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    HomeMilitaryF-15EX Eagle II: The Air Force's Pinnacle of Firepower and Versatility

    F-15EX Eagle II: The Air Force’s Pinnacle of Firepower and Versatility

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    210514-F-JG201-1103” by AirmanMagazine is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

    The F-15EX Eagle II, the latest addition to the U.S. Air Force’s arsenal, stands as a formidable testament to modern military aviation.

    210426-F-XG347-1008” by pqgw is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

    Designed as a multirole air superiority fighter, the Eagle II is poised to redefine operational capabilities with its unprecedented payload capacity, agility, and speed.

    OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO — First Lt. Charles Schuck fires an AIM-7 Sparrow medium range air-to-air missile from an F-15 Eagle here while supporting a Combat Archer air-to-air weapons system evaluation program mission. He and other Airmen of the 71st Fighter Squadron deployed from Langley Air Force Base, Va., to Tyndall AFB, Fla., to support the program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Michael Ammons)

    In the dynamic sphere of contemporary warfare, the F-15EX Eagle II emerges as a strategic pivot, primarily engineered to address the immediate needs of the U.S. Air Force.

    F-15C fighter jets from the 44th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, Prince Sultan Air Base, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, flys in formation with F-15SA Royal Saudi Air Force jets from 6th Squadron, King Khalid Air Base, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during an integrated sortie flight in the Kingdom of Saudi Araibia, June 25, 2020. The integrated sorties allows U.S. and RSAF pilots to famiiliaraize with communications and mission planning procedures. It also allows them to maintain readiness for longer mission capabilities

    With an aging fleet of F-22 Raptors and F-15C/Ds, alongside production hurdles plaguing the F-35s, the Eagle II positions itself as a versatile stopgap solution. A whopping 30,000 lbs of munitions can be hoisted by this aerial powerhouse, making it the most heavily-armed aircraft in service.

    This 4.5th generation jet, with its stealth-lacking façade, compensates with dual General Electric F100-PW-229 turbofans, thrusting it to Mach 2.5 velocities. It’s not just speed; the Eagle II displays remarkable range and agility, crucial traits for its designated air-to-air and air-to-ground roles.

    For an air superiority loadout, it can pack twelve missiles, including the heat-seeking AIM-9 Sidewinder and radar-homing AIM-120 AMRAAM. When the call is to support ground forces, it can be outfitted with a plethora of air-to-ground munitions, ranging from conventional bombs to cruise missiles and smart weapons.

    The decision for the Air Force to acquire approximately 105 F-15EX jets at roughly $94 million each—a steeper initial investment compared to the F-35A—promises long-term economic prudence.

    With a predicted operational lifespan of 20,000 hours against the F-35A’s 8,000, the cost-effectiveness of the F-15EX Eagle II becomes abundantly clear.

    Moreover, the F-15EX Eagle II has been earmarked as the first USAF jet capable of deploying hypersonic missiles, a game-changing factor in contemporary aerial warfare. Lt. Gen Michael A. Loh has lauded the aircraft for its operability and superior load-carrying capability over great distances.

    Recently, a huge foreign military sales package worth over $95 billion aimed at Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan passed, which includes a $17 billion aid earmarked for Israel.

    Speculation abounds on whether Israel, with its already powerful air force, requires additional F-15EX jets.

    Israel, already slated to incorporate 25 F-15EX Eagle II (designated F-15IA in Israeli service) into their formidable fleet, may find its Iron Dome defense system and F-35I stealth jets sufficient for maintaining regional air superiority.

    Yet, the capacity of the Eagle II to carry an extensive payload could bolster Israel’s defensive capabilities against potential threats, such as Iranian missile and drone strikes.

    So, Israel doesn’t have a dire need for the F-15EX Eagle II.

    Indeed, it would be better if a potential order for the aircraft was allocated to meet the demands of the U.S. Air Force, which has ordered dozens of aircraft but only has six delivered.

    Relevant articles:
    F-15EX Eagle II: What Makes This Fighter Jet Truly a Game Changer, The National Interest
    Boeing’s F-15EX Eagle II: A Game Changer in Modern Warfare, Medriva
    F-15EX Eagle II Fighter: Does Israel Really Need This New ‘Bomb Truck’?, The National Interest

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