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Boeing awarded $9.8B contract for Saudi F-15 support

November 12, 2020

Nov. 11 (UPI) -- Boeing Co. was awarded a $9.8 billion contract to support F-15 fighter planes of the Royal Saudi Air Force, the U.S. Defense Department announced.

The deal covers modernization and sustainment of the Saudi fleet of nearly 130 aircraft over the next five years, the Pentagon said on Tuesday.

The package of upgrades includes hardware, software, interface design, development, integration, test, installation of future modifications and enhancements to the F-15 Saudi weapon system.

The contract also includes an option for an additional five years beyond the inital November 2025 time period.

The F-15 was first put into service as a tactical fighter plane in 1978, and is in use by the air forces of the United States, Japan, Israel, Singapore and Qatar.

The newest aircraft of the Royal Saudi Air Force are the F-15SA variant, which come with wing-mounted weapons-carrying packages allowing the plane to carry and launch a wider array of new weapons configurations.

The Advanced Missile and Bomb Ejection Racks, or AMBER, allow the plane to carry up to 22 AIM-120 missiles, nearly double the capability of previous F-15s.

The F-15QA variant to be used by the Qatar Emiri Air Force, regarded as the most advanced current version of the plane, is based on the Saudi design.

Earlier this week, the Pentagon awarded two contracts totaling $734.8 million for infrastructure and equipment for the QEAF.

The larger of the two deals is a $657.2 million contract for parts and training for Qatar's F-15 program, beginning with the arrival of the first F-15QAs in 2021.