F-15 2040C

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Boeing has proposed a series if upgrades to the F-15C to supplement the small numbers of F-22’s and extend the production line once their order for Saudi Arabia is completed by the end of 2019.

f-15_2040c

Apart from all the systems improvements what is striking is the new pylons that allow it to carry 16 missiles.

In April this year Dr John Stillion from the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments published a widely read report called Trends in Air Combat – Implications for Future Air Superiority

In this study, Dr. John Stillion conducts a historical analysis of air-to-air combat, drawing on a database of over 1,450 air-to-air victories from multiple conflicts from 1965 to the present. Using this data, Stillion assesses how advances in sensor, weapons, and communication technologies have changed air combat and the implications of these trends for future combat aircraft designs and operational concepts. Stillion concludes that these advances may have fundamentally transformed the nature of air combat. This transformation may be steadily reducing the utility of some attributes traditionally associated with fighter aircraft (e.g., extreme speed and maneuverability) while increasing the value of attributes not usually associated with fighter aircraft (e.g., sensor and weapon payload as well as range). As a result, an effective sixth-generation “fighter” may look similar to a future “bomber” and may even be a modified version of a bomber airframe or the same aircraft with its payload optimized for the air-to-air mission, Stillion argues. If this is correct, then the United States may be in a position to save tens of billions of dollars in nonrecurring development costs by combining Air Force and Navy future fighter development programs with each service’s long range ISR/strike programs.

Click here to read the report in full.

Whilst not the long range fighter-bomber he proposes, the increase in missile payload seems like at least a nod to the conclusions of the report, the need for a larger number of missiles than currently carried in order to combat increasingly advanced and likely numerically superior enemies.

Which brings me to this story from May, the Typhoon Common Weapons Launcher.

Although it seems to be mainly for ground-to-air weapons like Paveway IV and Brimstone 2, wonder if it could be used for carrying the extremely potent and long ranged Meteor?

Typhoon Common Weapons Launcher 2

With three on each pylon and four in the normal fuselage positions, a Typhoon could carry 22 missiles.

Do we have that many!

 

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HMArmedForcesReview
HMArmedForcesReview
September 29, 2015 9:16 am

It would be better quad-packing them on F-22s…on wait does the USAF trust the F-22?

John Hartley
John Hartley
September 29, 2015 10:15 am

Some years back, was there not a proposal to give new build F-15 a bigger, long range wing?
I still think Europe, Turkey, Japan & South Korea, should pool their effort to build a mini F-22 sized & with the engines, AESA radar, etc. from the T3 Typhoon.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
September 29, 2015 10:47 am

Missile load is key simply due to the fact that countermeasures are so effective. Riple-launching, with different seeker heads can help to counter that
– the one and only point where PAK-FA scores over current fighters in the West?

Martin
Martin
September 29, 2015 11:24 am

in a world where sensors and not stealth dominate and range of missiles is all important then speed will also be vital as lobbing a missile form a Mach 2 or 3 platform will not only give you increased range but also an increased escape zone.

Stealth seems pretty stuck from a development point of view while RADARS and other sensors are developing at their quickest pace since ww2. So it’s entirely possible that the combat aircraft of 2040 will look a lot like the ones of today or possibly still be the ones of today.

Ummanned capability will come in to it but then any fly by wire aircraft has the potential to become unmanned.

The F35 will be revolutionary for us but it’s the STOVL and sensor capability not the LO aspect. We should still push full steam with typhoon development. In addition we should consider developing a Taranis derived UCAV to work along side typhoon but in small numbers and kick any thought of typhoon replacement out to the 2040’s.

A captor E equipped tranche 3 typhoon with meteor had little to fear from PAK FA. Especially if we can maintain them in numbers.

Martin
Martin
September 29, 2015 11:25 am

We should also be taking a more active approach to generating an EW capability for Typhoon.

a
a
September 29, 2015 11:30 am

“while increasing the value of attributes not usually associated with fighter aircraft (e.g., sensor and weapon payload as well as range). As a result, an effective sixth-generation “fighter” may look similar to a future “bomber” and may even be a modified version of a bomber airframe or the same aircraft with its payload optimized for the air-to-air mission, Stillion argues.”

Reminds me once again of the rumoured RAF “Hercules Air Defence Variant” project: a C-130 with a whacking great radar and a couple of rotary launchers full of long-range radar-homing AAMs. For point defence, but exactly the opposite of the Lightning: instead of launching in seconds, streaking after an attacker and shooting it down just before running out of fuel, it stooges around overhead for hours and kills everything it sees.

Code Red
Code Red
September 29, 2015 12:38 pm

I doubt you’d get three on, it’d be a twin station launcher like PIV

Plus you have T-lugs not bail lugs and, based on Tornado, a AA launcher is a good deal bulkier than a bomb rack.

But yes, there si no reason Typhoon couldn’t double its under-wing missile carriage with twin adapters. That’d give you a pair of ASRAAM on the tip stubs, 12 meteor on the wing pylons and 4 under fuselage for a total of 16 Meteor, beating F-15 by two!

Course you’d need CFT for a useful fuel load…

a
a
September 29, 2015 1:56 pm

There’s some interesting congruence here with land and sea combat. What’s the best tank-killer? Not a motorbike with an ATGM launcher, nippy though it is.

Observer
Observer
September 29, 2015 2:05 pm

“What’s the best tank-killer?”

An arty round when the men are out of the tank for some food, sleep, toilet break etc.

Ron
Ron
September 29, 2015 2:29 pm

When I read that stealth is dead therefore 4th gen aircraft can rule the sky again, I think of the bright colored uniforms our troops used to wear before dull green & brown camouflaged uniforms took over. But over time with IR & radar, the camouflaged uniforms became useless, the soldier can easily be seen.

So tell me again why we didn’t return to the days of hi-viz reds & blues?

Repeat & rinse with green & brown tanks, grey warships and even greyer aircraft.

wf
wf
September 29, 2015 3:01 pm

: I think your views as to the future of air combat are very pertinent, but I suspect the Typhoon is not the best long term solution, mainly because it’s not big enough to source the sensors, weapons, additional crew (IMHO) etc that the role would require. That being said, I’d be all in favour of a 30-35 tonne aircraft with all that, but not much stealth (although internal weapons carriage would help with supercruise), and with a son of Taranis UAV partner using the same engine and systems :-)

a
a
September 29, 2015 3:51 pm

“I think of the bright colored uniforms our troops used to wear before dull green & brown camouflaged uniforms took over. But over time with IR & radar, the camouflaged uniforms became useless, the soldier can easily be seen. So tell me again why we didn’t return to the days of hi-viz reds & blues?”

1) because even with thermal imaging, radar etc, visual wavelengths are still a useful way of detecting people. Not everyone has a thermal sight or a surveillance radar.
2) because even if that weren’t the case, there’s minimal extra cost to dressing your soldiers in MTP versus bright red. The point of the article is that being stealthy imposes significant costs in terms of both performance and price.

Donald_of_Tokyo
Donald_of_Tokyo
September 29, 2015 4:09 pm

Maybe Japan can adopt (at least) part of these upgrade kits for our remaining 200 F-15C/Ds.

F-15 has long range, large radar and extra space to handle additional electronics. Loss of speed (cruising speed), which is important for intercepting, is my concern. Of course, same thing happens for Typhoon heavy weaponing.

Then we need new engines, I guess…

How is the Typhoon Engine upgrade future?

temeraire
temeraire
September 30, 2015 5:56 pm
Reply to  wf

An updated Buccaneer with EJ200s perhaps?

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