Tuesday, January 14, 2020

F-15 EX Vital Component to Air Superiority

via Real Clear Defense.
The Air Force needs to invest in a fighter that it can deploy immediately. The smartest choice is the super-charged F-15EX. Its ability to carry more weapons fly higher and faster than any other aircraft, and at an affordable $27,000 flight-hour cost is an enormous value for our military and the taxpayer.

By modifying an existing, proven airframe – with an undefeated air-to-air combat record - the Air Force can take advantage of an existing manufacturing process and ground support infrastructure without the need for extensive pilot-re-training. This will allow the military to deploy the F-15EX quickly with little added cost to the American taxpayer – saving valuable funds for F-35 production.

In addition, it’s the perfect complement to pair with the F-35 and guarantee air-to-ground and air-to-air superiority for the Air Force. The F-15EX, carrying 22 missiles, is the tactical fighter that provides the payload, range, and speed the F-35 cannot. It’s also the perfect fighter to carry and deploy the future hypersonic weapons systems that cannot fit inside the internal bays of fighters like the F-35.

With growing threats abroad, including from nations like China and Russia that seek to take America’s top spot on the world’s economic and military stages, we need to deploy a fighter fleet that can guarantee global air superiority. You can’t do that with one devoted aircraft; it takes the right mix of diverse and complementary capabilities. Investing in the super-charged F-15EX now is the right choice to immediately slate into the Air Force’s existing fleet. If we don’t, America will be exposed to an increased risk of attack from our foreign adversaries.
Story here.

Interesting on a few points.

1.  Since when did 27K per flight hour seem affordable?  The obvious implication is that the F-35 will cost more.  Am I reading that right?  How would a supply chain that is established be more expensive than the one being set up for the F-35 (assuming I'm reading it wrong).

2.  The F-15EX can provide the payload, speed and range that the F-35 can't? I thought that was one of the huge selling points with the F-35!  It didn't have the "raw" performance of the legacy jets but because it could fly clean it could essentially go farther and faster.  Is something being let out the bag or am I again reading this wrong?

3.  He keeps using the word "supercharged" to describe the F-15EX.  Are their modifications going into the plane that we haven't been told of yet?  Is this a simple modification of an existing plane or something more drastic?

Just spitballing out loud.  I could be missing on everything...

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