Good2Golf, you want us, Canada, to pay for the development of a plane that isn't even in production yet in the Silent Eagle; how much money do you really think we'll have left after the cuts to DND are done?
If Canada's investment to operationalize the 15SE that Boeing had developed in prototype form will provide a capability that provides Canada with a cost-effective balance of measured stealth technology (conformal weapons bays [CWB], coatings, canted stabilizers, etc...) along with integration of advanced sensor and C2 fusion capabilities, then yes, it is something to consider. Canada did it in a measured manner with the CH-147F Chinook, getting value for money invested, providing capability that has been implemented on other advanced Chinook operators, to Canada's follow-on benefit.
You have a problem with an air superiority fighter that has made the transition to the penultimate strike fighter gradually. As an A2A platform equipped with AESA radar, there is no threat that this platform couldn't counter. When it comes to being part of a strike package, as is often part of our role when involved in NATO or UN missions, we'll be able to stay on target longer and carry out more strikes due to the larger weapons capacity which the SG variant would carry. This would only be enhanced by the carriage of the SDB.
No, but you referred to the SLAM Eagle, or F-15K, which has an AN/APG-63(V)1 physically-scanned radar, not
AESA. If you wanted to upgrade your 'preferred variant' from your aforementioned SLAM Eagle to the F-15SG, then you will pick up the 63(V)3 AESA variant, with the general benefit that an AESA radar provides (of course mindful of the significantly reduced off bore-sight accuracy due to widening beam width and increased side lobes - concessions to the increased performance of a fixed AESA antenna). One would have to determine where the larger load trade-off against concomitant low-observability requirements balances, but I'd assess that ability to carry stores internally as per the F-15SE's CWB, still with a significant load out, including SDBs, to be desirable in conducting strike missions in higher threat/more complex counter-air environments.
Finally, the Strike Eagle will be in international and US service well into the 2050's which means that part sourcing when needed won't be an issue. The SG is a relatively new platform, and all of the avionics and weapons systems onboard are new. The awesome thing about the platform is that it made the transition to Strike platform about as smoothly as anyone could have envisaged.
As would the F-15SE, if produced.
Thanks for your 0.02...but please consider what I'm proposing above.
As noted above, I did that. Please consider that I considered what you were proposing above, and further constrained the capability to more closely align with the overall capabilities that Canada's pervious government was looking for in the JSF.
Finally, given that there WILL be cuts, I doubt very much that we'll have a split fleet.
While split fleets would result in increased (per total fighter units operated by a force) in-service support, until one determines what the acquisition costs and fleet sizes would be for a moderated two-fleet option, one cannot immediately write-off the possibility of operating two-fleets.