Friday Jun 17, 2016
Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) intends to negotiate and award a Firm-Fixed-Price (FFP) contract with Boeing for the integration of the AGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missile on the Saudi F-15SA. The notice was made on the US Federal Business Opportunities website. NAVAIR’s plan to award Boeing the contract was justified as the company “alone has the experience, special skills; proprietary technical documentation, software/algorithms; facilities and manufacturing techniques required to produce, assemble and integrate this equipment and furnish the supplies and services within the required timeframe.”
The Harpoon missile provides the Navy and the Air Force with a common missile for air, ship, and submarine launches. The weapon system uses mid-course guidance with a radar seeker to attack surface ships. Its low-level, sea-skimming cruise trajectory, active radar guidance and warhead design assure high survivability and effectiveness. The Harpoon missile and its launch control equipment provide the warfighter capability to interdict ships at ranges well beyond those of other aircraft.
The Harpoon missile was designed to sink warships in an open-ocean environment. Other weapons (such as the Standard and Tomahawk missiles) can be used against ships, but Harpoon and Penguin are the only missiles used by the United States military with anti-ship warfare as the primary mission. Once targeting information is obtained and sent to the Harpoon missile, it is fired. Once fired, the missile flys to the target location, turns on its seeker, locates the target and strikes it without further action from the firing platform. This allows the firing platform to engage other threats instead of concentrating on one at a time.
|Primary Function:||Air-to-surface anti-ship missile|
|Mission||Maritime ship attack|
|Service||Navy and Air Force|
|Contractor:||Boeing [ex McDonnell Douglas]|
|Power Plant:||Teledyne Turbojet and solid propellant booster for surface and submarine launch|
|12 feet, 7 inches
|14 feet, 8 inches
|Diameter:||13.5 inches (34.29 centimeters)|
|Wingspan:||3 feet (91.44 centimeters)|
|Range:||Greater than 60 nautical miles||150+ miles|
|Guidance System:||Sea-skimming cruise with mid-course guidance monitored by radar altimeter, active seeker radar terminal homing||inertial navigation system with GPS, infrared terminal guidance|
|Warheads:||Penetration high-explosive blast (488 pounds)|
F-15S and SA
The F-15S is a variant of the F-15E supplied to the Royal Saudi Air Force in the 1990s. Saudi Arabia previously sought to buy up to 24 F-15Fs, a proposed single-seat variant, but was blocked by the U.S. Congress. The F-15S, initially referred to as F-15XP, is almost identical to the USAF F-15E, the only major difference in the AN/APG-70 radar’s performance in synthetic aperture mode. 72 were built from 1996 to 1998. In October 2007, GE announced a US$300 million contract with Saudi Arabia for 65 GE F110-GE-129C engines for the F-15S.
The F-15SA is a new version for the Saudi Arabian Air Force. The F-15SA will have a modern fly-by-wire flight control system in place of the hybrid electronic/mechanical system used by all previous F-15s. The variant includes the APG-63(v)3active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, digital electronic warfare systems (DEWS), infrared search and track (IRST) systems, and other advanced systems. It also includes a redesigned cockpit originally intended for the F-15SE. The fly-by-wire system will allow the carriage of weapons on the previously unused outer wing weapon stations. @wikiwand.com
Saudi F-15SA – image @foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com
When it comes to weapons, the F-15SA can carry almost anything in the inventory. In the incredible image above showing an “extreme multi-role loadout” it packs: 2x AIM-120AMRAAMs, 2x AIM-9X Sidewinders, 2x AGM-84 SLAM-ERs, 2x AGM-88 HARMs, 6x GBU-54/B Laser JDAMs, and 8x GBU-39/B Small Diameter Bombs.
Also, the F-15SA still packs the F-15E’s 20mm Vulcan cannon with 540 rounds available. Basically, with this jet you get a tactical fighter force “in a box.” The loadout shown above includes weapons for long-range stand-off deep-strike, suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD), counter-air, direct precision attack and standoff precision attack all on the jet at the same time. Even after all that, the F-15SA’s center-line station remains unused, which can accommodate up to a 2,000lb JDAM, an external fuel tank or even a synthetic aperture radar surveillance pod.
Saudi F-15SA with Infrared Search and Track system – image @foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com
The image above shows the F-15SA once again, albeit this time it is in an air-to-air configuration, including no less than eight AIM-120 AMRAAMs and eight AIM-9X Sidewinders. This amounts to double the missile carrying capability of the F-15C or F-15E. Also note the Infrared Search and Track system mounted above the jet’s radome. This, combined with its state of the art radar’s low probability of intercept modes, advanced radar warning receiver and Link 16 data-link, allows the F-15SA to hunt for enemy aircraft in electromagnetic silence while still maintain high-situational awareness. @foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com