SINGAPORE 2010: Boeing postpones canted tails for F-15 Silent Eagle [CORRECTED]

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CORRECTION: Boeing says the F-15SE flight test aircraft was never intended to have canted tails, nor has the production configuration been settled. The flight test programme will evaluate the conformal weapons bay, but not the radar absorbent materials.

Boeing has eliminated the distinctive canted tails from the early prototype and production configuration of the proposed stealthy Silent Eagle version of the F-15.

The F-15SE flight-test prototype will incorporate radar absorbent materials and the conformal fuel tanks modified into weapons bays, says Mark Bass, Boeing F-15 programme vice-president.

f-15 silent eagle 
 Boeing's Silent Eagle F-15

The canted tail design, highlighted during Boeing's F-15SE unveiling last March in St Louis, Missouri has been abandoned until later stages of the programme, he says.

Meanwhile, the programme is launching weapons firing tests later this year. An F-15 with the modified internal weapons bay will launch a Raytheon AIM-9 or AIM-120 missile in July or August, Bass says.

Boeing has also confirmed that the F-15SE will be first formally offered to the South Korean government, which is expected to launch a competition for a fighter contract in early 2011. Seoul also is considering the Lockheed Martin F-35.

Boeing has proposed the F-15SE as a concept to give the fighter a "first-day-of-war" configuration, with the ability to penetrate protected airspace undetected. The F-15SE also includes an advanced digital electronic warfare system made by BAE Systems, and the Raytheon APG-63 active electronically scanned array radar.