In February, a fourth-generation American fighter, the Boeing F-15EX Advanced Eagle, took off for the first time. The plane was in the sky over Lambert International Airport in St. Louis (Missouri) for an hour and a half. Boeing says the new F-15EX Advanced Eagle is the most advanced version of the F-15 Eagle fighter. The first two such aircraft will soon be delivered to the US Air Force (Air Force). Why does the American military need the F-15EX Advanced Eagle, when there is a fifth-generation F-35 Lightning II fighter, says Lenta.ru.
During the first flight of the F-15EX Advanced Eagle, test pilots Matt Giese and Mike Quintini raised the aircraft to an altitude of over 12 kilometers. The maximum speed that the fighter developed was Mach 2. The test flight, which followed Boeing’s standard Acceptance Test Procedure (ATP), tested the main aircraft systems, in particular the F110-GE-129 engine pair, avionics and software. The tests carried out in the company were recognized as successful.
Structurally, the two-seater F-15EX Advanced Eagle is a further development of the F-15QA (Qatar Advanced) fighter, created for the Qatar Air Force, which first flew in April 2020. The most modern version of the fighter received, in particular, a fly-by-wire control system, a digital cockpit, an AN / APG-82 (V) 1 radar with an active phased antenna array (AFAR), an infrared search and tracking system, a Sniper aiming gondola and a modern electronic warfare system ( Electronic warfare) and observations of the AN / ALQ-250 Eagle Passive Active Warning Survivability System (EPAWSS).
The F-15EX Advanced Eagle has a payload of 13.4 tons. Four suspended pylons can be placed under the wings of the aircraft. Thus, the F-15EX Advanced Eagle could become the most armed fighter in the world, carrying up to 22 guided air-to-air missiles, most notably the AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM). Therefore, it is not surprising that the aircraft received a second seat, intended mainly for the weapons systems officer, useful in especially difficult missions.
In the future, the aircraft is planned to be equipped with hypersonic or anti-satellite weapons. In particular, in February 2020, at the Air Warfare Symposium 2020 in Orlando (Florida), the editor of the American magazine Aviation Week & Space Technology Steve Trimble noticed a model of an aircraft with an outboard load corresponding to a rocket weighing 3.3 tons, 6.8 meters long and 0.8 meters. Probably, this product will be a response to the X-47M2 “Dagger” hypersonic missile system, which is being received by the Russian MiG-31K interceptor fighter.
Initially, the F-15EX Advanced Eagle should replace the aging F-15C / D Eagle, which in the US Air Force was never supplanted by the fifth-generation F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II fighters, which turned out to be too expensive. The latter, in addition, in order to maintain stealth, is not intended to carry a heavy rocket and bomb load. The Americans are confident that the F-35 Lightning II and F-15EX Advanced Eagle will work together – the fifth generation fighter will detect the enemy and transmit target data to the more armed fourth generation aircraft.
An additional, but very important for the US Air Force, the opportunity that the modern F-15 Eagle should get in the future is the control of a slave unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), like the Australian Boeing Loyal Wingman. Such drones are able not only to carry out reconnaissance, but also to carry missiles, significantly increasing the combat radius of the lead aircraft. Perhaps responsible for such drones in the F-15EX Advanced Eagle will also be a weapons systems officer.
Another significant feature of the F-15EX Advanced Eagle – use architecture Open Mission System (OMS), which allows, first of all thanks to standard interfaces and data formats, quickly integrated into the aircraft systems modern features.
The first two aircraft, the F-15EX-1 and F-15EX-2, are expected to be delivered to Eglin Air Force Base (Florida) in the second quarter of this year, by the 49th anniversary of the first flight of the first F-15A on July 27, 1972. of the year. Earlier, in May, the US Air Force plans to deliver at least one F-15EX Advanced Eagle to Alaska, where the fighter is to undergo operational tests. Washington is confident that this aircraft will be useful in the most difficult scenarios of the Indo-Pacific theater of operations, primarily in the event of a potential confrontation between the United States and its allies with China.
According to American analysts Ryan Bauer and Peter Wilson, in terms of its characteristics, the F-15EX Advanced Eagle resembles the Russian Su-57 fighter, traditionally belonging to the fifth generation in Russia. Experts are confident that the two aircraft have all the basic capabilities of the fifth generation fighters, with the exception of stealth. The Su-57 and F-15EX Advanced Eagle are also brought together by the fact that for the first, as well as for the second, a complete set of missile weapons has not yet been formed.
By 2030, the US Air Force intends to receive about 200 F-15EX Advanced Eagle units. The first production aircraft should be delivered to the military as early as 2023. The cost of the corresponding upgrade program for the F-15 Eagle fleet is estimated at $ 23 billion. For comparison: by 2028, the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) should receive only 76 Su-57 fighters.
#Weapons #Science #technology #Lentaru