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F-15 fly by wire: revamping the Saudi Air Force

You would assume that jet fighters are all tech now, but it’s not always the case. The proof is that the U.S. Air Force and its prime contractor, Boeing have completed a successful first flight of the new F-15SA advanced fighter aircraft for the Royal Saudi Air Force. Fly-by-wire is a system that replaces the conventional manual flight controls of an aircraft with an electronic interface. The movements of flight controls are converted to electronic signals transmitted by wires (hence the fly-by-wire term), and flight control computers determine how to move the actuators at each control surface to provide the ordered response. The fly-by-wire system also allows automatic signals sent by the aircraft’s computers to perform functions without the pilot’s input, as in systems that automatically help stabilize the aircraft. The successful first flight of the F-15SA is a tremendous milestone for the program and a testament to the relationship between the USAF, Boeing, and the RSAF partners. The F-15SA will add critical capability to the RSAF and enhance the security of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This comes as Saudi Arabia is revamping it’s military and specifically the air force, with talks about purchasing jet fighters such as the F-35, F-22 and the Rafale. In the meantime, they are modernizing their entire fleet of F-15. The F-15SA brings improved performance, enhanced situational awareness and increased survivability at a lower total life-cycle cost. Avionics advancements include a Digital Electronic Warfare Suite, Fly-By-Wire flight control system, an Infrared Search and Track system and Active Electronically Scanned Array radar. Forward and aft cockpits feature advanced displays and Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems. Two additional weapon stations provide increased payload capacity.

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