ST. LOUIS – On Monday, the US Defense Department awarded Boeing a $1.2 billion contract to start production of the latest variant of the F-15 fighter.
The F-15EX will be built at the St. Louis production facility in Bridgeton.
The US Air Force has agreed to buy eight F-15EXs from Boeing. The aerospace giant plans to have two planes delivered to the Air Force by next year.
Senator Roy Blunt released the following statement in support of the new contract: “The F-15EX supports good-paying jobs in St. Louis and plays a vital role in helping our nation’s military accomplish their missions.”
US Representative Sam Graves tweeted, “Missouri’s largest manufacturer, Boeing St. Louis, has been awarded a contract by the U.S. Air Force to produce the first new F-15EX advanced fighter jets. This partnership will help support nearly 16,000 high-skilled jobs in the region.”
The Defense Department will use the F-15EX to replace older variants of the F-15, which have advanced Open Mission Systems and technologies, fly-by-wire flight controls, a new electronic warfare system, advanced cockpit systems, and the latest mission systems and software capabilities.
The plane will also be able to launch hypersonic weapons and allow pilots and mechanics to transition from older models to the new EX variant in a matter of days.
The Pentagon is looking to purchase up to 144 of the F-15EX with a $23 billion spending limit.
Production of the F-15EX will help sustain Boeing’s production line in Bridgeton for some 16,000 workers.