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News | May 20, 2020

Overseas, on-the-clock, Saudi team passes conversion SA

By Matthew Montgomery, DCMA Public Affairs

Royal Saudi Air Force pilots left the international airport here and successfully completed the final functional check flight, or FCF, of the first converted F-15SA fighter Feb. 2.

It marked the first in-country F-15S to SA conversion from an existing RSAF F-15S Eagle under a Defense Contract Management Agency effort that began in 2017 with a request for proposal. The contract began in late 2018 with a schedule to induct one aircraft every month. 

“Engineering, quality and contracts team members worked diligently alongside the program management office and contractor at the facility here in Riyadh to aid in this first converted F-15S getting safely to FCF,” said Air Force Col. Dale Skinner, DCMA Middle East commander.  “Both engineers and quality assurance representatives worked multiple shifts and were on call all hours, every day to support the efforts in achieving this monumental goal. I’m very proud of the team and their accomplishment.”

According to the Air Force, the upgraded aircraft is the most advanced variant of the F-15 Eagle and features a host of modern improvements that include new and improved wings and fuselage, improved weapon systems, upgraded avionics, digital electronics and warning systems, an infrared search-and-track system, improved radar and fly-by–wire controls.

The products and services being attained with the in-country conversion program are vital features of the overall RSAF F-15 fleet modernization program, Skinner said. This successful FCF is a significant achievement for the local contractor, Saudi Arabia, the DCMA-Middle East team and the program overall.

The overall effort consists of two unique contracts for the conversion. One contract provides conversion support: spares, repair and return maintenance, support equipment, standard technical orders, aircraft integration, training, and other support activities. The other is the actual conversion of the aircraft.

The goal is to complete 66 F-15S to SA conversions. DCMA Middle East provides the contract administration services, which includes system, product and process-level surveillance. The program support team — engineering, quality assurance, earned value, contracting, property, and aviation — provides risk identification and assessment. Government oversight at the contractor facility includes quality management system audits, safety-of-flight inspection, non-conformance dispositions, and all programmatic level activities.