The F-15K Slam Eagle is a derivative of the Boeing F-15E Strike Eagle, operated by the Republic of Korea Air Force. The new aircraft is more survivable, maintainable and lethal than the F-15E models. Its multi-role capabilities will enable F-15K to perform air-to-air, air-to-ground and air-to-sea missions. Several major components were outsourced to South Korean companies under an offset agreement, wherein South Korea was responsible for 40% of production and 25% of assembly. The fuselage and wings are supplied by Korea Aerospace Industries, flight control actuator by Hanwha Corporation, electronic jammer and radar warning receiver by Samsung Thales, head-up display, airborne communication system, and radar by LIG Nex1, and engines by Samsung Techwin under license before final assembly at Boeing’s St. Louis facility.
In 2002, ROKAF selected the F-15K for its F-X fighter program, during which the F-15K, the Dassault Rafale, the Eurofighter Typhoon and Sukhoi Su-35 were evaluated. The ROKAF placed a $4.2bn contract with Boeing for 40 F-15K Slam Eagle fighter jets, in June 2002 and deliveries began in 2005. One F-15K was lost in an accident in June 2006. On 25 April 2008, a second batch of 21 F-15Ks were ordered, worth 2.3 trillion Korean won (US$2.3 billion). This second batch differs from first batch aircraft in having Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-229 (EEP) engines, license-produced by Samsung Techwin, for commonality with the KF-16 fleet. The F-15K Slam Eagle can fly at a maximum speed of Mach 2.5. The combat radius or endurance of the aircraft is more than 1,800km. ROKAF had received 50 F-15Ks by June 2011. ROKAF expects the F-15K to be in service until 2060.
The F-15K variant has several features not typically found on F-15Es, such as an AAS-42 Infra-red search and track, a customized Tactical Electronic Warfare Suite (TEWS) to reduce weight and increase jamming effectiveness, cockpit compatibility with night vision devices, ARC-232 U/VHF radio with Fighter Data Link system, and advanced APG-63(V)1 mechanical-scanned array radar. The APG-63(V)1 radar has common digital processing equipment with the APG-63(V)3 AESA radar, and thus is upgradable to an AESA radar via antenna replacement. The F-15K uses Link-16 Fighter Data Link to distribute target information to other aircraft during coordinated air-to-air missions. The aircraft is equipped with late-generation targeting and navigation systems such as forward-looking infrared (FLIR) and infrared search and track (IRST).
The F-15K is equipped with a wide field of view head-up display (HUD), and a joint helmet mounted cueing system (JHMCS). the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System. The F-15K Slam Eagle accommodates a wide range of weapons and a payload of over 13,000kg for achieving multi-role strike capability. The aircraft can carry a combination of air-to-air weapons including a 20mm cannon, AIM-9 Sidewinder infrared-guided air-to-air missiles, Raytheon AIM-7 Sparrow radar-guided air-to-air missiles, AIM-120 advanced medium-range air-to-air missile (AMRAAM), and AGM-130 missile. The AIM-9 Sidewinder has a range of 8km, while the range of Sparrow is 45km. The AMRAAM can strike aerial targets within the range of 55km. The air-to-ground weapon systems aboard the F-15 include precision-guided munitions such as AGM-84D Harpoon anti-ship missiles and AGM-84E SLAM-Expanded Response (ER) air-to-ground missiles.