Boeing has been awarded a $3.7bn contract for the upgrade of the Royal Saudi Air Force’s (RSAF) fleet of 70 Boeing-built F-15C/D Eagle aircraft to the latest Saudi Advanced (SA) configuration.
Awarded by the Georgia Air Force Base, the contract forms part of a potential $29.4bn foreign military sales (FMS) programme deal approved by the US Congress in December 2011, involving the sale of 84 new F-15 fighter jets, along with support services to the RSAF.
Boeing will develop and supply conversion kits to upgrade 70 jets, perform testing and evaluation of converted aircraft and provide familiarisation training for RSAF aircrew.
Boeing will also supply spare parts and equipment to support the 154 new or converted aircraft at four Saudi bases.
F-15 FMS branch deputy security assistant programme manager Lieutenant Colonel Jay Schatz said: "The team has overcome obstacles on a short timeline, doing enormous resource planning with industry and the RSAF. It is a programme with international scope and national importance.”
The F-15SA variant will feature an APG-63(v)3 active electronically scanned array radar, BAE Systems’ digital electronic warfare system, and a Lockheed Martin-built AAS-42 infrared search-and-track system, also called as TigerEye.
The aircraft is expected to provide RSAF personnel with an all-weather, multi-role fighter with the ability to conduct long-range, high-speed interdiction missions, without relying on escort or electronic warfare aircraft.
Powered by two Pratt & Whitney F100 engines, the F-15 Eagle is an all-weather tactical fighter aircraft designed to gain and maintain air superiority in aerial combat missions.
In addition to the RSAF, the aircraft is also used by the US, Japan and Israeli air forces.
Image: An RSAF F-15 Eagle fighter aircraft undergoing refuelling during Operation Desert Shield. Photo: courtesy of TECH. SGT. H. H. DEFFNER.