F-15SA for Saudi Arabia has maiden flight

March 18, 2013 at 3:28 PM

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio, March 18 (UPI) -- The first new F-15SA built by Boeing for the Saudi air force has completed first flight, the U.S. Air Force reports.

The flight, conducted by Boeing and the U.S. Air Force took place last month at Boeing facilities at St. Louis.

"The successful first flight of the F-15SA is a tremendous milestone for the program and a testament to the relationship between the (U.S. Air Force), Boeing, and our (Saudi air force) partners," said Lt. Gen. C. D. Moore II, the commander of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center.

"The F-15SA will add critical capability to the (Saudi air force) and enhance the security of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia."

The new aircraft is part of Saudi Arabia's $29.4 billion F-15 Fleet Modernization Program. Purchase of the F-15SA planes by Saudi Arabia is the largest single Foreign Military Sale deal in U.S. history, the service said.

The aircraft features a digital electronic warfare suite, fly-by-wire flight control system, an infrared search-and-track system, Active Electronically Scanned Array radar, advanced cockpit displays and joint helmet mounted cueing systems.

The Air Force said delivery of the planes will begin in 2015 and completed four years later.

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