"I should really just relax"
- Nov 19, 2013
- Reaction score
LowObservable said:PS - There's certainly never been any other replacement plan for the F-15E, nor was any major enhancement/life extension in the budget until the F-35 schedule slipped.
F-15E AESA upgrade funding started way back in the 2003-2004 period during which the USAF was still receiving new-build F-15Es
and telling congress that the F-15E would serve until at least 2030.
GAO tells me the list of candidates seriously considered to the replace the F-15E goes all the way back to at least the A-12.
The RAND study from 1995 ("The Gray Threat") was already showing that the EFA (EF-2000) and Rafale were pricing themselves
out of the teen-series replacement market.
That left Gripen which has been out-performed by upgraded teen-series in the Finnish and Swiss evaluations.
And because of Gripen's substantial US content, it's not that much cheaper to own/operate.
Of course, all of this talk about new combat aircraft development is silly since we've been told that it's all about upgrades, pods and payloads.