The US Air Force will reduce by 55% the fleet of F-15E Strike Eagle fighters that can carry the B61-12 nuclear gravity bomb
The US Air Force intends to drop not only the F-15 C/D Eagle fighters, but also the Strike Eagle. To begin with, the fleet will be halved.
Here's What We Know
The F-15E Strike Eagle is a very popular aircraft in service with the US Air Force. The fleet consists of 218 fighters, but their number will be reduced by 119 by 2028. The decision is justified by the desire to "refocus costs".
Fighters equipped with Pratt & Whitney's twin F100-PW-220E turbofan engines will come under the knife. Beginning in 2028, only aircraft with Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-229 powerplants (pictured below) will remain in service with the US Air Force.
The F-15E Strike Eagle has the longest range of any tactical aircraft in the current US Air Force fleet. This is achieved through the use of two conformal fuel tanks. In terms of payload capacity, the Strike Eagle is also the leader.
The fourth-generation fighter can carry a wide range of air-launched munitions, including the B61-12 nuclear gravity bomb. The advantage of the aircraft is that it is capable of simultaneously carrying a large number of different types of weapons. In addition, the F-15E has the chance to become a platform to host future hypersonic missiles.
Each Strike Eagle has received a highly effective AN/APG-82(V)1 active phased array radar after going through an upgrade. The US Air Force is now working to integrate a new survivability system that will provide improved situational awareness and enhanced electronic warfare.
Officially, the US Air Force has not named the aircraft that will replace the F-15E Strike Eagle. Among the contenders are the fifth generation fighter F-35 Lightning II, an upgraded F-15EX Eagle II, and even a promising sixth generation fighter to appear in the middle of the next decade.
Source: The Drive