Boeing F-15 Silent Eagle Specification & Technical Data

Boeing unveiled a new version of F-15 called Silent Eagle, it’s a improvised stealth version of F-15 Strike eagle. F-15 is a world-class fighter aircraft. Continuous avionics upgrades could keep it competitive with super-fighters like the F-22. But the F-22’s distinct advantage is that the airframe was designed to be stealthy from the start.

While Boeing has done a few things to the F-15 airframe to reduce its radar return (submerged weapons carriage, an exportable radar-absorbent material coating on the airframe, and outward-canted fins,) it’s still a decidedly non-stealthy airplane. It’s still not quite a fifth-generation fighter, but it’s not intended to be. For instance, the F-15SE is not going to slip stealthily into defended airspace and wipe out a surface-to-air missile battery. That’s still the job of the all-aspect stealthy F-22 or B-2.

F-15 Silent Eagle
RoleMulti-role stealth fighter
National originUnited States
Primary usersN/A
ManufacturerBoeing Defense
First flight08/07/2010
StatusIn development
Number built1
Program cost
Unit costUS$100 million
Length63.8 ft / 19.43 m
Wingspan42.8 ft / 13.05 m
Height18.5 ft / 5.63 m
Wing area608 ft² / 56.5 m²
Empty weight31,700 lb / 14,300 kg
Maximum payload
Maximum takeoff weight81,000 lb / 36,700 kg
Powerplant2 × Pratt & Whitney F100-229 afterburning turbofans
Maximum speedMach 2.5+ (1,650+ mph, 2,650+ km/h)
Ferry range2,400 mi / 2,100 nmi (3,900 km)
Combat radius800+ nm (720 nmi for stealth A/A mission) / (920 miles (1,480 kilometres))
Service ceiling60,000 ft (18,200 m)
Rate of climb50,000+ ft/min (254+ m/s)
Guns1× 20 mm (0.787 in) M61 Vulcan 6-barreled Gatling cannon with 510 rounds of ammunition
Air to air loadout
Air to ground loadout
HardpointsFour internal hardpoints in conformal weapons bays for low-observable capability

Boeing optimized the F-15SE to reduce the aircraft’s head-on radar cross section. That’s not going to fool a ground-based SAM radar, but it will make it harder for an enemy fighter entering the merge to lock-on to your aircraft with a radar-guided missile. Boeing optimized the F-15SE to reduce the aircraft’s head-on radar cross section. That’s not going to fool a ground-based SAM radar, but it will make it harder for an enemy fighter entering the merge to lock-on to your aircraft with a radar-guided missile. Friendly foreign air forces have to face the question of whether they need stealthy combat aircraft in their arsenals. In scenarios like Afghanistan and the 2003 invasion of Iraq, stealth was not as vital a factor as it was in Operation Desert Storm because of the enemy’s degraded air defenses.


Stealth often becomes a hindrance because internal weapons carriage reduces the overall payload the aircraft can carry. It’s interesting to see if anybody is interested in buying the F-15 Silent Eagle, especially with the price of the F-35 rising. The F-35 was designed with an “affordable” degree of stealth in mind, but it’s quickly becoming as expensive as the F-22. “Silent Eagle” is the poor man’s F-35, sacrificing the F-35‘s level of stealthiness for affordability, superior maneuverability, a higher top speed, a dual crew, and twin-engine reliability.

Japan is likely to be the target of Boeing’s F-15 Silent Eagle marketing. The Japanese already fly F-15’s but really want the F-22. With the US Congress prohibiting F-22 exports, Japan will likely settle for the F-35 unless Boeing can make a better offer (i.e., one that includes a higher degree of the plane’s production in Japan) with the F-15 Silent Eagle. Improvements in stealth over previous F-15 variants include coatings and treatments on the aircraft and there has also been a redesign of the conformal fuel tanks (CFTs) that allow for internal weapons carriage, says Boeing.

Depending on the specific mission, the customer can use the CFTs that are designed for internal carriage or change back to the traditional CFTs for optimum fuel capacity and external weapons carriage. The Silent Eagle will be able to internally carry air-to-air missiles such as the AIM-9 and AIM-120 and air-to-ground weapons such as the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) and Small Diameter Bomb (SDB). The standard weapons load used on current versions of the F-15 is available with the traditional CFTs installed. Boeing states that the aircraft’s canted vertical tails improve aerodynamic efficiency, provide lift, and reduce airframe weight. The go onto say that another aerodynamic improvement is the Digital Flight Control System, which improves the aircraft’s reliability and reduces airframe weight.


Survivability improvements include a BAES Digital Electronic Warfare System (DEWS) working in concert with the Raytheon Advanced Electronic Scanning Array (AESA) radar. Boeing has completed a conceptual prototype of the CFT internal-carriage concept, and plans to flight-test a prototype by the first quarter of 2010, including a live missile launch. The design, development, and test of this internal carriage system are available as a collaborative project with an international aerospace partner. Boeing says the F-15SE can match the frontal-aspect stealth performance of the export version of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

The precise level stealth allowed to be exported to foreign countries is still to be determined by the US authorities who govern technology transfer rules. Boeing says they’re not offering the F-15SE to the US Air Force, but could the single-largest F-15 customer in the world be tempted? Obviously, the USAF is committed to buying a fifth-generation-only fleet of F-22s and F-35s, but if costs, schedule delays or performance problems start mounting, could the service be driven to “settle” for improved F-15s

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About Larkins Dsouza

Founded Defence Aviation, clean freak, loves everything aviation, serendipitous & loves to create something new.
  • Wiley

    The old F 15 is a great fighter and this new version just kicks the burner a little more. Good going Boeing.

  • Josh

    I think this is a great cost effective plane to fill in the gap's for the USAFs fighter fleet.We cant rely on 160+ F-22s and most likely over 700 F-35s.We need atleast 500+ Silent Eagle's for the USAF.We need to still be the biggest and best air force there is.

    • emil lawrence

      The Israelis have already stolen or received everything our miiltary has in this USA. With attitudes like yours, dude, we have already given the Israelis the second largest drone fleet. the third largest nuclear bomb arsenal and now we should give them the most powerful plane on earth. You must be sniffing glue, dude. We have more Israeli spies in US jails than we have Russians and Chinese combined, while we still give the Israelis 7-9 Billion dollars a year in cash. 9/11 happened because 400 million Muslims see the Israelis and Americans as one country. dide.

      • Brian

        How did Israel enter the conversation? Are you just looking to start an argument?

      • Andre Jansen

        You are a comedian, right ?

      • Larry Cook

        Okay emil lawrence, first of all, Israel designed battlefield drones, that America purchased and employed. They also have some of the finest aircraft factories and mod sections as well. Yes, Israel has spies here in America, and also in other nations as well. Quite effective ones. And much of the info they share with America, about areas that we lack human intell. from. They have home designed aircraft, designed to defend their nation, which they have much less warning time than we get. As to their nuclear capability, you are only assuming, because like our Navy, they refuse to confirm or deny, their possessing nuclear weapons. I put money on them having such, otherwise Egypt, Syria Jordan, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, etc, would have banded together and destroyed their nation. They have indeed made the desert bloom, and are living in what used to be their homelands centuries ago. Now to get to the point, on the nuclear question, it seems India and Pakistan have more weapons now days than even America, and are quietly building more, along with a growing China expansion. India and China are developing aircraft carriers. A means to push power outside their own nations.
        What about the Chinese spies, known to have copied much of our tech? Or the Russian spies, ditto?
        You equate a hatred of Israel with a religion, not a people. This would be like the Catholic church taking a stand on other issues. Religion and politics should not mix, and when you end up with a theocracy, sooner or later problems arise.
        As to jailed Israel spies, yes we have a few, but we have also quietly expelled those from other nations. We have more domestic spies in prison, those Americans willing to sell out their nation, for MONEY. The love of which, is the root of all evil.

  • Leo Hooper

    They need to turn further development of the under performing, obese F-35 turtles over to the Israelis to turn into a competitive 5th gen fighter. Lockheed Martin obviously does not know how to do that.

    • bob

      Lockheed is the best in the world–period. The only thing wrong with the F-35 is what is always wrong with Swiss Army Knife planes, be they F-4 Phantom IIs or FB-111s: It is almost impossible to build a one-size-fits-all airframe and related systems in a cost-effective manner. Our air force should know better than try for an interceptor, fighter bomber, carrier and land based, VSTOL, stealh machine from the same airframe.

      • David Hoffman

        When the USAF has used aircraft based on USN aircraft, like the F-4 or A-7, the aircraft do fairly well. It seems carrier qualified aircraft are rugged enough to survive the way the USAF uses them. Sadly the reverse is not true. Land based aircraft designs are often too fragile in the long term. I always thought the Canadians bought the F-18 instead of the F-16 in part to get something that would last a fairly long time, even though they have no aircraft carriers, that I know of, and have no intentions of building one.

        • David Klinzing

          Your argument is generally correct, except for your specific example. The original F-18 was a naval version of the Air Force YF-17 which competed against the YF-16 for the 'light weight fighter' contract. The most obvious changes being much stronger landing gear and carry through structure from heavier arrestor hook.

          • Andre Jansen

            F 18 is truly superb, especially in SuperHornet form but is much heavier than (Y)F 17 would ever have been and so much more capable. I often wonder if the USAF in hindsight regrets their decision then to choose F 16 over F 17

          • Larry Cook

            The decision of the F-16 vs the YF-17, was one of common engines. Both planes used the TF-100 engine at the time. Now the F-16 is using General Electric engines. And of course the idea of having non-navy planes too, I am sure crossed the generals making that call. The FA-18 came out of the YF-17 test program, and for the Navy, having two engines, just in case, was the important call. I cannot imagine why the Navy is even considering the F-35 with its highly complicated single engine. Just not the same group making those calls I guess.
            I have often asked the question as to how repairable the F-35 airframe is, since sooner or later, they will receive damages, be it from lucky shots, or engine fires. The one example, a F-35 that suffered an engine fire, was a total write off. With the cost of the program being so high, how many of these planes will be placed into close air support, where damages are likely. I foresee the bean counters in charge not risking it in that venue. “Too risky and not cost effective?”. Unlike the fairly cheap A-10, that so far is doing its job and doing it well. A flying dump truck, with a huge internal gun, that carries lots of ammo as well. But since nobody asked me, it too will join all the other plane types I used to work on as a jet engine mechanic. Most of what I worked on, is now either beer cans, or some static display somewhere. That is what growing old gets one.

        • Bryon Scheer

          The only reason the Navy went with the Hornet was because the navy like twinn engines, now with the forced on JSF the are going with a single engine…..

  • in digust

    Show us the money, in an account, committed to specs, with a penalty clause, and then own up to the deal. Oh yea, and what about rent on those thousands of troops we are donatng, add that to the bagin. Show me money….

  • Emil Lawrence

    I am a veteran of the United States Navy. And, I still remember the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty that killed 47 US sailors when it was flying the Stars and Stripes. Fifty years later, they still are feeding us cow dung on story for the attack. And, when the Liberty was attacked, Lyndon Johnson turned back carrier F-15 or F-18s so that they would not engage the Israeli F-15 or F-18, that we gave them, by shooting them down. I welcome the Silent 15, and if some country that wants to buy them, but does not like them, that is their problem…

    • Bob

      You sir are full of something. If you were really in the Navy in 1967 (which I am dubious of), you would realize there were NO F-15's and F-18's at that time. We developed these airframes much later. If you are going to pass yourself off as something you are not to jump Israel, at least know what you are talking about!

      • Bob H

        Correct Bob, in 1967 The US Navy was flying the "Big Bus" (F4 Phantom).

        IDF attacked in French Mirage III fighter jets in the 1st wave. The Mirages left after expending their ammunition, and were replaced by two French Dassault Mysteres armed with napalm bombs.

        Emil has no clue.

      • AlaskanYukMouth

        Bob, I totally agree with all points made. good work.

        for my part.the F-15 is still the better plane over the F-35 & F-22 in most areas of performance, luggage capacity, front-end cost, user friendliness, maint. & upkeep ease and cost efficiency, safety, and like an old chevy…..spare parts all over the world when the time comes to patch up whatever we got left and get it airborne.

      • Larry Cook

        Thank you Bob. The Liberty incident has some information online. Yes it was an attack, claimed to have been in error. Which I doubt. At the time, our position was an unknown to Israel, and they have the old school attitude as to “if you are not for us, you are agin us”. And they take pride in defending their very small nation. How many Americans can say that?
        Emil Lawrence is a joke, as if he were in the service, he would have been kept in the dark about the Liberty Incident, as most of America was at the time. And we lost more Americans, spying on Russia, China, N. Korea etc, than were lost or wounded in that attack.

    • David Hoffman

      There has never been an operational use of the F-15 on an aircraft carrier. The F-15 and F-18 did not exist in 1967.

      The USS Liberty incident was mainly the result of very bad uses of a status board by an Israeli army unit, who were ridiculously committed to the idea that they were being attacked or had been attacked from the Mediterranean Sea by an Egyptian warship. Combine that with the not so wise, not so intelligent, not well trained Israeli Navy, the idiotic obsession and determination to get back at the Egyptian Navy for things they did prior to June 1967, and you get conditions excellent enough to produce the disasterous, but unintentional, attack on the USS Liberty. The Israeli Air Force went along with the attack partly because they did not have the political clout to tell the Israeli Army to sit down and shut up with the talk about invisible Egyptian Navy attacks.

      • Larry Cook

        There are some that claim Israel started the 1974 war with Egypt. However it started, the tiny nation stood firm, and defeated Egypt. It took the rest of the world’s nations, in an U.N. action, to keep Israel from becoming owner of the Suez Canal, or even invading Cairo. And Israel seems to believe in the old school of warfare, where when you defeat a nation, you OWN the land, people etc. Paid for with blood of Israel military.
        Yes, America had/has a vested interest in how weapon systems perform against the then Soviet equipment. What better testing ground than real combat, against the real thing. The F-4s we sold to Israel, turned the Baka Valley into the worlds largest collection of MIG parts. And then they also were the first to field the F-15 in combat, where it too performed stupendously. Their forces have flown cast off aircraft, in a vast array of models, and perhaps it is the grit of the flyers that keeps them from being defeated. Training is key.

    • Andre Jansen

      No F 15 or F 18 at that time (F 14 was roughly the naval equivalent of F 15) The F 18 has never been in Israeli service.It is common knowledge that USS Liberty was mistakenly attacked. You do not seem to acquire much accurate info in your long service.

  • Mike

    This is a great idea; the F-15 is a proven top fighter. This will make it even better. Great job Boeing.

  • Paul

    I was A crew chief on the early versions of the F15's I worked on the F-15A and B models back in the early 80's. Those planes kicked … then and these planes will kick but now. Let us not forget it's a very dangerous world.

  • John

    Dido Bob, No F-15's or F-18's were around during the Johnson administration. They were just under development at best. Anyone who really knows fighter aircraft understands the F-15 was never intended for or used as a carrier based fighter by the Navy. The F-15 was used by the Air Force, it's undercarriage is not built for carrier landings.

  • Bryan

    I'm former Naval Aviation, and am normally on the side of acquiring cool new planes, but given the fact our adversaries don't have airplanes (unless they hijack them) this seems like a pretty good idea.

  • Larry Cook

    Where stealth is expensive, revamping the F-15 makes sense. If I were defending an area, I would want as many defensive fighters my budget could afford. So rather than having one ”plastic fantastic”, two or three more F-15s would be a highly considered option. Our US Air Force has always wanted the newest and bestest toy on the block. And with weapon system development being a committee operation, with inputs from many sources, it has had to deal with many issues along the years. The F-4, first flown by the Navy, designed to be all missile, until it was found that an internal gun was still needed. The F-111, designed to be the everything for every service, failed to deliver, and cost soared. The end result, while its performance was as quoted, still lacked. But that is what happens why your product is based upon a committee, and lacks a directed mission requirement design.
    The F-15, even as old as it is, has not lost in engagements. This will not continue as other nations develop better fighters. Stealing ideas, makes such development a sure thing. But still, on a cost per basis, how expensive is that F-35, or the F-22 against the good old F-15, and the A-10? Sometimes wanting upgrades, is not the best route to take. Are we planning to go into an offensive war? Or should we be developing defensive weapons and platforms?
    And one other thing, that makes a huge difference, is training. Top Gun and Red Flag exercises paid for themselves, in saved pilot’s lives, and mission capable flying. Budgets seem to be trimmed in this area. As in Vietnam, we found out, you must continue to train, and fight as you train. Otherwise you lose planes and pilots.
    The future seems to be foggy, as to if the next generation of fighters and ground attack aircraft will even be manned. The drones, while they have drawbacks, are evolving into lethal weapon platforms, and with some more development, they may be the best way to deliver air superiority without risk to pilots. And while they are in their childhood stage, I see much improvement over the Firebee Buffalo Hunter drones of the Vietnam era.


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