Royal Saudi Air Force F-15SA advanced fighter aircraft
A Royal Saudi Air Force maintenance Airman walks around the F-15SA as other Airmen prepare the plane for its mission during Red Flag 19-2 at Nellis Air Force Base, March 19, 2019. Red Flag provides aircrews the experience of multiple, intensive air combat sorties in the safety of a training environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Isaiah Soliz)

Royal Saudi Air Force to Upgrade F-15SA Cyber Protection System (CPS)

Advanced Electronics Co. Ltd., Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, has been awarded a $17,022,427 cost-plus-fixed-fee, cost reimbursable contract modification (P00027) to previously awarded contract FA8730-16-C-0019 for the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) F-15SA Cyber Protection System (CPS) and Related Facilities program. This modification provides for three years of in-Kingdom Contractor Logistics Support (CLS) for the CPS. The scope of this contract effort will include the extension of existing CLS support for three additional years, as well as related mobilization, de-mobilization, transportation and housing expenses for CLS personnel.

This is a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) acquisition between the U.S. government and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, described in the Letter of Offer and Acceptance SR-D-SAO Amendment 5, dated July 5, 2015. FMS case SR-D-SAO is for the total package of acquisition and fielding of 84 F-15A aircraft; the upgrade of 70 F-15SA aircraft to the F-154SA configuration; the procurement of associated equipment, weapons, and spares; and the construction, refurbishment, and infrastructure improvements of support facilities for the F-15SA in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Work will be performed at RSAF facilities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and is expected to be complete by May 31, 2022.

A show of force from Royal Saudi Air Force F-15SA Advanced Eagles from 29sq/7 Wing at Tabuk. Tabuk (King Faisal Air Base) is located in the northwestern part of the Saudi Kingdom and is the homebase of 7 Wing. (Photo by Fahad Rihan)

The F-15 is an American twin-engine, all-weather tactical fighter aircraft designed by McDonnell Douglas (now part of Boeing). Royal Saudi Air Force has 170 F-15C/D/SA fighters in operation. The F-15SA (Saudi Advanced) is a version for the RSAF. It has a new fly-by-wire flight control system in place of the hybrid electronic/mechanical system used by previous F-15s, which allows for weapons carriage on the previously unused outer wing hardpoints. The F-15SA includes the APG-63(v)3 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, digital electronic warfare systems (DEWS), and infrared search and track (IRST) systems. It also had a redesigned cockpit once intended for the F-15SE.

Advanced Electronics Company (AEC) is a limited liability company in Saudi Arabia that was established in 1988 under the directives of the government of Saudi Arabia. AEC is specialized in advanced electronics research and manufacturing for defense and communication among others. The goal of AEC is to create local capabilities in strategic areas like advanced manufacturing technologies, communication systems, and product support. In December 2020 it was announced that the Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) has acquired AEC. After finishing the regulatory approvals AEC will be a100% Saudi-owned company. The deal shall strengthen SAMI’s presence in the defense industries market. In 2021, Ziad bin Houmod Al-Musallam was appointed the CEO of AEC.

A Royal Saudi Air Force maintenance Airman walks around the F-15SA as other Airmen prepare the plane for its mission during Red Flag 19-2 at Nellis Air Force Base, March 19, 2019. Red Flag provides aircrews the experience of multiple, intensive air combat sorties in the safety of a training environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Isaiah Soliz)