June 7 (UPI) -- Raytheon Co. will retrofit F-15 fighter planes with identity and surveillance units in a $14.9 million contract modification, the U.S. Air Force announced.
The adjustment calls for equipping the entire fleet of 196 F-15s with Mode 5-capable "Friend or Foe" identity units, which provide National Security Agency-approved cryptography, and anti-jam interrogation and reply encryption capabilities. The equipment includes devices known as transponders and interrogators that enable pilots to identify friendly forces and make informed decisions in time-critical situations.
The plane, known in various forms as the "Eagle" and "Strike Eagle," has been in service since 1972 and is used by armed forces of the United States, Japan, Israel and Saudi Arabia.
Work will be performed at Raytheon facilities at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Md., and Largo, Fla., with a completion deadline of March 2021. The modification, announced by the Air Force on Thursday, brings the value of the contract to $36.1 million. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, is the contracting agent.