Military Aviation

USAF wants only eight out of twelve F-15X Advanced Eagle fighters

Lawmakers are skeptical about the capabilities of the F-15X Advanced Eagle

The U.S. Air Force (USAF) is reportedly requesting an upgraded version of the Boeing F-15 Eagle fighter jet in its 2020 budget, despite pushback from lawmakers and earlier skepticism from top USAF officials.

According to Bloomberg, the service wants eight Boeing F-15X Advanced Eagle jets in its 2020 budget, fewer than the expected 12 fighters.

The F-15X won’t have the stealth capabilities of the fifth-generation Lockheed Martin F-35 but could carry more ordnance and heavier payloads like hypersonic weapons, according to the report.

Nevertheless lawmakers are skeptical about the capabilities of the older plane.

“Choosing to invest in these fighters, which we know are neither lethal nor survivable against today’s advanced threats, would be a disservice to service members and taxpayers,” Sen. John Cornyn, R- Texas, and four other senators wrote in a letter to President Donald Trump on Jan. 15, 2019.

Most of the senators are from states where the F-35 is being made (Texas) or is going to be based (Alaska).

This print is available in multiple sizes from – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. F-15E Strike Eagle 366th Fighter Wing, 391st Fighter Squadron, MO/90-0249 – Mountain Home AFB, ID – 2008

But last month, Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein told that the Air Force needs more fighters and must replace aging F-15Cs, while vowing that he’s is “not backing an inch off of the F-35.”

The F-15X reportedly had the backing of acting Secretary of Defense Pat Shanahan, a former Boeing executive. But he has recused himself from decisions involving Boeing since he was tapped to join the Pentagon in 2017.

As we have explained in December the Pentagon would like to buy the F-15Xs to replace aging F-15Cs in service with the Air National Guard which have become too expensive to overhaul. Production of the F-15Cs ended in the 1980s.

The F-15X will carry more than two dozen air-to-air missiles and has modern flight controls, cockpit displays, and radar.

The USAF has not procured new F-15s since placing a 2001 order for five F-15E Strike Eagles, the two-seat fighter bomber variant of the mighty F-15.

Boeing has long tried to sell new versions of the Strike Eagle to the USAF and international customers. In 2010, the company pitched the Silent Eagle — an F-15 with special coating and canted vertical tails — that executives said could better evade enemy detection. In 2015, it pitched an upgrade to the F-15C — the aerial combat version — that would allow it to carry 16 air-to-air missiles.

This model is available from AirModels – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS.

Photo credit: Senior Airman Damon Kasberg / U.S. Air Force

Artwork courtesy of

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

Recent Posts

The FB-111H/FB-111B/C: the FB-111 armed with 14 SRAMs or 18 AIM-54 Phoenix air-to-air long range missiles that never was

The FB-111 Originally known as the TFX (Tactical Fighter “X”), the F-111 was conceived to… Read More

4 hours ago

Top Aces completes first ‘Adversary Air’ training mission with upgraded A-4 Advanced Aggressor Fighter in Canada

Top Aces A-4 Advanced Aggressor Fighter Top Aces, the world's leading provider of advanced adversary… Read More

1 day ago

The Hunt For The Storozhevoy: when Soviets nearly nuked one of their own warships after it was involved in a mutiny

The mutiny of the Storozhevoy On Nov. 8, 1975, Lieutenant Commander Valeriy Sablin led his… Read More

2 days ago