Boeing has recently released images depicting weapon configurations developed for the ‘Advanced F-15’, that are likely to support the F-15SA, the most advanced variant of the F-15E fighter aircraft destined for the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF).
The Advanced F-15 brings improved performance, enhanced situational awareness and increased survivability at a lower total life-cycle cost. Avionics advancements include a Digital Electronic Warfare Suite, Fly-By-Wire flight control system, an Infrared Search and Track (IRST) system and Active Electronically Scanned Array radar. Forward and aft cockpits feature advanced displays and Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems.
Two additional weapon stations (outboard stations 1 – 9) were activated, providing increased payload capacity. The two weapon carriage configurations shown in these pictures display an AGM-88E AARGM in the air/ground configuration and two AIM-9X Sidewinder air/air missiles in the air superiority configuration. The later also carries a new pylon configured for four missiles – two AIM-120C7 and two AIM-9X carried on stations 2 and 8. The air superiority mission also benefits from an Infra-Red Search and Track (IRST) unit mounted in front of the cockpit.
The F-15SA’s made its maiden flight on Feb. 20, 2013at the Boeing facilities in St. Louis, Mo. Three instrumented test aircraft are flying to validate the F-15SA. New aircraft deliveries to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are scheduled to begin in 2015 and conclude by 2019.
The new aircraft is the centerpiece of the Royal Saudi Air Force F-15 Fleet Modernization Program, a wide-ranging $29.4 billion effort that stands as the largest foreign military sale in U.S. history.