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Boeing Flies F-15 Silent Eagle

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Boeing Flies F-15 Silent Eagle

By: Chris Pocock

AIN Defense Perspective >> July 2010

Military Aircraft

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The Silent Eagle testbed is a modified F-15E (the original prototype). On its first flight it demonstrated its conformal weapons bay. (Boeing)

 

Boeing has flown the interim version of the Silent Eagle, a company-funded effort to generate further export sales of the F-15 Strike Eagle.

 

The demonstrator, designated F-15E1, took off from St. Louis for an 80-minute flight, during which the doors of the new conformal weapons bay were cycled. The bay is a development of the F-15E’s existing conformal fuel tank that allows internal (and therefore more stealthy) weapons carriage. On the first test flight the Silent Eagle demonstrator contained an instrumented AIM-120 AMRAAM. The launch of one of these missiles from the F-15E1 will be soon be demonstrated on the Pacific Missile Test Range, said Boeing program director Brad Jones. Development of a definitive Silent Eagle–including AESA radar, large-screen cockpit display, digital electronic warfare system and canted tails–awaits customer funding.

 

Korea has “great interest” in the Silent Eagle, Jones said last month.

 

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I've been hearing that Boeing's keen to sell these to South Korea on defense news, so I'm hoping to see this actually happen. Might also provide some additional motivation for Japan's stealth program too. I'm disappointed to hear that there's a good chance the fins won't be canted though. :no2:

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Well i always wondered,when the russians are upgrading their cold war era su-27's to make newer versions why was america not doing that,but now i know that is not true.good.gif

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This is perfect! I mean; it's the world's best performing aircraft... UPDATED! But I would add 3D thrust vectoring for complete dominance.

 

In the other hand, don't you think the bay doors are slow? In the video it looks impressive because it's a long range BVR launch. But in a close dogfight, In the need for a quick Sidewinder launch it would be necessary to keep the bay open or to wait for it to open. 

 

 

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This is perfect! I mean; it's the world's best performing aircraft... UPDATED! But I would add 3D thrust vectoring for complete dominance.

 

In the other hand, don't you think the bay doors are slow? In the video it looks impressive because it's a long range BVR launch. But in a close dogfight, In the need for a quick Sidewinder launch it would be necessary to keep the bay open or to wait for it to open. 

 

To be honest I consider this to be a desperate attempt by Boeing to keep the F-15 line open somehow. Sure, the conformal weapon stations may reduce the RCS, but it still makes it not comparable to the F-35 or F-22. I'm could even imagine the South Koreans are keeping an eye on this program and perhaps some modification kits might come out of this, but in the end I think this is going to be Boeing's version of the Tigershark....

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This is Boeing's attempt to keep its fighter division going along with the Super Hornet until the proposed successor program to the F-22 and/or F-35 is created...the so-called "6th generation" fighter, even though right now no one really knows what a 6th gen fighter would be defined as.

Northrop Grumman dropped out of the fighter arena 20 years ago after the A-12 and F-14D were cancelled. McD had the F-15, but after it failed to make downselect on the JSF in the mid-90s it let itself be absorbed by Boeing...that was a literal make-or-break for them. Boeing brought some of their people over to their JSF effort, but by that point it was largely done so I don't know what if any contribution they made to the prototype program. I'm sure had Boeing won they'd have used them on the production program. Of course the funny thing is the Super Hornet and F-15 were both McD programs that Boeing inherited, Boeing itself hadn't made a fighter since before WWII!

I also think Boeing had a bit of a leg up on LM for the JSF because LM already had a new fighter program with the F-22, so they were hoping they'd win JSF to keep both remaining fighter companies "healthy." To their surprise and disappointment, they didn't. So all they have is the old F-15 and F/A-18 going, while LM still sells F-16s along with the F-22 and then the F-35.

 

They're really desperate to keep all the old lines going until something new happens. They want to sell more Super Hornets and F-15s wherever possible.

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