The US Air Force (USAF) is to upgrade its fleet of Boeing F-15 Eagle combat aircraft with an enhanced ejector seat to be supplied by Collins Aerospace Systems.
The ACES 5 seat is said to reduce overall ejection-related major injuries in general and ejection-related spinal injuries in particular. (Collins Aerospace)
The seat provider announced on 29 October that it had been awarded USD700 million to replace the current Boeing ACES 2 seat in the entire USAF F-15 fleet with its latest ACES 5 system by 22 October 2030.
“ACES 5 is Collins Aerospace’s next-generation ejection seat and features enhanced head, neck, arm, and leg flail prevention, in addition to a load-compensating catapult based on the occupant’s weight. ACES 5 reduces overall ejection-related major injuries to less than 5% and ejection-related spinal injuries to less than 1%,” said the company, which is a unit of Raytheon Technologies Corp. “Collins Aerospace ACES 5 seat provides MIL-HDBK-516C safety while meeting [US] government requirements to include a qualification schedule planned within USAF programme objectives and equal or lower life-cycle costs.” Most recently, the seat was selected for the USAF’s Boeing T-7A Red Hawk trainer.
In terms of numbers, the USAF could field in excess of 400 F-15D, F-15E, and F-15EX-variant Eagles (the F-15C being slated for retirement in the coming years) by October 2030. While the F-15D/E fleets are twin-seaters, the F-15EX is understood to be a single-seater with the rear cockpit station blanked off.
The new ejector seats are part of a wider upgrade plan for the F-15. In July Janes