To date, there are just two of these aircraft in operation, both flying in the hands of pilots from the Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. But more are coming, as the USAF seems to have been convinced by what it’s seen so far.
As per information released at the end of last week, there will be an entire fleet of such fighters in the skies of the world soon enough, and as is the case with the two test airplanes currently flying, they will all use General Electric’s F110-GE-129 engine.
In all, 29 engines (including spares and the test aircraft) will be delivered to Boeing for integration in just 12 F-15EXs, but this move makes General Electric the sole supplier of the powerplant for the fleet. The contract awarded by the Air Force is valued at $1.58 billion.
Generally speaking, the F110-GE-129 engine is capable of delivering 17,155 lbf of thrust (29,400 lbf on full afterburner). There is already a large number of them, about 350, already in service, most of them on the other variants of the F-15.
“The F110 production line is active today and ready to deliver on the U.S. Air Force’s urgent and compelling requirement for an F-15EX propulsion system,” said in a statement Shawn Warren, General Electric’s general manager of combat and trainer engines.
“We’re pleased with the engine’s performance on the two F-15EX test aircraft flying today, and we’re excited to bring that performance to the entire planned fleet.”