Each AIM-120 and AIM-9 missiles have been take a look at fired from the brand new outer wing weapon stations which improve the payload of the F-15EX over its predecessor.
The U.S. Air Drive not too long ago introduced that, on Nov. 29, 2022, the 2 F-15EX Eagle II fighter jets delivered to Eglin Air Drive Base, Florida, launched air-to-air missiles for the primary time from their new outer wing weapon stations. Based on the press launch, the 96th Take a look at Wing’s pilots fired an AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile from Station 1 and an AIM-9X from Station 9 over the Eglin Take a look at and Coaching Advanced’s water vary. Each plane efficiently launched the missiles on separate passes towards a goal drone.
This Operational Flight Program Mixed Take a look at Drive mission was the primary Air Drive take a look at flight to validate the weapons could possibly be fired successfully and safely from these stations. The successful employment of these weapons, which provides as much as 4 missiles to the payload in comparison with the F-15C and F-15E, is a serious step in demonstrating the Eagle II plane’s missile capability of 12 air-to-air missiles.
“I’m actually proud to be part of this milestone for the F-15EX program to ship elevated payload capability to the fight air forces,” stated Maj. Jeremy Schnurbusch, fortieth FLTS-attached pilot, who fired the AIM-9X missile. “Having been part of the Eglin F-15EX crew from day one, it’s thrilling to see the progress made and new milestones achieved as we work to discipline probably the most combat-capable F-15EX,” added Maj. Brett Hughes, OFP CTF, who efficiently fired the AIM-120 from Station 1.
The brand new weapon stations are the evolution of the outer wing pylons that have been proposed throughout early testing of the F-15A, however later deleted due to aerodynamic issues. On the time, nevertheless, the intention was to make use of them to hold ECM pods. Now, the brand new pylons are geared up with two LAU-128 missile rails every, including 4 missile stations to the payload. This mission, simply 9 months after the first missile fire test, offered the primary take a look at factors for validating the expanded carriage and employment capabilities of the Eagle II.
“The built-in take a look at technique has been crucial to our take a look at success, permitting us to interrupt the mould of conventional testing, finally leading to a greater general product for the warfighter in a shorter timeline than a conventional strategy,” stated Colton Myers, OFP CTF F‑15EX take a look at undertaking supervisor. As soon as preliminary testing is full, operational items receiving the brand new F-15EX will be capable to carry and make use of a full load-out of 12 missiles on the plane upon fielding.
As we talked about when the aircraft was first delivered, whereas the fortieth Flight Take a look at Squadron took possession of the F-15 EX1 for the developmental testing (DT), EX2 was assigned to the eighty fifth Take a look at and Analysis Squadron, which might be answerable for the operational testing (OT). The 2 items are working collectively to finish the combined developmental and operational testing concurrently and permit the EX to be delivered to the warfighter as quickly as attainable, whereas making certain the plane meets take a look at aims. This mixture of Eglin’s testers permits the groups to determine any system points early on, to allow them to be addressed earlier than the F-15EX’s elevated manufacturing and supply to the squadrons.
The plane, which presents many variations compared to the F-15C that it will replace, is being pushed to its limits to ensure the F-15EX is able to be fielded. After the supply of the primary two plane in 2021, the opposite six Lot 1 plane will be delivered to Eglin this year for extra operational testing, whereas plane in Heaps 2 and three are scheduled to be delivered in 2024 the 173rd Fighter Wing of the Oregon ANG, stationed at Kingsley Area, which can turn out to be the primary F-15EX Formal Coaching Unit, and in 2025 to the 142nd Fighter Wing of the Oregon ANG, stationed in Portland, which can turn out to be the primary F-15EX operational unit.