Modernization of the Saudi Airforce
The Saudis are modernizing the air force, starting with the F-15 which getting fly by wire technology. We would assume it would be mandatory on all jet fighters today, but it just shows that the F-15 is not that young and has been developed at a time when fly by wire was not the mainstream approach to controls. “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 RSAF partners,” said Lt. Gen. C. D. Moore II, the commander of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center here. “The F-15SA will add critical capability to the RSAF and enhance the security of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.” The F-15SA brings improved performance, enhanced situational awareness and increased survivability at a lower total life-cycle cost. Avionics advancements include a Digital Electronic Warfare Suite, Fly-By-Wire flight control system, an Infrared Search and Track system and Active Electronically Scanned Array radar. Forward and aft cockpits feature advanced displays and Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems. Two additional weapon stations provide increased payload capacity. The F-15SA flight test program will include three instrumented F-15SAs operating from Boeing facilities in St. Louis and Palmdale, Calif. F-15SA new aircraft deliveries to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are scheduled to begin in 2015 and conclude by 2019.