Why Israel Wants the F-15 SE “Silent Eagle” And what it means for the US Air Force

F-15 Silent Eagle, being an evolution of capable multirole aircraft, is definetly a better option than the F-35 which is basically a (barely) self-defensible bomber / ground attack aircraft. Thus no surprise that Israel, which actually has to have a capable air force, and already has both F-15 and F-16 in its inventory, is considering it – wether US diplomatic pressure will force it to buy the F-35 remains to be seen.

Bryen's Blog News

by Stephen Bryen

According to news reports, Israel wants the F-15 Silent Eagle. The F-15 Silent Eagle is a stealthy evolution of the F-15 Strike Eagle, which forms the backbone of Israel’s Air Force.

F-15 Silent Eagle F-15 Silent Eagle

Some analysts are surprised Israel would request the Silent Eagle.  But there are good reasons for it: in fact, the reasons are so good that if our Air Force had common sense it would reduce the size of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter buy and get the Silent Eagles for our Air Force too.

There is, of course, both a sort of respect and competition that characterizes relations between the US Air Force and Israel’s Air Force.  And there are differences in mission: Israel is a regional power, not a superpower.  It mostly fights in its own neighborhood; although the Iranian challenge means Israel needs more long range aircraft that can carry a…

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17 thoughts on “Why Israel Wants the F-15 SE “Silent Eagle” And what it means for the US Air Force

  1. I think everyone here will agree that Israel, if they want an existing US aircraft, should choose the Silent Eagle, exception of good surprises from F-16V or incredibly good surprises from Advanced Hornet.

    • Agreed. Though I don’t think Hornet would be a good choice, especially if it is a Super Hornet variant. Anyway, it is nice to see the F-15s still got life in it – that bird was my first love as far as military aviation goes.

      • First love too ^^

        the problem with Hornet come from the air-air only or there is a real problem in air-ground strike? Didn’t heard it was worst than F-35.

      • an F-16 (Israel will buy American for political/strategic reasons) with modern avionics and engine would be the best bet I think. but, if you need longer legs and weapons load F-15SE can fill that role.

        F-35 is overpriced. But, for penetrating Iranian airspace (that will be defended by newer Russian air defenses) and performing precision strike, F-35 would be most capable aircraft available in world market.

        If the logistics of it works, I would buy a handful of F-35 if I were Israel.

        or I might wait for LRS-B

        I was hoping LRS-B might be something like an enlarged F-22 platform with open architecture and incorporating the best AtG avionics/sensors available at time of production.

        But it will probably end up being over engineered and over-priced corporate windfall.

    • We know Israel has to buy American for strategic reasons.

      But, If we are gonna talk ideal scenario I would go with Gripen.

      Cheaper, more maintainable, higher sortie rate, more survivable on the ground, Etc.

    • Well, Suffren, the had Mirage IIIC and 5. Only France had M-IV. They also had Mystère IV, Ouragan, Super-Mystère B2, Vautour and when DeGaulle pulled out to pursue an Arab-oriented politic, they reverse-engineered Mirages to build the Neshers and Kfirs… They also used Noratlas, Norécrin, SOCATA Rallye & Trinidad, Fouga Magister (there was one of their for sales a few month ago for 30k€), Alouète II, Super-Frelon, Dauphin, Panther.
      Note that Jericho 1, their 1st ballistic missile was built by Dassault and Dimona, the ‘research’ nuke plant is a copy of the one that built our nukes. Actually, Gerboise Bleue didn’t made 1 nuke power but 2 at the same time… Shimon Peres even had his own office at the MinDef during the 50’s…
      France should resume such relations, anyway, aren’t we all “kuffar”? BTW, Marcel Dassault real name was Bloch. I let guess anyone from which ethnicity he was… Anyway, we shouldn’t deal with countries who let their clerics preach about doing terrorist attacks on our soil or to kill us all unless we convert and moreover practise apartheid, sexpartheid and I don’t give a fuck about Paris St.Germain results…

    • Probably because they didn’t have a need for it. Historically CAS aircraft have been developed by either:

      a) Militaries which faced a big tank threat either because of the numbers of the opposition or the quality of their crews. Here we have as examples the Soviets developing the Il-2 to reduce the threat of the very competent tank crews of the Germans, and the Germans developing the Ju-87G, and Hs-129, to face the tide of soviet tanks and the US developing the A-10 to face the threat of tides of soviet tanks flooding thru the Fulda Gap.
      b) Militaries which faced overwhelming infantry numbers or guerrilla tactics. Here we have as example the US bring back the Skyraider for the Vietnam war and the Soviets developing the Su-25 during the Afghan war.

      Israel was in neither case. The Arab tank threat while great in number was so inept that it could easily be contained by the Israelis own tank corps, and while they faced guerrilla tactics from the 80s on, the political climate required more intervention thru police action then the overwhelming firepower of a CAS aircraft.

    • Good observations Andrei, although I still think that the Israeli military could have benefited from a CAS aircraft either way.

      Although I strongly disagree with what they have done with the Gaza Strip and their other actions, strictly from a military standpoint CAS has proved useful even in guerrilla and counter guerrilla wars.

      • Probably. But lately most of their operations have been confined to urban spaces and police actions. An aircraft like the A-10 would be overkill in such situation and would not guarantee lack of collateral casualties. Even their use of Apaches, with much less firepower, is very controversial. The US use of A-10 in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria is mostly “confined” to rural spaces. For urban spaces, to limit collateral casualties one needs a bomb falling straight down on an offending building. The A-10 oblique cannon shots would most likely guarantee that the building gets raked and adjacent buildings are hit.

  2. I just hope that Canada can avoid the F-35 mess.

    It seems to be getting worse by the day. Politically Israel not wanting the F-35 might be very good. It could weaken support in the US, especially given the nature of Israel’s relationship.

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