The US Air Force (USAF) has given Boeing a contract worth nearly (USD)$1.2bn for eight F15EX Air Superiority Fighter and Multi-role combat aircraft.
The most-advanced F15 ever built will help the USAF meet its capacity requirements and add capability to its fighter fleet.
The F15EX will carry more weapons than previous versions and be able to launch hypersonic weapons, up to 22ft in length.
It is also a digital-based aircraft and as such will serve as a pathfinder to the US Department of Defense’s DevSecOps initiative to develop secure agile software for military missions.
“The F-15EX is the most advanced version of the F-15 ever built, due in large part to its digital backbone,” said Lori Schneider, Boeing F-15EX program manager. “Its unmatched range, price and best-in-class payload capacity make the F-15EX an attractive choice for the U.S. Air Force.”
As the aircraft is mechanically similair to previous F15 versions, Pilots and Engineers will be able to transition to the new version in “a matter of days” as opposed to years in some cases.
“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,” said 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.”
The US Air Force says that as many as 144 of the type could be ordered to replace older F15 models.
Kumar added “We listened to our customer every step of the way when developing this exciting jet,
“What we will soon deliver is a modern and robust aircraft that supports our nation’s defence by incorporating the latest systems, sensors and weapons.”
The first two Boeing F15EX will be delivered in 2021.
Boeing F15EX Stat sheet
- Length: 63.8ft
- Wingspan: 42.8ft
- Maximum Speed: 1,875mph
- Combat Ceiling: 60,000ft
- Powerplant: Two GE F110 turbofan engines in 29,000 lb (13,154 kg) thrust class with afterburning