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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.


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.



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. 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. rating: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

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Last Updated on Monday, 30 May 2011

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