The US Air Force’s (USAF) two F-15EX Eagle II fighter jets have test-launched missiles to demonstrate their expanded missile carriage and employment capabilities.
The test was executed by the Eglin Air Force Base (AFB), Florida-based units – 96th Test Wing (TW) and 40th Flight Test Squadron (FLTS) on 29 November.
The missiles were launched over the Gulf of Mexico region, from the F-15EX aircraft’s new weapon stations, called Station 1 and 9.
The 96th TW pilots fired an AIM-120D advanced medium-range air-to-air missile (AMRAAM) from Station 1 while the 40th FLTS’ pilot fired an AIM-9X Sidewinder air-to-air missile from Station 9 over Eglin Test and Training Complex’s water range.
The USAF informed that both aircraft were able to achieve various operational test objectives by successfully releasing missiles on separate passes against a target drone.
The successful launch is a key achievement in the F-15EX’s developmental test programme, which saw the first launch being undertaken in February 2022.
This Operational Flight Program Combined Test Force mission also marks the first Air Force test flight to validate the effective and safe firing of weapons from these stations.
The test is also a significant milestone in showcasing the F-15EX Eagle II aircraft’s missile capability of carrying all 12 air-to-air missiles.
OFP CTF and 96th TW pilot major Brett Hughes said: “Having been a part of the Eglin F-15EX team from day one, it’s exciting to see progress made and new milestones achieved as we work to field most combat-capable F-15EX.”
Before the F-15EX Eagle II, F-15 aircraft models could only carry eight missiles.
The new F-15EX has four additional missile stations, in comparison to F-15sx.