|Arthur Dominic Villasanta |||Feb 20, 2017 09:01 AM EST|
(Photo : USAF) USAF F-15Es fire air-to-air missiles.
The legendary McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle air superiority fighter, which has scored over 100 aerial kills against no losses in air-to-air combat over four decades, will be extensively upgraded with more potent electronic warfare capabilities and additional weapons so it remains operational until the 2040s.
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The U.S. Air Force, which operates over 400 F-15 C, D and E variants, said the refit will allow the jet to retain its superiority in air combat over China's Chengdu J-10 lightweight multirole fighter. The F-15 enjoyed a vast superiority over the J-10 when the latter entered service with the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) in 2006.
Rapid Chinese technical advances in recent years, however, have eroded the F-15's edge, hence the need to arm the F-15 with better electronics -- including the world's fastest computer processor specially designed for fighters -- and more air-to-air missiles.
This processor is the Advanced Display Core Processor (ADCPII) capable of processing 87 billion instructions per second of computing throughput. This means faster and more reliable mission processing capability for F-15 pilots.
Among the new tech that will also see service in future F-15s will be a new electronic warfare (EW) technology called the Eagle Passive Active Warning Survivability System (EPAWSS). EPAWSS will allow the F-15 to identify a threat and actively counter that threat through avoidance, deception or jamming techniques.
The F-15s will also receive AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) radars and the Infrared Search and Track (IRST) passive long-range sensor that can detect the heat signature, or infrared emissions, of enemy aircraft.
IRST can simultaneously track multiple targets and provide a highly effective air-to-air targeting capability, even when encountering advanced threats equipped with radar-jamming technology.
The killing power of the upgraded F-15s will be increased with the addition of eight more air-to-air missiles to its traditional load of eight missiles, giving it a total of 16 missiles.
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