F-15C Golden Eagle given the duty of protecting F-22!


Senior Member
Mar 21, 2009
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F-22 stealth fighter production is capped, so USAF officials are upgrading their best F-15C with advanced, long-range radars to beef up the air dominance force.

Each fighter type will shoulder 50% of the air dominance mission now that the F-22 force has been capped at 187 aircraft. The upgraded F-15Cs will carry the larger APG-63(V)3 active, electronically scanned array (AESA) radar. The radar's long range and small target detection capability will allow F-22s to operate in electronic silence with their low observability uncompromised by electronic emissions.

"Our objective is to fly in front [of any strike force] with the F-22s
, and have the persistence [because of larger fuel loads] to stay there while the [stealthy fighters] are conducting their LO attack," says Maj. Todd Giggy, the wing's chief of weapons and tactics. Giggy was formerly with the chief of weapons and tactics for the 1st Air Dominance Wing at Langley. "That persistence is something we can add that no one else can in the air dominance world."

The Air Force will deliver up to six AESA radars this summer for installation on F-15Cs at the Weapons School and 442 Sgdn. at Nellis AFB, Nev. The fleet will eventually grow to 176 Golden Eagles that are slated to serve until 2030.



Founding Member
Regular Member
Feb 19, 2009
Given the current state of the economy and the US's declining economic prowess this seems like the base case scenario and might actually work out to be a great deal for the USAF. Although it might seem like having hundreds of stealth aircraft would be beneficial the fact of the matter is that just the maintenance these aircraft require would have severely taxed the USAF's budget. By having a smaller number of F-22's and using the F-15's to screen them, the USAF can continue to project air superiority albeit in a much more economical fashion. Not to mention with that with the Falcon's operating in pretty much complete electronic silence, their lethality will be much enhanced.

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