|Written by Raptor, Sabc|
The F-15E basically uses a total of 15 external stores to carry a large variety of air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons. McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) has developed a new weapons attachment system for the F-15E, known as tangential carriage system.
The tangential carriage system involves the installation of six stations in two rows of stub pylons on the lower corner and bottom of each type-4 CFT (conformal fuel tank).
The six small stub pylons of the aircraft´s outboard weapons rows are equipped with BRU-46/A bomb release units while the two long stub pylons of the inboard weapons rows are equipped with three BRU-47/A bomb release units and two LAU-106/A missile ejector launchers each.
The inboard SUU-59/A wing station pylons of the F-15E are both equipped with one BRU-47/A bomb release unit each. They are also equipped with two LAU-128/A rail launchers for either the AIM-9 or AIM-120 missile, effectively giving four additional stations. We use the term "inboard" because an outboard wing pylon was originally planned for the Strike Eagle, but that never made into production.
The SUU-73/A centerline pylon under the aircraft´s fuselage also uses a BRU-47/A bomb release unit.
The F-15E´s 15 external weapons stations are numbered from starboard (left) to port (right) starting with the left inboard underwing pylon as STA-2, including STA-2A and STA-2B (missile rails), followed by the left CFT stations, the centerline pylon as STA-5, the right CFT stations and ending with the right inboard underwing pylon as STA-8 including STA-8A and STA-8B (missile rails).
The LAU-106/A ejector launchers (they are used only in air-to-air configuration) on the inboard CFT weapons rows are designated as STA-3C (front) and STA-4C (aft) on the left CFT and stations, and are designated as STA-6C (aft) and STA-7C (front) on the right CFT.
The CFT stations are numbered from rear to front and then from inboard to outboard. According to this numbering system, LCT-1 (left CFT) and RCT-1 (right CFT) are the aftmost stations on the inboard CFT weapons rows, LCT-2 / RCT-2 are in the middle and LCT-3 / RCT-3 are the foremost stations on the long inboard CFT pylons. The same goes for the outboard CFT weapons rows with LCT-4 / RCT-4 aft, LCT-5 / RCT-5 in the middle and LCT-6 / RCT-6 in the front.
The following diagram illustrates the air-to-ground weapon stores of the Strike Eagle ( A/G stations are red, navigation and targeting pod stations are green):
The outboard underwing stations STA-1 and STA-9 were initially intended for a still-born ECM pod for the F-15 program but were never cleared for any stores. They were finally deleted from the F-15E. These stations can carry up to 1000 pounds each and are 1760 compatible. A new weapon launcher must be designed to adapt to these stations. Boeing offers STA-1 and STA-9 for the F-15SA variant, which includes a system that allows for the intergration of these additional weapons stations.
Underwing and Centerline Stations
The underwing and centerline stations are the ones which can carry the heaviest of loads cleared for the F-15E - that is an impressive 3,500+ pounds (over 1.7 tons). The layout of these stations is illustrated on the following diagram:
Left Conformal Stations
Conformal stations are part of the tangential carriage system. The following figure illustrates the left side CFT stations:
Right Conformal Stations
Conformal stations are part of the tangential carriage system. The following figure illustrates the right side CFT stations:
Navigation and Targeting Pods
There are two special external stations to carry navigation and targeting pods. These are placed below the engine air intakes. The following diagram illustrates them. Note, that the diagram depicts the LANTIRN system. The F-15E can carry other types of targeting pods as well (Litening, Sniper XR), which are not depicted here.
Being a striker by heart, the F-15E Strike Eagle can carry an imressively wide range of A/G weapons (missiles, dumb and smart bombs) on practically every one of her weapons stations, except the A/A missile stations. There are limits however. The following tables illustrate the limitations to these types of external stores.
Laser Guided Bombs:
GPS Guided Bombs:
Miscellaneous A/G Weapons:
Except for weapons, the F-15E Strike Eagle carries certain type of external stores: fuel tanks, travel pods, data link pods, etc. The following table illustrates the limitations to these types of external stores:
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|Last Updated on Saturday, 22 October 2011|
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Apr 16 2011 06:55:43
BRILLIANT idea and article,Thank you
Apr 28 2011 11:01:55
Quick question first. When referring to Bru-47s you state (wired) what does that mean?
Also, regarding the Nuc capability, all three pylons have the ability to carry a Nuc. Though we removed some LRUs from them since the desire to carry on those stations is pretty much gone.
Finally, and I don't recall seeing this in there. The CFTs have to be configured properly for A/G or A/A. To use RC3 and LC7, the LAU-106 must be moved forward. In A/G mode, BRU-47s occupy this space. This can be a challenge. It is ill advised to switch between A/A and A/G on the same aircraft often since it increases the workload on maintainers. Any time a CFT configuration change is made an full wring-out of the CFT must be done.