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USAF Accepts first Boeing F-15EX Eagle into service (Read 200 times)
Roger Whitcomb
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USAF Accepts first Boeing F-15EX Eagle into service
Mar 11th, 2021 at 7:13pm
Air Force receives first F-15EX

By Brian Brackens, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Public Affairs / Published March 11, 2021

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – The U.S. Air Force officially accepted the first F-15EX from the Boeing Co. on March 10, 2021 at the company’s St. Louis facility.

The new fighter is a two-seat aircraft—though operable by a single pilot—with fly-by-wire flight controls, digital cockpit displays, and advanced avionics systems, to include the Eagle Passive/Active Warning and Survivability System, an electronic warfare upgrade also being fielded on F-15E models.

“This is a big moment for the Air Force,” said Col. Sean Dorey, F-15EX Program Manager with the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Fighters and Advanced Aircraft Directorate, responsible for the acquisition, modernization, and sustainment of the aircraft. “With its large weapons capacity, digital backbone, and open architecture, the F-15EX will be a key element of our tactical fighter fleet and complement 5th-generation assets. In addition, it’s capable of carrying hypersonic weapons, giving it a niche role in future near-peer conflicts.”

The Air Force plans to acquire 144 F-15EXs from Boeing, to replace F-15C/D models and refresh the F-15 fleet.

At an average age of over 37 years, the F-15C/D fleet is fast approaching the end of its useful life and operating on the margins of structural integrity. The F‑15EX provides a cost-effective and expedient solution to refresh the F‑15C/D fleet and augment the F-15E fleet to meet National Defense Strategy capability and capacity requirements well into the 2040s, while preserving aircraft availability from significant impacts that service life extension and modernization programs would have on the F-15C/D fleet. 

The process to acquire the F-15EX aircraft started in February of 2019, when Gen. David Goldfein, then Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force signed the F-15EX Rapid Fielding Requirement Document to address readiness issues with an aging F-15 fleet. From there, the directorate’s F-15 Program Office developed the acquisition strategy, awarded the contract, conducted design and verification reviews, and worked with Boeing to manufacture and test the aircraft in record time.

“It has taken a team effort to get to this point,” added Dorey. “I’m extremely proud of the Team, to include members of the Propulsion Directorate, Simulators Program Office, Air Combat Command, Air National Guard, Air Force Materiel Command, Defense Contract Management Agency, the Air Staff, and our industry partners for achieving this first aircraft delivery milestone.”

“I commend the dedicated efforts of the entire team for bringing this platform online in record time and in the middle of a global pandemic,” said Gen. Arnold W. Bunch Jr., Commander of Air Force Materiel Command. “With its open mission systems architecture and weapons capacity, the F-15EX will provide an outstanding capability for our nation for years to come.”

Following its acceptance, the new aircraft will be flown to Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. for testing. A second F-15EX will be delivered to Eglin by the end of April 2021.

The other six Lot 1 aircraft will be delivered to Eglin in Fiscal Year 2023 and will undergo operational testing.

To expedite the testing needed to declare the F-15EX ready for operations, the team will use previous testing data from F-15 foreign military sales variants and U.S.-only subsystems and Operational Flight Program software.

Aircraft in Lots 2 and 3 are on track for delivery in FY 2024 and FY 2025 to Kingsley Field and Portland Air National Guard Bases, both in Oregon.

Currently, the 173rd Wing at Kingsley Field serves as the F-15C/D training school and will assume the same role for the F-15EX. The 142nd Wing at Portland will be the first operational unit to fly the aircraft.

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Roger Whitcomb
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F-15EX named Eagle II
Reply #1 - Apr 10th, 2021 at 4:51pm
F-15EX Named the Eagle II

April 7, 2021

By Brian W. Everstine
Air Force Magazine

The Air Force’s newest fighter jet has a name: F-15EX Eagle II. The service unveiled the name of the jet during an April 7 ceremony at Eglin AFB.

The Air National Guard will be the first to receive the new jet operationally. ANG Director Lt. Gen. Michael A. Loh said during the ceremony the F-15EX’s improvements will be key to its mission of homeland defense.

“The Air National Guard flies 93 percent of homeland defense missions and, along with the F-35A, the F-15EX will help ensure that legacy for many decades to come,” he said. “These brand-new aircraft represent a significant upgrade over the legacy F-15C. A significant upgrade in weapons capacity, including the ability to carry outsize weapons, for these missions and for stand-off roles in the high-end fight.”

The Air Force accepted the first F-15EX on March 10 and it was delivered to the 96th Test Wing at Eglin one day later. The first jet is owned by Air Force Materiel Command for developmental testing, while Air Combat Command will own the second F-15EX for operational testing.

USAF plans to buy 144 F-15EXs over 10 to 12 years as its older F-15C/D ages out. The first production lot includes six aircraft, to be delivered in fiscal 2023. Subsequent lots will be delivered to the F-15 schoolhouse at Kingsley Field, Oregon and the first operational base at Portland IAP, Oregon.


F-15EX Eagle II unveiled as newest fighter

By 1st Lt. Karissa Rodriguez

April 07, 2021

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFNS) — Today marks the unveiling of the name and the official role of the Air Force’s newest fighter, the F-15EX Eagle ll.

Lt. Gen. Duke Richardson, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology Logistics military deputy, presented the F-15EX during an unveiling and naming ceremony at Eglin AFB on April 7.

“Undefeated in aerial combat, the F-15 Eagle epitomized air superiority in the minds of our enemies, allies, and the American people for over 45 years, but it was not meant to fly forever. We heard the demand signal from our warfighters,” Richardson said. “I’m pleased to say we’ve responded boldly and decisively, with a proven platform that’s modernized and optimized to maintain air superiority now and into the future.”

The ceremony celebrated the historic arrival of the dynamic new fighter aircraft. This process began several years ago, as a combined Air Force effort to bring the best in response capability.

“Team Eglin and the 96th Test Wing are proud to be a part of the rich history of this legendary aircraft,” said Brig. Gen. Scott Cain, 96th TW commander.

The EX provides a unique opportunity for the test enterprise as it is the first Air Force aircraft to be completely tested and fielded through combined developmental and operational test efforts.
The official role of the EX is to meet capacity requirements while bringing diverse technology ensuring the platform’s relevance for decades to come.

The 96th TW and the 53rd Wing are set to begin test and evaluation efforts. The 85th Test and Evaluation Squadron will work closely with the 40th Flight Test Squadron to integrate testing from start to finish.
The Air Force will procure up to 144 F-15EXs from Boeing to replace F-15C/D models. The goal is to increase the F-15 fleet fighter readiness.

The 173rd FW at Kingsley Field ANGB is in line to be the first F-15EX formal training unit in 2024. The first operational F-15EX squadron will function in the Oregon ANG for critical homeland defense alert missions.

“Since 1985, the F-15 has had a home in the Guard and Guard Airmen have flown these amazing aircraft both in the defense of the homeland and in every major international conflict since the first Gulf War in 1991,” said Lt. Gen. Michael Loh, Air National Guard director. “Now that is the battle-tested legacy of Guard F-15s – first to the fight, always ready, and always there.”
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