U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagle records longest known air-to-air missile shot ever by shooting down a target drone last month.
In March, an F-15C fired an AIM-120D Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile at a BQM-167 targeting drone in the longest known air-to-air missile shot to date, resulting in a “kill” of the target from the farthest distance recorded, the 53rd Wing said in a release. The wing, however, would not release the length of the shot, or the previous known record.
The potentially record-breaking missile shot, at least in terms of U.S. capabilities, took place during a WSEP East event — or Weapons System Evaluation Program.
“This test effort supported requests from the [Combat Air Forces] for ‘long-range kill chain’ capabilities,” said Maj. Aaron Osborne, with the 28th TES, in the release. “Key partnerships within the 53rd Wing enabled the expansion of capabilities on a currently fielded weapons system, resulting in warfighters gaining enhanced weapons employment envelopes.”
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The 53rd Wing said since the event took place with WSEP and in partnership with the 83rd FWS, the 28th TES conducted the test “at a relatively low-cost.”
The test also “exercised existing long-range weapons testing infrastructure and laid the groundwork for modernizing range capabilities in support of future long-range weapons testing” at the Eglin Gulf Test and Training Range.
Missiles used in Combat Archer tests usually don’t carry a warhead, replaced by telemetry packages, and are shot over the Eglin-Gulf Test and Training Range at various types of drone targets.
The latest WSEP iteration saw the 53d Weapons Evaluation Group host air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons system evaluations at Tyndall and Hill Air Force Bases, respectfully, from March 8-19, 2021.
The kill from the furthest distance ever recorded was achieved by the 28th Test and Evaluation Squadron in partnership with the 83d Fighter Weapons Squadron during a test out of Tyndall AFB, Florida, during WSEP (Weapons Systems Evaluation Program) East.