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The Pentagon Wants To Buy A Dozen F-15X Fighters The Air Force Doesn't Even Want
Brace yourselves: the Department of Defense is eyeing a brand new variant of the storied F-15 Eagle to rule the skies, the U.S. military's first purchase of the storied aircraft in more than 15 years.
Bloomberg Government reports that the Pentagon plans on asking lawmakers for $1.2 billion to procure 12 Boeing's F-15X fighters as part of its fiscal year 2020 budget request. The request, if approved, would be the Air Force's first F-15 purchase since 2001, when it snatched up a handful of F-15E Strike Eagle variants.
The proposed variant of the 45-year-old fourth-generation fighter, whose existence was first reported by Defense One in July, was described by The War Zone as the product of a "quiet" inquiry to Boeing and Lockheed Martin regarding a new aircraft that "could seamlessly plug into their existing air combat infrastructure as part of better-defined high-low capability mix strategy."
Here are some of the technical details of the F-15X's technical details and intended capabilities, courtesy of the War Zone:
The F-15X configuration is impressive as it includes a flat-panel glass cockpit, JHMCS II helmet mounted display (HMD), revised internal wing structure, fly-by-wire controls, APG-82 AESA radar, activation of outer wing stations one and nine, advanced mission computer, low-profile heads-up display, updated radio and satellite communications, the highly advanced Eagle Passive Active Warning Survivability System (EPAWSS) electronic warfare and electronic surveillance suite, Legion Pod-mounted infrared search and track system (IRST) and the list goes on.
With the help of the company's new AMBER missile carrying racks, the F-15X will be able to carry a whopping 22 air-to-air missiles during a single sortie. Alternatively, it could fly with eight air-to-air missiles and 28 Small Diameter Bombs (SDBs), or up to seven 2,000lb bombs and eight air-to-air missiles. We are talking crazy weapons hauling capabilities here. Keep in mind that the F-15C/D Eagle can carry eight air-to-air missiles currently, and the penultimate Eagle variant that is currently being built, the F-15SA, can carry a dozen.
If purchased, the F-15X aircraft will reportedly end up in the hands of several Air National Guard units as a replacement for the service's current F-15C aircraft. But at the moment, it appears any acquisition of the advanced F-15 variant will prove an uphill battle within the Pentagon.
According to Bloomberg Government, the push for the new aircraft came from senior leaders within the Pentagon like deputy secretary of defense Pat Shanahan "and not the Air Force, which would be flying the planes."
Indeed, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson in September stated that the Air Force had no interest in picking up the fourth-generation F-15X, preferring instead to invest in expanding its fleet of fifth-generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.
“We are currently 80 percent fourth-gen aircraft and 20 percent fifth-generation aircraft,” Wilson told Defense News in a Sept. 5 interview. “In any of the fights that we have been asked to plan for, more fifth gen aircraft make a huge difference, and we think that getting to 50-50 means not buying new fourth-gen aircraft, it means continuing to increase the fifth generation.”
The National Interest's Dave Majumdar put the Air Force's skepticism more bluntly: “It’s amazing this Boeing sales pitch is being swallowed hook, line, and sinker by the trade press . . . The Air Force will never buy this jet. It is useless inside heavily defended airspace if we are dealing with any sort of real military force.”
BANGKOK (Reuters) - The United States and South Korea said on Sunday they will postpone upcoming military drills in an effort to bolster a stalled peace push with North Korea, even as Washington denied the move amounted to another concession to Pyongyang.
The drills, known as the Combined Flying Training Event, would have simulated air combat scenarios and involved an undisclosed number of warplanes from both the United States and South Korea.
An opening ceremony will be held Monday on Hawaii island for a military exercise with China that will involve about 100 People's Liberation Army soldiers training alongside U.S. Army counterparts.
This comes after Adm. Phil Davidson, head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, spoke on Veterans Day at Punchbowl cemetery about the "rules-based international order" that followed U.S. victory in the Pacific in World War II, and China's attempts to usurp it.
Those American standards "are even more important today," Davidson said, "as malicious actors like the Communist Party of China seek to redefine the international order through corruption, malign cyber activities, intellectual property theft, restriction of individual liberties, military coercion and the direct attempts to override other nations' sovereignty."
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday told North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to "act quickly" to reach a deal with the United States, in a tweet weighing in on North Korea's criticism of his political rival former Vice President Joe Biden.
Trump, who has met Kim three times since 2018 over ending the North's missile and nuclear programs, addressed Kim directly, referring to the one-party state's ruler as "Mr. Chairman".
In his tweet, Trump told Kim, "You should act quickly, get the deal done," and hinted at a further meeting, signing off "See you soon!"
It is impossible to tune out news about the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump now that the hearings have become public. And this means that cable news networks and Congress are happier than pigs in manure: this story will dominate the news for the foreseeable future unless Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt get back together.
But the wall-to-wall coverage of impeachment mania has also created a news desert. To those of you who would rather emigrate to North Korea than watch one more lawmaker grandstand for the cameras, I humbly offer you an oasis of news that has absolutely nothing to do with Washington intrigue.
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia will return three captured naval ships to Ukraine on Monday and is moving them to a handover location agreed with Kiev, Crimea's border guard service was cited as saying by Russian news agencies on Sunday.
A Reuters reporter in Crimea, which Russian annexed from Ukraine in 2014, earlier on Sunday saw coastguard boats pulling the three vessels through the Kerch Strait toward the Black Sea where they could potentially be handed over to Ukraine.