Back in 2017, the U.S. Department of Defense awarded Boeing a $6.2 billion contract to produce 36 advanced F-15 fighter jets for the QEAF. Three years later, the aircraft were already completing their maiden flight. Now, the fleet of F-15QA is getting ready to fly over Qatar's skies.
Modified from the other versions, the jets are equipped with next-generation technologies such as fly-by-wire flight controls, a digital cockpit, upgraded sensors, radar, and electronic warfare capabilities. Oh, Boeing says that they also come with the world's fastest mission computer.
Tech-wise we're not told much, except that they will "enhance the superiority of the QEAF with more speed, range, and payload than any fighter in the world." For context, the American version achieves speeds of over Mach 2.5 and fly as high as 60,000 ft (18 km). It also has a range of 1,381 miles (2,222 km) and can carry a wide range of weapons.
A pilot training has already begun earlier this year ahead of the jets’ delivery. During the training, Boeing has been providing maintenance and logistics support for the QEAF. Once completed, the F-15QA will be ready to head to their new home.
Following the delivery of the aircraft, Boeing plans to build and operate an aircrew and maintenance training center for the QEAF at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar until 2024, as well as provide spares and logistics support.