The first test flight for the aircraft, with Boeing F-15 Chief Test Pilot Matt Giese at the helm for the duration, was meant to highlight how the plane’s avionics and software are performing during a flight that included, among other things, a vertical departure. According to the ones monitoring the test, all went as expected and the airplane proved to be operating as it should.
“Today’s successful flight proves the jet’s safety and readiness to join our nation’s fighter fleet,” said in a statement on February 2 Prat Kumar, Boeing vice president and F-15 program manager.
“Our workforce is excited to build a modern fighter aircraft for the U.S. Air Force. Our customer can feel confident in its decision to invest in this platform that is capable of incorporating the latest advanced battle management systems, sensors and weapons due to the jet’s digital airframe design and open mission systems architecture.”
As per the National Defense Strategy, the U.S. Air Force (USAF) is bound to buy 72 combat aircraft each year. The list of purchases includes the F-15EX, of which Boeing will have to make eight in 2021. More are planned in the year ahead, as the USAF is expecting 144 such machines to be sent their way.
Boeing says the first batch of two improved fighters will be delivered starting later this quarter.