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siegecrossbow

Brigadier
Staff member
Super Moderator
Su-57 is supposed to be able to use lower observable coatings which can be applied in case of wartime but doesn't use those by default.
Only cheaper to maintain low observable materials are used by default.
Why the F-35 doesn't use a similar scheme is beyond me.

With regards to the engine, GE and Rolls Royce worked on it for the ATF competition and also in later programs. The prototype flew in the ATF competition. One later program investigated its use in a 6th generation application not long ago. I doubt it would cost that much in R&D to bring it to production.

F-35's coating is far easier to apply than that of B-2 and F-22. It is more resistant to effects of weather as well.

I think the new 4.5th gen doesn't make sense unless the U.S. is hellbent on maintaining a fleet size of over 2000 fighter aircraft. Researching and developing a completely new aircraft that would be obsolete in two decades doesn't make much sense once the R&D costs are factored in. One possibility is that the air force is still toying with what the true definition of a sixth generation fighter is. Keep in mind that before the Raptor made stealth a prerequisite, Russian and European designs for their next generation fighter aircraft focused on ultramaneuverability instead of stealth.
 

crash8pilot

Junior Member
Registered Member
First F-15EX flies in US air force colors. It is US's counterpart of J-16 but lacks the latter's IRST.

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The F-15EX replaces ageing F-15Cs, supplementing F-22s in conducting the air superiority mission... As such the -EX's counterpart is the J-11BG/J-11D (4.5-generation fighter with AESA, PL-10/15 missiles, and IRST) rather than than the J-16, which is meant for strike interdiction and thus it's US counterpart is the F-15E Strike Eagle.

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The aircraft upon which the F-15EX is based, the two-seat Advanced F-15 – being produced for Qatar and Saudi Arabia – is a two-seat configuration. The USAF needed a replacement jet so urgently it did not want to wait for Boeing to design a single-seat version of the F-15EX. Instead, the aircraft will be flown solo from the front seat.
As highlighted, DoD couldn't wait for Boeing to restart single-seat F-15C production lines to produce the F-15CX they desired, nor could they afford the high costs of building a new production line. As such they came to a work-around where they would use existing production lines for the F-15QA (an enhanced F-15E with upgraded avionics, designed as a multirole rather than strike interdiction for the Qatari Air Force) and shift the -EX's projects scope from replacing the F-15Es to replacing F-15Cs. Instead of striking surface targets with JDAMs and LGBs, the USAF intends to arm the -EX with a bunch of AMRAAMs to shoot down bogies and execute the air superiority mission. Although the -EX will have two seats, the back-seater controls/displays are blanked out and it'll be flown as a single-seater. THE F-15CX NEVER CAME INTO FRUITION, IT WAS SCRAPPED FROM THE DRAWING BOARD AND IT'S PROJECT SCOPE SHIFTED TO THE F-15EX.

In terms of priority for replacement, the F-15Es that were brought online in the 90s are "younger" when compared to the older F-15C/Ds that were introduced in the 80s, and thus have higher priority for replacement over the Strike Eagle. That's why the -EX is meant for air superiority and not strike interdiction. In the meantime the Strike Eagles will be continued to be upgraded with MLUs to place/maintain the Strike Eagle's status in the 4.5-generation category - they'll continue to serve the USAF's strike interdiction needs well into this decade until a sixth-generation fighter comes along.
 
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gelgoog

Captain
Registered Member
Failure of empire.

The F-22 was a bust and so is the F-35. David Packard must be rolling on his grave.
The F-22 was produced in minuscule numbers and the F-35 is an expensive mess.
The 6th generation fighters need to be more cost effective. Unless the US learns how to do more with less they'll never be able to remain competitive. The F-15EX is two decades late.
 

crash8pilot

Junior Member
Registered Member
Failure of empire.

The F-22 was a bust and so is the F-35. David Packard must be rolling on his grave.
The F-22 was produced in minuscule numbers and the F-35 is an expensive mess.
The 6th generation fighters need to be more cost effective. Unless the US learns how to do more with less they'll never be able to remain competitive. The F-15EX is two decades late.
Absolutely agree that the USAF’s combat air force is falling behind, especially when their NATO/allied counterparts are beginning to operate advanced Block 70 F-16Vs while DoD continues to field patched up fighters made in the 80s and 90s. There’s been no consistent policy on defense procurement strategy at all over the past two decades.

Rather than the -EX being two decades late, I’d argue that Congress and Robert Gates underestimated Russia as well as China, and as a result the F-22 Raptor production should never have been terminated so prematurely... It’s also shocking how they’ve done so without a clear plan or direction for the future of the USAF’s combat Air Force - Three Administrations have passed and they’ve still yet to properly figure things out. I do find it funny and somewhat ironic how the -EX will be going to replace F-15Cs in the reserves/ANG units, especially when considering that it normally works the other way round where reserve/ANG units pick up used aircraft from frontline active duty units that’ve just received new planes fresh off the production line. Anyways I’d like to think DoD would’ve gotten their money’s worth from the F-22 program had they procured all 750 Raptors instead of stopping at 187, which has resulted in maintenance/strategic headaches against rising near-peer threats in the PLAAF and the Russian Air Force.

As for the F-35, well quite frankly DoD and Lockheed Martin never should’ve tried to cram the requirements of three services into the JSF program, the whole project has pretty much blown up in front of their face. I do believe had they drawn up designs to three separate fighter jets that American taxpayers would get their money’s worth a lot sooner, and that there’d be a lot lower chance of eye-watering budget overruns the JSF program has been faced with.
 

gelgoog

Captain
Registered Member
They could have simply sold the F-22 to Australia and Japan and kept the production lines open that way. Instead both countries had to purchase aircraft which aren't well suited to their needs. As island nations they need long range high performance interceptors and the F-35 is ill suited to that role. To be honest the F-22's technology is outdated. It should have had a proper upgrade program years ago. The avionics are totally outdated and the weapon systems are obsolete. Between the effects of Hurricane Michael at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida and the attrition of flying it in Syria the result was even the minuscule numbers of F-22s they did have were decreased to even less.

I think the F-35 would have been fine if they just made US Navy and USAF versions of it based on a common platform. It worked with the Phantom. The vertical lift version for the Marines was a bridge too far though.
 

TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
First F-15EX flies in US air force colors. It is US's counterpart of J-16 but lacks the latter's IRST.

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F15EX and F16V both have optional Legion Pods with IRST.
F16C in the USAF have been getting a service life upgrades moving them up to F16V configuration.
F15EX was procured as a cost savings measure. In that the existing F15Cs in USAF are the oldest and are rapidly moving to beyond their operational lives. The investment need to maintain them to the intended 2040s would have cost more than buying off the active lines. As to CX When the F15E was designed its was decided to operate it as a two seater. No single seaters were ever built based on that airframe. Moving to a single seat would drive the cost up as new production of part and assembly would be needed. The point was COTS.
 

gelgoog

Captain
Registered Member
If this is what I think it is, what happened with Eurofighter, is they changed aircraft maintenance from government depots to outsourcing it to the aircraft manufacturer company. A great deal for the aircraft manufacturer I am sure as it means they get more money. This was a problem for the Eurofighter manufacturer because the aircraft manufacturing contracts were few and far between and this gave them a more steady income stream. But I don't see how this helps in this case with the F-35.

Just buy more parts, keep a proper inventory, and centralize maintenance into less depots. It's as simple as that.
 

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