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Air Force’s New F-15EX Jet Flies First Operational Test Mission at Nellis AFB

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The U.S. Air Force recently completed the first-ever operational test mission of its new Boeing F-15EX Eagle II fighter aircraft at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. 

According to officials, the week-long test served as an evaluation of the F-15EX’s performance at Nellis’ threat environment and its differences with the in-service F-15C fighter variant, the Air Force said Monday.

F-15EX, an upgraded variant of the over four-decades-old F-15 aircraft, features a new digital fly-by-wire control technology signaling a departure from its predecessor’s standard hydro-mechanical system.

The new aircraft also uses the new Eagle Passive Active Warning Survivability System, which provides both electronic attack and defense capabilities for missions involving advanced threats and areas with denied communications.

Colton Myers, Operational Flight Program Combined Test Force F-15EX test project manager, shared that the aircraft will now fly back to Eglin Air Force Base in Florida for more developmental tests that would ensure its compliance with build specifications and safety standards.

The Air Force plans to use F-15EXs as a replacement to its existing F-15C aircraft in its four-plus-one streamlined fleet concept that includes F-35 Lightning II, F-16 Fighting Falcon, A-10 Thunderbolt II and a sixth-generation fighter.

The modern aircraft is being built by Boeing under a potential $22.9 billion indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract awarded in July 2020, with two units already delivered to the Air Force.