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Boeing (McDonnell Douglas) F-15 Eagle

United States (1976)
Picture of Boeing (McDonnell Douglas) F-15 Eagle Multirole / Air Superiority Fighter Aircraft
Picture of Boeing (McDonnell Douglas) F-15 Eagle Multirole / Air Superiority Fighter Aircraft Picture of Boeing (McDonnell Douglas) F-15 Eagle Multirole / Air Superiority Fighter Aircraft
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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.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Boeing (McDonnell Douglas) F-15 Eagle Multirole / Air Superiority Fighter Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 5/23/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

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.

Standard armament for the F-15 includes a 20mm M61A1 Gatling-style internal cannon for close-in combat. This is offset at longer ranges by the AIM-9 "Sidewinder", AIM-7 "Sparrow", and AIM-120 "AMRAAM" air-to-air missiles. For the ground attack role, the F-15 utilizes the family of GBU laser-guided/electro-optically guided bombs, JDAMs, cluster bombs, HARM anti-radiation missiles, the venerable AGM-65 "Maverick" air-to-surface missile, and conventional drop bombs. Due to its origins in the Cold War, the F-15 was also designed to carry and release the B51 and B61 series of nuclear bombs if required.

Because of strict American regulation of exports, few international customers are actually allowed to purchase the F-15 Eagle. The few that have include Israel, Japan and Saudi Arabia. Israeli F-15's are designated as the F-15I "Ra'am" (or "Thunder") and were delivered from 1998 onwards, drastically broadening the capabilities of the Israeli Air Force (IAF). For Japan, the F-15 serves in its Self-Defense Force (SDF) under the designation of F-15J (single-seat) and F-15DJ (twin-seat) and are locally-produced under license. Saudi Arabia is one of the largest foreign operators of the mount with at least 70 in operation as of this writing (2012) and a further 84 having been announced in a US DoD release on March 8th, 2012. The official US DoD announcement is as follows:


Picture of the Boeing (McDonnell Douglas) F-15 Eagle Multirole / Air Superiority Fighter Aircraft
Picture of the Boeing (McDonnell Douglas) F-15 Eagle Multirole / Air Superiority Fighter Aircraft


"The Boeing Co., Mo., is being awarded an $11,399,100,000 firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee, time-and-materials contract to fulfill the Foreign Military Sales requirement of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to procure 84 new F-15 Saudi advanced aircraft with systems and munitions. This particular undefinitized contract action covers development efforts for the new aircraft and retrofit as well as procurement of the 84 new production aircraft. The locations of the performance are El Segundo, Calif., Ocala, Fla., and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Work is expected to be completed October 2020. ASC/WWQ, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8634-12-C-2651)."

With the arrival of the Lockheed F-22 "Raptor" next generation aircraft, the end of the road is in sight for the F-15 Eagle, bringing a close one of the most combat-capable aircraft ever designed. Until the inevitable occurs, the F-15 will undoubtedly continue to serve in a frontline role for some time to come.

In March of 2015 it was reported that, due to the slow introduction of the highly-touted Lockheed F-35 Lightning II and limited availability of Lockheed F-22 Raptors, an existing fleet of 413 USAF F-15 Eagles (C- and E-models) will see a modernization program through Boeing that will keep the 1970s-era F-15 series airworthy/combat-worthy until 2040. Key to the upgrade will be introduction of the Eagle Passive/Active Warning and Survivability System (EPAWSS) that includes a digital Radar Warning Receiver (RWR), fiber-optic towed decoy system, and a new chaff/flare dispenser unit.

October 2015 - After its failure to sell Israel, South Korea and the USAF on its F-15SE "Silent Eagle" stealth upgrade (detailed elsewhere on this site), Boeing is no pushing a new F-15 upgrade plan for aging F-15C air superiority fighters - the "F-15 2040C". 2040C is a less ambitious take on the Silent Eagle initiative which intended to bring about inherent stealth features to the F-15 line. The new plan involves bringing about some of the Silent Eagle qualities but, more importantly, increasing the missile-carrying load and utilizing Conformal Fuel Tanks (CFTs). Images depict an F-15C with a full sixteen missile load as hardpoints will be strengthened and doubled to carry multiple missiles. As its designation suggests, the 2040C upgrade is intended to keep the F-15C a viable instrument of war into 2040 or longer.

The USAF currently (2015) operates some 213 F-15C air superiority models.

September 2016 - A $12 billion program has been announced to keep USAF Eagles viable until at least 2040. The upgrades will include new radar fits, support for up to sixteen AAMs and modern communications. Increased capabilities with search-and-track, engagement and lethality are hoped for the new bird - which now must fill the void left by the reduced purchase of F-22 Raptor 5th Generation Fighters. Introduced in 1976, the F-15, if flown into 2040, will have completed a service life spanning nearly 65 years.

January 2017 - The Saudi Air Force has received its first F-15SA (a version of the F-15E "Strike Eagle") of the 84 aircraft planned for service.

March 2017 - The United States Air Force is contemplating retirement of its C-/D-model air superiority Eagles - currently operated by its Air National Guard (ANG) branch.

January 2018 - Qatar has closed on a deal for 36 Boeing F-15QA model fighters with deliveries expected to be completed before 2023.

May 2018 - Israel has offered to purchase additional F-15 aircraft from Boeing under the stipulation that its existing 18+ years-old F-15I fleet be upgraded as well. Modernization would include an upgraded cockpit with large-area display and a general extension to the service life of the aircraft. The deal is estimated at $4 billion USD.




General Assessment (BETA)
Firepower  
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Performance  
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Survivability  
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Versatility  
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Impact  
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Rating: 96 (of 100)
The rating is an internal assessment derived from forty factors pertaining to this entry.
Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 1900mph
Lo: 950mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (1,875mph).

    Graph average of 1425 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
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  MOS
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  NYC
Graph showcases the Boeing F-15A Eagle's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
1500
1500


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
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Origin: United States
Year: 1976
Type: Multirole / Air Superiority Fighter Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): McDonnell Douglas / Boeing - USA / Mitsubishi - Japan
Production: 1,500
Status: Active, In-Service
Global Operators:
Israel; Japan; Qatar; Saudi Arabia; Singapore; South Korea; United States
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Boeing F-15A Eagle model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
1 or 2


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
63.78 ft


Meters
19.44 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
42.78 ft


Meters
13.04 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
18.50 ft


Meters
5.64 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
27,000 lb


Kilograms
12,247 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
56,002 lb


Kilograms
25,402 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
2 x Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-100 turbofan engines with afterburn developing 25,000 lb of thrust.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
1,875 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
3,017 kph


Knots
1,629 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
2,402 mi


Kilometers
3,865 km


Nautical Miles
2,087 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
65,010 ft


Meters
19,815 m


Miles
12.31 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
50,000 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
15,240 m/min

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an air-to-air missile weapon
Graphical image of a short-range air-to-air missile
Graphical image of a medium-range air-to-air missile
Graphical image of an aircraft Gatling-style rotating gun
Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon
Graphical image of an aircraft air-to-surface missile
Graphical image of an aircraft anti-radar/anti-radiation missile
Graphical image of an air launched nuclear weapon
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition
Graphical image of an aircraft guided bomb munition
Armament - Hardpoints (7):

STANDARD:
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
GBU-31 JDAM
GBU-32 JDAM
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.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• F-15 "Eagle" - Base Series Designation
• YF-15A - Prototype Model
• F-15A - Single-Seat All-Weather Air Superiority Variant; 384 examples.
• F-15B (TF-15A) - Dual-Seat Training Variant; 61 examples.
• F-15C - Single-seat all-weather air superiority model (improved) fitted with F100-P-220 23,450 lb thrust engines; updated systems throughout; improved APG-70 radar system; 483 examples.
• F-15D - Two-seat training model fitted with F100-P-220 23,450lb engines; updated systems throughout; improved AGP-70 radar system; 92 examples.
• F-15E "Strike Eagle" - Ground attack variant; strengthened airframe; retaining air-to-air capabilities.
• F-15SA - Modern Saudi Air Force variant of the F-15E Strike Eagle; 84 aircraft planned for adoption.
• TF-15A - Initial Designation for the twin-seat F-15B model.
• F-15J - License-produced Japanese single-seat model based on the F-15C; 141 examples (2 built in Missouri).
• F-15DJ - License-produced Japanese two-seat model based on the F-15D; 37 examples (12 from Missouri).
• F-15I "Ra'am" (Thunder) - Israeli Export Model produced in the United States.
• F-15K "Slam Eagle" - F-15 model for South Korean Air Force.
• F-15SG - F-15 models for Singapore Air Force
• F-15N "Sea Eagle" - Navalized variant proposed to USN as competitor to Grumman F-14 Tomcat fleet defender.
• F-15N-PHX - Navalized variant proposed to USN with AIM-54 "Phoenix" AAM support to challenge Grumman F-14.
• F-15QA - Qatari Air Force export models.