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Boeing / McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle Multirole Aircraft (1976)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 3/14/2015

With service entry in the mid-1970s, the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle went on to become a classic American fighter aircraft sporting an excellent combat record.

For a time, the McDonnell Douglas (now under Boeing) F-15 Eagle series was the pinnacle of American air superiority, incorporating advanced technologies and forward-thinking design that evolved into a highly maneuverable and performance-enhanced multi-role fighter platform. The F-15 was designed to succeed the highly-respect, but ultimately aged, McDonnell F-4 Phantom II series from the Vietnam War years and would go on to achieve an excellent kill-to-loss record - at one time totaling 100 combat kills to no losses.

The F-15 (in its air superiority/interceptor form) entered service with the United States Air Force in 1976 and was quick to position itself as the best fighter platform in the world - capable of engaging any enemy aircraft at range. The prototype was designated the YF-15A with the first production models taking on the F-15A designation. This was followed by the two-seat F-15B (initially the TF-15A) two-seat variant. The F-15C was another single-seat model introducing the F100-P-220 series engines. The F-15D was of similar scope though a two-seat version. The aircraft first saw combat actions in Israeli hands when Israeli F-15's shot down Soviet-produced Syrian Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 "Fishbed" fighters in a much publicized confrontation. Since then, the series has been introduced in a variety of limited "flavors" including a two-seat trainer conversion model, a strike platform and the improved "Strike Eagle" two-seat attack variant.

The base interceptor F-15 Eagle provides the pilot with a modern approach to air combat complete with digital avionics and engine systems as well as cockpit management through multi-function displays (MFDs) and a detailed Heads-Up Display (HUD) unit. This provides the pilot with the ability to fly the aircraft without taking his view from the action ahead and outside. The powerful afterburning Pratt & Whitney afterburning turbofan engines can propel the F-15 to speeds upwards of 1,600 miles per hour.

The newer F-15E "Strike Eagle" variant provides much improved avionics capabilities and incorporates a second rear-seated crew member to assist in the redefined strike role. The system, retaining all of its dogfighting pedigree, is now made more potent with the addition of air-to-ground capabilities through the fielding of precision-guided munitions and missiles. Strike Eagle models entered service in 1988 and continue to play a vital role in USAF air combat activities around the globe.

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Specifications for the
Boeing / McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle
Multirole Aircraft

Focus Model: Boeing / McDonnell Douglas F-15A Eagle
Country of Origin: United States
Manufacturer: McDonnell Douglas / Boeing - USA / Mitsubishi - Japan
Initial Year of Service: 1976
Production Total: 1,500

Crew: 1 or 2

Length: 63.78 ft (19.44 m)
Width: 42.78 ft (13.04 m)
Height: 18.50ft (5.64 m)
Weight (Empty): 27,000 lb (12,247 kg)
Weight (MTOW): 56,002 lb (25,402 kg)

Powerplant: 2 x Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-100 turbofan engines with afterburn developing 25,000lbs of thrust.

Maximum Speed: 1,650 mph (2,655 kmh; 1,434 kts)
Maximum Range: 600 miles (966 km)
Service Ceiling: 62,992 ft (19,200 m; 11.9 miles)
Rate-of-Climb: 50,000 feet-per-minute (15,240 m/min)

Hardpoints: 7
Armament Suite:
1 x M61A1 20mm internal rotary cannon

Mission-specific ordnance can include any of the following:

4 x AIM-7 Sparrow air-to-air missiles
2 x AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles
2 x AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles
GBU-10 Laser-Guided Bombs
GBU-12 Laser-Guided Bombs
GBU-24 Laser-Guided Bombs
GBU-15 Electro-Optically Guided Bombs
AGM-130 Powered Bombs
JSOW Conventional Bombs
Cluster Munitions
B51 Nuclear Bombs
B61 Nuclear Bombs
AGM-88 HARM anti-radiation missiles
AGM-65 Maverick air-to-surface missiles

Up to 16,000 lbs of various ordnance.

YF-15A - Prototype Model Designation

F-15A - Single-Seat Variant

F-15B - Dual-Seat Variant; initially designated as the TF-15A.

F-15C - Single seat model fitted with F100-P-220 23,450lb engines; updated systems throughout; improved APG-70 radar system.

F-15D - Two-seat model fitted with F100-P-220 23,450lb engines; updated systems throughout; improved AGP-70 radar system.

F-15E "Strike Eagle" - Strengthened airframe; improved advanced air-to-air capabilities; improved ground attack capabilities.

TF-15A - Initial Designation for the twin-seat F-15B model.

F-15J - License-produced Japanese single-seat model based on the F-15C.

F-15DJ - License-produced Japanese two-seat model based on the F-15D.

F-15I "Ra'am" (Thunder) - Israeli Export Model produced in the United States.

Israel; Japan; Saudi Arabia; United States