The 40-year-old Boeing F-15 has fired an air-to-air missile for the first time from an internal weapons bay, demonstrating a critical new capability invented for the stealthy F-15 Silent Eagle.
At the same time, Boeing unveiled a similar capability as a new option for the international F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.
In a flight test on 14 July, the F-15E1 testbed fired the missile from a newly integrated conformal weapons bay that was modified from a conformal fuel tank, Boeing vice-president and general manager of Global Strike Systems Shelley Lavender.
The missile launch test at Point Mugu, California, marked the final test in a series of three flights for the latest proposed version of the venerable F-15.
Boeing also showed a new image of the Super Hornet, with a design concept for a pod-mounted, external weapons bay slung beneath the aircraft.
The option is being offered to international customers. Boeing has discussed the option with the US Navy, but that customer is focused on keeping a standard configuration with the existing Block 2 version of the Super Hornet, Lavender says.