According to a US Air Force (USAF) spokesman, the service could replace almost its entire inventory of F-15C/Ds with F-15EX variants since the new contract to Boeing for F-15EX jets could fund as many as 200 aircraft.
As reported by Air Force Magazine, the spokesman said that the $22.9 billion contract awarded to Boeing on Jul. 13, 2020 calls for “a maximum of 200 aircraft, … but 144 is the projected minimum.” The total number to be procured “is yet to be determined,” he said, adding that the contract is “consistent with the approved Justification and Approval (J&A) document that will be posted in the next couple [of] weeks.”
211 F-15C and 23 F-15D fighters are currently fielded by the USAF that according to the service have outlived their planned service lives and would be cost-prohibitive to be extend much further.
The Jul. 13 contract has a “10-year ordering period and a 15-year period of performance” for up to 200 airplanes, the spokesman pointed out.
According to the contract, the flyaway cost of the F-15EX is $87.7 million, a figure that includes engines.
As we have already reported, on Jun. 30 a notice from the Pentagon announced that General Electric received a $101.4 million contract for the first batch of engines to power the F-15EX. USAF didn’t specify how many engines are being acquired in the action. Noteworthy the service dropped its plan to use the GE engine exclusively in March after in February Pratt & Whitney protested an early decision to just buy the F110 powerplant for the whole F-15EX fleet. As a result, the Air Force said in May that subsequent buys of F-15EX engines will be open to competition.
By comparison, the unit flyaway cost of only other fighter the USAF is buying, the F-35A Lightning II, is $77.9 million in Lot 14, with a single Pratt & Whitney F135 engine installed.
Photo credit: Boeing
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