The United States Air Force announced that its newest fighter jet, the F-15EX Eagle II, recently performed its first series of live-fire tests.
The aircraft, belonging to Eglin Air Force Base 53rd Wing, fired AIM-120C/D AMRAAM medium-range air-to-air missiles as part of its Weapons System Evaluation Program.
The tests were intended to demonstrate the aircraft’s ability to perform long-range standoff missions, carry large payloads and work in conjunction with fifth-generation jets. The aircraft’s radar warning, jamming and countermeasures systems were also tested.
“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,” Max Denbin, AFOTEC Detachment 6 team lead test engineer, is quoted as saying in the Center’s press release.
The F-15EX is the latest model of the McDonnell Douglas F-15. Revealed in 2018, it is intended to supplement USAF’s fifth-generation fighter jets – the F-22 and the F-35 – while replacing the ageing F-15C in its air defense role.
The first of the new variant was delivered in March 2021 and fired its first missile in Jaunary 2022, successfully locking onto a target drone.
According to AFOTEC, upon finishing the first round of testing the F-15EX proved able to survive and fight in a heavily contested battlespace, with both its offensive and defensive capabilities being explored.
The second round of testing should begin in fall 2022, the release added.