skip to main content

USAF begins F-15EX operational trials

The US Air Force has launched operational trials of the F-15EX Eagle II out of Nellis AFB in Nevada. (US Air Force)

The US Air Force (USAF) has begun operational trials of the Boeing F-15EX Eagle II multirole combat aircraft, with flights launched out of Nellis Air Force Base (AFB) in Nevada from 18 to 25 October.

The initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E) sorties were flown by the two F-15EXs received so far, as well as two F-15C-variant Eagles.

โ€œThe main focus here is to provide the initial push for operational tests and evaluation to really evaluate the platform from an end-to-end perspective with the addition of a robust threat environment that we have here at Nellis,โ€ Colton Myers, Operational Flight Program Combined Test Force F-15EX test project manager, was quoted as saying. โ€œThat way, when we write our initial test reports, we're giving an accurate look to the combat [US] Air Force and the [Air National] Guard as to what the platform is capable of when it initially fields.โ€

The launch of IOT&E comes just months after the F-15EX made its maiden flight out of St Louis Lambert International Airport in Missouri in March. The USAF is procuring the F-15EX to replace the oldest F-15C/D fighters in its inventory, some of which date back to 1979. With an initial eight aircraft approved in the fiscal year (FY) 2020 budget and subsequently contracted, a further 12 were requested in the FY 2021 budget. The USAF plans to purchase a total of 76 F-15EX aircraft over the five-year Future Years Defense Program. Previously disclosed future plans have called for as many as 144 aircraft, while the latest number is set at 200.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...