AF chief: F-15 here for a while

November 24th, 2008  

Topic: AF chief: F-15 here for a while

AF chief: F-15 here for a while

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on November 23, 2008 2:00 AM

WASHINGTON -- Gen. Norton Schwartz knows the F-15E is aging.
But the Air Force chief of staff insists that despite a stressful workload, the Strike Eagle likely still has at least a decade of service left in it.
The future of the airframe was among the topics discussed by the nation's top Air Force official Tuesday at the Pentagon.
"I think when you have got a scenario where you are dealing with a high-performance aircraft, 25 years, maybe 30, is the length of time these machines are viable," Schwartz said. "With the F-15E, I think an indication of the viability of that platform is that others are still procuring them. We have Singapore F-15s and Korean F-15s. ... That shows us this is still certainly a capable machine."
So does its service record.
Since receiving initial operational capability at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in September 1989, the aircraft has played a key role in Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield, was used to patrol no-fly zones and drop ordnance during conflicts in Bosnia and Kosovo, and, lately, has been instrumental in eliminating al-Qaeda and Taliban threats in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"It can deliver with precision, and it happens in any number of ways," Schwartz said. "The typical one we think of is delivering munitions, but it could well be in a non-traditional surveillance and reconnaissance role. It could well be in terms of just making noise. ... It's a versatile machine, and our folks have been doing extremely well in it."
But what has impressed Schwartz the most about the jet is that from the moment it came off the line, its reputation as one of the world's premier dual-role fighters has been put to the test nearly every day -- and it always seems to answer the call -- even now, in tough desert conditions, more than 20 years after its first flight.
"I have an appreciation for what happens in that airplane and admiration as well. It's a great bird and those kids are using it to great effect," he said. "It has all the qualities you would want in an advanced platform."
The general's comments were not limited to the F-15E.
He also discussed his obligation to the men and women at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base who have made the aircraft's success possible in Afghanistan.

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November 24th, 2008  
I think F-15 will remain with the USAF until F-22 raptor enters into mass production to replace them.

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