Defense

Air Force to get F-15E jet with fresh electronic warfare tech in summer

The U.S. Air Force expects to receive its first operational F-15E Strike Eagle upgraded with an advanced electronic warfare

Air Force to get F-15E jet with fresh electronic warfare tech in summer



The U.S. Air Force expects to receive its first operational F-15E Strike Eagle upgraded with an advanced electronic warfare system this summer.

In a statement to Defense News on Thursday, Air Force spokesperson Maj. Alli Stormer said eight Boeing-made F-15E jets are undergoing modifications with the Eagle Passive Active Warning Survivability System, or EPAWSS. The work is taking place at the company’s facility in San Antonio, Texas, the service said.

EPAWSS will come standard on F-15EX Eagle II fighters, also made by Boeing, and will be added to some F-15Es. BAE Systems, which makes EPAWSS, said the technology will allow those F-15s to monitor, jam and deceive threats in highly contested environments as well as provide radar warning, geolocation, situational awareness and self-defense capabilities with an array of sensors, electronic countermeasures and algorithms.

The delivery of the first F-15Es with upgraded electronic warfare capabilities would mark a major step forward in the Air Force’s effort to modernize these fourth-generation aircraft and prepare them for a possible war against an advanced adversary, such as China.

Boeing started installing the EPAWSS on operational F-15Es in San Antonio in July 2022, the Air Force said in a previous statement that year. Boeing also awarded BAE a contract in September 2022 to produce the second EPAWSS lot for new F-15EXs and as many as 43 F-15Es there were already operational. The Air Force now has roughly 218 F-15E jets.

BAE said earlier this month that EPAWSS had recently finished its initial operational test and evaluation phase.

In Thursday’s email, the Air Force said the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center and the Pentagon’s Office of the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation will deliver their final reports on that phase of EPAWSS by the end of June.

The Air Force also said EPAWSS’ engineering and manufacturing development phase is nearly finished, and the service expects to have final production-representative hardware modules delivered this fiscal year. The Air Force expects to award a contract for full-rate production on EPAWSS by the end of 2024.

BAE declined to comment and referred queries to the Air Force.

Stephen Losey is the air warfare reporter for Defense News. He previously covered leadership and personnel issues at Air Force Times, and the Pentagon, special operations and air warfare at Military.com. He has traveled to the Middle East to cover U.S. Air Force operations.



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