Advanced Electronic Warfare System for F-15 Fighters Completes Key Testing Phase

An advanced electronic warfare system for the Air Force’s F-15 fighters successfully completed a key operational testing phase, according to the company that makes it.

The Air Force recently finished the initial operational test and evaluation phase for the Eagle Passive Active Warning Survivability System, or EPAWSS, BAE Systems said Tuesday. BAE builds EPAWSS, which provides electronic warfare capabilities for the F-15E Strike Eagle and F-15EX Eagle II fighters.

EPAWSS is a more advanced electronic warfare system than F-15s have had in the past, and BAE says it will allow fighters to monitor, jam and deceive threats in highly contested environments. It provides radar warning, geolocation, situational awareness and self-defense capabilities, allowing a fighter to maneuver more deeply and freely in enemy territory and counter air defense systems.

The advanced EW system was initially only a central component of the F-15EX. But the Air Force, F-15 manufacturer Boeing and BAE are now expanding it into dozens of F-15Es, following Boeing’s award of a $293 million contract to BAE in September 2022.

“EPAWSS is a leap in technology, improving the lethality and combat capabilities of the F-15E and F-15EX in contested, degraded environments against advanced threats,” Maj. Bryant Baum, the system’s test director at the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center, said in the statement. “EPAWSS has set the baseline for EW within the fighter community.”

BAE said it’s working to help improve EPAWSS, including by using artificial intelligence in an approach known as cognitive electronic warfare.

EPAWSS’ cognitive EW capabilities were tested last May in the Air Force’s Northern Edge 2023 exercise in Alaska. During that exercise, two F-15EXs took part in 70 sorties that tested how quickly EPAWSS’s cognitive EW capabilities can react to electromagnetic threats it had not previously encountered in a busy, unpredictable environment.

BAE said it updated the EPAWSS mission software during the exercise, which improved the jets’ ability to jam other aircraft and showed how quickly its programming can adapt to a

“Our close collaboration with the U.S. Air Force allows us to mature EPAWSS cognitive processing capabilities,” BAE program director Chip Mosle said in the statement. “By incrementally testing and fielding cognitive EW solutions to proven systems such as EPAWSS, we are enabling tactical spectrum overmatch against advanced threats that are unpredictable, evolving and adaptable.”