December, 4

The F-15EX Eagle II: The New ‘Super Eagle’

In the boundless theater of modern warfare, where the skies serve as battlegrounds and sanctuary, a soaring legend emerges – the F-15EX Eagle II. This American all-weather multirole strike fighter, the brainchild of Boeing, is not merely an aircraft; it’s an airborne powerhouse.

After passing its latest test with flying colors, the F-15EX is living up to the name “Super Eagle.” – Popular Mechanics

With a legacy steeped in aerial dominance, cutting-edge technology, and a mission to redefine the standards of modern warfare, the F-15EX Eagle II beckons us to embark on a journey through its evolution, capabilities, and the pivotal role it plays in shaping the future of national defense and aerial combat. So, fasten your seatbelts, for we are about to take flight into the captivating world of America’s aerial juggernaut, the F-15EX Eagle II.

Air Force’s New Striker

the f 15ex, the air force newest fighter aircraft, arrives to eglin air force base, florida march 11 the aircraft will be the first air force aircraft to be tested and fielded from beginning to end through combined developmental and operational tests the 40th flight test squadron and the 85th test and evaluation squadron personnel are responsible for testing the aircraft us air force
The F-15EX arrives at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida on March 11, 2021 – Photo By Samuel King Jr. / U.S. Air Force.
The F-15EX arrived at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida on March 11, 2021.
The F-15EX Eagle II, an American all-weather multirole strike fighter jet crafted by Boeing, soars above the competition. Boeing clinched the official contract from the United States Air Force in July 2020, and by February 2021, the F-15EX marked its triumphant debut in the skies.

This advanced variant of the iconic F-15 Eagle series is a testament to American air superiority. With its cutting-edge technology, unparalleled performance, and incredible versatility, the F-15EX is the zenith of aerial dominance. The F-15EX Eagle II has made an impactful entrance into the realm of military aviation, captivating enthusiasts and professionals alike with its state-of-the-art capabilities and remarkable performance. Crafted through collaborative efforts across defense organizations, it represents a substantial leap in technology and combat readiness. Armed with a deadly combination of three JASSM cruise missiles and twelve AMRAAM air-to-air missiles, it ranks among the most lethal fighter jets worldwide.

In this article, we will navigate the intricate details of the F-15EX, examining its evolutionary journey, design and development, standout features, pivotal role in national defense, and profound implications for the future of aerial warfare.

Evolution of The F-15EX Eagle II

The F-15EX Eagle Legacy

The F15EX Eagle
An F-15A Eagle fighter at Langley Air Force Base, 1976 – National Archives

The F-15 series boasts a storied history as one of the United States Air Force’s most formidable fighter jets. Its roots trace back to the early 1970s with the introduction of the original F-15 Eagle, which swiftly garnered acclaim for its exceptional speed, maneuverability, and air superiority prowess. Over the years, the F-15 underwent several upgrades and variants, including the F-15C and F-15D models, meticulously optimized for air-to-air combat. These aircraft etched their mark in numerous conflicts and operations, solidifying the F-15’s unassailable position in the skies.

The Imperative for Upgrade

As technology evolved and new threats loomed, the USAF recognized the imperative to augment the capabilities of its aging F-15 fleet. This recognition birthed the F-15EX Eagle II, a modernized iteration engineered to meet the evolving demands of aerial warfare.

Design and Development

The F-15EX Eagle II embodies a substantial evolution from its original F-15 design. Boeing, the aircraft’s mastermind, has seamlessly integrated cutting-edge technologies and enhancements, ensuring its continuous dominance in contemporary aerial warfare.

Enhanced Avionics

The F-15EX flaunts top-tier avionics, including the world-renowned AN/APG-82 AESA radar, delivering impeccable situational awareness and target-tracking capabilities. It also boasts advanced electronic warfare systems and a glass cockpit, streamlining mission management with intuition.

Conformal Fuel Tanks (CFTs)

Integrating conformal fuel tanks into the fuselage reduces aerodynamic drag and extends operational range while preserving the aircraft’s streamlined form and agility.

Increased Payload

The F-15EX II boasts an impressive arsenal of air-to-air and air-to-ground munitions, encompassing AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAMs), AIM-9X Sidewinder missiles, and the AGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missile, offering unrivaled versatility across mission profiles.

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Digital Backbone

Built upon an open mission system architecture, the F-15EX ensures adaptability to future upgrades, safeguarding its relevance and capability for decades.

General Specifications of the F-15EX Eagle II

Crew:                  1 or 2 (pilot and weapon systems officer)
Length:63 ft 9.6 in (19.446 m)
Wingspan:42 ft 9.6 in (13.045 m)
Height:18 ft 6 in (5.64 m)
Wing area:608 sq ft (56.5 m2)
Airfoil: root:NACA 64A006.6; tip: NACA 64A203
Empty weight:31,700 pounds (14,400 kg)
Max takeoff weight:81,000 pounds (37,000 kg)
Powerplant:2 × General Electric F110-GE-129 afterburning turbofan, 17,155 lbf (76.31 kN) thrust each dry, 29,500 lbf (131 kN) with afterburner[33][34]
Maximum speed:1,434 kn (1,650 mph; 2,656 km/h)/Mach 2.5+ at high altitude
Combat range:687 nmi (791 mi; 1,272 km)
Ferry range:2,600 nmi (3,000 mi; 4,800 km) with conformal fuel tanks and three external fuel tanks
Service ceiling:60,000 ft (18,000 m)
G limits:+9
Rate of climb:50,000 ft/min (250 m/s) +


Key Features of the F-15EX

Enhanced Avionics and Sensors

The F-15EX brags about a suite of advanced avionics and sensors, empowering pilots with unmatched situational awareness and combat prowess. State-of-the-art radar systems, such as the AN/APG-82(V)1 AESA radar, offer superior target detection and tracking, even in challenging environments. Equipped with cutting-edge electronic warfare systems like the Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band, it can effectively disrupt and deceive enemy radar and communications systems.

Impressive Weaponry and Firepower

One of the F-15EX’s standout features is its formidable weapons capacity, surpassing its predecessors. It carries many air-to-air missiles, including the AMRAAM and AIM-9X Sidewinder, ensuring air superiority in any engagement. Additionally, it excels in deploying air-to-surface effectors like the Joint Strike Missile, Paveway Bomb, and Stormbreaker Smart Weapon, enabling precise and devastating strikes on land or at sea.

Electronic Warfare Dominance

Beyond firepower, the F-15EX boasts advanced electronic warfare systems, enabling it to jam enemy radar and communication systems, providing a protective shield for itself and allied aircraft.

Gun System: Rapid Fire Precision

Aircraft enthusiasts will delight in the presence of the 20mm M61A1 Vulcan rotary cannon aboard the F-15EX. This rapid-fire gun system engages air and ground targets at close range, adding versatility to the aircraft.

Increased Range and Payload

The F-15EX’s enhanced fuel capacity and efficient engines provide an extended range compared to its predecessors. This extended range supports long-range strike missions and offers essential support to ground forces. Furthermore, its enhanced payload capacity provides greater flexibility and endurance during extended missions, ensuring sustained firepower.

External Fuel Tanks and Versatility

Conformal fuel tanks (CFTs) extend the F-15EX’s range with the versatility of ferrying extra fuel or carrying additional weapons. The aircraft’s modular design and digital backbone allow quick reconfiguration with different weapon load-outs, seamlessly adapting to diverse mission requirements.

Speed and Maneuver Capabilities

The F-15EX’s unmatched top speed is achieved through advanced aerodynamics and powerful engines. Lightweight composite materials and modern manufacturing processes reduce the aircraft’s weight, enabling higher speeds and agile maneuverability. Its superior speed grants it a significant combat advantage, facilitating rapid engagement and disengagement, evasion of enemy fire, and swift target reach. This exceptional speed enhances overall survivability, outpacing threats and escaping dangerous situations.

Role of the F-15EX in Homeland Defense

Strengthening Air National Guard Capabilities

The F-15EX bolsters the Air National Guard’s crucial role in homeland defense. During the unveiling ceremony, Lt. Gen. Michael A. Loh, ANG Director, underscores the aircraft’s significance in safeguarding the nation’s airspace. Enhanced weapons capacity and advanced avionics ensure the ANG’s effective response to potential threats.

Collaborative Testing and Fielding

The F-15EX is the first Air Force aircraft to undergo combined developmental and operational tests from inception to completion. This collaborative approach, involving the 40th Flight Test Squadron and the 85th Test and Evaluation Squadron, ensures rigorous testing and readiness for operational deployment. The seamless transition from testing to fielding guarantees that the F-15EX optimizes combat effectiveness and meets the highest performance standards.

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Acquisition Strategy

The USAF intends to acquire 144 F-15EX aircraft over 10 to 12 years, replacing the aging F-15C/D fleet. The first production lot, comprising six aircraft, is slated for delivery in fiscal year 2023. Subsequent lots will bolster F-15 training facilities and operational bases, enhancing the overall combat readiness of the USAF.

Expanding the Air Superiority Arsenal

The F-15EX’s inclusion in the USAF fleet significantly strengthens its air superiority capabilities. Advanced avionics, extended range, and formidable weapons loadout ensure its effectiveness in countering emerging threats and maintaining air dominance. As the F-15EX becomes fully operational, it will play a pivotal role in safeguarding the skies and supporting global military operations.

Future-Proofing for Tomorrow’s Battles

The F-15EX’s commitment to staying ahead of the curve sets it apart. Designed with future upgrades in mind, it effortlessly accommodates evolving weapon systems and technologies, ensuring its enduring dominance in modern aerial warfare. As geopolitical landscapes evolve, the F-15EX Eagle II will adapt and evolve to confront tomorrow’s challenges, underscoring Boeing’s dedication to pushing the boundaries of aviation.


What is the F-15EX Eagle II?

The F-15EX Eagle II is a new McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle fighter jet variant. It is the most advanced version of the F-15 and is designed to be a highly capable air-to-air and air-to-ground combat aircraft.

What are the key features of the F-15EX Eagle II?

The F-15EX Eagle II has several new features and capabilities over previous variants of the F-15, including:

  • A new digital flight control system
  • A new electronic warfare suite
  • A new radar system
  • A new cockpit
  • The ability to carry more weapons and fuel

What are the missions that the F-15EX Eagle II can perform?

The F-15EX Eagle II is a multi-role fighter jet and can perform a wide range of missions, including:

  • Air-to-air combat
  • Air-to-ground attack
  • Close air support
  • Electronic warfare
  • Reconnaissance

Is the F-15EX Eagle II stealthy?

The F-15EX Eagle II is not a stealth aircraft. However, it is equipped with several features to reduce its radar signature, making it more difficult for enemy radars to detect.

What are the advantages of the F-15EX Eagle II over other fighter jets?

The F-15EX Eagle II has several advantages over other fighter jets, including:

  • It is a highly maneuverable aircraft
  • It can carry a large payload of weapons and fuel
  • It has a long-range
  • It is relatively inexpensive to operate and maintain

What are the disadvantages of the F-15EX Eagle II?

The F-15EX Eagle II has a few disadvantages, including:

  • It is not a stealth aircraft
  • It is a complex aircraft to maintain
  • It is relatively expensive to purchase

Who are the potential customers for the F-15EX Eagle II?

The F-15EX Eagle II is being marketed to potential customers, including the US Air Force, the US Navy, and several international air forces.

When will the F-15EX Eagle II enter service?

The F-15EX Eagle II is already in service with the US Air Force in 2023.

What is the range of the F-15EX Eagle II?

The range of the F-15EX Eagle II is approximately 2,762 miles (air refuelable). This means the aircraft can fly 2,762 miles without refueling, assuming it is flying at a moderate speed and altitude.

What is so special about the F-15EX?

The F-15EX Eagle II is the most advanced version of the F-15 to date. It has several new features and capabilities over previous variants of the F-15, including:

  • A new digital flight control system
  • A new electronic warfare suite
  • A new radar system
  • A new cockpit
  • The ability to carry more weapons and fuel
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The F-15EX Eagle II is also the first F-15 variant equipped with the Eagle Passive/Active Warning and Survivability System (EPAWSS). EPAWSS is a suite of sensors and countermeasures that help to protect the aircraft from enemy threats.

When was the F-15EX Eagle II made?

The F-15EX Eagle II was first announced in 2020, and the first aircraft was delivered to the US Air Force in 2021.

What is the difference between F-15 and F-15EX?

The F-15EX Eagle II is a new F-15 Eagle fighter jet variant. It has several new features and capabilities over previous variants of the F-15, including:

  • A new digital flight control system
  • A new electronic warfare suite
  • A new radar system
  • A new cockpit
  • The ability to carry more weapons and fuel
  • The Eagle Passive/Active Warning and Survivability System (EPAWSS)

The F-15EX Eagle II is also the first F-15 variant equipped with a fly-by-wire flight control system. This means the aircraft’s computers control the flight surfaces rather than the pilot. This makes the aircraft more maneuverable and easier to fly.

The F-15EX Eagle II is the first F-15 variant equipped with the GE F110-GE-129 engine. This engine is more powerful and fuel-efficient than previous F-15 engines. This gives the F-15EX Eagle II a longer range and higher top speed.

How many countries have the F-15 Eagle?

There are currently seven countries that operate the F-15 Eagle:

  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • United States

How many missiles can the F-15EX carry?

The F-15EX Eagle II can carry up to 12 air-to-air missiles or various air-to-ground weapons, such as bombs, rockets, and guided munitions.

Is the F-15 Eagle the best fighter jet?

The F-15 Eagle is one of the best fighter jets in the world but is not the best in every category. For example, the F-15 Eagle is not as stealthy as the F-35 Lightning II. However, the F-15 Eagle is more maneuverable than the F-35 Lightning II and can carry more weapons and fuel.

Is the F-15EX better than the F-16?

The F-15EX Eagle II is more advanced than the F-16 Fighting Falcon. It has a more powerful engine, advanced radar system, and sophisticated electronic warfare suite. However, the F-16 Fighting Falcon is a less expensive aircraft to purchase and operate.

Is the F-15EX better than the F-35?

The F-15EX Eagle II and the F-35 Lightning II are highly advanced fighter jets. However, they have different strengths and weaknesses. The F-15EX Eagle II is more maneuverable and can carry more weapons and fuel. The F-35 Lightning II is more stealthy and has a more advanced sensor suite.

Ultimately, the best fighter jet for a particular country or mission will depend on various factors, such as budget, operational requirements, and threat environment.


The F-15EX Eagle II is an awe-inspiring testament to American aviation prowess and an emblem of unmatched air power. Emerging from a rich legacy, this Boeing-crafted multirole strike fighter ascends to a new zenith in aerial dominance and national defense capabilities. With its cutting-edge design and development, advanced features including enhanced avionics and firepower, and its pivotal role in homeland defense, the F-15EX sets a new standard in modern aerial warfare. As it enters service, with extensive deployment plans and a commitment to evolving threats, the F-15EX Eagle II promises to remain an indomitable force, securing the nation’s interests in an ever-evolving world.

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