March 8, 2005 Boeing's newest fighter aircraft, the lethal F-15K Strike Eagle made its first flight in St. Louis earlier this week. Flown by Boeing Chief F-15 Test Pilot Joe Felock and Chief Weapons Systems Officer Rick Junkin, the F-15K completed an aggressive speed run easily surpassing Mach 2, accomplished both engine shut-downs and restarts, and breezed through instrument and avionics checks of primary backup systems.
"The F-15K flew magnificently," said Felock. "With its new technology and the reliable structure of the Eagle, it will become a dominant multi-role fighter. Korean fighter pilots will love this airplane."
The Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) selected the F-15K Strike Eagle for its Next Generation Fighter Program in 2002. Under a US$3.6 billion contract, Boeing will deliver 40 aircraft to the ROKAF beginning this year and ending in August 2008.
"The F-15K's first flight was a great success, allowing us to move forward with the program," said Steve Winkler, Boeing F-15K program manager. "We couldn't have made this first flight early without tremendous support and teamwork from the ROKAF, the U.S. Air Force, and our suppliers. We're looking forward to the F-15K rollout ceremony on March 16 in St. Louis."
An advanced derivative of the U.S. Air Force F-15E, the F-15K is the world's most capable long-range, multi-role fighter. It can perform air-to-ground, air-to-air, and air-to-sea missions during the day or at night, in virtually any weather. It can carry more than 23,000 pounds of payload, reach Mach 2.5, and incorporates the latest military technologies.
These include the APG-63(V)1 radar, a helmet-mounted cueing system, infrared search and track, third-generation navigation and targeting systems, and weapons-control systems supporting advanced weapons such as the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM), Harpoon Block II, Standoff Land Attack Missile-Expanded Response (SLAM-ER), Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) and AIM-9X Sidewinder missile.