The first heavily armed fighter, the F-15EX Advanced Eagle, entered service with the US Air Force and will take part in the test program. According to Defense News, the second F-15EX from the first batch will be delivered in April this year, after which there will be no more deliveries until fiscal year 2023 (from October 1, 2022).
Thus, the US Air Force received the first fighter from the first batch of F-15EX, which will include eight aircraft. As previously reported, the first two fighters will be received this spring, the remaining six in 2023. All eight aircraft will be deployed at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, where they will take part in tests.
Deliveries of serial F-15EX aircraft should begin in the 2023 fiscal year, in total, according to an open-ended contract, the US Air Force will receive 144 (according to other sources - 200) newest fighters.
It is clarified that the F-15EX is not purchased to replace the F-35A, but to replace the already outdated fleet of the F-15C / D in service and as a carrier of a hypersonic weapons... In the future, it is planned to purchase 18-24 fighters annually.
It differs from previous versions of the F-15EX with modern avionics based on the concept of a "digital highway" and the architecture of Open Mission Systems (OMS), including the Raytheon AN / APG-82 series radar with AFAR. The F-15EX is said to be capable of carrying up to 22 air-to-air guided missiles or "hypersonic weapons up to 22 feet long and weighing up to 7000 pounds." The fighter will only be delivered as a two-seater.