Survival in Combat
The F-15K, like all F-15s, will be one of the world's most survivable aircraft. The combat-proven F-15 boasts an exceptional safety record, thanks to its advanced avionics systems, robust airframe, speed and maneuverability.
Combat aircraft survivability is largely determined by two factors: how well an aircraft avoids being hit and how well it can withstand a hit. The F-15 avoids and withstands hits with success unsurpassed by any aircraft that carries weapons or fuel tanks under its wings or fuselage.
The F-15K's integrated avionics and electronics systems provide exceptional situational awareness, giving its crew a better view of the battlespace than its enemy has. Its radar sweeps the air and ground for targets at long distances, allowing the crew to detect and attack with long-range weapons before the enemy knows what is happening. Advances in radar and weapon technology will further enhance these advantages.
The terrain-following system that allows the aircraft to fly at very low altitudes, its automated electronic jamming system integrated with a radar-warning receiver, and its smoke-free engines thwart enemy attempts to locate the aircraft.
The engines, which can propel the F-15 to speeds exceeding twice the speed of sound, and an airframe capable of 9 g maneuvers, allow the F-15 to routinely outmaneuver enemies.
The aircraft has a triple-redundant hydraulic system and redundant electrical generation system that prevent a single failure from ending a mission. Fuel dispersal throughout the wings, with none above the engines, a foam fire-suppression system, and self-sealing fuel lines significantly reduce the vulnerability of the aircraft's fuel system. In addition, much of the aircraft is made of fire-resistant titanium.
Each F-15K will carry a two-person crew. The division of duties between pilot and weapon system officer allows each to remain focused on their individual tasks without becoming overwhelmed and encountering dangerous mental and physical fatigue. Traditionally, aircraft with two-person crews have performed better than those with single-person crews.
For the long-range, multi-role missions flown under the challenging conditions at which the F-15 excels, these are significant advantages. Having two crewmembers in the cockpit is also advantageous in the event of injury or illness to one of them.
The F-15 has one of the best safety records in U.S. Air Force history. On those few occasions when an incident occurred, F-15s have safely landed after being hit by lightning, after withstanding a fuel-tank explosion, with destroyed tail sections and with half a wing missing.
Leveraging unchallenged experience, the F-15K offers proven, not merely promised survivability. The F-15K enjoys all the benefits that have contributed to the unmatched safety record of earlier F-15s.