Collins Aerospace is looking at upgrading the F-15 and F-16 aircraft in the Middle East with its next generation ACES 5 ejection seats.
image: Collins Aerospace
“There are a lot of F-16s and F-15s flying in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Israel and the United Arab Emirates. We continues to leverage innovative technologies to keep aircrew safe, reduce maintenance costs, and improve operational performance, as the new ACES5 has a lot more survivability at 450 knots,” a senior official at Collins Aerospace said on the sidelines of the ongoing IDEX 2021 in Abu Dhabi. Reports Jay Menon.
The ACES 5 features enhanced head, neck, arm and leg flail prevention, in addition to a load-compensating catapult based on the occupant’s weight. It reduces overall ejection-related major injuries to less than 5 percent and ejection-related spinal injuries to less than 1 percent. Moreover to reduce maintenance cost and timing, the entire seat can be removed from the cockpit without canopy removal, thereby increasing aircraft availability.
According to estimates, the Middle East has about 6,000 ACES II seats in operation.
“Our goal is to provide the best-performing ejection seat exceeding the most stringent safety requirements in the world today. The ACES 5 is in a class of its own and we couldn’t be more excited to begin fielding it while continuing the proud legacy of the ACES Family of Systems,” he said.
The U.S. Airforce recently awarded a US$700 million contract for the delta qualification, production and fielding of the next generation ejection seat for various fighter aircraft. Work is in progress and is expected to be completed Oct. 22, 2030. The first delivery order focuses on outfitting the USAF fleet of Boeing F-15s with the ACES 5 ejection seat.
Most recently, the seat was selected for the U.S. Air Force’s T-7A Red Hawk trainer.