December 11 marks 26 years since a day or adopting Strike Fighter Boeing F-15E Strike Eagle, but the plane remains in service in the 2030’s, writes FlightGlobal December 13.
Fighter-bomber has a huge number of hours flown. U.S. Air Force will conduct full-scale tests on the lethargy to find his future up-cycle, find the volume of modernization construction or repair.
Currently, works on substitution radar APG-70 synthetic aperture radar antenna on the new active phased array APG-82 (V) 1, which assigns the aircraft the ability to «look for very precise ground targets.» In addition, will be replaced by active and passive EW system. But the average age of aircraft has reached the 21 years or 6,000 flight hours on the machine. Ultimately, the Air Force will have to change the plane or to a new or abandon the niche that held the F-15E. Currently, the priority for the Air Force fighter applets are fifth-generation F-35 tanker aircraft KC-46 and the family of distant drums systems.
More trivial would be upgrading the F-35 in a double shock car with extended range, because there is no means for the development of an entirely new class of combat aircraft itself, says analyst at the Center for Strategic and budget estimates Ganzinger Mark (Mark Gunzinger). This aircraft would have an index of F-35E.
Indeed, they say industry sources that have been carried out detailed studies on the ability of the creation of a double modification of the F-35 with extended range. You need to achieve fuel efficiency by 35%, as proposed by the Air Force Laboratory (Air Force Research Laboratory) for their own requirements for the establishment of a motor with adaptive technology (variable duty cycle) AETD (adaptive engine technology development). This engine can do better fuel efficiency by 35% compared with the existing F135 turbofan of Pratt & Whitney, that are equipped with the F-35. Work on the creation of such motors are Pratt & Whitney and General Electric.
Ganzinger hesitates, that the creation of a double version of the F-35 can be, but there are severe problems that must be solved. First is to achieve increased range and payload. Adding a second seat on the stealth fighter fifth generation reclaims considerably more work than by plane 4th generation. Costs can be comparable with the creation of an entirely new strike fighter.
Lexington Institute analyst Dan Goor (Dan Goure) says that he does not agree with your Ganzingera. Need to create a sixth-generation aircraft to substitute F-15E, but also not sure you have the necessary funds. Development of double variant F-35 can understand the same problem that happened with the draft version of the impactor FB-22 F-22 fighter.
Ultimately, the U.S. Air Force may decide not to directly replace the new F-15E aircraft, and distribute its niche between fighters 5th generation and the new generation of strategic bombers, says Gur. Substitution for F-15E can buy more distant bombers strike LRS-B (long-range strike bomber). There is also the option of creation of unmanned strike aircraft that can be controlled from the LRS-B bombers to carry out missions that have made F-15E.