime.

20,000 hour airframe life is meaningless. The aircraft currently are funded for 250-300 hours per year of operational use. The USAF will not operate an F-15X for the next 66 years just because the airframe life allows it to fly that many hours, someone still have to pay for that flight time and the USAF has to find enough pilots to fly those hours…

bikerthai wrote:
People, stealth is not a panacea. It works great for top cover and the initial engagements. However, for everyday grunt work, it is more expensive to maintain.

Bk, while that is true for the F-22 it is not correct when it comes to the F-35. The cost to maintain the aircraft is approximately 10-15% more than the F-16, significantly less than the per hour cost to maintain the F-15C/D fleet or a new F-15X fleet.

bikerthai wrote:
Seems like the USAF is just looking for a few mules to haul massive loads of missiles/bombs that can sit behind a line of F-35's to counter any attempt to overwhelm the front line fighters with mass quantities.

The arsenal idea has some merit but the USAF could do that with existing F-15C/D aircraft by re-winging them and extending the airframe life. That would easily allow for the fleet to live until the late 2030s when a UCAV could replace that arsenal role.

bikerthai wrote:
And if you think about it, the F15 bomb hauler could be more of a A-10 replacement than the F-35. You just need to put a pod on the belly that can spit out something larger than 20mm rounds.

Respectfully, that concept is absurd. Given the move to smaller munitions the CAS mission doesn’t really need more bomb haulers, it needs aircraft that can survive in any threat environment. The F-15X is not that aircraft and the per hour cost would be more than both the A-10 and F-35, while being less capable in that CAS role than both.

Let us put some sanity to this, EPAWSS has been cancelled and the USAF has investigated replacing the role of the F-15C/D fleet with an upgraded F-16 until enough F-35s come online. The future of the F-15 fleet was indicated by this news report earlier in the year.

Information about the planned retirement of the F-15C/D are among the few redacted portions of the IG report, showing the lengths that the Air Force is willing to go in order to conceal exactly when it may mothball the F-15C/D fleet or the internal guidance supporting such a decision.
“In February 2017, the DCS AF/A5/8 issued the [redacted] to retire the F-15C aircraft beginning in [redacted] and fully retire the aircraft by the end of [redacted]. However, [redacted],” reads one section of the report, using an acronym that refers to part of the Air Force headquarters staff.
“The [redacted] communicated the Air Force’s long-term strategic intention to build and sustain a capable, right-sized Air Force and directed program resource allocation. The DCS AF/A5/8 planned to use F-15C EPAWSS procurement funds to develop a higher priority Air Superiority program.”
In response to the IG’s findings, the Air Force has agreed to provide Congress with “specific plans and justifications” for phasing out the F-15C/D.
According to the report, the service was expected to finalize its decision on the F-15 retirement issue as part of FY19 planning choices — which took place late last year. The Air Force has still not publicly announced when the F-15 could begin leaving its inventory.

https://www.c4isrnet.com/electronic-war ... e-upgrade/

That does not read as the USAF looking to acquire new F-15 aircraft…


Respectfully, I just can’t disagree more. If anything, the F22 readiness is depleted by the duties such as Alaska intercepts and deployments. See here:

https://taskandpurpose.com/f-22-raptor-gao-audit/

Sorry, your post was well organized but I can’t break it up on my iPad today. But, phasing out the F15c/d are exactly what the USAF and Boeing intend. The x would be cheaper long term and improve readiness, and net operating costs, of the f35 and f22 fleets. Frame life expectancy is a very big deal, too. As are the finer details of nagging small unit deployments etc.
 
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Slug71
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Tue Jul 31, 2018 1:29 am

texl1649 wrote:
Ozair wrote:
texl1649 wrote:
That's a lot more ordinance than an F35 can deliver, and no matter what anyone says, in a future conflict there will be a need for bombs in areas not covered in top tier air defenses.

The F-15X concept is about replacing the F-15C/D air superiority fleet. Despite what Tyler is suggesting the aircraft would almost certainly conduct very little to no strike role in USAF service. As for ordnance, the F-35 stacks up very well against an F-15 in payload capability.

texl1649 wrote:
Plus, practically speaking, why wouldn't the USAF want to keep two prime vendors in the inventory for the next 30 years in TAC-air?

The USAF is not there is keep corporations in business. There are enough manufacturers that Boeing’s exit from manned fighter aircraft will have no long term detraction on the maintenance and sustainment of the future USAF fleet. Don’t forgot that the USAF can tender for the maintenance and support of both the F-22 and F-35 to any company they like, LM does not have sole ownership of that business. Sure LM almost certainly have an advantage but it is not clear cut nor guaranteed.

texl1649 wrote:
Sure, the up front cost vs. F-35 is similar, but there's not much doubt that the F-15 fleet is going to be cheaper to operate.

There is no way Boeing can offer an F-15X for less than an F-35, simply no way. Already the USAF operates a comparable number of F-35s to the F-15C/D fleet, and in four years will operate more F-35 than all F-15s, and four years after that will operate more F-35s than it has ever operated F-15s…

The F-15 is a large twin engine aircraft that costs more to operate per hour and costs more to acquire. Boeing will not lose money selling F-15s to the USAF nor would their executives sanction and shareholders be happy with a loss making exercise of selling aircraft below cost price.

texl1649 wrote:
For CONUS missions, surely, stealth isn't really needed, anyway; why keep sending F-22's to intercept Tu-95's (and/or why go to a single engine plane to do it)?

Why not use a single engine aircraft to do it? That works for many other nations around the globe, including the USAF who also use single engine aircraft for that role. Aircraft and aircrew have to fly to maintain proficiency and there is no massive over burden of flight hours on the F-22 fleet that it needs to be rationed by not conducting these interceptions. In fact stopping the F-22 fleet from WVR practise would better preserve flight hours than long range low G interception missions.
LightningZ71 wrote:
This is a supplement to the F-22's mission set and nothing more. The F-22 is being wasted on missions where it's stealth isn't needed. That's putting hours on the frame that don't need to be there, and wasting it's expensive logistics costs.

As already stated the F-22 needs to fly to maintain aircrew and airframe proficiency. The fleet is not short of hours nor are current hours being wasted.
LightningZ71 wrote:
It is also a replacement for the C/D models that are going to be retired. This replaces the expensive upgrade projects that have been programmed, and replaces the expensive SLEP that was supposed to deal with a handful of air frame corrosion and wear issues.

The maximum cost of the F-15C/D SLEP was going to be US$30 million that would likely have included replacing the wings. A much cheaper cost, approx. US$1 million per aircraft, would have allowed the airframe to serve for longer.
Over the past two years, the USAF has discussed options for keeping a subset of the F-15C fleet in service through the mid- to late-2030s. Those aircraft would require a longeron replacement with a $1 million cost per shipset, Parker says. Some Air Force officials also are discussing options to keep the F-15Cs in service even longer, which could require a wing replacement, Parker says.
The additional life extension is currently “not required, but it my be something they want to do”” Parker says. “We’re just giving them some options.”

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... af-446189/

LightningZ71 wrote:
With Boeing agreeing to a fixed price contract for this, and that price being less than the F-35, why not get a known good platform for those missions that don't require stealth? The US will be flying air soverignty missions as long as its in existence. Those missions don't have to be done with stealth aircraft, and benefit from having an aircraft that has a high sustained dash speed and long legs, two things that the F-15x has.

Boeing has not agreed to any fixed cost price, that is Tyler making that claim with no evidence to support it.

LightningZ71 wrote:
I see this as a logical decision, and, with the expected 20,000 hour airframe life expectancy, its going to be cost efficient over its lifetime.

20,000 hour airframe life is meaningless. The aircraft currently are funded for 250-300 hours per year of operational use. The USAF will not operate an F-15X for the next 66 years just because the airframe life allows it to fly that many hours, someone still have to pay for that flight time and the USAF has to find enough pilots to fly those hours…

bikerthai wrote:
People, stealth is not a panacea. It works great for top cover and the initial engagements. However, for everyday grunt work, it is more expensive to maintain.

Bk, while that is true for the F-22 it is not correct when it comes to the F-35. The cost to maintain the aircraft is approximately 10-15% more than the F-16, significantly less than the per hour cost to maintain the F-15C/D fleet or a new F-15X fleet.

bikerthai wrote:
Seems like the USAF is just looking for a few mules to haul massive loads of missiles/bombs that can sit behind a line of F-35's to counter any attempt to overwhelm the front line fighters with mass quantities.

The arsenal idea has some merit but the USAF could do that with existing F-15C/D aircraft by re-winging them and extending the airframe life. That would easily allow for the fleet to live until the late 2030s when a UCAV could replace that arsenal role.

bikerthai wrote:
And if you think about it, the F15 bomb hauler could be more of a A-10 replacement than the F-35. You just need to put a pod on the belly that can spit out something larger than 20mm rounds.

Respectfully, that concept is absurd. Given the move to smaller munitions the CAS mission doesn’t really need more bomb haulers, it needs aircraft that can survive in any threat environment. The F-15X is not that aircraft and the per hour cost would be more than both the A-10 and F-35, while being less capable in that CAS role than both.

Let us put some sanity to this, EPAWSS has been cancelled and the USAF has investigated replacing the role of the F-15C/D fleet with an upgraded F-16 until enough F-35s come online. The future of the F-15 fleet was indicated by this news report earlier in the year.

Information about the planned retirement of the F-15C/D are among the few redacted portions of the IG report, showing the lengths that the Air Force is willing to go in order to conceal exactly when it may mothball the F-15C/D fleet or the internal guidance supporting such a decision.
“In February 2017, the DCS AF/A5/8 issued the [redacted] to retire the F-15C aircraft beginning in [redacted] and fully retire the aircraft by the end of [redacted]. However, [redacted],” reads one section of the report, using an acronym that refers to part of the Air Force headquarters staff.
“The [redacted] communicated the Air Force’s long-term strategic intention to build and sustain a capable, right-sized Air Force and directed program resource allocation. The DCS AF/A5/8 planned to use F-15C EPAWSS procurement funds to develop a higher priority Air Superiority program.”
In response to the IG’s findings, the Air Force has agreed to provide Congress with “specific plans and justifications” for phasing out the F-15C/D.
According to the report, the service was expected to finalize its decision on the F-15 retirement issue as part of FY19 planning choices — which took place late last year. The Air Force has still not publicly announced when the F-15 could begin leaving its inventory.

https://www.c4isrnet.com/electronic-war ... e-upgrade/

That does not read as the USAF looking to acquire new F-15 aircraft…


Respectfully, I just can’t disagree more. If anything, the F22 readiness is depleted by the duties such as Alaska intercepts and deployments. See here:

https://taskandpurpose.com/f-22-raptor-gao-audit/

Sorry, your post was well organized but I can’t break it up on my iPad today. But, phasing out the F15c/d are exactly what the USAF and Boeing intend. The x would be cheaper long term and improve readiness, and net operating costs, of the f35 and f22 fleets. Frame life expectancy is a very big deal, too. As are the finer details of nagging small unit deployments etc.


Theres just no need for it.
There is no way an F-15 costs less to maintain than an F-35. Costs will decrease a bit more yet as F-35 development wraps up and vast the supply chains are ironed out. It also has 1 engine vs 2. The Pros of the F-35 far out way the Pros of an F-15/x.
 
Ozair
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Tue Jul 31, 2018 2:29 am

texl1649 wrote:
Respectfully, I just can’t disagree more.

That is why we are all here, it would be a dull forum if we all agreed.

texl1649 wrote:
If anything, the F22 readiness is depleted by the duties such as Alaska intercepts and deployments. See here:

https://taskandpurpose.com/f-22-raptor-gao-audit/

Thanks, a really interesting report and very pertinent to the discussion. Having read the GAO report it looks like F-22 training issues is more about squadron sizing and less on the missions the aircraft conducts. Were the squadrons sized and collocated appropriately, they likely wouldn’t have the issues that are presenting themselves. You could imagine the issue is exacerbated when, as the article and GAO report suggests, small detachments fly off on deployment and take the best or least maintenance intensive airframes with them, leaving the odd birds and hanger queens behind.

Why does the USAF organise such small squadrons/wings? Perhaps to create as many command positions as possible, an attempt to spread specific stealth platform knowledge around? Interesting to note the F-22 organisational structure hasn’t been reviewed since 2010 while the last airframe was delivered in 2012, a decent review of the fleet makes sense especially in light of what the GAO has found.
But in this context, the F-15X is replacing the F-15C/D fleet so the role the F-22 plays will likely stay the same. The USAF could decide to replace F-22 with F-15X in Alaska and Hawaii to remove those alert issues but they could do that today with the F-15C/D fleet as well…
texl1649 wrote:
Sorry, your post was well organized but I can’t break it up on my iPad today. But, phasing out the F15c/d are exactly what the USAF and Boeing intend.

Well the USAF have an apparent desire to retire the F-15C/D fleet in general while I believe it is Boeing pushing for the replacement.

texl1649 wrote:
The x would be cheaper long term and improve readiness, and net operating costs, of the f35 and f22 fleets. Frame life expectancy is a very big deal, too. As are the finer details of nagging small unit deployments etc.

Noting that acquisition and sustainment come out of different budgets, the question should be would it be cheaper to acquire and operate the F-15X fleet over just continuing to operate the F-15C/D fleet. The F-15X is going to be US$90-120 million to acquire per copy while the current fleet could be extended for likely a quarter of that cost. From a sustainment perspective the C/D fleet may cost an additional $10-15k more per hour to fly. The fleet would likely be somewhat of an orphan from the F-15E fleet given the mods that have been done to the Saudi and Qatar aircraft.

If we do a couple of calculations I see the numbers coming out as below based on 200 aircraft for each fleet flying 252 hours per year. The per hour cost is approx. $42k for the C/D and $27k for the X.

F-15C/D fleet sustainment cost = US$2.1 billion per year (200 aircraft x 252 hours x $42K)
F-15X fleet sustainment cost = US$1.36 billion per year (same as above but $27k)

So the delta is US$740 million per year.

The C/D fleet needs to be updated though so add US$40 million for each airframe to get full wing replacement and EPAWSS and a couple of extras. Most of the fleet already have an AESA and all are planned to by 2021. Total cost to upgrade the F-15C/D fleet is approx US$40 million per aircraft so 200 x US$40 million is US$8 billion. Total cost to acquire the F-15X fleet would be 200 x US$105 million per copy (minimum cost I could see but if anyone wants to suggest a different figure feel free) so US$21 billion.

Based on the above then, the F-15X fleet has a US$13 billion delta it has to prove it overcomes for the USAF before the sums add up (which again they don’t because of different buckets of money that the accountants care about…). The yearly sustainment difference is US$740 million from above, so the F-15X fleet makes a case for saving dollars if it is operated for approximately 17 years.

17 years is pretty likely for the fleet which could potentially all be in service by 2025 if they really tried. On those figures the cost savings are probably there and the F-15X fleet may be worth investing in. The other side of this though is capability. How much more capability does the F-15X provide over the current fleet or for instance an F-35.

The F-15X concept has no stealth enhancement so does not increase the effectiveness of the F-15C/D fleet over the current, may get some more flight hours per year and the airframe would carry a marginally greater load into combat with better sensors. If instead of F-15X the USAF acquire an additional 200 F-35As that costs the USAF US$17 billion for a jet that is used in greater numbers, likely has a lower per hour cost, can carry almost as much and fly almost as far with better sensors in any threat environment.

Once you put the costs together I can see why the USAF may consider it but for me a better bet would be to increase the F-35 buy and gain huge fleet efficiencies.

The assessment is similar to what occurred with the RAAF, which concluded they could replace the F-111 with the Super Hornet and, while they lost some capability and range and they gained other capabilities to offset that loss, the 10 years cost assessment was neutral, including acquisition of the Super Hornet.
 
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Slug71
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:12 am

Ozair wrote:
texl1649 wrote:
Sorry, your post was well organized but I can’t break it up on my iPad today. But, phasing out the F15c/d are exactly what the USAF and Boeing intend.

Well the USAF have an apparent desire to retire the F-15C/D fleet in general while I believe it is Boeing pushing for the replacement.


In fact, The 173rd Fighter Wing, the only F-15C/D training base in the country, is looking to transition to the F-35.

https://www.heraldandnews.com/news/king ... 6.amp.html
 
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seahawk
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Tue Jul 31, 2018 6:04 am

Ozair wrote:
texl1649 wrote:
Respectfully, I just can’t disagree more.

That is why we are all here, it would be a dull forum if we all agreed.

texl1649 wrote:
If anything, the F22 readiness is depleted by the duties such as Alaska intercepts and deployments. See here:

https://taskandpurpose.com/f-22-raptor-gao-audit/

Thanks, a really interesting report and very pertinent to the discussion. Having read the GAO report it looks like F-22 training issues is more about squadron sizing and less on the missions the aircraft conducts. Were the squadrons sized and collocated appropriately, they likely wouldn’t have the issues that are presenting themselves. You could imagine the issue is exacerbated when, as the article and GAO report suggests, small detachments fly off on deployment and take the best or least maintenance intensive airframes with them, leaving the odd birds and hanger queens behind.

Why does the USAF organise such small squadrons/wings? Perhaps to create as many command positions as possible, an attempt to spread specific stealth platform knowledge around? Interesting to note the F-22 organisational structure hasn’t been reviewed since 2010 while the last airframe was delivered in 2012, a decent review of the fleet makes sense especially in light of what the GAO has found.
But in this context, the F-15X is replacing the F-15C/D fleet so the role the F-22 plays will likely stay the same. The USAF could decide to replace F-22 with F-15X in Alaska and Hawaii to remove those alert issues but they could do that today with the F-15C/D fleet as well…
texl1649 wrote:
Sorry, your post was well organized but I can’t break it up on my iPad today. But, phasing out the F15c/d are exactly what the USAF and Boeing intend.

Well the USAF have an apparent desire to retire the F-15C/D fleet in general while I believe it is Boeing pushing for the replacement.

texl1649 wrote:
The x would be cheaper long term and improve readiness, and net operating costs, of the f35 and f22 fleets. Frame life expectancy is a very big deal, too. As are the finer details of nagging small unit deployments etc.

Noting that acquisition and sustainment come out of different budgets, the question should be would it be cheaper to acquire and operate the F-15X fleet over just continuing to operate the F-15C/D fleet. The F-15X is going to be US$90-120 million to acquire per copy while the current fleet could be extended for likely a quarter of that cost. From a sustainment perspective the C/D fleet may cost an additional $10-15k more per hour to fly. The fleet would likely be somewhat of an orphan from the F-15E fleet given the mods that have been done to the Saudi and Qatar aircraft.

If we do a couple of calculations I see the numbers coming out as below based on 200 aircraft for each fleet flying 252 hours per year. The per hour cost is approx. $42k for the C/D and $27k for the X.

F-15C/D fleet sustainment cost = US$2.1 billion per year (200 aircraft x 252 hours x $42K)
F-15X fleet sustainment cost = US$1.36 billion per year (same as above but $27k)

So the delta is US$740 million per year.

The C/D fleet needs to be updated though so add US$40 million for each airframe to get full wing replacement and EPAWSS and a couple of extras. Most of the fleet already have an AESA and all are planned to by 2021. Total cost to upgrade the F-15C/D fleet is approx US$40 million per aircraft so 200 x US$40 million is US$8 billion. Total cost to acquire the F-15X fleet would be 200 x US$105 million per copy (minimum cost I could see but if anyone wants to suggest a different figure feel free) so US$21 billion.
.....


In addition to your excellent post, the F-15X also comes with a lower risk, as it is possible that the up-graded F-15 C/Ds could experience some structural problems that might require additional unplanned work to reach the desired out of service date, while we can be pretty certain that the F-15X fleet would make 20 years in service without any bigger problems. In addition it is likely that the delta between the flight hour costs will widen with each passing year, The cockpit alone will probably need more up-dates than the recent passive attack display.
 
texl1649
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:26 am

Tangible points but on the 13 billion dollar delta, you factored in a much higher cost than the article mooted; close to the last super hornet prices of 75 million a copy, fixed. You may be skeptical but I doubt tyler made it up. And why even get that many? I’d argue a tranche of 175 would make more sense. Finally, I’m guessing some top off orders as hinted recently by Israel and others are also in the cards for Boeing, perhaps adding some commonality there.

The biggest doubt I have, frankly, is that the USAF has a long history of relegating outdated aircraft to ANG tacair (when was the last F-106 retired?). A new build variant would be out of step politically and historically to the DC acquisition mavens. Still, a 20k hour poor mans not stealth eagle wouldn’t be a big threat to the active jockeys, and might help them avoid having sharing new f35 buys, while minimizing annoying taskings, which in a nutshell is probably the main appeal (outside of keeping the Boeing lobbyists and Missouri congressional delegations happy).
 
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Tue Jul 31, 2018 1:00 pm

texl1649 wrote:
Tangible points but on the 13 billion dollar delta, you factored in a much higher cost than the article mooted; close to the last super hornet prices of 75 million a copy, fixed. You may be skeptical but I doubt tyler made it up. And why even get that many? I’d argue a tranche of 175 would make more sense. Finally, I’m guessing some top off orders as hinted recently by Israel and others are also in the cards for Boeing, perhaps adding some commonality there.

The biggest doubt I have, frankly, is that the USAF has a long history of relegating outdated aircraft to ANG tacair (when was the last F-106 retired?). A new build variant would be out of step politically and historically to the DC acquisition mavens. Still, a 20k hour poor mans not stealth eagle wouldn’t be a big threat to the active jockeys, and might help them avoid having sharing new f35 buys, while minimizing annoying taskings, which in a nutshell is probably the main appeal (outside of keeping the Boeing lobbyists and Missouri congressional delegations happy).


1) The proposal is for a 1-1 replacement for the AD/ANG/AFRES F-15C/D. The problem with the current fleet is they are RAPIDLY approaching the end of their useful life without some sort of SLEP to address fatigue. In addition, the proposed and approved ECM upgrade has been cancelled. So, there is an ever-growing deterioration if the C/D capability.
2) Your comments about the USAF relegating aircraft was true in the past, but not in the current environment. You have the ANG and AFRES flying first line fighters, you have the HI-ANG flying F-22s, can't get much more top of the line than that.
3) The F-22 fleet has some serious issues in manning and capabilities and they are stretched so thin, they can't even have their pilots stay current in training requirements. The F-35 is seriously delayed and the AF leadership has stated they will not be able to purchase the planned frames if the price does not drop. Getting an F-15X would take pressure off the F-22 and would allow the F-15X to continue the current role of the existing C/D. The USAF has a serious decision to make, there is a plan to park the C/D and replace them with F-16s. While the F-16 is a great aircraft, the F-15 is a much more capable aircraft and it has more internal capacity for expansion than the F-16 could ever hope to have.
If we weren't all crazy we'd all go insane!
 
mxaxai
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Tue Jul 31, 2018 1:30 pm

I would expect that getting more F-22's operational is better than purchasing more F-15's but if the competition is between F-15 and F-35, isn't the F-35 rather poorly suited for the ANG role? Its top speed is much lower than the F-15's (M1.6 vs M2+) and it can't really make use of its large internal weapons bay nor of its stealth - most operations would be done over friendly territory. It does have longer range but from a general interceptor perspective, the F-22 or F-15 should be better suited than the F-35.
 
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Tue Jul 31, 2018 1:59 pm

mxaxai wrote:
I would expect that getting more F-22's operational is better than purchasing more F-15's


Not from a cost stand point. The tooling have been placed in storage and the line have been shut down. Note that Boeing also had a hand in building the F-22 (they build the wings).

All this talk may have come about because the Israelis find it in their interest (budgets and risk) to be asking for more F-15's.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
mxaxai
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Tue Jul 31, 2018 3:08 pm

bikerthai wrote:
mxaxai wrote:
I would expect that getting more F-22's operational is better than purchasing more F-15's


Not from a cost stand point. The tooling have been placed in storage and the line have been shut down. Note that Boeing also had a hand in building the F-22 (they build the wings).

All this talk may have come about because the Israelis find it in their interest (budgets and risk) to be asking for more F-15's.

bt

I'm not arguing to build more but to increase the availability of the existing 195 F-22. Surely the USAF / ANG can do better than certain other air forces when i comes to fleet sustainment.
 
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Tue Jul 31, 2018 6:52 pm

mxaxai wrote:
I'm not arguing to build more but to increase the availability of the existing 195 F-22. Surely the USAF / ANG can do better than certain other air forces when i comes to fleet sustainment.


There is probably room for improvement with electronic components. But if you damage the composite skin on an F-22 and need to repair it, you really can not speed up the cure time. The high temperature composite material used on the F-22 is nasty stuff to process (more so than say the 787).

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
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trpmb6
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Tue Jul 31, 2018 7:06 pm

There seems to be a common theme in these types of discussions.

USAF operates <insert aircraft> for <insert mission type>. We currently don't have a replacement in mind, and allocating other aircraft to perform this mission is not <insert excuse>.

In regards to the F-15 (specifically C/D) you can look to the history of the <F-22/F-35>. I believe that will tell you the answer to what's going on. Start with, why was the <F-22/F-35> developed. What aircraft was it supposed to replace when procured. Then proceed to where we are now. What is the current <F-22/F-35> mission, is it fulfilling the original intent of why the <F-22/F-35> was procured? Has it replaced the aircraft it was intended to replace? Why or Why not? Is there mission growth capability in the existing fleet? Why or Why Not? If yes, at what cost? Can it perform the same mission, or will the mission change, does that have a negative impact on our overall strategy?

The answer to these questions and others will lead you to an unbiased yes or no answer on if the USAF should procure new F15s.

As the Flightglobal report from 2017 when this came up in a congressional hearing points out, there are other factors at play too. Like how the light attack CAS role is being filled and will be filled.

Also, the F-22 and F-35 aren't really intercept type aircraft. The whole point of stealth is to be stealthy. Not going up and telling the enemy, hey you're about to enter my airspace, turnaround or I'll shoot you, even though I've given up my main advantage of you not knowing I'm here. (Nevermind the fact that you can't even show them the munitions you're carrying since they're all hidden internally)

Personally, I have my own opinion but I am extremely biased in this regard so I won't share it.
 
texl1649
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:49 pm

Opinions are supposed to be biased. You should share it.
 
Ozair
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:18 pm

mxaxai wrote:
I would expect that getting more F-22's operational is better than purchasing more F-15's but if the competition is between F-15 and F-35, isn't the F-35 rather poorly suited for the ANG role? Its top speed is much lower than the F-15's (M1.6 vs M2+) and it can't really make use of its large internal weapons bay nor of its stealth - most operations would be done over friendly territory. It does have longer range but from a general interceptor perspective, the F-22 or F-15 should be better suited than the F-35.

I’m not sure you have thought that through. On the speed issue, the fastest the F-15 has ever flown in combat is Mach 1.6 and that can be counted in the single minutes. Combat loaded the F-15 cannot reach anywhere near Mach 2 and Mach 1.4 is a reasonable expected top speed for the fleet. In contrast the F-35 top speed of Mach 1.6 is quite possible to obtain for the airframe (it is essentially flight control limited to that speed) and it has the ability to do that in an essentially clean configuration because of the internal weapons bay, preserving stealth, weapons carriage and improving drag. At some point in the next 5-7 years the F-35 will move to six AIM-120 in the internal bays and have more than sufficient armament for the ANG role (especially given F-16 does it today with four AAMs).

bikerthai wrote:
All this talk may have come about because the Israelis find it in their interest (budgets and risk) to be asking for more F-15's.
bt

An additional F-15 buy makes sense for Israel. It builds on their initial fleet and allows them to continue to replace F-16s with the F-35.

mxaxai wrote:
I'm not arguing to build more but to increase the availability of the existing 195 F-22. Surely the USAF / ANG can do better than certain other air forces when i comes to fleet sustainment.

That was the point of the GAO article quoted above, that the USAF isn’t using the aircraft as effectively as it could.

mmo wrote:
1) The proposal is for a 1-1 replacement for the AD/ANG/AFRES F-15C/D. The problem with the current fleet is they are RAPIDLY approaching the end of their useful life without some sort of SLEP to address fatigue. In addition, the proposed and approved ECM upgrade has been cancelled. So, there is an ever-growing deterioration if the C/D capability.

Boeing have stated US$1 million per aircraft for longeron replacement to take the fleet into the 2030s but suggest a wing replacement, close to US$30 million, to add capability and take the fleet into the 2040s.
mmo wrote:
3) The F-22 fleet has some serious issues in manning and capabilities and they are stretched so thin, they can't even have their pilots stay current in training requirements. The F-35 is seriously delayed and the AF leadership has stated they will not be able to purchase the planned frames if the price does not drop. Getting an F-15X would take pressure off the F-22 and would allow the F-15X to continue the current role of the existing C/D. The USAF has a serious decision to make, there is a plan to park the C/D and replace them with F-16s. While the F-16 is a great aircraft, the F-15 is a much more capable aircraft and it has more internal capacity for expansion than the F-16 could ever hope to have.

Where does the acquisition dollars for the F-15X come from? The USAF is already constrained with LRS-B, KC-46, T-X and F-35. To add an additional US$5 billion in acquisition every year for F-15X would come at the expense of something. I also don’t think the internal capacity of either the F-15 or F-16 is today an issue, neither is going to receive such a significant upgrade that the current airframes cannot take. Both have no issues with moving towards an AESA and that is likely to be the most significant and costly upgrade for either aircraft.

texl1649 wrote:
Tangible points but on the 13 billion dollar delta, you factored in a much higher cost than the article mooted; close to the last super hornet prices of 75 million a copy, fixed. You may be skeptical but I doubt tyler made it up.

I don’t believe it. Tyler could very well have made that up to suit his narrative as he has done numerous times in the past.

The question is how could Boeing sell the jet for US$75 million per copy when others cannot price smaller jets anywhere near that number? The SH for the USN is higher than that, the budget forecast for 2019 has the SH at US$83 million, https://comptroller.defense.gov/Portals ... eapons.pdf and that is almost certainly the fly away cost, not the weapon system cost which for the SH adds upwards of US$20 million. That difference is likely key in understanding how Tyler may have arrived at a claimed US$75 million. Does that F-15X figure even include engines for instance or is it just Boeing’s production of the jet? The weapon system cost is all those items that Boeing does not acquire which includes the radar, HMCS, EW systems, external pods etc. In contrast because of the way the JPO structured the program the F-35 has a much lower weapons system, or ancillary cost, because the jet is delivered with the radar, EW systems, EODAS, HMD, etc for the one price.

Let’s take it a step further. Perhaps Boeing think that a production increase will reduce the cost of the jet? On the F-35 program the jet went from approx. 90 and year to 147 a year between LRIP 10 and 11 so an almost 50% gain in the production rate. That resulted in a suggested price reduction of 6%. Today Boeing runs the F-15 production line at 1.5 a month. Even if they doubled or even tripled the line they are not going to increase it by the scale of the F-35 and so won’t be able to make those production volume savings.

Let’s also look at the F-15QA price,
The Government of Qatar requested to purchase seventy-two (72) F-15QA multi-role fighter aircraft and associated weapons package; the provision for continental United States based Lead-in-Fighter-Training for the F-15QA; associated ground support; training materials; mission critical resources and maintenance support equipment; the procurement for various weapon support and test equipment spares; technical publications; personnel training; simulators and other training equipment; U.S. Government and contractor engineering; technical and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistical and program support. The estimated total program value is $21.1 billion.

http://www.dsca.mil/major-arms-sales/go ... ed-support

That is US$293 million per aircraft which of course includes a significant amount of training and support for a number of years. Even if we said that the training, logistics and spares was US$150 per airframe (a colossal amount…) that would still put the per frame cost at US$140 million each. To suggest that Boeing will drop that price by half for the USAF is not logical.

Going further, the French cannot match that price for the Rafale which is running a similar production rate and is almost half the size. The Eurofighter cannot match that price from any of its production lines. Even the Gripen E is unlikely to match that price, with prices suggested around the US$85 million mark.

texl1649 wrote:
And why even get that many? I’d argue a tranche of 175 would make more sense. Finally, I’m guessing some top off orders as hinted recently by Israel and others are also in the cards for Boeing, perhaps adding some commonality there.

The intent from the article is a wholesale replacement. Even the 200 I suggested is below the current fleet number.
 
texl1649
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:18 am

The Saudi contract is inapplicable as it is a cradle to grave arrangement with training, support and parts. Surely we shouldn’t compare such a price vs the f35 for instance.
 
Ozair
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:03 am

texl1649 wrote:
The Saudi contract is inapplicable as it is a cradle to grave arrangement with training, support and parts. Surely we shouldn’t compare such a price vs the f35 for instance.

I used it not to provide the actual price of a Qatari F-15 but representative of the realm of cost for the platform. DSCA prices are often the top end price for a platform and can be negotiated below that, in some cases significantly.

Perhaps a better example would be the South Korean F-X III contract in early 2013 which was US$7.1 billion for 60 F-15SE aircraft and a non FMS sale. Given the South Koreans already operated the F-15K the price was for essentially airframes with some spares and short term support.

Even in 2009 Boeing was offering the Silent Eagle at upwards of US$100 million an aircraft to export customers. The USAF would pay less but to reduce that cost by 25% is massive especially given the additional technology being claimed for the X model.
 
mxaxai
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed Aug 01, 2018 6:39 am

Ozair wrote:
mxaxai wrote:
I would expect that getting more F-22's operational is better than purchasing more F-15's but if the competition is between F-15 and F-35, isn't the F-35 rather poorly suited for the ANG role? Its top speed is much lower than the F-15's (M1.6 vs M2+) and it can't really make use of its large internal weapons bay nor of its stealth - most operations would be done over friendly territory. It does have longer range but from a general interceptor perspective, the F-22 or F-15 should be better suited than the F-35.

I’m not sure you have thought that through. On the speed issue, the fastest the F-15 has ever flown in combat is Mach 1.6 and that can be counted in the single minutes. Combat loaded the F-15 cannot reach anywhere near Mach 2 and Mach 1.4 is a reasonable expected top speed for the fleet. In contrast the F-35 top speed of Mach 1.6 is quite possible to obtain for the airframe (it is essentially flight control limited to that speed) and it has the ability to do that in an essentially clean configuration because of the internal weapons bay, preserving stealth, weapons carriage and improving drag. At some point in the next 5-7 years the F-35 will move to six AIM-120 in the internal bays and have more than sufficient armament for the ANG role (especially given F-16 does it today with four AAMs).

Depends what you consider "combat loaded". For both jets "combat load" can include a significant amount of bombs or cruise missiles that you won't carry for an intercept or patrol mission. With only 4-8 AAMs the F-15 supposedly manages M2.3.
I guess it hasn't been used much but consider the number of actual intercepts: In virtually all conflicts since the F-15 was introduced, the US enjoyed total air supremacy. There hasn't been a threatening aircraft near US soil for decades, save for the 9/11 jets (but in that case one problem was to find them, not to get there). Which however would be a point for the F-35: Any supersonic jet can do the job of escorting sub-sonic aircraft like passenger planes or the occasional Tu-95.
 
texl1649
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed Aug 01, 2018 11:13 am

The f35 remains up there with the f22 in cost per flight hour as well, no matter what USAF folks say publicly.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccar ... d26d1e685f

That’s the Crux of this debate. The F35 can’t fly with an Aim9 even on the wings, it costs 40k per flight hour to operate, and needs an enormous amount of maintenance hours to fly, making it even less suited to ANG duties.

“The cost just to operate the F-35 is so high because the aircraft is so complex compared to other aircraft. Based on the Air Force’s own numbers, in FY 2016 each F-35 flew an average of 163 hours at $44,026 per flying hour. For comparison purposes, in the same year, each F-16 in the fleet flew an average of 258 hours at $20,398 per flying hour. A-10s flew 358 hours on average at $17,227 per hour. While these hours have never been independently audited, and it is it is impossible to know if they are complete, the available data indicates that the F-35 is more than twice as expensive to fly as the aircraft it is to replace.”

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-b ... nopaging=1
 
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Dutchy
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:49 pm

Wouldn't it make sense to operate the F-16 in this role? Cheaper to build and operate than the F-15, the only drawback might be the top speed, which is 2,0mach versus 2,5mach for the F-15 and perhaps the range.
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
 
texl1649
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:16 pm

Dutchy wrote:
Wouldn't it make sense to operate the F-16 in this role? Cheaper to build and operate than the F-15.


Probably, but this thread is focused on the F-15X proposal (or rather, the rumor of a proposal/discussion), from Boeing to the USAF. The last one was delivered in 2005, though, and I'm a bit dubious they will last as long as the F-15X units proposed, even if upgraded properly. Lockheed's not in a rush to match the mooted Boeing offer on new builds, either. Personally, I think it's ludicrous to let the American F-16 line (in South Carolina) die completely as new builds, but that's what the market seems to be permitting/deciding, after Bahrain buys the last ones.

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2017/04 ... portunity/
F-16 manufacturer Lockheed Martin announced early Wednesday that the Air Force had authorized service life extension work, which could keep the fighter jets flying past 2048. The service life extension program (SLEP) will encompass lengthening the lifespan of up to 300 F-16C/D Block 40-52 aircraft from 8,000 to 12,000 flight hours.


https://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-b ... f-22-26419
 
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smithbs
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed Aug 01, 2018 4:42 pm

Ozair wrote:
texl1649 wrote:
The Saudi contract is inapplicable as it is a cradle to grave arrangement with training, support and parts. Surely we shouldn’t compare such a price vs the f35 for instance.

I used it not to provide the actual price of a Qatari F-15 but representative of the realm of cost for the platform. DSCA prices are often the top end price for a platform and can be negotiated below that, in some cases significantly.

Perhaps a better example would be the South Korean F-X III contract in early 2013 which was US$7.1 billion for 60 F-15SE aircraft and a non FMS sale. Given the South Koreans already operated the F-15K the price was for essentially airframes with some spares and short term support.

Even in 2009 Boeing was offering the Silent Eagle at upwards of US$100 million an aircraft to export customers. The USAF would pay less but to reduce that cost by 25% is massive especially given the additional technology being claimed for the X model.


The ROK F-15s were expensive because they applied huge changes and upgrades to a small batch build. The serial production flyaway cost of a F-15E during the 1990s was $49M (2018 USD), which shows the power of volume pricing on a standard configuration. Low volume, time-stretched programs like Rafale, Eurofighter and JAS-39 show how costs play against them in this regard.

Circling back to the OP, I think what we are seeing is a social media campaign for selling the latest F-15. I saw articles pop up in feeds why the USAF needs the latest F-15, and now the feeds are why Israel needs to buy it.

https://www.popularmechanics.com/milita ... 15s-f-35s/

The thing is, this article quotes no one directly from the IAF, but quotes an article behind a paywall but whose visible paragraphs also do not show quotes from the IAF. And the IAF is usually an extremely tight-lipped organization when it comes to this kind of stuff, and so I suspect that a lot of this is fake news that is trying to sell the latest F-15.
 
ThePointblank
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:53 pm

mxaxai wrote:
Depends what you consider "combat loaded". For both jets "combat load" can include a significant amount of bombs or cruise missiles that you won't carry for an intercept or patrol mission. With only 4-8 AAMs the F-15 supposedly manages M2.3.
I guess it hasn't been used much but consider the number of actual intercepts: In virtually all conflicts since the F-15 was introduced, the US enjoyed total air supremacy. There hasn't been a threatening aircraft near US soil for decades, save for the 9/11 jets (but in that case one problem was to find them, not to get there). Which however would be a point for the F-35: Any supersonic jet can do the job of escorting sub-sonic aircraft like passenger planes or the occasional Tu-95.

More like never.

The amount of time the entire world F-15 fleet has spent flying in excess of Mach 2 since the F-15's introduction is shorter than the length of the movie, Titanic. The only times the F-15 has flown in excess of Mach 2 is during functional check rides, when the aircraft comes out of maintenance, and this is only done when the aircraft is clean, no weapons or pylons.
 
Ozair
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed Aug 01, 2018 10:04 pm

mxaxai wrote:
Depends what you consider "combat loaded". For both jets "combat load" can include a significant amount of bombs or cruise missiles that you won't carry for an intercept or patrol mission. With only 4-8 AAMs the F-15 supposedly manages M2.3.

Not quite. The only accurate flight envelope graph we have for the F-15 is this one,

Image

it shows that the F-15, on a STD, is limited to M2.3. It could go faster than that but is time limited, meaning the airframe and engines begin to melt beyond that speed. That is a clean jet at a very light weight of 35,000lbs. Add 8 missiles and the agreed max speed becomes M1.8 (no flight envelope graph exists for this, it is evidence sourced from multiple online forums). Add a couple of drop tanks onto that and the assumed max speed drops to just above M1.6. We don’t know a lot about drag of the F-15 airframe but we know a lot about drag for the F-16C airframe and the speed reduction.

texl1649 wrote:
The f35 remains up there with the f22 in cost per flight hour as well, no matter what USAF folks say publicly.
That’s the Crux of this debate.

That actually has nothing to do with this debate. The F-35 has never been suggested by the USAF as an F-15 replacement.

texl1649 wrote:
The F35 can’t fly with an Aim9 even on the wings


??? Not sure if you are trying to look foolish or not… A simple image search on Google shows hundreds of images of F-35s carrying AIM-9
Image

texl1649 wrote:
it costs 40k per flight hour to operate, and needs an enormous amount of maintenance hours to fly, making it even less suited to ANG duties.

Those per hours figures are from 2016, before the jet was actually declared IOC. Are you honestly going to hang your argument on cost per hour figures for the F-35A before the USAF had declared IOC of the jet?

As for your claim about the ANG, the US Defence department clearly doesn’t share your concern considering three ANG units have already bene identified for conversion.
The Air Force has selected Truax Field Air National Guard Base, Wisconsin and Dannelly Field, Alabama as the preferred locations for the next two Air National Guard F-35A bases.


“Selecting Truax Field and Dannelly Field will increase Air National Guard F-35A units providing 5th Generation airpower around the world,” said Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson. “As F-35As arrive at these locations, we will use the existing aircraft at these fields to replace the aging F-16s at other Air National Guard units.”

F-35As will eventually replace many of the 4th generation Air Force aircraft. However, the Air Force will continue to fly a mix of 5th and 4th generation fighters into the 2040s, in order to maintain enough fighters to meet combatant commander requirements, provide required training and allow a reasonable deployment tempo for the force.

“Putting F-35s at these two Air National Guard bases continues our transition into the next generation of air superiority,” said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein. “It helps ensure we can always offer the Commander-in-Chief air power options and be ready to penetrate any enemy air defenses, hold any target at risk and go when and where the president tells us to go. We're the options folks. The F-35 is critical to the family of systems we need to accomplish this mission for the nation now and in the future."

At this time, the Air Force expects the F-35As to begin arriving at Truax Field in early 2023 and at Dannelly Field later that year.
These locations remain preferred alternatives until the secretary of the Air Force makes the final basing decisions after the requisite environmental analysis is complete.

The Air Force also evaluated Gowen Field ANGB, Idaho, Selfridge ANGB, Michigan and Jacksonville Air Guard Station, Florida in this round of decisions. Those bases were reasonable alternatives, but not preferred.

Previously, the secretary of the Air Force selected three active duty operational locations and one Air National Guard location—Hill AFB, Utah, RAF Lakenheath, England, Eielson AFB, Alaska and Burlington AGS, Vermont.

Additionally, the Air Force announced Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas as the preferred alternative for the first Air Force Reserve base.

https://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display ... -35-bases/

texl1649 wrote:
“ The cost just to operate the F-35 is so high because the aircraft is so complex compared to other aircraft. Based on the Air Force’s own numbers, in FY 2016 each F-35 flew an average of 163 hours at $44,026 per flying hour. For comparison purposes, in the same year, each F-16 in the fleet flew an average of 258 hours at $20,398 per flying hour. A-10s flew 358 hours on average at $17,227 per hour. While these hours have never been independently audited, and it is it is impossible to know if they are complete, the available data indicates that the F-35 is more than twice as expensive to fly as the aircraft it is to replace.”

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-b ... nopaging=1

Well done. You have managed to link two different sources that show completely different figures for the per hour flight cost over the same timeframe while referencing a timeframe when the jet wasn’t IOC… That doesn’t make your argument more convincing.

Dutchy wrote:
Wouldn't it make sense to operate the F-16 in this role? Cheaper to build and operate than the F-15, the only drawback might be the top speed, which is 2,0mach versus 2,5mach for the F-15 and perhaps the range.

Please don’t quote top speed figures, they have no bearing on actual combat performance of the aircraft and are frankly meaningless to this discussion. The F-16C drops M0.2 for every 50 points of drag index added to the jet at full AB, so the top speed with a representative 4 AAM and two external fuel tank load is just above M1.6. That is minus jamming and targeting pods, towed decoys etc.

The top speed discussion is absolutely useless. Military aircraft don't fly around at their top speeds as it consumes so much fuel they would never be able to fly a meaningful distance. Even the F-22 with its supercruise advantage typically only supercruises for 100nm dashes as the fuel consumption in those supercruise stints reduces range.

As for your question, yes the USAF is/has investigated using the F-16 in this role (it already does) but the plan would be to upgrade a number of F-16s with an AESA radar to replace dedicated F-15C units.
The Air National Guard (ANG) has repeatedly called for a radar upgrade for its Block 30/32 F-16s, specifically citing the APG-83. This is aimed at F-16s flying the Aerospace Control Alert mission, which came back into the spotlight this week as the ANG tabled a plan to retire its six squadrons of F-15C/Ds, in favor of upgraded F-16s. New radars for these F-16s was specifically mentioned as the Eagle retirement plan was discussed before the House Armed Services Committee.

https://combataircraft.keypublishing.co ... r-upgrade/

smithbs wrote:
The ROK F-15s were expensive because they applied huge changes and upgrades to a small batch build.

Disagree, the changes to the F-15SE proposed to South Korea in that bid did not include the canted vertical stabilizers or other changes other than the conformal weapons pack. The price of the aircraft really is just that much.

smithbs wrote:
The serial production flyaway cost of a F-15E during the 1990s was $49M (2018 USD), which shows the power of volume pricing on a standard configuration.

Seriously? What bearing does an F-15 price from the 1990s have on the cost of the aircraft today? We know and see today what volume pricing does to a fighter aircraft with the F-35.

smithbs wrote:
Low volume, time-stretched programs like Rafale, Eurofighter and JAS-39 show how costs play against them in this regard.

The F-15 is a low volume time stretched program and has been for 15 years. If the USAF said tomorrow they wanted 200 F-15Xs how much of an increase would the production line go from. It current sits at 1.5 per month so 18 aircraft a year. Even an increase to 54 a year would be a struggle and take a number of years to ramp up with suppliers. That costs money that the USAF would have to fund and would be outside the per aircraft cost (as it is with the F-35).

smithbs wrote:
Circling back to the OP, I think what we are seeing is a social media campaign for selling the latest F-15.

Agree completely.
 
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smithbs
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Sun Aug 05, 2018 2:01 am

Ozair wrote:
smithbs wrote:
The ROK F-15s were expensive because they applied huge changes and upgrades to a small batch build.

Ozair wrote:
Disagree, the changes to the F-15SE proposed to South Korea in that bid did not include the canted vertical stabilizers or other changes other than the conformal weapons pack. The price of the aircraft really is just that much.

Sure? Wasn't it the ROKAF order that integrated the GE F110 and made innumerable changes to the avionics, radios, added JHMCS, and so on - as well as taking on a lot of license production of structure, wings, engines and electronics? All for 50 airframes. That's all fine and good, but I would expect the output to be unusually expensive. Our conversation was trying to guess the cost of F-15X and my point was that the ROKAF data point might be an anomaly due to its circumstances.

smithbs wrote:
The serial production flyaway cost of a F-15E during the 1990s was $49M (2018 USD), which shows the power of volume pricing on a standard configuration.

Ozair wrote:
Seriously? What bearing does an F-15 price from the 1990s have on the cost of the aircraft today? We know and see today what volume pricing does to a fighter aircraft with the F-35.

Ozair wrote:
The F-15 is a low volume time stretched program and has been for 15 years. If the USAF said tomorrow they wanted 200 F-15Xs how much of an increase would the production line go from. It current sits at 1.5 per month so 18 aircraft a year. Even an increase to 54 a year would be a struggle and take a number of years to ramp up with suppliers. That costs money that the USAF would have to fund and would be outside the per aircraft cost (as it is with the F-35).

I was illustrating the point of how a concentrated production build of significant volume will drastically reduce per-unit cost, so I brought out the price point of the USAF F-15E program (236 units) to compare against the recent bespoke F-15 batches. I agree entirely that the F-35 will benefit from its volume pricing and anticipate that it will price the F-15X out of the game.
 
Ozair
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:38 am

smithbs wrote:
Sure?

Yes. Boeing couldn't find anyone that was willing to pay the development funding for the modification and re-certification which would have been in the billions.

smithbs wrote:
Wasn't it the ROKAF order that integrated the GE F110 and made innumerable changes to the avionics, radios, added JHMCS, and so on - as well as taking on a lot of license production of structure, wings, engines and electronics? All for 50 airframes. That's all fine and good, but I would expect the output to be unusually expensive. Our conversation was trying to guess the cost of F-15X and my point was that the ROKAF data point might be an anomaly due to its circumstances.

The first contract was US$4.2 billion for 40 aircraft signed in 2002, so if we take late 1990s cost per airframe, increase it a bit to US$50-70 million the South Koreans likely funded dev costs around a billion to a billion and a half.

The interesting thing about the ROK is they bought the first batch with GE F110s and the subsequent 21 with P&W F100s for F-16 commonality.

smithbs wrote:
I was illustrating the point of how a concentrated production build of significant volume will drastically reduce per-unit cost, so I brought out the price point of the USAF F-15E program (236 units) to compare against the recent bespoke F-15 batches.

Volume of course does help but for such a small order, 200 units, it would cost significantly (the USAF would have to pay that price, not Boeing) to increase the production rate for essentially three years before it slows down again. Neither Qatar or Saudi Arabia wants their jets that rapidly given they cannot absorb the jets now as it is.
 
checksixx
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Mon Aug 06, 2018 12:31 am

morrisond wrote:
Wouldn't it just make more sense to restart F-22 production? An F-22B? Upgraded Engines, F-35 Avionics, improved Stealth coatings and call it a day?


Your statement is NOT about restarting production though. Your plan involves redesign, re-engine, and a new surface coating. Restarting production, exactly as it was built, would be VERY hard to do...add in your changes, which would require additional DEM/VAL testing, and it would be impossible.
 
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Mon Aug 06, 2018 12:34 am

LightningZ71 wrote:
This is a supplement to the F-22's mission set and nothing more. The F-22 is being wasted on missions where it's stealth isn't needed.


Maybe you should talk to the guys that flew combat missions in Raptors over Syria...they seemed to be glad that they went undetected. But their just actually flying the thing...what do they know, right?
 
ThePointblank
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:18 am

checksixx wrote:
morrisond wrote:
Wouldn't it just make more sense to restart F-22 production? An F-22B? Upgraded Engines, F-35 Avionics, improved Stealth coatings and call it a day?


Your statement is NOT about restarting production though. Your plan involves redesign, re-engine, and a new surface coating. Restarting production, exactly as it was built, would be VERY hard to do...add in your changes, which would require additional DEM/VAL testing, and it would be impossible.

Not to mention that third party suppliers that fed the F-22 production have probably stopped producing their components, or are totally out of business altogether.
 
LightningZ71
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Mon Aug 06, 2018 1:38 pm

Checksixx, flying combat missions over hostile airspace with a real SAM threat is FAR AND AWAY different from the air sovereignty missions being flown from Alaska and Hawaii that continue to consume flight hours on a limited number of available frames. I'm glad that the F-22 was available for Syria, where its features could be put to proper use. However, over northern Iraq, Afghanistan, and other areas of low intensity conflict with no real SAM presence or even the presence of an A2A threat, using the F-22 is an absolute waste. THAT is the point I was trying to make.
 
LightningZ71
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Mon Aug 06, 2018 1:55 pm

People forget that part of the production costs of making an aircraft includes amortization of fixed assets, such as the production plant itself and the baseline resources it consumes to operate each day. If the airforce was to make such an order, and the timeframe allowed Boeing to increase unit production to the point where they could interleave USAF production amongst the SA and Quatar batches, which have already been negotiated and paid for, the fixed cost amortization per unit of production for each USAF plane would be significantly lower. This also works for the engine supplier as well as there would have to be a significant bump there, as the order would be a call for nearly 400 unprogrammed production units there as well.It's really easy to look at these small batches with their own unique production changes and pronounce the airframe too expensive to buy, but, the USAF is essentially buying a frame that's had its development paid for. Those costs don't have to be added to those production units to help Boeing break even. When you look at production aircraft, part of what makes them so fiendishly expensive is the development costs that have to be baked into each frame. If you don't think that Boeing can make money on building and selling the F-15X at less than $75 million a unit, then you've obviously not been paying attention to the industry enough.

As to the idea of this being an ideal solution, its FAR from it. The ideal would have been to purchase enough F-22s back in the day when their production costs were coming down and their factory was still running. That's not going to happen. We need something that can do what the F-15 does, for now. The existing F-15 C/D's can find buyers on the used market to help with the costs. When the USAF gets enough F-35s and whatever the 6th gen fighter is, we can sell the 15Xs on the used market as well and recoup some of the investment. The advantage of having newer, more modern versions of the powerplants will show in reduced fuel usage, increased performance, and decreased maintenance costs. Looking at this as a replacement for F-35 units purchased is a mistake. There is already a very long tail to that production and all of those purchases already have a place to go. These are purchases to replace a different airframe with different capabilities. They'll need something done long before F-35 production can get to them. This deals with that.
 
checksixx
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:18 pm

LightningZ71 wrote:
Checksixx, flying combat missions over hostile airspace with a real SAM threat is FAR AND AWAY different from the air sovereignty missions being flown from Alaska and Hawaii that continue to consume flight hours on a limited number of available frames. I'm glad that the F-22 was available for Syria, where its features could be put to proper use. However, over northern Iraq, Afghanistan, and other areas of low intensity conflict with no real SAM presence or even the presence of an A2A threat, using the F-22 is an absolute waste. THAT is the point I was trying to make.


LoL...I'm curious now what YOU think they should be doing then.
 
mmo
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:54 pm

LightningZ71 wrote:
The ideal would have been to purchase enough F-22s back in the day when their production costs were coming down and their factory was still running. That's not going to happen.


It was not an issue of production costs declining, but the simple fact is 187 aircraft were built when the USAF's fleet requirements were 750. The initial cost was based on the full production run and that didn't happen. The total amortized cost was not covered over 187 aircraft vs. 750+.
If we weren't all crazy we'd all go insane!
 
Ozair
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:07 pm

LightningZ71 wrote:
If you don't think that Boeing can make money on building and selling the F-15X at less than $75 million a unit, then you've obviously not been paying attention to the industry enough.

I for certain do not believe that Boeing can build and sell an F-15X for less than US$75 million per unit. It is not logical to claim that Boeing can build and sell the aircraft to the USAF for a price less than it is charging them for example the F/A-18E/F with smaller sensors, engines, a current higher production rate and no development costs included.

LM cannot even sell an F-16 Blk 70 for that price, SAAB cannot sell a Gripen E for that price. How are we honestly to believe that claim in the context of aircraft that use only one of the two engines and are almost half the size and weight?

LightningZ71 wrote:
People forget that part of the production costs of making an aircraft includes amortization of fixed assets, such as the production plant itself and the baseline resources it consumes to operate each day. If the airforce was to make such an order, and the timeframe allowed Boeing to increase unit production to the point where they could interleave USAF production amongst the SA and Quatar batches, which have already been negotiated and paid for, the fixed cost amortization per unit of production for each USAF plane would be significantly lower. This also works for the engine supplier as well as there would have to be a significant bump there, as the order would be a call for nearly 400 unprogrammed production units there as well.It's really easy to look at these small batches with their own unique production changes and pronounce the airframe too expensive to buy, but, the USAF is essentially buying a frame that's had its development paid for. Those costs don't have to be added to those production units to help Boeing break even. When you look at production aircraft, part of what makes them so fiendishly expensive is the development costs that have to be baked into each frame.

The USAF does not pay for aircraft that way. It is different buckets of money that pay for those dev costs and the USAF does not have to factor in development cost into their yearly acquisitions of any of the aircraft they are currently acquiring. That dev money is sunk and is never returning and there is no loan they are paying off to offset that cost.

LightningZ71 wrote:
As to the idea of this being an ideal solution, its FAR from it. The ideal would have been to purchase enough F-22s back in the day when their production costs were coming down and their factory was still running. That's not going to happen. We need something that can do what the F-15 does, for now.

Why not let the F-15 continue to do what it does? The whole fleet will have an AESA by 2021, avionics upgrades continue. Spend a bit of money on EPAWSS and longeron replacement and the fleet will last happily into the 2030s.

Boeing have been on the record for years that the F-15C/D fleet could continue on to the 2040s with reasonably minor investment per airframe. For the specific air defence mission you are stating is the issue, the F-15C/D is more than capable of executing that in its current form. What additional capability does an F-15X all of a sudden provide the USAF that the C/D fleet cannot?

LightningZ71 wrote:
The existing F-15 C/D's can find buyers on the used market to help with the costs. When the USAF gets enough F-35s and whatever the 6th gen fighter is, we can sell the 15Xs on the used market as well and recoup some of the investment. The advantage of having newer, more modern versions of the powerplants will show in reduced fuel usage, increased performance, and decreased maintenance costs.

That doesn’t make a lot of sense. Why would a nation acquire used F-15s from the USAF if the cost to acquire and operate an F-15X is so little that the US sees the value in the exchange. The F-15 really is a niche aircraft and that is shown by the reasonably limited set of operators compared to the F-16. I cannot even think of a single nation that would be interested in ex USAF F-15C/Ds.

LightningZ71 wrote:
Looking at this as a replacement for F-35 units purchased is a mistake. There is already a very long tail to that production and all of those purchases already have a place to go. These are purchases to replace a different airframe with different capabilities. They'll need something done long before F-35 production can get to them. This deals with that.

When the USAF acquired the F-15 and F-16 they had annual production running at over a hundred units each for their own requirements. There is no reason the USAF couldn’t increase F-35 production from the 60 expected to 80 or 100 or even 120.

Finally, consider what Gen Hostage stated a few years ago.
“I am going to fight to the death to protect the F-35 because I truly believe that the only way we will make it through the next decade is with a sufficient fleet of F-35s. If you gave me all the money I needed to refurbish the F-15 and the F-16 fleets, they would still become tactically obsolete by the middle of the next decade. Our adversaries are building fleets that will overmatch our legacy fleet.... I am fighting to the end, to the death, to keep the F-35 program on track. For me, that means not a single airplane cut from the program.”—Gen. G. Michael Hostage III, head of Air Combat Command, Defense News, Feb. 3.

http://www.airforcemag.com/magazinearch ... 4verb.aspx

Spending more money on F-15s, and F-16s, is simply wasting acquisition dollars on aircraft that won’t be able to operate in all the threat areas the USAF requires and there is nothing a new F-15X adds to the capability that significantly overmatches what the current F-15C/D fleet does.
 
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smithbs
Posts: 220
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:41 pm

LightningZ71 wrote:
Checksixx, flying combat missions over hostile airspace with a real SAM threat is FAR AND AWAY different from the air sovereignty missions being flown from Alaska and Hawaii that continue to consume flight hours on a limited number of available frames. I'm glad that the F-22 was available for Syria, where its features could be put to proper use. However, over northern Iraq, Afghanistan, and other areas of low intensity conflict with no real SAM presence or even the presence of an A2A threat, using the F-22 is an absolute waste. THAT is the point I was trying to make.


It may be a different use but airspace policing is still part of the F-22 mission. You can't just park them for the day when their unique abilities become qualified. As per USAF training and doctrine they are going to fly an allocated number of hours each year - at minimum for training and readiness, and around a couple hundred hours per year. In the USAF bureaucracy, you never say a squadron is without a mission unless you want it gone. A squadron without a day-in-day-out mission will get the budget axe and the birds will go to a squadron that does have a mission.
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