Author Topic: The USAF's F-15 fleet  (Read 894 times)

adroth

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The USAF's F-15 fleet
« on: February 03, 2017, 02:24:15 PM »
Aging Aircraft: USAF F-15 Fleet Grounded; Radar Updates Underway
Dec 12, 2016 00:55 UTC by Defense Industry Daily staff

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/aging-aircraft-usaf-f-15-fleet-grounded-04149/

December 12/16: Engineers from Boeing have been working on external link external link USAF F-15Es, replacing old APG-70 radars with the state-of-the-art APG-82 AESA radar. The work has been underway since September on planes located at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. Dubbed as the RMP Eagle modernization program, more than 90 jets will receive the overhaul which is expected to be completed within the next seven to nine years.

“Array of Aging American Aircraft Attracting Attention” discusses the issues that accompany an air force whose fighters have an average age of over 23.5 years – vs. an average of 8.5 years in 1967. One of the most obvious consequences is the potential for fleet groundings due to unforseen structural issues caused by time and fatigue. That very fear is responsible for the #1 priority placed on bringing new KC-X aerial tankers into the fleet to complement the USA’s 1960s-era KC-135 Stratotankers.

It can also affect the fighter fleet more directly.

Following the crash of a Missouri Air National Guard F-15C aircraft Nov 2/07 (see crash simulation external link), the US Air Force suspended non-mission critical F-15 flight operations external link on Nov 3/07. While the cause of that accident is still under investigation, preliminary findings indicate that a structural failure during flight may have been responsible. In response, Japan suspended its own F-15 flights, which left them in a bit of a bind – even as Israel’s F-15s joined them on the tarmac. As the effects continue to spread and the USAF and others continue to comment on this situation, DID continues to expand its coverage of this bellwether event. A conditional restoration of the American F-15A-D fleet to flight status was soon overturned by the re-grounding of that fleet as a result of the report’s conclusions – a status that remains only been partially lifted. Meanwhile, the accident report has been released (compete with video dramatization) and the status of the remaining aircraft will have significant implications for the USAF’s future F-15 fleet size. Not to mention its other procurement programs.

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adroth

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Re: The USAF's F-15 fleet
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2019, 01:44:56 PM »
Milestone and contract award boost USAF Eagle upgrade effort
Gareth Jennings, London - Jane's International Defence Review
09 April 2019

https://www.janes.com/article/87759/milestone-and-contract-award-boost-usaf-eagle-upgrade-effort?utm_campaign=CL_%20Jane%27s%20360-April-10-2019_PC5308_e-production_E-30718_KP_0410_0750&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Eloqua

The US Air Force (USAF) effort to upgrade its Boeing F-15 Eagle combat aircraft took a step forward on 8 April, with a significant developmental milestone and a further contract award for two of the proposed enhancements.

Boeing announced that the Eagle Passive/Active Warning and Survivability System (EPAWSS) upgrade had made its maiden flight on an F-15 testbed, while on the same day the Department of Defense (DoD) contracted the company for low-rate initial production (LRIP) lot 3 of the Advanced Display Core Processor II (ADCP II) for the aircraft.

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Ayoshi

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Re: The USAF's F-15 fleet
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2019, 05:59:18 PM »
https://www.janes.com/article/89419/stormbreaker-ioc-with-usaf-expected-later-this-year

Quote
StormBreaker IOC with USAF expected later this year
21 June 2019

Optimised to address moving battlefield targets, StormBreaker - formerly designated 'Small Diameter Bomb II' - is a 250 lb-class, air-launched unpowered glide weapon system furnished with a unique tri-mode seeker that combines millimetre wave (MMW) radar, imaging infrared (IIR), and semi-active laser (SAL) sensors with a GPS/inertial navigation system (INS) autopilot for precision accuracy in adverse weather conditions. The seeker's optical dome is protected by a clamshell shroud, which is jettisoned before the seeker is activated. A Rockwell Collins TacNet bi-directional dual-band datalink enables Joint Tactical Information Distribution System (JTIDS) connectivity with aircraft and an ultra-high frequency (UHF) link with a ground designator.

Equipped with a deployable wing assembly to achieve stand-off engagement ranges in excess of 70 km, StormBreaker incorporates a multifunction warhead (blast, fragmentation, and shaped charge jet) designed to defeat armoured and non-armoured targets; a redesign of the warhead was performed during the development cycle to provide the capability to disable or defeat main battle tanks. The warhead fuze can be set to initiate on impact, at a pre-set height above the intended target, or in a delayed mode. The munition operates in three principal attack modes: normal attack (NA), laser-illuminated attack (LIA), and co-ordinate attack (CA). It can be used against moving or stationary targets using its NA (MMW/IIR) sensors or LIA modes, and against fixed targets with its CA mode.


Raytheon completed development and integration of the StormBreaker smart weapon on the F-15E Strike Eagle in April 2018. Source: US Air Force


Ayoshi

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Re: The USAF's F-15 fleet
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2019, 03:36:37 AM »
Quote
Nearly All F-15Es Photographed Arriving In Middle East Carried Dragon's Eye Radar Pods
July 10, 2019

F-15E Strike Eagles from the 336th Fighter Squadron, the "Rocketeers," of the 4th Fighter Wing based at Seymour Johnson AFB arrived at Al Dhafra Air Base in the UAE on the 14th of June, 2019. The contingent was part of the bolstering of U.S. forces in the region that began in May after still largely undisclosed intelligence warned of potential Iranian aggression throughout the region. We closely examined the official photos showing the arrival of the detachment of Strike Eagles at Al Dhafra Air Base and came away with a noteworthy observation—five out to the six aircraft photographed are carrying AN/ASQ-236 "Dragon's Eye" Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar pods on their centerline stations.

The pod is self-contained and carries a stabilized AESA radar that rotates around the pod's center axis as well as geo-positioning and cooling systems. As such, it can work as a side-looking airborne radar (SLAR), taking high detailed synthetic aperture radar (SAR) maps of an area the Strike Eagle flies parallel too or even over, with near photo-like fidelity. In fact, it is supposedly so sensitive that it can detect roadside and semi-buried IEDs and possibly even groups of people on foot. It is also rumored to be able to generate ground-moving target indicator (GMTI) geolocation data on vehicles, such as trucks and armor, or vessels at sea.

It's also worth noting that AESA arrays have a secondary ability to act as powerful electronic attack nodes. Considering the AN/ASQ-236 is quite mature, it is possible that they have acquired software that would allow them to work in this mode, even if only against a limited set of enemy emitter types.

These functions and the jet's multi-role fighter abilities and long-range not only give the F-15E crew the ability to collect very high-quality intelligence in less than friendly neighborhoods, but they can also rapidly acquire very precise targeting information that can be used to sling weapons, like GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs, at those targets. Above all else, they can do this in any weather and under any battlefield conditions. The radar is not affected by the time of day, smoke, or cloud cover.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/28924/nearly-all-f-15es-photographed-arriving-in-middle-east-carried-dragons-eye-radar-pods


Ayoshi

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Re: The USAF's F-15 fleet
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2019, 03:39:39 AM »
https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/28924/nearly-all-f-15es-photographed-arriving-in-middle-east-carried-dragons-eye-radar-pods


F-15E equipped with the AN/APG-82 AESA radar. OFFICIAL DOTE REPORT
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AN/ASQ-236 Dragon's Eye pod being mounted on a B-52H for testing. USAF