Military Aviation

Boeing delivers first operational F-15EX Eagle II fighter jet

First operational F-15EX Eagle II fighter jet

Boeing has officially delivered the first operational F-15EX fighter jet to the US Air National Guard. The delivery of the second jet will follow soon.

The Eagle II landed in Portland on Jun. 5, 2024. The aircraft will be operated by the Oregon Air National Guard’s 142nd Wing, according to posts from the unit appeared on Facebook.

‘The EX has arrived in Portland! The novel aircraft landed at Portland Air National Guard Base this afternoon, and we are now the first operational unit in the entire Air Force to field it. We are immensely excited and proud to be able to serve the State of Oregon and protect the Pacific Northwest. We are honored that the United States Air Force has recognized that the 142nd Wing has what it takes to be the first to defend our nation with the F-15EX Eagle II,’ the post says.

The F-15EX is recapitalizing the 142nd Wing’s aging F-15C/D models that the US Air Force (USAF) is moving to retire.

“Final touches”

Since the program was set back with roughly a year of delays due to manufacturing woes, Wednesday’s delivery comes a little later than program officials hoped for. However as reported by Breaking Defense, despite the slip, the USAF previously maintained that the program was not at risk of a schedule breach as long as Boeing delivered six remaining aircraft to the service by the end of this month.

Four test aircraft and two operational fighters are part of that that batch of six aircraft, known as the program’s lot 1B. The two operational fighters are dubbed EX7 and EX8, respectively. While a Boeing spokesperson told Breaking Defense that EX7 is expected “in the next couple weeks and anticipated before July,” EX8 is the jet that touched down Wednesday.

Boeing posted the two jets receiving their “final touches” on its Facebook page with customized tail flashes for the 142nd Wing. The fighter is manufactured at Boeing’s facilities in St. Louis, Mo.

The F-15EX

Boeing has made significant investments in the F-15EX making it the most capable multirole fighter aircraft in production today. The aircraft offers improved survivability and capability with:

  • fly-by-wire flight controls,
  • a new electronic warfare system,
  • an all-glass digital cockpit,
  • the latest mission systems and software capabilities,
  • as well as the ability to carry advanced hypersonic weapons.
This print is available in multiple sizes from – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. F-15E Strike Eagle 366th Fighter Wing, 391st Fighter Squadron, MO/90-0249 – Mountain Home AFB, ID – 2008

The USAF is embracing the F-15EX as a means to shore up its fighter force, facing the hard reality that it just doesn’t have enough iron to go around.

The service received only 186 F-22s and it never got the 381 Raptors it planned for to replace its F-15C/Ds and carry the air superiority mission through 2040. The USAF had to retain more than 200 of the youngest or lowest-time F-15Cs well beyond their planned service lives to meet global force requirements. Now those F-15C/Ds are so worn down that the USAF officials say it’s no longer cost-effective to fix them. Hence the service decided to buy the F-15EX to replace the F-15C/D.

The F-15EX is anticipated to join the F-35 Lightning II, F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-22 (until a sixth-generation fighter will replace the Raptor).

This model is available from AirModels – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS.

Photo: U.S. Air Force, U.S. Air National Guard, Boeing

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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