|Written by Sabc|
The F-15K Slam Eagle (the Strike Eagle variant produced for the Republic of Korea) is one of the hottest strike fighters ever built. It has all the goods and gadgets the Strike Eagle has, plus a lot more. Boeing definitely showed its best upon creating this awesome jet, which looks almost exactly like an 'ordinary' Strike Eagle. However beneath the surface a lot of differences can be found.
Differences from the F-15E
Engines: Boeing finally broke the long standing tradition of equipping F-15E class strike fighters with Pratt&Whitney F100-PW-220 series engines, albeit only partially. The first batch (that is 40 airframes) F-15K Slam Eagles are equipped with General Electric made F-110- GE-129 engines, while the second batch (that is 21 airframes) Slam Eagles revert to the F100-PW-229-EEP engines - these are extended life engines, with EEP standing for Engine Enhancement Package. EEP engines add design improvements, HUMS prognostics and monitoring equipment and a slight boost to 29,100 pounds of thrust.
Beside technical and performance differences, the GE engine can immediately be recognized by its different jet exhaust nacelles as it is illustrated on the following pictures.
Radar: It is one of the areas where the Slam Eagle beats the F-15E. It is based on the APG-63(V)1 radar developed for the F-15C version by the USAF. It is not of of AESA type, but its back-end can accomodate an AESA array in the future. This radar in itself is definitely more capable than the APG-70 plus Boeing took it a few steps further for the sake of the F-15K. With the A/G software of the APG-70 ported to the new platform, new sea surface and track modes and ground moving target track capability were added to meet the specific needs of the Republic of Korea. The new radar also has some kind of NCTR capabilities, although this area is highly classified. It is safe to say that the end result turned out to be the best F-15 radar in the world ever (including radars in other foreign versions, for example the F-15I Raam).
Cockpit: Many modifications can be found in and around the cockpit area. Boeing integrated the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS) into the array of upgraded displays. The cockpit interior lighting got modified to be compatible with night vision goggles ( NVG's). Boeing engineers changed the Up-Front Controller ( UFC) into a more modern flat panel display (the same display which can be found in the Saudi Arabian F-15S or in the Israeli F-15I Raam), which is also NVG compatible.
The Honeywell ADCP was also installed (this is the same ADCP as the Strike Eagle uses from construct number E227 and up) and it was prepared to be compatible with AIM-9X Sidewinder and AIM-120C AMRAAM air-to-air missiles. The ADCP is a PowerPC based hardware/software component which replaces the legacy CC and MPDP systems in generating images that are displayed on MPD's and MPCD's.
Counter Measures: Chaff and flare dispensers were installed as in the Israeli F-15I Raam. On the electronical front the Tactical Electronic Warfare System ( TEWS) suit received modifications as well. The ALQ-135 system got significantly improved and received a new designation as ALQ-135M (manufactured by Northrop Grumman). The new system uses a PowerPC based architecture instead of multiple processors, thus utilizing significant speed and memory enhancements. The new ALQ-135M also features sophisticated microwave power module (MPM) transmitter technology to reduce weight and increase jamming effectiveness. Band 1.5 and Band 3 are available with the new tool.
Weapons: All external hardpoints received a wiring compatible with the "J-series" range of weapons. Parallel to this modification the Programmable Armament Control Set ( PACS) also received modifications to handle changed in the hardpoint wirings. The jet was modified to be able to carry and employ the AGM-84D Harpoon anti-ship missile and the AGM-84E SLAM-ER air-to-ground missile. A new ADCP has been installed (the same as with F-15E jets from E227 and up) and made compatible with the AIM-9X and AIM-120C air-to-air missiles.
News surfaced around April 2010 that South Korea is looking for a cruise missile for their F-15K fleet that has a longer range than the SLAM-ER. They are especially interested in Lockheed's AGM-158 JASSM stealth missile that USA and Australia are using.
Sensors: The F-15K received improved LANTRIN pods. The AAQ-14 pod features a new 3rd generation FLIR sensor which Boeing calls as "Tiger Eyes". The pod gives the Slam Eagle IRST capabilities in air-to-air engagements.
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|Last Updated on Monday, 30 May 2011|
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