US Air Force to get 80 F-15EXs in the next 5 years

The Air Force plans to spend $7.86 billion over the next five years buying 80 F-15EXs, new Eagles to replace aging F-15Cs.

US Air Force to get 80 F 15EXs in the next 5 years

 F-15 (Picture source: Air Recognition )

The service will spend $1.05 billion in 2020 to buy the first eight aircraft, and that buy will accelerate to 18 at a cost of $1.65 billion in 2021, with that rate holding steady until 2024.

The new aircraft will be based on the F-15QA, which Boeing built for the Qatar Emiri Air Force, though it will have USAF-specific capabilities, including the Eagle Passive Active Warning and Survivability System and the Suite 9.1 Operational Flight Program software. The jet will have two seats to be flown by one or two aircrew, and will be multi-role capable, according to the justification document, or J-Book.

Current F-15C/Ds are beyond their service life “and have serious structures risks, wire chafing issues, and obsolete parts,” the justification states, adding that Air Force readiness goals cannot be achieved because of the aging aircraft’s repairs, modernization efforts, and structural inspections.

The 2020 request includes aircraft and production factory tooling, systems integration lab equipment, technical orders, support equipment, training materials, and other items needed to manufacture the jets.

The Air Force eventually could buy up to 144 of the aircraft, with the buy continuing beyond the end of the 5 years-plan, according to a service official.