Boeing [NYSE: BA] recently started the final assembly of the first F-15K Strike Eagle fighter aircraft for the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF).
During final assembly in St. Louis, the F-15K forward, center, and aft fuselage assemblies are joined, followed by the wing assemblies. Once the structural splice is completed, mechanical and electrical subsystems will be installed and checked out. Assembly will be completed in October and the aircraft will begin ramp operations. The first F-15K flight will take place in March 2005 and the first two aircraft will be delivered in October 2005.
"We are very pleased to see our first F-15K begin its final assembly and look forward to its completion and first flight," said Col Lim, ROKAF Senior National Representative.
The ROKAF selected the F-15K Strike Eagle as the winner in their Next Generation Fighter Program in 2002. Valued at $4.2 billion, Boeing will deliver 40 F-15Ks with associated weapons beginning in 2005 and ending in August 2008.
"Initiating this major milestone on schedule shows how committed we are to delivering the world's finest fighter on-time to the ROKAF," said Steve Winkler, Boeing F-15K program manager.
The F-15K is an advanced derivative of the U.S. Air Force F-15E, the world's most capable long-range, multi-role fighter. It can perform air-to-ground and air-to-air missions during the day or at night, in virtually any weather. It can carry more than 23,000 pounds of payload, reach Mach 2.5, and incorporates the latest military technologies. These include the APG-63(V)1 radar, a third-generation forward looking infrared system, a helmet-mounted cueing system, and weapons-control systems that support advanced weapons such as the Joint Direct Attack Munition, or JDAM, Standoff Land Attack Missile-Expanded Response, or SLAM-ER, Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile, or AMRAAM, and AIM-9X Sidewinder missile.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing
Integrated Defense Systems is a $27 billion business. It provides systems solutions to its global military, government and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world's largest satellite manufacturer and a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; NASA's largest contractor; and a global leader in launch services.