Saudi F-15s Fielding Greater Capability

Boeing’s F-15 work for Saudi Arabia is showing that the F-15 design has a great deal of life in it, according to company officials who briefed reporters in Arlington, Va., on Wednesday. The Saudis are acquiring new-build F-15s in the “SA” configuration and also upgrading F-15s already in their inventory to that standard. In addition to advanced electronically scanned array radars, the new F-15s will feature digital fly-by-wire technology, which is not available on earlier Eagle variants, said Steve Winkler, director of Boeing’s F-15 business development. This includes the Air Force’s F-15Cs. FBW allows for greater control and maneuvering of the aircraft and the ability to utilize weapons stations one and nine—hard points previously not utilized due to flight-control concerns, according to the company. This means four more air-to-air or two additional air-to-ground carriage points for the fighter. F-15SA deliveries are slated to begin in 2015. Winkler noted during the May 29 briefing that there are several other unidentified foreign nations interested in the advanced F-15 variant.