The final two F-15K’s 08-60 and 08-61 left St. Louis on Tuesday March, 27th to their new home at Daegu Air Base, South Korea. The official announcement was made today.
The first 40 airframes were delivered from 2005-2008. The second batch of 21 Slam Eagles started deliveries in late 2010. All airframes were delivered on time and within budget. The F-15K is credited for saving the production line back in 2002. With only six airframes left for the USAF, the F-15K contract paved the way for an additional eight years of production while opening the doors for both the F-15SG and Saudi Arabian F-15SA variants. The line is currently backlogged through 2018 with the Saudi deal.
Boeing is offering the F-15 Silent Eagle to South Korea for its FX-3 contract. The deal is worth an additional 60 airframes. A decision is expected later this year.
Congratulations to the Boeing F-15 team and the ROKAF! I will miss seeing Slam Eagles flying around.
According to South Korean media, Boeing will not be submitting the F-15 Silent Eagle for the third phase of South Korea’s next generation fighter contract. A slow development of the conformal weapons bay’s along with the suspension of the 15 degree canted tails are to blame. Although Boeing flew and successfully launched a weapon out of the conformal bay in July 2010, development has been “slow” and will not be ready by the 2016 delivery date(s).
Interestingly enough, South Korea just dropped it’s conformal weapons bay requirement in order to promote greater “competition” between aircraft company’s.
Instead, Boeing may submit an upgraded F-15K that is slightly more advanced than the currently produced F-15SG for the third phase and use the SE options later down the road. Boeing won the first two phases in 2002, and 2005 respectively.
Although South Korea may evaluate the proposal, analysts say this does not help Boeing’s case for the sixty aircraft deal. South Korean Industries signed an agreement of understanding to develop and build the conformal bay’s in 2010.
UPDATE: Above is the Korean media spin, we now have new information from Boeing’s side…
Wind-tunnel and electronic testing of the Silent Eagle will begin in 4th Quarter 2012, and tests/analysts of the canted tails will begin in 2013. The goal is for them to submit the “idea” of the F-15SE and have the technology developed in time for the 2016 production start.
More information can be read here.
The final two F-15K’s 08-60 and 08-61 have begun their pre-delivery flight tests.
They are expected to be delivered in early April.
Six F-15K Slam Eagles leave Boeing St. Louis. Next Stop: Red Flag.