F-15 Eagle is an all-weather, extremely maneuverable, tactical fighter designed
to gain and maintain air superiority in aerial combat.
Eagle's air superiority is achieved through a mixture of unprecedented maneuverability
and acceleration, range, weapons and avionics. It can penetrate enemy defense
and outperform and outfight any current or projected enemy aircraft. The F-15
has electronic systems and weaponry to detect, acquire, track and attack enemy
aircraft while operating in friendly or enemy-controlled airspace. Its weapons
and flight control systems are designed so one person can safely and effectively
perform air-to-air combat.
The F-15's superior maneuverability and acceleration
are achieved through high engine thrust-to-weight ratio and low wing loading.
Low wing-loading (the ratio of aircraft weight to its wing area) is a vital factor
in maneuverability and, combined with the high thrust-to-weight ratio, enables
the aircraft to turn tightly without losing airspeed.
A multimission avionics
system sets the F-15 apart from other fighter aircraft. It includes a head-up
display, advanced radar, inertial navigation system, flight instruments, UHF communications,
tactical navigation system and instrument landing system. It also has an internally
mounted, tactical electronic-warfare system, "identification friend or foe"
system, electronic countermeasures set and a central digital computer.
an on-going multistage improvement program the F-15 is receiving extensive upgrade
involving the installation or modification of new and existing avionics equipment
to enhance the tactical capabilities of the F-15.
The head-up display projects
on the windscreen all essential flight information gathered by the integrated
avionics system. This display, visible in any light condition, provides the pilot
information necessary to track and destroy an enemy aircraft without having to
look down at cockpit instruments.
The F-15's versatile pulse-Doppler radar
system can look up at high-flying targets and down at low-flying targets without
being confused by ground clutter. It can detect and track aircraft and small high-speed
targets at distances beyond visual range down to close range, and at altitudes
down to tree-top level. The radar feeds target information into the central computer
for effective weapons delivery. For close-in dog fights, the radar automatically
acquires enemy aircraft, and this information is projected on the head-up display.
inertial navigation system enables the Eagle to navigate anywhere in the world.
It gives aircraft position at all times as well as pitch, roll, heading, acceleration
and speed information.
The F-15's electronic warfare system provides both
threat warning and automatic countermeasures against selected threats. The "identification
friend or foe" system informs the pilot if an aircraft seen visually or on
radar is friendly. It also informs U.S. or allied ground stations and other suitably
equipped aircraft that the F-15 is a friendly aircraft.
A variety of air-to-air
weaponry can be carried by the F-15. An automated weapon system enables the pilot
to perform aerial combat safely and effectively, using the head-up display and
the avionics and weapons controls located on the engine throttles or control stick.
When the pilot changes from one weapon system to another, visual guidance for
the required weapon automatically appears on the head-up display.
can be armed with combinations of four different air-to-air weapons: AIM-7F/M
Sparrow missiles or AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles on its lower
fuselage corners, AIM-9L/M Sidewinder or AIM-120 missiles on two pylons under
the wings, and an internal 20mm Gatling gun (with 940 rounds of ammunition) in
the right wing root.
Low-drag, conformal fuel tanks were especially developed
for the F-15C and D models. Conformal fuel tanks can be attached to the sides
of the engine air intake trunks under each wing and are designed to the same load
factors and airspeed limits as the basic aircraft. Each conformal fuel tank contains
about 114 cubic feet of usable space. These tanks reduce the need for in-flight
refueling on global missions and increase time in the combat area. All external
stations for munitions remain available with the tanks in use. AIM-7F/M Sparrow
and AIM-120 missiles, moreover, can be attached to the corners of the conformal
The first F-15A flight was made in July
1972, and the first flight of the two-seat F-15B (formerly TF-15A) trainer was
made in July 1973. The first Eagle (F-15B) was delivered in November 1974 to the
58th Tactical Training Wing, Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., where pilot training
was accomplished in both F-15A and B aircraft. In January 1976, the first Eagle
destined for a combat squadron was delivered to the 1st Tactical Fighter Wing
at Langley Air Force Base, Va.
Other units equipped with F-15s include the
36th Fighter Wing, Bitburg Air Base, Germany; 325th Fighter Wing at Tyndall Air
Force Base, Fla.; 33d Fighter Wing, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.; 32d Fighter Squadron,
Soesterberg AB, Netherlands; and the 3d Fighter Wing, Elmendorf Air Force Base,
Alaska. In January 1982, the 48th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron at Langley Air
Force Base became the first Air Force air defense squadron to transition to the
The single-seat F-15C and two-seat F-15D models entered the Air Force
inventory beginning in 1979. Kadena Air Base, Japan, received the first F-15C
in September 1979. These new models have Production Eagle Package (PEP 2000) improvements,
including 2,000 pounds (900 kilograms) of additional internal fuel, provision
for carrying exterior conformal fuel tanks and increased maximum takeoff weight
of up to 68,000 pounds (30,600 kilograms).
F-15C's, D's and E's were deployed
to the Persian Gulf in 1991 in support of Operation Desert Storm where they proved
their superior combat capability with a confirmed 26:0 kill ratio.
Primary Function: Tactical fighter.
McDonnell Douglas Corp.
Power Plant: Two Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-100
turbofan engines with afterburners.
Thrust: (C/D models) 25,000 pounds each
engine (11,250 kilograms).
Length: 63 feet, 9 inches (19.43 meters).
18 feet, 8 inches (5.69 meters).
Wingspan: 42 feet, 10 inches (13.06 meters)
1,875 mph (Mach 2.5-plus at sea level).
Ceiling: 65,000 feet (19,697 meters).
Takeoff Weight: (C/D models) 68,000 pounds (30,600 kilograms).
miles (3,000 nautical miles) ferry range with conformal fueltanks and three external
Armament: One M-61A1 20mm multibarrel gun mounted internally
with 940 rounds of ammunition; four AIM-9L/M Sidewinder and four AIM-7F/M Sparrow
missiles, or a combination of AIM-9L/M, AIM-7-F/M and AIM-120 missiles.
F-15A/C: one. F-15B/D: two.
Unit cost: $15 million.
Inventory: Active force, 403; ANG, 126; Reserve, 0.
Air Combat Command; Public Affairs Office; 115 Thompson St.,
Ste 211; Langley Air Force Base, VA 23665-1987; DSN 574-5007 or (804) 764-5007.