Saudi Arabia unveiled its next-generation F-15SA fighter jet at an airshow in Riyadh on Wednesday, nearly two years after beginning air war in Yemen.
At a ceremony and air show in the Saudi capital, a hangar opened to reveal one of the F-15SA Eagle aircraft made by US manufacturer Boeing. The sale was a major win for Boeing, which has faced competition from Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter.
Saudi Arabia is to add 84 F-15SA warplanes to its air force under a nearly $30 billion deal signed in 2011 that also included Black Hawk and Apache helicopters.
According to IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, the first of the F-15SAs − the most advanced version of the Eagle built so far − arrived in December.
The F-15SA is a new version for the Royal Saudi Air Force. The F-15SA have a modern fly-by-wire flight control system in place of the hybrid electronic/mechanical system used by all previous F-15s. The variant includes the APG-63(v)3 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, digital electronic warfare systems (DEWS), infrared search and track (IRST) systems, and other advanced systems. It also includes a redesigned cockpit originally intended for the F-15SE.
Saudi Arabia ordered 84 new build F-15SAs and close to 70 kits to upgrade their existing F-15S fleet to the SA configuration.