Saudi F-15SA First Flight Video.
F-15E Strike Eagle (1986-2000)- United States Air Force
F-15S Strike Eagle (1996-1999)- Royal Saudi Air Force
F-15I Raam Eagle (1998-1999)- Israeli Defence Air Force
F-15E+ Strike Eagle (2002-2005)- United States Air Force
F-15K Slam Eagle(2005-2012)- Republic of Korea Air Force
F-15SG Strike Eagle (2008-2012)- Republic Of Singapore Air Force
F-15SA ‘Saudi-Advanced’ Eagle (20XX-2018)
Two Saudi Arabian F-15S Strike Eagles visiting Boeing St. Louis after departing Red Flag at Nellis AFB. Boeing recently signed a deal to build 84 new F-15SA Strike Eagles. First delivery’s are set for January 2015.
Although it seems like only a few months ago we were celebrating the new year, its already time to put a close on 2011. Let’s take a look at some of the highs and lows of Boeing’s fast-jet industry this year…
And the blows…
2012 could very well be the launch year for the F-15 Silent Eagle, if South Korea chooses it for it’s next generation fighter. The decision point is expected in November.
The Super Hornet could have a strong year of sales if Brazil confirms their forty aircraft order, and Australia orders another eighteen airframes. This would extend the production line for an additional eighteen months, or until mid 2017.
New developments in country’s such as Denmark, Greece, Singapore, Chile, and the UAE may also spell good new’s for Boeing’s fast jet industry.
When it comes down to it, Boeing has had an amazing year in the commercial business, and stagnated progress in the defense industry. What will the year 2012 bring? With cheaper yet strong offerings like the Silent Eagle and Block III Super Hornet; only time will tell.
Around this time last year, Israel flat out denied that they would consider buying any F-15 Silent Eagle aircraft, because “they could not come close to the potential of the F-35”.
Flash forward one year, one that has seen the F-35 program decline into possibilities of total cancellation and a price overrun of nearly $150 million per airframe. A new report suggests that Israel may buy into the F-15SE program in order to fill in a capability gap from the F-35. They currently operate 25 F-15I’s, which give them (and will continue to) the largest range in their inventory. A new order of F-15SE’s would have a flyaway cost less than 100 million, and further the country’s airborne defense range. It’s important to note that the F-35 is not an air superiority fighter, something that the Middle East desperately needs these days.
Saudi Arabia, South Korea, UAE, and Now Israel. Yet the production line will be on hiatus in less than three months. Although Boeing recently stated they would self-fund the line for one year in order to capture these orders.
The first F-15I fly’s over St. Louis in 1997.
“With a number of pending international sales opportunities for a highly capable, proven, affordable aircraft like the F-15, it is premature and inappropriate for us to even speculate on when the production line might close”
Fighting for a contract in which the production line currently has no aircraft coming off the line does not look good on Boeing’s part. Not to mention the thousands of jobs that support F-15 production operations will have to take a VERY long break.. considering any Silent Eagle contracts wont be awarded until at least October 2012. Then again, Boeing has gone through this all before back in 2000, taking 2001 off from production and winning the South Korean contract.
Lets root for the F-15 Line.. if it can be saved once, it can be saved again!!
Boeing recently gave insight on it’s future hope’s for the “iron eagle” production line. The line, which opened around 1973 has continued to build F-15’s thanks to Boeing’s strategy; keep the line open as long as possible which will automatically lower the price of each airframe and reduce time for the aircraft to be mass produced.
Boeing currently has 144 F-15 Eagle’s at stake with possible contracts. 84 are tied to the Saudi deal, which has yet to be finalized. The Saudi’s are now interested in the F-15 Silent Eagle rather than the proposed F-15SA variant.
The other deal is with South Korea to produce 60 Silent Eagles starting in 2016. This deal has begun a war between Lockheed’s “proposed” F-35 fighter. Other country’s such as Kuwait have also shown interest in new build F-15’s. One interesting note was that Chris Chadwick (President of Boeing military division) stated that there is indeed a small possibility new F-15’s could be built for the Air National Guard. Don’t hold your breath.
Throwing all politics aside, it is becoming pretty amazing that the F-15 line has the high possibility of lasting over 40 years in production. On a personal note, nothing makes me happier than seeing new Eagles flying in the sky.
May the future be bright, and let the Eagle continue to soar high!