(22 Apr 2021) Boeing delivered a second F-15EX fighter aircraft to the U.S. Air Force on Tuesday, earlier than the contract requirement.
The result of a collaboration across industry, the U.S. Air Force and the Air National Guard, the F-15EX is a ready-now replacement for the F-15C that includes best-in-class payload, range and speed and an all-new digital infrastructure.
“Moving from contract award to delivery in a matter of months enables the U.S. Air Force to get a head start on flight testing and demonstrates our commitment to exceeding expectations,” said Prat Kumar, Boeing vice president and F-15 program manager. “Along with state-of-the-art avionics and survivability suite, the new F-15EX includes almost 3 miles of high-speed digital data bus to enable open architecture, which will keep it evolving ahead of threats for decades.”
The second F-15EX arrived at Eglin Air Force Base to begin testing with the first EX that was delivered last month.
In July 2020, the U.S. Air Force awarded Boeing an IDIQ contract for up to 200 F-15EXs to replace the undefeated but aging F-15C. The Air Force has announced initial basing locations in Florida and Oregon.
“The 53d Wing is honored to welcome the second-ever F-15EX, and we are extremely proud that it displays the ‘OT’ tail flash,” said Col Ryan Messer, commander, 53rd Wing. “However, that ‘OT’ represents more than just unit pride; it showcases the importance of early integration of operational and developmental test to directly fulfill the National Defense Strategy, which proclaims that, ‘success no longer goes to the country that develops a new technology first, but rather to the one that better integrates it and adapts its way of fighting’; a statement we believe and live out in all of our missions.”