Boeing is also eyeing India as another potential customer for its 144-fighter jet requirement. Prat Kumar, Boeing’s Vice President and Program Manager for the F-15 said the firm was in the process of requesting a marketing license from the U.S Government to start discussions with India, adding that he is not sure if the F-15 is “in the sweet spot” for the requirement.
India is looking at solutions from a range of manufacturers from the around world, including Boeing’s own F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.
These revelations come hot on the heels of the huge U.S. Air Force deal announced earlier this week that could see Boeing building as many as 200 F-15EX fighters.
The contract includes $1.2 billion for an initial eight aircraft in Lot 1, to be followed by a further 76 in the five-year Future Years Defense Program (FYDP).
The USAF will purchase a projected minimum of 144 F-15EX jets, with the associated indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract having a ceiling of $22.89 billion that would cover a maximum of 200 new Eagles.
Kumar confirmed the F-15EX will be fitted with the same Raytheon AN/APG-82 Active Electronically Scanned Array radar that has been retrofitted to the USAF F-15E fleet.
Similarly, the new aircraft will feature the Advanced Display Core Processor II mission computer and Suite 9 Operational Flight Program, which also brings them into line with the latest Strike Eagle standard.
A new 11×19-inch Large Area Display is also fitted to front and back cockpits, although the USAF initially expects to fly the aircraft with a single pilot. The rear cockpit will be fully operational, and Kumar said the space and capability of the rear seat has other possible uses, which you can read more about here. The Boeing executive also discussed the potential for adding artificial intelligence to aid F-15EX crews in the future.
Boeing expects the F-15EX to carry the new Lockheed Martin Legion infra-red search-and-track (IRST) pod as it is a current USAF program of record. As a multi-role aircraft, Kumar also noted that the F-15EX could also be fitted with the LANTIRN navigation pod, Tiger Eyes IRST, and Sniper targeting pod under the intakes if the USAF so desired. This combination has been adopted by Saudi Arabia, Korea, and Qatar for its advanced F-15s.