The U.S. Air Force plans to install computer upgrades–Honeywell [HON] Advanced Display Core Processor IIs (ADCP IIs)–for 101 Boeing [BA] F-15Cs and 218 F-15E Strike Eagles, according to the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.

House and Senate appropriators in their committee-approved versions of the fiscal 2023 defense appropriations bill provide more than $194 million for upgrades to F-15s, including $37 million for ADCP II, which is also the central nervous system of the new F-15EX (Defense Daily, Nov. 17).

In fiscal 2022, the Air Force requested more than $234 million for F-15 upgrades, but congressional appropriators provided about $179 million–a $55 million cut. Lawmakers said that $28 million of the decrease was due to ADCP II contract delays and $15 million to the F-15E digital color displays (DCDs) being “ahead of need.”

The Air Force approved ADCP II for full-rate production in the second quarter of fiscal 2021 and awarded Boeing a full-rate production contract of more than $59 million on Apr. 1 this year.

“The full rate production contract award was delayed more than a year due to longer than expected pre-contract award activities (proposal build through negotiations to award),” AFLCMC said in a Dec. 8 email. “Each F-15EX aircraft will also receive an ADCP II mission processor installed during the aircraft production line; with those ADCP II processors included as part of the F-15EX production lot aircraft contracts.”

AFLCMC has apparently decided not to pursue the Elbit USA Advanced Crew Station (ACS) for the F-15E.

The $15 million congressional cut for the DCDs in fiscal 2022 “was originally provided for the F-15E Advanced Crew Station (ACS) effort,” AFLCMC said. “In 2021, the program strategy shifted from integrating the ACS into the F-15E, to developing high-definition, digital versions of the current displays.  As a result of this strategy change and the resulting development timelines, the $15 million of fiscal year 2022 funding provided for system procurement was identified as being early-to-need by the program, and removed by Congress.”

Some in Congress have criticized the Air Force’s plan to divest its F-15C and D fleets by 2026 and to trim the service’s F-15EX buy from 144 to 80 (Defense Daily, Apr. 27).

In fiscal 2020, the Air Force said that many F-15Cs and Ds “are beyond their service life and have SERIOUS structures risks, wire chafing issues, and obsolete parts” and that “readiness goals [for the aircraft] are unachievable due to continuous structural inspections, time consuming repairs, and on-going modernization efforts.”

“The average F-15C/D is 35 years old with over 8,300 flight hours; the oldest F-15C was delivered in 1979,” the Air Force said then.