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#3777 2009-03-18 10:22 GMT-5 hours    
ST. LOUIS, March 17, 2009

The Boeing Company today in St. Louis unveiled the F-15 Silent Eagle (F-15SE), a new F-15 configuration designed to meet the future needs of international customers.
"The F-15 Silent Eagle is designed to meet our international customers' anticipated need for cost-effective stealth technologies, as well as for large and diverse weapons payloads," said Mark Bass, F-15 Program vice president for Boeing. "The innovative Silent Eagle is a balanced, affordable approach designed to meet future survivability needs."
Improvements in stealth include coatings and treatments on the aircraft. With the added advantage of redesigned conformal fuel tanks (CFTs) that allow for internal weapons carriage, the Silent Eagle becomes a very attractive fighter for Boeing's international customers.

Depending on the specific mission, the customer can use the CFTs that are designed for internal carriage or change back to the traditional CFTs for optimum fuel capacity and external weapons carriage. The Silent Eagle will be able to internally carry air-to-air missiles such as the AIM-9 and AIM-120 and air-to-ground weapons such as the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) and Small Diameter Bomb (SDB). The standard weapons load used on current versions of the F-15 is available with the traditional CFTs installed.

The aircraft's canted vertical tails improve aerodynamic efficiency, provide lift, and reduce airframe weight. Another aerodynamic improvement is the Digital Flight Control System, which improves the aircraft's reliability and reduces airframe weight.
Survivability improvements include a BAES Digital Electronic Warfare System (DEWS) working in concert with the Raytheon Advanced Electronic Scanning Array (AESA) radar.
Boeing has completed a conceptual prototype of the CFT internal-carriage concept, and plans to flight-test a prototype by the first quarter of 2010, including a live missile launch.
The design, development, and test of this internal carriage system are available as a collaborative project with an international aerospace partner.








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#3778 2009-03-18 14:34 GMT-5 hours    
I wonder how this aircraft will sell, compared to the F-35. Wouldn't air forces around the world be more interested in a 5th generation fighter aircraft like the JSF rather than a redesigned F-15?

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#3779 2009-03-18 15:25 GMT-5 hours    
It looks great and quite capable. The canted tails really stand out. I hope someone does order it and does make it to production. There aren't any buyers as of now, right?

I agree it probably will be a tough sell against the F-35. Is it competitively priced?

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#3780 2009-03-18 17:23 GMT-5 hours    
Can current F-15's be retrofitted? That would be a considerable market also. Has the stealth technology been approved for foreign sales?

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#3782 2009-03-18 18:55 GMT-5 hours    
I think the only way it will sell in numbers is if it is much cheaper than the newer alternatives. Of course the US government is probably not willing to sell the 5th generation fighters to certain countries but would offer them the F-15SE. I read elsewhere that the canted tails are an option but you can also buy the regular ones too.

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#3784 2009-03-19 14:31 GMT-5 hours    
I coincide fully ironfan, I also think that this airplane can end up being successful if it is offered to an inferior price to the new systems of weapons of 5th generation and "allied" countries in which the new projects would not be within its reach.

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#3785 2009-03-19 15:18 GMT-5 hours    
As of right now, Boeing estimates the price with airframe, spare parts and training at $100 Million each. That's already a higher price tag than the F-35. And we all know how Aerospace projects are never completed on time and on budget. So the realistic price i think would be much higher than 100 million dollars.

The other thing it holds over the F-35 is fact that it has two engines. Some nations might opt for that instead of the JSF. Smaller air forces who cannot afford losing an aircraft every time there's an engine failure might want to have two engined fighters instead of 1.

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#3787 2009-03-19 17:22 GMT-5 hours    
Boeing has also been looking into an upgrade program for the Strike Eagle.

Boeing's F-15E Upgrade

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#3788 2009-03-20 00:31 GMT-5 hours    
I wonder what happens to the range if the CFTs are carrying internal weapons instead of fuel? Seems like a big compromise to me to lower the radar signature a bit. If the range is really needed then external tanks would have to be carried, thus eliminating anything gained from carrying the weapons internally.

I'm sure the F-15Es will be upgraded in one way or another if the USAF is planning on keeping them in service till 2035. Exactly what the upgrades are, we just have to wait and see.

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#3792 2009-03-20 15:48 GMT-5 hours    
Ray, that's a good point. Also, if the Silent Eagle is supposed to carry any targeting pods, they'd have to be external. Which kinda defeats the purpose of having internal weapons bays to reduce the signature.

I can see how they'd offer this to compete with the F-35, but it seems with these 5th generation fighters the weapons capacity is drastically reduced compared to other fighters. Just looking at the pics, I'm not so sure a Silent Eagle could carry the same loadout internally as the Strike Eagles do now. Also while it will reduce drag quite a bit with the weapons inside, you add weight with the mechanized doors and racks.

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#3808 2009-03-25 10:29 GMT-5 hours    
Hi,

If I were looking to equip and air force, the F-15E would be at the top of the list. The F-15E is probably the first fighter-bomber that can actually fight it's way in, put lead on target, and fight it's way out (if necessary). The F-35 is not in the same camp as the F-15E. A strike version of the F-22 would be more comparable. For all of the F-16's, F/A-18's and Harriers out there, the F-35 will be the replacement.

The sacrifice in range, could be made up by the planning for in-flight refueling into any mission plan. Not too many missions are flown without tanker support any way. Even the F-22 uses drop-tanks for ferrying and long-range missions. The F-35 will be a big user of in-flight refueling, I suspect, especially the V/STOL version.

I do not see stealth as being a big selling point. For US interests, stealth makes little difference. If we were to go to war with China or Russia, it would help, but not win the war.

Sharp looking aircraft nonetheless!

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