Posts Tagged ‘f-15’
The F-15 Eagles of the US Air Force will be pushed to more than double their life with a series of upgrades.
“About two and a half years ago, the U.S. Air Force wanted fatigue tests on C models,” says Brad Jones, F-15 mission systems director for Boeing, which makes the aircraft.
As the F-15 fleet aircraft approached their life expectancies for total flight hours, the Air Force wanted see how far the service could delay fleet retirements, Jones said during a recent briefing with reporters. The design service life for the aircraft is 8,000 flight hours and the lead-the-fleet aircraft have flown more than 10,000 actual flight hours and counting, Boeing says.
Boeing is now working on full-scale fatigue test certifications to push F-15C/D models to 18,000 equivalent flight hours (EFHs) and F-15E models to 32,000 EHFs. “Structural fatigue improvements in current-production F-15s provide longer life and reduced maintenance requirements,” Boeing says.
“We do not have an end date for the F-15,” Jones says. Indeed, he says, there are several programs to make U.S. and international models better with age.
The F-15 radar modernization program proposes to retrofit all F-15Es by 2021 with APG-82(V)1 suites with APG-79 processors, which will offer a fivefold improvement over the APG-63(V)3 equipment in reliability and effectiveness. The initial operational capability for the radar work is early 2014.
The Advanced Display/Core Processor II (ADCP II) program will replace all the computers in U.S. F-15Es and serve as the baseline computer for all future aircraft sales. The new computers increase computing power, adding additional gigabit Ethernet and fiber channel connections, with a Milestone B decision scheduled in November. “The U.S. Air Force has a display upgrade working team up now,” Jones says.
Boeing also is offering an advanced cockpit system that includes a large-area display, low-profile head-up display, reference standby display and low-profile engine fuel hydraulics display, all of which replace 23 existing displays, instruments and indicators.
“It’s more for situational awareness,” Jones says, adding the improvements significantly lower the cost of the aircraft, for both purchase price and life cycle costs.
The proposed new Digital Electronic Warfare System (DEWS) replaces several legacy systems, such as the radar warning receiver, jammer internal countermeasures set, countermeasures dispenser and interface blanker.
With DEWS, there is no need for a waveguide or nitrogen pressurization, Boeing says, and the digital system provides more than 200% throughput and memory growth reserve as well as better operation with wideband agile radars and other RF systems.
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On July 27, 1972, Pratt and Whitney will celebrate 40 years of F100 propulsion, marking the development and delivery of its first F100 engines.
Pratt & Whitney’s F100 engine is one of the most successful fighter engines in history. The combat-proven engine has more than 27 million engine flying hours of experience. Pratt & Whitney has built more than 7,200 F100 engines for 23 countries around the world.
F-100 engine powers the F-15, F-16 and X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS), with an expanding F100 family of variants. Twenty-four customers worldwide have selected the F100 to power their F-15 and F-16 fighter jets over the past 40 years.
“For 40 years, the F100 engine has provided air forces around the world with superior performance and modern propulsion capabilities,” said Bev Deachin, Vice President, Pratt & Whitney Military Programs & Customer Support. “We look forward to continuing to provide our customers with the world-class safety and reliability the industry has enjoyed from the F100.”
Pratt & Whitney is a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft engines, space propulsion systems and industrial gas turbines. United Technologies, based in Hartford, Conn., is a diversified company providing high technology products and services to the global aerospace and commercial building industries.
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In 1993, Col. Jeannie Leavitt became the first female fighter pilot of the U.S. Air Force. In less than 20 years, she has been tapped as a commander of an Air Force combat fighter wing. Leavitt is the first woman to hold such position.
“It helped that once we started flying, people began to see that we were there because of our abilities and not our gender,” Leavitt said in an exclusive telephone interview with The Associated Press. “I don’t see it as a ‘first’ sort of thing. I see it as an incredible opportunity, an incredible honor, to lead a unit with its history and heritage.”
Leavitt has flown more than 2,500 hours with the F-15 Strike Eagle, including 300 hours of combat flying mostly in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Leavitt entered the Air Force in 1992 through the ROTC program of Univeristy of Texas where she earned an aerospace engineering degree. Since then, Leavitt had earned four more masters degree and several military medals, including a Bronze Star.
Col. Jeannie Leavitt has served as an instructor at the elite Air Force Weapons School where she was also the first female graduate. She had also served one year in Washington, D.C., on a special assignment with the CIA. She also as a commander of a fighter squadron and deputy commander of an operations group in Afghanistan.
With her new position, Col. Jeannie Leavitt will take over the 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson Air Base, handling one of the three military units that operate F-15Es. She will be in charge of the wing’s 5,000 men and women on active duty.
News source: abcnews.go.com
An innocuous-seeming U.S. Air Force press release. A serendipitous satellite image in Google Earth. Snapshots from a photographer on assignment at a Spanish air base. The crash of an Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle fighter-bomber in the United Arab Emirates. These are some of the fragments of information that Italian aviation blogger David Cenciotti has assembled to reveal the best picture yet of the Pentagon’s secretive war in the Arabian Peninsula and East Africa.
In a series of blog posts over the past two weeks, Cenciotti has described in unprecedented detail the powerful aerial force helping wage Washington’s hush-hush campaign of air strikes, naval bombardments and commando raids along the western edge of the Indian Ocean, including terror hot spots Yemen and Somalia. Cenciotti outlined the deployment of eight F-15Es from their home base in Idaho to the international air and naval outpost at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, north of Somalia.
Over the years there have been hints of the F-15s’ presence in East Africa, but “their actual mission remains a (sort-of) mystery,” Cenciotti writes. Based on the evidence, he proposes that the twin-seat fighter-bombers — one of the Air Force’s mainstay weapon systems in Afghanistan — are dropping bombs on al-Qaida-affiliated militants in Yemen. If true, that means the U.S. intervention in the western Indian Ocean is far more forceful, and risky, than previously suggested.
Ten years ago the Air Force openly acknowledged the initial F-15E rotation in Djibouti, but since then the flying branch has released few details. New official information on the Indian Ocean aerial armada has emerged only after airplanes crashed. An accident involving an Air Force MQ-9 Reaper drone in the Seychelles late last year forced the Pentagon to admit it was building a drone base on the island nation. Reporters followed the Seychelles lead to uncover additional Reaper bases in Yemen and Ethiopia. Armed drones operated by the CIA and the military have killed scores of militants in Somalia and Yemen under steadily loosening rules of engagement.
Similarly, the deaths of four American airmen in a crash in Djibouti in February confirmed the involvement of the secretive U-28 spy plane in the escalating intervention.
The F-15Es carry more bombs and fly much faster than the Cessna-size, propeller-driven Reapers. Where the long-endurance drones are persistent and patient, the twin-engine Strike Eagles are fast-reacting and powerful. “When you need to quickly reach a distant target and hit it with a considerable payload, you might find a Strike Eagle a better platform,” Cenciotti explains. On the other hand, “air strikes with conventional planes are considered less respectful of the local nation’s sovereignty than drones’ attacks,” he adds. “This could be the reason for keeping the eventual F-15E involvement in the area a bit confidential.”
Again, it was a crash that helped draw reporters’ attention to the F-15s in Djibouti. In early May a photographer friend of Cenciotti photographed several Strike Eagles passing through Spain’s Moron air base en route to an unspecified deployed location. One of the F-15s crashed near its next layover in the United Arab Emirates. (The two crew members ejected safely.) Cenciotti scrutinized the aircraft involved and matched them up with a Pentagon press release describing a change-of-command ceremony for a fighter squadron in Djibouti.
An image from Google Maps showing six F-15s on the ground in Djibouti helped confirm Cenciotti’s theory that Strike Eagles are active in the Indian Ocean region. Evidence the jets are bombing Yemen is more circumstantial: Cenciotti notes that the pro-U.S. Yemeni air force was on strike at the time of one widely reported air raid in the country, meaning another nation was likely responsible for the hit.
The 37-year-old Cenciotti rivals ace Aviation Week reporter Bill Sweetman for breaking news about military aircraft. But his strict focus on aviation means he misses other compelling evidence of the U.S. shadow war in East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. The Navy maintains around 30 warships in the Indian Ocean as part of several international task forces. American destroyers have launched missiles and fired guns at terrorists in Somalia and Yemen.
But arguably the most interesting vessels in the area are also the least flashy. Lewis and Clark-class supply ships, normally used to carry fuel and cargo, have also been used as Afloat Forward Staging Bases — in essence, seaborne military camps for housing Special Forces and launching helicopters and small boats. The ships can be configured with makeshift jails for holding captured pirates and, in theory, terror suspects.
The Lewis and Clark class ship Carl Brashear visited Djibouti in early May, according to a military press release. Where the ship went next — and what exactly she did there — is unclear. But if Cenciotti’s investigation of the F-15s is any indication, there could be a surprising truth beneath the layers of official secrecy concealing America’s underreported Indian Ocean shadow war.
News source: wired.com
The 120th Fighter Wing of the Montana Air National Guard will extend its current air combat alert mission at Joint Base Pearl-Hickam, Hawaii until September 2012.
The extension is a result of a recent decision to leave the F-15 mission at MANG longer than originally anticipated. MANG is performing the 24-hour alert mission in Hawaii while that base converts from the F-15 to the newer, more high-tech F-22 Raptor. Approximately 30 pilots, maintainers and logistics personnel, in addition to six F-15s, from MANG have been deployed to Hawaii since August of last year. They were originally scheduled to return in January 2012.
When the personnel were fist deployed, a MANG spokesman said many of those making the trip had sold their homes or rented them out in anticipation of a long deployment.
An alert-status mission means the F-15s must be ready 24 hours a day, seven days a week to fly at a moment’s notice if an aircraft is in trouble or an unidentified plane enters restricted airspace or acts erratically, according to MANG officials.
An IAF F-15 fighter jet was forced to make an emergency landing on Thursday after one of its engines caught fire during a routine training flight. Initial details suggest the F-15′s engine caught fire due to a bird-strike. The jet landed safely at the Tel Nof Air Base. The pilots were unharmed.
A military source confirmed the incident, adding: “Around 11:20am, an F-15 on a training flight was hit by a bird. The pilot and copilot followed procedure and immediately aborted the flight landing safely.
“The jet is currently undergoing a mechanical and technical inspection to determine whether it sustained any damage.”
Bird strikes, or BASH (Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard) are considered a significant threat to both civilian and military flight safety. In most cases, a bird hits the windscreen or flies into the engines, causing them to fail.
Luckily the majority of BASH incident do not cause human fatalities.
There are rumblings that the Boeing F-15 deal with Saudi Arabia is delayed. There are also speculation the Saudis are upset with President Obama’s support of Arab Spring demonstrations or his opposition to Palestine becoming a state through U.N. approval.
“We hear the same rumblings, but to narrow it down or be able to pinpoint it, we’re up in the air about that right now. We don’t know,” said Aerospace Machinists president Gordon King.
“They are keeping it pretty close chested of what the reasons might be”
King feels the Saudis are still interested with the F-15s, but admits there has been a hold-up in the transfer of money.
Fighter pilots from the Massachusetts Air National Guard, flying Supersonic F-15 Eagles were the first called to action on September 11th, as commercial jetliners became the tools of terrorists. Their response was immediate. Those F-15’s flown by members of the 102nd Fighter Wing from Otis Air National Guard Base on Cape Cod were the dominant force in the skies over New York City.
“I think for any of us being out there and seeing our country come under attack is something we’ve all had to get adjusted to, not only for the military, but for everyday life for all of us,” said Col. Donald Quenneville, Commander of the 102nd Fighter Wing.
Since that day in September, the role of the 102nd Fighter wing has been stepped-up. Every day, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) gives them a new mission depending on where they’re needed. From Canada to Washington, D.C. and as far west as Detroit, their purpose is to keep civilians on the ground safe from other air attacks.
The 102nd Fighter Wing gave 22News reporter Patti Smith the rare opportunity to fly along on one of those sensitive F-15 missions. Hours before takeoff, Guardsmen and women outfitted her with the necessary gear: from a flight suit and boots to a parachute harness and G-suit designed to prevent blood from escaping vital organs during high-velocity maneuvers, and finally, an oxygen mask.
Next, there was an emergency training session in an F-15 flight simulator. There, Smith learned how to quickly exit the jet and how to operate her parachute should she need it. Then, it was on to a final briefing with Col. Donald Quenneville, who was her pilot.
Taking off armed with a home video camera, Smith began the trip.
In full after-burner, they began their climb to cruising altitude in just two minutes; a level that the government asked us not to disclose. For national security reasons, there are details about the flight such as airspeed that we were not permitted to disclose. At top speed, however, the F-15 can make the trip from Otis to New York in less than 10 minutes. Smith’s trip took her to New York in about 20 minutes.
She asked Quenneville whether there is someone over New York every 24 hours a day. “Our tasks come from NORAD, so it’s whatever they determine,” Quenneville said. “Believe me, in the interest of safety and security, we’ve had a lot of presence over New York.
The flight took Smith right over Ground Zero, which more than two months after the attacks, was still smoldering.
Still above New York, they flew alongside of the F-15’s taking part in the day’s mission, and then headed in to link-up with an Air Force refueling tanker. Refueling tankers like the one they encountered allow F-15 Eagles to stay up in the air for extended periods.
Their orders come from NORAD, and until the terrorist attacks, their main role was to defend the U.S. from external threats, but that changed on September 11, and so did the appearance of the enemy. “Up until the 11th of September, no one could have imagined it could possibly be an airline wearing an American Airlines logo,” Quenneville said. He added that F-15 fighter pilots have had to adjust to the idea that they may someday receive an order from above to fire at a civilian aircraft during another attack. But we also have to look at it from the perspective that that’s no longer a jet liner; its a guided missile that’s trying to create havoc in our country and cause further harm.”
For now, these missions that originate on Cape Cod will continue indefinitely; the result of the hard work of the 1,100 full and part-time members of the military who’ve been called to duty. “It’s important to let the American public know that their skies over their country are safe and secure,” Quenneville said.
Lt. Col. Wes “Pappy” French, a Kingsley Field instructor pilot, passed a significant flying milestone this summer. On June 8, the 45-year-old fighter jet pilot logged his 3,000th hour flying the F-15, becoming the third active Kingsley pilot to reach the mark.
If you do the math, that’s 125 days spent roaming the skies in the tight cockpit of the air-to-air fighter jet.But that doesn’t take into consideration the countless hours French and about 25 other instructor pilots at Kingsley spend preparing to the fly the $30 million machines.
“Every milestone has been a proud moment, but to me the more important part is that every hour I’m up there I’m providing good training for the guys I’m working with,” said French, a member of the Oregon Air National Guard’s 173rd Fighter Wing.
Instructor pilots at Kingsley fly about four days a week, logging five to six hours in the air over that time period. Kingsley trains pilots to fly the F-15 and is the base to train pilots on the F-15C, a single-seat version of the fighter jet.
“We take a guy that is straight out of pilot school and train him for about six months to make the F-15 a fighting machine,” French said. “It’s very tough for them.”
Source: Herald and News
Boeing delivered three F-15K Slam Eagle aircraft to the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) at Daegu Air Base on Aug. 20.
“We are pleased to receive the latest three F-15K Slam Eagles, F-15K 51, 52 and 53, from Boeing,” said Lt. Col. Tae Uk Kim, Commander of the 110th Squadron, 11th Fighter Wing, ROKAF.
The aircraft left the Boeing St. Louis facility on Aug. 16 and made stops in Palmdale, Calif., Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, and Anderson Air Force Base, Guam, before arriving in Korea.
Boeing delivered the first six of 21 F-15Ks it is producing under the Next Fighter II contract in 2010, followed by two in April and two more in May. The remaining eight aircraft will be delivered through April 2012.
“Our long-term cooperative relationship enables Boeing and Korean industry to ensure the ROKAF continues to fly a superior multi-role aircraft in defense of Korea,” said Roger Besancenez, Boeing F-15 Program vice president.
The F-15K is an advanced variant of the combat-proven F-15E. Equipped with the latest technological upgrades, it is extremely capable, survivable and maintainable. The aircraft’s service life is planned through 2040, with technology insertions and upgrades throughout its life cycle.