As had been widely expected, the US Air Force’s proposed Fiscal Year 2020 budget includes money for new Boeing F-15EX fighters.
The USAF says it expects each of the single-seat Eagles, which are based on the Advanced F-15, to run out at $80 million per airframe, increasing to as much $125 million apiece to account for initial set-up of the production line.
The news comes as the Air Force moves to start recapitalising old F-15Cs. It also allows the USAF to tap into technology developed for customer nations. The US Navy will similarly benefit from new upgrades in development for Kuwait, which will be rolled into the Block III Super Hornet, including items such as the new Large Area Display in the cockpit.
Buying new Eagles is a dramatic departure from previous USAF acquisition strategies for fighters, which centred upon the F-35. The Eagles enable twin pipelines for fighter procurement and prevents over-reliance on a single source for fleet recapitalisation.