April 2005 
Volume 03, Issue 11 
Main Feature

Fly like an Eagle


F-15K Specifications

Length: 63.8 feet (19.45 meters)

Height: 18.5 feet (5.65 meters)

Wing span: 42.8 feet (13.05 meters)

Propulsion: Two General Electric F110-129A turbofan engines in 29,000 lb. thrust class with afterburning

Weight: 45,000 lb. (20,411 kg.) class
81,000 lb. (36,700 kg.) maximum gross takeoff

F-15K milestones

April 2003: Boeing began assembly of the central fuselage

October 2004: Final assembly completed

March 2005: Successful completion of the F-15K first flight in St. Louis


His nickname is "Ice" for his calmness during pressure situations. But Korean Air Force pilot Maj. Kim Sung Dae couldn't mask his emotions minutes before the unveiling of the first F-15K Strike Eagle fighter aircraft for the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF). "I'm always very calm and cool, but today, I'm very anxious, nervous and excited because of the ceremony," Kim said. "All of us pilots—we are happy."

Kim is one of eight F-15 student pilots and weapons systems officers who attended the March 16 ceremony at Boeing in St. Louis. The ceremony introduced the Republic of Korea's first F-15K, the most advanced, versatile F-15 Boeing ever created. Kim's elation—as shared by Boeing, Korea, suppliers and hundreds of dedicated employees who developed and built the jet—stems from the highly anticipated debut of this leading-edge aircraft. It integrates the proven F-15 airframe with highly advanced avionics and electronics that provide exceptional situational awareness and razor-sharp precision targeting—in any weather, day or night.

"Korea wanted a true, multirole fighter," said Steve Winkler, director, F-15 production programs. "Everyone on the team has been highly energized—and proud to make the best fighter in the world that meets Korea's mission needs."

The Republic of Korea selected the F-15K Strike Eagle for its Next Generation Fighter Program in 2002. Under a $3.6 billion contract, Boeing will deliver 40 F-15Ks to the ROKAF by August 2008. Korea will introduce the first two aircraft in October at the Seoul Air Show.

New capabilities and technologies"With the rollout of this airplane, the Republic of Korea will have the most capable F-15 in the world," said Jim Albaugh, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems president and CEO. "The F-15K brings new levels of performance in payload, survivability and precision strike to their Air Force. This fighter is the result of the hard work of the many men and women of Boeing who have committed themselves to satisfying our customer's requirements."

The F-15K is the latest version of the U.S. Air Force F-15E. Where the F-15E is a superior long-range interdiction fighter for the USAF, the F-15K enhances air-to-air and air-to-ground modes and adds new air-to-sea capabilities—making it the most versatile long-range multirole fighter.

"Integration of the world's best multirole fighter into our force will certainly be a great momentum in improving our air power," said Gen. Lee Han Ho, the Republic of Korea Air Force Chief of Staff. "Moreover, the F-15K will enhance the interoperability between the Republic of Korea and the U.S. Air Force."

"The F-15K brings new things for [our] relationship with Korea," said Maj. Gen. Jack Hudson of the U.S. Air Force. "It brings new capabilities to coalition warfare training, planning and interoperability."

Rollout ceremonyMany upgrades

What makes the F-15K the best of the best? The addition of new capabilities and upgraded systems makes the F-15K even more lethal, survivable and maintainable than the F-15E, Winkler said. The F-15K upgrades include

  • Enhanced air-to-air capabilities. The Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing System enables the pilot to move his or her head, and the missile's seeker will follow where the head turns. As a result, the pilot doesn't have to reposition the aircraft to shoot and can remain in a defensive position. The F-15K's AIM-9X Sidewinder missile is an advanced short-range air-to-air missile.
  • Enhanced air-to-ground capabilities. The Standoff Land Attack Missile–Expanded Response improves long-range air-to-ground capabilities. The addition of smart weapon stations allows the F-15K to carry up to 15 Joint Direct Attack Munitions—two times more than the F-15E.
  • Air-to-sea capabilities. The Harpoon Block II missile and associated radar modes provide for air-to-sea combat.

    Korean Air Force pilots train for the F-15K


    Powerful computing and processing system. The F-15K features the new Honeywell Advanced Display Core Processor, which serves as the central computer, or "brains," of the airplane. It has 10 times more processing capability than the F-15E's central computer. The U.S. Air Force, added Winkler, will retrofit its F-15Es with the ADCP.
  • Advanced, next-generation cockpit. The two-seat F-15K cockpit incorporates new configurations and cockpit display technologies. It has a state-of-the-art navigation and weapons data display.
  • High-powered radars and electronic warfare equipment. The F-15K will use the newest and more reliable combat radar, the Raytheon AN/APG-63(v)1, which adds new search and target detection capabilities and has 10 times more computing power than its predecessor. The aircraft's electronic-warfare suite also includes Lockheed Martin's ALR-56C(v)1 radar-warning receiver, which is more responsive to threats, and the Northrop Grumman ALQ-135M high-power jammer.
  • Communication upgrades. The aircraft also now includes a fighter data-link system that allows information sharing among every F-15K aircraft on the mission, reducing the need for radio communications. "No words need to be transmitted over the radio to engage a target set. It takes the voice [communications] out of the equation and makes [the flight] less vulnerable to detection by and interference from the enemy," Winkler said.

"The F-15K is the next big step in the lifeline of the F-15 because of its modernization and superior capabilities," Winkler said. "It's important to us, too, because it supports the F-15 program." The F-15K enables Boeing to add more highly reliable systems to the F-15E.

The USAF currently plans to fly the F-15E beyond 2030, and technology and system upgrades are planned throughout that period. Korea also would have access to the USAF-developed upgrades for its F-15Ks.

In addition to producing F-15Es for the USAF, Boeing is exploring other international opportunities for the F-15 program. Currently, Israel, Japan and Saudi Arabia fly F-15s.

Production workers


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