In recent months the United States has focused on developing the F-15EX after the much vaunted fifth generation stealth fighter F-35 turned out too be very expensive to maintain and operate.
On March 10, the US Air Force received its first F-15EX fighter jet, which took off directly from the Boeing plant at St. Louis and landed at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.
The F-15EX is characterizing by the ability to carry a large payload. Much like its Russian peer, the SU-35S, the F-15EX is a generation 4.5 generation fighter plane and could be a “lifeline” for the US Air Force.
Future prospects of the fighter jet includes the ability to complement the fighting capability of the US Air Force and close the gap between the fighting capabilities of the F-35.
The F-15EX program will play a significant tactical role in US military action, said the head of the F-15EX program, Colonel Sean Dory.
“This is an important moment for the Air Force,” said Dory.
The fighter is equipped with a state-of-the-art digital cockpit, an ADCP-II computer from Honeywell, a passive/active warning system, and sports a significantly improved and enhanced avionics. The ADCP-II is considered one of the best during combat operations and missions. It is also equipped with Raytheon’s AN / APG-82 radar which has an active phased array.
The F-15EX can carry 22 guided air-to-air missiles, as well as a hypersonic weapon along with twenty-eight mini bombs.
By next month, a second F-15EX fighter will be stationed at the Eglin naval base in Florida. By the end of 2023, at least 6 more will join this squadron.
While the USAF is expected to retire legacy models of the F-15 soon, Washington is keen to buttress its air fleets with F-15EXs and has ordered at least 200.