The United States Air Force is looking set to purchase 80 new-build Boeing F-15 Eagles. Dubbed the F-15X Advanced Eagle, the new aircraft will complement the US Air Force’s inventory of Lockheed Martin’s F-22A Raptor and F-35A Lightning II stealth fighters.

An article, published by Bloomberg, revealed that the US Air Force is looking to fund the purchase of eight F-15X Advanced Eagles in Fiscal Year 2020. The air arm is looking to follow suit on this with an acquisition of the aircraft across five years, adding up to a total of 80. The F-15X is expected to be proposed on 11 March.

“It has capabilities that we’ve never seen before in this fighter jet.”

Boeing’s Chief F-15 Test Pilot, Matt “Phatt” Giese

Boeing’s F-15X Advanced Eagle is the American aircraft manufacturers latest version of the famed F-15 Eagle fighter aircraft, which was a result of an joint experimental programme between the company and the US Air Force. ” When talking about the programme in a promo, Boeing’s Chief F-15 Test Pilot, Matt “Phat” Giese, says: “It has capabilities that we’ve never seen before in this fighter jet.” Boeing’s promo for the jet is linked below;

The Advanced Eagle would give the US Air Force an updated, modernised F-15, which would be more in line with recent exports of the type. These new capabilities include the new APG-82 radar, a digital fly-by-wire control system, the Legion Pod infrared search and track system (IRST) and the advanced Eagle Passive Active Warning Survivability System (EPAWSS), an electronic surveillance and warfare suite. The aircraft will replace the US Air Force’s F-15C/D Eagles, some of which are almost four decades old. The F-15X is projected to have a 20,000 hour service life, a number which is double the service life of many fighter aircraft in production around the world.

A rendering of the F-15X Advanced Eagle. Image – Boeing.

In terms of weaponry, the aircraft will come with Boeing’s AMBER missile carrying racks, enabling the F-15X Advanced Eagle to carry up to 22 air-to-air missiles during a single sortie. The aircraft will also be able to carry air-to-ground munitions along with air-to-air missiles, truly making it a pure multi-role platform.

A rendering of the F-15X Advanced Eagle. Image – Boeing.

The F-15 Eagle first flew on 27 July 1972, being manufactured by McDonnell Douglas at the time. The type was introduced into US service in January 1976. Since then the aircraft has become one of the most successful modern jet fighters produced, with over 100 victories and no losses in aerial combat. The aircraft has been also seen service with Israel, Japan and Saudi Arabia.

A later variant, dubbed the F-15E Strike Eagle, entered service in September 1989, and is in operational service with the United States, Israel, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Singapore. The aircraft is set to soon join Qatar’s military inventory too. The US Air Force last purchased an F-15 in 2001.

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By Khalem Chapman [20/02/2019]