More Life for the Eagle

Paris—Although the Air Force has cut back its F-15 inventory, there is “rising” potential for adding capabilities to “some number” of its remaining F-15s, said Chris Raymond, vice president for business development and strategy in Boeing’s defense unit. Because of the near-term need for F-15s to operate as air superiority assets alongside F-22s and F-35s, F-15 modifications may “continue for a while,” Raymond told reporters here on June 14, the eve of the Paris Air Show. Possible future upgrades he cited are communications improvements to better fuse data with F-22s and F-35s and the Eagle Passive/Active Warning Survivability System to keep the F-15 force potent in future combat scenarios. Jeff Kohler, head of international marketing and business development in Boeing’s defense unit, said there are more than 450 F-15s operated by allies, such as Japan, and those countries are beginning to ask about upgrades. “They plan on keeping them for a long time,” he said. There are opportunities to put together a “robust” international upgrade program to reduce costs for the Air Force and foreign customers, he said.