July 5 (UPI) -- The University of Dayton Research Institute was awarded a $28.5 million contract for sustainment studies on the F-15 fighter plane, the Pentagon announced.
The contract with the U.S. Air Force, announced Wednesday, calls for systems and structural engineering field and programmed depot maintenance support, reliability and maintainability analysis and aircraft structural integrity program capability development and sustainment for the plane, which first flew in 1972 and has at least 12 variants.
Although an aging design, it is a fixture in the air forces of the United States, Japan, Saudi Arabia and Israel. Nearly 1,200 F-15s have been built by its developer McDonnell Douglas, before and after the company's merger with Boeing.
The F-15 has been eclipsed by faster and more versatile models, but has been the primary fighter plane of the U.S. military for decades.
The institute conducted a record $149.8 million in sponsored research in fiscal year 2018.
The contract calls for work to be done at the research center in Dayton, Ohio, as well as at Robbins Air Force Base, Ga., to be completed by June 29, 2029. The Air Force Life Cycle Management System at Robbins AFB is the contracting agent.