The US Air Force Will Receive A Heavily Armed Version Of The F-15 Fighter In 2022
The US air force will receive the first heavily armed versions of the F-15, the F-15EX, in the second quarter of the fiscal year 2021 (the first quarter of 2022). According to the US air force, the military has signed a contract for the delivery of the first batch of eight new aircraft, which are being developed by the American aircraft manufacturer Boeing.
F-15 Strike Eagle fighter-bombers entered service with the US air force in the late 1980s. They were developed based on the F-15 Eagle air superiority fighters adopted in the mid-1970s. The last F-15 purchases were made by the US air force in 2001. Some of the US military aircraft in service are already outdated and need to be replaced.
Currently, there is no alternative to the F-15 heavy fighter in the United States — new combat aircraft of this class were not developed since a significant part of the budget was delayed by the f-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II fighter projects. The F-15EX project was proposed by the US air force as a relatively cheap and fast way to replenish heavy front-line aviation with new aircraft.
In total, the US air force intends to purchase 76 F-15EX fighters, spending a total of $ 23 billion on them. Under the terms of the agreement with Boeing, the military will receive the first two aircraft in the fiscal year 2021, and the remaining six will be delivered to the US air force in the fiscal year 2023 (starting October 1, 2022). In the fiscal year 2021, the military will acquire 12 more new fighters.
Boeing presented a project to modernize the F-15 fighter-bomber in the summer of 2018. Once completed, the F-15EX will become the world's most armed fighter — one of its combat configurations involves equipping with 22 air-to-air missiles, and the other with eight air-to-air missiles and 28 SDB adjustable aerial bombs.
The F-15EX project involves strengthening the fuselage and wing structure and installing new engines. The fighter will be equipped with a "glass" cockpit, a system for displaying important information on the helmet display, a new flight task control computer, improved radio and satellite communication systems, a new warning system for radar exposure and missile launches, as well as an infrared search and tracking system.
The basic F-15E can reach speeds of up to three thousand kilometers per hour. Its combat radius is about 1.3 thousand kilometers. Strike Eagle is armed with a 20 mm m61a1 Vulcan six-barrel aviation gun with 500 rounds of ammunition and is also equipped with underwing and ventral pylons for suspension of various rocket and bomb weapons with a total weight of 10.4 tons.