Israel details F-15I upgrade progress

Tel Aviv
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The Israeli air force has updated the status of an ongoing modernisation programme for its fleet of Boeing F-15I "Raam" strike aircraft.

"This is the first major upgrade of this excellent aircraft and it will enable it to fly for many more years," says Col Shimon Tsentsiper, commander of the service's depot 22.

Intended to help retain the two-seat F-15I's status as the air force's primary long-strike platform in a variety of operational scenarios, the upgrade introduces a "great number" of new avionic systems, most of which were developed in Israel by drawing on the service's operational experience. The F-15I has been in Israeli service since 1998, with 25 having been acquired.

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Israeli air force

"We face a great number of missions that require special capabilities and this upgrade prepares the aircraft for them," the depot commander says.

The installation of new systems has forced the depot to add a second main computer to the F-15I, Tsentsiper notes. "A replacement of the old one would have caused problems with the original systems connected to it. We install another main computer and a special protocol will channel the old systems to the old computer and the added ones to the new one. This is a major change, but it was absolutely necessary," he adds.

Israel's F-15C/D "Baz" combat aircraft are being upgraded on another line at the facility, so that the type can remain in service for the next 20 years. The upgrade activity includes structural work, with a main focus on replacing the existing tail section with a flight control surfaces that have a higher resistance to cracks.