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Boeing F-15QA Advanced Eagle Demo Flies With 12 AIM-120 Missiles During First Airshow

F 15QA with 12 AMRAAMs
F-15QA Demo
Boeing F-15QA during the demo at the Spirit of St Louis Airshow and Stem Expo in Chesterfield MO (Image credit: Chris Conley)

The new Boeing F-15QA demo made its debut with an impressive performance at the Spirit of St. Louis Airshow carrying 12 air-to-air missiles.

On May 24, 2024, Boeing officially announced that their demo team would return to the airshow circuit this year with two jets, generating a lot of excitement within the aviation community.

The F-15QA Advanced Eagle Demo team is scheduled to take part in three airshows, one in the U.S. (Spirit of St. Louis Airshow) and two in Europe (RIAT and Farnborough International Air Show).

The public debut of the team took place, as planned, on Jun. 8 – 9 at the Spirit of St. Louis Airshow in Chesterfield, Missouri. Boeing brought to the airshow two F-15QAs: one clean and one loaded out with 12 AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles.

While both air displays were remarkable, the one by the missiled-up Eagle was particularly interesting as it involved an F-15 flying with its current maximum air-to-air missile capacity. In fact, at present, the F-15 can carry no more than 12 AIM-120s. However, that number can be nearly doubled with the new outer wing hardpoints and newly designed launcher-racks called Advanced Missile and Bomb Ejection Rack (AMBER).

Patented by Boeing in 2016, the AMBER rack will allow the F-15 to carry two missiles under each attachment point (on both the wings and FAST packs): once the new racks are available, the latest generation F-15s (F-15SA, F-15QA and F-15EX) will be able to carry up 22 air-to-air missiles in air-to-air configuration and act as a “bomb/missile truck” carrying a lot of long-range air-to-air missiles or air-to-ground standoff weapons; much more than the F-15C and F-15E (limited to 8 air-to-air missiles).

Some interesting shots of the F-15QA air display at the only scheduled demo in North America for 2024 were taken by Chris Conley. “Preston and I were part of a larger media team covering the entire event,” Chris told us in a message. “It was truly awesome to see and hear these jets in the air. Man they’re loud!!!”

The following amazing 36-min video was shot by Preston Monoc who filmed the displays of both the clean and missiled-up F-15QA. “Each day there were two demos one clean and slicked out and a dirty. This amazing F-15QA performed while carrying 12 air-to-air missiles! Each weighing 350 lbs. It performed an almost identical show as the F-22 with a huge load out. The clean F-15 QA Advanced was down on Saturday,” Preston says in the Youtube video description.





F-15QA

In 2017, Boeing was awarded a contract to manufacture 36 F-15QA fighter jets for the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF). The F-15QA made its first flight on Apr. 14, 2020 and the first four aircraft were delivered to the QEAF in 2021.

The F-15QA (Qatar Advanced) features new outer wing hardpoints for increased payload, AN/APG-82(V)1 Advanced Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing Systems (JHMCS) for both the pilot and the Weapon Systems Officer (WSO), 10×19-in Large Area Displays (LADs) and low-profile Head-Up Display (HUD) in both cockpits, digital fly-by-wire and General Electric F110-GE-129 engines.

Compared to the F-15C/E, the F-15QA is equipped with the the Missile Approach Warning System (MAWS) sensors at the end of the tail booms and below the cockpit. Officially, it’s not known which MAWS system and self-defense suite has been installed in the aircraft, however we can see from the photos that the sensor is very similar to the AN/AAR-57A(V) Common Missile Warning System (CMWS) produced by BAE Systems that could be most probably coupled with the AN/ALQ-239 Digital Electronics Warfare Systems (DEWS), also produced by the same company.

Based on the F-15QA is the new F-15EX, that was developed to address a series of needs mainly emerged after the National Defense Strategy directed the U.S. armed services to adapt to the new threats from China and Russia. The aircraft, while extremely similar to the QA variant, features some US-only capabilities like the new AN/ALQ-250 Eagle Passive Active Warning Survivability System (EPAWSS) electronic warfare and electronic surveillance system and Open Mission Systems (OMS) architecture.

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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.

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