F-15 SLEP Coming

The F-15C and E fleets will need a Service Life Extension Program that will cost “billions,” Air Combat Command chief Gen. Hawk Carlisle told reporters at ASC?15. “If you look at the stress tests we’re doing on the F-15C and the F-16 and F-15E, there are issues” requiring attention, Carlisle said. Wing spars and skins, and longerons are just some of the things that have to be replaced, he said, adding that if he “could find a way” to afford some capability upgrades, he would add them to the list of things installed when the jets are down for refurbishment. These include radars, passive detection systems, link architecture, radios, communications, and navigation equipment, he said. While the F-15Es fly a different mission than the C models, they both endure “a lot of weight on the wings” and so will need similar attention. “Those airplanes are going to be in the inventory for a long time to come,” he said, and “we have to get them as capable as we can.” The SLEP isn’t something that will happen “in the next one or two years” because stress data is still being collected, but “we have to start building (that) into the program.”