Boeing's F-15 on Target for Largest Foreign Arms Sale in U.S. History

The U.S. is in the middle of major defense budget cuts because of sequestration, but Saudi Arabia is clearly not in the same predicament. In fact, the Royal Saudi Air Force, or RSAF, is in the middle of a fleet modernization program and has gone on a veritable shopping spree with U.S defense contractors. More pointedly, this latest venture is the largest foreign arms sale in U.S. history. For Boeing's (NYSE: BA  ) F-15SA, in particular, this is excellent news. 

Photo: U.S. Air Force, via Wikimedia Commons. 

Boeing on target
In 2011, Air Force officials announced that the RSAF would purchase 84 new Boeing F-15SA fighters and upgrade 70 of its current F-15C/D Eagle Fleet aircraft to the SA configuration -- since reduced to 68 upgrades -- in a deal worth $3.5 billion for Boeing, and part of a $29.4 billion foreign military sale between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.

Since then, Boeing's F-15SA successfully completed its maiden voyage, and met all of the test objectives, on Feb. 20, and in a financial statement released on July 3, Boeing revealed that three F-15SAs had been delivered for the flight trials campaign. Although the report didn't specify delivery to Saudi Arabia, the RSAF is currently the only customer for the new F-15SA. 

Put together, these reports indicate that Boeing's F-15SA is on track for its scheduled 2015 delivery to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Further, Col. Robert Stambaugh, the Air Force Security Assistance program manager for the F-15SA program at Robins Air Foce Base, Ga., stated, "Completing this major milestone in less than one year after program implementation was truly remarkable." Great news for Boeing. It's also great news for Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT  ) , which is helping with modernization of the F-15s, for the fixed price of $253.4 million.  

Clear skies ahead
The news that Boeing is on track with its F-15SA is certainly welcome, especially given the latest issues with the Dreamliner. And while nothing is certain regarding an on-time delivery of the F-15SAs, right now, it looks promising.

Boeing has had a rocky few weeks, but that doesn't mean its future isn't bright. Still, there are some things to consider before investing in Boeing. A recent Motley Fool report, "3 Strong Buys for a Global Economic Recovery," outlines three companies, including Boeing, that could take off when the global economy gains steam. Click here to read the free full report!

Read/Post Comments (13) | Recommend This Article (16)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On July 20, 2013, at 7:51 PM, moser72 wrote:

    Why is Saudi Arabia spending this kind of money on obsolete fighters? Israelis will be getting the new F35 for free. Saudis are fools they should get some nicer planes from France or other European countries which are at least better. Get SU-35 from Russia for God Sakes it is a superior product.

  • Report this Comment On July 20, 2013, at 7:52 PM, moser72 wrote:

    Why is Saudi Arabia spending this kind of money on obsolete fighters? Israelis will be getting the new F35 for free. Saudis are fools they should get some nicer planes from France or other European countries that are at least better. Get SU-35 from Russia for God Sakes it is a superior product.

  • Report this Comment On July 20, 2013, at 9:17 PM, michaelbinCA wrote:

    So, perhaps it's not a matter of a superior product. Or, a nicer plane.

    Perhaps it's called politics. The world view.

    A world order.

  • Report this Comment On July 20, 2013, at 9:34 PM, mansourg54 wrote:

    The F-15 is used to destroy objects on the ground such as tanks. The F-16, I believe, is a fighter aircraft to knock out other fighter aircrafts. The major advantage of the F-35 is its stealth capabilities. Any military aircraft is basically the radar and the weapon systems. The F-35 uses a sophisticated fire-control electronically controlled phased array antenna embedded in the aircraft nose. The F-15 may use the same antenna or a manually controlled antenna. Another question is which aircraft can carry more weapons

  • Report this Comment On July 20, 2013, at 9:43 PM, mitch65 wrote:

    The SU35 is totally junk, and has very limited stealth properties. The Russian doctrine for planes and tanks and just about everything else has failed in battle. The French Rafael is nice but so expensive, over 1/3 more than the F15SA . The Typhoon would be a nice fit. That is one nice aircraft But Su 35 like all Russian planes is atleast 2 steps behind the west

  • Report this Comment On July 20, 2013, at 9:47 PM, rmhopper3 wrote:

    I dont know..the Mirages and Migs have gotten their asses handed to them every time they have taken to the skies..and doesnt the SU moniker mean ground attack or dual purpose ...also arent the European fighters mostly multi purpose birds like the Tornado that are not really great at any one thing ...The really leading edge tech in air craft is expensive and delicate ..ala the Raptor ........15 pretty good planes well flown still beats 4 great ones badly flown or underutilized or barely working

  • Report this Comment On July 20, 2013, at 9:47 PM, mitch65 wrote:

    Mansourg54 you have the two mixed the F-15 is the air superiority fighter the F-16 is the strike aircraft. The F15SA does both well with limited stealth capabilities. As far as carrying capacity the F15 carries almost twice the weapons as a F16. The F15 uses a look down shoot down radar.

  • Report this Comment On July 20, 2013, at 9:47 PM, mansourg54 wrote:

    Delivaries of the F-35 will take much longer than two years. In addition the complete testing of the F-35 may not has been finished. Another issue is the price per plane. The original price of a F-35 was around $40-$50 million. Now it is much higher, $100 to $150million.

    Saudi Arabia should buy weapons from the US. The US has the best. When it comes to high-tech, the US is at least 5 years ahead of any other country.

  • Report this Comment On July 20, 2013, at 10:03 PM, Elcid452 wrote:

    It still comes to how the pilot uses the craft.

    As well the F-15 is more suited for that environment.

    Yes the SU-35 can handle it, but it's still a bulldozer.

  • Report this Comment On July 20, 2013, at 10:21 PM, Skydiver1013 wrote:

    Only the uninformed would want a 2nd rate SU-35, Rafael, or Typhoon over the new F-15SA. It packs state of the art equipment Boeing developed for the F-22 Raptor & F/A-18 Super Hornet. Performance is well above the F-15E Strike Eagle; enhanced situational awareness, increased survivability, all with a lower total life-cycle cost. Avionics advancements include a Digital Electronic Warfare Suite, Fly-By-Wire flight control system, an Infrared Search & Track system and Active Electronically Phased-Scanned Array Radar System. The aft cockpits feature advanced displays and Joint Helmet Mounted Cuing systems. Two additional weapon stations provide increased payload capacity. It can deliver all of the state of the art munitions in the US inventory.

    Next to buying F-22 Raptors which the USA will not sell you no matter who you are; The F-15SE Silent Eagle has even more upgrades. Boeing is using stealth features, such as internal weapons carriage and radar-absorbent material. The USA manufactures the absolute best state of the art aerospace technology available to any air force today.

  • Report this Comment On July 21, 2013, at 1:24 AM, 2FoolishForYou wrote:

    @"He who falls from aircraft"1013...

    .... SOLD!!!! ..... I'll take 15 of them....(A few extra, Just in case I warp a few of them before get the hang of it)... Sounds like it would trim the hedges along the driveway before you noticed the birds stop chirpin'

  • Report this Comment On July 21, 2013, at 3:10 PM, BT72 wrote:

    The reason the Saudi's are still buying Eagles is because it's a proven fighter with an excellent combat history. Even though the Saudi versions are "dumbed down" compared to the American version, it still fits their defense needs.

    Many are confused about the different models. The F-15A-D models are air-to-air fighters, while the F-15E is mainly an air-to-ground attack version. The F-15SA (for Saudi Arabia) is a newer "C" model.

    The F-22 is an amazing fighter, but terribly expensive and production has been halted for now.

    The F-35 is super high-tech, but still so new that it's barely out of the testing phase. Besides, it's biggest "Achilles Heal" is that it's single-engine, like the F-16.

    The F-15 has highly-redundant systems and basically two of everything. Two engines, two vertical stabs, four high-volume hydraulic pumps that back each other up in case a major flying surface is damaged or shot off.

    If you want to see how incredible the airplane is, look at the Israeli AF F-15 that had it's right wing completely shot off during a training accident. The pilot didn't even know it happened until his wingman told him! He managed to land the aircraft afterwards.

    Some may think the F-15 is obsolete, but not obsolete for today's combat roles. It can still kick some major a$$.

  • Report this Comment On July 21, 2013, at 3:12 PM, BT72 wrote:

    @Moser 72...You think France or Europe has nicer planes? Why don't you look up the combat history of the F-15 and you will find it has the best record of any jet fighter EVER produced!

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