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Milestone and contract award boost USAF Eagle upgrade effort

09 April 2019
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Boeing’s EPAWSS EW upgrade for the F-15 Eagle made its maiden flight on 8 April. Source: Boeing

The US Air Force (USAF) effort to upgrade its Boeing F-15 Eagle combat aircraft took a step forward on 8 April, with a significant developmental milestone and a further contract award for two of the proposed enhancements.

Boeing announced that the Eagle Passive/Active Warning and Survivability System (EPAWSS) upgrade had made its maiden flight on an F-15 testbed, while on the same day the Department of Defense (DoD) contracted the company for low-rate initial production (LRIP) lot 3 of the Advanced Display Core Processor II (ADCP II) for the aircraft.

The EPAWSS flight took place aboard an aircraft flown by the USAF's 40th Flight Test Squadron located at Eglin Air Force (AFB) in Florida, and was described by Boeing as being "successful". Developed by BAE Systems as a sub-contractor to Boeing, the EPAWSS is designed to sample the radio-frequency (RF) spectrum, identify threats, prioritise, and allocate jamming resources against the threats, and will replace the 1980s-vintage Tactical Electronic Warfare Suite (TEWS) currently fitted to the USAF's more than 400 F-15C and F-15E-variant Eagles.

At the same time as the EPAWSS maiden flight, the DoD awarded Boeing USD91.3 million for LRIP 3 of the ADCP II boxes. The ADCP II (also known as Suite 9) is billed by Boeing as the world's fastest flight mission computer, capable of processing up to 87 billion instructions per second. "This is an important enhancement for the F-15, as it unleashes the 'horsepower' of the electronic warfare suite currently being developed," the company has previously told Jane's .

Both the EPAWSS and the ADCP II are part of a wider USD12 billion modernisation programme taking place across the range of Eagle types being flown in the USAF inventory.

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