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F-15EX MISSILE SHOTS EXAMINED TO VERIFY COMBAT CAPABILITY
Thursday, August 4, 2022
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An F-15EX prepares to fire an AIM-120D missile

.Source: U.S. Air Force


An F-15EX prepares to fire an AIM-120D missile

Source: U.S. Air Force


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NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. -- Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center Detachment 6 team members recently analyzed two of the first developmental and operational test missile shots for the F-15EX Eagle II.

Engineers and analysts from the AFOTEC Detachment 6 F-15 division traveled to Eglin Air Force Base and Tyndall AFB, both in Florida, to draw results from the AIM-120D and AIM-120C3 missile shots performed as part of the Weapons System Evaluation Program, or WSEP, conducted by Eglin’s 53rd Wing. These missile shots conducted Jan. 25, showed how the F-15 EX can be employed in theater and provided the context needed for Detachment 6 to verify its combat capability.

“One of the main takeaways from these live fire shots is the jet can clearly function as a long-range, standoff weapons system,” said Capt. Max Denbin, the team’s lead test engineer. “The F-15EX can shoot from a significantly increased range - farther than any other fighter in the U.S. Air Force arsenal - and provides the unique capability of holding 12 AMRAAMs or other large ordinance.”

While the data gathered from the WSEP shots was useful, Detachment 6 analysts and engineers focused on more than just data collection. In the past two months, they have explored exactly how the F-15 EX performs as part of a force package with fifth-generation fighters.

“Analyzing data elements is always important,” said 1st Lt. Hagan Strader, lead analyst. “As an operational test organization, we’re focused on communicating exactly what pilots can expect from the EX when it’s time to fight. Even at the unclassified level, the new capabilities that the F-15 EX offers push it squarely into the future of combat. This is a platform that can work with penetrating assets in a network-enabled battlespace with the potential to cause significant problems for our adversaries.”

WSEP and other dedicated F-15E and F-15EX missions have also generated key insights on the performance of the Eagle Passive Active Warning Survivability System, or EPAWSS. EPAWSS provides both the F-15E and F-15EX with fully integrated radar warning as well as advanced jamming and countermeasure employment capability in highly contested environments, according to EPAWSS manufacturer BAE Systems. BAE Systems also highlights that EPAWSS provides pilots and battle managers with “maximum situational awareness by collecting and processing electromagnetic energy, instantaneously creating a comprehensive, 360-degree picture of the battlespace.”

AFOTEC Detachment 6 analysts have also examined EPAWSS data generated from F-15E participation in several F-35A Lighning II operational test missions.

“Whether in a more passive jamming role, or as a follow-on strike package, an F-15E or EX with EPAWSS causes detrimental impacts to opposing forces decision space,” Strader said. “This system gives aircrews many more options when fighting through contested airspace and enables other stealth assets in a force package - like an F-22 (Raptor), F-35, or other futuristic penetrating assets - to more efficiently neutralize threats.”

The Air Force is currently planning to acquire 80 F-15EX aircraft.

Source:  U.S. Air Force
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