Silent but Deadly

Boeing is in discussions with the US government to assess the releasability of stealth technology to various potential customers forits F-15 Silent Eagle, which would have some degree of frontal radar-cross-section reduction, says Brad Jones, the company’s F-15 future fighters program manager. Speaking to reporters in Arlington, Va., June 10, Jones said the degree of releasability varies almost on a case-by-case basis, but Boeing is hoping for a “level playing field” with the F-35 export effort, which already involves nearly a dozen countries. The F-35 will have frontal and side stealth and reduced signature in the rear quarter. Boeing will flight test an F-15 with Silent Eagle modifications next year to demonstrate to potential customers that it is more than just a concept or “paper airplane,” Jones asserted. Potential customers, he said, may not need more than frontal stealth, since F-15 users overseas tend to be “defensive” in their policies and posture, and frontal stealth would help them blunt air attacks. The aircraft would still have a formidable attack capability, though, he said. Boeing is not marketing the Silent Eagle to the Air Force or the Air National Guard, Jones said. However, he noted that USAF is “fully aware” of everything the company is briefing to potential customers on the aircraft’s capabilities.