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The F-15X Is The Missile-Hauler The Air Force Needs For A Stand-Off Fight
The U.S. Air Force has been secretly organizing a plan to replace its F-15 C/D fleet with brand spanking new F-15X Eagle air superiority fighters, the Drive reported on Wednesday. This move could take the heat off of the service’s handful of F-22 Raptors or make up for F-35 shortcomings — and cushion the expenses involved in operating and maintaining two 5th-generation fighters.
Originally commissioned in the mid-’70s to take on Soviet hordes over the skies of Europe, the Eagle has become a staple in the warzones of the Middle East and Central Asia. The age of the Air Force’s 200-plus Eagle fighters has been a cause for concern — especially as they age faster than F-35s are getting operational.
The F-35 is a Swiss army knife of an aircraft, laden with stealth features and air-to-ground missions, making it a less capable dogfighter than the F-15 in close quarters. And if the F-35 is used as a stand-off missile-hauler, carrying a full complement of 16 air-to-air missiles on external pylons, it loses the stealth characteristics that make it so valuable (and pricey).
A visual of the F-35s weapons loadout options.Lockheed Martin
The F-15, on the other hand, is arguably the king of 4th-gen air to air fighters. Boeing has continued to refine the internal avionics of the Eagle, exporting upgraded variants to Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. The proposed F-15X would be able to hold 22 air-to-air missiles, and would slide right into the systems already in place to field and service the F-15 C/D fleet. The F-15X’s weapons loadout would make it a beast in any “Beyond Visual Range” fight, and in the age of China’s anti-access/area denial strategy or A2/D2, BVR will be the name of the game in the opening phase of any hypothetical conflict in Asia.
The F-15X will feature a new pylon system allowing it to handle heavier weapons loads, upgraded electronic warfare suites, an electronically scanned radar array, and even a sweet new multi-function sensor known as the “Legion Pod.” It will also feature the relatively low, low price of $27,000 per flight hour to fly, compared to the $35,000 it costs to fly the Raptor for an hour.
An F-15E Strike Eagle assigned to the 492nd Fighter Squadron flies over Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England.U.Air Force photo/ Tech. Sgt. Matthew Plew.
In the novel Ghost Fleet, reliance on 5th-gen fighters paints Uncle Sam into a corner when a war kicks off with China and Russia in the Pacific. In this nightmare scenario, the U.S. Air Force pulls retired F-15s out of bone-yards to supplement the skeleton fleet of F-22s and F-35s that survived the surprise attack.
Well, at least that’s one war scenario we can actually preempt now.
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The U.S. government failed to effectively account for nearly $715.8 million in weapons and equipment allocated to Syrian partners as part of the multinational counter-ISIS fight, according to a new report from the Defense Department inspector general.
On Feb. 19, 1945, more than 70,000 U.S. Marines conducted an amphibious assault to take the Island of Iwo Jima from fortified Japanese forces. Over the next 36 days nearly 7,000 Marines would be killed during the battle, which is regarded as one of the bloodiest of World War II, as they faced hidden enemy artillery, machine guns, vast bunker systems and underground tunnels. Of the 82 Marines who earned the Medal of Honor during all of World War II, 22 medals were earned for actions on Iwo Jima.
Now, 75 years later, 28 Marines and Sailors who fought on Iwo Jima gathered to remember the battle at the 75th and final commemoration sunset ceremony Feb. 15, 2020, at the Pacific Views Event Center on Camp Pendleton, California.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), has long been seen as an apologist for Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, whom she met during a secret trip to Damascus in January 2017.
Most recently, a video was posted on Twitter shows Gabbard evading a question about whether Assad is a war criminal.
Since Gabbard is the only actively serving member of the military who is running for president — she is a major in the Hawaii Army National Guard — Task & Purpose sought to clarify whether she believes Assad has used chlorine gas and chemical weapons to kill his own people.
The Army is almost doubling its purchase of new bolt-action Precision Sniper Rifles as its primary anti-personnel sniper system of choice, according to budget documents.
Air Force gunsmiths recently completed delivery of a new M4-style carbine designed to break down small enough to fit under most pilot ejection seats.