The US Air Force is pressing ahead with development of the Eagle Passive Active Warning Survivability System (EPAWSS) for the F-15C, despite the program only being funded for the F-15E Strike Eagle. In May, the USAF said it would not add the new BAE Systems-developed threat awareness and survivability upgrade to the F-15C, instead re-directing funds towards life-extension efforts such as wing replacements.
The USAF originally planned for EPAWSS to be fitted to 413 aircraft — 217 F-15Es and 196 F-15Cs. However, the F-15C element looked to be dead. This week, the F-15 System Program Office told Combat Aircraft: ‘The Air Force plans to fund and execute the EPAWSS F-15C program through development and testing. This will preserve the option to deploy EPAWSS on the F-15Cs should funding and priorities change in the future.’
Boeing added: ‘Development of EPAWSS for 217 F-15Es and 196 F-15Cs is in progress with first flight on track to complete in 2018. The FY19 Presidential Budget provides the first year for production dollars and the FY19 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) authorizes funding for four F-15C production kits.