Daily Archives: March 31, 2016

F-15E ‘Strike’ Eagle / F-15 Eagle II

The Boeing F-15E dual-role fighter is an advanced long-range interdiction fighter and tactical aircraft. The F-15E is the latest version of the Eagle, a Mach 2.5-class twin-engine fighter. More than 1,500 F-15s are in service worldwide with the US Air Force, US Air National Guard and the air forces of Israel, Japan and Saudi Arabia, including over 220 F-15E fighters.

F-15 Strike Eagle programme and development

The F-15E made its first flight in 1986. It is armed with air-to-air missiles that can be launched from beyond visual range, and has air-to-ground capability to penetrate hostile air and ground defences to deliver up to 24,000lb of precision ordnance. Since 2001, US Air Force F-15E aircraft have been almost exclusively used for close-air support.

In April 2001, Boeing received a contract for a further ten F-15E aircraft for the USAF, bringing the total to 227. The air force initially planned to purchase 392 F-15s. The first production model of the F-15E was delivered to the 405th Tactical Training Wing, Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, in April 1988. The ‘Strike Eagle’, as it was dubbed, received initial operational capability on 30 September 1989.

Boeing is upgrading the programmable armament control set and software for the delivery of precision weapons like the joint direct attack munition (JDAM), joint stand-off weapon (JSOW) and the wind-corrected munition dispenser (WCMD).

The aircraft also have improved night vision capability and three new active-matrix liquid crystal displays.

In December 2005, the Government of Singapore placed an order for 12 F-15SG aircraft. Deliveries are scheduled for mid-2009 to 2012. In October 2007, Singapore ordered an additional 12 aircraft. The first F-15SG was rolled out in November 2008. Deliveries of F-15SGs are to begin in second quarter 2009 and continue till 2012.

In August 2008, the F-15E became the first fighter to fly powered by a blend of synthetic fuel and JP-8. The USAF intends to certify its entire fleet of aircraft for flight using the blended fuel by 2011.

F-15SE Silent Eagle stealth variant

F-15 Silent Eagle – Boeing

In March 2009, Boeing unveiled the F-15 Silent Eagle (F-15SE) at St Louis, Missouri, USA.

“The F-15 Silent Eagle is designed to meet our international customers’ anticipated need for cost-effective stealth technologies, as well as for large and diverse weapons payloads,” said Boeing F-15 programme vice president, Mark Bass.

Using a modular design approach, the F-15SE possesses aerodynamic, avionic, and stealth features. Key elements of the F-15SE include aerodynamic improvements, RCS reductions, an internal weapons bay and advanced avionics enhancements.

Aerodynamic changes to the F-15SE will improve the aircraft’s aerodynamic efficiency and fighter performance by reducing overall airframe weight and drag. The RCS reduction methods are applied to the airframe for frontal aspect stealth capability thus improving mission effectiveness.

The modular internal weapons bay contributes to the overall aircraft RCS reduction package while maintaining strike capability. The enhanced avionics include an integrated active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar and digital electronic warfare system (DEWS) that provides the pilot with greater situational awareness.

The internal carriage conformal fuel tanks (CFTs) can be quickly replaced by the large payload external carriage CFTs which are optimised for increased weapons load. The innovative Silent Eagle is a balanced, affordable design solution based on the combat-proven F-15 Eagle.

Boeing F-15SE Silent Eagle: Details

The new sophisticated F-15SE internal carriage capability minimises aircraft radar signature and significantly increases pilot tactical options. It is equipped with two internal bays designed for multiple carriage configurations.

The F-15SE is capable of carrying electronic warfare, reconnaissance equipment, side-looking radar, and jamming equipment. The fighter plane’s reconfigurable capability provides enhanced combat flexibility. It is adaptable with each application reconfigurable every 30 minutes.

The elite F-15SE signature reduction methods are applied to the airframe for frontal aspect stealth capability, which ensure greater survivability in the battlefield. The F-15 family has a combat record of 101 victories and zero losses. The US Air Force’s F-15E has flown thousands of combat missions during worldwide combat operations.

F-15K Slam Eagle next-generation South Korean fighter

F-15K / Bruce Smith

In April 2002, the Republic of Korea chose the F-15K as its next-generation fighter. 40 aircraft, to be known as the ‘Slam Eagle’, have been ordered. The first flight of the F-15K took place in March 2005 and deliveries began in October 2005. The F-15K entered operational service in July 2008 and deliveries concluded in October 2008. It was confirmed in April 2008 that 21 more would be ordered in 2010, the quantity includes an additional aircraft to replace one which crashed in 2006.

The South Korean Air Force received the last shipment of new F-15K fighter in October 2008 completing its decade-long project to procure 40 of the highly manoeuvrable aircraft. US aircraft manufacturer Boeing delivered F-15ks to the South Korea’s 11th Fighter Wing in Daegu.

The F-15K is powered by General Electric F110-GE-129 engines and features a new electronic warfare suite including BAE Systems IEWS ALR-56C(V)1 radar warner, BAE Systems IDS ALE-47 countermeasures dispenser system and Northrop Grumman ALQ-135M radar jammer.

Lockheed Martin will provide the Tiger Eyes sensor suite with targeting pod (mid-wave staring array FLIR, laser and CCD TV), navigation pod (terrain following radar and mid-wave staring array FLIR) and long-range IRST (infrared search and track). Raytheon will supply the AN/APG-63(V)1 multi-mode radar. BAE Systems will provide the AN/APX-113 IFF (identification friend or foe) system. Data Link Solutions will supply the MIDS fighter datalink.

Kaiser Electronics will provide the cockpit display suite including: five flat panel colour displays (FPCD), four 6in multi-purpose displays (MPD) and wide field of view head-up display (HUD). The FCPD and MFD feature active matrix liquid crystal display (AMLCD) technology.

F-15K Slam Eagle: Details

The Republic of Korea has ordered Raytheon AIM-120 AMRAAM and AIM-9X Sidewinder air-to-air missiles and Boeing SLAM-ER stand-off land attack missiles for the new aircraft. First flight of a SLAM-ER, which has a range of 278km (150nm), onboard an F-15E took place in February 2004. In 2010, the Republic of Korea Air Force also plans to procure AGM-158 joint air-to-surface stand-off missiles (JASSM).

Boeing SLAM-ER

F-15K / Ciaran Hickey

Specifications:
Primary function: Long-range, air-launched precision land and sea attack cruise missile
Contractor: The Boeing Co.
Date deployed: June 2000
Propulsion: Teledyne Turbojet (thrust is greater than 600 pounds)
Length: 172 inches (4.4 m)
Diameter: 13.5 inches (34.3 cm)
Wingspan: 7.2 feet (2.2 m)
Weight: 1,488 pounds (674.5 kg)
Speed: High subsonic
Ordnance: 500-pound Tomahawk Derivative Titanium
Guidance system: Ring Laser Gyro inertial navigation system (INS) with multi-channel GPS; infrared seeker for terminal guidance with man-in-the-Loop control data-link from the controlling aircraft. Upgraded missiles incorporate automatic target acquisition (ATA). Source navair.navy.mil

F-15X

F-15X / U.S. Air Force / Ilka Cole

The latest iteration of the F-15 Eagle Mission Design Series, the F-15EX features an increased payload capacity, fly-by-wire controls, a digital cockpit, modernized sensors, radars and electronic warfare capabilities.

Boeing

Edwards notes the long service life of the F-15EX airframe–20,000 flight hours. “That’s a long time, about double the service the life of an F-15C,” Edwards said. “Not only is the airframe designed to last for a long time, the F-15EX also has an ‘open mission system’ which allows the computer and avionics software to be more adaptable and more easily updated in the future. This adaptability is key, as we know that technology is continuing to accelerate.” Source af.mil

airforcemag.com

Like the F-15 Silent Eagle concept and its various sub-options that have yet to find any buyers, this new Eagle offering may not be exclusive to new-build aircraft alone and could be able to be applied to various Eagle variants to varying degrees, depending on the operator’s needs. Conformal fuel tanks can even be fitted to existing F-15C/Ds, so this type of modification may not be limited to the F-15 Strike Eagle series alone.

F-15X / U.S. Air Force / 1st Lt. Karissa Rodriguez

More air-to-air missiles is a good thing for the Eagle. As the the new AIM-120D AMRAAM comes on line and is paired along with the F-15C/D’s APG-63V3 and F-15E’s APG-82 Active Electronically Scanned Array radars, the Eagle will be able to sling missiles from about double the range they can today, depending on the engagement situation. More missiles means more tactical options when facing a robust foe, and it also means the Eagle may be able to work as an arsenal ship of sorts for stealthy F-35s and F-22s which have far less beyond-visual-range missile carrying capabilities.

Boeing F-15X

By using the F-35 and F-22’s data collected forward of an Eagle’s position, along with the Eagle’s greatly enhanced radar data, the F-15 could provide missiles on demand from many dozens of miles away. This would also allow F-35s and F-22s to work as battle managers of sorts well ahead of the Eagle’s position even after their weapons bays are empty.

JHMCS II

elbitsystems

In 2015, Boeing released a video that confirmed at least one of the Palmdale test aircraft (12-1003 – note the serial on the ejection seat) has been employed to trial the new Digital Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (DJHMCS) on the F-15. Boeing Test and Evaluation chief F-15 test pilot Dan ‘Dragon’ Draeger and a ‘USAF Weapons Systems Officer’ were depicted wearing the new helmets for a ‘first evaluation flight’ at Palmdale recently. The new digital JHMCS uses LED technology for ‘greater reliability and visual acuity’, according to the news release. ‘You don’t have to use high voltage in order to drive the new Light Emitting Diode display which improves maintenance reliability significantly,’ says Greg Hardy, Boeing manager, TACAIR Advanced Display Systems. ‘Couple this technology with a sharper image and improved day and night capabilities using color projected video and symbology and a better balanced helmet, and you have an advanced targeting solution that is more reliable and less fatiguing for pilots to wear.’

The DJHMCS is part of the new JHMCS II product line and it is touted as ‘an economical but significant upgrade’ that features ‘all new’ aspects of JHMCS II, but is aimed as a retrofit for existing JHMCS-capable platforms and crucially it incorporates a new night capability.

Many of these new features were planned as part of the stealthy F-15SE Silent Eagle, which failed to attract direct interest from new customers. Indeed, Silent Eagle enhancements may never be fully realized as Boeing was largely relying on customer support to bring these to reality and the loss in South Korea effectively put paid to the key stealthy improvements. The conformal weapons bays (CWBs) were, for example, part of the industrial offset with Korean industry. The CWBs had two doors and two weapon mounts, the upper, side-opening door carrying a rail launcher for an AIM-120 AMRAAM or an AIM-9-type missile, or a launcher for a single 500lb or 1,000lb bomb or two Small Diameter Bombs (SDBs). The lower door accommodated a trapeze-plus-ejector mount for an AIM-120, or for a single 500lb or 1,000lb bomb or two SDBs. The CWBs would also accommodate a small amount of fuel. Having funded an initial test period, including firing an AIM-120 from the CWB in July 2010, Boeing was ready to develop a number of the Silent Eagle options with customer support as prospective buyers came forward.

Although Seoul opted for the F-35, the Saudi deal paved the way for some of the less noticeable elements of the Silent Eagle to come to fruition, notably the advanced cockpit, DFBW, and DEWS. Various elements that have been taken up by Boeing’s export customers over the past decade are now on the table to be offered as upgrades for other existing F-15 customers — including the USAF. Indeed, Boeing is emphasizing the increased weapon carriage offered by the F-15SA as the DFBW opens up the new outer wing stations 1 and 9. However, the handling implications of these outer stations predude non-DFBW Eagles from utilizing them. Source combataircraft.net

F-15SA (Saudi Advanced): Details

F-15SA / NickJ 1972 (flickr)

Cockpit

Michael Block

While F-15A/C aircraft are single-crew aircraft, F-15B/D/E have a crew of two. The F-15E is crewed by the pilot and the weapon systems officer (WSO).

danwintersphoto.com

eaglet.skr.jp

The WSO is equipped with two Sperry full-color and two Kaiser single-color cathode ray tubes. The WSO can access information from the radar, electronic warfare or infrared sensors, and monitor aircraft or weapons status and possible threats. The WSO also selects targets and navigates with the aid of a moving map display, produced by an AlliedSignal remote film strip reader.

The pilot’s crew station features one full-colour and two single-colour cathode ray tubes. These are being upgraded to Rockwell Collins 5in Flat Panel Colour Displays using active matrix liquid crystal display (AMLCD) technology. A holographic wide-field-of-view head-up display (HUD) from Kaiser provides the pilot with flight and tactical information.

US Air Force / Staff Sgt. Sean Carnes

USAF F-15s are scheduled to receive the joint helmet-mounted cueing system (JHMCS) developed by Vision Systems International. A contract for 145 systems was placed in July 2008. Deliveries are underway and are scheduled to conclude in mid-2009.

JHMCS

TVL1970

F-15 ACES II

The F-15 Eagle is equipped with this version of the ACES II. It replaced an Escapac seat used in the prototypes and early aircraft. This version differs from the rest of the basic side-pull ACES II seats (A-10, F-117) in the configuration of the headrest canopy breakers, and the side-pull handles. The picture below shows the size difference between the handles on the A-10 (right) and the F-15 (left). The A-10 seats originally had no canopy breakers as in the example shown, but were later fit with a single canopy breaker. The F-117 has a metal canopy frame which precludes the use of a canopy breaker. The handles on the F-117 closely resemble the A-10 handles. Source ejectionsite.com

F-15 Eagle Losses & Ejections: Details

Weapons

Tony House

The F-15E aircraft can carry payloads up to 23,000lb. The aircraft can carry up to four Lockheed Martin / Raytheon AIM-9LM infrared-guided Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, up to four Raytheon AIM-7F/M radar-guided Sparrow air-to-air missiles, or eight Raytheon AMRAAM radar-guided, medium-range air-to-air missiles.

AIM-9X

US Air Force / Staff Sgt. Michael B. Keller

AIM-9X is the newest variant of Sidewinder. The AIM-9X has the same rocket motor and warhead as the AIM-9M. Major physical changes from previous versions of the missile include fixed forward canards, and smaller fins designed to increase flight performance. The guidance section has been redesigned and features an imaging infrared seeker. The propulsion section now incorporates a jet-vane steering system for enhanced post-launch agility. The X model is also compatible with the Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing System, which is designed for ease of target acquisition and decreased aircrew workload.

General Characteristics
Primary Function:
 Air-to-air missile
Contractor: Raytheon and Loral Martin
Power Plant: Hercules and Bermite Mk 36 Mod 11
Length: 9 feet, 5 inches (2.87 meters)
Diameter: 5 inches (0.13 meters)
Finspan: 2 feet, 3/4 inches (0.63 meters)
Warhead: Annular blast fragmentation warhead
Launch Weight: 190 pounds (85.5 kilograms)
Guidance System: Solid-state, infrared homing system
Introduction Date: 1956
Unit Cost:  Variable, depending on lot, quantity and block

Source af.mil

AIM-120 AMRAAM

Michael Block

The AIM-120 advanced medium-range air-to-air missile (AMRAAM) is a new generation air-to-air missile. It has an all-weather, beyond-visual-range capability and is scheduled to be operational beyond 2000. The AMRAAM is being procured for the Air Force, U.S. Navy and America’s allies.

AMRAAM has three variants – AIM-120A/B/C — operational on U.S. Air Force F-15, F-16 and F-22 aircraft.

General Characteristics
Primary Function:
 Air-to-air tactical missile
Contractor: Hughes Aircraft Co. and Raytheon Co.
Power Plant: High performance
Length: 143.9 inches (366 centimeters)
Launch Weight: 335 pounds (150.75 kilograms)
Diameter: 7 inches (17.78 centimeters)
Wingspan: 20.7 inches (52.58 centimeters)
Range: 20+ miles (17.38+ nautical miles)
Speed: Supersonic
Guidance System: Active radar terminal/inertial midcourse
Warhead: Blast fragmentation
Unit Cost: $386,000
Date Deployed: September 1991

Source af.mil

Ranges for these missiles are: Sidewinder: 8km; Sparrow: 45km; and AMRAAM: 50km.

The range of air-to-ground ordnance includes guided GBU-10, -12, -15 and -24 bombs, and Raytheon AGM-65 Maverick infrared-guided missiles. Maverick’s range is 25km.

The first units of GBU-15 glide bomb upgraded with Global Positioning System (GPS) guidance have been delivered for deployment on the F-15E. The Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) was cleared for carriage on the F-15E in February 2005. The aircraft will also be able to carry the Lockheed Martin AGM-158 joint air-to-surface stand-off missile.

Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM)

An F-15E Strike Eagle (armed with a variety of JDAMs) peels off from a KC-135 Stratotanker from the 28th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron following receiving fuel, May 7, 2019 at an undisclosed location. The 28th EARS maintains a 24/7 presence in the U.S. Air Forces Central Command area of responsibility, supporting U.S. and Coalition aircraft in various operations in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sergeant Russ Scalf)

AGM-158 joint air-to-surface stand-off missile

U.S. Air Force

The Lockheed Martin AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) is a next generation, precision guided, long range standoff cruise missile enabling the U.S. Air Force to destroy the enemy’s war sustaining capability from outside its area air defenses. JASSM is a conventionally armed low observable, subsonic cruise missile designed to destroy high-value targets. JASSM can be delivered from both fighters and bombers. The JASSM is produced in a Baseline variant (AGM-158A) as well as an extended range AGM-158B (JASSM-ER) variant.

missilethreat.csis.org

JASSM has automatic target recognition, autonomous guidance, precision accuracy, and a J-1000 warhead optimized for penetration. These characteristics give JASSM strong capabilities against heavily defended hard targets such as aircraft shelters and underground command posts, as well as soft targets such as rail yards. JASSM’s accuracy of three meters or less reduces the number of weapons and sorties required to destroy a target. The missiles employ an Imaging InfraRed (IIR) seeker system and use GPS/INS for midcourse navigation and as a back up for terminal guidance. Missile launch can occur over a wide range of altitudes and at ranges greater than 200 nm (230 miles/370 km) for the AGM-158A Baseline missile and greater than 500 nm (575 miles/926 km) for the AGM-158B Extended Range variant.

JASSM carries the WDU-42B (J-1000), a 1000-pound class penetrating warhead with 240 pounds of AFX-757. AFX-757 is an extremely insensitive explosive developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory at Eglin Air Force Base (AFB) in Florida. The fuze is the FMU-156B employing a 150-gram PBXN-9 booster. Source fi-aeroweb.com

The F-15E is the first aircraft to be armed with the Boeing GBU-39 GPS-guided 113kg (250lb) small diameter bomb. Up to 12 bombs can be carried. The SDB entered Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP) in April 2005 and achieved Initial Operating Capability (IOC) on the F-15E in September 2006.

Boeing GBU-39 GPS-guided small diameter bomb

U.S. Air Force

Mission
The GBU-39B Small Diameter Bomb, or SDB, is an extended range all-weather, day or night 250-pound class, guided munition. The SDB relies on the Global Positioning System to provide navigation to the target. Additionally, its small size allows increased aircraft loadout to achieve multiple kills per sortie and inherently reduces the probability of collateral damage.

Features
The SDB system employs a smart carriage capable of carrying four 250-lb class guided air-to-surface munitions. It is capable of destroying high-priority fixed and stationary targets from Air Force fighters and bombers in internal bays or on external hard-points. SDB increases aircraft loadout, decreases the logistical footprint, decreases collateral damage, and improves aircraft sortie generation times.

The SDB provides a transformational capability to the warfighter increasing smart weapon carriage by placing up to four smart weapons per 1760 store location.

The weapon system is capable of standoff ranges in excess of 40 nautical miles. The system can be targeted and released against single or multiple targets. SDB target coordinates are loaded into the weapon before release either on the ground or in the air by the aircrew. Once the weapon is released, it relies on GPS/INS to self-navigate to the desired impact point.

General Characteristics
Primary Function: Guided air-to-surface weapon
Contractor: Boeing Co.
Range: More than 40 nautical miles (46 miles)
Guidance System: Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation System
Unit cost: Approximately $40,000
Initial operational capability: October 2006

Source af.mil

SDB II Bomb

U.S. Air Force – William Lewis

Raytheon, the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy have begun SDB II™ bomb integration activities on the F-35, F/A-18E/F and F-15E aircraft.

The seeker works in three modes to provide maximum operational flexibility: millimeter wave radar to detect and track targets through weather, imaging infrared for enhanced target discrimination and semi-active laser that enables the weapon to track an airborne laser designator or one on the ground.

This powerful, integrated seeker seamlessly shares targeting information among all three modes, enabling the weapon to engage fixed or moving targets at any time of day and in all-weather conditions. The SDB II bomb’s tri-mode seeker can also peer through battlefield dust and debris, giving the warfighter a capability that’s unaffected by conditions on the ground or in the air.

The weapon can fly more than 45 miles to strike mobile targets, reducing the amount of time that aircrews’ spend in harm’s way. Its small size enables the use of fewer aircraft to take out the same number of targets as previous, larger weapons that required multiple jets. The SDB II bomb’s size has broader implications for the warfighter and taxpayers, as it means fewer attacks with less time spent flying dangerous missions.

The U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy have begun SDB II bomb integration activities on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft. Raytheon will complete integration on the F-15E Strike Eagle in 2017. Source: raytheon.com

CBU-105 cluster bombs

U.S. Air Force / Staff Sgt. Chris Thornbury

Joint direct attack munition (JDAM)

U.S. Air Force / Staff Sgt. Chris Thornbury

B61-12

businessinsider.com

Federation of American Scientists

The aircraft is also armed with an internal General Dynamics M-61A1 20mm Gatling gun installed in the right wing root, which can fire 4,000 or 6,000 shots a minute.

General Dynamics M-61A1 20mm Gatling gun

The M61A1 and M61A2 Gatlin guns are externally powered six-barrel 20mm Gatling gun systems that offer lightweight, highly lethal combat support for a variety of air, land and sea platforms.

The M61A1 and M61A2 increases multiple-hit probabilities when compared to single barrel guns operating at lower rates of fire. The M61A1 and M61A2 weapons provide reliability up to 10 times greater than single-barrel guns.

The M61A2 shares the same features as the M61A1, but is 20 percent lighter. The M61A2 will meet or exceed the M61A1 gun’s reliability, maintainability and supportability features. The M61A2 is available for applications where weapon system weight reduction is critical. Source gd-ots.com

Targeting

Neil Bates @flickr.com

The integrated avionics systems provide all-weather, around-the-clock navigation and targeting capability. The Raytheon APG-70 synthetic aperture radar displays high-quality images of ground targets. APG-70 is able to create and freeze the high-resolution ground maps during quick sweeps of the target area, lasting only seconds.

APG-70 synthetic aperture radar

radartutorial.eu

This X-Band, pulse-doppler radar system is a multimode radar for both air-air and air-ground missions. As an upgrade of the AN/APG-63, the APG-70 was designed for greater reliability and easier maintenance. Gate array technology enables the APG-70 to incorporate modes not available in earlier radars while providing greatly enhanced operational capabilities in other modes. The AN/APG-70 can detect and track aircraft and small high-speed targets at distances beyond visual range down to close range, and at altitudes down to treetop level.

The radar feeds target information into the aircraft’s central computer for effective weapons delivery. For close-in dogfights, the radar automatically acquires enemy aircraft and projects this information onto the cockpit head-up display. The APG-70 is employed on late model F-15 Eagle air superiority fighter, providing the “Eyes of the Eagle”. source radartutorial.eu

GENERAL DATA:
Type: Radar Altitude Max: 0 m
Range Max: 185.2 km Altitude Min: 0 m
Range Min: 0.4 km Generation: Early 1990s
Properties: Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) [Side Info], Non-Coperative Target Recognition (NCTR) – Jet Engine Modulation [Class Info], Track While Scan (TWS), Low Probability of Intercept (LPI), Pulse Doppler Radar (Full LDSD Capability), Synthetic Aperature Radar (SAR), Continuous Wave Illumination
SENSORS / EW:
AN/APG-70 – (F-15E, LPI) Radar
Role: Radar, FCR, Air-to-Air & Air-to-Surface, Medium-Range
Max Range: 185.2 km

Source cmano-db.com

USAF F-15Es are being fitted with the upgraded Raytheon APG-63(V)3 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar which has a new transmitter, receiver, data processor and signal data converter. The first was delivered to Boeing for flight tests in September 2006.

Raytheon APG-63(V)3 (AESA) radar

raytheon.com

Superior situational awareness is a key benefit of this all-weather, multimode radar. Other benefits include multi-role capability, long-term support, and easy future growth options. Raytheon’s F-15 radar growth plan provides a smooth transition from one product upgrade to another. The APG-63(V)1 seamlessly integrates the APG-63(V)3’s AESA components with minimal downtime. The APG-63(V)3 provides for similarly easy future transition. Source raytheon.com

GENERAL DATA:
Type: Radar Altitude Max: 0 m
Range Max: 296.3 km Altitude Min: 0 m
Range Min: 0.2 km Generation: Late 2000s
Properties: Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) [Side Info], Non-Coperative Target Recognition (NCTR) – Jet Engine Modulation [Class Info], Continous Tracking Capability [Phased Array Radar], Track While Scan (TWS), Low Probability of Intercept (LPI), Pulse Doppler Radar (Full LDSD Capability), Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA)
SENSORS / EW:
AN/APG-63(V)3 AESA – (LPI) Radar
Role: Radar, FCR, Air-to-Air & Air-to-Surface, Long-Range
Max Range: 296.3 km

Source cmano-db.com

APG-82(V)1 AESA radar

Delivering next-generation capabilities

The APG-82(V)1 AESA radar is the latest radar advancement for the U.S. Air Force F-15E fleet.

F-15E PLATFORM OPTIMIZATION

The APG-82(V)1 optimizes the F-15Es multirole mission capability. In addition to its extended range and improved multi-target track and precision engagement capabilities, the APG-82(V)1 offers improvement in system reliability over the legacy F-15E APG-70 radar. This phenomenal level of reliability and maintainability will result in significant maintenance cost savings for the U.S. Air Force.

LOW-RISK ENHANCEMENTS

By leveraging combat-proven technologies—the APG-79 and APG-63(V)3 AESA radars flying on the F/A-18E/F, the EA-18G and the F-15C platforms—Raytheon delivers a low-risk, cost-effective and superior situational awareness and attack radar to modernize the Strike Eagle.

EFFECTIVENESS AND SURVIVABILITY

Aircraft equipped with the APG-82(V)1 AESA radar can simultaneously detect, identify and track multiple air and surface targets at longer ranges than ever before. The longer standoff range facilitates persistent target observation and information sharing for informed decision making. This superior battlespace awareness supports greater tactical mission capability. The result: greatly increased aircraft-aircrew effectiveness and survivability.

PROVEN AESA TECHNOLOGY

Raytheon’s ground-breaking AESA technology has consistently proven its exceptional performance, reliability and mission capabilities for the warfighter. Our APG-79 AESA radar design, now extended to the APG-82(V)1, is combat-proven on fielded F/A-18s, and it’s being adapted now to modernize the Strike Eagle. Source raytheon.com

Rob_B84 @flickr

“The new radar system does everything faster, is extremely precise and requires less maintenance,” Riley said. “It can designate air-to-air and air-to-ground simultaneously, allowing us to track enemy aircraft and identify ground targets at the same time.”

According to the Air Force’s first RMP report, the new radar system is designed to retain functionality of the old legacy radar system while providing expanded mission employment capabilities to include:

– Near simultaneous interleaving of selected air-to-air and air-to-ground functions
– Enhanced air-to-air and air-to-ground classified combat identification capabilities
– Longer range air-to-air target detection and enhanced track capabilities
– Longer range and higher resolution air-to-ground radar mapping
– Improved ground moving target track capability

“In order to maintain our combat edge in today’s challenging environment, Air Combat Command must balance resources between refurbishing our existing fleet and investing in future weapon systems,” said Gen. Mike Hostage, the commander of ACC.

The RMP replaces the F-15E’s more than 20-year-old legacy APG-70 mechanically scanned radar with an active electronically-scanned array, or AESA, system designated as the APG-82(V)1.

“The old radar system is hydraulic, has moving parts and requires three maintainers to perform repairs after every 30 flight hours,” said Master Sgt. Jennifer Schildgen, a 366th Fighter Wing avionics manager. “The new radar system is a beam scan, doesn’t have any moving parts and is projected to only require one maintainer to perform repairs after more than 2,000 flight hours.”

The modification process is managed by Boeing representatives and takes two to three months to complete for each aircraft. The tentative plan is to complete RMP for 47 aircraft from the 389th FS and 391st Fighter Squadron by 2017.

So far, the F-15E fighter aircraft has flown more than 11 hours with the new radar. Source af.mil

GENERAL DATA:
Type: Radar Altitude Max: 0 m
Range Max: 407.4 km Altitude Min: 0 m
Range Min: 0.2 km Generation: Late 2010s
Properties: Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) [Side Info], Non-Coperative Target Recognition (NCTR) – Jet Engine Modulation [Class Info], Continous Tracking Capability [Phased Array Radar], Track While Scan (TWS), Low Probability of Intercept (LPI), Pulse Doppler Radar (Full LDSD Capability), Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA)
SENSORS / EW:
AN/APG-82(V)1 AESA – (F-15E, LPI) Radar
Role: Radar, FCR, Air-to-Air & Air-to-Surface, Long-Range
Max Range: 407.4 km

Source cmano-db.com

LANTIRN navigation and targeting system

US Air Force

The F-15E is fitted with the Lockheed Martin LANTIRN navigation and targeting system. The LANTIRN navigation pod contains a Forward-Looking Infrared (FLIR) sensor, which produces video images that are projected onto the pilot’s HUD, and terrain-following radar. The LANTIRN system can be coupled to the flight control system for hands-off terrain, following at altitudes as low as 200ft. The LANTIRN targeting pod contains a tracking FLIR and laser designator.

LANTIRN Extended Range (ER) navigation and targeting pods provide today’s warfighter with enhanced range, resolution and reliability delivering multi-mission success with a low cost of ownership. LANTIRN ER allows aircrews to operate, in daylight or darkness, at mission altitudes from sea level to 40,000 feet, all with outstanding targeting performance.  LANTIRN ER, which is the latest LANTIRN production configuration, is offered as a newly fabricated pod, or as an upgrade to existing pods. Source lockheedmartin.com

The FLIR imagery, for terrain following, avoidance and navigation, is generated by a wide field of view FLIR sensor, sensor, mounted in the port LANTIRN navigation pod, together with the terrain following radar (TFR). The second LANTIRN pod, starboard mounted, is termed the targeting pod. It contains a narrow field of view FLIR sensor, boresighted with a laser rangefinder/designator and importantly, in its later versions, an automatic target recogniser. Source ausairpower.net

The FLIR imagery, for terrain following, avoidance and navigation, is generated by a wide field of view FLIR sensor, sensor, mounted in the port LANTIRN navigation pod, together with the terrain following radar (TFR). The TFR is an advanced digital system which automatically controls its power output, both in direction and time (it will build up a terrain profile in its memory, store it, switch off and turn on again only when necessary to rebuild the profile), is frequency agile and can be configured for ground mapping. The frequency agility and silent on/off operation make it very difficult to detect. The second LANTIRN pod, starboard mounted, is termed the targeting pod. It contains a narrow field of view FLIR sensor, boresighted with a laser rangefinder/designator and importantly, in its later versions, an automatic target recogniser. Source ausairpower.net

LANTIRN stands for Low Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared for Night. This system consists of two pods hung under the air intakes – the AN/AAQ-13 navigation pod under the right intake and the AN/AAQ-14 targeting pod under the left intake. Since LANTIRN pods are in use with other platforms (A-10, F-16) where they have other hanging points, adaptor units are needed to fix them on the F-15E. The adaptor units are the ADU-576/A for the navigation pod and ADU-577/A for the targeting pod. This is the only place on the F-15E for them and they cannot be exchanged. Although both of the pods are capable of working alone, most of the time they come in pair, an F-15E with only one LANTIRN pod is a rare sight. Source f-15e.info

Navigation Pod

Michael Block

It contains a terrain-following ( TF) radar, a forward-looking infrared ( FLIR) sensor, plus a control computer, a power supply (the pod uses power from the aircraft’s power system) and an environmental control unit.

Both the TF radar and the FLIR are aimed at allowing the F-15E to make a high speed, low altitude penetratation of enemy airspace at night and/or in adverse weather conditions. These two systems give a powerful edge to the Strike Eagle when it comes to deep interdiction missions, thus making the jet an extremely capable night flying platform.

Terrain-Following Radar

The AN/APN-237A terrain-following radar is located behind the round radome forming the forward end of the pod. It is a KU band radar manufactured by Texas Instruments. When operating, it constantly scans the terrain in front of the jet and combining it with using altitude and airspeed data, it is able to generate inputs to the autopilot to maintain its pre-set altitude thus making the jet follow the contours of the terrain totally ‘hands off’, that is without inputs from the pilot. When the autopilot is not in use the TF radar is able to generate maneuvering cues for the pilot to avoid ground obstacles.

Forward Looking Infrared

The LANTIRN navigation pod contains a fixed, wide file of view (21×28 degrees), advanced 3rd generation mid-wave (8-12 micron) forward looking infrared ( FLIR) sensor. The window of this sensor can be found directly above the TF radome.

This FLIR sensor generates an infrared image of the terrain in front of the aircraft and projects it onto the pilot’s HUD. This way the pilot is able to see the terrain in front of him through the HUD in shades of green even in total darkness or in adverse weather conditions. Seeing the terrain the pilot can easily fly at high speeds very close to the ground, thus using terrain features (mountains, valleys) to avoid enemy detection. The WSO can view the same image on one of his multi-purpose display, by calling up the HUD-repeater page. Note that the repeated FLIR image is available for the WSO regardless of whether the pilot had actually chosen to put the FLIR image on the HUD or not. Source f-15e.info

Targeting Pod

Michael Block

Lockheed Martin created an improved version of the pod in 1995 mainly for the Navy’s F-14 Tomcats. This pod integrated the navigation and targeting features in one unit, plus brought many improvements over the previous two-pod LANTIRN system.

The targeting pod features a data-logging module ( DLM) which communicates with the pod’s control computer to provide real-time data recording and logging. Data can be analyzed after landing by connecting a portable data terminal into the appropriate socket outside of the pod. The DLM system can be of great help for the ground crew when trying to find minor or lower-level errors.

Targeting Laser

The pod contains a laser designator/rangefinder to aid the delivery of precision guided munitions (PGM’s) plus the software necessary to automatically track the selected target regardless of the maneuvering of its host plane. The designator is a four-digit PRF coded laser which can designate for the aircraft’s own weapons and for the weapons of other aircraft as well (this latter technique is called ‘buddy-lasing’). In case of unguided (‘dumb’) bombs the laser is used to determine target range and the pod feeds this input to the aircraft’s fire control system.

To be able to follow the target within wide limits, the nose section (called NESA – Nose Equipment Support Assembly) of the targeting pod can rotate, thus giving the laser a 150 degree field of regard. When the system is not operating, the nose rotates the vulnerable sensors towards the belly of the jet, thus protecting it from elements (this is especially useful during takeoff and landing when ground debris could cause severe damages to the sensors). Source f-15e.info

After obtaining a radar image of the target area, the F-15E aircrew can designate targets by positioning a cursor on the radar display. The target data is transferred to the LANTIRN system for use by the tracking FLIR, which enables aiming of air-to-ground weapons from up to ten miles. Target tracking data is handed automatically to precision-guided weapons such as low-level laser-guided bombs, which can be guided to the target after release.

In August 2001, Lockheed Martin was selected to provide the Sniper XR as the new Advanced Targeting Pod for USAF F-16 and F-15E aircraft. Sniper XR (extended range) incorporates a high-resolution mid-wave FLIR, dual-mode laser, CCD TV, laser spot tracker and laser marker combined with advanced image processing algorithms.

Sniper XR Advanced Targeting Pod

Michael Block

It is safe to say that the AN/AAQ-33 Sniper XR (manufactured by Lockheed Martin Corporation) is the most advanced targeting pod in service in the world today. Based on its predecessor, the LANTIRN targeting pod, it is far superior in range (3-5 times the range of LANTIRN), resolution, stability and in many other parameters. The first time in the history of targeting pods, it allows pilots to pick out even individual enemy soldiers on the ground from outside jet noise ranges. It is highly reliable, having an MTBF value (mean time between failures) of over 600 (!) hours. Its hardware and software configuration featuring “plug-and-play” flexibility across services and multiple platforms, Sniper XR can be used on A-10, B-1, B-52, F-15E, F-16 and F-18 aircraft. Source f-15e.info

Operational deployment of the Sniper pod on the F-15E began in January 2005, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

ANASQ-236 Radar Pod

Neil Bates @flickr.com

The AN/ASQ-236 Radar Pod contains synthetic aperture radar that provides detailed maps for surveillance, coordinate generation and bomb impact assessment purposes. It will be operational on the F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft.

Mission
The AN/ASQ-236 Radar Pod contains synthetic aperture radar that provides detailed maps for surveillance, coordinate generation and bomb impact assessment purposes. This technology provides Combat Air Forces with the ability to precisely geo-locate points of interest and conduct surveillance activities day or night, in adverse weather conditions.

Features
Operational on the F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft, the AN/ASQ-236 pod system is externally mounted and fully integrated with the aircraft. The radar pod is a self-contained system consisting of an antenna, inertial navigation system, and environmental cooling system. The antenna is attached to a positioner plate that allows it to move about the roll axis.

The pod design also incorporates a fully automated built-in-test, or BIT, that indicates the health of the system to the operator and maintenance crews. The BIT allows fault isolation to the line-replaceable module level enabling high system availability.

Background
Recognizing the need for an all-weather precision geo-location and reconnaissance system with the reliability and performance inherent in Active Electronically Scanned Array radars, the U.S. Air Force with Northrop Grumman embarked on a program in the late 1990s to design, fabricate, test and field a unique radar system known as the AN/ASQ-236.

Information concerning the design, development, and production of the ASQ-236 is classified to protect critical technologies and improved operational capabilities. By leveraging the technology development associated with the F-22 Raptor, the release of this new sensor will enhance all-weather precision geo-location and provide greater surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities supporting current and future operations.

General Characteristics
Primary function: Precision geo-location and non-traditional intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance
Prime Contractor: Northrop Grumman Corporation
Length: 130 inches (3.302 meters)
Diameter: 20 inches (0.508 meters)
Weight: 1, 000 pounds (454 kilograms)
Aircraft: F-15E
Date Deployed: June 2009
Inventory: Classified
Source af.mil

Passive Active Warning and Survivability System (EPAWSS)

The EPAWSS will give current and future Eagles more survivability when operating near or in contested airspace. The system allows F-15 pilots to monitor, locate and jam enemy radars, as well as deceive them about the Eagle’s position and heading.

“The system combines multispectral sensors and countermeasures, industry-leading signal processing, microelectronics, and intelligent algorithms to deliver fully integrated radar warning, situational awareness, geo-location and self-protection capabilities,” BAE said in a press release.

The EPAWSS was developed to protect F-15C/D and F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft in USAF’s fleet, and will be standard equipment on new F-15EX models, the first of which is to be delivered to the Air Force in the next few weeks. The company has been working on EPAWSS since 2015, when it was selected for the Technology Maturation and Risk Reduction (TMRR) phase. The engineering and manufacturing development contract followed in 2016. Source airforcemag.com

Digital Electronic Warfare Suite (DEWS) 

Electronic Warfare: Instead of the TEWS used in the Strike Eagle, the F-15SE features a digital electronic warfare system (developed by BAE Systems), dubbed as DEWS. DEWS was developed by leveraging F-22 and F-35 EW program results and replaces 4 legacy systems of the Strike Eagle. It is fully digital (hence its name) and works in close integration with wideband RF systems, including the APG-82 AESA radar, giving the jet a very sharp edge in the electronic warfare arena.

DEWS offers full quadrant detection and response control, containing aft receiving antennas on top of the tails, aft RF transmitters and antennas built in the tailbooms, forward RF transmitters and antennas built in the leading edge of the wing roots, forward receiving antennas built in the wingtips and a low band Rx knife antenna placed on the underbelly of the jet below the cockpit.

DEWS includes a digital RWR, digital jamming transmitter, ICS and an interference cancellation system. According to Boeing, the system enables the Silent Eagle to jam enemy radars while its own radar and RWR continues to operate. Source f-15e.info

Countermeasures

The aircraft is equipped with an integrated internal electronic warfare suite, including: Lockheed Martin AN/ALR-56C radar warning receiver; Northrop Grumman AN/ALQ-135(V) radar jammer; and Raytheon AN/ALQ-128 EW warner. Northrop Grumman is upgrading the ALQ-135 to band 1.5 standard. It is also fitted with a BAE Systems Integrated Defense Solutions (formerly Tracor) AN/ALE-45 automatic chaff dispenser.

Flight control

Steve Cooke

The F15E is equipped with a triple-redundant BAE SYSTEMS Astronics flight control system. Using manual terrain following, navigation is possible over rough terrain at altitudes down to 200ft, at nearly 600mph, with the pilot following commands from the LANTIRN system. Automatic terrain following is accomplished through the flight control system linked to the LANTIRN navigation pod’s terrain-following radar.

Engines

A 492nd Fighter Squadron’s F-15E Strike Eagle takes off from Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, Feb. 15, 2017. The 492nd FS trains regularly to ensure RAF Lakenheath brings unique air combat capabilities to the fight. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Matthew Plew)

F-15Es are equipped with Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-229 low-bypass turbofan engines, which provide 29,000lb of thrust per engine. Using the digital electronic engine control system, the pilot can accelerate from idle power to maximum afterburner within four seconds.

Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-229 low-bypass turbofan engines

The Pratt & Whitney F100 is a two-spool afterburning turbofan engine. The F100 has been selected by the U.S. Air Force (USAF), Navy, Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard (ANG) and 22 foreign nations for the Boeing F-15 Eagle/F-15E Strike Eagle and the Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon multi-role fighters. F100 engines power 99% of all USAF F-15 aircraft and 62% of the world’s inventory of F-16 fighters.

Michael Block

The latest model in the F100 Series, the F100-PW-229 (introduced in 1992), is an improved high-thrust improvement of the older F100-PW-220 (introduced in 1986). The F100-PW-229 incorporates proven technological innovations and generates more than 29,000 pounds of thrust with afterburner. The modular maintenance concept, coupled with a state-of-the art FADEC (Full Authority Digital Engine Control) system with improved, real-time engine monitoring and fault isolation capability, promotes the highest level of operational readiness.

The newest engine in the Pratt & Whitney 229-Series, the F100-PW-229 Engine Enhancement Package (EEP) – launched in 2004 – has raised the engine depot inspection interval from 4,300 to 6,000 Total Accumulated Cycles (TAC), effectively extending the typical depot interval from 7 to 10 years and, at the same time, providing a 30% engine life-cycle cost reduction. Furthermore, the F100-PW-229 engine is the only fighter engine funded and qualified by the U.S. Air Force to the 6,000-cycle capability.

Neil Bates @flickr.com

Manufacturer: Pratt & Whitney (United Technologies)
Thrust: 17,800 pounds dry thrust; 29,160 pounds with afterburner
Overall Pressure Ratio at Maximum Power: 32
Thrust-to-Weight Ratio: 7.6
Bypass Ratio: 0.36
Compressor: Two spool, axial flow, three-stage fan
LP-HP Compressor Stages: 0-10
HP-LP Turbine Stages: 2-2
Combustor Type: Annular
Length: 191 in (4.85 m)
Engine Control: FADEC
Diameter: 46.5 in (1.18 m)
Dry Weight: 3,836 lbs (1,744 kg)
Platforms: F-15E Strike EagleF-16 Fighting Falcon
Price/Unit Cost: Unknown
First Run: Unknown
First Flight: 1989

Source fi-powerweb.com

US Air Force / Staff Sgt. Taylor Harrison

Specification

General Characteristics
Primary function: Air-to-ground attack aircraft
Contractor: The Boeing Company
Power plant: Two Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-220 or 229 turbofan engines with afterburners
Thrust: 25,000 – 29,000 pounds each engine
Wingspan: 42.8 feet (13 meters)
Length: 63.8 feet (19.44 meters)
Height: 18.5 feet (5.6 meters)
Weight: 37,500 pounds ( 17,010 kilograms)
Maximum takeoff weight: 81,000 pounds (36,450 kilograms)
Fuel capacity: 35,550 pounds (three external tanks plus conformal fuel tanks)
Payload: depends upon mission
Speed: 1,875 mph (Mach 2.5 plus)
Range: 2,400 miles (3,840 kilometers) ferry range with conformal fuel tanks and three external fuel tanks
Ceiling: 60,000 feet (18,288 meters)
Armament: One 20mm multibarrel gun mounted internally with 500 rounds of ammunition. Four AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles and four AIM-120 AMRAAM or eight AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles. Any air-to-surface weapon in the Air Force inventory (nuclear and conventional)
Crew: Pilot and weapon systems officer
Unit cost: $31.1 million (fiscal year 98 constant dollars)
Initial operating capability: September 1989
Inventory: 219 total force

(Current as of April 2019)

Source af.mil

Main material source airforce-technology.com

Images are from public domain unless otherwise stated

Main image by Neil Bates @flickr.com

Revised Mar 30, 2021