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What Makes the US Air Force’s F-15EX Fighter Truly Special

Boeing's F-15EX fighter. Image Credit: Boeing.

F-15EX pilots last month took time to meet with the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s F-15EX Program team at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Green County, Ohio, to showcase the newest F-15 fighter, according to the U.S. Air Force.

Ryan Pinsenschaum, the F-15EX Deputy Program Manager, said in a statement that “it really is exciting to have the F-15EX here today.”

“The Mighty Eagle (F-15EX) we have sitting behind us here is not just a refresh, it’s a total makeover of what the F-15 has been and continues to be for our nation,” he said. “It is a tremendous asset that brings capability that no other aircraft can bring to the Air Force. I’m tremendously proud to be part of this program, and tremendously blessed to be part of the team that has made it (aircraft development and acquisition) happen.”

While various models of the F-15 have been in service for nearly fifty years, the F-15EX was first conceived in 2019. The first F-15EX was delivered to the Air Force in March 2021 and the second a month later.

Next-Gen Features

“Although it looks similar to other F-15 models, the EX has greater capability and has done well in operational testing events such as the Northern Edge 21 exercise in Alaska this year, where it was assessed on a range of things, to include its ability to operate with fourth- and fifth-generation assets, and perform in a complex jamming environment,” the Air Force states in the release.

“Some of the enhancements include a high-speed digital backbone that runs high-speed fiber through the aircraft to all of the weapons stations, additional weapons carriage points for air-to-air missiles, an upgraded cockpit with a digital fly-by-wire flight control system, large area touch screen digital displays, and advanced avionics systems, such as the Eagle Passive/Active Warning and Survivability System,” it continues.

According to Tom Liberio, the F-15EX Program’s Chief Engineer, “there are a lot of advances packaged” in the fighter.

“It’s postured for the future to more seamlessly plug in new technology, and newer capabilities for the warfighter in a swifter fashion,” he said in a statement.

‘Backbone Fighter’

Boeing noted that “the F-15EX is a ready-now replacement for the F-15C that includes best-in-class payload, range and speed.”

“Designed to deliver value to the U.S. Air Force, the F-15EX will be a backbone fighter for the service—not just today, but for the next several decades,” the aerospace company added. also claimed that “service leaders have hinted that while the F-15EX … is meant to replace the legacy F-15C/D models, it also could replace the E Strike Eagle model in the future, given its weapons load.”


Image Credit: Boeing.

Cancel F-15EX

Two Boeing F-15EX fighters armed with air-to-air missiles. Boeing handout.

F-15EX Suicide Fighter

The F-15EX, the Air Force’s newest fighter aircraft, arrives to Eglin Air Force Base, Florida 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. The 40th Flight Test Squadron and the 85th Test and Evaluation Squadron personnel are responsible for testing the aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt. Karissa Rodriguez)

Boeing F-15EX

Boeing F-15EX. Artist Image from Boeing.

The site, citing Boeing data, added that the aircraft “will someday incorporate hypersonic weapons up to twenty-two feet long and weighing up to seven thousand pounds.”

Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.

Written By

Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Johnathan Galt

    December 16, 2021 at 12:28 pm

    So, apart from the fiber data backbone, doesn’t sound like it’s much different. Check.

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