F-15X to be tested in US at beginning of next year

Boeing's advanced version will be the leading fighter of the US Air Force. It includes fly-by-wire flight, two new weapons stations, a new electronic warfare suite, advanced radar and more 

Photo: Boeing website

At the beginning of next year, Boeing's F-15X fighter plane will land at the USAF's Eglin Air Force Base for a series of tests. It is an advanced version of the F-15 that will be the leading fighter of the USAF, which has ordered 200 of them. 

The X version has the best capabilities available for this kind of fighter, according to Air Force Magazine. It includes fly-by-wire (FBW) flight controls, two new weapons stations, a new electronic warfare suite, advanced radar, a hyper-fast computer, conformal fuel tanks and a reinforced structure.   

However, it is still a 4th generation fighter, no stealthier than the first F-15s from the early 1970s. A low signature, experts say, is critical today for operations against enemy antiaircraft systems, and thus the F-15X will have to remain far from hostile airspace until those defense systems are destroyed.   

The USAF's F-15C/Ds are aging, and in the opinion of the Air Force it is not worthwhile to continue to retain them due to high maintenance costs. As for the cost of the F-15X, Boeing has quoted a cost of $80 million per plane, similar to the F-35 of Lockheed Martin. But the cost for operating an F-35 for one hour is $35,000, whereas the cost of operating the F-15X for one hour is $27,000.   

The F-15X will be almost identical to the QA version that was build for Qatar, and it is based on the SA version that was build for Saudi Arabia, a version in which the hydraulic cables will be replaced by the fly-by-wire system.   

Boeing says that the F-15X can carry a large amount of weapons and ammunition. The plane was built using the most advanced technologies, and it will be equipped with state-of-the-art missions systems. In addition, it was designed in a manner that enables it to be upgraded. Its wings are being improved, and a fast computer processing capability as well as a fiberoptic network within its body have been added.

An advanced version of the F-15, the F-15I, is a candidate for acquisition by the Israeli Air Force to replace its aging F-15s, apparently in combination with additional F-35 fighters.  

You might be interested also

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken participates in a virtual joint press conference with United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, in London, United Kingdom, on May 3, 2021. [State Department Photo by Ron Przysucha/ Public Domain]

Report: Progress in negotiations between Iran and US

Reports about prisoner exchanges started to surface in the American media, with denials by both sides. Meanwhile, it was claimed that the head of the Mossad, Yossi Cohen, was updated by the White House about the progress in negotiations