Flying domestically over the Gulf of Mexico, two F-15EX Eagle II fighters launched missiles from their new weapon stations, referred to as Stations 1 and 9. The 96th Take a look at Wing’s pilots fired an AIM-120 Superior Medium-Vary Air-to-Air Missile from Station 1 and an AIM-9X from Station 9 over the Eglin Take a look at and Coaching Complicated’s water vary. This Operational Flight Program Mixed Take a look at Drive mission was the primary Air Drive take a look at flight to validate the weapons might be fired successfully and safely from these stations. The profitable employment of those weapons is a serious step in demonstrating the Eagle II plane’s missile capability of 12 air-to-air missiles. With this success, these missile launches pushed ahead the plane’s built-in developmental and operational testing right here, the place the F-15EX fired its first missile simply 9 months in the past. As soon as preliminary testing is full, operational models receiving the brand new F-15EX will be capable to carry and make use of a full load-out of 12 missiles on the plane upon fielding.

“Having been part of the Eglin F-15EX staff from day one, it’s thrilling to see the progress made and new milestones achieved as we work to area essentially the most combat-capable F-15EX,” mentioned Maj. Brett Hughes, OFP CTF, who efficiently fired the AIM-120 from Station 1.


“I’m actually proud to be part of this milestone for the F-15EX program to ship elevated payload capability to the fight air forces,” mentioned Maj. Jeremy Schnurbusch, fortieth FLTS-attached pilot, who fired the AIM-9X missile.

“The F-15EX is an unbelievable addition to the USAF stock. This occasion, executed by a top-notch staff of take a look at pilots, engineers, and consultants, proves but once more the F-15EX might be prepared if, and when, our adversaries problem our nation’s pursuits,” mentioned Lt. Col. Christopher Wee, OFP CTF commander.

Maj Benjamin “Torch” Naumann and Maj Mark “Smack” Smith from the fortieth Flight Take a look at Squadron flying the F-15EX Eagle II put together to fireplace an AIM-120D missile throughout a take a look at mission close to Eglin Air Drive Base, Fla, Jan 25, 2022. The F-15EX can maintain as much as 12 AIM-120D missiles. (U.S. Air Drive photograph by Tech. Sgt. John Raven)

That is certainly one of many upgrades F-15EX brings to the Air Drive stock. Previous to the F-15EX Eagle II, F-15 plane fashions might carry eight air-to-air missiles. The F-15EX Eagle II provides 4 extra missile stations positioned towards the wing ideas. This mission offered the primary take a look at factors for validating the expanded carriage and employment capabilities of the Eagle II. Each plane efficiently launched the missiles on separate passes towards a goal drone. The releases had been one other milestone within the F-15EX’s developmental take a look at program, but in addition integrated many operational take a look at targets throughout the mission. The USAF opted for the F-15EX to take care of fleet dimension as F-22 manufacturing ended, the F-35 was delayed, and its F-15Cs aged. Though it’s not anticipated to be survivable towards fashionable air defenses by 2028, the F-15EX can carry out homeland and airbase protection, no-fly zone enforcement towards restricted air defenses, and deploy standoff munition.

The AIM-120 Superior Medium-Vary Air-to-Air Missile, or AMRAAM is an American beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile able to all-weather day-and-night operations. It’s 7 in (18 cm) in diameter, and employs lively transmit-receive radar steerage as a substitute of semi-active receive-only radar steerage. It’s a fire-and-forget weapon, not like the earlier era Sparrow missiles which wanted steerage from the firing plane. When an AMRAAM missile is launched, NATO pilots use the brevity code Fox Three. The AIM-9 Sidewinder (the place “AIM” stands for “Air Intercept Missile”) is a short-range air-to-air missile which entered service with the US Navy in 1956 and subsequently was adopted by the US Air Drive in 1964. Since then the Sidewinder has proved to be a permanent worldwide success, and its newest variants stay normal gear in most Western-aligned air forces. When firing a Sidewinder, NATO pilots use the brevity code FOX-2.

The F-15EX Eagle II fires an AIM-120D missile during a Weapons System Evaluation Program mission near Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla, Jan. 25, 2022. This was the first live fire performed from the Air Force’s newest aircraft.
The F-15EX Eagle II fires an AIM-120D missile throughout a Weapons System Analysis Program mission close to Tyndall Air Drive Base, Fla, Jan. 25, 2022. This was the primary stay hearth carried out from the Air Drive’s latest plane. (U.S. Air Drive photograph by Tech. Sgt. John Raven)