Posts Tagged ‘f15 strike eagle’
The U.S. Air Force will have spent about $5.8 billion on F-15 programs between fiscal 2008 and fiscal 2017, with F-15E Strike Eagles accounting for about $3.2 billion of that total, according to an Aviation Week Intelligence Network (AWIN) analysis of data. Most of the work, about $3 billion, is for sustainment Read the rest of this entry »
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.
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.
An F-15 fighter jet crashed in Libya’s rebel held east, both crew ejecting safely as the aircraft spun from the sky during the third night of the U.S. and European air campaign. U.S. military said the two US airmen were force to eject from their F-15 after an apparent mechanical failure.
The F-15E came down in field of winter wheat and thistles outside the town of Bu Mariem, about 24 miles east of the rebel capital of Benghazi.
The aircraft, based at RAF Lakenheath, was flying out of Italy’s Aviano airbase in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn at the time of the incident.
“I saw the plane spinning round and round as it came down,” said Mahdi el-Amruni, who rushed to the crash site with other villagers. “It was in flames. They died away, then it burst in to flames again.”
By Tuesday afternoon, the F-15 plane‘s body was mostly burned to ash, with only the wings and tail fins intact.
Vince Crawley, a spokesman for the Africa Command, said both crew members had been safely recovered and had received only minor injuries. Crawley said the crash was likely to have been caused by mechanical failure rather than hostile fire. He declined to give the location of the crash and would not say how the rescued crewmen were picked up or where they were taken.
The crash was the first major loss for the U.S. and European military air campaign, which over three nights appears to have hobbled Qaddafi’s air defenses and artillery and rescued the rebels from impending defeat.
People near Mountain Home Air Force Base (MHAFB) in Idaho might hear F-15s in the skies this week.
From January 3 to January 7, Mountain Home Air Force Base F-15E Strike Eagles will be conducting medium altitude training over Idaho City, Pine and Boise.
In the morning and again in the afternoon, the F-15 jets will conduct limited flights at medium altitude over Pine and Idaho City. On January 7, some flights may also be conducted over the more urban areas of Boise.
MHAFB said the flights are in important part of providing aircrews the opportunity to practice tracking and identifying simulated targets in terrain that simulates areas they may encounter in future deployments.
At all times, aircrews will be in contact with Air Traffic Control agencies.
The magic and wonders of the transport of flight can now be viewed at an up-close and personal experience through Airforce Modelwork’s detailed plane models. The F-15E Strike Eagle Model Airplane is one that has been keenly fashioned into a piece that could send imaginations to work. Placing this model anywhere will surely attract the attention of many – sparking interest and delight into the eyes of its spectators.
High-quality raw materials were formed into amazing aircraft models by our talented artisans. The best materials and best craftsmen were part of the creative process to produce only the best wooden airplane models like the Strike Eagle F15 Plane Model and so much more. Bearing the distinct shape and markings of the original Strike Eagle, this model airplane is a definite must-have. Such a remarkable model deserves to be placed somewhere many people can take pleasure in setting their eyes on such a beauty.
About the F-15 Strike Eagle:
The F-15E Strike Eagle is an American all-weather ground attack strike fighter. It was designed in the 1980s for long-range, high speed interdiction without relying on escort or electronic warfare aircraft. The Strike Eagle, a major derivative of the F-15 Eagle air superiority fighter, was deployed in Operation Desert Storm and Operation Allied Force, carrying out deep strikes against high-value targets, combat air patrols, and providing close air support for coalition troops.
Boeing announced that they had entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd. (KAI) for KAI to design, develop and manufacture the Conformal Weapons Bay (CWB) for the F-15 Silent Eagle.
“KAI is a leading aerospace company with world-class core technical capabilities that complement Boeing’s,” said Roger Besancenez, Boeing F-15 program vice president. “We are excited about KAI’s growing role on the development and production of key technologies for Boeing aircraft.”
The CWB is an innovative internal carriage that will minimize the F-15SE’s radar signature and significantly increase its tactical options. The F-15SE is equipped with two internal bays — one on each side — and is designed for multiple carriage configurations, including advanced air-to-air and air-to-surface munitions.
The CWB is an option for any potential customer that requires the capability, and can be installed on either new-build or existing F-15 series aircraft. The modular CWB also can be removed from the F-15 when it is not required, enabling the aircraft to transform to an external configuration within a matter of hours.
“Korean industry is an important partner and supplier to Boeing. This agreement with KAI will strengthen and deepen a mutually beneficial relationship,” said Boeing Korea President Pat Gaines.
KAI builds the wings and forward fuselage for the F-15K program. KAI currently works with Boeing on programs including the AH-64D Apache, Peace Eye Airborne Early Warning and Control program, A-10 Wing Replacement Program, and all Boeing commercial airplane programs.
As the U.S. Congress mulls the administration’s plans to sell Saudi Arabia advanced F-15 strike jets and other weapons worth some $60 billion, Riyadh’s Persian Gulf partners are also looking at new combat aircraft to counter Iran.
Kuwait has expressed an interest in becoming one of the first operators of the Boeing F-15SE Silent Eagle, Jane’s Defense Weekly says.
The emirate has no F-15s in its combat aircraft inventory, which consists of two squadrons of Boeing F/A-18C/D Hornets, a total of 39 aircraft.
Jane’s says that any Kuwaiti acquisition of F-15s would augment its existing combat force, which may soon be upgraded, rather than replace the old jets.
The F-15 would provide a longer-range attack capability with heavier weapons, such as the air-to-ground AGM-164 Joint Standoff Weapon manufactured by Raytheon/Texas Instruments.
That seems to be a prime consideration in the gulf Arab states’ current procurement strategies for countering Iranian military power.
This is concentrated primarily in Iran’s growing missile arsenal, which is capable of launching large numbers of projectiles across the gulf at key oil installations of the Arab states and U.S. bases along the western shore.
“Kuwaiti interest in the Silent Eagle may indicate that long-held plans to acquire the French Dassault Rafale have finally been abandoned,” JDW observed.
Only Saudi Arabia possesses a tanker fleet among the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, which also groups Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain.
- upi.com -