Between May 3 and 14, 2021, the two new F-15EXs, also known as the Eagle II, that were recently delivered by Boeing to Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, are participating in the Northern Edge exercise to test their behavior in a jamming situation.
Personnel of the 53rd Wing are testing their new aircraft, 001 and 002, in a “complex jamming environment” that will allow for adjustments to be made if needed.
“At Northern Edge we’re assessing how the F-15EX can perform in a jamming environment, to include GPS, radar and Link 16 jamming,” said Aaron Eshkenazi, F-15EX pilot, 85th Test and Evaluation Squadron, in a press release. Several new systems of the F-15 Eagle II will be tested during the exercise, such as the new cockpit system and helmet.
Interoperability will also be tested, with the presence of other aircraft of the United States Air Force, such as the F-35 stealth fighter jet, the U-2 “Dragon Lady” spy plane and the B-52 strategic bomber. “The other main goal is assessing the EX’s interoperability with fourth and fifth-generation assets,” Eshkenazi added. The exercise involves over 60 aircraft airborne at the same time.
The latest iteration of the F-15 Eagle air superiority aircraft, the F-15EX, features an increased payload capacity, fly-by-wire controls, a digital cockpit, modernized sensors, radars, and electronic warfare capabilities. The USAF hopes to eventually acquire 144 F-15EX fighters to replace older F-15C/D models and refresh the F-15 fleet.
The first two F-15EX were delivered on March 10 and April 20, 2021, at Eglin Air Force Base, South Florida.