Warplanes: F-15SA

Archives

August 12, 2010: The U.S. has agreed to sell Saudi Arabia 84 F-15s. These are special models, similar to the two-seater F-15E, and unlike the single seat F-15s the Saudis already have. Israel protested selling the Saudis such advanced bomber technology, but the U.S. worked this out via secret discussions. The Saudi "F-15SA" will be similar to the South Korean version of the F-15E, the F-15K. This is a customized version of the 36 ton U.S. F-15E (a two seat fighter bomber version of the single seat, 31 ton F-15C fighter). Already in service for twenty years, the F-15E can carry up to 11 tons of bombs and missiles, along with a targeting pod and an internal 20mm cannon. The Saudi F-15SA sale is part of a larger, $30 billion arms deal. The Saudis would begin receiving their new F-15SAs in about four years.

The F-15E is an all weather aircraft that can fly one-way up to 3,900 kilometers. It uses in-flight refueling to hit targets anywhere on the planet. For the Saudis this means they can keep these bombers in the air longer, searching for targets. Smart bombs make the F-15E particularly efficient. The backseater handles the electronics and bombing.

The F-15E remains a potent air-superiority fighter, making it an exceptional combat aircraft. This success prompted Israel, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Singapore to buy it, paying about $100 million per aircraft. In the U.S. Air Force, the F-15E is one of the most popular aircraft for combat pilots to fly, even more so than the new F-22.

Saudi Arabia, and other Arab Gulf states (the UAE, Kuwait, Iraq) have more than tripled their purchases of American weapons over the last five years, as they strive to protect themselves from an increasingly aggressive and hostile Iran.

 

 

Article Archive

Warplanes: Current 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999

X

Save StrategyPage

Over the years, we have tried to keep in-your-face ads off our site. If our readers have complained about an ad, we have looked into it and 90% of the time removed the ad. Unfortunately, revenues from standard ads are just not enough to keep us alive.

What can you do to help resuscitate StrategyPage? There are three possibilities:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..

We appreciate any help you can give us.

Subscribe   Contribute   Close