The US Air Force (USAF) has announced that the F-15EX Eagle II, the latest model of the F-15 air superiority fighter, can blast targets at greater distances than any other fighter aircraft in the US inventory, including fifth-generation jets such as the F-22 Raptor and F-35.
The aforesaid result was reached after members of Group 6 of the US Air Force Performance Evaluation and Testing Center (AFOTEC) examined two of the missile’s test firings during the development and development stages. The first live-fire test takes place in January 2022.
To confirm the outcomes of the AIM-120D and AIM-120C3 missile launches, a team of six engineers and analysts headed to Tyndall and Eglin Air Force Bases in Florida. The F-15EX Eagle II launched an air-to-air missile at an unmanned target known as a BQM-167 during a test on January 25 that comprised pilots and planes from the 40th Test Squadron.
The US Air Force said that the test firing was deemed successful in a news statement.
“The jet’s ability to serve as a long-range weapon system is one of the key inferences that can be made from this live-fire test.
The F-15EX can shoot at a target from a distance that is noticeably farther than it could previously, outdistancing any other fighter aircraft currently in the US inventory. It also shows off the capability to transport up to 12 out-of-sight air-to-air missiles or heavy weapons “said Group 6’s head test engineer, Captain Max Denbigh.
This information was released just over a week after the US Air Force commemorated the F-15 air superiority fighter’s 50th birthday. After being involved in numerous conflicts, the F-15 has acquired the title of “Champion of the Air” by downing 104 enemy aircraft without being shot down.
A long-range fighter with hypersonic missiles
The F-15EX Eagle II’s long-range combat capacity is crucial for guaranteeing that US troops can deploy forces on a worldwide scale, according to a statement from the US Airborne Operations Command.
According to him, “responsive weapon systems, such as the F-15EX, will be critical in maintaining a tactical advantage as America’s enemies continue to expand their combat capabilities.” Denbigh remarked.
The F-15EX has been greatly improved and modified over the original F-15 model. The airframe of the F-15EX has a service life of up to 20,000 hours and is constructed with an improved weapon payload.
The squadron’s F-15Cs are in such poor shape, according to Andrew P. Hunter, the US Air Force’s senior procurement officer, that it is imperative that they be outfitted with the F-15EX model as much as feasible as quickly as possible. The operational readiness of the F-15C/D variant has been decreased to 45% as a result of problems that it encountered over time.
The current F-15EX is about the same size as the Russian Su-30 model, and it is capable of carrying out a number of operations like deploying long-range weaponry and creating a “no-fly zone” around air defense systems. Defend the airbase and US territory against the enemy’s air defense system.
The F-15EX was assessed as well as its long-range combat range and capability to handle the difficulties posed by significant US adversaries were demonstrated by the missile test. Another characteristic was that it was the first American fighter to have hypersonic weapons.
The F-15EX is regarded as the optimal platform for the use of this weapon because the hypersonic missile is too huge to fit into the weapons bay inside the fuselage of stealth fighters like the F-22 and F-35.
For the past two months, the engineers and analysts at Group 6 have been researching how the F-15EX compares to fighters of the fifth generation.
The findings demonstrated that the Survivability Warning System (EPAWSS) equipped the F-15E and F-15EX with a fully integrated radar warning capacity as well as exceptional jammer and countermeasures capabilities in high-risk circumstances, which present numerous difficulties.
We’ve seen that the F-15EX can be used as a long-range combat vehicle, but the EPAWSSS demonstrates that the aircraft can also get involved in a fight and deal significant damage to an adversary. stated Mr. Denbin.
After the F-15E took part in a number of operational test missions intended for the F-35A Lightning II 5th generation fighter, Group 6 analysts additionally examined EPAWSSS data.
“An F-15E or EX outfitted with the EPAWSS system has negative impacts on the opposing force whether it is jammer or offensive. The crew has extra alternatives when flying because of this mechanism. allows other stealthy aircraft in the strike formation, like the F-22 or F-35, to have the chance to more effectively defeat threats in difficult airspace “stressed Air Force Representative America.
Following confirmation of the F-15EX’s long-range capabilities and the EPAWSS system’s efficiency in a demanding combat environment, preparations are currently being made for the second phase of testing.