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differences_imageArticle about the technical differences between the F-15SA version and the F-15E Strike Eagle. The US technology export did its best this time: Saudi Arabia will receive a jet that is way ahead of the existing F-15S version and when fielded it will be by far the best tactical fighter aircraft in the Gulf region.


We'll discuss technical differences based on the list of items Saudi Arabia ordered in the F-15SA agreement. Not much is known however whether these systems (although installed) will retain their full capabilities or they will be degraded to some extent. For this reason we do not mention this possible degradation when we detail these systems below.

Differences from the F-15E

Engines: Boeing will equip the F-15SA with General Electric made F-110- GE-129 engines, instead of the 'traditional' Pratt&Whitney F100-PW-220 series engines. Besides technical and performance differences, the GE engine can immediately be recognized by its different jet exhaust nacelles.


Electronic Warfare: Instead of the TEWS used in the Strike Eagle, the F-15SA will feature a digital electronic warfare system (developed by BAE Systems), dubbed as DEWS. DEWS was developed by leveraging F-22 and F-35 EW program results and replaces 4 legacy systems of the Strike Eagle. It is fully digital (hence its name) and works in close integration with wideband RF systems, including the AN/APG-63(v)3 AESA radar, giving the jet a very sharp edge in the electronic warfare arena.

DEWS offers full quadrant detection and response control, containing aft receiving antennas on top of the tails, aft RF transmitters and antennas built in the tailbooms, forward RF transmitters and antennas built in the leading edge of the wing roots, forward receiving antennas built in the wingtips and a low band Rx knife antenna placed on the underbelly of the jet below the cockpit. DEWS includes a digital RWR, digital jamming transmitter, ICS and an interference cancellation system. According to Boeing, the system will enables the F-15SA to jam enemy radars while its own radar and RWR continues to operate.

Radar: It is arguably the most important difference between the F-15E and F-15SA models. The F-15SA will be equipped with the APG-63(V)3 radar, the newest of the ultramodern AESA line developed by Raytheon.

Cockpit: Not much is known about cockpit differences. It's certain that Boeing will integrate the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS) into the system. The cockpit interior lighting will be compatible with night vision goggles ( NVG's). Together with the JHMCS capability, display systems will be compatible with AIM-9X Sidewinder and AIM-120C AMRAAM air-to-air missiles.

Sensors: The F-15SA will use the top-notch Sniper XR targeting pod. The targeting pod will be attached under a new 3rd generation FLIR sensor which Boeing calls as "Tiger Eyes". This pod will give the F-15SA IRST capabilities in air-to-air engagements. Note that "Tiger Eyes" is also in service with the F-15K Slam Eagle version, as it is seen on the image below.

Communication: Not really a difference, since the Strike Eagle is also capable to carry, but the F-15SA will be equipped with the Fighter Data Link ( FDL).

Recce Pod: The F-15SA will use Goodrich's DB-110 reconnaissance pod. This is a digital, real-time, tactical reconnaissance system designed to capture images in day or night, using electro-optical sensor technology. The pod can transmit images via datalink to the ground in real time. The DB-110 can be operated autonomously, by the pod's reconnaissance management system. Imagery is viewed on the F-15SA's cockpit video display, enabling the pilot to verify targets and conduct tasks such as battle damage assessment. This system allows the pilot increased flexibility over current fielded systems.


Weapons: The F-15SA will be compatible with Paveway III LGB's and with the "J-series" range of weapons. It will carry the AGM-84 Block II HARPOON anti-ship missile.


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Last Updated on Thursday, 23 February 2012

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Discuss (1 posts)
CFRS being replaced by AMDS?
Sep 17 2012 12:30:51
This FBO posting ( mentions CFRS and the Aircraft Maintenance Debriefing System (AMDS). It implies that the AMDS is for the F-15SA while the CFRS is only for the prior aircraft versions.

Does this imply AMDS has replaced CFRS for the F-15SA?