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    HomeMilitaryBoeing's F-15EX Eagle II Launches: Transforming U.S. Air National Guard Airpower

    Boeing’s F-15EX Eagle II Launches: Transforming U.S. Air National Guard Airpower

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    The U.S. Air National Guard has marked a significant milestone with the arrival of its first operational F-15EX Eagle II at Portland International Airport, Oregon.

    This advanced aircraft heralds a new chapter for the Air National Guard’s 142nd Wing as it transitions from its older F-15C/D fleet to a state-of-the-art fighter jet designed for homeland defense missions.

    The F-15EX, adorned with the distinctive Eagle tail flash of the 142nd Wing, is part of the U.S. Air Force’s broader initiative to modernize its fighter fleet.

    Despite an eight-month delay due to production issues, the delivery highlights the effective collaboration between Boeing and the U.S. Air Force in overcoming challenges such as improperly installed tubing and wiring, which required significant rework.

    The Air Force explained that “The process change resulted in quality deficiencies, including improperly installed tubing and wires that required time-consuming rework.” Boeing and the Air Force have since implemented corrective actions on the production line to prevent future issues.

    Enhanced with Boeing’s full-size determinant assembly (FSDA) process, the new F-15EX represents a leap forward in manufacturing precision and efficiency.

    Mark Sears, vice president of Boeing Fighters, acknowledged the difficulties encountered during the transition, stating, “But the complexity of the systems work relative to what we’ve done in the past was a challenge.”

    Sears elaborated on the adjustments made to facilitate production, “Over the last three and a half years, we’ve changed our workflow and created space for forward fuselage production, so as we move toward a rate of two a month in 2025, we’ve got the line fully streamlined.”

    The F-15EX Eagle II incorporates a suite of advancements that far surpass the capabilities of its predecessors.

    Modern features include a robust electronic warfare suite, new radar systems, upgraded engines, and additional weapon pylons.

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

    The aircraft’s digital backbone paves the way for multi-role potential, a shift that could greatly expand the scope of missions it can undertake.

    As the Air Force recalibrates its fleet, the planned acquisition has been scaled down to 98 F-15EX aircraft from an initial projection of 144. This reduction reflects shifting budget priorities and the dynamic nature of defense planning.

    Nevertheless, lawmakers continue to engage in discourse over the fleet size, evidencing the strategic importance of the F-15EX in the U.S. military’s arsenal.

    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)

    The importance of this delivery extends beyond domestic military revitalization. As Boeing navigates a fluctuating order book within the United States, the F-15EX program has garnered international interest.

    Nations such as Indonesia have expressed intent to procure the advanced fighter, indicating the Eagle II’s potential on the global stage.

    Relevant articles:
    Boeing delivers first operational F-15EX Eagle II fighter jet , The Aviation Geek Club, 06/07/2024
    Boeing Delivers First Operational F-15EX, Aviation Week, 06/07/2024
    15EX deliveries after handing over first operational jet, Breaking Defense, 06/06/2024

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