Taking a flight is the F-15EX Eagle, the newest upgrade to one of the greatest 4th generation warplanes. It will continue after the first flight fifty years ago and flies into the 21st century.

This variant features more advancements installed to carry it into the era of 5th generation fighters and hold its own. Older Eagles are getting old, and age will be a problem; newer variants are the solution.

The EX Eagle

From the first variant dubbed the F-15A to the EX in 2021, this upgrade and modernization began in 2018 called the F-15X initiative. The US Air Force said that Boeing got the signal and contract worth $23 billion to develop the fighter. All the jet fighters were built ground-up with a newly built airframe, reported the Drive.

Besides the initial contract, more funding is requested to have 12 more Eagle EXs in 2021. More planes that total to about 76 advanced Eagles are sought in the five-year Future Years Defense Program. Though it is allowed, the Air Force aims for 144 jets because older F-15CDs are getting old to fly.

Sources say that keeping a fleet of stealth and advanced 4th generation planes are considered, though the EX is heavily armed compared to the F-35. Some talk about getting more EXs to replace older F-15s.

According to General Mike Holmes, head of Air Combat Command, having these advanced variants will be cheaper and get more out of the F-15s with more advanced capabilities. Compared to an F-35 or an F-22, these are cheaper and will be combat-ready when deployed.

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Also, the Air Force will eventually have the plane; he added that the C/D variants of the Eagle might be able to convert to the EX-type. The manufacturer said that both mechanic and pilot would find it easy to get used to the new place in days.

Flight testing before full deployment to air force bases (AFBs)

First units of the Eagle EX will be flown by the test pilots at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, getting the first eight planes initially for trials. Two were available on January 1, 2021; three will be delivered by 2023. The first two units will be run through their paces for evaluation.

Next, to receive the planes, the 173rd Fighter Wing in Oregon and another group will get the new aircraft; the 123rd Fighter Squadron "Redhawks" or the 142nd Fighter Wing also in Oregon. These groups will get it in 2023.

 Air groups in Massachusetts, Louisana, and California using the F-15 D could get the EX or the F-35, an option.

The difference of the EX to D Eagle

Older model D's are considered almost obsolete despite their cosmetic looks similar to an Eagle EX. The newer Eagle has the Open Mission Systems (OMS) architecture, which accommodates all kinds of more recent hardware into the plane's equipment.

These systems are advanced, have fly-by-wire flight controls, a new electronic warfare system, digital cockpit systems, and the new low-profile HUD based on the F-15 made for Qatar; next, the software and new functions for the F-15EX Eagle.

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