Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-04), who serves as the Ranking Member on the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement after the U.S. Air Force (USAF) announced the Boeing Company in Missouri was awarded a $1.2 billion contract to produce the first eight F-15EX aircraft, with a total contract ceiling value of $23 billion for plans to purchase as many as 144 aircraft.
“The F-15EX program is the most cost-effective option to replacing our current F-15C/D fleet. The health of this fleet is deteriorating at a rapid pace and is well past its certified service life. The F-15Cs continue to fly despite serious mechanical and electrical issues. Congress took steps last year to authorize the start of the F-15EX program to replace the F-15C/D fleet as quickly as possible, and I am delighted to see this program moving forward,” Hartzler said.
“Not only will this program restore the health of the F-15 fleet, but it will also advance the capabilities of the aircraft so that our military is better equipped to handle a wide-array of threats, all while providing a cost-effective choice for our military. I’m proud of having this new advanced fighter jet made right here in Missouri and I know the hardworking Missourians are excited to build F-15s for the U.S. military once again!” Hartzler added.
The new F-15EX builds on the existing F-15 program, allowing the advanced fighter jets to launch weapons 22 feet long and 7,000 pounds in weight. The F-15EX will also come with a bolstered digital backbone. The upgradable software platforms in the F-15EX mean the fighter jets will be able to be constantly updated, allowing the USAF to keep the F-15EX on the forefront of evolving national security threats without having to continuously invest in expensive manufacturing.
In the House Armed Services Committee markup of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021, Hartzler successfully included funding to continue the F-15EX program for next fiscal year.
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