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Internal weapons bay  (Source: Boeing)
Boeing and South Korea expected to enter deal for F-15SE Silent Eagle

If Boeing is able to secure an export license for the F-15SE "Silent Eagle" jet, the company plans to offer it to South Korea and other interested clients.

Boeing and South Korean officials have communicated about a possible deal over the past 12 months, but Boeing has had to wait until the F-15SE's low-observable jet stealth technology is evaluated.

The U.S. contractor believes its fighter jet is ideal because it's customizable and can support larger digital cockpit displays, AESA radar, newer radar absorbent coatings, and other features unavailable in older aircraft.

The expected price tag of the F-15SE is about $100 million, but can changed depending on the technology and hardware installed.

The country reportedly "has asked for information on Silent Eagle so now we've applied for the [license] and we hope to get that before the end of the month," said Brad Jones, Boeing F-15SE program manager, in an interview.  "As soon as the export license is provided, then I can provide [marketing] information to a country."

The aircraft was publicly introduced in 2009, and some military analysts believe it could help fill a possible fighter gap.  Boeing was unsure if it would offer the F-15SE to other nations, but South Korea first asked in late 2009 -- Boeing filed the necessary paperwork in early 2010, and expects to receive approval to sell the aircraft.

It's not uncommon for South Korea, Japan, Britain, and other U.S. allies to receive U.S. fighter jets in exchange for money and other forms of compensation -- but the U.S. government must approve of any deals before they're completed.

The aircraft is a technological step ahead of U.S. jets in use today (save for the F-22 Raptor), but still doesn't compare to the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) from Lockheed Martin.

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Where has Chillin been?
By Lord 666 on 7/9/2010 7:51:08 AM , Rating: 1
He would be the first person to say that Israel would pick some of these up before South Korea... and rightly so.

RE: Where has Chillin been?
By EJ257 on 7/9/2010 8:51:34 AM , Rating: 2
SK, Israel, and Japan are the ones who will likely get this. I also like to see USAF, Canada and Australia get some too but I think their set on the JSF and Saudi Arabia is getting the EF-2000.

RE: Where has Chillin been?
By HotFoot on 7/9/2010 10:34:16 AM , Rating: 4
At $100M/copy these F-15SE had better be very economical to operate. I originally thought the F-15SE was a great idea - a generation 4.5 fighter with some evolved/modernised design implementations on a well-proven and still excellent design. However, I'd hoped the price would have been closer to the F/A-18E/F.

The F-22 was severely curtailed because it was to cost $93M/copy (incrementally). While it has some issues regarding support/availability, that $93M is starting to look like a bargain compared to the F-35 and now the F-15SE.

By inperfectdarkness on 7/9/2010 12:41:48 PM , Rating: 5
now you're catching on.

f-15 SE & F-35's are now eclipsing the incremental cost for f-22's. at what point do we finally kick ourselves for NOT listening to the USAF leadership who told us a LONG time ago that we needed f-22's?

just wait until the EOL airframe problems start attacking the entire fighter fleet EN-MASSE because we decided we could replace the legacy fighters on a 1:4 basis. you think maintenance is a headache on a 35 year old airframe? wait until the f-22 is the same age & has flown 4x as much to compensate for the lack of fighters.

RE: Where has Chillin been?
By 91TTZ on 7/9/2010 1:41:34 PM , Rating: 2
The F-22 was severely curtailed because it was to cost $93M/copy (incrementally). While it has some issues regarding support/availability, that $93M is starting to look like a bargain compared to the F-35 and now the F-15SE.

The F-22 cost about $150 per aircraft (incrementally)

RE: Where has Chillin been?
By MrTeal on 7/9/2010 2:00:24 PM , Rating: 3
I'll take 10!

RE: Where has Chillin been?
By roadhog1974 on 7/12/2010 6:49:48 PM , Rating: 2
its the insurance that is the killer.

RE: Where has Chillin been?
By 91TTZ on 7/9/2010 9:13:10 AM , Rating: 4
Israel already has their version of the F-15E, called the F-15I. While this F-15SE is newer, it wouldn't make sense for Israel to spend the money to replace relatively new fighters.

RE: Where has Chillin been?
By monkeyman1140 on 7/9/2010 4:54:16 PM , Rating: 2
Israel decided against having more F-15s because the F-16I gives them sufficient capability and they can get more of them as part of their $2.0 billion dollar aid package.

RE: Where has Chillin been?
By Chillin1248 on 7/9/2010 8:17:15 PM , Rating: 2

It is actually a big issue here whether we will purchase the F-35 at all.

"Despite the recognition that the IAF needs the new stealth fighter to maintain its qualitative edge within the Middle East, Israel has sofar delayed its decision due to a number of reservations by the Air Force, regarding the aircraft operational range, payload and avionic suite. Through all its recent aircraft acquisitions, Israel insisted including a comprehensive array of electronic systems, primarily electronic warfare suits, command, control and communications, as well as specific weapons operated by the IAF, that provided the Israeli variants of such fighters a qualitative edge over similar types operated by Egypt, Jordan or Saudi-Arabia. These systems also provided the new fighters to be fully integrated within the Israeli command and control system, optimally operate under all conditions, and be prepared to employ indigenously developed weaponry, such as the Spice EO standoff guided weapon or Delilah loitering missiles, which have to be individually integrated into the operating systems of IAF fighters."

Also with the Israeli capability for electronic warfare, which was generously demonstrated during the 2007 attack on the Syrian nuclear reactor, the stealth factor of the aircraft in question becomes somewhat mitigated. As seen on the graph below (which is an expert analysis of the stealth and not official) the F-35 is mainly stealthy on the frontal axis, while the sides and rear are very much radar deflectors:

Here is some further reading of the F-35 issues:

Am I saying that Israel will not purchase F-35s, absolutely not. However it will be in much reduced quantities than previously acknowledged. With the proliferation of advanced long range and armed UAV's in the Israeli inventory the emphasis placed on the F-35's strike capability is reduced, with in turn the emphasis being placed on its air combat abilities.


Hard Data
By Reclaimer77 on 7/9/2010 3:29:44 PM , Rating: 4
I would really like to see some hard data on this aircraft. It might be slightly more radar resistant than the current F-15's but it's certainly FAR from anything that could be called "stealth" or even "stealthy".

The two biggest areas of concern are the vertical stabilizers being slanted in the wrong direction and the canopy. You will certainly get HUGE radar returns from the stabilizers no matter what they are coated with. The canopy itself is also far too high and visible. You will get radar returns off the ejection seat and even the pilots helmet.

When you read about the massive R&D that went into the B-2 and F-117 and later the F-22, and how much testing and retesting back to the drawing board it took to get it right; you realize that the only way to develop a stealth aircraft is from the ground up. With every design decision being made with that goal in mind. You can't simply "retrofit" an aircraft to be stealth.

RE: Hard Data
By skyyspam on 7/10/2010 5:28:45 AM , Rating: 2
My biggest complaint is that extra seat in the back. I'd rather have another thousand pounds of gas.

RE: Hard Data
By EJ257 on 7/12/2010 8:37:47 AM , Rating: 2
The two biggest areas of concern are the vertical stabilizers being slanted in the wrong direction and the canopy.

The vertical stabilizers are slanted in the same direction as the F-22 and F-35, its not at the same angle (only 15 degrees on the F-15SE) but its definitely the same direction. No comment on the canopy.

As for the rest, the new stealth coating and internal weapons bay certainly helps but even Boeing admits its no F-22 in terms of stealth and only a match for F-35 in terms of frontal stealth (to meet US Govt. export conditions). I think the bigger improvements are in the electronics (avionics) and engines (supercruise).

I'm still not convinced about the F-35
By monkeyman1140 on 7/9/2010 4:51:52 PM , Rating: 1
Its more expensive, its slower, it has less range, it has less power, it can't carry as much arnament.

Exactly why did we greenlight the F-35, if only to make the military industrial complex happy?

By Jeffk464 on 7/10/2010 1:28:17 AM , Rating: 1
seriously, it seems like we should have taken the money we put into the F-35 and put it into making more F-22s. Oh well I guess the government didn't know how much the F-35 was going to be delayed and go into massive cost overruns. The idea was that is was suppose to be a cheaper warplane then the f-22. Why is it the airlines are always able to avoid getting screwed over by aerospace companies?

RE: I'm still not convinced about the F-35
By Reclaimer77 on 7/10/2010 12:09:27 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly why did we greenlight the F-35

Because buying more F-22's was somehow "more expensive" than building a new fighter from the ground up...

Yeah, if that makes sense to ANYONE I would really like to hear it.

RE: I'm still not convinced about the F-35
By gamerk2 on 7/12/2010 9:29:53 AM , Rating: 1
The F-35 was initally supposed to be a plane for ALL the servies [prior to the AF pulling out], that could fufill every role imagineable.

Problem is, current planes do those same roles better; F-15/F18 are better pure dogfighters, the A-10 has it beat on ground attack runs. The JSF was simply meant to be the plane that would make everyone happy and share enough parts to drive down prices.

I think a much better investment would be to create remote control systems; the planes can do far more then pilots could live through to begin with, so remove the pilots and make a few hundred more of our current fighters. Cheapest option avaliable in my mind.

By monkeyman1140 on 7/12/2010 10:09:08 AM , Rating: 1
The F-35 was supposed to be "The Next F-16". It was assumed it would be an export plane, delivered to the militaries of the free world.

What they didn't expect was a resurgent Europe and its quite capable indigenous military industries. The Rafale and the Eurofighter far outclass the F-35 and many of the world's militaries are looking for a more reliable supplier than the USA.

We have a bad habit of embargoing governments the moment they don't do what we tell them to, so no country wants to be overly dependent on just American hardware. Look what happened to Iran and Venezuela, both which had to hurriedly switch over their militarys to more available Russian and European hardware.

By marvdmartian on 7/12/2010 10:48:32 AM , Rating: 1
Not only that, but the F35 has to not only be able to take off from an Air Force long-ass runway, but also have the VTOL capabilities that the Marines want, as well as being able to take the high stress catapult launches and arresting wire recoveries of a carrier at sea.

How much would it have cost to re-develop the F22's to do those last 2 jobs??

By TxJeepers on 7/10/2010 8:20:39 AM , Rating: 2
I don't care who you are the F15 is a damn sexy bird! And in this day and age it is about sex! The F35 is a little midget fighter. Kind of hard not to look at but does not do a lot for you, while on the other hand, the F15 sure is fine looking and you want to get in the seat of that baby! Come on now!

Fighter gap?
By WinstonSmith on 7/9/10, Rating: -1
RE: Fighter gap?
By Kenenniah on 7/9/2010 9:35:41 AM , Rating: 5
The fighter gap isn't about comparing the US to other countries. It has to do with the increasing cost of maintaining aging aircraft while waiting for the next gen airraft like the JSF to enter production.

RE: Fighter gap?
By 91TTZ on 7/9/2010 9:57:30 AM , Rating: 2
The gap they are referring to is the gap between the last generation of fighters made in the 1970's such as the F-14, F-15, and F-16 and the latest generation such as the F-22 and F-35.

RE: Fighter gap?
By TechIsGr8 on 7/9/10, Rating: -1
RE: Fighter gap?
By TechIsGr8 on 7/9/10, Rating: -1
RE: Fighter gap?
By softbatch on 7/9/2010 5:41:34 PM , Rating: 4
I'd rather pay the military half (which is a service actually provided) than the 30% that goes to "Human Resources" (excepting Public Education) out of my Federal Taxes.

Not to mention when looking at total amount of money the Federal Government takes from me under the threat of incarceration the defense budget is only 20%.

RE: Fighter gap?
By FITCamaro on 7/9/2010 8:11:31 PM , Rating: 3
Are you fucking stupid?

The federal budget is around $3 trillion dollars. Around $500 billion of that is the defense department. And we haven't even started this monstrosity of a health care bill yet.

The rest is trillions in entitlements. Things that the federal government has no power to do under the constitution. Unlike raise and keep a military.

RE: Fighter gap?
By bigdawg1988 on 7/10/2010 12:54:51 AM , Rating: 2
You mean like Social Security and Medicaid? Good luck trying to get rid of them, although they actually don't contribute to the deficit. We actually borrow from SS to pay for other things.
The defense and homeland security is more like $782b and does contribute to the deficit. Needs to come down some, but figuring out exactly where seems to be the problem. The other poster isn't stupid, just very ignorant. I'd rather build a few more F22s and wait until the F35 is really ready than to speed up production of something that may not be effective.

RE: Fighter gap?
By sinful on 7/11/2010 8:50:05 PM , Rating: 1
The rest is trillions in entitlements. Things that the federal government has no power to do under the constitution. Unlike raise and keep a military.

I know! Social security is pure entitlement spending. Why, you pay money in, and then one day you get it back out! If that's not entitlement spending I don't know what is!

It's nearly as bad as those "entitlement" 401K and "IRA" programs that people pay into for years and then make withdrawals from!

"Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes … known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.… No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.

— James Madison, Political Observations, 1795

RE: Fighter gap?
By gamerk2 on 7/12/2010 9:25:54 AM , Rating: 1
Under Regan, with the rise in tensions with the Soviet Union, Defense spending rose to 10% of GDP.

Today, defense spending is 20% of GDP.

Look, that type of spending is simply not sustainable, period.

As for SS, its paid for by seperate taxes, and politicians were all to happy to borrow from the fund for years. Its an entirely paid for program, which can remain solvent with several minor changes [politically unpopular though...]. As for Medicare/Medicade, those programs may be government run, but they still operate within the free market, so the same price problems we deal with are still in effect. [Hence why I badly wanted a Public Option; the price problem hasn't gone away...]

RE: Fighter gap?
By monkeyman1140 on 7/12/2010 10:11:36 AM , Rating: 3
There was a country that tried to maintain such a huge military for no real reason, it was called the Soviet Union.

I guess we haven't learned the lesson.

RE: Fighter gap?
By FITCamaro on 7/9/2010 8:09:13 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah and that will be Bush's fault too right?

RE: Fighter gap?
By MadMan007 on 7/10/2010 12:11:14 AM , Rating: 2
"Mr President, we must not allow a mine shaft gap!"

"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan
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