Boeing recently completed scaled wind tunnel tests of the conformal weapons bay for its F-15 Silent Eagle configuration, announced company officials. The tests were conducted at the company’s facility in St. Louis; they “validated the aerodynamics of the CWB design,” states Boeing’s June 25 release. “We are now testing production-representative hardware as we continue to validate our affordable and low-risk design,” said Roger Besancenez, Boeing’s F-15 program vice president, in discussing the Silent Eagle model, which is conceived to add survivability and lethality features to existing F-15 variants. The CWB is one feature to reduce the F-15’s radar cross signature. Boeing said more detailed tests later this year would focus on the aerodynamic effects of multiple weapons loads, as well as opening and closing the upper and lower CWB doors. Boeing is partnering with Korea Aerospace Industries to design, develop, and manufacture the CWB. Boeing is offering the Silent Eagle in South Korea’s F-X fighter competition.
Boeing’s receipt of the 10th lot contract award for the KC-46 Pegasus this week leaves just three lots left to complete the Air Force’s buy of the tanker, although a further buy of 75 additional aircraft as a “bridge” to the Next-Generation Aerial-refueling System (NGAS) seems increasingly likely.