Title: Eagle Plus: Air Superiority Into the 21st Century
Subject: Air superiority.
Author(s): Matthew T. Black; Dennis E. Daley; Kevin C. Smith; James K. Tatum; Rita A. Springer (Faculty Advisor)
DTIC Keywords: ACQUISITION, ACQUISITION RADAR, AGING(MATERIALS), AIR FORCE BUDGETS, AIR FORCE PROCUREMENT, AIR SUPERIORITY FIGHTERS, AIR TO AIR MISSILES, AIR TO SURFACE MISSILES, AIR TRANSPORTATION, AIRCRAFT ENGINES, AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE, AIRFRAMES, COMBAT READINESS, DRAWDOWN, GUIDED MISSILE WARHEADS, HIGH RELIABILITY, INSPECTION, JET ENGINES, LOGISTICS, MAINTAINABILITY, MAINTENANCE, MAINTENANCE EQUIPMENT, MAINTENANCE PERSONNEL, MILITARY AIRCRAFT, MILITARY DOCTRINE, MILITARY FORCE LEVELS, MILITARY FORCES(UNITED STATES), MILITARY MODERNIZATION, MILITARY TRANSPORTATION, OBSOLESCENCE THEORY, OPERATIONAL READINESS, PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE, RANK ORDER STATISTICS, RELIABILITY, STANDOFF MISSILES, STATISTICS, SUPPLY DEPOTS, SURFACE TO AIR MISSILES, TACTICAL AIRCRAFT, TARGET ACQUISITION, TURBOJET ENGINES, VISUAL INSPECTION
The objective of this study was to determine if the F-15C could sustain the air
superiority mission into the twenty-first century. Research focused on the
three pillars of military capabilities as outlined in Air Force Manual 1-1. It
analyzed F-15C short-term readiness factors, the F-15C force structure applied
to a two Major Regional Conflict (MRC) scenario, and the need for F-15C
This study resulted in three conclusions. First, F-15C readiness is adequate, but funding shortfalls and poor subsystem reliability has decreased the fully-mission-capable rate. Although the funding shortfalls were reversed, poor reliability in the radar, propulsion, and structure subsystems continue. Second, the current force structure of 300 operational F-15Cs is adequate for a two-MRC scenario. The involvement of a peer competitor, such as Russia or China, overextends the current F-15C force structure. Third, the F-15C can fly to 2010 or beyond if the radar, engine, and structure subsystems are modernized.
The F-15C and F-22 will play an important air superiority role into the twenty-first century if two courses of action are initiated. First, the recent decline in maintenance indicators must be reversed through a robust subsystem modernization program. Second, the F-22 must be procured to overcome the recent adversary advances in fighter technologies. Although growing budget constraints will make these courses of action difficult, they must be undertaken if the US is to maintain its air superiority edge.