F-15E Undergoing EPAWSS Testing at Benefield Anechoic Facility

An F-15E Eagle aircraft is currently undergoing testing of its Eagle Passive/Active Warning and Survivability System (EPAWSS) at the Benefield Anechoic Facility (BAF) on Edwards Air Force Base, California.

The U.S. Air Force is modernizing its F-15 fleet with the EPAWSS, an integrated digital avionics system designed to protect the F-15E Eagle against enemy air defense systems.

The EPAWSS testing is a collaborative effort among the F-15 System Program Office (SPO) at Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio, the 96th Test Wing’s 46th Test Squadron at Eglin AFB in Florida, the 412th Test Wing’s 412th Electronic Warfare Group’s 772nd Test Squadron at Edwards and contractors, Boeing and BAE Systems.

EPAWSS Testing
An F-15E Eagle is suspended from the ceiling at the Benefield Anechoic Facility (BAF) during its first phase of testing of the Eagle Passive/Active Warning and Survivability System (EPAWSS) at Edwards Air Force Base (AFB), California, May 8, 2019. (Air Force photo by Ethan “Evac” Wagner)

The first of multiple test phases at the BAF was completed in April 2019. The ongoing tests are required to collect the data to establish the integration of the EPAWSS radar and missile warning capabilities and the electronic countermeasures onto the F-15E platform. The tests must also establish interoperability and RF (radio frequency) compatibility among the EPAWSS, the F-15’s AN/APG-82 radar and various existing avionics at the installed system level on the aircraft.

Boeing was selected as the prime contractor for the EPAWSS program, which will upgrade existing F-15 aircraft and is valued at approximately $4 billion. Boeing selected BAE Systems as the subcontractor to develop the system.

The new threat detection system will be installed on more than 400 F-15Es and F-15Cs, replacing the Tactical Electronic Warfare System (TEWS) which uses 1970’s analog technology.

Providing both offensive and defensive electronic warfare (EW) options for the pilot and aircraft, BAE Systems’ EPAWSS offers fully integrated radar warning, geo-location, situational awareness, and self-protection solutions to detect and defeat surface and airborne threats in signal-dense contested and highly contested environments. Equipped with advanced electronic countermeasures (ECM), it enables deeper penetration against modern integrated air defense systems, providing rapid response capabilities to protect the aircrew.

An all-digital system, it requires a smaller footprint than previous systems, allowing it to seamlessly integrate new capabilities and remain current. A platform-level solution, it provides the F-15 with improved reliability and maintainability, helping reduce long term life cycle costs to keep the aircraft fielded now and into the future.

The EPAWSS system made its successful first flight onboard a U.S. Air Force F-15 fighter aircraft last year. Following this current iteration of the EPAWSS testing, further tests are planned until the system will be fielded on the F-15 fleet.

F-15E Strike Eagle EPAWSS
A U.S. Air Force F-15 fighter aircraft equipped with EPAWSS system.

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