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Li, H. Boeing F-15SE Silent Eagle. Encyclopedia. Available online: (accessed on 06 December 2023).
Li H. Boeing F-15SE Silent Eagle. Encyclopedia. Available at: Accessed December 06, 2023.
Li, Handwiki. "Boeing F-15SE Silent Eagle" Encyclopedia, (accessed December 06, 2023).
Li, H.(2022, October 21). Boeing F-15SE Silent Eagle. In Encyclopedia.
Li, Handwiki. "Boeing F-15SE Silent Eagle." Encyclopedia. Web. 21 October, 2022.
Boeing F-15SE Silent Eagle

The Boeing F-15SE Silent Eagle was a proposed upgrade of the F-15E strike fighter by Boeing using stealth features, such as internal weapons carriage and radar-absorbent material.

f-15e f-15se stealth

1. Design and Development

On 17 March 2009, Boeing first displayed an F-15SE demonstrator. The F-15SE was designed to use fifth-generation fighter technology, such as radar-absorbing materials, to significantly reduce its radar cross-section (RCS). It would have possessed a level of stealth that the U.S. government would have allowed for export, being optimized for air-to-air missions (against X-band radars) and much less effective against ground radars (which use other frequencies).[1] Different levels of RCS reduction were studied,[2] and Boeing stated that this stealth will only be in the range of fifth-generation aircraft such as the F-35 Lightning II from the frontal aspect.[3]

Unique features to the F-15SE were the conformal weapons bays (CWB) that would have replaced the conformal fuel tanks (CFT) to hold weapons internally – thus reducing fuel capacity – and the twin vertical tails canted outward 15° to reduce RCS.[4] Weapons can also be carried externally on hardpoints under each wing. New build F-15SEs were to be lighter and more fuel efficient than Strike Eagle conversions due to the canted tails, fly-by-wire controls, and digital electronic warfare equipment;[5] enabling two additional weapons stations on the wings.[6] The aircraft was to have a Raytheon active electronically scanned array radar, and a new BAE Systems EW system.[7]

In March 2009, Boeing formally launched the F-15SE for international sales;[7] it was aimed at F-15 users such as Israel, Saudi Arabia, Japan, and South Korea.[4][8][9] Boeing estimated the unit cost as approximately US$100 million, including spares and support; its lower cost compared to fifth generation fighters was intended to appeal to the export market.[7][10] In 2009, Boeing began tentative talks with South Korea over the Silent Eagle, but was unable to market it to international customers without an export license from the US government.[11] Boeing filed for an export license in early 2010,[12] and received it in July 2010.[13] In August 2010, clearance was granted to export the F-15SE's RCS treatments and EW suite to South Korea.[14]

During August and September 2009, Boeing evaluated an F-15E with different radar absorbent coatings to select a coating.[15] The first production F-15E (86-0183) was modified to the F-15E1 configuration to serve as a demonstrator. It first flew on 8 July 2010 with a left-side CWB,[13][16] and on 20 July 2010 launched an AMRAAM from a CWB.[17]

1.1. Seeking Partners and Sales

Boeing sought other companies to be risk-sharing partners to reduce development costs.[18] In November 2010, Boeing signed an agreement with Korea Aerospace Industries for KAI to design and manufacture the F-15SE's CWB.[19] KAI had previously produced wings and forward fuselages for F-15K and F-15SG. On January 2012, The Korea Times reported that only 10% of the design work on the CWB had been completed, and that development of the canted vertical tails had been suspended in 2010.[20] However, Boeing had stated that development continued with scale model wind tunnel tests scheduled for spring 2012.[21]

Israel held several discussions over the F-15SE as an alternative to the F-35 Lightning II.[22] In August 2010, Israel opted to buy the F-35.[23] In 2015, Israel requested a squadron of F-15s based on the Silent Eagle standard.[24]

In September 2009, Saudi Arabia was reportedly considering purchasing up to 72 F-15s.[25] Although the F-15SE received initial interest,[26] the less advanced F-15SA was ordered in 2012.[27][28]

The F-15SE was submitted for Japan's F-X project, but Japan instead decided to purchase the F-35 in 2011.[29][30]

In South Korea's F-X III fighter program, the F-15SE was bid against the F-35 and Eurofighter Typhoon. Existing F-15s were used for a fly-off against the Typhoon, and an F-35 flight simulator.[31][32] On 18 August 2013, the South Korean Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced that the F-15SE as the only remaining candidate; the F-35 being too costly and the Typhoon disqualified for bidding flaws. On 24 September 2013, the defense ministry rejected the award, saying that a new competition would be held.[33] On 22 November 2013, it was reported that South Korea will purchase the F-35A. Boeing had shifted from the F-15SE to the "Advanced F-15".[34]

2. Specifications

Basic specifications listed are for the F-15E Strike Eagle, on which the F-15SE is based.

Data from USAF F-15E fact sheet,[35] Davies,[36] and Boeing Silent Eagle[37]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 63.8 ft (19.43 m)
  • Wingspan: 42.8 ft (13.05 m)
  • Height: 18.5 ft (5.63 m)
  • Wing area: 608 ft² (56.5 m²)
  • Airfoil: NACA 64A006.6 root, NACA 64A203 tip
  • Empty weight: 31,700 lb (14,300 kg)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 81,000 lb (36,700 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney F100-229 afterburning turbofans
    • Dry thrust: 17800 lbf (79 kN) each
    • Thrust with afterburner: 29,000 lbf (129 kN) each


  • Maximum speed: Mach 2.5+ (1,650+ mph, 2,650+ km/h)
  • Combat radius: 800+ nm (720 nmi for stealth A/A mission)[38] (920 miles (1,480 kilometres))
  • Ferry range: 2,400 mi (2,100 nmi (3,900 km)) with conformal fuel tank and three external fuel tanks
  • Service ceiling: 60,000 ft (18,200 m)
  • Rate of climb: 50,000+ ft/min (254+ m/s)


  • 1× 20 mm (0.787 in) M61 Vulcan 6-barreled Gatling cannon with 510 rounds of ammunition
  • Four internal hardpoints in conformal weapons bays for low-observable capability, or
  • External load the same as Strike Eagle's with standard CFTs, including targeting pods and additional external fuel tanks.[39]


  • APG-82 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar
  • BAE Systems Digital Electronic warfare system (DEWS)
  • Digital "Fly-by-Wire" Flight Control System (DFCS)
  • Lockheed Martin Sniper advanced electro-optical targeting system and Infrared Search and Track (IRST) system
  • Link-16 fighter data link


  1. "Clarification." Air Force magazine, 23 March 2009.
  2. Warwick, Graham. "Boeing Studies Stealth Eagle Options." Aviation Week, 11 June 2009.
  3. Jones, Brad. "F-15 Future Fighters." Boeing, 16 March 2009 Briefing, p. 19. Retrieved: 18 August 2010.
  4. Butler, Amy. "Boeing Unveils New Stealthy Silent Eagle F-15." Aviation Week, 17 March 2009. Retrieved: 4 October 2017.
  5. Warwick, Graham. "Silent Eagle – How Stealthy?" 'Aviation Week., 12 June 2009.
  6. Waldron, Greg. "South Korea weighs option to replace F-4E Phantoms." Flight Global 14 October 2011.
  7. Trimble, Stephen. "Boeing unveils upgraded F-15 Silent Eagle with fifth-generation features.", 17 March 2009.
  8. Frost, Patricia, Damien Mills and Paul Lewis. "Boeing Unveils New International F-15 Configuration: The F-15SE." Boeing, 17 March 2009. Retrieved: 2 September 2011.
  9. Lake, Jon. "Boeing Unveils Stealthy Eagle Variant." Air International, Volume 76, Issue 5, May 2009.
  10. Butler, Amy. "Stealthy F-15 Could Enliven St. Louis Facility." Aviation Week, 20 March 2009.
  11. Reed, John. "Boeing Anticipates Approval To Export F-15 Silent Eagle." Defense News, 7 July 2010.
  12. Trimble, Stephen. "Boeing applies to export F-15SE to South Korea." Flightglobal, 25 June 2010. Retrieved: 26 June 2010.
  13. Trimble, Stephen. "F-15 Silent Eagle scores two firsts with export license, flight test." Flight International, 9 July 2010.
  14. Sung-ki, Jung. "US approves sale of stealthy F-15 to South Korea." The Korea Times, 12 September 2010.
  15. Butler, Amy. "Boeing Looks To Midsummer For First Silent Eagle Flight." Aviation Week, 18 January 2010. Retrieved: 4 October 2017.
  16. Carder, Phillip and Mary Ann Brett. "Boeing F-15 Silent Eagle Demonstrator Makes 1st Flight." Boeing, 9 July 2010. Retrieved: 18 August 2010.
  17. Carder, Phillip and Mary Ann Brett. "Boeing F-15 Silent Eagle Demonstrator Completes 1st Weapon Launch." Boeing, 20 July 2010. Retrieved: 18 August 2010.
  18. Trimble, Stephen. "Boeing eyes risk-sharing, lower costs for $100 million F-15SE." Flight International, 4 June 2009.
  19. Carder, Phil and Changgyun Koh. "Boeing, Korea Aerospace Industries Sign Agreement for Production of F-15 Silent Eagle Conformal Weapons Bay." Boeing, 3 November 2010.
  20. Lee, Tae-hoon. "Boeing may give up offering stealthy jet." Korea Times, 25 January 2012. Retrieved: 28 January 2012.
  21. Waldron, Greg. "Seoul kicks off F-X III competition." Flight Magazine, 31 January 2012.
  22. "Israel debates F-15 purchase", Jpost, 12 July 2010, .
  23. Ramirez, Luis. "Israeli Purchase of Fighter Jets Seen as Litmus Test for Continued US Support." VoA news, 17 August 2010. Retrieved: 18 August 2010.
  24. Egozi, Arie (2 November 2015). "Israel requests extra squadron of F-15s". RBI. Retrieved 2 November 2015. 
  25. Barrie, Douglas. "U.S., Saudis Deal For Additional Eagles." Aviation Week, 10 September 2009. Retrieved: 2 September 2011.
  26. Grant, Greg. "Saudis Eye Buying 72 F-15s." DoD buzz, 8 September 2009. Retrieved: 18 August 2010.
  27. "US finalises $11.4 billion Saudi order for F-15s". Flight International, 9 March 2012
  28. "2010–12 Saudi Shopping Spree: F-15s, Helicopters & More", Defense Industry Daily, 18 March 2013, .
  29. Perrett, Bradley. "Bidders Await Japanese F-X RFP." Aviation Week, 17 November 2010
  30. "US Lockheed Martin F-35 chosen as Japan fighter jet". BBC News. 20 December 2011. Retrieved 20 December 2011. 
  31. Waldron, Greg. "Seoul readies F-X III RFP." Flight Magazine, 9 January 2012.
  32. Sang-ho, Song. "Controversy grows over F-35 flight test." The Korea Herald, 10 June 2012.
  33. Kim, Sam (24 September 2013). "South Korea to Hold New Fighter Tender After Rejecting Boeing". Retrieved 24 September 2013. 
  34. "South Korea to obtain 40 F-35As", Flight global, 22 November 2013, .
  35. "F-15E Strike Eagle fact sheet." United States Air Force, October 2007.
  36. Davies 2002, Appendix 1.
  37. "Silent Eagle.", 2012.
  38. "Silent Eagle Media Brief." Boeing via Retrieved: 29 September 2010.
  39. "Defense Update on Silent Eagle." Retrieved: 18 August 2010.
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