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Boeing's New F-15EX

marauder2048

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MQ-25

The more primes you have on a competition the harder it is to control costs. These were all essentially LPTA.
Ahem
Industry Team
The MQ-25 Industry Team is all-in on delivering this vital aerial refueling capability to help the U.S. Navy extend the range of the carrier air wing. The industry team includes:
  • Aitech Defense Systems
  • BAE Systems
  • Collins Aerospace
  • Cox & Company
  • Crane Aerospace & Electronics
  • Cubic
  • Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions
  • GE
  • Harris Corporation
  • Héroux-Devtek
  • Honeywell
  • Innovative Power Solutions
  • L3 Commercial Aviation
  • Moog Aircraft Group
  • Parker Hannifin
  • Raytheon
  • Rolls-Royce
  • Triumph Group
How does that differ from the suppliers that are on any combat aircraft designed and built in the last 40 years?
Or the supplier list from commercial/bizjet aviation?
 

TomS

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It doesn't. But neither does having Saab as a partner on T-X.

Northrop for the B-21 is a better counterexample. They have Spirit Aerostructures on their team, presumably building a chunk of the airframe, just as Saab is doing for Boeing. But no one is complaining that Northrop can't win without help.
 

Josh_TN

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What about the NGJ precludes its use on other aircraft?
Aside from the silly two-pod configuration (why take up one station when you can take up two):

https://arc.aiaa.org/doi/abs/10.2514/6.2018-0780

And all of the SARs indicating that the pod had to be completely redesigned just to operate in the
Growler's very narrow envelope.
My understanding is that the ALQ-99 and NGJ pods are both mid band and can operate independently of each other. I had thought two are carried for reasons of trim and engaging more targets or engaging a target with more energy or wave forms. Are these pods reliant on each other in anyway? Are there actually two separate pod designs for either system?

As for the RAM limitations, I assume ALQ-99's windmills have their own issues at some speeds. In the case of the NGJ, I suspect the design they went with (internal trubine with doors vice external windmill) was driven by the need for much greater power generation and that compromises had to be accepted for the extra output.
 
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marauder2048

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It doesn't. But neither does having Saab as a partner on T-X.

Northrop for the B-21 is a better counterexample. They have Spirit Aerostructures on their team, presumably building a chunk of the airframe, just as Saab is doing for Boeing. But no one is complaining that Northrop can't win without help.
But there's no evidence of significant co-design *and* co-production for B-21. Or MQ-25.
T-X had a lot of both by all teams...except the one that bailed.
 

Josh_TN

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The USAF is looking at the F-15EX for jamming duties, now that the F-35 isn't getting the NGJ.
The mid-band pod design for NGJ practically precludes its use on any aircraft other than the Growler.

The low-band pod maybe but the fact that the Navy is pursuing MALD-N and AARGM-ER is evidence
that they don't think the Growler's jamming efficacy is sufficient.
All of these systems are supposed to work together... I really don't understand how the Growler being sufficient led the Navy to procuring missiles?
Even with NGJ, the Growler can't get close enough to use AARGM. And it can't get close enough to jam sidelobes and backlobes.
And it's narrow flight envelope with jammers operational (giant RAT doors open) means it's kinda meh at
keeping itself aligned with strike package and the mainlobes of the threat radars.
The AARGM-ER on the other hand is going to be something like double the range of AGM-88E...I have a hard time picturing a GaN emitter being ineffective across that entire distance. Its also worth noting that the USN uses its aircraft very differently than the USAF - they are not exclusively SEAD aircraft; they also have a role to play in fleet defense, which would tend to be a more benign environment.
 

TomS

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It doesn't. But neither does having Saab as a partner on T-X.

Northrop for the B-21 is a better counterexample. They have Spirit Aerostructures on their team, presumably building a chunk of the airframe, just as Saab is doing for Boeing. But no one is complaining that Northrop can't win without help.
But there's no evidence of significant co-design *and* co-production for B-21. Or MQ-25.
T-X had a lot of both by all teams...except the one that bailed.
All teams, but Boeing is the only one that gets ragged on for somehow not being able to win "without help."

It's just a lazy criticism of a company that is seen as an easy target. But all big defense companies have fucked up cultures and they all have massive program overruns or problems. It's just Boeing's turn in the barrel.
 

marauder2048

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All teams, but Boeing is the only one that gets ragged on for somehow not being able to win "without help."

It's just a lazy criticism of a company that is seen as an easy target. But all big defense companies have fucked up cultures and they all have massive program overruns or problems. It's just Boeing's turn in the barrel.
I wasn't criticizing them for winning T-X; I'm criticizing their inability to win front-line, combat aircraft competitions.
 

marauder2048

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The USAF is looking at the F-15EX for jamming duties, now that the F-35 isn't getting the NGJ.
The mid-band pod design for NGJ practically precludes its use on any aircraft other than the Growler.

The low-band pod maybe but the fact that the Navy is pursuing MALD-N and AARGM-ER is evidence
that they don't think the Growler's jamming efficacy is sufficient.
All of these systems are supposed to work together... I really don't understand how the Growler being sufficient led the Navy to procuring missiles?
Even with NGJ, the Growler can't get close enough to use AARGM. And it can't get close enough to jam sidelobes and backlobes.
And it's narrow flight envelope with jammers operational (giant RAT doors open) means it's kinda meh at
keeping itself aligned with strike package and the mainlobes of the threat radars.
The AARGM-ER on the other hand is going to be something like double the range of AGM-88E...I have a hard time picturing a GaN emitter being ineffective across that entire distance. Its also worth noting that the USN uses its aircraft very differently than the USAF - they are not exclusively SEAD aircraft; they also have a role to play in fleet defense, which would tend to be a more benign environment.
The additional buys for Growler were premised on the demands of the joint force.
Recall, the Growler is part, per LaPlante's remarks, of the "family of systems" for B-21.


NGJ is strictly a mainlobe jammer; there are a few well-known counters to that:

a. HOJ SAMs
b. burnthrough
c. STAP

NGJ is premised on being operated outside of the range of HOJ SAMs.
That requires a really good insight into SAM launcher positions and is premised on the notion that their ranges are
constrained by the less efficient trajectories associated with HOJ.

Burnthrough is radar timeline intensive so lets leave that aside.

STAP: at the ranges we are talking about and at the power levels required, a chunk of the jamming waveform will bounce
off the terrain in front of the radar and enter the radar antenna. With the known angle of that ground-bounce and the
known angle to the jammer and even basic altitude guesses (it's pretty fixed for Growler) you can solve for range.
That permits very efficient, max-range trajectories for your SAMs.
 

marauder2048

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My understanding is that the ALQ-99 and NGJ pods are both mid band and can operate independently of each other. I had thought two are carried for reasons of trim and engaging more targets or engaging a target with more energy or wave forms. Are these pods reliant on each other in anyway? Are there actually two separate pod designs for either system?

As for the RAM limitations, I assume ALQ-99's windmills have their own issues at some speeds. In the case of the NGJ, I suspect the design they went with (internal trubine with doors vice external windmill) was driven by the need for much greater power generation and that compromises had to be accepted for the extra output.
The Navy had initially wanted a single pod system for mid-band. It was abandoned on the basis of cost, schedule, enabling-non-Navy-aircraft-to-carry-it etc.
And the Navy wanted the jammer to be independent of aircraft power (because the Growler ran out of power like a decade ago)
which results in a "compromised" design. Then there's the Growler typical altitude + mid-band which drives additional power requirements.

And the fact that the Navy strike packages it was going to escort were corner reflectors.
 

Josh_TN

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So NGJ Mid Band is in fact two different pods operating over different frequencies? That is the first time I've heard that.
 

marauder2048

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So NGJ Mid Band is in fact two different pods operating over different frequencies? That is the first time I've heard that.
How did you get that from what I said? NGJ Mid Band is two pods operating over the same frequency range but canted to cover 180 degrees each.
The Navy originally wanted a single pod to cover 360 degrees but that would have implied a greater than 2-face AESA (MESA?) or a gimbaled design.
 

Volkodav

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The Air Force isn't buying the quad packs so it's what 8 missiles on the F-15EX vs. 6 on the F-35 Block 4 in combat trim?
It's up to 16 missiles without the amber racks.
12 missiles with underwing fuel tanks.
And when the Air Force ANG units actually fly regularly with that configuration let me know.
Do F-35s fly with 6 regularly? Need dictates load out. The distinction here is the F-35 couldn’t carry 12 even if it needed to.
Need dictates load out: the F-15EX needs to survive in a high-end threat environment. It can't. It's a big, high-contrast corner reflector. View attachment 638335

If you are talking about something other than the high-end threat environment say cruise missile defense or airbase defense
then it's an entirely different comparison and what the F-35 can carry externally would come into play.
Any comparison of these aircraft is apples and oranges, different use doctrines entirely. If you really want to go stat to stat, of course the 35 is more survivable in a high threat environment, but at the sacrifice of comparatively poor range and payload. These arguments are bull, the best plane is the one that fits the needs of the moment.
So at the mission briefing they hand the keys for the appropriate type for that mission to the pilot, sounds computer game cool! F-15 in the morning, F-117 strike in the afternoon, grab the F-14, or perhaps the Rafale from the hangar for the carrier mission that evening. Hey you could even give each sqn a couple of A-10s, Apaches and Blackhawks for CAS and CSAR. Wow i want to join that air force and fly everything!
 

Volkodav

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The F-35 can't even make it to contested airspace before running out of gas
F15EX carries 23,000 lbs of fuel (including cft which have a higher drag profile as compared to bags which eat up hardpoints for A-g ordnance) and burns it through 2 engines.

F35 carries 19,000 lbs of fuel and burns it through a single more efficient engine.

I don't see how you made that comparison.
Have you looked up the combat range of a stealthily configured F-35 vs a normal F-15EX combat loadout? Hint: one is more than 50% longer than the other.
And whats the range of a stealthily configured F-15EX? If a LO mission profile is required the F-15 wont be going because it will fail.
 

Josh_TN

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So NGJ Mid Band is in fact two different pods operating over different frequencies? That is the first time I've heard that.
How did you get that from what I said? NGJ Mid Band is two pods operating over the same frequency range but canted to cover 180 degrees each.
The Navy originally wanted a single pod to cover 360 degrees but that would have implied a greater than 2-face AESA (MESA?) or a gimbaled design.
The cutaway illustrations I've seen show two gimbaled flat AESA faces front and back. Perhaps this the older design you mentioned. Since the info I had was that the pods could gimbal (and electronically stear) across the frontal and rear arc, I assumed the system would only require two pods if they covered somewhat different bands.
 

marauder2048

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So NGJ Mid Band is in fact two different pods operating over different frequencies? That is the first time I've heard that.
How did you get that from what I said? NGJ Mid Band is two pods operating over the same frequency range but canted to cover 180 degrees each.
The Navy originally wanted a single pod to cover 360 degrees but that would have implied a greater than 2-face AESA (MESA?) or a gimbaled design.
The cutaway illustrations I've seen show two gimbaled flat AESA faces front and back. Perhaps this the older design you mentioned. Since the info I had was that the pods could gimbal (and electronically stear) across the frontal and rear arc, I assumed the system would only require two pods if they covered somewhat different bands.
They aren't gimbaled. Those are fixed arrays. The Left pod covers one hemisphere; the Right pod covers the other hemisphere.
 

sferrin

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F-15Es participating in this exercise. Guess the EX will be taking over that role in the future.

The F-15 is like a batboy. Doesn't really participate in the game beyond handing the players some of their tools. (It's literally a bomb/ missile truck.)
 

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E[X]AGLE for India?

 

rooster

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F-15Es participating in this exercise. Guess the EX will be taking over that role in the future.

The F-15 is like a batboy. Doesn't really participate in the game beyond handing the players some of their tools. (It's literally a bomb/ missile truck.)
When you look at the very small amount of stealth fighters being built in the next 10 years and the fact that there are thousands of 4th gen fighters that will be around for decades, the more i think about it i would be happy with a sizable advanced eagle force to carry long range aams into battle being quarterbacked by 5th and 6th gen equipment. As long as they don't take away from procuring more 35s and more pca airframes.

I think a better analogy is that the X will be like a 40 year old veteran ball payer that you know you can throw into the lineup and he will get a base hit or bring in a run from 3rd base. Just don't expect him to steal 2nd base!
 

sferrin

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F-15Es participating in this exercise. Guess the EX will be taking over that role in the future.

The F-15 is like a batboy. Doesn't really participate in the game beyond handing the players some of their tools. (It's literally a bomb/ missile truck.)
When you look at the very small amount of stealth fighters being built in the next 10 years
There are already more F-35s than Rafales and Gripens put together.
 

trose213

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F-15Es participating in this exercise. Guess the EX will be taking over that role in the future.

The F-15 is like a batboy. Doesn't really participate in the game beyond handing the players some of their tools. (It's literally a bomb/ missile truck.)
When you look at the very small amount of stealth fighters being built in the next 10 years
There are already more F-35s than Rafales and Gripens put together.
The US has a virtual monopoly on stealth fighters outside of the countries that bought F-35s from it.
 

Bhurki

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When you look at the very small amount of stealth fighters being built in the next 10 years
F35 will be procured atleast at 160/year through out the decade (180 for FRP).

Thats 2000 before 2030, not less than 1500 of which are for US services, 1000 for USAF included(250 already in, procurement at 70 jets/annum).

Not exactly a small number, and more than enough to replace all F-16, F-15c in active squadrons.
 

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Toward 2030, there is a full decade to sustain in air superiority. Not all fights will see large fleet of 5th Gen fighter contesting each others skies above the battle ground. There would be distant battle and simple mass effects to challenge. However with the oldest 4th Gen fleet still in service, the USAF has one hand tighten in its back in term of serviceability.

The E[X]AGLE is here to plug the leaks and sinks on that variable. You need fresh airframe in that fight.
 
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Archibald

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When you look at the very small amount of stealth fighters being built in the next 10 years
F35 will be procured atleast at 160/year through out the decade (180 for FRP).

Thats 2000 before 2030, not less than 1500 of which are for US services, 1000 for USAF included(250 already in, procurement at 70 jets/annum).

Not exactly a small number, and more than enough to replace all F-16, F-15c in active squadrons.
Final objective is 3100, a little less than 2500 for the USA tri-services by themselves. Hell of a number indeed.

I would say that the F-35 was quite a risky bet - trying to package VSTOL + supersonic + stealth + AMRAAM capabilities into an airframe common to USAF USN USMC.
It took 25 years from 1995 to get that thing into production, with some teething problems along the way - yet now the steamroller starts rolling...
Fact is that a fleet of 2500 F-35 will be an impressive force to be reckoned with.

Just asking in passing, were there some studies made - whether extremely large numbers of F-35 could aliviate the issue of only 180 F-22 Raptors ? Is the ratio too unbalanced ?
 
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Bhurki

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Just asking in passing, were there some studies made - whether extremely large numbers of F-35 could aliviate the issue of only 180 F-22 Raptors ? Is the ratio too unbalanced ?
Not sure.
Currently F-22/F-15c are supposed to be succeeded by only PCA.
Screenshot_20200809-174437~2.png
 

Bhurki

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Screenshot_20200809-175148~2.png

Looking at this table helps understand why F-15ex was rushed into a somewhat monopolistic F35-A procurement schedule.

The newest F-15C is 30 years old today, the oldest over 40, and the choice probably was to
-) either shut down the squadron until F35A replacements came and were assimilated, trained or
-) procure the same aircraft to not have to go over the training bump again, and stand down the squadron meanwhile.

Its just probably me who didnt know this, but those Ex are not going to stand up any new squadrons, although it will change their operational use from OCA to multirole, which might end up cutting F35 numbers.
 
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Josh_TN

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The F-15EX purchase just comes down to too many F-15Cs timing out. The new Eagles will probably be replacing Charlies one for one initially, but as F-35 production catches up, I think we will ultimately see the Echos retired and the EXs taking on a long range strike role instead. They also will be capable of carrying very large outsided ordnance that F-35s can't easily carry, or at least for not as far. Hypersonic weapons come to mind. It has been implied that AGM-183 would be within the ability of the F-15EX to carry on a centerline station.
 

Fluff

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The F-15EX purchase just comes down to too many F-15Cs timing out. The new Eagles will probably be replacing Charlies one for one initially, but as F-35 production catches up, I think we will ultimately see the Echos retired and the EXs taking on a long range strike role instead. They also will be capable of carrying very large outsided ordnance that F-35s can't easily carry, or at least for not as far. Hypersonic weapons come to mind. It has been implied that AGM-183 would be within the ability of the F-15EX to carry on a centerline station.
Agree, these are simply replacements for fatigued airframes. Probably not possible to ramp up F35 by another x per year, within a reasonable timeframe, and it does give options - just as wheels are more peaceful than tracks, maybe an F15 is less threatening than an F35 in some situations. So these can be used for CONUS air policing, they would also allow US to reinforce allies, perhaps if those allies had got into a shooting war of some sort, and didnt operate F35....
 

sferrin

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The F-15EX purchase just comes down to too many F-15Cs timing out. The new Eagles will probably be replacing Charlies one for one initially, but as F-35 production catches up, I think we will ultimately see the Echos retired and the EXs taking on a long range strike role instead. They also will be capable of carrying very large outsided ordnance that F-35s can't easily carry, or at least for not as far. Hypersonic weapons come to mind. It has been implied that AGM-183 would be within the ability of the F-15EX to carry on a centerline station.
Yep. Depending on conditions, possibly even wing stations. Israel fires the 6,900lb Silver Sparrow missile target from the inboard wing station.

Sparrow.PNG
 

Josh_TN

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The F-15EX purchase just comes down to too many F-15Cs timing out. The new Eagles will probably be replacing Charlies one for one initially, but as F-35 production catches up, I think we will ultimately see the Echos retired and the EXs taking on a long range strike role instead. They also will be capable of carrying very large outsided ordnance that F-35s can't easily carry, or at least for not as far. Hypersonic weapons come to mind. It has been implied that AGM-183 would be within the ability of the F-15EX to carry on a centerline station.
Agree, these are simply replacements for fatigued airframes. Probably not possible to ramp up F35 by another x per year, within a reasonable timeframe, and it does give options - just as wheels are more peaceful than tracks, maybe an F15 is less threatening than an F35 in some situations. So these can be used for CONUS air policing, they would also allow US to reinforce allies, perhaps if those allies had got into a shooting war of some sort, and didnt operate F35....
I should add, the specific model, F-15, means that the cost of ownership is greatly reduced for the USAF, since training and parts and infrastructure requirements will be very similar to the existing fleet. There also is no R&D associated with the type as well. So while the per airframe cost isn't competitive, the total cost of ownership in rounding out the USAF's numbers with this type is actually probably very pronounced.
 

marauder2048

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The F-15EX purchase just comes down to too many F-15Cs timing out.
The AF approach pre-FY20 to that was simple: SLEP. New wing (-E wing to which the USG, surprisingly, owns the data rights) + new longerons.
It would competed and by virtue of license production of large chunks of the F-15, there could be good cost savings through competition.

It could cost around $10 million per F-15C according to testimony by General Holmes and would get you out to the 2040's.

The F-15Cs would still get EPAWSS at $10 mil/pop and ADCP II.

The only counter-argument to it was that the Mattis-era readiness diktat (who cares if 80% MC costs hugely more than 75% MC).
couldn't be readily accommodated. And to a lesser extent, there were more unknown unknowns in the timeline.

Of course, the claim that the timelines are somehow shorter or that there's no R&D associated with the F-15EX is rather belied by:

The goal of the integrated DT and OT is to ensure the EX meets the needs of the warfighter in its intended
operational environment. This enables Eglin AFB’s testers to highlight any system issues early,
so they can be fixed before the F-15EX’s increased production and ultimate delivery to the squadrons.
The initial phase of tests will take approximately a year and a half.
 

trose213

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The F-15EX purchase just comes down to too many F-15Cs timing out.
The AF approach pre-FY20 to that was simple: SLEP. New wing (-E wing to which the USG, surprisingly, owns the data rights) + new longerons.
It would competed and by virtue of license production of large chunks of the F-15, there could be good cost savings through competition.

It could cost around $10 million per F-15C according to testimony by General Holmes and would get you out to the 2040's.

The F-15Cs would still get EPAWSS at $10 mil/pop and ADCP II.

The only counter-argument to it was that the Mattis-era readiness diktat (who cares if 80% MC costs hugely more than 75% MC).
couldn't be readily accommodated. And to a lesser extent, there were more unknown unknowns in the timeline.

Of course, the claim that the timelines are somehow shorter or that there's no R&D associated with the F-15EX is rather belied by:

The goal of the integrated DT and OT is to ensure the EX meets the needs of the warfighter in its intended
operational environment. This enables Eglin AFB’s testers to highlight any system issues early,
so they can be fixed before the F-15EX’s increased production and ultimate delivery to the squadrons.
The initial phase of tests will take approximately a year and a half.
30-40 million a bird.

 

marauder2048

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30-40 million a bird.
Holmes:

View: https://youtu.be/7du-vfIWl2A?t=2814


auto-transcript (slightly cleaned up):

The f-15c is a prime example of that the airplane has structural problems that will require replacement
of major structural members the launcher on that run lengthwise in the airplane followed by the wings being replaced and
then followed by bulkheads on the center fuselage which means it'd be better to buy a new airplane than to try to work
through those repairs that's important walk through we originally budgeted approximately a million per plane after
the knowledge that came through long structural what does that take the number up to well so the the the exact
number will depend on the time that you. go after but that million per plane was based on fuselage longerons and as
you add the wings and the fuselage into it the initial estimates we dealt with we're in the tens of millions per
airplane I think as we work with the prime contractor now you can get that number probably down around 10 million
or so per airplane
but that's in a estimation you don't really know until you open the airplanes up

F-22 Restart Study:

f-15-SLEP.png
 
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