I got some shots of the Talon Hate jet on a previous visit and posted about it here. On this trip to Nellis, not only was it very active but it managed to come our way whenever it flew. Whether it was views of it flexing on departure or tight approaches to bring it passed us on the speedway, it all seemed to work out well. I love the F-15 anyway but getting this special one was a lot of fun. I’m sure the wingman in the F-15D knows that the single-seater is the one we are looking at but they certainly made a good effort to be in position for us to get some good shots of them too. Here are a few of the two of them including a very nice two-ship run in and break.
Talon Hate is a program that the Air Force is running involving an infrared sensor mounted in the front of a centerline fuel tank. It is mounted on an F-15 from the operational test unit at Nellis AFB. The first time I saw it, I was walking along the flight line at Nellis. We were shooting with the California ANG unit that was the next space along the line. As we walked past the Talon Hate jet, we were under strict instructions not to photograph it. I was right there but nothing I could do.
During my visit to Red Flag 16-4, the Talon Hate jet flew a couple of times. It flew with a second F-15 each time and sometimes with other jets. The pod is clearly visible on the jet but the other modifications are less conspicuous. There is a satellite communications antenna mounted on the back on the jet. When it turns for final, you can see the antenna mount. I don’t know what the outcome of the program will be but it is cool to see the venerable F-15 still trying out new stuff.