On March 17, 2009, Boeing introduced a demonstration version of the F-15E’s upgraded version which has fifth generation fighter features. It was named as such for its ability to penetrate protected airspace undetected. This stealth will be optimized for air to air missions and much less effective against ground based radars.
The $100 million F-15 Silent Eagle (SE) still in development and the company has been seeking other companies to be risk sharing partners in order to reduce its development costs.
It has a length of 63.8ft, height of 18.5ft, wingspan of 42.8ft, wing area of 608 ft², and maximum speed of more than 1,650mph. It can fly up to 60,000ft and can weigh up to 81,000lbs. It has a seating capacity of 2 crew members. It is equipped with a 20mm M61 Vulcan Gatling gun with 510 rounds of ammunition, various bombs, missiles, and external tanks.
It is also equipped with APG-82 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, DEWS Electronic warfare system, Digital “Fly-by-Wire” Flight Control System (DFCS), Lockheed Martin Sniper advanced electro-optical targeting system and Infrared Search and Track (IRST) system, and Link-16 fighter data link.
Boeing also eliminated the distinctive canted tails from the early prototype and production configuration of the proposed stealthy F-15 SE. According to Boeing F-15 project Vice President Mark Bass, the canted tail design, highlighted during Boeing’s F-15SE unveiling in St Louis, Missouri has been abandoned until later stages of the project.
In the meantime, the project is planning to start weapons firing tests late this year. Bass also mentioned that a Raytheon AIM-9 or AIM-120 missile will be launched in July or August by an F-15 with the modified internal weapons bay.
The Silent Eagle was made for current F-15 users such as Israel, Saudi Arabia, Japan, and South Korea. But Boeing said that the F-15SE will be first formally offered to South Korea, which is expected to launch a competition for a fighter contract in early 2011. South Korea is also considering the Lockheed Martin F-35.
- flightglobal.com (http://bit.ly/d0JoiM)