The new Boeing F-15EX fighter jet has taken to the skies for the first time, paving the way for the early delivery of the first two jets to the U.S. Air Force later this quarter.
The 90-minute test flight was carried out in the St. Louis Lambert International Airport (USA) when the aircraft’s Chief Test Pilot Matt Giese checked out the multirole jet’s avionics, advanced systems, and software. The test team monitoring the data collected during the flight in real-time, which included a vertical “Viking” takeoff, confirmed that the aircraft performed as planned.
“Today’s successful flight proves the jet’s safety and readiness to join our nation’s fighter fleet,” said Prat Kumar, Boeing vice president, and F-15 program manager. “Our workforce is excited to build a modern fighter aircraft for the U.S. Air Force. Our customer can feel confident in its decision to invest in this platform that is capable of incorporating the latest advanced battle management systems, sensors, and weapons due to the jet’s digital airframe design and open mission systems architecture.“
Last July, Boeing was awarded the US$1.2-billion contract to build the first eight F-15EX fighter jets that will be used to evaluate the model and prepare its entry into service. In total, the USAF estimates 144 F-15EXs it will acquire over the next decade to replace older F-15C/Ds that have serious metal fatigue problems.
The F-15EX is the most advanced version of the f-15 fighter that features the Eagle Passive/Active Warning and Survivability System, an electronic warfare system to improve mission effectiveness and survivability for operators.
Modern variants of the F-15 also include fly-by-wire flight controls, a completely new digital cockpit, modern AESA radar, and the ADCP-II, the world’s fastest mission computer.