Barnes Gets its First AESA-equipped F-15

The Massachusetts Air National Guard’s 104th Fighter Wing at Barnes ANG Base accepted its first F-15 equipped with an active electronically scanned array radar. Wing spokesman Maj. Matthew Mutti confirmed to the Daily Report on Monday that the upgraded F-15 arrived at Barnes on March 21. “This is our first of six AESA-equipped aircraft that we will leverage to better protect the Northeast airspace,” said Col. James Keefe, 104th FW commander, in a base release. “This is the right aircraft for the alert mission, and we are very excited about the opportunity to utilize this new enhanced capability,” added Keefe. The wing is expected to have all six of its AESA-equipped F-15s in place sometime next year, according to the release. The Air Force is replacing the APG-63(V)0 mechanically scanned radar on most of its F-15C/D aircraft with Raytheon’s APG-63(V)3 AESA system. The Florida Air Guard’s 125th FW in Jacksonville was the first F-15 unit to receive the upgrade, which offers significant performance improvements and reliability enhancements. The Air Force’s F-15Es are also getting AESAs under a separate modernization initiative.