The US Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Centre (AFOTEC) Detachment 6 has taken part in two F-15EX Eagle II live-fire missile shots.

It was conducted by Eglin Air Force Base’s (AFB) 53rd Wing, as part of the Weapons System Evaluation Programme (WSEP).

The first developmental and operational test missile shots demonstrated how F-15EX can be employed in theatre and provide the context needed to validate its combat capabilities.

Following this event, a team of analysts and engineers from the Detachment 6 F-15 division travelled to Eglin and Tyndall AFB in Florida to draw results from AIM-120D and AIM-120C3 missile shots.

Detachment 6 lead test engineer captain Max Denbin said: “One of the main takeaways from live-fire shots is that jet can clearly function as a long-range standoff weapons system.”

The team also explored how F-15EX performs under a force package with fifth-generation aircraft.

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Apart from WSEP, the team also generated key insights from other F-15E and F-15EX missions, such as on the Eagle passive active warning survivability system’s (EPAWSS) capability to perform in highly contested environments.

F-15 test director and AFOTEC Detachment 6 deputy commander lieutenant colonel Ken Juhl said: “The USAF is currently planning to acquire 80 F-15EX aircraft.

“AFOTEC Detachment 6 is responsible for delivering operational truth about the F-15EX, and the F-15 test team aims to do so at speed of relevance.

“In an agile acquisitions program, results from testing have to match the speed at which the program is moving otherwise they quickly become obsolete.” 

These will keep involved stakeholders informed about concerns and changes needed before the fielding of aircraft.

The team is now preparing for a second round of operational test missions for the aircraft, which is expected to take place at Nellis AFB later this year.