The first two US Air Force (USAF) F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft recently began Eagle Passive Active Warning and Survivability System (EPAWSS) modification at Boeing. Forty-three F-15Es will receive EPAWSS, which is also the electronic warfare system that will equip the F-15EX Eagle II.
Developed, produced and integrated by the strong partnership between Boeing and BAE Systems, EPAWSS represents a transformational overhaul to the survivability of the F-15 by providing advanced capabilities to detect and counter ground and airborne threats while also improving battlefield situational awareness.
“The Eagle Passive Active Warning Survivability System makes the most of mission effectiveness and survivability for the F-15 in contested environments, and further strengthens a highly capable, lethal aircraft,” said Prat Kumar, vice president of F-15 Programs, in a Boeing news release. “With EPAWSS, the F-15E and F-15EX have successfully proven they can perform across a large force environment to penetrate advanced enemy air defenses and improve mission flexibility.”
EPAWSS is a defensive system designed to provide F-15 aircrews with situational awareness of, and countermeasures against, radio frequency (RF) surface and airborne threats. It is designed to integrate and replace three of the F-15 legacy Tactical Electronic Warfare System (TEWS) components: the AN/ALR-56C Radar Warning Receiver, AN/ALQ-135 Internal Countermeasures Set, and AN/ALE-45 Countermeasures Dispenser Set.
The EPAWSS radar warning function scans the RF environment and provides the aircrew with identification and location information on potential threat signals. If necessary, the system can respond with countermeasures (jamming or expendables) to defeat the threat radar or missile.
EPAWSS was intended to replace the TEWS on the F-15C and F-15E aircraft. This year, the Air Force directed that the F-15C be excluded from the EPAWSS upgrade because the F-15C will be replaced by the new F-15EX aircraft.
In May 2021, the first two F-15EX aircraft, delivered ahead of schedule, participated in Northern Edge exercises with the EPAWSS suite. During the highly contested and complex exercises, the two jets demonstrated operational potential, which set the stage for future incremental improvements, allowing the jets to exhibit proven, outstanding performance in subsequent exercises and flight test missions in October 2021 and February 2022.
Photo credit: SSgt. Aaron Allmon / U.S. Air Force
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