Boeing has concluded the first flight of the F-15QA fighter jet developed for the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF).
The multirole aircraft, which took off and landed from Lambert International Airport in St Louis, demonstrated its next-generation capabilities.
During its 90-minute mission, the F-15QA demonstrated its manoeuvrability at the time of its vertical ‘Viking’ takeoff and by pulling nine Gs, or nine times the force of Earth’s gravity.
A precise mission checklist was implemented by Boeing’s flight test team led by Chief Test Pilot Matt Giese to test the capabilities of the aircraft. A test team monitored the data in real-time and confirmed that the performance of the aircraft was as planned.
QEAF F-15 Wing commander Ahmed Al Mansoori said: “We are very proud of this accomplishment and looking forward with great excitement to the continued successes of this programme.
“This successful first flight is an important milestone that brings our squadrons one step closer to flying this incredible aircraft over the skies of Qatar.”
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The fighter jet brings next-generation technologies such as fly-by-wire flight controls, digital cockpit to its operators. Other technologies include modernised sensors, radar, and electronic warfare capabilities.
With increases in reliability, sustainability and maintainability, defence operators will be able to remain ahead of current and evolving threats affordably.
Boeing vice-president and F-15 programme manager Prat Kumar said: “The advanced F-15QA not only offers game-changing capabilities but is also built using advanced manufacturing processes which make the jet more efficient to manufacture.”
In 2017, the company secured a $6.2bn contract from the US Department of Defense to manufacture 36 F-15 fighter jets for the QEAF. The deliveries are expected to start next year.
Boeing is planning to build a domestic variant of the advanced fighter, the F-15EX, by making investments in the F-15QA platform and forming partnership with the US Air Force.