U.S. Air Force’s F-15EX Jet has a New Name

  • Our Bureau
  • 06:01 AM, April 9, 2021
  • 2130
U.S. Air Force’s F-15EX Jet has a New Name
Boeing F-15EX jet

The U.S. Air Force has christened its newest aircraft that joined the fighter fleet in March, the Boeing F-15EX, as Eagle II.

“The newest aircraft in the Air Force fleet has been christened the F-15EX Eagle II. The Eagle II includes the latest mission and software capabilities, such as an advanced electronic warfare upgrade also fielded on F-15E models,” the Air Force tweeted.

The aircraft was renamed in a ceremony on Wednesday at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.

Boeing F-15EX Specifications

The F-15EX variant of the F-15 series of fighter planes is based on the F-15QA, which Boeing is building for Qatar. It is a two-seat aircraft—though operable by a single pilot—with fly-by-wire flight controls, digital cockpit displays, the more advanced ADCP-II mission computer from Honeywell, Eagle Passive/Active Warning and Survivability System, and an electronic warfare upgrade.

U.S. Air Force’s F-15EX Jet has a New Name
F-15EX fighter

The EX can launch hypersonic weapons up to 22 feet long and weighing up to 7,000 pounds, which gives it an edge over the F-35. The plane's upgrades include advanced avionics systems and the capability of carrying nearly 30,000 pounds of air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons internally, to minimize its stealth profile.

U.S.A.F.’s F-15EX Future Plans

The F-15EX replaces the oldest F-15C/Ds in the inventory. Eight were approved in the fiscal 2020 budget and 12 were requested for fiscal 2021.

The Department of Defense outlined plans to spend nearly $7.9 billion over the next five years to restock its F-15 fleet with upgraded versions of the fighter aircraft. The Air Force expects to buy 76 of the aircraft, toward a possible ultimate buy of 144 airplanes.

The process to acquire the F-15EX aircraft started in February of 2019, when Gen. David Goldfein, then Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force signed the F-15EX Rapid Fielding Requirement Document to address readiness issues with an aging F-15 fleet.

In July 2020, U.S. DoD said it made a $1.2 billion payment to Boeing for what will total out to $22.89 billion worth acquisition of F-15EX fighters in the coming years. In February of this year, the Air Force announced plans to buy 461 engines to power their F-15EXs.