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    Portland’s Air Guard Enters Digital Age with $95M F-15EX Fighter Jets

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    In a significant move to modernize its aerial combat capabilities, the Portland Air National Guard base received the first of its new F-15EX fighter jets this Wednesday.

    Portland is now on the frontline of a technological leap in military aviation.

    GRAN CANARIA October 28, Military maneuvers, Oct 28, 2019 Gran Canaria (Canary Is) Spain
    GRAN CANARIA October 28, Military maneuvers, Oct 28, 2019 Gran Canaria (Canary Is) Spain

    The Portland Air National Guard base bid farewell to its aging F-15C models, which have been the cornerstone of its defense capabilities since the 1980s.

    Lt. Col Scott Wilcox, commander of the 142nd Civil Engineering Squadron, indicated the significance of this overhaul, stating, “This is an immense deal for Oregon.”

    The new F-15EXs, costing about $95 million each, are replacing the old fleet, propelling the airbase into the future with cutting-edge technology and enhanced combat potential.

    The F-15EX, developed by Boeing, is a testament to the enduring legacy of the F-15 aircraft family.

    The new F-15EX comes with modern jamming capabilities and self-protection features, a far cry from the limited capabilities of their predecessors.

    “This marks the initial deployment of the new fighter jet to any active unit within the Air Force,” stated Steven Conklin, the spokesperson for the 142nd Wing.

    “I now possess a new radar system, an advanced digital foundation, upgraded engines, an enhanced electronic warfare suite, additional pylons for munitions placement, reinforced landing gear for increased weight capacity during takeoff and landing,” Conner elaborated.

    These aircraft represent a component of a substantial renovation of the Oregon Air National Guard facilities, situated adjacent to Portland International Airport.

    Several hundred million dollars are earmarked for the construction of novel training facilities and a cutting-edge hangar in the coming years.

    The financial impact of this upgrade is substantial, with the total cost of acquiring 18 new F-15EX jets standing at approximately $1.7 billion, including infrastructure improvements like a $110 million hangar to house the secret military technology embedded within these fighters.

    Although the new jets will not increase staffing at the base, pilots will require training to master the new systems.

    This military transformation goes beyond just the airbase. The 116th Air Control Squadron will shift its focus to cyber defense.

    The federal government’s commitment to this project is evident, with investments in infrastructure that could total up to $500 million over the next five years, excluding the cost of the new planes.

    Relevant articles:
    First of new $95 million fighter jets arrives in Portland, Ground News
    Portland Air National Guard Gets 1st New F-15EX To Replace Old F-15Cs, Simple Flying
    Oregon Air National Guard base set to receive new jets and a massive overhaul, Oregon Public Broadcasting – OPB

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