Boeing F-15SE (Silent Eagle)
United States (2009)
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The now-abandoned F-15SE Silent Eagle initiative was marketed by Boeing as a potential 5th Generation upgrade plan to its aging line of F-15 Eagle platforms.
Detailing the development and operational history of the Boeing F-15SE (Silent Eagle) Multi-Role Stealth Aircraft Proposal. Entry last updated on 6/21/2018. Authored by Captain Jack. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
A few key features will make the F-15SE model notable over her predecessor. Radar absorbing materials are planned for use across the airframe on key surfaces to help retard or defeat incoming radar signals. Of course these stealth features will be within the limitations of US export restrictions for military technology but is thought to provide protection levels similar to that being offered in 5th Generation mounts. However, base protection will only be centered on generating a lower frontal aspect signature and restricted to air-to-air sortie frequency bands. As such, "all-aspect" and air-to-surface sortie frequency protection will still be of the conventional type, requiring use of electronic countermeasures assistance when dealing with threats. The aforementioned Conformal Weapons Bay will now take the place of the Conformal Fuel Tanks (CFT) in the fuselage. This will allow the F-15SE to field some of her ordnance internally in an effort to reduce the airframe's radar cross-section. Four internal weapons bays are intended in the finalized production models while the original external weapons pylons and hardpoints of the Strike Eagle will be retained as will the internal 20mm M61 Vulcan Gatling cannon. The centerline and two underwing hardpoints will remained plumbed for the use of external fuel drop tanks. Structurally, the F-15SE will do away with the straight-angled vertical tail fins and instead exhibit tail fins with an outward angle (facing away from centerline at 15 degrees) in another attempt to further reduce the airframe's cross-section. Avionics will include the APG-82 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar system, a Digital Fly-by-Wire Flight Control System (DFCS), a Link-16 fighter data link, the BAe Systems Digital Electronic Warfare System (DEWS) and the Lockheed Martin "Sniper" Infrared Search and Track (IRST) electro-optical targeting system.
With all due respect, the F-15 Eagle remains a highly viable and powerful fighter platform against all modern types fitting the same general categorization but it remains to be seen how the platform - particularly the F-15SE - can tangle with the latest 5th Generation systems like the Lockheed F-35 Lightning II. The F-15SE might very well be the curtain call for the series of this fine aircraft - one of the most successful fighter designs of all time.
As of this writing, Boeing currently awaits the status on a request to the American government for the export license required to begin construction and delivery of F-15SE examples to interested foreign parties. Israel has shown particularly keen interest in the new development and South Korea is mulling its options before it commits to upgrading its frontline fighter stable.
Any available statistics for the Boeing F-15SE (Silent Eagle) Multi-Role Stealth Aircraft Proposal are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).
In August of 2013, it was announced that the F-15SE was selected as the winner of South Korea's F-X Phase 3 fighter program. The deal may net Boeing a production batch of some 60 aircraft. It is reported that the South Korean Air Force is still lobbying for the more expensive, technology heavy Lockheed F-35 Lightning II 5th Generation Fighter.
In December of 2013, it was said that the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II had been selected as the primary winner of the F-X Phase 3 fighter program. With an available inventory budget of 60 aircraft, 40 of these will be represented by the F-35. Boeing is still pushing to have its F-15SE represent the remaining 20 spots - though this appears a long-shot initiative.
October 2015 - It appears that the F-15SE proposal is now officially dead. The targeted customers - Israel, South Korea and the United States Air Force - had not shown any viable interest in the vast overhaul of their F-15 fleets. It appears that Boeing will offer a less complex upgrade to existing F-15C models that increase missile-carrying capability and utilize some of the stealth features planned for the Silent Eagle.
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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
This entry's maximum listed speed (1,650mph).
Graph average of 1275 miles-per-hour.
Graph showcases the Boeing F-15SE (Silent Eagle)'s operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.