Boeing has unveiled the Royal Saudi Air Force's first upgraded F-15SA Strike Eagle. According to Boeing, the F-15SA ('Saudi Advanced') roll-out represents the start of a new era of cost-effective and highly-capable Saudi Arabian fighter aircraft operations.
The F-15SA Strike Eagles is the latest version of the well-established and combat-proven F-15 fighter/bomber series, which originated in the 1970s.
The F-15SA Strike Eagle offers a boost in performance and higher levels of survivability combined with reduced life-cycle expenses: a combination missing in its predecessors. Also integrated is a pair of extra wing stations, upping the F-15SA's weapons-carrying capability.
Saudi Advanced F-15
The Royal Saudi Air Force has been equipped with F-15S Strike Eagle fighters for close-to 20 years. Now, it's getting 84 Saudi Advanced versions - a mixture of new-build airframes and upgraded F-15Ss.
The Royal Saudi Air Force was initially established in the 1920s, prior to being significantly restructured in the immediate post-war years. RSAF aircraft have since participated in many major conflicts, including Operation Desert Storm.
"The Kingdom [of Saudi Arabia] and Boeing have been partners for 65 years and our partnership goes beyond the innovative products and services we provide", Boeing Defense's Dennis Muilenburg commented in a press release covering the Advanced Saudi F-15 roll-out. "Equally as important are the excellent collaborations between Boeing and Saudi educational and industrial organizations."
F-15SA Strike Eagle
"We look forward to receiving the advanced capabilities of the F-15SA Strike Eagle aircraft to continue to protect the security and stability of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia", added the Royal Saudi Air Force's commander, Lieutenant General Mohammed Bin Abdullah Al-Ayeesh. "Our relationship with the US Air Force and The Boeing Company has helped to ensure the Royal Saudi Air Force remains among the best-equipped air forces in the world."
The F-15 Eagle was originally developed by McDonnell Douglas before Boeing took over the programme. With an operational history that includes involvement in the original Gulf War, 1999's NATO sorties over Kosovo and more recent conflicts and a development timeline that encompasses a huge number of variants, the F-15 Eagle is a legend of modern airpower.