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    The F-15EX Eagle II: America’s Ultimate Air Superiority and Key Air Defense Asset

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    An F-15EX Eagle II from the 40th Flight Test Squadron, 96th Test Wing out of Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, flies in formation during an aerial refueling operation above the skies of Northern California, May 14. The Eagle II participated in the Northern Edge 21 exercise in Alaska earlier in May. (Air Force photo by Ethan Wagner)

    The F-15EX Eagle II is an advanced addition to the U.S. Air Force’s fighter fleet, showcasing high-speed and high-altitude superiority.

    Rigorously tested, it boasts an advanced design that enables it to carry a significant payload, including the capability for hypersonic missiles, solidifying its position as a versatile and powerful asset in contemporary air combat.

    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)

    This new generation of the iconic F-15, based on the F-15QA, fulfills the urgent need to replace the aging F-15C/D models.

    With a notable emphasis on high-speed, long-range, and a staggering payload increased 29,500 pounds, the F-15EX stands out as an air-to-air and air-to-ground behemoth.

    The aircraft’s impressive arsenal boasts a combination of up to 12 AIM-9 Sidewinders or AIM-120 AMRAAMs, or a mix of up to 24 air-to-ground munitions, augmented by one internally mounted M61A1 20 mm six-barrel cannon.

    With its advanced APG-82 AESA radar, Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS), and EPAWSS self-defensive suite, the fighter jet claims the title for the longest stand-off air-to-air engagement range of any fighter in the Air Force’s inventory.

    The F-15EX’s groundbreaking digital fly-by-wire flight controls and glass-cockpit with touchscreen interface signify a technological leap.

    The Open Mission System (OMS) software framework sets a foundation for swift upgrades and capability enhancements, ensuring the jet remains at the cutting edge of combat effectiveness.

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

    On July 13, 2020, the USAF awarded Boeing a $1.2 billion contract for the first eight F-15EX jets, marking a significant investment in the future of air combat capabilities. The initial delivery took place on March 11, 2021, at Eglin AFB.

    The F-15EX’s maiden operational test sortie from Nellis took flight in October 2021, and a live missile was successfully fired for the first time on January 25, 2022.

    The jet launched a pair of AIM-120s over the Eglin range, a testament to its readiness to join the front lines.

    As the Air Force plans to acquire a total of 104 F-15EX aircraft instead of the originally intended 144, the strategic implications of this decision are under scrutiny.

    Moreover, the F-15EX has sparked interest beyond the U.S., with Israel preparing to send a formal request for 25 of the fighters, underscoring its international appeal.

    Despite its high cost of approximately $93.5 million per unit, the F-15EX’s contributions to the U.S. air dominance cannot be overstated.

    210505-F-HY271-0160” by AirmanMagazine is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

    Its prowess in range, armament capacity, and modernized avionics ensures it remains a vital addition to America’s air defense strategy.

    Relevant articles:
    F-15EX Eagle II Archives, Air & Space Forces Magazine
    F-15EX Eagle II Archives, Air & Space Forces Magazine
    F-15 Eagle, af.mil
    F-15EX Is the Real American Badass Fighter Jet (But Expensive), nationalinterest.org

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