The new radar warning and electronic warfare suite for the U.S. Air Force’s F-15E Strike Eagle was recently put to the test on November 17, 2020, according to a press release by the Nellis Air Force Base. And the pictures that came out of the event are nothing short of breathtaking.
“Large Force Test Events (LFTEs) are essential to how we test and develop the most advanced tactics in the Air Force, and LFTE 20.03 was no exception,” said Maj. Theodore Ellis, 53rd Wing Weapons Officer, and LFTE director.
LFTE 20.03 integrated ten weapons systems from the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy to test four Tactics Improvement Proposals and several high priority tests.
"In summary, the 53rd Wing designed this LFTE to validate tactics in a contested environment, further refine electronic attack tactics using updated capabilities, and optimize large force interoperability between 4th and 5th gen fighters with standoff electronic attack platforms belonging to the USAF and USN,” said Ellis.
Ellis also added that the LFTE gives the force an opportunity to investigate the best methods to mitigate risk to CSAR forces in order to ensure how far they can reach to retrieve downed aircrew without causing more losses.
The large force test event saw several Tactics Improvement Proposals undertaken such as 5th generation suppression of enemy air defenses, Combat Search and Rescue consequence management, F-15E Eagle Passive/Active Warning Survivability Systems, and more. The key here was to recreate fighting scenarios as realistically as possible.
“We owe it to the warfighter to test like we fight,” said Col Ryan Messer, commander, 53rd Wing. Messer also added that only realistic high threat density environments can provide the ideal environments to properly perform tests. LFTEs, therefore, are crucial stepping stone events to the force working out what the future of "testing like we fight looks like.”