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Saudi Arabia formally inducts new F-15SA fighters
March 29, 2017

Saudi Arabia formally inducts new F-15SA fighters

The Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) formally inducted its first Boeing F-15SA multi-role fighter aircraft in a ceremony celebrating the 50th anniversary of the King Faisal Air College in Riyadh.

Equipped with the AN/APG-63(v3) active electronically-scanned array (AESA) radar and a slew of air-to-air and air-to-surface munitions, including the AIM-120C7 and AIM-9X, the F-15SA was ordered as part of a comprehensive modernization program of the RSAF.

In 2010, the U.S. State Department approved a proposal sale – valued at more than USD $29 billion – for 84 new-built F-15SA and upgrade packages for 70 existing RSAF F-15S fighters. In addition to munitions, the package also included logistics and maintenance support.

The U.S. credits the Saudi F-15 program as “a cornerstone of the relationship between the U.S. Air Force (USAF) and the RSAF.” In its 2010 request to Congress, the U.S. State Department stated that the “F-15SA will help deter potential aggressors by increasing Saudi’s tactical air force capability to defend [the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia] against regional threats.”

Notes & Comments:

Boeing markets the F-15SA as the “F-15 Advanced.” The platform is a cut below the F-15SE Silent Eagle, which is configured with internal weapon stores (for decreased detectability on radar). However, the F-15SA is a robust platform, retaining the F-15’s inherent range and payload advantages, but pairing them with a modern onboard sensor suite comprised of both an AESA radar as well as externally-placed infrared search and track (IRST) pod. In its multiple variants, the F-15 is the mainstay fighter of the RSAF.

Currently, Saudi Arabia and Israel are the two native F-15 operators, but they will be joined by Qatar, which received approval to order up to 72 F-15QAs in a USD $21 billion program.

  • jf 17 thunder

    & They spend much of their wealth on defence related stuff yet the muslim ummah is suffering, no practical involvement over Major Muslim Conflicts so this deal just like all others (Typhoon etc) will have no value at all, its just for their deterrence against iran.

    • ahmria

      The Saudi royal family are paranoid about Iran and and that’s why they buy so much military hardware. I think they have wasted so much of their oil wealth on these things when they could have used the money to build for their nation future, New infrastructure, education and encouraging various industries to invest and develop. The fact is that all these massive military deals done with the Americans and Europeans is also a political act so that when things get tense militarily the Americans and Europeans will come to their aid and fight their enemies for them.

  • Türker Demircan

    ” In 2010, the U.S. State Department approved a proposal sale
    – valued at more than USD $29 billion – for 84 new-built F-15SA and
    upgrade packages for 70 existing RSAF F-15S fighters. In addition to
    munitions, the package also included logistics and maintenance support. ”

    Lets think they are all new built planes makes 84 + 70, 154 fighters and some extras… Make a unit cost of 188-USD Millions…Unbeliavable

    • ahmria

      I’m sure the F35 is actually cheaper than these F15s.

      • Superior Shakeel

        Nope they are not the prices cited here are includes everything from airframe to engine to spares to munitions to support to everything F-35 airframe alone cost 87 million plus 12 million for engine but with support and required infrastructure they will cost upwards of 200 million to 250 million depending on the version.

  • mazhar

    $29 Billion from SA and $21 Billion from Qatar=$50 Billions for what? where there is no such enemy, these countries never stood against Isreal militarily, only Yemen where they can use such technology. US is making this horrendous amuont of money by fooling these countries from Iran factor. Arabs are spending their money to protect US interests in the region.

  • SUPERIOR SHAKEEL

    TOT is only good if you can absorb it and actually put it to use and even after that some part or more often the most critical part is left out we obtained Tot for our agosta 90 subs but we still can’t even design and build even a frigate let alone a midget submarine and is dependent on turkey to upgrade it.

    Does the extra money spent on TOT? Sounds good to you now basically 0 ROI.

    Also Russian do not consume oil like USA this petrodollar is what keeps US Saudi alliance afloat in return for using dollars as a standard for all oil trade and political support they get cheap oil and full Monopoly to their defense market.

    Russian products come with zero geopolitical pull and influence.

    Also this F-15 is top of the line absolute beast nothing like this exist in Russian arsenal.

    • mazhar

      Comments below confirm my concerns. Too expensive deal with out any commercial offsets. US made another country fool the same way, Kenya, who is being sold WWII technology for USD $418 million sale of 12 Air Tractor AT-802L and 2 AT-504 trainers (Sptifire and Mustang look). Each plane costs $29.8 Milllion with a comprehensive package. Highway Robbery, in both sales.

  • ahmria

    What I find totally insane with this deal is that you are paying $29 billion dollars on a jet that is coming to the end of its life. Boeing must be laughing all the way to the bank. Yes there are upgrades and new avionics added to the airframe with the new AESA radar and a full FBW system amongst other things but you’re still talking about at best a 4.5 generation jet.
    When Turkey and Israel are now getting 5 generation F35 jets the Saudis are getting excited by these birds that are at least half a generation behind the latest tech.. I’m sure its a great jet but If I was the Saudis I would have pushed for the F35 which i’m sure would actually have been cheaper than what they are paying for these F15SA and some AIM-120D missiles.
    If the Saudis wanted a 4.5 generation aircraft that would have been a better choice for multi role missions I would have thought the AESA equipped Eurofighter Typhoon and for the air to air role the MBDA meteor missile which has a much longer range than the AIM120.There doesn’t seem to be any real TOT included in the deal as well so nothing to help the local aviation industry learn and develop. I just think the Saudis are wasting a lot of money and its sad really because if they had negotiated harder with the Americans they could have got a much better deal.

  • Steve

    One word…STUPID

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