Today marks the unveiling of the name and the official role of the Air Force’s newest fighter, the F-15EX Eagle ll. The ceremony celebrated the historic arrival of the dynamic new fighter aircraft. This process began several years ago, as a combined Air Force effort to bring the best in response capability. Lt. Gen. Duke Richardson, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology Logistics Military Deputy, presented the F-15EX Eagle II making the announcement.
“Undefeated in aerial combat, the F-15 Eagle epitomized air superiority in the minds of our enemies, allies, and the American people for over 45 years, but it was not meant to fly forever. We heard the demand signal from our warfighters,” said Richardson. “I’m pleased to say we’ve responded boldly and decisively, with a proven platform that’s modernized and optimized to maintain air superiority now and into the future.”
“Since 1985 the F-15 has had a home in the Guard and Guard Airmen have flown these amazing aircraft both in the defense of the homeland and in every major international conflict since the first Gulf War in 1991,” said Lt. Gen. Michael Loh, Air National Guard director. “Now that is the battle-tested legacy of Guard F-15s â€“ first to the fight, always ready and always there.”
The F-15EX provides a unique opportunity for the test enterprise as it is the first Air Force aircraft to be completely tested and fielded through combined developmental and operational test efforts. The official role of the F-15EX is to meet capacity requirements while bringing diverse technology ensuring the platform’s relevance for decades to come. The 96th TW and the 53rd Wing are set to begin test and evaluation efforts. The 85th Test and Evaluation Squadron will work closely with the 40th Flight Test Squadron to integrate testing, start to finish.
Although it is not expected to be survivable against modern air defenses the F-15EX could perform homeland and airbase defenseand deploying standoff munitions. The U.S. Air Force will procure up to 144 F-15EXs from Boeing, to replace F-15C/D models. The goal is to increase the F-15 fleet fighter readiness. The 173rd Fighter Wing at Kingsley Field Air National Guard Base is in line to be the first F-15EX formal training unit in 2024. The first operational F-15EX squadron will function in the Oregon Air National Guard for critical homeland defense alert missions.