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Comparison between F-35A and F-15Ex

Comparison between F-35A and F-15Ex

The F-35A and the F-15EX are both advanced aircraft developed by renowned aerospace companies, Lockheed Martin and Boeing respectively. Each aircraft boasts a distinct set of features and capabilities, making them well-suited for specific roles within modern air warfare. Let’s compare these two remarkable aircraft in terms of their primary functions, specifications, capabilities, and support.

Indonesia Announces Commitment to Acquire Boeing F-15EX(Opens in a new browser tab)

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Primary Functions & costs

The F-35A, designed jointly by Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, has a wide range of primary roles. It excels at stealthy, all-weather strike missions, close air support, air superiority, maritime strike, reconnaissance, electronic warfare, and command and control operations. Its estimated price is roughly $80 million, with a flying cost per hour of less than $24,000, and its anticipated procurement is for 2025.

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On the other hand, The F-15EX, developed by Boeing, serves as a cutting-edge aircraft with primary functions focused on air superiority and targeted strikes in less or uncontested airspace. Its estimated price is roughly $80.3 million, with a flying cost per hour of less than $27,000, and its anticipated procurement is for 2025.

specifications

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The F-35 A is a single-seater aircraft with impressive characteristics that is Equipped with a powerful  Pratt & Whitney F135 engine. It can fly with a maximum takeoff weight of 65,918 lb (29,900 kg), with a fuel capacity of 18,250 lb. The aircraft measures 51.4 ft (15.7 m) in length, 35 ft (11 m) in wingspan, and 14.4 ft (4.4 m) in height. It has a combat radius of 670 miles and a top speed of Mach 1.6 at altitude. The service ceiling of the F-35A is 50,000 feet.

F-15 offers flexibility with a crew capacity of 1 or 2 individuals and is Powered by 2 General Electric F110-GE-129 engines. The maximum takeoff weight is an impressive 81,000 pounds (37,000 kg), supported by a fuel capacity of 13,550 lb. The aircraft spans 63.8 ft (19.446 m) in length, with a wingspan of 42.8 ft and a height of 18.5 ft (5.64 m). It achieves a maximum speed of Mach 2.5 at altitude and has a combat radius of 1,100 miles, with a service ceiling of 60,000 ft.

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Radar cross-section & Weaponry

The F-35 A design is robust; in contrast to its 8,000-hour design life, its service life has been evaluated to reach 24,000 hours. The F-35A has an extremely low radar cross-section, at 3.8mm, which reduces its radar profile. It can transport a range of US and NATO air-to-air and ground weaponry, with an internal weight capacity of 5,700 pounds in stealth mode and 22,000 pounds in exterior “beast mode,” including a 25mm cannon.

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US approves sale of 35 F-35A fighters to Germany for $8.4 billion(Opens in a new browser tab)

The F-15EX has a design life of 8,000 hours, although testing over 30,000 hours has shown it to be robust. It is relatively large on radar compared to the F-35 A due to its greatest radar cross-section of 42.8 feet. With a total weight of 29,500 pounds distributed among nine external stations, the aircraft is equipped with all US air-to-air and ground armaments, including a 20mm cannon.

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Major differences from Earlier Versions

Multiple software and processor updates have been made to the F-35A. Progress includes improved weapon capability and electronic warfare systems. The current version, known as Block 3F baseline, is moving towards Block 4, with software and weapon improvements planned twice yearly in 2024.

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The F-15 has undergone advancements since 2001, including the addition of digital fly-by-wire technology, enhanced display coding, and Suite 9 avionics. With a passive-active Warner survivability system, its cockpit display is similar to that of the T-x trainer and Eagle trainer.

Congressional support

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Major constituencies like Texas, California, Georgia, and Florida have been vocal in their support for production, demonstrating the congressional leadership’s backing. In Utah, Arizona, and Nevada, notable bases and installations house or support the F-35A. In order to demonstrate its broad reach, Lockheed has distributed F-35 subcontracts to all 50 states.

Regions in Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, and Washington are actively supporting production, which has significant congressional support. North Carolina, Oregon, and Georgia all have significant institutions that support F-15 operations. Boeing’s wide influence is evident, with business conducted in all 50 states.

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Boeing Integrates Eagle Passive Active Warning and Survivability System onto U.S. Air Force F-15s(Opens in a new browser tab)

In conclusion, while both the F-35A and the F-15EX are cutting-edge innovations in military aircraft, they excel in different domains. The F-15EX is a strong option for uncontested airspace situations due to its focus on air superiority and focused strikes, remarkable performance, and cost-effectiveness. While the F-35A’s stealth capabilities and versatile design make it suitable for a variety of tasks. Both are remarkable aircraft with their own strengths and capabilities, catering to different mission profiles and strategic objectives.

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Aerospace

Take First Glimpse of USAF B-21 Raider, Latest Nuclear Stealth Bomber

Take First Glimpse of USAF B-21 Raider, Latest Nuclear Stealth Bomber
Image:USAF

The United States Air Force (USAF) has unveiled the first photographs of the Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider bomber in flight.

These images were captured during test flights conducted by the B-21 Combined Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base, marking a significant milestone in the development of this sixth-generation aircraft.

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Currently undergoing flight tests in California, the B-21 Raider represents the next generation of stealth bombers. With an estimated cost of around $700 million per aircraft, the B-21 Raider is poised to become a crucial component of the USAF’s arsenal for conventional Long Range Strike missions.

According to Air Force briefings, the B-21 Raider will form part of a comprehensive family of systems, encompassing Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance capabilities, electronic warfare, communication systems, and more. Notably, the bomber will be nuclear-capable and adaptable for both manned and unmanned operations.

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It boasts the flexibility to deploy a wide array of stand-off and direct-attack munitions, ensuring versatility in various combat scenarios. One of the B-21’s distinguishing features is its extensive integration of digital technology, as highlighted in discussions held during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

Designed with an open systems architecture, the B-21 Raider is built to swiftly incorporate emerging technologies, ensuring its effectiveness against evolving threats over time. The B-21 Raider is slated to replace the aging B-1 Lancer and B-2 Spirit bombers, bolstering US national security objectives and providing reassurance to allies and partners worldwide.

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Aerospace

Aurora Flight Sciences Unveils Innovative X-Plane Design

Aurora Flight Sciences Unveils Innovative X-Plane Design

Aurora Flight Sciences, a Boeing company, has recently completed the conceptual design review for a groundbreaking high-speed, vertical lift X-plane.

This aircraft, part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) program called Speed and Runway Independent Technologies (SPRINT), aims to demonstrate key technologies and integrated concepts that combine high speed with runway independence.

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Aurora’s design features a low-drag, fan-in-wing demonstrator integrated into a blended wing body platform. This innovative approach merges the agility of vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) with exceptional speed capabilities.

The team is focused on ensuring the program’s success by setting the stage for successful flight demonstrations, showcasing a transformative capability for air mobility and Special Operations Forces (SOF) missions.

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New renderings of the fan-in-wing (FIW) demonstrator show three lift fans, a more refined composite exterior, and an uncrewed cockpit. The decision to use three lift fans simplifies the demonstrator, streamlining its path to flight testing. This FIW technology can be scaled to incorporate four or more lift fans to meet future aircraft requirements, potentially leading to a new family of systems.

Additionally, while the current demonstrator is uncrewed to facilitate testing and reduce risk, the FIW technology is fully adaptable to crewed aircraft. Aurora’s concept is designed to meet or exceed DARPA’s challenging program objectives. The blended wing body platform is capable of a 450-knot cruise speed, and the embedded lift fans with integrated covers enable a smooth transition from vertical to horizontal flight.

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The design also utilizes existing engine solutions, reducing development risks and timelines. Besides VTOL, the aircraft can perform short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL), super short take-off and landing (SSTOL), and conventional take-off and landing.

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Aerospace

China Developing Comac C939 Wide Body Aircraft to Compete with A350 and B777

China Developing Comac C939 Wide Body Aircraft to Compete with A350 and B777


China’s Comac aircraft company is currently underway with the development of its own wide-body aircraft, the C939, positioned to compete with industry stalwarts like the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 in the future. This strategic move by Comac involves crafting the next iteration with enhanced capacity and extended range capabilities, marking a significant leap forward in technological advancement compared to the current C919 aircraft.

Air China has inked a substantial deal worth a staggering $10.8 billion, based on list prices, to acquire 100 Comac C919 jets, signaling a strong vote of confidence in the domestic challenger to aerospace giants Airbus and Boeing.

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China Comac C919 Total Order

With both China Southern and Air China combining orders for nearly 200 aircraft, the prospects for the new C919 aircraft appear increasingly promising for future fleet growth. To date, Comac has garnered orders for nearly 1,100 aircraft.

China is contemplating the development of another wide-body aircraft, the C939, poised to significantly bolster the aerospace industry in China.

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COMAC has initiated work on the C939, a new wide-body airliner. While design concepts have been formulated, it will still take several years before a prototype materializes, according to reports from the South China Morning Post, citing anonymous sources.

Initially intended to be a joint venture with Russia, plans were halted due to Russia’s decision to safeguard its copyrights and technological advancements within its borders. Consequently, collaboration between China and Russia on aircraft development was discontinued. Sources suggest that China is vigorously pursuing new avenues for the independent development of its own wide-body aircraft, crucial for accommodating larger passenger capacities and extended flight ranges.

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Comac C939 competes with Boeing 777 and A350

Information regarding the program remains limited. COMAC has refrained from commenting on the development of the new aircraft type, stating that official announcements will be made in due course. Nevertheless, the C939 could potentially accommodate up to 390 passengers, positioning it to compete with the largest Boeing 777 and Airbus A350 aircraft.

In addition to the prospective C939, COMAC is already advancing with the development of another widebody aircraft, known as the C929. This aircraft is poised to rival the Boeing 787 and Airbus A330, boasting 280 seats and a range approaching 6,500 nautical miles.

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Since obtaining certification in late 2022, the COMAC C919 has been operational, accumulating nearly 1,000 firm orders, predominantly from Chinese-owned airlines and leasing companies.

With multiple widebody aircraft in the pipeline, COMAC stands to achieve parity with the two leading international aircraft manufacturers. Boeing, with its 777 and 787 models, and Airbus, with the A330neo and A350, both have a comparable range of offerings. However, Boeing’s aircraft are encountering delays and production challenges despite substantial orders, while the A350 is performing commendably, though the A330neo’s order intake has not met initial projections.

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How much does C919 cost?

China is under pressure to fulfill the current orders for the C919 aircraft, prompting plans to expand production facilities across various regions within the country. The aim is to ramp up production capacity for C919 planes to 150 aircraft annually over the next five years. The latest reports indicate that the C919 is priced around $99 million, comparable to the price of Boeing 737 Max and Airbus A320 aircraft, with expectations for further price reductions in the future.

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While the C919 has yet to be certified in major aviation markets outside of China, only four have been delivered thus far. In the long term, COMAC’s widebody aircraft will vie for global competitiveness. One potential benefit of COMAC aircraft could be in reducing China’s reliance on Western aircraft manufacturers. However, this shift won’t happen immediately; the current delivery rate of four aircraft in nearly 18 months is not sustainable, and both Airbus and Boeing have established manufacturing facilities in China to cater to its sizable market.

Nevertheless, assuming COMAC addresses the issues impeding deliveries, there’s a plausible scenario where the manufacturer assumes a significant role, particularly as China’s aviation market continues to expand.

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As the C939 progresses through its development stages, more details are expected to emerge. Comparisons between official specifications of the C929 and C939 will be noteworthy, as will the initial orders for each aircraft type. However, it’s anticipated that neither will undergo test flights or enter into service for several years.

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