Boeing F15 EX
Boeing is all set to offer its F15 EX Fighter Aircraft to Indian Air force. They sought a licence from the US authorities for its possible export to India.
If Boeing gets a license from US authority’s then F15 EX will be second fighter from them along with F/A 18 Block III Super Hornet to compete in IAF MMRCA (Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft) 2.0 Deal.
The move from Boeing can be seen as an attempt to cease a $18 billion contract by IAF to procure 114 fighter jets. If Boeing gets permission than F15 EX will be the 8th fighter in line to compete for the multi billion dollar deal.
As of now, SU 35 by Sukhoi (Russia), Mig 35 by Mikoyan (Russia), Rafale by Dassault (France), Eurofighter Typhoon (Europe),F21 by Lockheed Martin (US), F/A 18 by Boeing (US) and Gripen by SAAB (Sweden) is already in the race to win MMRCA 2.0 deal.
The company said in a statement, “While awaiting further definition on the Indian Air Force’s requirements, we have requested a licence for the F-15EX so that we’re ready to share the full spectrum of potential solutions across our fighter portfolio when appropriate.”
Boeing F/A 18 is already a key competitor for Indian Navy deal of 57 multi-role combat aircraft for its aircraft carriers.
“We continue to offer the F/A-18 Super Hornet to both the Indian Navy and Indian Air Force,” the Boeing said.
Key features F15 EX Super Eagle
- F15 EX Super Eagle is now a completely advance glass cockpit with Head up display and Helmet Mounted display.
Fly by Wire Concept has also been implemented in Super Eagle.
This Aircraft has equipped with the APG-82(V)1 AESA (Active Electronic Scan Arrays) radar that can simultaneously detect, identify and track multiple air and surface targets at longer ranges than ever before.
- F15 EX include pod based IRST (Infra Red Search and Track) system just like F/A 18 Super Hornet Block II.
- Super Eagle will be able to carry 13,500 KG of payload, includes 12 Hard Point certified to carry Air to Air missile while 15 Hard Points are certified to carry Air to Ground weapons.
- It also include a upgraded engine Pratt & Whitney 2×F100-PW-220 which gives a thrust of 105 KN (One Engine) with after burner. This engine allow F15 EX to achieve thrust to weight ratio above 1.
Key Points Why IAF may not consider F15 EX in MMRCA 2.0
- Although F15 EX is upgraded a lot from its previous versions but we can not deny the fact that yet it has a older design.
- IAF wanted a aircraft that can fill their gap in between heavy and Light weight fighters aircraft’s, but F15 EX is a heavy weight fighter aircraft. Now IAF already has a advanced heavy weight fighter SU 30 MKI which is even superior than F15 EX, then why should IAF will consider it.
- Unlike modern fighter aircraft F15 EX has a bigger RCS (Radar Cross Section) area. In other word Super Eagle is not so stealthier and radar can easily track them.
- One of the key points of MMRCA 2.0 is any company who wins the deal has to built an assembly line in India with full Transfer of Technology. But US has not a good track record in sharing Transfer fof Technology to other countries.
- In capabilities like Multi role, BVR (Beyond visual range) Dassaul Rafale is more superior than F15 EX. It will be very hard for F15 EX to defeat Rafale in MMRCA 2.0.
Although there are points which favour Super Eagle in the deal, like it is cheaper than Rafale or it has lower operating cost (27,000 US $/hr) than Rafale.
Boeing also committed to IAF to deliver 24 Aircraft per year which will help to fill depleting strength of aircraft fleet in IAF.
But according to me, F15 EX has a very less chance to win IAF 114 fighter aircraft procurement deal.