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Boeing completes first flight of F-15QA for Qatar

Boeing completes first flight of F-15QA for Qatar
The F-15QA aircraft demonstrates its maneuverability with a vertical “Viking” takeoff during its first flight Monday. Photo by Eric Shindelbower/Boeing

April 14 (UPI) -- Boeing announced Tuesday that it has successfully completed the first flight of the F-15QA fighter during a 90-minute mission from the Lambert International Airport in St. Louis.

Boeing developed the F-15QA for the Qatar Emiri Air Force and describes it as the most advanced version of the jet ever manufactured.

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"This successful first flight is an important step in providing the QEAF an aircraft with best-in-class range and payload," said Prat Kumar, Boeing vice president and F-15 program manager. "The advanced F-15QA not only offers game changing capabilities but is also built using advanced manufacturing processes which make the jet more efficient to manufacture. In the field, the F-15 costs half the cost per flight hour of similar fighter aircraft and delivers far more payload at far greater ranges. That's success for the warfighter."

The F-15QA includes fly-by-wire flight controls, a digital cockpit, modernized sensors, radar and a electronic warfare capabilities -- and the world's fastest mission computer.

In 2017 The Pentagon awarded Boeing $6.2 billion to manufacture 36 F-15 fighter jets for Qatar, and last week the Department of Defense awarded Boeing $68 million for maintenance and logistics support for Qatar's F-15 program.

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Boeing plans to begin delivering aircraft to Qatar in 2021.

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