Greetings from The Aero Experience Team


The Aero Experience is a celebration of Midwest aviation and aerospace achievement. We invite you to join us as we explore the treasures of Midwest aviation through first-hand experiences. Our contributors take turns flying lead, and we are always looking for new destinations. Check in with The Aero Experience frequently to see where we will land today, and then go out and have your own aero experiences!

Blue skies,

Carmelo Turdo, Mark Nankivil and Fred Harl - The Aero Experience Team

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Boeing Deal for F-15s to Saudi Arabia a Boon for St. Louis Military Aircraft Production

By Carmelo Turdo
The announcement today of the sale of 84 new F-15S Eagle strike fighters along with the upgrade of a further 70 aircraft was a boon to Boeing's military aircraft production facilities in St. Louis, MO and its subcontractors.  The nearly $30B deal was in the making for over a year, and also includes munitions, spare parts, training, maintenance and logistics support.  Key to the defense of the Saudi kingdom are the strike fighters, necessary to present a strong punch to Yemeni rebels or any other likely destabilizing nation in the region such as Iran. 

Boeing has continued slow but steady production of F-15 Eagle variant strike fighters, a legacy aircraft from it's takeover of McDonnell Douglas, for export to Israel, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Singapore.  Will any further exports include the Silent Eagle?  This variant, first flown in 2010, incorporates radar-absorbent materials, electronic countermeasures, and conformal internal weapons carriage capabilities (with the ability to rapidly convert to full F-15E loading without the conformal bays).  While not a fully stealthy aircraft, the Silent Eagle significantly increases the odds of survival by reducing its IR and radar signatures using technology cleared for export customers.  Boeing is also looking for more export customers for its F/A-18E/F Super Hornet strike fighter to continue its St. Louis production line and keep unit costs down for current U.S. orders.  Ironically, export orders like the F-15 deal announced today will keep defense contractors producing legacy weapons systems that may eventually be again needed in America if the new high technology, high cost models do not pan out (ie. F-22).

No comments: