Israel to receive 50 F-15EX Eagle II from the U.S.

The Air Force’s newest fighter, the F-15EX Eagle II, was revealed and named during a ceremony, April 7, 2021, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The aircraft will be the first Air Force aircraft to be tested and fielded from beginning to end, through combined developmental and operational tests. (U.S. Air Force photo by Samuel King Jr.)

The F-15EX “Eagle II”, derived from the McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle, is an all-weather multi-role fighter bomber. It results from an initiative to modernize the American air fleet, addressing the need to replace ageing F-15C/D aircraft with a more capable platform while preserving industrial diversity with Boeing. With the integration of advanced technologies such as the AESA APG-82 radar, an EPAWSS electronic warfare system, and an advanced communication suite, the F-15EX positions itself as a valuable addition to Israeli air operations.

The F-15EX “Eagle II”, at the center of this agreement, represents an advanced evolution of the McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle, incorporating significant improvements to enhance its operational capabilities. Powered by two new F110-GE-129 engines, the F-15EX benefits from exceptional power, enabling it to maintain supersonic speeds with a significant payload. This aircraft is notably equipped with an Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) APG-82(V)1 radar from Raytheon Technologies, ensuring precise target detection and tracking.

The Israeli version, the F-15IA, is specially tailored to the operational requirements of the IAF. It stands out with the integration of digital flight controls and a Large Area Display (LAD) glass cockpit, providing pilots with increased visibility and control. Additionally, the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS), co-produced by Elbit Systems and Rockwell Collins, and the Eagle Passive Active Warning Survivability System (EPAWSS) electronic warfare system from BAE Systems, enhance the fighter’s survivability and effectiveness in hostile environments.

The F-15IA’s armament includes 12 air-to-air and 15 air-to-ground weapon stations, giving the aircraft impressive versatility and firepower. An advanced mission computer (ADCP-II) and modern data links enable effective communication with other platforms, such as the F-35, thereby optimizing integration and synergy within the Air Force.

Although exact delivery dates are yet to be confirmed, Israel is anticipated to begin receiving its new fighters as early as 2028, according to information from the Israel Times. The media also suggests that Israel might exert pressure to expedite these deliveries. Furthermore, an option for acquiring an additional 25 aircraft has been mentioned, paving the way for a future expansion of the Israeli air fleet.

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