The first flight of the F-15EX fighter
February 3rd, 3:34 am
Boeing Corporation announced that on February 2, 2021, the first Boeing F-15EX (military number 20-0001) multifunction fighter jet built at its St. Louis facility for the US Air Force made its first flight, which is the latest modification of the famous fourth generation F fighter. -15 Eagle. It is stated that the first two F-15EX aircraft will be transferred to the US Air Force at the end of the first quarter of 2021. The first Boeing F-15EX (military number 20-0001) fighter built for the US Air Force in maiden flight. The plane has not yet been painted. Saint Louis, 02.02.2021 (c) vikingaeroimages / Instagram
Recall that on July 13, 2020, the US Department of the Air Force issued Boeing a contract worth $ 1.192 billion for the production and delivery of the first eight new fighters of the new F-15EX modification of the so-called Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) to the US Air Force. Their purchase was previously authorized in the US defense budget for fiscal 2020.
Thus, the US Air Force returned to purchasing fourth-generation fighters 15 years after the termination of their supply - the last F-15E fighter was delivered to the US Air Force in 2001, and the last Lockheed Martin F-16 fighters in 2005.
The US military budget for fiscal 2021 has allocated funds for the purchase of the next 12 F-15EX fighters, with an additional 72 aircraft planned for the next four fiscal years. In general, the framework contract issued by Boeing on July 13, 2020 is set at $ 22.89 billion, and apparently covers the cost of 144 F-15EX aircraft, which the US Air Force previously intended to purchase in total, with the continuation of the F-15EX purchases for at least Fiscal year 2030. Later, there were reports that the US Air Force was planning to purchase a total of 200 F-15EX fighters.
Of the eight first F-15EX fighter jets ordered, the first of which has now made its maiden flight, the first two will be transferred to the US Air Force at the end of the first quarter of 2021, and the remaining six by fiscal 2023. All eight of these aircraft will be delivered to Eglin Air Force Base (Florida) and will be used for testing. Delivery of production F-15EX aircraft is due to begin in fiscal 2023, with the 123rd Fighter Squadron of the 142nd Fighter Wing of the Oregon Air Force, based at Portland AFB, the first to receive them.
The US Air Force plans to replace some of the Boeing F-15C / D Eagle fighters with F-15EX fighters. The F-15EX is a two-seat fighter (contrary to Boeing's original single-seat F-15X) and should be equipped with modern avionics based on the digital highway concept and Open Mission Systems (OMS) architecture, including the Raytheon AN / APG-82 series radar with AFAR. The F-15EX is said to be capable of carrying up to 22 guided air-to-air missiles or "hypersonic weapons up to 22 feet long and weighing up to 7,000 pounds." The aircraft will be equipped with conformal tanks.
On 28 February 2021, the US government officially authorized Boeing to offer the F-15EX fighter jet as a candidate for an endless tender for the purchase of 144 new fighters for the Indian Air Force.