AF’s first F-15EX arrives at Eglin AFB (2024)

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  • Published
  • By Ilka Cole & Samuel King Jr.
  • Eglin Air Force Base Public Affairs

The F-15EX, the Air Force’s newest fighter, touched down at Eglin Air Force Base March 11.

The aircraft will be the first Air Force aircraft to be tested and fielded from beginning to end, through combined developmental and operational tests.

“It’s a special day for the base and our mission,” said Brig. Gen. Scott Cain, 96th Test Wing commander. “We’re very proud to be part of the next evolution of this historic aircraft. I look forward to seeing this unique test collaboration prepare the F-15EX for the warfighter.”

The aircraft bears its unit insignia EX1 marked with “ET” from the 96th TW’s, 40th Flight Test Squadron. The EX2, arriving in April, will display the “OT” tail flash to represent the 53rd Wing’s 85th Test and Evaluation Squadron.

To support the combined test effort, both test-squadron commanders ferried in the EX-1 together.

“Choosing to have the two commanders ferry the jet down was a concerted effort to reinforce the cooperation between DT and OT organizations and integration efforts,” said Lt. Col. Jacob Lindaman, 85th TES commander.

The aim of integrated testing is to ensure the EX is delivered to the warfighter as soon as possible, while ensuring the aircraft meets test objectives. This combination of Eglin AFB’s testers allows the teams to identify any system issues early on, so they can be addressed before the F-15EX’s increased production and delivery to the squadrons.

The Operational Flight Program Combined Test Force, or OFP CTF, at Eglin AFB will manage test planning and oversee all the groundwork for the EX’s test program.

“Combining these test capabilities on day one of flight test helps ensure F-15EX is ready to execute on air tasking order day one. We’re confident that along with our OFP CTF partners running test management, we will provide that capability faster to the warfighter than ever before,” said Lt. Col. Richard Turner, 40th FLTS commander, who flew the new EX to Eglin AFB.

While the new fighter can be operated by a single pilot, it is a two-seat aircraft with an increased payload capacity, electronic flight controls, advanced co*ckpit and mission systems and software capabilities.

Before testing and evaluation begins, aircrews will familiarize themselves with the aircraft through local airspace flights.

AF’s first F-15EX arrives at Eglin AFB (2024)


AF’s first F-15EX arrives at Eglin AFB? ›

The F-15EX, the Air Force's newest fighter, touched down at Eglin Air Force Base March 11. The aircraft will be the first Air Force aircraft to be tested and fielded from beginning to end, through combined developmental and operational tests. “It's a special day for the base and our mission,” said Brig.

When did the F-15EX enter service? ›

The F-15EX is expected to replace the F-15C/D in performing homeland and air defense missions and also serve as an affordable platform for employing large stand-off weapons to augment the frontline F-22 and F-35. The first aircraft was delivered in 2021 and operational service is expected in July 2024.

How many F-15EX have been delivered? ›

Boeing is preparing to deliver the first combat-configured F-15EX Eagle II fighters to its US Air Force (USAF) customer. The US airframer has already handed over six F-15EXs – the latest variant of the 1970s-era multi-role fighter – to the USAF, the type's first and so far only customer.

What bases are getting the F-15EX? ›

The preferred location for the new F-35A squadron is Barnes Air National Guard Base, Mass., while the F-15EXs are slated for Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans, La., and Fresno Air National Guard Base, Calif.

Is F-15EX better than F-35? ›

The F-35 is stealthier and has better sensors, but the F-15EX can carry a greater weapons payload (unless the F-35 is flying in beast mode).

What makes the F-15EX special? ›

F-15EX promises higher speed, longer range, increased 29,500 lb payload (including two additional weapon stations), and lower operating costs than previous variants. The type also boasts the longest stand-off air-to-air engagement range of any fighter in the USAF inventory.

Is the F-15EX a 5th generation fighter? ›

Why the F-15EX Is Such a Badass Plane. The Eagle II boasts capabilities that even fifth-generation fighters don't have—all in a fourth-gen disguise. Boeing's vastly experienced F-15 chief pilot says he never went faster than Mach 2 while flying the F-22 Raptor in the Air Force.

Is the F-15EX a 2 seater? ›

The F-15EX is a two-seat combat platform with fly-by-wire controls, a substantially more powerful mission computer, new co*ckpit displays, a digital backbone, and the Eagle Passive Active Warning Survivability System (EPAWSS) which is an electronic warfare and threat identification system.

Where is the F-15EX built? ›

This F-15EX, the third Boeing has so far produced for the Air Force, took its first two flights on Oct. 27 at Boeing's St. Louis, Missouri, factory, the company said, and published a video of a flight in a social media post.

How much is the F-15EX worth? ›

Under the recent contract, the USAF will pay $90 million for each F-15EX in production Lot 2, with the cost spiking to $97 million each in Lot 3 before sliding back to $94 million in Lot 4.

What AFB has the most fighter jets? ›

Located west of Phoenix, Luke Air Force Base is home to the 56th Fighter Wing, the largest fighter wing in the world and the Air Force's primary active-duty fighter pilot training wing.

What AFB has the most Jets? ›

Luke Air Force Base is home to the active duty 56th Fighter Wing and the U.S. Air Force Reserve's 944th Fighter Wing. Luke is the largest and only active-duty F-16 training base in the world with more than 138 F-16s assigned.

How many F-15EX will USAF buy? ›

The Air Force's fiscal 2025 plan would buy only 18 F-15EXs instead of the 24 called for in the previous budget and end procurement there, at a total of 98 airplanes instead of the previous goal of 104.

Why is the F-15EX such a badass plane? ›

The F-15EX is designed for interoperability within the joint force. It's a lethal, survivable weapons system that provides the range, maneuverability and lethality where & when it matters - across the entire mission profile - to deter and defeat aggression.

Why is the F-15EX so expensive? ›

For example, the Air Force spokesperson said the F-15EX's flyaway cost encompasses the “Major End Item (Airframe, EPAWSS [Eagle Passive Active Warning Survivability Suite], Engines, Radars and all other associated subsystems on the aircraft), as well as other applicable costs such as Production Non-Recurring ...

Would F-22 beat F-35 in dogfight? ›

So, while the F-22 may hold an advantage in a traditional dogfight scenario, the strengths of the F-35 lie in its versatility, interoperability, and advanced avionics. Nevertheless, in a head-to-head matchup, it seems likely that the F-22's superior kinematic performance would grant it the upper hand.

What is the difference between the F-15E and the F-15EX? ›

Boeing says the F-15EX has a 28 percent larger payload than the F-15E, with two more weapons stations. The extra stations add loadout flexibility, company officials said. The F-15EX's central pylon can carry a notional 22-foot, 7,000 pound weapon.

When did the F 15 Eagle enter service? ›

The first Eagle (F-15B) was delivered in November 1974. In January 1976, the first Eagle destined for a combat squadron was delivered. The single-seat F-15C and two-seat F-15D models entered the Air Force inventory beginning in 1979.

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