ST. LOUIS — The fighter jet of the future for the United States Air Force will be built in St. Louis.
On Monday, Boeing announced a nearly $1.2 billion contract to built the first eight F-15EX advanced fighter jets. The first two jets are already being produced at the Boeing F-15 production facility in St. Louis.
“The F-15EX is the most advanced version of the F-15 ever built, due in large part to its digital backbone,” said Lori Schneider, Boeing F-15EX program manager. “Its unmatched range, price and best-in-class payload capacity make the F-15EX an attractive choice for the U.S. Air Force.”
The 22-foot, 7,000-pound jet can hold more weapons than any other fighter in its class, according to Boeing.
The first two jets will be delivered to the Air Force next year. Boeing said the Air Force could order as many as 144 jets, which would make the contract worth nearly $23 billion.
“The F-15EX’s digital backbone, open mission systems, and generous payload capacity fit well with our vision for future net-enabled warfare,” Dr. Will Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, said in a press release from the Air Force. “Continually upgrading systems, and how they share data across the Joint Force, is critical for defeating advanced threats. F-15EX is designed to evolve from day one.”