Boeing’s New 2040C Eagle Commercial is Incredibly Badass!

The US Air Force is currently saddled with a quandary plaguing its air superiority capabilities. With fighter platforms aging rapidly without suitable replacements available, and with foreign nations quickly closing the technology gap which was once the biggest advantage the United States possessed over other countries (at least militarily-so), the USAF needs a fix, fast. Congress has even gone as far as to order the Air Force to explore the possibility of restarting the production line for the F-22, which ended in 2012 with only 187 units produced overall, a mere fraction of what the Air Force originally intended to buy to replace their F-15 Eagles en masse. Boeing says that it has a cheaper and more effective solution, in the form of a major fleet-wide overhaul of all combat coded F-15Cs.

This upgrade, called 2040C or Advanced F-15, will incorporate technology from Boeing’s older Silent Eagle program, along with a few new gadgets, in order to give the USAF’s F-15Cs a brand new lease on life, turning it into an even deadlier air-to-air fighter than ever before. To help market their product, Boeing just released this awesome video of Eagles with 2040C upgrades.

According to Flight Global, the 2040C upgrade features “quad packs” which fit onto standard under-wing and belly hardpoints (the F-15C has 11 combined), effectively doubling the Eagle’s current air-to-air loadout to 16 missiles. That’s also double the F-22 Raptor’s internal air-to-air loadout. Additionally, conformal fuel tanks (CFTs) similar to the FAST Packs used on F-15E Strike Eagles will help increase the 2040C Eagle’s range without tanking up pylon space for larger drop tanks, which are typically slung in pairs underneath the wings of the aircraft, or on its centerline pylon station (underneath the fuselage).

payload advance eagle
A screen grab from the commercial, with the 2040C’s proposed weapon stations upgrades.

2040C will also equip the F-15C with the Talon HATE communications pod, allowing it to transfer and receive data to and from F-22s operating alongside Eagles in combat theaters on a secured high-speed link. Previously, the F-22 was unable to communicate in such a way with USAF F-15s and F-16 Fighting Falcons, precluding them from participating in combat ops over Libya. Boeing, in conjunction with BAE Systems, has already been contracted to the tune of $4 billion USD to replace the Eagle’s AN/ALQ-135 Tactical Electronic Warfare Suite with the Eagle Passive Active Warning Survivability System (EPAWSS).

As part of the plan, all Eagles will receive Raytheon’s AN/APG-63(V)3 active synthetically scanned array (AESA) radar, which Boeing has already been contracted to install on Air Force Eagles since 2007. As part of the sensors upgrade, a long-range infrared search and track (IRST) system will also be included, allowing the 2040C Eagle a “first sight, first shot, first kill” capability against enemy fighter aircraft. A cockpit overhaul also comes along with the 2040C upgrade. Multifunction displays (MFDs) and gauges will be replaced entirely by a large area display (LAD) similar to the ones used on F-35 Lightning IIs.

F-15 Advance Cockpit Commercial
The cockpit of the 2040C Eagle, featuring the large area display and what might possibly be a reworked heads up display (HUD)

Thus far, the Air Force hasn’t made a definite statement on whether or not they’ll pursue the upgrade, though considering that restarting production on the Raptor, or buying brand new F-15s and F-16s will likely ring up a sky-high bill, the 2040C option seems like a fairly decent option to explore.

30 thoughts on “Boeing’s New 2040C Eagle Commercial is Incredibly Badass!

  1. So, so much more could be done with a true Advanced Eagle development program; this is a.nice marketing mashup, but more lethal Eagle variants have been possible-some flown, and should be considered along with what this has to offer.


  2. It’s true that “speed is life” in a dogfight and Mach 3 sounds impressive, but it’s not tactically practical with missiles and other stores hanging out on the wing stations. It is that raw power coupled with incredible weapons systems that makes the Mach 2.5 Eagle so impressive. The brainiacs in the Pentagon should consider a mix of F-22s and F-15s and/or F-16s — all loaded to the gunnels with missiles — to work together as Air Sovereignty platforms. A single F-22 can probably detect and track targets almost as well as an AWACS while also serving as the battle commander of an element of four to eight F-15s and/or F-16s. Utilizing a secured high-speed date link system, the Raptor could detect targets, sort. and assign them to the other aircraft in the element, all without making one radio transmission. It would be good utilization of assets
    already ramp ready around the world.


  3. “buying brand new F-15s and F-16s will likely ring up a sky-high bill”.

    Well, not really. At $100M (est) per plane, the F-15 may seem expensive but when all costs vs performance are reviewed, X vs Y vs Z are not the same.

    Few aircraft have the range, performance, weapons payload and now modern electronics packages/cockpit plus digital flight control. F-15’s are tough airplanes. The latest versions of the assembly line could be rated for as much as 32,000 flight hours. Many fighters like the F-16/18/Gripen are more of a light fighter designed for throw away after 8-10,000 hours.

    The latest F-15 variant is an evolutionary upgrade just as the Su-35S is to the original Su-27.


      1. An F-15 lost most of one of its wings and still landed! The pilot had no idea of the amount of damage his plane took until he landed. If he could have seen the damage, he said he would have ejected. No F-35 could have done that!


  4. 2040 C F-15 Eagle is not quite as stealthy as the F-15 SE. Any foreign nation, ememy or aircraft can shoot it down, UBS? The Pentagon should ask Boeing to stop wasting time and build the F-15 SE.


    1. They need orders before they can go into production and everyone is ordering the F35 instead. At least the tech won’t be wasted if they can push some nations still operating F15s into purchasing the upgrade package.


  5. Why would you release so much intel about your military equipment and strategy? How does that help? Please correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t hear or hear what the Russians or the Chinese are up to and I’m sure if their social media leaked anything there would be “heads rolling”….


    1. The Silent Eagle, whether they are newly constructed or upgraded older models, is still not at the same level of stealth as a true 5th gen aircraft. The frontal aspect is very close to 5th gen, but the rest of the plane would not be. It’s the same reason why we didn’t worry much over the F117 that was shot down during the Gulf War. It was impressive to the civilians watching at home but the Air Force and Navy already had better in the pipeline. It wouldn’t have mattered if someone had managed to recover and reverse engineer it because it was already obsolete.


  6. Boeing should develop and build a new enlarged F-15 variant and name it “F-15 Advanced Super Eagle” multi-role combat aircraft.for the US Air Force.


  7. I will keep on arguing that the F-35 is going to need air superiority cover as was the intention behind it’s design, with the expectation that the F-22 was still going to be in production! However, I do not advocate that we restart the F-22 production line, Lockheed Martin already has more than enough of a monopoly with the F-35, they don’t deserve the F-22 as well. We need to hand this football off to a joint venture between Boeing and Northrup Grumman. Allow me to give you a neat proposal.

    We use the Boeing F-15SE Silent Eagle proposal as the base for a superior replacement for the Lockheed Martin F-22. Adding to the F-15SE Silent Eagle proposal, we add a touch of the Grumman ASF-14 proposal by first spreading the engines apart to allow for more ordinance and fuel to be carried, whether internally or externally. The space between the engine nacelles will also add to lift and enhance turning performance, as on the original F-14 air frame. Next is to add an automated Fowler flap system to enable short take off and short landing capability. The Fowler flaps can also be extended or retracted by the computer in combat maneuvering to add or even reduce lift where it is most advantageous, this is something Boeing, Northrup Grumman, and our military branches will have to play games with! To further capitalize on the Fowler flap increase in lift potential, we should add automated moving leading edge extensions to the air frame which deploy where most advantageous or needed.

    Now, this F-15SE Silent Eagle/”Fixed Wing” ASF-14 Tomcat proposal takes on stealth features from the Northrup Grumman/McDonnell Douglas YF-23 which includes heat shielding from all directions 360 degrees (if possible), to inhibit infra-red detection or tracking from missiles, (thrust vectoring is not essential when compared to this advantage). This proposal will also take on any other stealth attributes from the YF-23 that are not known and still remain a closely guarded secret. With this proposal using two Pratt and Whitney F135 engines, the thrust-to-weight performance should be phenomenal, and in tandem with the Fowler flaps and automated moving LERX, this fighter jet should perform much better than the comparable F-22.
    Appearance wise, this fighter jet would be equivalent to our own “Flanker”, combining the aspects of the F-15 with the F-14, yet having a resemblance, perhaps, to the Russian PAK FA T-50, with the YF-23 elements in it’s design. Even so, this product will be immensely superior to what the F-22 was able to offer our military.

    To further capitalize on this proposal, we can truly design it for both the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps by building this fighter jet with folding wings and naval standard heavy-duty landing gear which is CATOBAR ready, and can permit cross-training of Air Force and Marine Corps pilots on Navy aircraft carriers, if the branches wish to experiment with such a notion! Furthermore, having a heavy-duty landing gear and Fowler flap system, this fighter jet can make rough air base landings and take-off, something perfect for use by the Marine Corps, or for emergency situations by Air Force or Navy pilots, for the sake of swift rearmament whether from a Marine base or aircraft carrier! Then, if Congress permits it, we can sell this fighter jet to our NATO allies who would sure be interested in purchasing these fighter jets for their own air forces and as a result, helping to drive down the production costs of these fighter jets!


    1. It’s a good idea proposal but will it work? Will Congress spend the extra money for it which is very unlikely they will buy it! Unless there is enough funds in the Military budget and it up and running again! For now upgrading our old fighter and improving it might be the best way to go now.


  8. The F15 was the best air superiority fighter of it’s day and is still a respectable performer in that regard but lacks the low observable qualities of newer generation aircraft. A stealthy F15 will put the US squarely back in the air superiority game. I’d rather see newly constructed Silent Eagles acquired since they are somewhat stealthier due to having redesigned tailfins angled in a way that reduces their radar cross section. Refitted F15’s retain the upright tailfins as originally designed but even with that limitation the upgrade package is still a good deal for the money as it also includes weapon payload, fuel capacity, and targeting system upgrades in addition to making the plane stealthy. The F15 also has a longer operating range than some newer planes which is just one more reason to try to keep them in service as long as possible. Retraining time for pilots already used to the qualities of the F15 is also minimized compared to introducing them to an entirely new aircraft that they’ve never flown before. There are many advantages to upgrading existing F15s as opposed to acquiring a new type of aircraft.


  9. Add a pair of Pratt & Whitney F135-PW-100 engines with a fluidic thrust vectoring system and cant the tails 15° alá the Silent Eagle and they’ll have a MIG35 / SU-57 killer.


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