The 53rd Wing of the United States Air Force recently achieved a significant milestone, as reported by Air & Space Forces Magazine on August 30. The F-15EX Eagle II, a recent addition to the Air Force’s arsenal, successfully completed a test flight carrying three Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missiles [JASSM] over Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.
In addition to its air-to-surface capabilities, the F-15EX Eagle II demonstrated its impressive air-to-air prowess by deploying 12 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles [AMRAAM] during the same flight.
The F-15EX Eagle II is the latest in the proud lineage of the F-15 Eagle family of jet fighters. Its roots trace back to the original F-15, a formidable air superiority fighter introduced in 1972, which later evolved into the multi-role F-15E Strike Eagle in 1986. The newest member of this esteemed family, the powerful F-15EX, was introduced as recently as 2021.
While the F-15EX Eagle II may bear a superficial resemblance to its predecessors, it surpasses them in terms of technological advancements. This cutting-edge aircraft features digital fly-by-wire flight controls, user-friendly interactive cockpit touchscreens, and the fastest mission computer ever integrated into a fighter jet.
The aircraft’s survivability is enhanced by the Eagle Passive/Active Warning system for effective defense against hostile air-to-air encounters. It also features the Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing System, a first-of-its-kind innovation. The Open Mission System further adds value by facilitating software and hardware upgrades.
The Advanced Display Core Processor II [ADCP II], the new computer system for the F-15EX, is a highly advanced and powerful system designed specifically for this fighter jet. It is referred to as the fastest mission computer ever integrated into a fighter jet due to its exceptional specifications and capabilities.
The ADCP II is powered by a quad-core Intel i7 processor, providing a significant increase in processing power compared to previous generations of mission computers. With an astonishing processing power of 87 billion instructions per second, this system far surpasses its predecessors.
The ADCP II, the new computer system of the F-15EX, is not only powered by a robust processor but also features a substantial amount of memory. It comes with 16 gigabytes of RAM, enabling the storage and real-time retrieval of extensive data.
The ADCP II is also equipped with advanced graphics capabilities, including a high-performance graphics processing unit (GPU) capable of handling intricate visualizations and renderings. Additionally, it includes advanced networking capabilities that facilitate seamless communication and data sharing between the F-15EX and other aircraft or ground-based systems.
The ADCP II’s specifications make it a state-of-the-art system that significantly enhances the F-15EX’s mission capabilities. Its powerful processor, generous memory, advanced graphics capabilities, and networking features contribute to its standing as the fastest mission computer ever integrated into a fighter jet.
Despite sharing similar dimensions with its predecessors, the F-15EX stands out as a more formidable weapon carrier compared to the F-15A, F-15C, and F-15E. These earlier models were limited to carrying eight air-to-air missiles, typically a combination of AIM-9 Sidewinder infrared-guided missiles and AIM-7 Sparrow or AIM-120 AMRAAM radar-guided missiles.
The increased payload capacity of the F-15EX can be attributed to the integration of the Advanced Missile and Bomb Ejector Rack (AMBER) missile racks. These innovative structures enable connectivity between the aircraft and its ammunition. With these new racks, the F-15EX can carry up to 12 air-to-air missiles, a 50 percent increase compared to its predecessors. The influence of AMBER extends further, providing the F-15EX with a total of 23 weapon stations, an upgrade from the 17 on the F-15E.
In terms of sheer capabilities, the variant of the F-15EX that participated in the Eglin tests appears to be the most heavily armed fighter jet in history. It has the potential to neutralize up to six enemy fighters, assuming a minimum kill probability of 50 percent per AMRAAM missile.