Sunday, September 19, 2021

U.S. Air Force releases images of its newest F-15EX fighter jet

The U.S. Air Force has finally released a series of detailed images of its newest F-15EX fighter jet.

The images show Air Force’s newest fighter aircraft, which has arrived at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida March 11.

According to a recent service news release, the aircraft will be the first Air Force aircraft to be tested and fielded from beginning to end through combined developmental and operational tests. The 40th Flight Test Squadron and the 85th Test and Evaluation Squadron personnel are responsible for testing the aircraft.

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“It’s a special day for the base and our mission,” said Brig. Gen. Scott Cain, 96th Test Wing commander. “We’re very proud to be part of the next evolution of this historic aircraft. I look forward to seeing this unique test collaboration prepare the F-15EX for the warfighter.”

The aircraft bears its unit insignia. EX1 marked with “ET” from the 96th TW’s, 40th Flight Test Squadron. The EX2, arriving in April, will display the “OT” tail flash to represent the 53rd Wing’s 85th Test and Evaluation Squadron.

Photo by Samuel King Jr.

To support the combined test effort, both test squadron commanders ferried in the EX-1 together.

“Choosing to have the two commanders ferry the jet down was a concerted effort to reinforce the cooperation between DT and OT organizations and integration efforts,” said Lt. Col. Jacob Lindaman, 85th TES commander.

The aim of integrated testing is to ensure the EX is delivered to the warfighter as soon as possible, while ensuring the aircraft meets test objectives. This combination of Eglin’s testers allows the teams to identify any system issues early on, so they can be addressed before the F-15EX’s increased production and delivery to the squadrons.

F-15EX and F-15E. Photo by Samuel King Jr.

Aerospace giant Boeing says the F-15EX requires no new logistics chains, training squadrons, infrastructure modification, program offices or even weapons integration. Units converting to F-15EX can transition within weeks or months, not years, of receiving new aircraft. These benefits, combined with the lowest cost per flight hour in its class, make F-15EX the total life cycle solution to meet U.S. Air Force capacity requirements.

As noted by the company, built on a digital thread, F-15EX serves as a pathfinder for the Department of Defense’s DevSecOps initiative aimed at developing secure, flexible and agile software. F-15EX enables rapid technology insertion that ensures the platform’s relevance for decades to come.

Photo by Samuel King Jr.

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Executive Editor

About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
U.S. defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.

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