Military

Boeing awarded US$1.2 billion for first eight F-15EX fighter jets

Boeing awarded US$1.2 billion ...
An F-15EX fighter jet under construction in St. Louis
An F-15EX fighter jet under construction in St. Louis
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An F-15EX fighter jet under construction in St. Louis
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An F-15EX fighter jet under construction in St. Louis

Boeing has won a contract worth almost US$1.2 billion from the US Air Force to build the first tranche of eight F-15EX fighter jets. The most advanced version of the venerable F-15 that began production in the 1970s, the first two jets are already under construction at Boeing's St Louis facility and are expected to be delivered in 2021.

The F-15EX is the domestic variant of the F-15QA that Boeing is building for the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF). Like the F-15QA, the F-15EX incorporates a number of next-generation technologies, including fly-by-wire flight controls and a digital cockpit. In addition, there are modernized sensors, radar, and electronic warfare systems, and what is described as the world's fastest mission computer.

The fighter can also carry more weapons than others in its class, including hypersonic weapons 22 ft (7 m) long and weighing 7,000 lb (3,200 kg).

According to Boeing, the new contract not only covers construction but also support and one-time, upfront engineering costs. In addition, the USAF has awarded Boeing with an Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity contract worth up to US$23 billion to cover the construction and servicing of up to 144 of the new fighters. Thanks to new digital architecture, Boeing says that current F-15 pilots will be able to transition to the F-15EX in days, rather than years.

"F-15EX brings together benefits of digital engineering, open mission systems and agile software development to keep it affordable and upgradable for decades to come," says Prat Kumar, Boeing vice president and F-15 program manager. "This means we can rapidly test and field new capabilities on F-15EX keeping our warfighters ahead of threats."

Source: Boeing

6 comments
jerryd
A composite version of the F16XL or the F18 would cost far less and do the same job.
dugnology
$160 million each for a 1970's era (almost 50 years old). Nice.
Kpar
I am quite surprised that the EX model shows none of the adaptations developed for the "Silent Eagle", the semi-stealth version proposed for the F-15.

Complaints about the age of the original design fall on deaf ears with me- the single most effective air supremacy fighter ever built. Used in conjunction with the F-22 and F-35 will make this aircraft quite formidable.

And look at the B-52- it appears that design will be 100 years old before it is retired. Navy battleships never had projected lifetimes of more than 20-25 years.
Marco McClean
Yeah, that sounds great. And what a bargain, for a whole /tranche/ of them (not including tax and license and gas and oil and insurance). And how many tranches do they want to end up buying, instead of tranches of schools and hospitals and bridges and so on. I think it's important to prioritize your tranches, but that's just me.

Also, they know these old planes actually fit on the instantly obsolete new aircraft carriers, not like the equally pricey F-35s, which they've finally fixed some of the problems of, such as being able to fly in the rain, or cross the international dateline without rebooting, or suffocating pilots in their $400,000 helmets, or exploding in flames from idling too long on the runway to take off. But they spent a few hundred million dollars extra on each of the giant ships, afterward, and they fit both kinds now. So that's nice. Now the only problem is slowing their becoming plague ships, and they can concentrate on that, print a tranche of brochures up for the sailors about how to put a mask on. An idea I just had: print the instructions on the masks. Print how to wash your hands on the sinks.

"Affordable and upgradable for decades to come."
christopher
Cool. We just need a war now, so they can play with their new toys. Who can we fight? China anyone?
Rusty Harris
Gee, who else did you think would build them?
The F-15 was designed & built by McDonnell Douglas in St. Louis, and when Boeing bought them out years ago, they took over everything from McD...would be stupid to award the contract to someone else since the workers at McD/Boeing know every in and out of the Eagle.
Great airplane, came about because of the race we had with the Soviets.
When the Soviets got wind of the XB-70 idea (Mach 3 bomber), they got a little worried and ended up with what became the Mig-25. When we got wind of the capability of the Mig-25 to actually walk away from an F-4 Phantom, McD came up with the F-15 Eagle, but we still didn't know the capabilities of the Foxbat, other than it was FAST. In the 70's, a Russian defected to the west, landing a Foxbat in Japan, which the west stripped apart, returning it in boxes...with a few parts missing.
We then discovered that it was a piece of junk and the engines, although impressive at speed, almost had to be rebuilt if taken anywhere near the limit.
And to this day, some 40+ years after its first flight, the Eagle has NEVER been shot down in an air to air engagement. They are still finding new things for this impressive aircraft can do!
Sometimes you get a design just right, Mac McDonnell's boys did! (I'm a little prejudice...I live in Missouri)