The upgraded electronic warfare system for US Air Force F-15C Eagles and F-15E Strike Eagles called the Eagle Passive-Active Warning and Survivability System (EPAWSS) is entering the engineering, manufacturing and development (EMD) phase of procurement. Once the EMD phase has concluded, currently scheduled for 2020, the EPAWSS will be ready to enter production.

Boeing has a US Air Force contract valued at $478 million for EPAWSS EMD, which includes integration with the airframe and on-board systems.

The system was initially selected to replace the F-15’s ALQ-135 jammer and other internal electronic warfare systems in 2015. Central to the open-architecture EPAWSS design is the BAE Systems ALQ-239 Digital Electronic Warfare System.

The EPAWSS is designed to give F-15 aircrew greater situational awareness by integrating advanced passive sensors with cockpit displays, onboard jammers and chaff and flare dispensers. Similar to a precise geolocation capability already demonstrated on an F/A-18F Super Hornet, the EPAWSS will enable the F-15 to use advanced datalinks to receive precise networked targeting information without radar emissions.

Eight F-15s will be fitted with the EPAWSS for the flight test programme that is scheduled to start in 2018.

Once in production, the US Air Force plans to upgrade all operational F-15Cs and F-15Es with EPAWSS, which may lead to over 400 aircraft being fitted with the system at a cost of over $7.5 billion. David C Isby