Sunday, July 29, 2018

Fighter X

Amazingly, the old high-end F-15 fighter might make a good low-end fighter-bomber with the latest updates:

Like the air-to-air F-15C, and unlike the Strike Eagles, the new F-15X would have just one seat. Large digital display screens would replace the analog dials inside older F-15s. The planes could carry all of the existing equipment, like targeting pods, used across the existing Eagle fleet. The F-15X will also be able to carry anti-ship weapons that allies have paid to test and install. In all, the plane could carry 29,000 pounds of weapons.

The F-15’s range, speed and payload separates it from other fighter jets in the U.S. military.

It seems reasonable to me. Although nothing in the article even hints at the frontal stealth that the Silent Eagle boasts. Is that capability built into the F-15X?

Given that Russian and Chinese stealth entries are not all-around stealth like American stealth planes since the F-117 have been, that's not too shabby depending on the price, eh?

And it seems like a decent choice for homeland defense, given the range, air-to-air, and anti-ship capabilities; in addition to whatever roles it might have overseas partnered with the F-35 and F-22.

Indeed, given that it is unlikely new F-22s will be built even as foreign missions against rising conventional threats put new demands on the F-22 fleet, is the homeland air defense role something that should be lifted from the F-22?

While the fleet is an integral part of the U.S. military’s ability to defeat high-end adversaries, the Air Force is facing challenges in providing mission-capable F-22s and the pilots necessary to fly them.

The GAO recommends ...the Air Force explore alternatives to using F-22s to stand on alert for homeland defense, which saps the aircraft from its primary mission.

I think that recommendation is correct. I don't have an informed opinion on reorganization.

But I freely admit that fighter plane evaluation is not my strong suit.