Boeing has announced that the U.S. Air Force has granted the F-15E Radar Modernization Program (RMP) approval to begin low-rate initial production (LRIP) of the APG-82(V)1 radar system.
Boeing and radar supplier Raytheon also performed extensive flight tests to validate the design and development of the system. The RMP leverages prior radar development programs on F-15C and F/A-18E/F aircraft to significantly reduce cost and integration risk for this new radar.
"This is a great day for the F-15E and for the U.S. Air Force," said Maj. Brian Hartt, U.S. Air Force RMP program manager. "The F-15E RMP couples new technology with improved system reliability to position the F-15E for many more years of service to the warfighter."
The RMP development effort is undergoing an aggressive 14-month, 110-sortie flight test program at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., and Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. Boeing and Raytheon will perform data reduction analysis throughout the test phase to verify that the system performance meets the rigorous specifications that make the APG-82(V)1 radar state-of-the-art.
"The RMP is the latest modification under way for the F-15E fleet that the Air Force has identified in its Modernization Sustainment Plan," said Karen Butler, RMP program manager for Boeing.
"It will ensure the F-15E has the capability and performance the U.S. Air Force requires to achieve total air-to-air and air-to-ground dominance in the future. Achieving LRIP on schedule and on cost is a major milestone for the program and puts us a step closer to putting the system into the hands of the warfighter."
Production of the first LRIP lot of six units is scheduled to begin in October, followed by production of 10 units in LRIP 2 and 17 units in LRIP 3.
The RMP APG-82(V)1 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar will replace the F-15E strike fighter's current APG-70 Mechanically Scanned Array radar. The AESA provides improved radar reliability, maintainability and performance, as well as reduced support costs. When integrated into the F-15E weapons system, the AESA radar will significantly improve detection and tracking of enemy targets.
Other RMP elements include a wideband radome, modified environment control system, and modified radio frequency tunable filters, which allow the radar and electronic warfare system to operate simultaneously.