Pratt & Whitney is proud to have submitted proposal to power the U.S. Air Force F-15EX with the trusted F100-PW-229 engine for Lots 2-9 of the procurement schedule. The F100 engine has powered every operational F-15 in the U.S. Air Force fleet since its first flight in 1972, and the company look forward to powering this legendary fighter for decades to come. The F100-PW-229’s power, performance, and reliability will enable the F-15EX to conduct the U.S. Air Force’s most critical missions here and abroad. With more than 28 million hours flown by 23 nations, the F100 has proven itself an invaluable asset for customers around the world, and extensive sustainment network at U.S Air Force F-15 bases worldwide.
The F100 (company designation JTF22) is an afterburning turbofan engine manufactured by Pratt & Whitney that powers the F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon. The F100-PW-229 achieves the objective of increasing engine depot maintenance interval from 4,300 to 6,000 total accumulated cycles (TACs), effectively extending the typical depot interval from 7 to 10 years and provides a 30 percent life-cycle cost reduction over the life of the engine. The latest configuration is especially important to the end user in increasing the depot maintenance interval and reducing operating cost of F-15 and F-16 fleets. The current configuration of the F100-PW-229 engine is suitable for new USAF fighter applications, such as the F-15EX.
In 2018, the U.S. Air Force and Boeing discussed a proposed F-15X, a single-seat variant based on the F-15QA intended to replace the USAF’s F-15C/Ds. Improvements includes the AMBER weapons rack to carry up to 22 air-to-air missiles, infrared search and track, advanced avionics and electronics warfare equipment, AESA radar, and revised structure with a service life of 20,000 hours. In the FY 2020 budget, the United States Department of Defense requested US$1.1 billion to procure eight F-15EXs of a total planned procurement of 144 F-15EXs. The USAF opted for the F-15EX to maintain fighter numbers after the premature termination of F-22 production, its aging F-15C fleet, and F-35 delays.
Although it is not expected to be survivable against modern air defenses by 2028, the F-15EX could perform homeland and airbase defense, no-fly zone enforcement against limited or no air defense systems, and deploying standoff munitions. In July 2020, the U.S. Defense Department ordered eight fighters over three years for $1.2 billion. In August 2020, the Air Force announced plans to replace the Air National Guard’s aging F-15Cs in Florida and Oregon with F-15EXs. The F-15EX took its maiden flight on 2 February 2021. The first F-15EX was delivered to the USAF on 10 March 2021, and was flown to Eglin Air Force Base, Florida for further testing.