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F-15EX first flight


February 8, 2021
Wings Staff

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The newest U.S. Air Force fighter, F-15EX, completes a 90-minute test flight with deliveries to the USAF expected to begin this quarter, less than nine months after the contract award. (Photo: Eric Shindelbower, Boeing)

The new Boeing F-15EX fighter jet completed its first flight on Feb. 2, 2021, paving the way for what the aircraft manufacturer describes as the early delivery of the first two jets to the U.S. Air Force later this quarter. The F-15EX took off from St. Louis Lambert International Airport and completed a 90-minute test flight before returning to the airport.

Boeing explains F-15 Chief Test Pilot Matt Giese checked out the multirole jet’s avionics, advanced systems and software. A test team monitoring the data collected during the flight, according to Boeing, confirmed that the aircraft performed as planned.

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“Our workforce is excited to build a modern fighter aircraft for the U.S. Air Force,” said Prat Kumar, Boeing vice president and F-15 program manager. “Our customer can feel confident in its decision to invest in this platform that is capable of incorporating the latest advanced battle management systems, sensors and weapons due to the jet’s digital airframe design and open mission systems architecture.”

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Boeing explains the fighter’s digital backbone means it can serve as a testbed for future technology insertion. Modern variants of the F-15 also include fly-by-wire flight controls, an all-new digital cockpit, modern AESA radar and the ADCP-II, described by Boeing as the world’s fastest mission computer. The F-15EX features the Eagle Passive/Active Warning and Survivability System electronic warfare system.

In July 2020, the Air Force awarded Boeing a contract to build the first lot of eight jets. Future plans call for as many as 144 aircraft.