Boeing Wins Nearly $ 23 Billion Contract With Air Force For F-15EX Fighter Aircraft Program

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Boeing won a contract with the United States Air Force worth more than $ 22.8 billion to manufacture advanced F-15EX fighter jets.

“The F-15EX is the most advanced version of the F-15 ever built, in large part due to its digital backbone,” said Lori Schneider, head of the Boeing F-15EX program, in a press release on Monday. “Its unrivaled range, price and payload capacity make the F-15EX an attractive choice for the US Air Force.”

Boeing received nearly $ 1.2 billion for the Air Force’s first order for eight F-15EXs, as well as for initial support and engineering costs. The order will help the Air Force meet its capacity needs and “add capacity to its fighter fleet,” according to Boeing.

The aircraft will be manufactured at the Boeing F-15 production plant in St. Louis and delivered to Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.

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According to the Pentagon, the funding will go to “the design, development, integration, manufacturing, testing, verification, certification, delivery, sustainment and modification of F-15EX aircraft”, as well as spare parts, support equipment, training material, technical data and technical support.

Conceptual Art of the F-15EX Advanced Fighter (Courtesy of Boeing)

The F-15EX carries more weapons than any other hunter in its class, can launch hypersonic weapons up to 22 feet long and weighs up to 7,000 pounds.

“The F-15EX combines the advantages of digital engineering, open mission systems and agile software development to keep it affordable and scalable for decades to come,” said Prat Kumar, Boeing vice president and managing director from the F-15 program. “This means that we can quickly test and deploy new capabilities on the F-15EX, which allows our fighters to stay ahead of threats.”

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The first two aircraft are expected to be delivered in the second quarter of fiscal 2021, while the others will be delivered in fiscal 2023.

“Once delivered, we expect the bases currently operating the F-15 to switch to the new EX platform in a few months from the years,” said General Mike Holmes, commander of Air Combat Command , in a press release.

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As a result of the first eight aircraft, which were approved in the fiscal 2020 budget, the Air Force requested 12 F-15EXs in FY2021 and plans to request 76 F-15EXs during the program five-year defense for the years to come.

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The contract is an indefinite contract of indefinite delivery, which “provides[s] for an indefinite amount of services for a specified period of time, “according to the US General Services Administration. The contract is used when the GSA “cannot determine, above a specified minimum, the specific quantities of supplies or services that the government will need during the term of the contract. ”

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