WASHINGTON — BAE Systems secured a $58 million contract to begin low-rate initial production of an electronic warfare system for F-15s to protect pilots from advanced threats coming over the electromagnetic spectrum, the company announced Tuesday.
The award for the Eagle Passive Active Warning and Survivability System, or EPAWSS, for the legacy fighters came through Boeing for the U.S. Air Force.
With advances in enemy sensing, radar and interference tools, U.S. planes must be able to better protect themselves and jam potential threats.
The system allows pilots to monitor, jam and deceive threats in contested airspace, BAE said. It combines multispectral sensors and countermeasures, signal processing, microelectronics and algorithms to deliver radar warning, situational awareness, geolocation and self-protection capabilities.
“It really changes the game for the F-15,” Bridget McDermott, program director for the system at BAE, said in an interview. “EPAWSS is what ensures that F-15 pilots can fly into highly contested air space, complete their mission and return home safely.”
Lt. Col. Dan Carroll, F-15 EPAWSS program manager said, the project took years of work by the industry partners. “EPAWSS will significantly improve the survivability and utility of the F-15, and will be a great complement to what is already a very capable and lethal aircraft.”
The Air Force will outfit F-15 Es and EXs with the system.
“I think that the Air Force is going to be fielding one of the most advanced EW systems to support air power, not just today, but into the future … which is pretty impressive for an air craft that first flew in the early 1970s,” said Jerry Wohletz, vice president and general manager of electronic combat solutions at BAE.