US Air Force takes delivery of second F-15EX fighter

US Air Force takes delivery of second F-15EX fighter
The second F-15EX takes to the skies
The second F-15EX takes to the skies
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The second F-15EX takes to the skies
The second F-15EX takes to the skies

The US Air Force has taken early delivery of a second F-15EX fighter jet, opening the way to beginning full-scale flight testing of the latest F-15 variant being built by a Boeing-led industry team for the Air Force and the Air National Guard.

Developed in a collaboration between industry, the US Air Force, and the Air National Guard, the F-15EX is intended to replace the venerable F-15C variant, which was introduced in 1979 as an improved single-seat, all-weather, air-superiority fighter. Even with its all-new digital infrastructure, as a fourth-generation fighter the F-15EX isn't expected to be able to handle modern air defenses beyond 2028, so it's expected to complete its 20,000 flight hours by undertaking homeland and air base defense, and no-fly zone enforcement.

The F-15EX is based on the F-15QA that Boeing is building for the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF). It includes a number of next-generation technologies, including fly-by-wire flight controls, a digital cockpit, hypersonic missile capabilities, an AMBER weapons rack holding 22 air-to-air missiles, an infrared search and track system, modernized sensors, AESA radar, electronic warfare systems, and what is described as the world's fastest mission computer.

The first F-15EX was delivered in March 2021 after the contract for 200 of the variant worth US$1.2 billion was finalized in July 2020. When the fighter enters service, it will be based first in Florida and Oregon.

"Moving from contract award to delivery in a matter of months enables the US Air Force to get a head start on flight testing and demonstrates our commitment to exceeding expectations," says Prat Kumar, Boeing vice president and F-15 program manager. "Along with the state-of-the-art avionics and survivability suite, the new F-15EX includes almost 3 miles (4.8 km) of high-speed digital data bus to enable open architecture, which will keep it evolving ahead of threats for decades."

Source: Boeing

Sigh, this sounds like a handout to me. I think the F35 is the last obligatorily crewed fighter jet. The next generation will be optionally manned. The F15 is even more outdated than that...
For something designed in 1967 it still looks amazing. Hard to believe it's still relevant in 2021!
Ornery Johnson
Upgrades will keep it "evolving ahead of threats for decades". Oh really? Other than a cheap stand-off hypersonic missile platform, this thing is likely to be a sitting duck within a decade.
Marco McClean
At least, for how many hundreds of billions of dollars down this rathole, they've finally solved the problems the F-35 had crossing the international date line without rebooting and crashing into the sea, flying at night or in the rain, suffocating pilots in their $400,000 bespoke helmets, and motors exploding in flames idling for too long on the runway. Or have they? It doesn't say.
More exotic weapons forced on the military because Congressmen get $$ from the Armaments manufacturers. Lockheed, the company who under federal contracts built and developed over 30 planes that were never put into service because they never lived up to the promises is very clever in its pursuit of business by making sure that part of every plane are built in every state in the union. To often the Pentagon does not want these weapons but fear of losing campaign contributions keeps congress forcing them on the military.
$1.2B? They sure don't give those things away, do they? Them r pretty birds, though.
Am I the only one here excited at the thought of a digital cockpit?