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In its ambitious bid to modernize and expand its aerial combat capabilities, the Indian Air Force (IAF) is set to acquire 114 multi-role combat aircraft (MRCA) from the global market. Among the contenders, The Boeing Company’s F-15EX Eagle-II stands out as a highly capable and advanced option. This aircraft offers cutting-edge technology and exceptional performance metrics, making it a strong candidate for the IAF’s MRCA program.

Boeing’s confidence in the F-15EX making the final cut stems from significant improvements and its impressive capabilities compared to previous offerings. During the last MRCA selection process, Boeing had proposed the F-18 E/F fighter jets, which did not progress past the technical evaluation rounds. However, with the F-15EX, Boeing is optimistic about a different outcome.

In 2022, Boeing secured a mandatory license from the US government to discuss the potential sale of the F-15EX to India. This strategic move facilitated Boeing’s response to the Request for Information (RFI) issued by the IAF, paving the way for detailed discussions and evaluations.

The F-15EX Eagle-II is an evolution of the legendary F-15 fighter jet, known for its superior speed, payload capacity, and strike range. Here are some of the standout features of the Eagle-II:

  • Speed: The F-15EX boasts a top speed of Mach 2.5, equivalent to 3,100 kilometres per hour, making it the world’s fastest fighter jet.
  • Payload: With the ability to carry up to 13.6 tonnes (30,000 pounds) of armaments, it is the most heavily-armed fighter in the world.
  • Strike Range: The aircraft has a remarkable strike range of 1,200 nautical miles (2,222 kilometres), providing extensive reach for various combat missions.
  • Combat Record: The F-15 series has an impressive combat record, with 104 air-to-air kills and zero losses, underscoring its reliability and effectiveness in combat.

The inclusion of the F-15EX adds another dimension to the already competitive race for the IAF’s MRCA contract. But the aircraft falls in the Heavy Class of fighter jets which is similar to the Sukhoi-Su-30MKI is the backbone of the IAF which will make it more difficult but in past has reported that IAF officials have great respect towards the F-15 as a platform but might not find support for its selection.

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