BAE Systems has been awarded two separate contracts for modifications for the Air Force’s F-15 fighter, which respectively upgrade the aircraft’s electronic warfare suite and enhance its Global Positioning System technologies to protect against jamming and spoofing.
The first contract was awarded by Boeing for BAE’s Eagle Passive/Active Warning and Survivability System, according to a Sept. 7 BAE press release, which modifies the F-15E and F-15EX’s electronic warfare technologies to detect and defend against enemy radar.
The Air Force awarded the second contract for deliveries of the company’s Digital GPS Anti-jam Receiver.
EPAWSS is one of the Defense Department’s most costly acquisitions, whose procurement is expected to cost nearly $3.7 billion, the Government Accountability Office reported in its annual weapon systems assessment in June.
The program’s design is stable and its four critical technologies have matured, GAO found, though it had not met “leading acquisition practices.”
The EPAWSS program had not tested a “production-representative prototype,” before beginning production of approximately 75 EPAWSS units with a combined estimated value of $750 million, according to the report, which “increases the risk of finding issues in testing that may require costly and time-intensive future rework on units already produced.”
Boeing serves as the lead integrator for EPAWSS and previously awarded BAE a $58 million contract for Lot 1 low-rate initial production for integration with the F-15E and F-15EX in March 2021.
In July, Boeing announced EPAWSS integration had begun on two F-15Es. The system was originally tested on two F-15EXs that participated in the Northern Edge exercise in 2021, according to Boeing.
The Lot 2 contract announced by BAE yesterday would bring the contract value up to $351 million for further deliveries. A total of 217 F-15Es and 144 F-15EXs are slated to receive the EPAWSS enhancement, according to GAO’s weapon systems assessment.
“PAWSS LRIP 1 production was focused on getting initial shipsets into the hands of our customers to begin F-15E modifications and F-15EX aircraft deliveries,” EPAWSS LRIP Program Director Bridget McDermott wrote in a statement to Inside Defense. “Now we’re ramping up production for the next lot of F-15Es and F-15EXs, and are committed to producing dozens of EPAWSS shipsets during the LRIP 2 production phase.”
The second contract, which the Air Force has yet to announce, awarded BAE $13 million for its DIGAR system to protect F-15E aircraft from GPS jamming and spoofing and provide enhanced GPS capabilities.
DIGAR was previously integrated on the F-16, BAE’s release says. The company did not disclose the quantities or delivery timeframe associated with the contract.