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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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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.


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