Given that Boeing has just received a 500 million dollar contract to update the electronics of the f15 and the USAF is considering purchasing 72 more f15's, it's pretty obvious that this airframe will be around for the next 20-30 years as the USAF's primary frontline aircraft.
An incredibly capable aircraft.
IMO Canada should buy the silent eagle because however more expensive the silent eagle is than the super hornet it's a much better and proven reliable airplane. For example the usaf has done some research into the number of flight hours the silent eagle can have, the research indicated that the airframe can last up to 30,000 hours rather than the much lower super hornet. Not to mention the silent eagle is much more manuverable than the super hornet
The slip in initial operational test and evaluation means that IOT&E can't be completed prior to 2021, pushing the Milestone C production decision to 2022 at best. That's a three-year slip from the SAR dates which solidifies the F-35 program as a complete failure.
Get the hook for Lt. Gen Chris Bogdan. He's been there nearly four years and the program is worse off than ever.
The "F-35" does not exist; it is still in development, fifteen years and counting. All system performance capabilities are "TBD" -- to be determined -- according to the last project report. Development and operational test and evaluation won't be complete any time soon and Milestone C production decision is not for years.
The U.S. Air Force doesn't accept that these useless $200 million prototypes are useful -- it has 72 of these fat pigs in "training squadrons."
Australia is wisely skipping the $200m (each) waste of money because the current test version of the F-35A in the Block 3i configuration has numerous limitations which make it less effective overall at CAS than most currently-fielded fighter aircraft like the F-15E, F-16, F-18 and A-10 in a permissive or low-threat environment, which is where CAS is normally conducted.
--Avionics sensor fusion performance is still unacceptable.
--Electronic Warfare (EW) capabilities, including electronic attack (EA), are inconsistent and, in some cases, not effective against required threats.
--Datalinks do not work properly
--Mission data development, optimization, and operationally-representative testing are inadequate
--Block 3F mission systems software required multiple corrections to deficiencies before weapons delivery accuracy testing could begin.
-- Performance is "G-limited" - which means the airframe hasn't been fully tested.
-- Performance claims are just that until they are tested and evaluated.
-- Service claims of successful tests should be taken with a grain of salt as they are not objective.
-- Operators have no part in the acquisition process so their opinions should be disregarded.
-- G limits
NI, 2nd Feb 2016: Fleet F-35B aircraft are limited to 3.0 g’s when fully fueled and the allowable g is increased as fuel is consumed, reaching the full Block 2B envelope of 5.5 g’s at roughly 63 percent of fuel remaining,” the report states. The F-35B’s full 7g envelop won’t be released until 2017. The other two variants face similar but slightly different restrictions.
I couldn't care less what a foreign journal has to say about performance. By law the DOT&E is responsible for test & evaluation in military systems acquisition, nobody else. Nobody. Initial operational test and evaluation won't start until 2018 at the earliest, because the project is having great difficulty preparing 23 planes for the test.
This will keep the Boeing production lines running into the 2020's when the F-35 failure will impact heavily. Even currently the F-35 program is on life support. Lockheed manufactured only twenty useless prototypes in the first six months this year. A primary production contract is now two years late while unit acquisition costs near $200 million on faulty non-deployable planes. (The money still flows without a primary contract.) So the main reason for these sales is to provide an alternative to the boondoggle F-35.
The F15SE is based on a proven aircraft platform with a solid airframe with sizeable payload. It is able to carry a large variety of onboard weapons, has two engines as opposed to one on the f35, an ideal benefit considering Canada's need to patrol vast arctic geography, does not require a special communications pod installed to ensure communications can be relayed to it when flying in the Arctic, cheaper in maintenance costs, and has longer range.
This is what cruise missiles and anti-radiation missiles and such are for. Big missiles with long stand-off ranges, the kind of which are unlikely to fit into the tiny internal weapons bay of an F-35. Try to hang an external weapon on an F-35 and you're defeating the stealth right there.
The F-35A is a huge mistake from every aspect, high cost, poor performance, reliability and type it would be another Cyclone helicopter debacle in the making. Canada doesn't need an expensive ”Hangar Queen”. It's not an air superiority/interceptor with its high wing loading & poor thrust-to-weight ratio. It can't carry much weaponry unless it carries them externally thus losing its stealth characteristics. It is slower than existing F-15's and has less range in combat radius and ferry mode. Canada doesn't need this hard to maintain "Lead Sled". Canada needs a fast agile plane to defend their huge country. We are told that existing or new built F-15's with some upgrades can fulfill Canada's NORAD and NATO commitments till beyond 2030.
Talking about 'combat radius'; and the truth is that neither the F/A-18E/F nor the F-35A have very much in the way of combat radius, so the comparison isn't exactly indicative. The operational concept of the F/A-18E/F is that it would be sent to target most of the way via an aircraft carrier. With its cruciform wing design (which makes them easily foldable), they were first envisaged for naval usage. The CF-18A/B variants do have folding wings, but they have the same cruciform design, which means very little wing area compared to the weight of the aircraft. For this reason, Canada would be better served by a delta wing design, with two engines. By these specs, excluding Russian aircraft, the list is short to chose from: F-15SE Silent Eagle or F-15E+ Advanced Eagle, Dassault Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon. I would like to see Canada officially evaluate these three aircraft and pick the one that makes the most sense in the Canadian context.
You don't need stealth for Canada's missions. Arctic and air patrols do not need stealth or BVR. No Canadian is going to shoot down an unidentified aircraft over Gander without visually identifying it. Even overseas... Missions are rarely first strike and almost never against first world countries. These planes are now $100M+. Far better to get several less expensive, non-stealthy Super Hornets. Take the extra $20B dollars and pay down the deficit or spend it on things Canada's military needs -- transport aircraft, transport ships, etc.
In reality, Canada doesn't necessarily need an F-15 Silent Eagle. The cost of this aircraft would be astronomically high, and the country doesn't have any particular use for it. Canada has better uses for its money and shouldn't be making such unnecessary purchases when its own economy could use some help.
In this day and age, conventional warfare is becoming redundant. Unless Canada becomes a war mongering state, then there is little to no need for an upgrade in aircraft. Aircraft costs are rising higher as the research and development for them takes longer. Canada has little to gain from buying F-15 Silent Eagles, it could be better spent in infrastructure, medical research and renewable energies. America dumps billions into military research, why should Canada? It is okay to buy maybe 1 or 2 of these for research, but why should Canada buy a fleet? What is going to attack Canada from the air which cannot be engaged by fourth generation aircraft?
-interdiction aircraft are important but improved drone capabilities will likely emerge over the next decade that will circumvent stealth requirements
- The option for a Growler suite to complement the Super Hornets can offer more cost effective ecm and tracking. This can contribute effectively to NATO responsibilities
- Dual engine reliability for Canadian conditions in a proven rugged airframe
- Cost savings can be put to better use on future aircraft R and D as new technologies emerge. $70m Super Hornet vs F15 or f 35 $120m USD price tag steep with the anticipation of these changes