Boeing Delivers First Operational F-15EX Fighter Jet

Defence Industry

Washington: The first operational F-15EX fighter jet has officially been delivered to the US Air National Guard from manufacturer Boeing, and with the delivery of a second jet soon to follow, the beleaguered aerospace giant is poised to avert a schedule breach for the program.

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The fighter landed in Portland, where it will now be operated by the Oregon Air National Guard’s 142nd Wing, according to posts from the wing on social media. The jet is recapitalising the wing’s aging F-15C/D models that the Air Force is moving to retire.

The delivery comes a little later than program officials hoped for, as the program was set back with roughly a year of delays due to manufacturing woes. Despite the slip, the Air Force previously maintained that the program was not at risk of a schedule breach as long as Boeing delivered six remaining aircraft to the service by the end of this month.

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That batch of six fighters, known as the program’s lot 1B, consisted of four test aircraft and two operational fighters. The two operational fighters are dubbed EX7 and EX8, respectively. EX8 is the jet that touched down Wednesday, and EX7 is expected “in the next couple weeks and anticipated before July,” said a Boeing spokesperson.

Boeing posted the two jets receiving their “final touches” on social media with customised tail flashes for the 142nd Wing. The fighter is manufactured at Boeing’s facilities in St. Louis, Mo.

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