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News > OFP CTF awarded for new F-15E software test program
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Steve Coleman, F-15E crew chief, completes last minute checks underneath the plane prior to it taxiing out from Eglin Air Force Base’s flightline, Jan. 18. The Strike Eagle flew the first ever sortie with the new APG-82 radar. The new radar replaces the 24-year-old APG-70 radar system. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)
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OFP CTF awarded for new F-15E software test program

Posted 1/4/2013   Updated 1/4/2013 Email story   Print story


by Minty Knighton
Team Eglin Public Affairs

1/4/2013 - EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The Operational Flight Program Combined Test Force was recently recognized with the nationally prestigious Ferguson Award for Engineering.

OFP CTF was given the award for developing F-15 aircraft modernization system, Suite 7E.

"The F-15 is still one of the premier aircraft systems the Air Force has," said Maj. Craig Franke, F-15E section chief. "These new enhanced features will be better for the warfighter."

Suite 7E included software for the newly developed F-15 missile capability, the AIM 120D. The system has been approved by Air Combat Command to be operational on all 219 F-15s nationwide.

The F-15 OFP CTF at Eglin AFB is part of the 53rd Test Management Group and 46th Operations Group and is responsible for testing F-15 software upgrades to enhance air-to-air and air-to-ground combat.

"I knew about this award for several years and I had this team in mind," said Lt. Col. Rich Sumner, OFP CTF commander. "They had just finished up the project and I knew it was a great achievement that should be recognized."

Franke said that it wasn't just about getting the capability up and running, but it was also about teamwork.

"Our Suite 7E project, worked mainly with upgrading software capability," said Franke. "But a big portion was partnering with prior suite and sub-system teams, who were on different development paths to determine common test objectives and capabilities to make it a success."

It was a first for the integrated team, who all took pride in contributing to sustaining the F-15 for years to come.

"This award justifies how we've taken Suite 7E from inception to development, to operation and fielding on to the warfighter.

With the continued development of the F-22 and F-35, the plan is for the F-15 to be around for a while.

"We're upgrading to sustain the platform for decades 2025," said Franke. "We will continue the synergy with our team and partners for future projects."

The Lt. Gen. Thomas R. Ferguson, Jr. Award for System Engineering Excellence was established by the National Defense Industrial Association and is given to an individual or group embodying the highest ideals in defense systems development and deployment.

OFP CTF is the first organization from Eglin to win the award since its inception in 2003.

"I'm proud of the team," said Sumner. "I know how proud they were and how hard they worked. I'm just happy they got recognized.

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