The U.S. Air Force has plans to purchase 12 newest F-15X fighter aircraft to replace ageing fleet of F-15C/D in service of the Air National Guard.
The Pentagon is planning to request $1.2 billion for 12 new F-15X fighter aircraft, the newest version of the decades-old jet, in its fiscal year 2020 budget request, according to two people familiar with the decision who asked not to be named because it’s not yet official.
According to Bloomberg Government, the decision to buy the newest kind of F-15 aircraft comes from the Pentagon’s top leadership, including with some prodding from Deputy Secretary of Defense Pat Shanahan, and not the Air Force, which would be flying the planes.
This summer, Defense One broke two major stories about sales pitches from Boeing, which is proposing an advanced version of the F-15 to the Air Force, and Lockheed Martin, which has been pushing a hybrid version of the F-22 Raptor and F-35 joint strike fighter similar to what it is reportedly offering Japan.
The F-15X, or Strike Eagle on Steroids, is a latest version of the world famous F-15 Eagle fighter jet. The new fighter would be equipped with better avionics and radars and would carry more than two dozen air-to-air missiles.
The F-15X is also set to be affordable, coming in at “well below” the $95 million cost of the F-35A. The newest Eagle would cost about $27,000 per hour to fly—again, well below the $45,000 an hour to fly the F-35A. Finally, Boeing claims that the F-15X will have a whopping 20,000-hour service life, enabling it to serve for decades. By comparison, the original F-15 was built to serve only 5,000 hours.
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