Boeing’s latest creation, the F-15EX fighter jet completed its first official test flight earlier this week. The state-of-the-art fighter jet took off and landed from St. Louis Lambert International Airport, completing a 90-minute test flight before returning to the airport.
While the F-15EX might bear a striking resemblance to its predecessor, the F-15, which the US Air Force has been flying for decades, those similarities are merely on the surface. The F-15EX features several new upgrades, including fly-by-wire flight controls, an all-new digital cockpit, modern AESA radar and the ADCP-II, the world’s fastest mission computer.
Check out the #F15EX as it makes its historic first flight. F-15EX is built on a digital thread, allowing it to also serve as a testbed to incorporate future tech and capability for the @USAirForce. pic.twitter.com/6ulnxuy1fm
— The Boeing Company (@Boeing) February 3, 2021
However, the most important upgrade the F-15EX received certainly has to be the fighter’s brand new ‘digital backbone’, which will allow Boeing to quickly and efficiently update the jet as new technologies become available.
According to Prat Kumar, Boeing vice president and F-15 program manager, “Our customer can feel confident in its decision to invest in this platform that is capable of incorporating the latest advanced battle management systems, sensors and weapons due to the jet’s digital airframe design and open mission systems architecture.”
Boeing is scheduled to deliver the first two F-15EX fighter jets to the Air Force by the end of March. The new jet will act as the replacement for the ageing F-15C and D aircraft, many of which have been in use for over three decades.