Defense IT

Air Force F-15 gets new super high-speed computer

The Air Force is now equipping its fleet of F-15 fighter jets with a new, super high-speed computer intended to improve the aircraft’s electronic warfare ability, targeting technology and radar systems, service leaders said.

Said to be among the fastest jet computer processor in the world, the Advanced Display Core Processor (ADCPII) is engineered to quickly handle software upgrades as new threats emerge so that it can accommodate an ability to fire new weapons -- such as the AIM-9X or AIM-120 missile.

“If I do not put in the new computer with its throughput and processing power, there are certain apps I cannot run to grow and evolve it for the future,” said Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch, Jr. Military Deputy, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition.

Boeing engineers have said the new computer is able to process 87 billion instructions per second to provide faster mission processing for F-15 aircrews.

The ADCPII is of particular relevance to a number of F-15 systems, such as the Eagle Passive/Active Warning Survivability System (EPAWSS) advanced electronic warfare pod and Infrared Search and Track (IRST) targeting technology.

EPAWSS replaces the 1980s-era Tactical Electronic Warfare Suite used when the F-15 first deployed.

IRST, an infrared air-to-air targeting system intended to operate in high-threat electronic warfare environments, is more effective with the installation of ADCPII.

The new computer will also help facilitate emerging F-15 “fly-by-wire” automated flight control systems.

Fly-by-wire means a pilot provides input straight to a computer, which then determines how to have the aircraft perform. A computer provides electrical signals more quickly and more safely, enabling an aircraft to move from point to point as opposed to flying with mechanical controls, Boeing officials said.

Bunch explained that the new computer will also expedite service plans to move all F-15 C,D and E variants to a common software architecture.

“The F-15 is going to a common software load to save time and money, so we don’t have to rebuild two different software lines,” he said.

About the Author

Kris Osborn is a former editor of Defense Systems.

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