The first two conformal fuel tanks bound for Air National Guard (ANG) flight testing at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans were inspected at Boeing’s final aircraft delivery center in St. Louis earlier this month.
The tanks are part of a multimillion USD contract awarded this year for initial integration, testing and support of the fuel tanks on ANG F-15 aircraft. Accelerated delivery of these tanks will give the ANG an ability to evaluate the tanks in increasing mission ranges and durations. The tanks will also reduce the ANG fleet reliance on tanker refueling support support.
The early delivery - up to 10 months ahead of schedule – will permit flight testing as soon as in the new year – also well ahead of the programmed schedule. Conformal fuel tanks are additional fuel tanks which fit closely to the profile of an aircraft and extend either the range or "time on station" of the aircraft.