Boeing has conducted the first flight of F-15K41, the first of 21 F-15K Slam Eagles the company is producing under the Next Fighter II contract for the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF). The aircraft, flown by Boeing test pilot Steve Schmidt, took off from Lambert St. Louis International Airport at 2:36 p.m. Central time and landed at 3:44 p.m.
The F-15K is an advanced variant of the combat-proven F-15E. Equipped with the latest technological upgrades, it is extremely capable, survivable and maintainable. The F-15K enables the ROKAF to change its focus from the short-range defense of the past half century to a broader regional view that considers the omnidirectional threats it may face in the future. The aircraft’s service life is planned through 2040, with technology insertions and upgrades throughout its life cycle.
Boeing completed delivery of the 40 Next Fighter I F-15K aircraft in October 2008.