U.S. F-15EX jet fighter may bring more stealthy qualities to the battlefield than its 1970s predecessors

Jan. 11, 2022
One advantage to the F-15EX is its sizable weapons carrying capacity; it has the cutting-edge long-range, all-weather precision guided Stormbreaker bomb.

WASHINGTON – There are several much lesser-recognized variables regarding the significance of the upgraded Air Force’s F-15EX jet fighter’s first flight. Alongside the highly visible discussion regarding its more affordable cost and upgraded fourth-generation technologies, there is speculation that the F-15EX could actually be a little stealthy. Kris Osborn of The National Interest reports. Continue reading original article

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

11 Jan. 2022 -- Interesting question, as much is being said about how the new, higher-tech aircraft is still a fourth-generation fighter in a global universe of fifth-generation aircraft. Yet to what extent do some of the upgrades potentially push the envelope beyond what is thought of as fourth-generation?

It is based on a 1970s aircraft, yet not only does it contain quantum-like improvements in computers, sensors, and weapons, but the fuselage itself has been adjusted as well. Naturally its construction, configuration, coating and external shape do not resemble the stealthy exterior of an F-22 or F-35, and it does not appear to have an internal weapons bay, yet the shape of F-15EX does seem to have a few stealth-like attributes.

For instance, the F-15EX jet fighter does have conformal fuel tanks, something which not only adds fuel to extend mission dwell time but also smooths out the fuselage into a flatter, more horizontal and therefore slightly stealthier shape. Also, while Boeing developers do explain that the outer mold line of the new F-15EX variant is similar to the legacy aircraft, it does incorporate some modifications intended to strengthen the wing and fuselage.

Related: Air Force orders eight new F-15EX jet fighter aircraft with advanced avionics, navigation systems, and radar

Related: Boeing to upgrade Japan's F-15 jet fighters to enable the aircraft to fight effectively alongside the F-35

Related: Boeing to install electronic warfare (EW) systems aboard U.S. Air Force F-15 jet fighter aircraft fleet

John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics

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