The 85th Test and Evaluation Squadron (TES) and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) have partnered to test an F-15E Strike Eagle equipped with modified 2,000lb GBU-31 Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM).
The JDAM test was conducted as part of QUICKSINK Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD), said 1st Lt Lindsey Heflin from 53rd Wing.
It was carried out over the Gulf of Mexico on 26 August and saw the participation of three F-15E Strike Eagles from the 85th TES.
The test was aimed at validating a new approach to employ air-delivered munitions on ships.
USAF 85th Test and Evaluation Squadron F-15E weapons system officer major Andrew Swanson said: “For any large moving ship, the airforce’s primary weapon is the 2,000lb laser-guided GBU-24.
“Not only is this weapon less than ideal, it also reduces our survivability based on how it must be employed. This munition can change all of that.”
QUICKSINK JCTD seeks to create a new tactic that helps deliver ‘torpedo-like seaworthy kills from the air’ at an affordable cost.
This latest test builds on an earlier 53rd Wing test conducted last year, in which a 49th TES B-52H Stratofortress dropped JDAMs to evaluate the viability of specific maritime impact conditions.
The Boeing F-15E dual-role fighter is an advanced long-range interdiction fighter and tactical aircraft. It is the latest version of the Eagle, a Mach 2.5-class twin-engine fighter.
More than 1,500 F-15s are in service worldwide with the USAF, US Air National Guard (ANG) and the airforces of Israel, Japan, and Saudi Arabia, including over 220 F-15E fighters.