Boeing points out the possibility of F-15EX drone employment

ST.. Louis— —Boeing [BA] We believe that the F-15EX can carry and use drones from Conformal Tech Bay as an alternative to the conformal fuel tanks of airplanes.

Aircraft open architecture and cabling can facilitate manned and unmanned teaming.

Matt “Fat” Gyze, chief of Boeing’s F-15EX test pilot, said: “The design of this new EX open architecture / open mission system greatly improves the Air Force’s” plug and play “and makes it possible, not just with Boeing’s software, but with a supplier agnore. They can quickly “plug and play” new items into their aircraft using any supplier or third-party vendor with this open mission system. “

Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall states that the service focuses on system quality and resilience rather than system number and lethality.The service demanded a record $ 49.2 billion in R & D in 2023, a long-term defensive promise such as a Joint Combat Aircraft (CCA) autonomous drone to enhance the capabilities of manned aircraft. Lockheed Martin [LMT] F-35A, Northrop Grumman [NOC] B-21 Raider Stealth bomber and Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) fighter.

The Air Force’s 2023 R & D requirements are $ 9.1 billion more than last year’s requested services and about $ 20 billion more than the 2023 procurement service requirements.

The service said it has undertaken a categorized effort to field combat drones by 2030.

Kendal states that the Air Force primarily considers the NGAD to be a fighter quarterback, but states that the F-35 or Lockheed Martin F-22 could also act as a play caller ().Daily defenseDecember 9, 2021).

Air Force officials have not yet established a percentage of unmanned / manned requirements for the Air Force’s future fleet, but the service may conduct such investigations.

Given the cost of manned aircraft programs such as the NGAD, B-21, F-35 and F-15EX, Kendal states that drones will be a much larger part of the power combination of services (Daily defenseFebruary 7th).

Drone employment will be a new chapter in the F-15, which made its maiden flight on July 27, 1972.

“The new advanced F-15 uses a digital” fly-by-wire “design, which required a flight test program of about six and a half to seven years. [in Palmdale, Calif.] I went back here and touched every corner of the F-15 envelope, “Giese said. “We went and mentioned that we hadn’t been on the F-15 for decades, so we had to go back to Mach 2.5. This is a unique feature of this platform based on variable inlets. We had to be “low and slow”. Therefore, we had to move to all high speed, high endpoints, and “slow and slow” endpoints. Basically, we revalidated the entire F-15 envelope in multiple configurations, with or without conformal fuel tanks. “

“Since the C and E models did some of those test points in the late 80’s in the 1980s, we had to do some of those test points,” he says. I did. “It was a big effort. Any customer who wants that digital design can benefit from the test program.”

To accelerate the replacement of F-15C / Ds nearing the end of their useful life, the US Air Force’s 2023 budget requires approximately $ 2.7 billion for 24 F-15EXs. This is twice as many as last year and the service will reduce planned purchases. The F-35A sought more than $ 5 billion for 48 F-35A aircraft in 2022 and about $ 4.5 billion for 33 F-35A aircraft in 2023. This is because the service tries to solve the problem of block 4 of the aircraft with 88 unique features. Integrate 16 new weapons into the F-35 (Daily defenseMarch 28).

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