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F-15S Differences Print E-mail
(3 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)
Written by Sabc   
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Differences from the F-15E
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The F-15S (the Saudi Strike Eagle) is a slightly degraded version of the Strike Eagle. Although a very capable air-to-air and air-to-ground platform, it lacks those cutting edge avionics and weaponry which make the Strike Eagle a world class strike fighter. The deliberate degradation of the jet's capabilities can be vitnessed in most of the important aircraft systems.

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Differences from the F-15E

Paint Scheme: The most apparent difference between the S and E models is their paint scheme. The E model has a one tone gunship grey color, while the S model uses a two-tone 'Mod Eagle' paint scheme.

Engines: The F-15S is equipped with Pratt&Whitney F100-PW-229 engines, the stronger one from the two P&W engine models used in the Strike Eagles.

Its radar, the APG-70S is based on the APG-70 radar of the Strike Eagle, but with its main features significantly downgraded. Radar bandwidth is 60% of the 'original' and only 16 channels are available instead of 32. Although the APG-70S has SAR capabilities, the ground mapping resolution is severely limited: the minimal size of the HRM the radar is able to generate is 4,7 nm, compared to the 0,67 nm of the APG-70.

Navigation and Targeting Pods: LANTIRN pods are also degraded. Instead os using the 'standard' AAQ-13 navigation pod and AAQ-14 targeting pod, Saudi Arabia received 48 pairs of AAQ-19 'Pathfinder' navigation pods and AAQ-20 'Sharpshooter' targeting pods (use their original designation number and add 6 to them). The navigation pod is downgraded in its ECM modes (it works reasonably well against potential russian-made Iraqi and Iranian threats, but performs poorly against US aircraft) and it has no ECCM mode. The AAQ-20 targeting pod has basically the same features as the AAQ-14, with the exception of being incompatible with AGM-65's hands-off modes and lacking some of the A/A features of the LANTIRN targeting pod.

Avionics: The S model's autopilot lacks the terrain following capability which is present in the E model. Its navigation system is a laser ring gyro INS coupled with a commercial-grade GPS system - although it works well, it is definitely not as precise as military-grade systems.

Weapons: The United States took great care in the area of weapons. The F-15S cannot employ the wide range of weapons the Strike Eagle can: AGM-65D/G Maverick missiles, CBU-87 cluster bombs, GBU-10, GBU-15 and GBU-24 smart bombs belong to the inventory of the Saudi version. Understandably, the F-15S does not have the wiring to be able to employ nuclear weapons. BRU-46/A and BRU-47/A weapon racks were initially lacking from F-15S delivered to Saudi Arabia, but this restriction was cleared later and 'normal' CFT's were delivered between 1998 and 2000.

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Sources

Dennis R. Jenkins:

McDonnell-Douglas F-15 Eagle - Supreme Heavy Weight Fighter

1998, Aerofax, ISBN 1 857800 81 8

Paperback, 8.5" x 11" (21.5 cm x 28 cm), 112 pages, over 250 images

Without a doubt the finest air fighter in service with western air forces, the F-15, still in production (now under the Boeing name) is meeting export orders for Israel and Saudi Arabia with interdictor variants. This book includes in-depth coverage of systems, engines, weapons, development usage and all 20 test aircraft. Recommended for F-15 enthusiasts.

F-15E.info rating: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED


Steve Davies:

Boeing F-15E Strike Eagle - All-Weather Attack Aircraft

2003, Airlife Books, ISBN 1840 373 784

Hardcover, 7.7" x 10" (19.5 cm x 25 cm), 208 pages, over 250 images

It has taken over 18 months to research and write, and the author estimates that as much as 70% of the text is new information that has yet to reach the public domain. It is, without question, the most detailed, well-researched and authoritative analysis of the F-15E Strike Eagle ever written. It is an absolute must-have for all F-15E enthusiasts, many info within this site comes from this book.

F-15E.info rating: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Forum Discussion

You can discuss this article in the Strike Eagle Forum with the latest posts appearing here below as well. Clicking on the 'Discuss' button takes you to the SEF, while clicking on the 'Quick Post' text enables you to make a post here right away.

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Last Updated on Monday, 30 May 2011
 


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