Written by Nicolás Zelaya.
Long ago it was talking about the F-15SE Silent Eagle, everything indicated that it was a new concept based on the F-15E Strike Eagle that wouldn’t be taken into account, finally the F-15SE was dismissed.
The F-15X would arrive to replace the already veteran F-15C Eagle that didn’t receive the Golden Eagle update. Currently the fleet of F-15C/D is 235 aircraft of which 127 were taken to the Golden Eagle standard, and of these 127 only 48 received half of the SLEP program, those that can equip the pods AN/AAQ-31 Sniper XR, AESA radar AN/APG-63(v)3, in addition to the Main Extention Panel.
Read note about Golden Eagle + SLEP: F-15C “Golden Eagle”, the latest Eagle avionics update in the US Air Force
The F-15X would come to collect all the characteristics of the F-15C Golden Eagle SLEP only, with a totally new cell and much more profitable.
The cockpit would be the same Full Glass Cockpit style as the F-35, the F/A-18 Block III or the JAS-39 Gripen Evolution.
HMDS helmet (Helmet Mounted Display System) similar to that used by F-35 pilots, although the HUD + JHMCS (Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System) configuration isn’t ruled out. Since the HMD requires a device similar to the DAS of the F-35.
AESA radar AN/APG-82 or AN/APG-63(v)3.
The electronic warfare system EPAWSS designed for the Golden Eagle, as well as the Legion Pod, but not in pod version, but embedded in the fuselage if possible.
The new Multiple Launch Rail bays from Boeing, known as AMBER. Giving the ability to carry 12 air-to-air missiles, or increase this number. As we see in the F-15SA and F-15QA.
Roxana Tiron of Bloomberg Government writes that the USAF will include US$ 1.2 billion for 12 Boeing F-15X Advanced Eagle aircraft “in its budget request for 2020 that will be published in February, as well as the pressure to buy the F-15X it comes from the powers within the Pentagon that are external to the US Air Force itself, which would explain the disconnection of the possible procurement program with the leadership of the service.
The idea behind the entire F-15X initiative isn’t to compete directly with the F-35, but to provide the USAF with an attractive “plug-and-play” option from a fiscal and operational point of view to initially complement the fleet F-15C/D Golden Eagle, replacing those that don’t have this update. The idea is to replace 108 F-15C/D Eagle aircraft that today represent a low dissuasive capacity for the USAF, and that aren’t in condition to operate with the F-22A Raptor.
Currently the fleet of F-15C/D are deployed along the two US coasts, in five units of the Air National Guard, and in different parts of the world.
Another advantageous point is the low cost with respect to the Eagles currently in service, US$ 42,000 man-hour maintenance of the F-15C, Boeing expects to reduce this cost to US$ 27,000.
Finally, I attach photos of the F-15C because that is what the F-15X would look like, with the option of adding the famous CFTs that the F-15C community does not see with good eyes.