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    The ‘Super Eagle’ F-15EX Eagle II Sets New Standard for Aerial Combat Firepower

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    The “Super Eagle,” also known as the F-15EX Eagle II, is redefining aerial warfare with its unmatched armament capacity, potentially making it the most heavily armed fighter jet to date in the U.S. Air Force.

    With capabilities to carry a vast array of missiles and a focus on versatility over stealth, the F-15EX is a formidable presence in the USAF’s inventory.

    F-15QA” by pqgw is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

    The first of this advanced variant, rooted in the F-15QA developed for Qatar, was delivered to Eglin Air Force Base on March 11, 2021, with a second arriving on April 20, 2021, for operational testing.

    Lakenheath is the only F-15 wing based in Europe, and carries out missions using the F-15C/D Eagle and the F-15E Strike Eagle.” by Rab . is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    The next six jets are on track for delivery in 2023, with an eventual plan to phase out the aging F-15C/D fleet, signaling a significant shift in the USAF’s approach to air combat readiness.

    This new iteration of the Eagle lineage is not just an incremental upgrade; it is a leap forward in combat capabilities.

    Digital fly-by-wire flight controls, a Large Area Display (LAD) glass-cockpit with touchscreen interface, and advanced radar systems such as the APG-82 AESA are only the beginning.

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

    The addition of the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS) and the Eagle Passive/Active Warning and Survivability System (EPAWSS) ensure pilot safety and effectiveness in hostile environments.

    One notable feature of the F-15EX is its armament versatility.

    In August 30, 2023, the 53rd Wing presented the Eagle II with twelve AMRAAMs and three JASSMs, effectively deploying the latter at Eglin Air Force Base.

    McDonnell-Douglas F-15A Eagle 2011” by Gord McKenna is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    This armament capacity is a significant increase from the eight missiles that previous F-15 models, such as the F-15A, F-15C, and F-15E, could carry.

    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)

    At the heart of this expansion is the Advanced Missile and Bomb Ejector Rack (AMBER) system, which increases the aircraft’s air-to-air missile capacity by 50 percent to 12, totaling 23 weapon stations.

    The AMBER racks are game-changers, enabling the F-15EX to function as a “missile truck” in collaborative engagements with fifth-generation fighters like the stealthy F-35 Lightning II.

    Unlike the F-35, which must internalize its munitions to maintain its stealth profile, the F-15EX has no such limitations.

    It can freely carry an assortment of weapons externally, with the trade-off of a reduction in speed and maneuverability due to the increased load.

    This allows the F-15EX to pack a balanced arsenal, capable of striking heavily defended targets with its JASSM cruise missiles, followed by engaging enemy aircraft with its formidable air-to-air combat load.

    Relevant articles:
    F-15EX Eagle II Archives, Air & Space Forces Magazine
    15EX Eagle II the Most Heavily Armed Fighter Ever?, Popular Mechanics
    F-15 Eagle, af.mil

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