|This article does not cite any references or sources. (November 2013)|
|USAF Capt Christopher Stricklin ejects from his F-16 with an ACES II ejection seat on 14 September 2003 during a Thunderbirds demonstration in Idaho. Stricklin was not injured.|
ACES II is an ejection seat system manufactured by the United Technologies Aerospace Systems (UTAS) division of the United Technologies Corporation (UTC). ACES is an acronym for Advanced Concept Ejection Seat. It is used in A-10, F-15, F-16, F-22, F-117A, B-1B, WB-57, and B-2 aircraft. Over 10,000 ACES II seats have been produced with over 5,000 actively flying throughout the world as of 2013. It is known throughout the industry as the lowest life cycle cost seat due to the USAF owning the rights to the seat, facilitating competitive replacement part procurement. In addition, the buying power of 5,000 in-service seats and previous service life extension programs have further driven down support costs.
The seat is considered third generation and includes advanced features. For example, it senses the conditions of the ejection and selects the appropriate drogue and main parachute deployments to minimize the forces on the occupant. The seat has been updated over the years to include digital sequencing, additional redundancy, and structural upgrading.
The A-10, F-15, F-117, B-1, and B-2 use connected firing handles that activate both the canopy jettison systems, and the seat ejection. Both handles accomplish the same task, so pulling either one suffices. The F-22, WB-57, and F-16 have only one handle located between the pilot's legs, due to cockpit space limitations.
The minimal ejection altitude for ACES II seat in inverted flight is about 140 feet (43 m) above ground level at 150 KIAS. The seat performance is in accordance with MIL-S-9479.