The US Air National Guard (ANG) has flown a Boeing F-15C Eagle air defence fighter fitted with conformal fuel tanks (CFTs) for the first time, the manufacturer announced on 5 February.
An aircraft from the Louisiana Air National Guard’s (ANG’s) 159th Fighter Wing conducted the maiden flight of the CFT-equipped F-15C, paving the way for a significant increase in the platform’s homeland defence capabilities.
As previously related to Jane’s , the F-15C CFT upgrade has been processed through the NATO Support and Procurement Agency rather than the normal US contracting agencies, as it is the quickest means for the customer to field the capability. The CFTs are being built by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) as a subcontractor to Boeing.
The F-15C CFT upgrade for the ANG is part of a wider USD12 billion modernisation effort taking place across the range of Eagle types being flown in the US Air Force (USAF) inventory. As the largest operator of the Eagle by some margin, the USAF fields the platform in its F-15C air-superiority guise; its F-15D operational-trainer guise; and in its F-15E Strike Eagle ground-attack guise.
The USAF’s upgrade roadmap is currently funded through to 2025, with several enhancements, such as the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS), already carried out and fielded.
The latest round of upgrades is built around a new advanced mission computer. The F-15C fighter and F-15E strike variant Eagles are being fitted with the new Suite 9/ Advanced Display Core Processor (ADCP) II computer hardware and software package that are designed to power advanced capabilities.
Want to read more? For analysis on this article and access to all our insight content, please enquire about our subscription options at ihs.com/contact