F-15 EX Eagle II units will reportedly be acquired by the US Air Force to serve longer, but will it be worth it? The F-35 and F-22 already exist, but the cold war plane seems to be the one carrying the load well into the future. In the era of great power competition with China, the US is poised to keep flying against 5th generation planes. One of the reasons they are still considered is because they do not cost so much to operate compared to a modern 5th generation aircraft. Will it be enough as it is aged since it was designed in the cold war years.
F-15 EX Eagle II soars the battlefield
Boeing F-15EX Eagle is another update from the F-15E Strike Eagle derived from the first flown in 1972. It has several upgrades with radar, new avionics, and even a new cockpit screen, reported 19fortyfive.
Call it a minor tune-up for a legacy airframe from which the EX is derived, but it is the best in the 4th generation fighter class. Despite its age, the US has kept it up to features and is still a usable platform now. Many nations still rely on this most reliable fighter despite its age.
It cannot be denied that the F-15 EX Eagle II is still a good dogfighter. It is not enough as more battles will not be in the close-up but farther beyond the horizon. For example, China and Russia have gotten smart and made surface-to-air missiles that give it a slim chance to survive.
Strike packages of F-15EX will not be enough, and it will be an easy shoot without an F-35 or F-22 to take out defenses ahead. For example, older systems like the KN-06 ground-to-air missiles will still give it a hard time. Even with a whole fleet of them, it is more dangerous as well. The USAF should reconsider its options or be outclass by great power competitors as well.
A cold war warrior in the 21st century
The 70s airframe will stick out to radar like a sore thumb, but it can carry lethal firepower compared to any 5th generation plane. The F-15EX-Eagle has the Advanced Missile and Bomb Ejection Rack (AMBER), noted Task and Purpose, making it a missile truck carrying 22 air-to-air missiles in one load.
Looks good that it's armed to the teeth, but reality bites, and all these armaments are okay if the plane gets to fire it all. Suppose it could reach the place to use it on the enemy. If needed, the F-35 can abandon stealth altogether and load sixteen missiles for all-out offensive, better known as the 'beast mode,' cited the National Interest. Even with the maxed-out load on the F-35, this works just as well. Focus on how the F-15 is called a missile truck, but what if it cannot use the payload.
An option for all-out stealth or loading up for all-out attack gives the stealth fighter versatility, despite the grips about it sometimes. F-15 EX Eagle II and the hype about its capacity might be a catch to push it, and the new F-15 has not used such a configuration yet in actual combat. How the latest F-15 variant might be a waste in the end, but the F-35 or F-22 will fare better.
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