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Boeing F-15 Silent Eagle demonstrator completes 1st weapon launch

The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] successfully launched a missile from the F-15 Silent Eagle's newly designed Conformal Weapons Bay (CWB) on July 14. Demonstration aircraft F-15E1 departed from Point Mugu Naval Air Weapon Station, Calif., at 5:59 p.m Pacific time, launched an inert AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missile (AMRAAM) from its left-side CWB, and returned to base at 6:52 p.m.

The test demonstrated the CWB's flightworthiness and ability to deploy an AMRAAM in flight with no adverse effect on the performance of the aircraft or the CWB itself.

"I've been flying F-15s for more than 20 years, but this flight was different from all others," said Boeing F-15 Chief Test Pilot Dan Draeger. "This first launch of an AMRAAM from the F-15's internal weapons bay opens a new era for the F-15 and for strike fighter capability in the dominance of the F-15 Eagle.

"The F-15, CWB and missile performed exactly as we predicted," Draeger continued. "The Silent Eagle continues the F-15's role as the most versatile strike fighter aircraft ever built."

F-15E1 made its first flight with a CWB from Lambert St. Louis International Airport on July 8. The CWB, which carried an AIM-120 Instrumented Test Vehicle (ITV), was successfully opened and closed during that 80-minute flight, validating Boeing's design approach.

"The F-15SE's internal carriage CWBs will significantly increase tactical options for international customers while retaining all the cost-certain, battle-proven capability of the Strike Eagle," said Roger Besancenez, F-15 Program vice president for Boeing.

The Silent Eagle is an innovative design solution developed in response to international customer requirements for a cost-effective, high-performance fighter aircraft to defend against future threats. Using a modular design approach, the F-15SE offers unique aerodynamic, avionic and Radar Cross Section (RCS)-reduction features that provide the user with maximum flexibility to dominate the ever-changing advanced threat environment. RCS reductions include treatments to the aircraft (based on U.S. government policy). The F-15SE CWBs can carry a variety of air-to-air missiles, such as the AIM-9 and AIM-120, and air-to-ground weapons such as the Joint Direct Attack Munition and Small Diameter Bomb. The Silent Eagle's CWBs can be easily removed, and the aircraft can be rapidly reconfigured into the combat-proven external carriage/conformal fuel tank loadout based on mission requirements.

Press release issued by Boeing Defense, Space & Security on July 20, 2010


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