Warplanes: July 4, 2000


so it would be effective against naval warships--Stephen V Cole

Under a secret report that startled Congress, Boeing has said it can build new F-15C fighters for less than the cost of upgrading existing planes. The Air Force plans to upgrade the F-15Cs now in service and give them to the Air National Guard as they are replaced by F-22s. The new F-15Cs can, Boeing claims, be built for half of the cost of the last F-15Cs built for the Air Force. This could affect all future aircraft programs, as it might pay to keep an aircraft in production when its successor enters service, selling off the old planes. Some of the cost reduction comes from new manufacturing concepts, and some of it from the long learning curve of the F-15. But some of the cost-cutting comes at a price in weight. The Boeing study is actually based on a new version of the F-15C known as the F-15C+. This includes all planned upgrades for the F-15C, but it also replaces many lightweight but expensive components with cheaper but heavier types. Including the upgrades and the cheaper materials, the F-15C+ actually weighs 2,500 pounds more than the F-15C, but Boeing insists that the airframe


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