The Boeing F-15X is a proposed life-extension variant of the base F-15 "Eagle" air superiority fighter line (detailed in full elsewhere on this site) of the United States Air Force (USAF). The X-model, a direct offshoot of the F-15E production form, is being offered by Boeing as a "bridge" design between an aging USAF fleet of F-15C and F-15D models in service and the incoming/growing stock of Lockheed F-35 "Lightning II" strike fighter fleet. Changes to the aircraft are centered on enhanced capability, enhanced performance, and increased survivability over that of existing C- and D-models - extending the series' service life by some estimated 20,000 flight hours.
Sources indicate that the F-15X will be formally announced by the United States Department of Defense (US DoD) in the Fiscal Year 2020 defense budget.
The 4th Generation F-15 "Eagle" remains the backbone of American air superiority capabilities with 432 C/E and 26 F-15D models currently available in the 2019 USAF inventory. The acquisition of advanced F-15s is seen as insurance against the troubled development of the F-35 which has since revealed additional deficiencies in several areas (namely service life, general reliability, and weapons accuracy). The choice at hand for both the service and American lawmakers is in securing a fleet of fighters based in an aging, 40+ year-old design or advancing the troublesome F-35 to completion.
The F-15X is set to feature an Active, Electronically-Scanned Array (AESA) radar fit in the nose, updated avionics in the cockpit, a modernized internal structure, an enhanced Electronics Warfare (EW) suite, active InfraRed (IR) Search-and-Track weapons/radar functionality, and the capability to carry no fewer than 22 x Air-to-Air Missiles (AAMs). The overall form-and-function of the aircraft will remain largely intact.
The initial ask by the USAF is for eight F-15X fighters to begin the move to acquire a complete fleet of eighty X-model types before 2025.
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April 2021 - This entry has been superseded by the F-15EX "Eagle II" now taken on by the USAF.
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