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estorilm
Posts: 612
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:41 pm

SuperiorPilotMe wrote:
RetiredWeasel wrote:
SuperiorPilotMe wrote:

You really need to stop giving that site views let alone keep using it for evidence and the basis of topics like this. He has zero authority, training or military experience whatsoever. He is the American Carlo Kopp, a fanboy, a Boeing fanboy at that. He thinks a F-15 with a KC-46 can bomb the whole world. Also he writes really creepy articles about women in uniform like it’s his fetish. Like in a sexual way.


You've got to be kidding on your last observation regarding that blog. Right? If somehow you're getting that vibe out of Rogoway's blog, then it says more about you than his articles. I've been reading him for over 2 years and although he misses frequently on accuracy, I never, never got any 'creepy' sexual connotation from him. Really don't know where you're coming from on your 'creepy' observation


Nice job sidestepping the issue I’ll take it as a tacit admission that you agree Rogoway has a spotty track record on his “facts.”

bikerthai wrote:
Planeflyer wrote:
The electronics required to slave multiple uav’ s to an ac is not trivial but it is available now. Concept of operations and software are the gating items.


I do not dispute slaving UAV to an AC. My point is as of now, there is no UAV that can carry 22 missiles. The current slate of UAV are too slow to keep up with a strike package and does not have the same missile capacity. The next slate of UAV at more stealth like and also does not have the same capacity (perhaps with the exception of the new bomber.)

bt

This has literally nothing to do with F-15s. Another graduate from the school of Rogoway military journalism!

Agreed - and my general question here remains the same - why are we worried about capacity? No one is disputing the fact that this aircraft will light up like a Christmas tree on any modern 4th gen radar set, so stealth / penetration is out of the question.
If you need a bomb truck, USE A BOMBER!

Conversely (and the angle I think the USAF and indeed this entire thread was taking initially) is that they're just trying to replace the FIGHTERS (C/Ds) from an A2A-capability standpoint. That's what they're saying at least. I still think it's a politically-corrupt "freebie" contract to keep Boeing in the domestic fighter market.

35's are coming on-line faster than 15's are being retired, and additionally 35s will also be coming on-line faster than any 15X does. Doesn't that basically sum everything up? Keep doing exactly what we are doing. Maybe spend some of that $$$ fast-tracking the re-fit of the prototype / test F-22s, and on production / FAL / supplier efficiency studies for the F-35.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:08 pm

texl1649 wrote:
I'm a bit mystified at the offense of linking to Rogoway but whatever, feel free to ignore any future links, SuperiorPilotMe.


I'm with you. I guess with today everyone's a skeptic. People do not believe journalists any more, even if this journalist got quotes correctly from people who are involved with the subject matter. Here in Washington State there are still people skeptical in immunization ever though we currently have over thirty cases of the measles being spread through unimunized children. :roll:

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

Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:23 pm

estorilm

Please read the various articles quoting the Airforce General on why he's buying the '15 even though if he had his rather he would buy only 35's.

If you foist this on political corruption, then the argument goes nowhere, as we here can not prove anything. If political coruption is the reason, then it would also spread to Israel as they also bought new F-35 and F-15's.

If keeping a second fighter line open was a reason, then to some it may be a defensible strategic reason. Placing that motive as political corruption is just a quick excuse from continuing the debate on the merit of the buy.

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

Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:27 pm

I've put it here given the direct reference to the F-15X in the letter. Obviously Cornyn and Cruz are from Texas and therefore have a strong interest in preserving F-35 production and jobs but it is hard to deny what they are recommending.

Senators call on Trump to fully fund F-35

Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Susan Collins (R-ME), Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) have sent a letter to President Trump urging him to support the current funding schedule for the F-35 as opposed to investing in what they call the "outdated, fourth-generation F-15X."

"We are extremely concerned that, over the last few years, the [Defense Department] has underfunded the F-35 Program and relied on Congress to fund increases in production, sustainment, and modernization," the letter states. "In order to meet the overmatch and lethality goals laid out in the National Security Strategy, the DOD needs to make these investments in the F-35 to affordably deliver and operate this fifth-generation fighter fleet. The F-35 is the most affordable, lethal, and survivable air dominance fighter, and now is the time to double down on the program."

"In order to ensure the United States service members are equipped with the most lethal aircraft capable of operating in the modern battlefield, we request your support and the support of the DOD in investing our defense funds in proven fifth-generation technology -- like the F-35 -- rather than technology that will be outdated before it even rolls off the production line," the senators write.

https://insidedefense.com/insider/senat ... -fund-f-35
 
bobinthecar
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Fri Feb 15, 2019 3:18 am

I've put it here given the direct reference to the F-15X in the letter. Obviously Cornyn and Cruz are from Texas and therefore have a strong interest in preserving F-35 production and jobs but it is hard to deny what they are recommending.


Replacing old ANG F-15s with new build rather than rebuild F-15s is not going to in any way detract from the F-35 buy. Its going to be cheaper in the long run to buy new upgraded F-15s rather than refurbish old ones. Its going to be cheaper in the long run to slot F-15s in to the ANG units rather than F-35s since the infrastructure and support for the F-15 is already there. If you replace F-15s with F-35s in those units all the pilots, all the maintainers have to be retrained and all the associated ground support equipment and depot stocks have to be bought. An F-15X will be more than adequate and in some ways due to superior speed and altitude, a better interceptor than the F-35 for defending airspace. The F-15X can also work in conjunction with the F-35 and act as a spear carrier and dog fighter in support of them. Lastly, I am not entirely sure that F-35 production can be ramped up fast enough to satisfy the additional demand.
 
Ozair
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Fri Feb 15, 2019 9:36 am

bobinthecar wrote:
I've put it here given the direct reference to the F-15X in the letter. Obviously Cornyn and Cruz are from Texas and therefore have a strong interest in preserving F-35 production and jobs but it is hard to deny what they are recommending.


Replacing old ANG F-15s with new build rather than rebuild F-15s is not going to in any way detract from the F-35 buy. Its going to be cheaper in the long run to buy new upgraded F-15s rather than refurbish old ones. Its going to be cheaper in the long run to slot F-15s in to the ANG units rather than F-35s since the infrastructure and support for the F-15 is already there. If you replace F-15s with F-35s in those units all the pilots, all the maintainers have to be retrained and all the associated ground support equipment and depot stocks have to be bought. An F-15X will be more than adequate and in some ways due to superior speed and altitude, a better interceptor than the F-35 for defending airspace. The F-15X can also work in conjunction with the F-35 and act as a spear carrier and dog fighter in support of them. Lastly, I am not entirely sure that F-35 production can be ramped up fast enough to satisfy the additional demand.

The thread is full of info on the costs to refit the existing F-15s and some reasonable assessment of why the F-15X slips into the infrastructure. There has to be a point though at which the existing infrastructure needs upgrading anyway, the threat environment the aircraft will operate in moves beyond that in which the F-15X can contribute, the cost to integrate and sustain the F-35 is lower than the F-15X and the USAF acknowledges that they won't get a useful life out of the F-15X airframe.

I get, to an extent, the need to replace the C/D fleet and it makes sense that a new F-15X can plug into that existing infrastructure but I wonder how much more funding it would require to convert those units over to F-35 and that that extra funding is probably a more worthy investment.

Given the US is now signalling a reduced defence budget this acquisition could well be the low hanging fruit that doesn't make the cut.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Fri Feb 15, 2019 12:08 pm

I suppose the timing and allocation of funding is what make the calculation hard to wrap your brain around. You have to juggle all the balls at the same time and figure where they will be years from now. In the long run it may be better to put the 12bil in the 35. But if you can not absorb that much money or train enough pilots in the short run, you risk a capacity gap.

bt
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estorilm
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Fri Feb 15, 2019 4:19 pm

bikerthai wrote:
estorilm

Please read the various articles quoting the Airforce General on why he's buying the '15 even though if he had his rather he would buy only 35's.

If you foist this on political corruption, then the argument goes nowhere, as we here can not prove anything. If political coruption is the reason, then it would also spread to Israel as they also bought new F-35 and F-15's.

If keeping a second fighter line open was a reason, then to some it may be a defensible strategic reason. Placing that motive as political corruption is just a quick excuse from continuing the debate on the merit of the buy.

bt

Glad I saw your post as you didn't quote me. ;)
I'm agreeing with you - obviously none of us can PROVE political corruption, but I believe my posts speak for themselves when citing the production costs, capabilities of existing fighters, a limited budget, and the fact that by the time this production run is finished, these 4th gen aircraft will be relegated to basic tasks as their suitability in the modern battlespace is seriously questionable.

Personally it just didn't add up to me, and the entire program came out of left-field with no warning - it does seem like the US govt. is trying to throw Boeing a bone. That's all I was saying.

Also the F-15 line is already open for other countries, and we've got super hornets being built as well. The production lines aren't at risk. At some point, we don't need to have production lines remain open for domestic fighters anyways.

Again - I'm fine with the added capability, PROVIDED we can get them ASAP. This is where the corruption comes in, as the fine print seems to state that we get these things 5+ years out, at a painfully ridiculous production rate of ~13/year or something lasting 10+ years. THAT right there is purely throwing a bone to Boeing. Does nothing for out National defense strategy, and by the time we're done acquiring them, they're seen as fossils.
 
estorilm
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Fri Feb 15, 2019 4:24 pm

Ozair wrote:
I've put it here given the direct reference to the F-15X in the letter. Obviously Cornyn and Cruz are from Texas and therefore have a strong interest in preserving F-35 production and jobs but it is hard to deny what they are recommending.

Senators call on Trump to fully fund F-35

Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Susan Collins (R-ME), Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) have sent a letter to President Trump urging him to support the current funding schedule for the F-35 as opposed to investing in what they call the "outdated, fourth-generation F-15X."

"We are extremely concerned that, over the last few years, the [Defense Department] has underfunded the F-35 Program and relied on Congress to fund increases in production, sustainment, and modernization," the letter states. "In order to meet the overmatch and lethality goals laid out in the National Security Strategy, the DOD needs to make these investments in the F-35 to affordably deliver and operate this fifth-generation fighter fleet. The F-35 is the most affordable, lethal, and survivable air dominance fighter, and now is the time to double down on the program."

"In order to ensure the United States service members are equipped with the most lethal aircraft capable of operating in the modern battlefield, we request your support and the support of the DOD in investing our defense funds in proven fifth-generation technology -- like the F-35 -- rather than technology that will be outdated before it even rolls off the production line," the senators write.

https://insidedefense.com/insider/senat ... -fund-f-35

OMG THIS! ^^

Seriously though, there is a point here. You're already fully invested, the only different is staggering things and drawing them out for decades is costing the program MORE money in the long term. This plane isn't going anywhere, especially with the capabilities we now see with the Block-3F - just spend the money and get it over with. The sooner the production orders are fulfilled, the better.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Fri Feb 15, 2019 8:40 pm

estorilm wrote:
THAT right there is purely throwing a bone to Boeing. Does nothing for out National defense strategy, and by the time we're done acquiring them, they're seen as fossils.


If they keep the fossils long enough to keep LM honest and continue to drive down the cost of the F-35, then it would be money well spent. If one is skeptical of the F-15X, then one must also be cynical enough to believe that as soon as the purchase contract for the F-15X is shelved and the F-15 line shuts down, we will find some new issue with the F-35 that will require significant amount of money to fix.

Why not throw Boeing a bone, even though they really don't need it, you've been feeding enough steaks to LM to have a whole fleet of F-35 by now :drunk:

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

Mon Feb 18, 2019 9:54 pm

estorilm wrote:
Ozair wrote:
I've put it here given the direct reference to the F-15X in the letter. Obviously Cornyn and Cruz are from Texas and therefore have a strong interest in preserving F-35 production and jobs but it is hard to deny what they are recommending.

Senators call on Trump to fully fund F-35

Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Susan Collins (R-ME), Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) have sent a letter to President Trump urging him to support the current funding schedule for the F-35 as opposed to investing in what they call the "outdated, fourth-generation F-15X."

"We are extremely concerned that, over the last few years, the [Defense Department] has underfunded the F-35 Program and relied on Congress to fund increases in production, sustainment, and modernization," the letter states. "In order to meet the overmatch and lethality goals laid out in the National Security Strategy, the DOD needs to make these investments in the F-35 to affordably deliver and operate this fifth-generation fighter fleet. The F-35 is the most affordable, lethal, and survivable air dominance fighter, and now is the time to double down on the program."

"In order to ensure the United States service members are equipped with the most lethal aircraft capable of operating in the modern battlefield, we request your support and the support of the DOD in investing our defense funds in proven fifth-generation technology -- like the F-35 -- rather than technology that will be outdated before it even rolls off the production line," the senators write.

https://insidedefense.com/insider/senat ... -fund-f-35

OMG THIS! ^^

Seriously though, there is a point here. You're already fully invested, the only different is staggering things and drawing them out for decades is costing the program MORE money in the long term. This plane isn't going anywhere, especially with the capabilities we now see with the Block-3F - just spend the money and get it over with. The sooner the production orders are fulfilled, the better.


The full text of the letter has been published and is available below,

Dear Mr. President:

Thank you for your leadership in ensuring our men and women in uniform have the best equipment and resources to perform their missions and return home safely. As you know, the best and most advanced fighter jet in the world is the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which provides stealth, advanced sensing, coalition interoperability, cyber security, and an ability to overmatch adversaries in a multi-domain fight. The F-35 delivers these capabilities better than any other fighter in the U.S. inventory, and provides our men and women the capability they need to protect and defend against the surface and air threats we are facing today and the growing threats of tomorrow. It is the best chance our men and women have of coming home safely, and we urge you to fully support this program.

Former chief of staff of the USAF, Gen Mark Welch said it best, “America needs the F-35 to stay a step ahead, … It's interoperability among services and partner nations, its survivability against the advanced integrated air defense systems, and its ability to hold any target at risk make the F-35 the only real viable option that I see to form the backbone of our future fighter fleet….“And the reality is -- if a fourth-generation fighter meets a fifth generation fighter, the fourth-generation fighter may be more efficient, but it will be dead. It really is that simple.”

As our nation’s only fifth-generation stealth fighter being built today, an investment in additional production and support for the F-35 fighter fleet is critical to ensuring the U.S. maintains air superiority. Further, investment in the F-35 program would allow the Department of Defense (DoD) and our allies to continue bringing costs down by leveraging economies of scale. The good news is the production cost is coming down; by 2020, an F-35A will cost $80 million per jet.

With that in mind, we are extremely concerned that, over the last few years, the DoD has underfunded the F-35 Program and relied on Congress to fund increases in production, sustainment, and modernization. In order to meet the overmatch and lethality goals laid out in the National Security Strategy, the DoD needs to make these investments in the F-35 to affordably deliver and operate this fifth-generation fighter fleet. The F-35 is the most affordable, lethal, and survivable air dominance fighter, and now is the time to double down on the program.

The Fiscal Year 2018 and 2019 defense appropriations bills, which you signed into law, helped reverse the tactical aircraft readiness and modernization deficit, by providing for 90 and 93 F-35 aircraft respectively, and urging the DoD to invest in F-35 to achieve full rate production (80 F-35As, 24 F-35Bs, and 30 F-35Cs per year). To keep this program on track, the DoD must continue increasing production, year-over-year, and the Air Force needs to get to at least 60 F-35As per year in the Fiscal Year 2020 budget request. This is critical to enabling the Air Force to reach 80 F-35As per year in the timeframe necessary to meet the force structure needs required by the threat environment in 2025 and beyond. At this point, additional investment in less capable or older fourth-generation legacy fighters will simply not meet the requirements of current or future threats.

Nonetheless, it is my understanding that the DoD may propose buying outdated fourth-generation F-15 fighters, like the F-15X, for $100 million per jet in the FY20 budget request. At a cost 20% higher than the advanced F-35A, this is far from a good deal. Choosing to invest in these fighters, which we know are neither lethal nor survivable against today’s advanced threats, would be a disservice to servicemembers and taxpayers.

New versions of old F-15s designed in the 1970s-1980s cannot survive against the newest Russian and Chinese fifth-generation fighter and surface to air missile threats, not to mention rapidly developing future threats. This action by the DoD would be a direct departure from the vision you have for a strong national defense. Allowing the DoD and U.S. Air Force to go back on their stated requirement for F-35 would counter the work you have done to restore our military capabilities.

As recently as September 2018, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson expressed her support for the procurement of the stealthy F-35 platform over fourth-generation aircraft. "We are currently 80 percent fourth-gen aircraft and 20 percent fifth-generation aircraft. In any of the fights that we have been asked to plan for, more fifth gen aircraft make a huge difference, and we think that getting to 50-50 means not buying new fourth gen aircraft, it means continuing to increase the fifth-generation.”

In order to ensure the United States servicemembers are equipped with the most lethal aircraft capable of operating in the modern battlefield, we request your support and the support of the DoD in investing our defense funds in proven fifth-generation technology – like the F-35 – rather than technology that will be outdated before it even rolls off the production line. Thank you for your continued commitment to strengthen America’s military, and for your attention to this matter.

https://www.texasgopvote.com/government ... ng-0011429
 
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Revelation
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Tue Feb 19, 2019 12:39 pm

bobinthecar wrote:
I've put it here given the direct reference to the F-15X in the letter. Obviously Cornyn and Cruz are from Texas and therefore have a strong interest in preserving F-35 production and jobs but it is hard to deny what they are recommending.

Replacing old ANG F-15s with new build rather than rebuild F-15s is not going to in any way detract from the F-35 buy. Its going to be cheaper in the long run to buy new upgraded F-15s rather than refurbish old ones. Its going to be cheaper in the long run to slot F-15s in to the ANG units rather than F-35s since the infrastructure and support for the F-15 is already there. If you replace F-15s with F-35s in those units all the pilots, all the maintainers have to be retrained and all the associated ground support equipment and depot stocks have to be bought. An F-15X will be more than adequate and in some ways due to superior speed and altitude, a better interceptor than the F-35 for defending airspace. The F-15X can also work in conjunction with the F-35 and act as a spear carrier and dog fighter in support of them. Lastly, I am not entirely sure that F-35 production can be ramped up fast enough to satisfy the additional demand.

The way AvWeek ( http://aviationweek.com/combat-aircraft ... 52d6e22943 ) describes the system, I can see why F-35 supporters are worried. Pretty much everything on the ship is modernized. Fly by wire, new engines, stronger wings, better radar, more fuel, and:

Boeing has proposed upgrading the F-15 with “Amber” pylons that would allow a single load-out with as many as 22 AIM-120 or eight air-to-air missiles and a large load of GBU-39 or GBU-53/B small-diameter bombs.

Buried in the details of the configuration are the characteristics that make the F-15X a far different aircraft than the F-15Cs now in the Air Force inventory.

For example, the combination of a strengthened wing and fly-by-wire flight controls expand the flight envelope, yielding a dogfight performance somewhere between the raw power offered by the F-15C and the nimble agility at high angles of attack of the F-22.

“The ‘alpha’ is impressive,” the source says, describing the F-15X in maneuvers at high angles of attack. “It’s not Raptor-like, but it is really, really nice.”

It goes on to describe how features the Saudis have paid for could be used to make an electronic warfare variant that could give the platform a mainline role.

The article says it is unheard of to have such protests weeks before the budget proposal is released, so it seems this will be a real battle on the Hill.
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estorilm
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Tue Feb 19, 2019 2:14 pm

Ozair wrote:
estorilm wrote:
Ozair wrote:
I've put it here given the direct reference to the F-15X in the letter. Obviously Cornyn and Cruz are from Texas and therefore have a strong interest in preserving F-35 production and jobs but it is hard to deny what they are recommending.

Senators call on Trump to fully fund F-35


https://insidedefense.com/insider/senat ... -fund-f-35

OMG THIS! ^^

Seriously though, there is a point here. You're already fully invested, the only different is staggering things and drawing them out for decades is costing the program MORE money in the long term. This plane isn't going anywhere, especially with the capabilities we now see with the Block-3F - just spend the money and get it over with. The sooner the production orders are fulfilled, the better.


The full text of the letter has been published and is available below,

Dear Mr. President:

Thank you for your leadership in ensuring our men and women in uniform have the best equipment and resources to perform their missions and return home safely. As you know, the best and most advanced fighter jet in the world is the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which provides stealth, advanced sensing, coalition interoperability, cyber security, and an ability to overmatch adversaries in a multi-domain fight. The F-35 delivers these capabilities better than any other fighter in the U.S. inventory, and provides our men and women the capability they need to protect and defend against the surface and air threats we are facing today and the growing threats of tomorrow. It is the best chance our men and women have of coming home safely, and we urge you to fully support this program.

Former chief of staff of the USAF, Gen Mark Welch said it best, “America needs the F-35 to stay a step ahead, … It's interoperability among services and partner nations, its survivability against the advanced integrated air defense systems, and its ability to hold any target at risk make the F-35 the only real viable option that I see to form the backbone of our future fighter fleet….“And the reality is -- if a fourth-generation fighter meets a fifth generation fighter, the fourth-generation fighter may be more efficient, but it will be dead. It really is that simple.”

As our nation’s only fifth-generation stealth fighter being built today, an investment in additional production and support for the F-35 fighter fleet is critical to ensuring the U.S. maintains air superiority. Further, investment in the F-35 program would allow the Department of Defense (DoD) and our allies to continue bringing costs down by leveraging economies of scale. The good news is the production cost is coming down; by 2020, an F-35A will cost $80 million per jet.

With that in mind, we are extremely concerned that, over the last few years, the DoD has underfunded the F-35 Program and relied on Congress to fund increases in production, sustainment, and modernization. In order to meet the overmatch and lethality goals laid out in the National Security Strategy, the DoD needs to make these investments in the F-35 to affordably deliver and operate this fifth-generation fighter fleet. The F-35 is the most affordable, lethal, and survivable air dominance fighter, and now is the time to double down on the program.

The Fiscal Year 2018 and 2019 defense appropriations bills, which you signed into law, helped reverse the tactical aircraft readiness and modernization deficit, by providing for 90 and 93 F-35 aircraft respectively, and urging the DoD to invest in F-35 to achieve full rate production (80 F-35As, 24 F-35Bs, and 30 F-35Cs per year). To keep this program on track, the DoD must continue increasing production, year-over-year, and the Air Force needs to get to at least 60 F-35As per year in the Fiscal Year 2020 budget request. This is critical to enabling the Air Force to reach 80 F-35As per year in the timeframe necessary to meet the force structure needs required by the threat environment in 2025 and beyond. At this point, additional investment in less capable or older fourth-generation legacy fighters will simply not meet the requirements of current or future threats.

Nonetheless, it is my understanding that the DoD may propose buying outdated fourth-generation F-15 fighters, like the F-15X, for $100 million per jet in the FY20 budget request. At a cost 20% higher than the advanced F-35A, this is far from a good deal. Choosing to invest in these fighters, which we know are neither lethal nor survivable against today’s advanced threats, would be a disservice to servicemembers and taxpayers.

New versions of old F-15s designed in the 1970s-1980s cannot survive against the newest Russian and Chinese fifth-generation fighter and surface to air missile threats, not to mention rapidly developing future threats. This action by the DoD would be a direct departure from the vision you have for a strong national defense. Allowing the DoD and U.S. Air Force to go back on their stated requirement for F-35 would counter the work you have done to restore our military capabilities.

As recently as September 2018, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson expressed her support for the procurement of the stealthy F-35 platform over fourth-generation aircraft. "We are currently 80 percent fourth-gen aircraft and 20 percent fifth-generation aircraft. In any of the fights that we have been asked to plan for, more fifth gen aircraft make a huge difference, and we think that getting to 50-50 means not buying new fourth gen aircraft, it means continuing to increase the fifth-generation.”

In order to ensure the United States servicemembers are equipped with the most lethal aircraft capable of operating in the modern battlefield, we request your support and the support of the DoD in investing our defense funds in proven fifth-generation technology – like the F-35 – rather than technology that will be outdated before it even rolls off the production line. Thank you for your continued commitment to strengthen America’s military, and for your attention to this matter.

https://www.texasgopvote.com/government ... ng-0011429

Makes sense to me! It's nice to actually see my exact thoughts being pushed on the hill for once. ;)
 
Ozair
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Tue Feb 19, 2019 8:42 pm

Revelation wrote:
The way AvWeek ( http://aviationweek.com/combat-aircraft ... 52d6e22943 ) describes the system, I can see why F-35 supporters are worried.

I am a big F-35 supporter and I am not worried (whether an aircraft is selected or not really doesn’t keep me up at night or go beyond being a hobby/interest).

Where I struggle is just rationalising this as good financial sense especially in the context of the USAF being very clear that they don’t want more 4th gen aircraft. If that is the case then from a budget perspective how much more money would it require to replace the F-15C/Ds with the F-35 compared to the F-15X. We don’t know that, we haven’t seen an actual evaluation of what the F-15X brings over and above the F-35 to this role except that the current platform is an older version. The USAF certainly isn't claiming the F-15X is an asset that could work within the dense IADS of a near-peer adversary.

Revelation wrote:
Pretty much everything on the ship is modernized. Fly by wire, new engines, stronger wings, better radar, more fuel, and:

Boeing has proposed upgrading the F-15 with “Amber” pylons that would allow a single load-out with as many as 22 AIM-120 or eight air-to-air missiles and a large load of GBU-39 or GBU-53/B small-diameter bombs.

Buried in the details of the configuration are the characteristics that make the F-15X a far different aircraft than the F-15Cs now in the Air Force inventory.


For example, the combination of a strengthened wing and fly-by-wire flight controls expand the flight envelope, yielding a dogfight performance somewhere between the raw power offered by the F-15C and the nimble agility at high angles of attack of the F-22.

“The ‘alpha’ is impressive,” the source says, describing the F-15X in maneuvers at high angles of attack. “It’s not Raptor-like, but it is really, really nice.”


Which is great to hear, especially the alpha as this will provide improved WVR opportunities for an early kill, but how much of an improvement for the specific mission sets the F-15C/D flies does the F-15X provide? At the moment the radar would be very similar, higher thrust may improve performance but the jet is also heavier. The ability to drop A2G ordnance is nice but not important, the ANG doesn’t train for that role today and likely won’t in the future unless you want to devote significant additional funding for all the aircrew to receive A2G training, the maintenance/ordnance staff to receive additional training and certs to handle those weapons, the bases to be upgraded to handle the storage of those weapons etc. Funding that apparently isn't available.

The only tangible benefit I see is likely the increased availability of the jet over the current fleet but even that could be overcome with more investment in the older airframe.

Revelation wrote:
It goes on to describe how features the Saudis have paid for could be used to make an electronic warfare variant that could give the platform a mainline role.

I highly doubt the USAF will invest in a dedicated EW platform in a tactical fighter again. There has been plenty of opportunity to since the EF-111 was retired to replace that capability but they haven’t.

Revelation wrote:
The article says it is unheard of to have such protests weeks before the budget proposal is released, so it seems this will be a real battle on the Hill.

We can already see from the letter I posted above how heated this thing is going to get. I’m still not convinced when push comes to shove that the USAF will have the funding available to do this.

The amazing thing is USAF funding in general. There is so much acquisition funding going to black programs, nearly a third of all USAF procurement, that you would think some more would be available for this but clearly those classified non disclosed programs are a priority.

USAF acquisition costs to rise to $104bn by 2033

The US Air Force’s acquisition costs are projected to reach $104 billion by 2033, driven primarily by the purchase of several new aircraft and weapons.
That projection comes from a new report from the Congressional Budget Office, released 13 February, which analysed the 2019 Department of Defense’s five-year spending plan— called the Future Years Defense Programme – and projected near-term costs and likely long-term financial impacts.
The US Congress appropriated $84 billion for USAF acquisitions in 2019, meaning spending is projected to increase by 28.3% by 2033. The increase is primarily due to the acquisition of several new aircraft and weapon systems, including the Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighter, the Northrop Grumman B-21 stealth bomber, Boeing T-X trainer, the Long Range Standoff Weapon nuclear cruise missile and the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent ballistic missile.
Nearly a third of spending in 2033 – some $31 billion per year – would be dedicated to classified activities funded by the USAF through its budget, but not carried out by the service, the CBO says.
USAF spending in 2033 would account for about 43% of all Defense Department acquisition costs, which is projected to total $240 billion.
In the near term, USAF acquisition costs would increase from $84 billion in 2019 to $91 billion in 2023. Again, classified programmes would account for about a third of spending.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... 33-455795/

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Ozair
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:31 pm

Some interesting additional information.

- Eight aircraft will be the first order request.
- 80 aircraft acquired over a five year period which would likely see production increase from 8 in that first year, perhaps 12 in the second year and then 20 each year after that.
- The flyaway price has been stated as US$80 million. It would be interetsing to see first price compared to last price over that five year period as well as the support system expected costs.
- Large Hypersonic weapons are touted as a possible reason for the acquisition although the article gets in wrong by claiming the F-35 would only be able to carry these internally.


Air Force Wants Eight Upgraded Boeing Fighters Along With F-35s

The U.S. Air Force’s next budget will request funds for eight new F-15 fighter-bombers from Boeing Co., beefing up its inventory with an upgraded version of a plane it last bought in 2001, even as it pursues the more advanced F-35 from rival Lockheed Martin Corp.

The F-15s will be proposed in the fiscal 2020 budget, expected around March 11, as the first of a potential 80-plane purchase over the next five years, said people familiar with the Air Force’s plan.

Even though the request has White House support, it’s likely to raise questions from skeptical lawmakers about why the Air Force, which has spent years saying it needs the “fifth-generation” F-35, now wants more F-15s as well.

Boeing has kept its F-15 production line in St. Louis going with continued sales to allies including Israel, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The new F-15X for the U.S. would be a variation on planes sold to Qatar but would be able to carry heavier loads of air-to-ground and air-to-air weapons than current F-15s, or the F-35s.

Hypersonic Missiles
With its internal weapons carriage, the F-35 probably can’t accommodate planned heavier weapons, such as hypersonic missiles that are now under development. On the other hand, the F-15X would lack the technological advances of the F-35, including its stealth profile to evade the most advanced Russian and Chinese air defense systems, as well as its sophisticated sensors and data-sharing capabilities.

The Air Force will propose buying the F-15X without reducing the fleet of 1,763 F-35s that it has long planned, the people said. The service would purchase 48 of the 84 F-35s that were called for last year in the Pentagon’s plan for 2020, with the remainder going to the Navy and Marines, according to program documents.

Still, Lockheed has been quietly reminding lawmakers and congressional staff of its arguments for the F-35 as the better choice, including through a “fact sheet” distributed in December. That was followed by an attack on the F-15X by five senators who wrote President Donald Trump last week calling the Boeing plane “outdated.”

“The U.S. Air Force fighter budget is unlikely to grow by much, so the fear is that replacing the F-15 fleet, rather than upgrading the old F-15s, would take cash away from F-35 procurement,” Richard Aboulafia, an aerospace analyst with the Teal Group of Fairfax, Virginia, said in an email.

Boeing said in a statement that it’s “ready to provide a highly survivable advanced variant of F-15 to the Air Force at an affordable cost.” A spokesman for the Air Force declined to comment on the proposal until the president’s proposed budget is released.

Budget Officials
The planned F-15X purchase originated from an assessment of the Air Force’s needs by career analysts in the Pentagon’s independent cost assessment office. It’s won favor from White House budget officials who agreed it would fill a niche for an aircraft capable of carrying a heavy load of ordnance, according to one of the people.

Chicago-based Boeing has offered the aircraft, including engines, for about $80 million per plane under a fixed-price contract with the first deliveries to come in 2022. By comparison, the F-35 from Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed is estimated to cost $89 million each in the latest contract with a goal of $80 million by 2020.

Lockheed’s December “fact sheet” said the F-15X would cost $90 million each and have less range, acceleration and time to remain over a target than the F-35.

Lockheed spokesman William Phelps said the document was prepared for a Dec. 13 congressional briefing and was consistent with ones the company has produced for years comparing the F-35 to older fighters.

Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed’s chief executive officer, told analysts in January that she’s hearing “directly from leadership in the Pentagon” that the F-35 is “well-supported across-the-board” so it wouldn’t be affected by a potential F-15 purchase.

Still, two of Lockheed’s strongest congressional supporters, Republican Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz of Texas, drew up the letter to Trump warning against underfunding the F-35 that’s built in their state in order to buy the F-15X.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... with-f-35s
 
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bikerthai
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:42 pm

Ozair wrote:
I highly doubt the USAF will invest in a dedicated EW platform in a tactical fighter again.


This comment makes me wonder. Seems like they (the USAF) are moving away from single point platform for AEW&C and EW (no new JSTARs, no new AWACS). Perhaps they ARE going back to a distributed network for AEW&C and EW with the F-15X as one of multiple platform (including UAV and perhaps satellites) to handle the work load.

bt
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Ozair
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed Feb 20, 2019 1:09 am

bikerthai wrote:
Ozair wrote:
I highly doubt the USAF will invest in a dedicated EW platform in a tactical fighter again.


This comment makes me wonder. Seems like they (the USAF) are moving away from single point platform for AEW&C and EW (no new JSTARs, no new AWACS). Perhaps they ARE going back to a distributed network for AEW&C and EW with the F-15X as one of multiple platform (including UAV and perhaps satellites) to handle the work load.

bt

Realistically how is the F-15X any more survivable or have a longer persistence in the battlespace than those other assets in a near peer conflict? For lower threats the current platforms are more than sufficient. For near peer the capabilities coming to the fleet in the F-35 and UCAVs likely make up the difference.

If the USAF were going back to what you term a distributed network, the far more likely scenario is basing those platforms on the manned and unmanned B-21s and future UCAVs, not the F-15X.

Agree either way there will be large numbers of small low earth sats thrown in to improve ISR and communications.
 
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed Feb 20, 2019 4:31 am

If you are to include an EW platform with a strike force an F-15 platform would be more survivable than a 737 or other business jet.

Current UAV might not have the speed to keep up with a flight of strike fighters. Future faster UAV would be an answer. But we are not there yet.

Either way, the F-15 would just be a stop gap platform until other system can mature and take over, whether an F-35 based or fast UAV.

bt
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Ozair
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:31 am

bikerthai wrote:
If you are to include an EW platform with a strike force an F-15 platform would be more survivable than a 737 or other business jet.

That isn’t the use case you talked about with replacing AEW&C and JSTARS. An F-15X isn’t more survivable than the platforms it is escorting and it wouldn’t go in with the strike force. It is also likely to be less capable than a specified JSTARS or AEW&C so a significant capability trade off.

bikerthai wrote:
Current UAV might not have the speed to keep up with a flight of strike fighters. Future faster UAV would be an answer. But we are not there yet.

The Growler doesn’t have the speed or fuel load to keep up with a strike force either.

bikerthai wrote:
Either way, the F-15 would just be a stop gap platform until other system can mature and take over, whether an F-35 based or fast UAV.

bt

The EF-18G required approximately US$2.5 billion to develop that specific variant before any aircraft were acquired. I doubt there is that fat in the acquisition system for development of an EA F-15X variant that the USAF has never expressed a requirement for. Far cheaper to buy the EF-18G for the USAF and just take the hit on performance. They could have done that ten years ago but they didn’t, hence it is hard to see how this need has developed now.
 
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:59 am

Why would you, when the F-35 can do the role just as well.
 
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed Feb 20, 2019 8:03 am

I think people are not aware of the current F-15C/D role. Basically, the only role is for Air Defense of the US. The Guard/Reserve units which the C/Ds are tasked with that responsibility. Replacing the C/D with the X makes more sense, much more, than putting a F-35 into the same position. The cost of upgrading the C/D and a SLEP is very expensive and procurement of an X makes much more sense as a much lower cost program.
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Ozair
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:29 am

mmo wrote:
I think people are not aware of the current F-15C/D role. Basically, the only role is for Air Defense of the US. The Guard/Reserve units which the C/Ds are tasked with that responsibility.

I think that point has been made clear multiple times, including by myself again just above in post #314.

mmo wrote:
Replacing the C/D with the X makes more sense, much more, than putting a F-35 into the same position.

How so, we know the F-35 has a longer range with a better sensor suite and fusion engine than the F-15X. As a stealth aircraft it can move around the battlespace completely undetected. That also helps in air defence where its superior sensor suite and data link would allow it to divide an engage targets as required after identifying them at longer range.

The real advantage the F-15X provides is availability. As a new airframe it will likely have a higher availability rate than the C/D fleet. The issue is that aircraft won't survive in the near-peer battlespace the USAF expect to operate for the next 20 years. In that context, what sound rational allocates funding to an aircraft that can't operate across the whole spectrum of mission the USAF requires, when an option is available that will?

mmo wrote:
The cost of upgrading the C/D and a SLEP is very expensive and procurement of an X makes much more sense as a much lower cost program.

We know this upgrade cost, I posted it on the first page of this thread. If we put the new Boeing proposed cost of US$80 million per copy into the numbers I also posted on page one we get a delta of US$8 billion between the acquisition cost of the F-15X and the upgraded F-15C/D fleet. At current estimated yearly costs it would take 11 years to break even if all 200 aircraft were replaced.

If Boeing can get the price down to US$80 million, which I doubt, then an eleven year split is probably worth it fiscally but make no mistake, financially it costs the USAF more money to acquire and then operate the F-15X than the C/D fleet for at least that eleven year period and likely longer.
 
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed Feb 20, 2019 12:21 pm

But if you have regained the cost of purchase after 11 years of operations, it actually can make sense. Because at the end of those 11 years, the C/D might need to be replaced for good, while the X would still have 50+% of the service life left. So if you still see a role for the F-15 in the fleet past 2030 (for whatever reason), it can make sense to buy the X.
 
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed Feb 20, 2019 12:32 pm

So the final argument comes back to whether it's better to replace the F-15C/D with an F-15X or an F-35. And the only answer we have is that the 15 can do something better than the 35 or is more available in the short run, or is being used as a counter Ballance to keep the 35 cost down. The arguments comes full circle. We will probably other get an answer until Congressional hearings. And even then, not everyone will be convinced. Just like the Canadian F-18 buy.

bt
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:35 pm

Ozair, while you have brought up that fact, there appears to be several people who either don't want to believe that or they re overlooking that fact.
The F-35 in an interceptor has much more capabilities than it needs, which increases the cost when compared with a F-15X. The X would have IR capability, networking pretty much all you'd need to do the job.

Finally, with an X you get a 20,000 hour airframe while with a SLEP you still will not get an airframe which will do 20,000 hours.
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texl1649
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:01 pm

mmo, I think Ozair’s analyses operates on the basis of projected future budgets hitting targeted delivery rates over the next 20 years (for instance, USNA. Retiring SH’s). Reality rarely supports that (in any major ‘western’ Air Force procurements; the Soviets and Chinese have hit some similar metrics tho), but a pragmatic budgeter might see a benefit to a true new build 20K hour frame beyond SLEP for 10 years as you indicated.
 
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:24 pm

seahawk wrote:
Because at the end of those 11 years, the C/D might need to be replaced for good,


By an F-35 . . . :scared: for another $80 mil. :white:
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estorilm
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed Feb 20, 2019 8:15 pm

mmo wrote:
Ozair, while you have brought up that fact, there appears to be several people who either don't want to believe that or they re overlooking that fact.
The F-35 in an interceptor has much more capabilities than it needs, which increases the cost when compared with a F-15X. The X would have IR capability, networking pretty much all you'd need to do the job.

Finally, with an X you get a 20,000 hour airframe while with a SLEP you still will not get an airframe which will do 20,000 hours.

Not really true - I can easily see LM updating their lifetime specs and expediencies in the future.

"The F-35’s service lifetime is designed to be 8,000h, but each test airframe is required to successfully complete two lifetimes of testing, the equivalent of 16,000h. The F-35A exceeded the requirement by completing three full lifetimes of testing, 24,000h, prompting Lockheed to moot the potential service-life extension."
This was reported a while ago https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/f-35-stress-tests-raise-possibility-of-longer-servic-451964/

And yeah "pretty much all you need to do the job" - that's great and all, but why are you paying MORE for something you're admitting will do "almost" as much? Which isn't even remotely true btw - as I said, IRST21 w/ the Leigon Pod is one thing, 360 degree DAS is another. The APG-82 radar supposedly being fitted to the X in an updated guise will be nowhere near as capable as the integrated APG-81 - EW, LPI, and auto ground target cueing (and classification) are leaps-and-bounds better. Some pilots have said it's better than AWACS. From what I've read, the other sensors on the F-35 can cue the radar into a target zone based on any of the other integrated sensors including RF and IR. That requires INTEGRATION which will likely never happen in the X - it'll get newish radar slapped on there, some big touch-screens, and an IR pod.


mmo wrote:
I think people are not aware of the current F-15C/D role. Basically, the only role is for Air Defense of the US. The Guard/Reserve units which the C/Ds are tasked with that responsibility. Replacing the C/D with the X makes more sense, much more, than putting a F-35 into the same position. The cost of upgrading the C/D and a SLEP is very expensive and procurement of an X makes much more sense as a much lower cost program.

Why can't an F-35 with drop tanks and external stores do the same EXACT same job? People keep thinking of the F-35 as "limited" in its stores, but if you're directly comparing it to a non-stealth aircraft, then why not level the playing field? The range and payload of a dirty F-35 is pretty damn incredible.

If I could get the F-15X for cheaper, and faster - do it. But you CAN'T. People need to start accepting that fact. Recall the build times posted previously. The build rate is even more frustrating.
It won't have the same sensor and data link integration as the X (even if it's "good" it won't be that good) - it also loses out of the SA with the HMD, DAS, and HOBS w/ AIM-9X. IRST is one thing, but 360 degree DAS is another. Granted I'm assuming as much, but integrating those systems from scratch would likely skyrocket the already-hard-to-swallow price of the F-15X.

Either way, by the time the F-15X takes to the skies, the F-35A will be under $80m. There isn't the SLIGHTEST possibility that Boeing can build a large twin-engine fighter with NEW and upgraded sensors, avionics, data links, etc for cheaper than that, especially with low-rate production. Sorry, just zero chance.

I love the F-15 - she will forever be an icon with perhaps the best kill ratio of any fighter mankind has ever created - but she's been left in the dust. :(
 
Ozair
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed Feb 20, 2019 8:52 pm

seahawk wrote:
But if you have regained the cost of purchase after 11 years of operations, it actually can make sense. Because at the end of those 11 years, the C/D might need to be replaced for good, while the X would still have 50+% of the service life left. So if you still see a role for the F-15 in the fleet past 2030 (for whatever reason), it can make sense to buy the X.

Probably but that cost comparison factors in the most expensive F-15C/D refit which includes a new wing, with the additional hardpoint opened up, and allows the F-15C/D to fly, from a fatigue perspective, until 2040.

So there is no need to replace the C/D in that timeframe if it gets a SLEP. There would be that need if the USAF only went for the longeran replacement, which is approx. US$1 million per aircraft compared to the US$8 billion allocated to a full SLEP of the fleet, but that completely pushes the pay back time compared of an F-15X out another 9 years to 20... (noting that the USAF then needs to spend that US$80 million per aircraft to replace the fleet around the 2030 timeframe).

mmo wrote:
Ozair, while you have brought up that fact, there appears to be several people who either don't want to believe that or they re overlooking that fact.
The F-35 in an interceptor has much more capabilities than it needs, which increases the cost when compared with a F-15X. The X would have IR capability, networking pretty much all you'd need to do the job.

What additional capability than it needs does the F-35 have compared to the F-15X which is essentially a strike aircraft (no existing customer is using it in a dedicated A2A role) that the ANG would use in an air superiority role only?

mmo wrote:
Finally, with an X you get a 20,000 hour airframe while with a SLEP you still will not get an airframe which will do 20,000 hours.

Does the USAF need that service life and are they likely to use even half of it? Even at 500 hours a year per airframe, an absurdly high number compared to historical averages especially for ANG units, that is 40 years of airframe life. The aircraft will struggle in an A2AD environment today let alone 20 years from now or 20 years after that.

My feeling is the air defence argument is about to become academic anyway. Other than airliner run downs, neither an F-15X or F-15C/D is going to be able to do much against a hypersonic cruise missile launched by an adversary against CONUS. The role for the ANG units then becomes similar to Bosnia, where they fulfilled A2A duties rotationally overseas, so in that context a more flexible aircraft is a better option.

bikerthai wrote:
So the final argument comes back to whether it's better to replace the F-15C/D with an F-15X or an F-35. And the only answer we have is that the 15 can do something better than the 35 or is more available in the short run, or is being used as a counter Ballance to keep the 35 cost down. The arguments comes full circle. We will probably other get an answer until Congressional hearings. And even then, not everyone will be convinced. Just like the Canadian F-18 buy.

bt

I’m still waiting for some concrete numbers. Clearly the USAF saves some money by not converting aircrew and maintenance staff across to a different aircraft when they acquire F-15X but there is a capability trade-off in doing so.

bikerthai wrote:
By an F-35 . . . :scared: for another $80 mil. :white:


Saying that, a US$80 million F-35 in eleven years is going to be a formidable aircraft that would be post Blk 5 with an AETP engine, GaN radars and probably DEW. It will almost certainly dominate anything else flying from both an A2A and A2G perspective. You are likely to see the USAF push older F-35s onto the ANG units though and use the new airframes with the Active Duty units.
 
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu Feb 21, 2019 5:51 am

Ozair wrote:
seahawk wrote:
But if you have regained the cost of purchase after 11 years of operations, it actually can make sense. Because at the end of those 11 years, the C/D might need to be replaced for good, while the X would still have 50+% of the service life left. So if you still see a role for the F-15 in the fleet past 2030 (for whatever reason), it can make sense to buy the X.

Probably but that cost comparison factors in the most expensive F-15C/D refit which includes a new wing, with the additional hardpoint opened up, and allows the F-15C/D to fly, from a fatigue perspective, until 2040.

So there is no need to replace the C/D in that timeframe if it gets a SLEP. There would be that need if the USAF only went for the longeran replacement, which is approx. US$1 million per aircraft compared to the US$8 billion allocated to a full SLEP of the fleet, but that completely pushes the pay back time compared of an F-15X out another 9 years to 20... (noting that the USAF then needs to spend that US$80 million per aircraft to replace the fleet around the 2030 timeframe). .


You must not forget the avionics up-dates the C/Ds will require.
 
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:28 am

I don't care if LM got 32,000 hours on the test. The 8,000 hour mark will be what is used. The F-15 C/D tested out far longer than expected but still suffered from structural issues with the longerons.

With respect to the $80 million, I have no problem Boeing will be able to do it. If you read the plans for the X it will not be low rate production for long. There is plenty of slack to up production and the C/Ds are staring at the light in the tunnel and it is the oncoming train with respect to service life left. The sensors are already in existence the big addition is the IR sensor which needs to be done to help with 5th generation fighters. The problem is you don't need 5th generation fighters to take care of any bomber force. And the cruise missile threat can be handled by other systems (THAAD, IRON DOME which is being purchased and other programs under development).

As far as a F-35A being below $80 million, I'll believe that when I see it. LM and DOD have some pretty creative accounts so on paper it might be $80 million but the "out the door price" will never be that low.

As the USAF Chief of Staff keeps saying, the X has no impact on the F-35A production. The current C/D fleet is in desperate shape with structural updates needed very badly and avionics upgrades needed just as bad. The X solves that problem.
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estorilm
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:15 pm

mmo wrote:
I don't care if LM got 32,000 hours on the test. The 8,000 hour mark will be what is used. The F-15 C/D tested out far longer than expected but still suffered from structural issues with the longerons.

Did you read that link? - 8khr is not "what will be used" as a blanket statement for the future, as LM clearly stated this opens the door for life extensions based on the CURRENT design.

“We look forward to analyzing the results and bringing forward the data to potentially extend the aircraft’s lifetime certification even further,” said Greg Ulmer, Lockheed Martin’s vice president and general manager of the F-35 program." Obviously SLEPs are a different ball game.

- second, 20k hours is Boeing's target for the program, the plane doesn't exist yet. Are they talking about the planes "ABILITY" to last 20k hours through SLEPs? Who knows. It's just a random number they threw out there, we don't know anything yet.

mmo wrote:
With respect to the $80 million, I have no problem Boeing will be able to do it. If you read the plans for the X it will not be low rate production for long. There is plenty of slack to up production and the C/Ds are staring at the light in the tunnel and it is the oncoming train with respect to service life left. The sensors are already in existence the big addition is the IR sensor which needs to be done to help with 5th generation fighters.

The latest model K was around $100m in mid-2000s, and this is clearly a new aircraft from a systems and layout point of view (equipment which is more advanced and expensive) - requiring R&D, testing, certification, validation, etc. That's not cheap, especially at the production run numbers they're talking. The cost of the engines is obviously unknown, but I'd expect them to be within ~65-70% of what the F135-PW-100 costs. PS - you need to buy and maintain twice as many while you're at it.

Also when you say "if you read the plans for the X, it won't be low rate production for long" - what the heck plans are you talking about? I only saw ONE article anywhere mentioning rates and it was a steady 18-24 a year period (AFTER production, setup, testing, etc.. years) which is a joke.

IR isn't "a big addition" at all - again as I said in my last post - it'll have the Legion IR pod which is already deployed on the F-15, our F-18s have it as well. Exactly though, IR is very important, that's why the F-35 was built with it from the ground-up fully-integrated. Also (as I said) the EOTS and DAS system in the F-35 is far more advanced than the IRST21/Legion (same sensor developed for the F-14). Its field of view alone is unbeatable. The first DAS version in 2010 picked up a Falcon 9 800 miles away and identified as a ballistic missile. It continued to track the missile's second stage as well.

mmo wrote:
As far as a F-35A being below $80 million, I'll believe that when I see it. LM and DOD have some pretty creative accounts so on paper it might be $80 million but the "out the door price" will never be that low.
As the USAF Chief of Staff keeps saying, the X has no impact on the F-35A production. The current C/D fleet is in desperate shape with structural updates needed very badly and avionics upgrades needed just as bad. The X solves that problem.

Yeah because Boeing is great at keeping costs under control also. How did the KC-46 become 3.5bn over budget and two years late? That was supposed to be a fairly straight-forward program. The F-15X will be far easier I'm sure, but unlike the KC-46, the entire point of the F-15X's existence and contract would be to deliver CHEAP and FAST. You've got to appreciate the fact that in 3-4 years this might look like a huge mistake if we've only got 15-20 of these things and they're still $105m or something. I doubt it'll happen like that, but it's a possibility.

The F-35 out-the-door price won't be that low, but neither will the F-15X once you build up new support, maintenance, training, flight simulators, etc. Toss in program development (ie total) costs into 100-200 aircraft and OUCH. The JSF program is large enough that it has wiggle-room for price reduction in many areas - the F-15X likely won't.

Also I'm pretty sure it was Lockheed's own CEO Marillyn Hewson who said it wouldn't impact the F-35. IMHO it will though - see the F-35 news thread where senators are expressing this very concern. It's not a 1:1 materials or production impact, it's the lack of commitment to go full-rate production and fund larger production waves. The staged production method is preventing large discounts on almost every aspect of production and acquisition. The first few F-15Xs and associated R&D will probably be near $1.5bn IF Boeing stays on-track - that will absolutely impact an earlier F-35 production ramp-up for a while.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:49 pm

estorilm wrote:
the entire point of the F-15X's existence and contract would be to deliver CHEAP and FAST


Just like what Boeing promised with the T-X or MQ-25. If they are confident with delivering a cheap T-X or MQ-25, why would they not be confident in delivering a cheap F-15X?

estorilm wrote:
The latest model K was around $100m in mid-2000s


Do you have the fly-away cost of the F-15QA? Boeing is building 36 for Qatar and the F-15X will be based on that frame/system. Note that the cost of the F-15QA would be high as it includes FMS overhead and add-ons (such as fresh infrastructures) that the USAF will not incur.

bt
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mmo
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:34 pm

estorilm wrote:
Did you read that link? - 8khr is not "what will be used" as a blanket statement for the future, as LM clearly stated this opens the door for life extensions based on the CURRENT design.


And did you read what I wrote? Opening the door and actually happening are two very different things. I know you work for LM, but you don't have to be a jerk on your replies!

From talking to friends at Boeing St. Louis, the 20,000 is without SLEP, it's what you get out the door. And by the way, the latest model is not the K, it's the SA, the K was actually based on the E, so your cost comparison is really invalid.

Granted the KC-46 was over budget but it was also the first FAA certified military aircraft. Imagine if the F-35 had to do that. There would be none flying at all.
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texl1649
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:35 pm

Boeing/USAF might also easily just go with the cheapest Pratt engine with the most commonality. Best top end performance is obviously not a real big priority. And, of course, Pratt probably really wants to build a better relationship supporting Boeing beyond just KC-46/F-15, right about now.
 
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu Feb 21, 2019 8:20 pm

mmo wrote:
And by the way, the latest model is not the K, it's the SA,


The latest model is the F-15QA (very similar to the SA) with first delivery expected in 2021. Or is it the F-15IA (first delivery 2023)? It's getting too confusing!

https://theaviationgeekclub.com/israel- ... -35-fleet/

The article suggested that Israel wanted the F-15's and the USAF only agrees if Israel continue to purchase F-35s. I guess the Israelis was able to overcome Texas political influence :stirthepot:

bt
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estorilm
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu Feb 21, 2019 8:51 pm

bikerthai wrote:
estorilm wrote:
the entire point of the F-15X's existence and contract would be to deliver CHEAP and FAST


Just like what Boeing promised with the T-X or MQ-25. If they are confident with delivering a cheap T-X or MQ-25, why would they not be confident in delivering a cheap F-15X?

estorilm wrote:
The latest model K was around $100m in mid-2000s


Do you have the fly-away cost of the F-15QA? Boeing is building 36 for Qatar and the F-15X will be based on that frame/system. Note that the cost of the F-15QA would be high as it includes FMS overhead and add-ons (such as fresh infrastructures) that the USAF will not incur.

bt

A trainer and a drone are hardly an advanced twin-engine front-line fighter. And while I agree that the program SHOULD be fairly simple and run smoothly, I still think getting IOC aircraft in 2022+ then 18+/yr after that makes the program pointless. JMHO though.

Forget the cost hypotheticals, let's pretend they get the thing down to $95m. It's still more than the F-35A any way you slice it. Everyone keeps talking fly-away costs, are you prepared to divide the 8-12 initial F-15X's by $1.5 BILLION being asked to complete those? Let's talk apples to apples please! It won't get much better if you only build 100-150 of them. The F-35 will keep going down. Qatar's batch of QAs also cost $172m ea. (I think, that was @ 6.2bn/36, the total deal was for 21bn for weapons, sustainment, etc?)

I also disagree with your thought that "the cost of the F-15QA would be high as it includes FMS overhead and add-ons (such as fresh infrastructures) that the USAF will not incur." - as the USAF will be absorbing MANY additional costs including parts, training, maintenance, sims etc on sensors, systems, integration, and tactics that none of their current F-15s have at the moment. Also the X is planned to have upgrades over the QA in plenty of areas. The fact that she's a single seat with an (apparent) different life expectancy, would imply many differences in production/materials, not just a QA w/ drop-ins mods.
 
estorilm
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:40 pm

mmo wrote:
estorilm wrote:
Did you read that link? - 8khr is not "what will be used" as a blanket statement for the future, as LM clearly stated this opens the door for life extensions based on the CURRENT design.


And did you read what I wrote? Opening the door and actually happening are two very different things. I know you work for LM, but you don't have to be a jerk on your replies!

Yes - my point is that the very first frames to roll off the line are somehow achieving 3x their design life. We aren't talking about F-15's from 1970 here - though that's the equivalent. The F-35 will only get better, as the Eagle has.

Either way LM and the USAF won't simply trash jets that can achieve 33% more lifetime w/ the same safety buffer - I'd bet you good money that's not the end of that discovery.


mmo wrote:
From talking to friends at Boeing St. Louis, the 20,000 is without SLEP, it's what you get out the door. And by the way, the latest model is not the K, it's the SA, the K was actually based on the E, so your cost comparison is really invalid.

I never said it was the current model - the pricing was the latest I could find off-the-bat and included the "Tiger Eyes" IR mod, so I used it. Besides, technically the QA is the latest ;)
edit: just re-read what I wrote, when I said "latest model K" I was referring the the latest K pricing I could find which was 2006 I think. The SA and QA are both more anyways I think. ;)
mmo wrote:
Granted the KC-46 was over budget but it was also the first FAA certified military aircraft. Imagine if the F-35 had to do that. There would be none flying at all.

It's an interesting stat, however from what I've heard - that fact had very little to do with its delays. I mean come on, the entire thing is based off of a platform that's been FAA certified for 36 years. I know the 2C/freighter/46 were different, but that shouldn't have posed challenges for Boeing. I also don't think it's the FIRST military aircraft to be FAA certified - off the top of my head I think the KC-10 was modified for this, haven't checked others (transports, etc).

I'm glad your friends over there have set a goal of 20,000 - that's one of those things that's pushing the envelope a bit though, and may complicate their commitments when they're under the gun later on. Won't know for a long time till they build one and finish stressing it.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:58 pm

estorilm wrote:
A trainer and a drone are hardly an advanced twin-engine front-line fighter.


True, the electronics and some of the systems may be different, but the basic process of assembly (putting the frames together) is what Boeing can control and that is what they are banking on in terms of cost reduction. Or at least that is what I was lead to believe.

Not sure about the QA, but the IA being ordered by Israel should be the two seat version as they intend to use it for ground attack also.

bt
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texl1649
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:21 pm

A retired USAF flag officer in support:

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articl ... 14201.html
 
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bikerthai
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:23 pm

texl1649 wrote:
A retired USAF flag officer in support:

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articl ... 14201.html


While I'm not typically a cynic with respect to non-political opinion of any retired military personnel, it would be more transparent if the article states whether the retired general has Boeing or Lockheed as a consulting client.

General Gorenc runs his own consultancy company supporting various defense contractors and analysis firms


https://www.af.mil/About-Us/Biographies ... nk-gorenc/

His argument seems logically thought out though.

bt
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estorilm
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:00 pm

texl1649 wrote:
A retired USAF flag officer in support:

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articl ... 14201.html

That was a... uniquely biased / opinionated article if I've ever seen one. :lol:

His points don't even make sense..

  • It is immediately available, affordable and sustainable without additional training for aircrews and maintenance personnel.
Approval, design, construction, testing/validation, certification will probably take 2 years. IOC ~2.5-3yr (that would be FAST). That's not "immediately available" and in that span, the USAF will procure nearly 150 additional F-35's. By the time the first 10 are delivered, they'll have an additional 200 F-35's.
Those first 10 will cost around $150m if you incl. the dev costs - which is fair to do, since this entire program is seen as a "package option".
Also - mx may be largely the same, but are you really expecting C/D pilots to come into a fully-digital FBW / full-span glass / touchscreen eagle with EW and advanced data-links with "no additional training for aircrews" - that's...crazy.

  • It can deliver more weapons to any fight because it is not restricted by the number of hardpoints available in constrained 5thgen fighter weapon bays.
Is he serious? It's already been stated that the X "will have no stealth features of any kind" - with that in mind, you lose nothing by outfitting the F-35 with pylons for a comparative role. If it's not "risky" for an F-15X to enter that combat zone non-stealth, it certainly isn't for an F-35 either.
With that in mind, the F-35 has two 5,000lb-rated hard-points! (GBU-28, etc) - likely matching the F-15 which would retain the centerline for an EFT - IIRC the 35 has an additional set of pylons capable of EFTs as well (I think 2500's at the next station) then 2500, 350, 300. So for heavy weapons such as bunker busters, the much smaller 35 is actually very similar. Eventually it should be capable of 14x AIM-120, 2x AIM-9X, or 6x 2000lb JDAM and 2x 120, 2x 9X, etc etc, which would be quite a spectacle.

Everything else is fluff.
 
mmo
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Sat Feb 23, 2019 6:02 am

estorilm wrote:
Those first 10 will cost around $150m if you incl. the dev costs - which is fair to do, since this entire program is seen as a "package option".
Also - mx may be largely the same, but are you really expecting C/D pilots to come into a fully-digital FBW / full-span glass / touchscreen eagle with EW and advanced data-links with "no additional training for aircrews" - that's...crazy.



Of course, you do realize, the airlines do that. For example the 747-400/747-8 have the same type rating. I think the program is a couple of days of differences ground school and a couple of sims. The FBW is not a big deal since it will fly just like the C/D does.

You are making a mountain out of a mole hill. Your comments about the number of F-35 might or might not be valid, but you are missing the point. The X n do the C/D role very effectively, they don't need a F-35. The F-15 are for interception like the old Air Defense Command was. The F-35 is overkill and they could be used more effective in other areas.
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Ozair
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:57 am

mmo wrote:
You are making a mountain out of a mole hill. Your comments about the number of F-35 might or might not be valid, but you are missing the point. The X n do the C/D role very effectively, they don't need a F-35. The F-15 are for interception like the old Air Defense Command was. The F-35 is overkill and they could be used more effective in other areas.

mmo, the F-15C/D is not the only aircraft conducting air defence/interception and alert for the USAF. F-22s and F-16s do that today including with ANG units such as the 158th wing who are converting from F-16 to F-35 shortly.

The F-35 certainly isn't overkill for the air defence/interception role. Its advanced sensors and fusion allow the aircraft to identify contacts from further away than the F-15X, the F-35 sensors will literally compare its sensor readings against hundreds of parameters to make an identification. The F-15X will not do this and that is a significant advantage for that mission type. Add in the longer range of the F-35 today, let alone with the thrust and fuel burn improvements coming, and the aircraft is ideal to be operated by ANG units in that role.

The only thing in favour of the F-15X in this deal is the presence of ANG units flying F-15C/Ds, take those away and the decision is a no brainer. With the current units there has to be a cross over point at which money invested in the F-15X would be wasted compared to an airframe that will fly as long, be cheaper to operate and be more capable, and survivable, while doing so.
 
mmo
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Sun Feb 24, 2019 8:19 am

Ozair wrote:
mmo, the F-15C/D is not the only aircraft conducting air defence/interception and alert for the USAF. F-22s and F-16s do that today including with ANG units such as the 158th wing who are converting from F-16 to F-35 shortly.

The F-35 certainly isn't overkill for the air defence/interception role. Its advanced sensors and fusion allow the aircraft to identify contacts from further away than the F-15X, the F-35 sensors will literally compare its sensor readings against hundreds of parameters to make an identification. The F-15X will not do this and that is a significant advantage for that mission type. Add in the longer range of the F-35 today, let alone with the thrust and fuel burn improvements coming, and the aircraft is ideal to be operated by ANG units in that role.

The only thing in favour of the F-15X in this deal is the presence of ANG units flying F-15C/Ds, take those away and the decision is a no brainer. With the current units there has to be a cross over point at which money invested in the F-15X would be wasted compared to an airframe that will fly as long, be cheaper to operate and be more capable, and survivable, while doing so.


First of all, I NEVER wrote, implied or otherwise said the F-15 was the only aircraft with the air def role. However, as you point out the vast majority of the F-15s are with the ANG. Having an X as a replacement mitigates the issue of conversion. I am aware of the 'Green Mountain Boys' converting to the 35, but they also have a large group of part time Guard pilots who are leaving because of the length of the training. These guys are all airline pilots who don't want to take that length of time off. So, doing a 1-1 swap of C/D to X makes a lot of sense.
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bikerthai
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Sun Feb 24, 2019 4:43 pm

mmo wrote:
These guys are all airline pilots who don't want to take that length of time off. So, doing a 1-1 swap of C/D to X makes a lot of sense


:lol: These human factor decisions do make things a little complicated don't they?

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Ozair
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Sun Feb 24, 2019 9:40 pm

mmo wrote:

First of all, I NEVER wrote, implied or otherwise said the F-15 was the only aircraft with the air def role. However, as you point out the vast majority of the F-15s are with the ANG. Having an X as a replacement mitigates the issue of conversion. I am aware of the 'Green Mountain Boys' converting to the 35, but they also have a large group of part time Guard pilots who are leaving because of the length of the training. These guys are all airline pilots who don't want to take that length of time off. So, doing a 1-1 swap of C/D to X makes a lot of sense.

I’m not trying to trap you, just making it clear that multiple aircraft conduct that role today so the acquisition decision is not simply a single airframe being replaced with the same airframe. Yes conversion and ANG aircrew are an important factor and we have discussed that multiple times in the thread but as made clear the USAF needs to look to the future battlespace and not necessarily to the mission today.

Irrespective of what airframe may be chosen to replace the F-15C/D fleet there will be years until the last airframe was gone. That is sufficient time to wind up a new cadre of pilots on whatever airframe is used, while also allowing new aircrew to flow into the system. Importantly at some point in the next few years we will start seeing active duty F-35 aircrew retire and flow out to the ANG units and that is where much of the base numbers can come from in the same way these ANG units benefited and were staffed from many active duty F-15/16 aircrew leaving full time service.

bikerthai wrote:
mmo wrote:
These guys are all airline pilots who don't want to take that length of time off. So, doing a 1-1 swap of C/D to X makes a lot of sense


:lol: These human factor decisions do make things a little complicated don't they?

bt

It is clearly an important factor but I haven’t seen enough information to determine the size of that factor in this decision. That obviously goes not just for aircrew but much of the structure required to support the airframes.
 
texl1649
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Sun Feb 24, 2019 9:55 pm

Aircrew costs matter but I’m not sure how much short term retirements would impact a 20+ year life cycle cost. I think the USAF knows it can’t allow ANG retirements to drive acquisition decisions.
 
mmo
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:29 am

texl1649 wrote:
Aircrew costs matter but I’m not sure how much short term retirements would impact a 20+ year life cycle cost. I think the USAF knows it can’t allow ANG retirements to drive acquisition decisions.


It's not about acquisition costs but more about staffing. As it is, the USAF has a 40% shortage of active duty fighter pilots. The ANG and AFRES are in a similar situation but not as bad. When I left active duty and went to fly commercially, I limited myself on guard units which flew the F-4 as I had flown it on active duty. Otherwise, I was looking at 6-8 months at an RTU.

OZAIR, just a correction, when pilots retire from active duty, they don't/can't go to the Guard or AFRES. So your, with the current shortage of active duty fighter pilots and the time required to transition to a new aircraft, I do think it is an important consideration.

Again, i still maintain the F-35 is overkill for a F-15 replacement in the Air Defense role. The current and long term threat is 2nd and 3re generation bombers. The F-15X is more than capable to handle that threat. Should a hypersonic cruise missile become operational, the F-35 is of no use.
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JayinKitsap
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:27 am

I recall the F-35 is 400 or so planes behind where they thought a decade + ago they would be. Slotting in some F-15X at least solves the need for fighters. It allows the F-35s to go elsewhere, probably a more needed location.
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