The F-15EX advanced Eagle has officially arrived. The first of its kind was accepted by the Air Force yesterday and was subsequently ferried from Boeing’s historic St. Louis plant to Eglin Air Force Base in Florida where it will undergo testing. The gravity of the moment cannot be understated. This is the first F-15 to be delivered to the Air Force in 17 years and marks a major shift in fighter procurement that some of us had been begging for, seemingly on deaf ears when it came to the Department of Defense, for many years.
The War Zone broke the F-15X story two and a half years ago. While many couldn’t believe it, that original piece, which was very in-depth, remains totally accurate to this day, minus a designation change—the aircraft is now called the F-15EX. You can read all our exhaustive coverage on the program and its aircraft’s looming roll within the USAF’s ranks by clicking here and here. We just reported on it today, in fact.
There really isn’t much more to say that hasn’t already been said, but the pictures that the USAF has just released are well worth a look. It is truly a back-to-the-future moment for the service’s Air Combat Command and it is the first time we have seen examples of all three current USAF Eagle types, the F-15C/D, F-15E, and F-15EX, side-by-side.
Beyond being far more capable than its predecessors, this latest iteration of the Eagle has a 20,000-hour airframe and is likely to be in the inventory for half a century to come—or even longer. The Air Force is focusing on ordering at least 144 to replace the aging F-15C/D fleet, but that could grow. In fact, I bet it will.
Now let’s get to the photos:
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