The United States Air Force calls the new F-15EX Fighter it recently got the Eagle II. It was named such after it was unveiled in a ceremony.
Eagle II takes flight.
The new F-15EX Fighter had a ceremony at the Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, where the first delivered unit is under test and evaluation. Present during the ceremonies were Lt. Gen. Mike Loh, Air National Guard director, and Lt. Gen. Duke Richardson, military deputy for the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics. Leanne Caret, president and chief executive officer of Boeing Defense, was also there as the new Fighter gets officiated in service.
Gen Loh was quoted to say during the occasion.
"The arrival of these aircraft is very timely." "During this period of great power rivalry, we must ensure that we have the most capable combat aircraft protecting our shores."
One of the critical roles that the F-15, F-16 Fighting Falcon, and the F-22 Raptor are tasked with was intercepting any planes that enter US airspace. The F-Series has produced a line of fighters that is unmatched in power and quality.
The USAF reveals that the F-15EX is only the first 4th generation fighter of the series that has continued in more than 20 years.
One of the newest versions of the F-15 airframe made by Boeing completed its first flight at St. Louis Lambert International Airport, Missouri, in February.
Seeing the EX Eagle II's excellent first flight, the USAF got its first delivery at Eglin AFB on March 10. Another unit will arrive this April. The schedule of the deliveries of the updated F-15s is six more; all will be delivered by 2023, said officials.
A year ago, the Air Force granted Boeing a contract worth $ 1.2 billion to manufacture the multirole F-15EX Eagle fighter, utilizing the original airframe and adding modernized systems and electronics that surpasses even the F-15E-variant.
The contract is for building eight EX Eagles with an initial design, development, testing, and certifying the airframe, extra spare parts with support equipment, training, and technical data. Lastly are delivery and maintenance costs for the jet.
Tricks for a new 'old' warbird
Recent press releases by Boeing touts the F-15EX can launch a hypersonic missile that is 22 feet long and weighs about 7000 pounds. In addition to getting chosen to carry a super-fast missile, it has more avionics and AESA radar, with a capacity to carry AIM-9 Sidewinder, AMRAAM, or AIM 120 air to air missile for attacking.
The F-15EX carries the most weapons compared to the F-16, F-22, F-35. It can carry any mixed load of missiles in its undercarriage.
Under its hood is one of the world's fastest mission computers that control its complex functions, including the Eagle Passive/Active Warning and Survivability System, or EPAWSS, for survival in any mission it goes on. It is one of the most advanced electronic warfare systems installed in a 4th generation fighter.
Why the air force needs the Eagle II
The first F-15 with the open mission systems architecture allows upgrades to the software and installation for coming years in service. With many of the F-15s getting old in the US Fleet, a refresh is needed to keep up with more modern 4.5 generation fighters put into service. At least 144 of the new F-15EX is required by the Air Force.