The F-15 is an old but solid frame that was once our high end fighter. Could it continue as a frontline fighter?
Sensing an opportunity the manufacturer of the 1970s era F-15 jet fighter are offering another upgrade, one what uses new missile racks and novel use of hard points usually reserved for extra fuel, to create an F-15 that can carry 16 long range (AMRAAM) air-to-air missiles rather than the usual eight. This enables an F-15 equipped with the latest radars and fire control systems to quickly attack enemy aircraft before those fighters are close enough to hit the F-15. The F-22 and F-35 were designed to excel at BVR (Beyond Visual Range) encounters where longer range AMRAAM missiles could take out enemy fighters up to 70 kilometers away. But there are too few F-22s and the F-35s are suffering an unending series of delays.
And with frontal stealth, working with F-22s, these planes could work to undermine the Russian and Chinese plans to overwhelm our F-22s with their own frontal stealth planes streaking in at high speed to launch a barrage of missiles against our outnumbered planes and their AWACS and tanker support aircraft.
Or maybe the F-35 will work as advertised and on time.