F-15NH BLUE Eagle | Strike Fighter
Length: 19.43 meters
Wingspan: 13.05 meters
Height: 5.63 meters
Crew: Two - pilot and air combat officer
Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney F100-229 afterburning thrust-vectoring turbofans, 29,000 lbf (129 kN) each
Speed: 2,650 km/h
The F-15E Strike Eagle is an all-weather multirole fighter, derived from the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle. The F-15E was designed in the 1980s for long-range, high speed interdiction without relying on escort or electronic warfare aircraft. F-15E Strike Eagles can be distinguished from other U.S. Eagle variants by the conformal fuel tanks mounted along the engine intakes, as well as intake mufflers and other forward-stealth reinforcing . The Boeing F-15SE Silent Eagle is an upgrade of the F-15E by Boeing using stealth features, such as internal weapons carriage and radar-absorbent material.
The New Hayesalian Air Force and Navy operates a very unique variant of the F-15 Strike Eagle, retitled the F-15N, the Blue Eagle. This variant uses the current F-15SE design, with additional naval abilities with arresting and launching gear, as well as reinforced airframes in areas of high stress. This variant also uses thrust-vectoring and forward canard technology based on research from the F-15 Active program, as well as an updated fly-by-wire system and avionics package similar to that of the Sea Raptor.
On the F-15SE, conformal fuel tanks were reengineered to become conformal weapons bays to allow all weapons to be mounted internally. Fuel tanks were moved to other sections of the aircraft and range and fuel consumption has been maintained. Softening of edges and the heavy use of radar absorbent material in the aircraft allow it to become far stealthier than other 4.5 generation fighters, giving the Blue Heeler a significant tactical advantage.
Other changes include the introduction of an APG-63(V)3 AESA radar and the introduction of side and rear facing radar.
Navigation is via both GPS and an inertial navigation system. The Blue Heeler can use Instrument Landing System (ILS) for landing in poor weather. The aircraft also features an advanced ground proximity warning system which is enhanced and fully integrated into the cockpit displays and controls. The Multifunctional Information Distribution System (MIDS) provides the Link 16 data link.
The Blue Heeler features a "glass cockpit" without any conventional instruments. It includes: three full colour Multi-function Head Down Displays (MHDDs) (the formats on which are manipulated by means of softkeys, XY cursor and voice (DVI) command), a wide angle Head Up Display (HUD) with Forward Looking Infra Red (FLIR), Voice & Hands On Throttle And Stick (Voice+HOTAS), Helmet Mounted Symbology System (HMSS) (known to test pilots as 'The Electric Hat'), Multifunction Information Distribution System (MIDS), a Manual Data Entry Facility (MDEF) located on the left glareshield and a fully integrated aircraft warning system with a Dedicated Warnings Panel (DWP). Revisionary flying instruments, lit by LEDs, are located under a hinged right glareshield. The pilot flies the aircraft by means of a center stick and left hand throttles. Emergency escape is provided by a Martin-Baker Mk.16A ejection seat, with the canopy being jettisoned by two rocket motors.
The Blue Heeler DVI system utilizes a Speech Recognition Module (SRM). It provides the pilot with an additional natural mode of command and control over approximately 26 non-critical cockpit functions, to reduce pilot workload, improve aircraft safety, and expand mission capabilities. The DVI system is speaker-dependent, i.e. requires each pilot to create a template. It is not used for any safety-critical or weapon-critical tasks, such as weapon release or lowering of the undercarriage, but is used for a wide range of other cockpit functions. Voice commands are confirmed by visual or aural feedback. The system is seen as a major design feature in the reduction of pilot workload and even allows the pilot to assign targets to himself with two simple voice commands, or to any of his wingmen with only five commands.
This capability allows the aircraft to engage cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles as well as fifth generation stealth fighter aircraft such as the F-22 and F-35, as well as using RAM painting to help in the radar reduction of the aircraft as well as it's newfound supermaneuverability through the "active" upgrades to the airframe. The APG-63(V)3 was designed to support ramjet missiles in Beyond Visual Range combat against reduced signature fighters like the Block-II F-18 Hornet and Eurofighter Typhoon.
The OLS, a new development from space technologies, incorporates a helmet-mounted target designation system providing targeting solutions for both ground and air targets in the forward and aft hemispheres of the aircraft. It also provides navigation and landing aid as the system is linked to the pilot’s helmet mounted display. The most vital difference from the previous IRST sensors is that the new device provides not only a better operation range but also offers manually switchable display options of IR view, TV mode or a mix of both that significantly improves man-machine coordination. The OLS on the nose serves as the IRST while the OLS under the right air intake serves as the ground strike designator.
In air combat, the optronic suite allows:
For ground targets, the suite allows:
The aircraft employs a sophisticated and highly integrated Defensive Aids Sub-System named Praetorian. Threat detection is provided by a Radar Warning Receiver (RWR) and a Laser Warning Receivers. Protection is provided by Chaff, and Flares, Electronic Counter Measures (ECM) and a Towed Radar Decoy (TRD). Praetorian monitors and responds automatically to the outside world. It provides the pilot with an all-round prioritized assessment of Air-to-Air and Air-to-Surface threats. It can respond to single or multiple threats.