McDonnell Douglas F-15

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McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle
F-15E Strike Eagle banks away from a tanker.jpg
F-15E "Strike Eagle" of the US Air Force
Type: * Air superiority fighter
Design country:

United StatesUnited States United States

First flight:

July 27, 1972


November 14, 1974

Production time:

In series production since 1974

Number of pieces:

1,603 (as of July 2008)

The F-15 Eagle ( German  Adler ) is a twin- engine air superiority fighter from the US aircraft manufacturer McDonnell Douglas (part of Boeing since 1997 ). As the classification already implies, it was designed to establish and maintain air superiority in the event of a conflict. In this role, it almost completely replaced the F-4 Phantom II over time . The F-15 itself has since been replaced to a certain extent by the F-22 Raptor , which was built until 2011 .

A significant further development is the F-15E Strike Eagle , which is equipped with extensive air-to-ground armament. This turned a pure air superiority fighter into a modern multi- role fighter .

Development and history

The FX program

The history of the F-15 begins with the FX study (“Fighter Experimental”), which was initiated by the US Air Force in 1965 under the name “Qualitative Operational Requirement”. The aim of the study was to find a suitable successor for the F-4 Phantom II . In 1966, US aircraft manufacturers were asked to submit drafts for a "tactical support" aircraft. Initially, a machine for air-to-air and air-to-ground missions was required which, with a weight of over 27 t  , should reach Mach 2.7. A thrust-to-weight ratio of 0.75 was provided for this. A total of eight corporations submitted over 500 designs. Since the requirements could actually only be implemented with a swivel vane concept, practically all proposals went in this direction. After the technical problems with, among other things, the swivel blades on the F-111 from General Dynamics , which was then in flight testing , the Air Force initially did not want another machine with such a structural design. Therefore, she was not satisfied with any of the suggestions, which initially petered out the project.

In 1967, reports of the Soviet MiG-25 arrived in the west for the first time . The Western secret services misjudged the machine called Foxbat by NATO in terms of its performance. They initially believed that it was an air superiority fighter that was clearly superior to the F-4. It was assumed that this would have a high degree of maneuverability due to the relatively large elevator and rudder units. In fact, the MiG-25 was a pure high-speed interceptor that needed the large tail units for stabilization. On the other hand, the MiG-25 was completely unsuitable for cornering because the wing loading was far too high and the thrust-to-weight ratio was too low.

In a second request in February 1968, the Air Force changed the rough criteria. The new machine should primarily be used for the establishment and maintenance of air superiority, which is why, contrary to the first request, all air-to-ground capacities have now been dispensed with. The primary armament should correspond to that of the F-4 Phantom II: four AIM-7 Sparrow and four AIM-9 Sidewinder . In addition to long range (transfer flight to Europe without air refueling ) and high speed (Mach 2.5), good maneuverability was also required, as this had turned out to be a fatal weakness of the F-4 Phantom II in the Vietnam War . Due to the MiG-25, a maximum speed of Mach 3 was originally required, but this was not compatible with the planned dogfight capacities . The reason for this was that according to the "energy maneuverability" theory of Col. John Boyd, the wing loading had to be reduced in order to improve maneuverability. For this it was necessary to increase the wingspan, which meant that speeds of Mach 3 were no longer possible. Further requirements were: self-starting engines, on-board cannon, easy maintenance, a good field of vision for the pilot, a take-off weight of less than 18.15 tons and a thrust-to-weight ratio of at least 0.97.

Almost all of the major US aircraft manufacturers submitted their concepts again, with the number of applicants reduced to McDonnell Douglas (MDD), North American and Fairchild Republic at the end of 1968 . In contrast to many procurement projects by the US armed forces, no prototypes were built and then competed against each other. Instead, the designs were analyzed and evaluated by NASA . This procedure was chosen because the MiG-25 was still misjudged and in the meantime also assumed that the MiG-25 would be produced in large numbers, with only the orders being confused with those of the weaker MiG-23 . The NASA analyzes hoped to be able to procure at least an equivalent machine to the MiG-25 as quickly as possible. On December 13, 1969, McDonnell Douglas (MDD) was announced as the winner of the tender. The decisive factor here was that the designs by North American and Fairchild Republic only had a simple vertical stabilizer. But since NASA was of the opinion that the requirements could only be met with a double rudder unit, it was decided in favor of the design by McDonnell Douglas.

Even before the winner of the FX program was announced, there were political considerations that the Air Force should join the "Naval Fighter Experimental" (VFX) program of the US Navy , from which the F-14 Tomcat later emerged . However, the US Air Force was very critical of the VFX program. The expected hunter was, in their opinion, too heavy and too slow. A swivel wing design should be avoided as well as the design as a two-seater. It was also believed that the pattern had too little development potential - an assessment that should prove to be true over time. After the joint procurement of the F-111 had already failed shortly before, the Air Force was able to speak out relatively easily against joining the VFX program.

Testing and introduction

The first prototype of the F-15A. Note the extended landing gear (for safety in the event of a hydraulic or engine loss) and the bright paintwork.

After MDD won the competition, the Air Force required the construction of a total of 20 prototypes . The order consisted of ten single-seater ("F-15A", sometimes also called "YF-15A"), two two-seater ("TF-15A") and eight development models (single-seater, also called "F-15A") . The program was largely led by designers who had already worked on the design of the F-4. The flight tests were supported by remote-controlled drones on a 3: 8 scale. Each of these drones weighed around 1.1 tonnes, cost only 250,000 dollars and was always of a NB-52 put NASA on height and then exposed. The first F-15A rolled out of the production halls in St. Louis on July 26, 1972 and was then dismantled again to be brought in parts to Edwards Air Force Base , where it was then reassembled for its maiden flight the following day. The first flight of the two-seater variant took place on July 7, 1973.

The machines were generally painted a bright orange color to make visual tracking easier. Only the second F-15A was given a patriotic red-white-blue paint job, as it was the worldwide demonstration and presentation machine. The production of the first series machines was decided on May 1, 1973, with the first sample for the Air Force being delivered in September 1974. The F-15 was put into service on November 14, 1974 with the handover of the first series machine, a TF-15A, to the 555th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron. The introduction to the task forces began in January 1976 with deliveries to the 1st Tactical Fighter Wing in Langley (Virginia). At this point in time, the F-15 was also nicknamed "Eagle". In April 1977 the 36th TFW in Bitburg / Eifel received its first F-15 A / B. Finally, all three squadrons (22nd TFS, 53rd TFS and 525th TFS) were equipped with a total of 72 "Eagle". In addition, the 32nd TFS in Soesterberg / Netherlands received F-15 A / B. In 1980/81 the machines were exchanged for the improved versions F-15 C / D.

Israeli Air Force (IAF)

Route of the Israeli aircraft during the attack on the Osirak reactor

The F-15 was first used in combat three years after it was put into service, but not in the US Air Force, but in the Israeli Air Force . On June 26, 1979, five Syrian MiG-21s ( NATO code name : Fishbed ) were shot down when they tried to prevent an Israeli attack on Lebanese bases near Sidon . On September 24, 1979, five Syrian aircraft were also shot down, and another on June 27, 1980. On March 13, 1981, a MiG-25 was shot down while attempting to intercept an Israeli RF-4E Phantom II reconnaissance aircraft. On June 7, 1981, several F-15s equipped with CFTs covered the attack by the F-16 Fighting Falcon on the Iraqi Osirak nuclear reactor . On July 29, another MiG-25 was shot down, trying again to intercept an RF-4E. Two Syrian MiG-23s ( Flogger ) were shot down in May 1982.

During the 1982 Lebanon War , between June 5 and 12, 92 Syrian fighter jets were shot down over the Bekaa Plain , mainly by Israeli F-15s. They also destroyed at least three MiG-23 ( Flogger ) with AIM-7. A particular incident occurred in May 1983 when an F-15 in flight collided with another machine that lost most of its right wing and was still able to land. On November 30, 1985, two Syrian MiG-23s were shot down again. On October 1, 1985, eight Israeli F-15Ds attacked the headquarters of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in Tunis, Tunisia.

In total, the Israeli Air Force claims more than 57 kills with the F-15, and not a single machine was lost to enemy action.

United States Air Force (USAF)

Two F-15E, one F-15C and two F-16s over burning Kuwaiti oil fields during the Second Gulf War.
An F-15E during a mission over Afghanistan

The first use for the American F-15 took place in the Second Gulf War . A total of 96 F-15C / D and 48 F-15E were used. The F-15C / D flew around 2,200 sorties and accumulated around 7,700 flight hours. The machines shot down 34 enemy aircraft, practically always with the AIM-7 in BVR combat, and had no losses of their own. The F-15E Strike Eagle was only entrusted with air-to-ground missions, which is why two machines were lost due to fire from the ground. The only aerial victory was achieved in a curious way with a laser-guided precision bomb. This was supposed to be dropped onto a stationary helicopter, but shortly after the drop it suddenly took off from the ground. The weapons system officer (WSO) did not allow himself to be confused and adjusted the laser beam of the LANTIRN pod to the flight movement of the helicopter, so that the weapon finally hit its target in the air.

Since that conflict, all F-15 variants have been involved in every major military operation in the United States. She also used the then very new AIM-120A AMRAAM with great success. On January 18, 1993, during Operation Southern Watch , she shot down an Iraqi MiG-25 with this weapon. During the Kosovo war in 1999 she was able to shoot down four MiG-29 ( Fulcrum ) with the AIM-120B / C. The F-15E Strike Eagle used for air-to-ground operations , after initial difficulties during the Second Gulf War, performed extremely well in its role in all operations.

However, part of the active F-15 fleet suffers from increasing material fatigue and increasing wear, which also resulted in crashes, which in turn led to flight bans for several weeks for larger parts of the squadrons not in use (see text ). Since pilots complete a large number of flights for training purposes even in peacetime, some airframes have thus come close to the limit of their specified service life, which is measured in flight hours. The F-15 are currently used almost without restrictions, for example to intercept Russian aircraft, mostly Tupolev Tu-95 , near the Alaskan border .

Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF)

The Saudi Air Force deployed its F-15Cs during a border conflict with Iran in 1984. On June 5, 1984, two Iranian F-4E Phantom IIs were shot down without loss . During the First Gulf War , an F-15C destroyed two Iraqi Mirage F1EQs that were attempting to attack American ships with Exocet guided missiles .

Construction and technology


3-sided tear of the F-15A

The F-15 is a twin-engined shoulder wing aircraft with wedge-shaped, arrow -shaped wings and a twin tail unit . The aerodynamics is according to their specifications and designed for both high speeds than at high maneuverability. Furthermore, the design is above average damage-tolerant, especially the wings. A large air brake is installed between the cockpit and the engine part, and an air refueling system is integrated in the left wing root .

The airframe consists mainly of titanium alloys (26%) and aluminum (37%), some of which are processed in a sandwich construction . Steel was used in small amounts (5%) in the area of ​​the engines and wing roots. Composite materials are mainly used for the tail unit (based on boron ), the air brake ( CFRP ) and the radome ( GFRP ). The largest part of the surface consists of aluminum, in the area of ​​the engines titanium alloys are also used.

A multi-part foam extinguishing system and a fuel dumping device are integrated to increase survivability even in the event of hits . In addition, the fuel tanks are self-sealing and the built-in titanium is fireproof . These measures enabled an F-15 to land safely after a fuel explosion, which destroyed parts of the tail unit and resulted in the loss of half a wing. In another case, an Israeli F-15 survived a mid-air collision with another fighter aircraft during an exercise that severed the entire right wing down to the wing root.


View of the nozzles, the end of the low-pressure turbine and the afterburner injection system of the two F100 engines

As drive arrive at the Eagle two F100-PW-100 - turbofans of Pratt & Whitney used. They each develop a thrust of up to 100.53 kN with an afterburner . The engines are offset from the air inlets, which is why only around 30% of their frontal area is visible from the front. Within the air inlets, hydraulically adjustable wedge-shaped ramps acting as diffusers can be used to adapt the inlet cross-section to the flight speed, which is necessary at speeds above about Mach 2. The biggest problem of the F-100 early on was its above-average susceptibility to flame cracks . However, after some improvements and modifications to the compressor stage and the combustion chamber, this problem was significantly alleviated, but never completely eliminated. Reliability wasn't the best either, but the engine was designed for uncompromisingly high performance and set new standards when it was introduced.

The engines are located close to one another in order to prevent strong asymmetrical steering forces in the event of a one-sided engine failure , which can quickly lead to an uncontrollable spin . A protective wall made of titanium is located between the engine bays, which is intended to prevent the second engine from being destroyed by splinters or fire in the event of damage. A fire extinguishing system is also installed for both bays. An APU from Garrett AiResearch is located in a space behind the two compressor stages in order to supply the machine with power on the ground and to enable the engines to be started without external assistance. The engines are designed to be easy to maintain and can be replaced within half an hour.


The AN / APG-63 is subjected to a system test during maintenance work

The flight control is primarily regulated by an analog fly-by-wire system. It has three channels that are responsible for roll , pitch and yaw . Each channel is designed with double redundancy , with the conventional hydraulic control system taking over the flight control in the event of a malfunction. This protection also works in the opposite case (failure of the hydraulic control system).

The core of the avionics is the AN / APG-63 pulse Doppler on- board radar . It was specially tailored to the requirements of the F-15 and, in addition to a long range, has various operating modes such as ground mapping , look-down / shoot-down “Skills, Track-While-Scan Technique and IFF Query. It was also the first airborne radar that could be adapted to new EloGM techniques or improved algorithms via software modifications. For other devices, parts of the hardware had to be replaced, which was more complex and expensive. The disadvantage, however, is the high failure rate of the radar complex and the associated maintenance effort.

For self-protection against enemy guided missiles and radar devices, the F-15 has an AN / ALR-56 radar warning system , the AN / ALQ-135 jamming system and the AN / ALE-45 decoy launcher . To a warning of approaching from behind missiles to ensure a correspondingly oriented was missile approach warning type AN / AAR-38 installed. A TACAN and INS system is available for navigation .


The cockpit of the F-15A

The cockpit of the F-15 is dominated by a large number of analog flight instruments and controls, which makes it less user -friendly than the F / A-18A Hornet or F-16A Fighting Falcon and increases the workload. There are two CRT screens at the top left and right, which, among other things, display the data obtained by the radar or the radar warning system. Thrust levers and control sticks are made in the HOTAS design to improve the operation of weapons and sensors during air combat . A heads-up display is also available and shows the most important flight, sensor and weapon parameters, which is particularly advantageous in aerial combat at short distances. The pilot sits relatively high on an ACES-II ejection seat from the manufacturer McDonnell Douglas, which, in combination with the bubble-shaped cockpit canopy, gives him good all-round visibility.


F-15A / B

The basic model is the F-15A. The B variant is a two-seater, which is mainly used for training purposes, although this is fully combat-ready (with the exception of the EloGM capacities of the A model, since the AN / ALQ-135 is missing) and weighs 364 kg more. From 1972 to 1979 a total of 384 F-15A and 61 F-15B machines were built. The F-15B was originally called TF-15A.

F-15C / D

While the F-15A / B was still being procured, the engineers at McDonnell Douglas planned an increase in combat value for this model. Internally, the program was referred to as the "Production Eagle Package 2000". The first flight of the F-15C took place on February 27, 1979, the F-15D flew for the first time on June 19 of the same year. The new variant was officially put into service in autumn 1979. A total of 408 F-15C and 62 F-15D were delivered to the Air Force, which handed over the replaced F-15A / B to the Air National Guard .

An F-15C. Note the two CFTs on the left and right.

The C / D version is a comprehensive upgrade based on the A / B version. The F-15D is again a combat-ready two-seater for training purposes. Externally, the machines can only be recognized by the possibly installed conformal fuel tanks (CFT). These tanks are adapted to the construction of the airframe and therefore cause less air resistance and do not occupy any weapon stations. Each of the two tanks holds 2133 kg of fuel and is attached to the left and right of the central airframe, starting in the area of ​​the air inlets. There are two weapon stations attached to each CFT as it blocks the original attachment points under the fuselage. Internal fuel capacity was also increased by adding more tank cells to the leading and trailing edges of the wings.

The improved F100-PW-220 engines are now also being used, which provide 5% more thrust and have lower fuel consumption. The pilot sits in the new and more comfortable ACES-II ejector seat from McDonnell Douglas. The radar received new signal processors and the flight control software was updated to improve maneuverability. The lower torso area of ​​the machine, which now weighs 272 kg more than the A / B variant, has been reinforced.

From 1979 to 1985 a total of 483 F-15C and 92 F-15D machines were built and delivered.

The MSIP upgrade

In the mid-1980s, the Air Force pushed for an upgrade of the F-15C / D, known as the Multi-Stage Improvement Program II (MSIP II). A similar program (MSIP I) was originally envisaged for the F-15A / B machines, but it was classified as not cost-effective and discarded. The focus of the MSIP-II upgrade was the new AN / APG-70 radar. It is a further development of the AN / APG-63 and uses the same antenna. The signal processing has, however, been significantly increased in performance, so that, among other things, an LPI and NCTI operating mode became possible. The machine can now also use the new AIM-120 AMRAAM guided missiles. The systems for electronic warfare have also been modernized. An improved version of the AN / ALQ-135 is now used, as well as the AN / ALR-56C radar warning system, an additional AN / ALQ-128 -EloKa system and another AN / ALE-45 decoy launcher behind the bay the nose landing gear was housed. The computer system now has four times more memory and three times the computing capacity. A new color MFD was installed in the cockpit .

Testing of the MSIP-II configuration began in December 1984 and upgrade began in June 1985. All Air Force F-15C / Ds have since been upgraded to this level.

More upgrades

The F-15C / D has been continuously modernized over time in order to maintain and expand its combat capability. This includes new weapons like the AIM-9X . All F-15s were also retrofitted with a GPS receiver, night vision devices and a MIDS-LVT communication system. The JHMCS pilot helmet has been used on 176 aircraft since 2007 , which in combination with the AIM-9X significantly increases the performance of the Eagle in close-range combat ("dogfight").

The most important avionics component of the F-15C / D, the radar, has also been upgraded several times. In early 2002, the Air Force authorized the installation of the new AN / APG-63 (V) 1. Although this radar has the same range as the APG-70, it is much more reliable and has significantly higher computing power. The APG-63 (V) 2 was developed on the basis of these devices. It now has a very powerful AESA antenna that performs significantly better in the areas of ECCM , multi- target combat and range. Targets with a radar cross-section of 1 m² can be detected over a distance of around 145 km. The system has been in use since December 2000. The current final stage of development is the APG-63 (V) 3, which is also based on AESA technology. In August 2008, 23 F-15C / D of 55 planned machines were equipped with this radar.

After the F-15E had performed well in the context of the war on terror (especially over Afghanistan) and at the same time the cost of the F-35 continued to rise, considerations were made to convert the F-15C machines into Strike Eagles . However, since various cases of material fatigue occurred in the machines (see text ), these plans have not yet been pursued further.

F-15E Strike Eagle

History and Development

Side view of the prototype F-15E Strike Eagle

Despite its design as an air superiority fighter, the F-15 was also intended to play a secondary role as a fighter-bomber during the definition phase. The first F-15 produced therefore also had wiring that made the use of free-falling programmable bombs possible, which could possibly be fitted with nuclear warheads. However, the software required to carry out complex bombing missions was already lacking at this point. A little later, the motto “ no pound for air-to-ground ” (German: “no pound for air-to-ground capabilities”) was issued, which is why the cabling was no longer installed in newly produced aircraft, which in turn led to the use of guided Made air-to-ground weapons impossible.

This reluctance was primarily due to political and ideological reasons. The Air Force was very satisfied with the performance of the Eagle , and so they did not want to suggest to the US Congress that the F-15 had to be converted into a multi-role fighter to justify its existence and procurement. Also, in the ideology of most Air Force officers, air-to-ground operations were considered a "dirty" business, while fighting for air superiority was considered a "noble" task.

Rear view of the F-15E prototype

Despite this stuck position, McDonnell Douglas endeavored to demonstrate the F-15's air-to-ground potential and therefore submitted the Strike Eagle concept to the Air Force in the mid-1970s . In 1978 this then accepted the concept and General Wilbur Creech requested an examination of the concept in the "Enhanced Tactical Fighter" study. The name was later changed to "Dual Role Fighter" (DRF). Officially, this program was looking for a replacement for the F-111 Aardvark , but Creech is said to have been more concerned about the development of the F-117 Nighthawk and therefore looked for alternatives. Congress is said to have been unhappy with the program, but the F-117 project and its progress were only known to very few of those responsible due to the strict secrecy. Despite the very mixed development history of the F-111, the DRF study first recommended the acquisition of further F-111F. However, this opinion later tipped in favor of the Strike Eagle , although the exact reasons never really came to light and sometimes caused some controversy within the Air Force.

In the meantime, McDonnell Douglas used its own funds to adjust a TF-15A from pre-production accordingly. This version flew for the first time on July 8, 1980. Subsequently, the Air Force announced a competition in the course of which the Strike Eagle competed against the heavily modified F-16XL . MDD later also brought in new developments from the F-15C / D program. Although the F-16XL performed very well, the Strike Eagle won the competition on February 24, 1984. The main reason given was the lower development risk and higher survivability (two engines instead of one).

The first F-15E of the series standard completed its maiden flight on December 11, 1986, the first delivery to the Air Force took place on April 12, 1988. McDonnell Douglas and Boeing delivered 237 machines to the Air Force by 2001.

Construction and technology

The front cockpit of the F-15E

Since the F-15E, which is only built as a two-seater, was supposed to carry considerably more bomb load over a longer period of time than the F-15, it had to be built much more stable. For example, 60% of the entire airframe was reinforced so that it could withstand long low-level flights . In some cases, newly developed materials were used for this, although aluminum and titanium alloys still have the largest share of weight. The fuel tanks, like the engine bays, are protected by fireproof materials in order to further increase the survivability of the machine. The F-15E also received new CFTs , each with three conventional weapon stations and one universal rail attached. For this reason, practically all F-15E fly with both CFTs as standard, even if the fuel is not required, as otherwise they would have to make do with significantly fewer weapon stations.

The cockpit has also been completely redesigned to reduce the workload for the crew. The pilot has a color MFD (13 by 13 cm) in the middle and two monochrome MFDs at the top left and right, which he can adapt to his needs. In the rear cockpit of the weapon system officer (WSO) two color and two monochrome MFDs are attached in a row. In addition, basic flight instruments can be found here so that the WSO can emergency land the machine if the pilot is no longer able to fly.

A close-up of an F-15E Strike Eagle over Iraq

The flight control is now completely regulated by a digital fly-by-wire system. The computer systems have also been significantly increased in performance. The new AN / APG-70 is now used as the on-board radar, which, in addition to an improved ground mapping operating mode adapted to the F-15E, also has new modes such as LPI and NCTI . A new core element is the LANTIRN container, which is attached to a weapon station and, thanks to a FLIR system, makes navigation and targeting much easier, especially at night. It is also imperative to steer laser-guided precision bombs into their target.

The first 134 machines were still equipped with the F100-PW-220 engines of the F-15C / D, but all later models received the significantly improved F100-PW-229 model as standard , which can deliver up to 22% more thrust. However, this increase in thrust also increased the risk that an uncontrollable spin would occur more quickly in the event of a one-sided engine failure. Therefore, the “Automatic Thrust Departure Prevention System” (ATDPS) was installed, which automatically throttles the other engine in the event of a one-sided loss of thrust in order to reduce the risk of spin.


Image of the LANTIRN sensor on the HUD of an F-15E

Like the F-15C / D, the F-15E was continuously upgraded to maintain and expand the machine's combat capabilities. In the area of ​​air-to-ground capabilities in particular, a wide range of different weapon systems has been integrated over time, the JDAM and Paveway series being among the most important (see below for more details ). In order to improve communication, the "Fighter Data Link", which is similar to Link 16 but not as powerful , was hastily installed before the war in Afghanistan . In order to enable the sending and receiving of large amounts of image material, a special container called AN / ZSW-1 has been mounted under the fuselage since 1990. This then automatically establishes a broadband network connection to compatible systems. The LANTIRN container has now been largely replaced by the more modern Sniper XR model. Due to their mission profile, the pilots of the F-15E were always prioritized with the latest models of night vision devices . In the period from 2009 to 2010, 145 aircraft will be equipped with the JHMCS pilot's helmet, which in conjunction with the newly integrated AIM-9X will significantly increase the air combat capabilities of the Strike Eagle . A new oxygen generator eliminated the need to carry gas cylinders with liquid oxygen.

The US Air Force initially planned to upgrade the F-15E with the new type AN / APG-63 (V) 3 radar from the F-15C, but a decision was made in 2007 as part of the “Radar Modernization Program” for a new tender. The Air Force initially favored the AN / APG-81 from Northrop Grumman , as this is already being installed in the F-35 and therefore cost savings were hoped for. However, in 2009 Boeing began converting the first 179 Strike Eagles to the Raytheon AN / APG-63 (V) 4 . Thanks to its AESA antennas, the radar, which has meanwhile been renamed to AN / APG-82, shows significantly better performance in the areas of ECCM , multiple target combat , SAR resolution and range. The retrofitting of the remaining F-15E machines is planned for the FY 2014 fiscal year.


Since the F-15C / D of the US Air Force increasingly neared the end of their service life in the 2010s, Boeing proposed in 2018 an extensively improved version "F-15X" based on the F-15QA as a replacement. In July 2020, the US Air Force then ordered an initial batch of eight machines under the designation F-15EX and an option for up to 200 more, of which at least 144 would be purchased. The total cost of this first tranche is $ 1.2 billion, and the long-term flyaway price is estimated at $ 87.7 million. Technically, the F-15EX is based on the QA variant for Qatar and has the following innovations and systems:

  • AN / APG-82 (V) 1 AESA radar (replaces the APG-70)
  • AN / ALQ-250 EPAWSS (Radar Detector & Electronic Countermeasures, replaces the TEWS)
  • Legion Pod ( IRST sensor)
  • JHMCS II (pilot helmet with integrated HUD)
  • Extended glass cockpit , especially for the WSO
  • AMBER weapon mounts for up to 22 air-to-air guided weapons
  • Two additional weapon stations under the wings

The flight characteristics and operating parameters of the machine remain largely unchanged compared to the F-15E.

Export variants

Note: States that use the F-15A-D received these machines either directly from US production or from stocks of the US Air Force. Therefore, with the exception of the Japanese F-15C / D, they were not given a separate designation.

An F-15I
An F-15K approaching for landing
F-15I Ra'am
This variant was built for the Israeli Air Force and is based on the F-15E Strike Eagle . It has all the capabilities of the American model, but all systems for electronic warfare have been replaced by the specially developed Israeli SPS-2100 complex. Parts of the airframe also come from Israeli production. The gun control computers were modified to accommodate native weapons such as the Python-3 and Python-4 . The first flight took place on September 12, 1997 and by 1999 all 25 machines had been delivered. Each machine, including parts, accessories, and service, cost about $ 95 million.
The F-15I is next to the new F-35I Israel's most powerful machine for air-to-ground operations, which is why it is continuously modernized, especially in the area of ​​avionics.
F-15K Slam Eagle
Also a version of the F-15E intended for the South Korean Air Force . The model competed with the Dassault Rafale , the Eurofighter and the Sukhoi Su-35 during the FX competition and emerged as the winner of the tender on April 19, 2002. Differences to the F-15E are the more modern AN / APG-63 (V) 1 on-board radar, the F110-GE-129 engines, as well as standard color MFDs and JHMCS pilot helmets. The first order for 40 machines was delivered in the period from 2005 to 2008, with one machine later lost in an accident.
As part of the second phase of the FX program, South Korea ordered a further 21 machines on April 25, 2008 for around 2.3 billion US dollars. The avionics are largely identical to those of the machines in the first phase, but the new aircraft are equipped with the F100-PW-229-EEP engines, which are also used on the Korean F-16s. In addition, the machine can now use the latest weapon systems such as the AGM-158 JASSM or bunker-breaking bombs . The first Slam Eagle of the second installment, the F-15K41, completed its maiden flight on April 27, 2010.
F-15S Peace Sun IX
Variant of the F-15E for the Saudi Air Force . Much the same as the original Strike Eagle , however some air-to-air and air-to-ground operating modes of the radar have been removed or reduced in their performance. The last of the 72 machines ordered were delivered in November 1999.
Modernized variant of the F-15S Peace Sun IX for the Saudi Air Force . A US $ 68 billion arms shipment to Saudi Arabia is said to also include 84 F-15SA's. At the same time, the 70 F-15S machines remaining in summer 2010 are also to be upgraded to the F-15SA stand. They are equipped with the AN / APG-63 (V) 3-AESA radar and the F110-GE-129A engines, have the "Digital Electronic Warfare System" from BAE Systems , which is actually only available for the F-15SE Silent Eagle was intended, and should be able to use the guided missiles AIM-120C7 AMRAAM and AIM-9X Sidewinder . At 29.4 billion US dollars, the production and retrofitting of the F-15SA represents the largest item in arms delivery to Saudi Arabia.
An F-15J on the Yokota AB
A variant of the F-15C / D for the Japanese Air Force . Most of it was built under license from Mitsubishi and, apart from the less powerful EloKa systems, corresponds to the US version.
This model, also based on the F-15E, is intended for the Singapore Air Force . In the course of a seven-year competition, the F-15K, which was first referred to as the F-15T, defeated the F-16E / F , the F / A-18E / F , the Eurofighter Typhoon , the Sukhoi Su-35 in September 2005 and finally against the Dassault Rafale . The F-15SG is similar to the F-15K (phase two version), but has the much more modern AN / APG-63 (V) 3-AESA radar. The machine is equipped with the Lockheed Martin AN / AAQ-33 Sniper target container and F110-GE-129A engines with 129 kN thrust. Singapore has ordered a total of 24 machines at a unit price of around US $ 50 million. The first flight of this version took place on September 16, 2008. Deliveries began in May 2009 and should be completed by 2012. The first machines will remain in the USA for training purposes over a period of 25 years. The first machines arrived in Singapore in April 2010 (18 machines had been delivered).
The F-15QA is a version of the F-15E that is being developed for Qatar. In November 2016, the US State Department approved the export of up to 72 F-15QA machines to Qatar under a $ 21.1 billion arms deal. On June 14, 2017, Qatar ordered 36 F-15QAs for $ 12 billion.

Other variants

This experimental machine, operated by NASA , continued the trials of the S / MTD program (see below). The two-dimensional thrust vector control was replaced by a 3D model that could deflect the exhaust gas jet by up to 20 ° in all directions. In addition, more powerful F100 engines, a newly developed digital fly-by-wire system, modified canards and a more powerful computer system were used. The cockpits were equipped with the electronics and the instruments of the F-15E, while the canards were actually the horizontal stabilizers of the F / A-18 Hornet. The results of the tests were incorporated into modern combat aircraft designs and advanced flight control systems.
The program ran from 1996 to 1998, with the machine used subsequently being used in the “Intelligent Flight Control System” project (IFCS, see below).
The F-15 launches the ASM-135 to shoot down the research satellite “Solwind P78-1”.
This variant of the F-15A was converted into a deployment platform for anti-satellite missiles of the Vought ASM-135 ASAT type at the end of the 1970s, before the SDI program . With this two-stage rocket, Soviet military satellites , which were mostly in low orbit, were to be shot down over North America in the event of war. The ASM-135 had a special infrared seeker head to detect a satellite based on its heat signature and destroy it with a direct hit. This seeker head was cooled down to 4 Kelvin with liquid helium . Since the rocket could not carry the required amount of helium itself, the on-board cannon and parts of the avionics were removed to make space for a corresponding helium tank, which is connected to the ASM-135 via a special low-temperature line, which is centrally located under the Hull was located, was connected.
The first wearing tests were carried out in the early 1980s, with the F-15 climbing to altitudes of over 15 miles. This was necessary in order to supply more kinetic energy to the relatively weak rocket . Nevertheless, it was not fast enough to “catch up” with a satellite from behind, which is why it had to be brought on a collision course to intercept . The first launch of the ASM-135 took place on June 21, 1982, which was a pure flight test. The first and only mission against a real satellite took place on September 13, 1985. Off the US west coast, the pilot raised the Mach 1.22 fast F-15 to a climb angle of 65 ° and the rocket automatically disengaged at an altitude of around 15 miles. The target was an old research satellite known as “Solwind P78-1”, which was used to study the sun. Since it was heated up by the solar radiation, the warhead of the ASM-135 switched reliably to the satellite and destroyed it at an altitude of 530 km. This kill was personally authorized by Ronald Reagan . Two more tests followed, in which stars were used to represent the target, but after that the program was discontinued for political reasons.
A single-seater variant of the F-15E proposed by MDD. Was not realized.
Planned F-15E export variant with some air-to-ground capabilities removed. After the rejection of the concept, the name was used for the Greek export variant, which was also not accepted.
This sample is the NF-15B, which was rebuilt a third time after the ACTIVE project. It was used to test the “Intelligent Flight Control System” (IFCS), an advanced flight control system which, with the help of an artificial neural network, was significantly more fault-tolerant and further increased flight performance. In a learning process, the network should also be able to adapt itself to any aircraft and then control it.
In the first phase, which was carried out in 1999, the neural network was tested using data from the S / MTD project and wind tunnel tests and "trained" for use on the NF-15B. In 2003 this machine then flew with the support of this system, although there could be no flight commands for safety reasons. Instead, the system's outputs were recorded. The third and final phase was carried out in 2005. Here the neural network, which was given the name “sigma pi”, was entrusted with flight control for the first time. The network was also able to carry out error corrections independently. In addition, it was able to independently adapt the previously "learned" parameters from static tests to the slightly changed aerodynamics of the NF-15B.
A cheaper export option for Israel. Was hastily conceived by Boeing in order to be eligible for a tender. However, Israel ordered the F-16I from Lockheed Martin .
Also known as the F-15XX. Was intended as a stealth variant of the F-15E and a cheap alternative to the " Advanced Tactical Fighter ". For this, they wanted to thrust vectoring from the ACTIVE program fall back to the vertical stabilizers to dispense and to achieve the required maneuverability. Was never realized.
A carrier-supported variant, (nickname: Sea Eagle ) for the US Navy , which was to evaluate the design in 1971. The planned machine should be around a ton heavier than the F-14A Tomcat and could not carry the long-range air-to-air guided missile AIM-54 Phoenix . Therefore, the Navy showed no interest and instead opted for a mix of F-14 Tomcats and F / A-18 Hornets .
F-15 S / MTD
This is an experimental variant, also known as NF-15B, which was intended for NASA. McDonnell Douglas was commissioned by her on October 3, 1984 to develop an aircraft with significantly increased maneuverability and STOL capabilities. The first series machine of the F-15B was selected as the platform for this. This has been extensively modified and equipped with canards , a new fly-by-wire flight control system and 2D thrust vector control, among other things . The first flight took place on September 7, 1988. In addition to significantly improved maneuverability, the required take-off distance was reduced by 25%, the necessary landing distance was even reduced by around 80% in a test run. The program ended in August 1991 after all objectives were met. However, the machine was used again five years later as part of the ACTIVE program (see above) and continued to be used until 2005 after various other modifications.
F-15SE Silent Eagle
A variant of the F-15E currently in development for the export market, which was officially presented on March 17, 2009. Their primary characteristic is their improved steal properties . These are to be achieved through outwardly inclined vertical stabilizers, radar-absorbing materials and a modified CFT. The shielding of the air inlet based on the model of the F / A-18E / F Super Hornet is also possible on customer request. A modified conformal fuel tank now contains two internal weapon stations for guided weapons of the AIM-9 Sidewinder and AIM-120 AMRAAM as well as for bombs of the JDAM series and GBU-39 SDB . The internal storage of the weapons reduces the tank volume, which reduces the range of a suitably equipped machine by around 350 km, but according to Boeing , the RCS value could be reduced to roughly the level of the F-35 (a greater reduction would have been if the Machine led to a veto by the US Congress ). The F-15SE should also receive a new complex for electronic countermeasures. This operates under the name "Digital Electronic Warfare System" (DEWS), is explicitly designed to interact with the AN / APG-63 (V) 3-AESA on-board radar and is being developed by BAE Systems . In the meantime, however, the AN / APG-82 radar has been selected from the "Radar Modernization Program" for the F-15E. The CFTs can be exchanged for the standard models within two hours if the weapon load is more important than steal-the-ability.
The machine is said to cost around $ 100 million and is aimed primarily at the Korean , Japanese , Saudi Arabia and Israel markets . Boeing has already made some modifications to the development machine for the Strike Eagle program (F-15E1); the first flight took place on July 8, 2010.
F-15 Streak Eagle
It is a single converted F-15A machine (S / N 72-0119), which set a number of world records in the field of climb performance as part of flight tests between January 16 and February 1, 1975. The machine has been on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force since December 1980 .
A planned export variant based on the F-15E for the United Arab Emirates . In a competition it competed with the Dassault Rafale , the Eurofighter Typhoon , the Sukhoi Su-30MK and the F-16E / F , the latter was specially tailored to the requirements of the UAE and won the tender. Therefore, the F-15U was never built.
Initial name for the F-15S, which were intended for Saudi Arabia .
A reconnaissance variant suggested during the early development phase. It should be equipped with a TV camera, multi-spectral optronic sensors and a side-facing SAR radar. The systems should be installed under the nose and in external containers under the torso. However, the draft was rejected by the Air Force. Nevertheless, McDonnell Douglas financed the conversion of the second TF-15A pre-series machine into a prototype of the RF-15. The project, known internally as “Peek Eagle”, never got beyond the test stage.


An Israeli Air Force F-15A

IsraelIsrael Israel

Israeli Air Force : Received a total of 72 F-15A / B / C / D new and some used from the stocks of the US Air Force since December 1976 through the Peace Fox program and has since upgraded these aircraft several times. Israel received 25 F-15Is in the mid-1990s and 10 more (used ex-USAF) F-15Ds in the mid-2010s.

JapanJapan Japan

Japanese Air Force : Purchased 203 F-15Js and 20 F-15DJs since 1981, all of which, with the exception of 14, were manufactured under license from Mitsubishi .

QatarQatar Qatar

Qatar Emiri Air Force : Has ordered 36 F-15QAs.

Saudi ArabiaSaudi Arabia Saudi Arabia

Saudi Air Force : Procured 57 F-15C, 25 F-15D, and 72 F-15S. At the end of 2011, the US government announced that the US would sell 84 F-15SA to Saudi Arabia and upgrade the remaining 70 F-15S to the "SA" standard.

SingaporeSingapore Singapore

Singapore's Air Force : Initially ordered 24 F-15SG, received the first squadron in April 2010 , and unofficially ordered a total of 40.

Korea SouthSouth Korea South Korea

South Korean Air Force : 61 F-15Ks were procured.

United StatesUnited States United States

United States Air Force : 1119 (365 F-15A, 59 F-15B, 409 F-15C, 61 F-15D, 225 F-15E). According to his own information, he still had 522 active F-15A-D (without ANG ) and 223 F-15E in October 2009 .

In Europe, F-15s of the United States Air Forces in Europe were stationed in four locations:

GermanyGermany Germany
Bitburg Air Base , April 1977 to March 1994, F-15A / B / C / D ( 36th (Tactical) Fighter Wing with three squadrons, two in the last two years).
Spangdahlem Air Base , March 1994 to March 1999, F-15C / D ( 52nd Fighter Wing ) with a squadron ( 53rd Fighter Squadron ).
IcelandIceland Iceland
Naval Air Station Keflavik , July 1985 to June 2006, F-15C / D ( Air Forces Iceland / 35th Fighter Wing / 85th Group with one squadron, until 2002 under the Tactical Air Command or Air Combat Command ).
NetherlandsNetherlands Netherlands
Soesterberg Air Base , September 1978 to January 1994, F-15A / B / C / D ( 32d (Tactical) Fighter Squadron / Group with one squadron).
United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom
RAF Lakenheath , since February 1992, F-15C / D / E ( 48th Fighter Wing with three squadrons, including two fighter-bomber and one interceptor squadron, the latter since 1994).

Technical specifications

Parameter F-15A Eagle data F-15C Eagle data F-15E Strike Eagle data
Type Air superiority fighter Multipurpose fighter
length 19.43 m
span 13.05 m
Wing area 56.48 m²
Wing extension 3.02
Wing loading
  • minimum (empty weight): 230 kg / m²
  • nominal (normal take-off weight): 336 kg / m²
  • maximum (max. take-off weight): 450 kg / m²
  • minimum (empty weight): 236 kg / m²
  • nominal (normal takeoff weight): 368 kg / m²
  • maximum (max. takeoff weight): 546 kg / m²
  • minimum (empty weight): 255 kg / m²
  • nominal (normal take-off weight): 504 kg / m²
  • maximum (max. take-off weight): 651 kg / m²
height 5.63 m
Empty mass 12,973 kg 13,336 kg 14,379 kg
normal takeoff mass approx. 19,000 kg 20,185 kg 28,440 kg
Max. Takeoff mass 25,424 kg 30,844 kg 36,741 kg
Fuel capacity
  • 5,034 kg (internal)
  • 5,396 kg (3 drop tanks)
  • 6,103 kg (internal)
  • 4,265 kg (2 CFTs)
  • 5,396 kg (3 drop tanks)
  • 5.953 kg (internal)
  • 4,265 kg (2 CFTs)
  • 5,396 kg (3 drop tanks)
charges −3 g to +7.33 g −3 g to +8.5 g −3 g to +8 g
Top speed Do 2.49 or 2,655 km / h at the optimal altitude Do 2.54 or 2,698 km / h at the optimal altitude
Marching speed k. A. k. A. 917 km / h at an optimal altitude
Service ceiling k. A. 19,811 m 18,290 m
Rate of climb 254 m / s k. A.
Transfer range
  • 1,930 km (without additional tanks)
  • 4,631 km (with additional tanks)
  • 2,540 km (without additional tanks)
  • 5,555 km (CFTs + 3 additional tanks)
  • 2,222 km (without additional tanks)
  • 5,741 km (CFTs + additional tanks)
Take-off / landing runway k. A. 275 m / 762 m k. A.
Take-off / landing speed k. A. 220 km / h / 232 km / h 220 km / h / 234 km / h
Wheelbase / track width k. A. 5.42 m / 2.75 m k. A.
Max. Gun load 7,620 kg 10,705 kg 11,115 kg
Engines two ducted turbines Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-100 two turbofan engines Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-220 two ducted turbines Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-229
  • without afterburner: 2 × 65.26 kN
  • with afterburner: 2 × 100.53 kN
  • without afterburner: 2 × 63.90 kN
  • with afterburner: 2 × 105.72 kN
  • without afterburner: 2 × 79.18 kN
  • with afterburner: 2 × 129.45 kN
Thrust-to-weight ratio
  • maximum (empty weight): 1.58
  • nominal (normal take-off mass): 1.08
  • minimum (max.starting mass): 0.81
  • maximum (empty weight): 1.62
  • nominal (normal take-off mass): 1.07
  • minimum (max.start mass): 0.70
  • maximum (empty weight): 1.84
  • nominal (normal take-off mass): 0.93
  • minimum (max.starting mass): 0.72

Armament / loading

An F-15E over Afghanistan
Two F-15E jets dropped from JDAM over Afghanistan in 2009
An F-15C escorts a Russian Tu-95 ( Bear ) off the coast of Alaska

Since the F-15 was originally designed as an air superiority fighter, the AIM-7 Sparrow and AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air guided missiles are the primary armament of the basic F-15A / B version. However, if the situation so requires, it can also carry significant quantities of bombs and cluster munitions . However, these are all unguided and do not allow precision attacks. The only exception are the laser-guided bombs in the Paveway series. However, the F-15A / B cannot control these weapons itself; the laser lighting must be provided by other forces on the ground or in the air. In addition, the new air-to-air guided missile AIM-120 AMRAAM replaced the outdated AIM-7 and thus increased combat effectiveness in long-range engagements ( BVR ).

The F-15E Strike Eagle variant represented a massive expansion of the range of operations. It took over the air-to-air combat capabilities of the F-15C / D without restriction, but received a wide range of additional precision-guided air-to-ground weapons. Their properties are very broadly diversified, so that the F-15E can effectively fight fixed and movable ground targets almost regardless of the weather at great and short distances. The scaffolded target containers ( LANTIRN and Sniper XR ) also play an important role here, as they enable the detection and laser illumination of targets even at night, at low altitude and in poor visibility. In combination with the loading capacity of more than 11 tons at up to 21 weapon stations, unmatched in its category, the F-15E develops a very high level of impact against any form of ground target. The good flight characteristics are not restricted here, so that the F-15E continues to have large capacities against enemy air targets.


  • All models have an internal 20 mm M61 Vulcan on -board cannon . The F-15A-C have 940 rounds of ammunition loaded, the F-15E only 450 rounds.
  • The numbering of the weapon stations can be read from left to right. The F-15A-D has stations 1–3 / 9–11 on the two large pylons under the wings, stations 4/5/7/8 on the side of the fuselage and station 6 between the engine bays under the fuselage. On the F-15E, stations 1–3 / 15–17, as on the F-15A-D, are attached to the wing pylons, No. 9 in the middle under the fuselage and station 4–6 / 12–14 on the CFTs. Stations 8/10 are located under the air inlets. The weapon stations with the numbers 7. x and 11. x are a universal rail on the respective CFT, to which guided missile starters (LAU-106 / A) or bomb locks (BRU-47 / A) can be attached. The table assumes three bomb locks (most common configuration), whereby two of these locks can also be replaced by a missile launcher. The following configurations are possible: 3 × bomb lock, 1 × bomb lock + 1 × guided weapon starter or 2 × guided weapon starter. The last configuration is marked green in the table .
  • Each • means that the appropriate weapon can be attached there. (•) means that the weapon can be attached here, but would collide with weapons of the same type because it is too long. •• means that two weapons of the corresponding type can be accommodated there, 4 • accordingly four pieces.
  • Laser-guided bombs of the GBU series can be dropped by the F-15A-D, but the target must be marked with a laser through another platform.
  • The table is based on the modernized Air Force F-15C-E.

   F-15A / B Eagle F-15C / D Eagle  F-15E Strike Eagle
Weapon station →   4th  6th  7th  8th  10 11      4th  6th  7th  8th  10 11      4th  6th  7.1 7.2 7.3 8th  10 11.1 11.2 11.3 12 13 14th 15th 16 17th
AIM-7 Sparrow           • • • •
AIM-9 Sidewinder •      •      • • • •
AIM-120 AMRAAM      •      • • • •
AGM-65 Maverick          
AGM-84 Harpoon          
AGM-88 HARM          
AGM-154 JSOW          
AGM-158 JASSM          
GBU-12           (•) (•)
GBU-39/40 SDB           4 • 4 • (4 •) 4 • 4 • 4 • (4 •) 4 • 4 •
GBU-53 / B           4 • 4 • (4 •) 4 • 4 • 4 • (4 •) 4 • 4 •
Mark 82 6 • 6 • 6 •      6 • 6 • 6 •      6 • 6 • 6 •
Mark 84           (•) (•) (•) (•)
Mark 20 Rockeye 6 • 6 • 6 •      6 • 6 • 6 •      6 • 6 • 6 •
CBU-52/58/71 4 • 4 • 4 •      4 • 4 • 4 •      4 • 4 • 4 •
CBU-8 x / 97/10 x          
external container          
Dump tank          
Weapon station →   4th  6th  7th  8th  10 11      4th  6th  7th  8th  10 11      4th  6th  7.1 7.2 7.3 8th  10 11.1 11.2 11.3 12 13 14th 15th 16 17th
   F-15A / B Eagle F-15C / D Eagle  F-15E Strike Eagle

EloKa systems

An F-15D abuts during a vertical flight flares from

The following table lists all known and compatible EloKa systems for the F-15.

designation Accommodation Remarks
Radar warning systems
AN / ALR-56A internally for F-15A / B
AN / ALR-56C internally for F-15C-E / K / S
Missile warning systems
AN / AAR-38 internally from F-15A / B
AN / AAR-57 internally for F-15E
Decoys launcher
AN / ALE-45 internally for F-15A-E
AN / ALE-55 internally Part of the AN / ALQ-214
AN / ALE-58 external
Disruptive systems
AN / ALQ-128 internally for F-15C-E
AN / ALQ-131 external
AN / ALQ-135 internally for F-15A-E
AN / ALQ-135M internally for F-15K
AN / ALQ-184 external
AN / ALQ-214 internally for F-15C-E


A 71st FIS F-15C "Eagle" over Washington, DC
  • On September 12, 1981, a US Air Force F-15 (S / N 80-007) crashed during an air show at Soesterberg Air Base, The Netherlands. Although the pilot did not deploy the ejector seat, he survived the crash. The newly delivered machine had only just completed 15 hours of flight at this point.
  • On May 1, 1983, an Israeli Air Force F-15D collided with an A-4N Skyhawk during a training flight . Most of the right wing was torn off (only about 60 cm were left), causing the machine to spin out of control. Pilot Zivi Nedivi increased the thrust in order to stabilize the machine at high speed. He tried to compensate for the loss of the wing by increasing the angle of attack at the high speed in order to obtain additional lift with the long fuselage of the F-15. Ultimately, Zivi landed at about twice the speed that is normal. He brought the machine to a stop six meters from the end of the runway.
  • On April 25, 1990, the engine of a US Air Force F-15 (S / N 81-0049) caught fire over the North Sea . As a result, pilot Major George D. Hulsey lost the machine's hydraulics and had to save himself with the ejection seat. He survived the crash because an oil rig supply ship was able to rescue him from the sea.
  • During the Gulf War of 1991, two F-15E Strike Eagles were shot down by the Iraqi air defenses. The first machine (S / N 88-1689) was hit on January 18, killing the crew. The second machine (S / N 88-1692) was shot down a day later, this time the crew surviving and being captured.
  • Out of rivalry with their F16 comrades, F-15 pilots hastily shot down two helicopters while monitoring the no-fly zone over Iraq in 1994, which turned out to be Black Hawks of the US Army.
  • On November 22, 1995, two Japanese F-15Js from Komatsu AFB were flying over the Japanese sea when suddenly an AIM-9L Sidewinder started automatically and hit the wingman's machine. Lt. Tatsumi Higuchi was able to save himself with the ejection seat and survived the shooting down.
  • On March 26, 2001, two US Air Force F-15Cs crashed over the Scottish Highlands . The pilots, Lt. Colonel Kenneth John Hyvonen and Captain Kirk Jones were killed. The cause was determined to be a flight instruction error by an RAF air traffic controller. He was charged with negligent homicide but acquitted in court.
  • On April 30, 2002, an Eglin AFB F-15C Eagle crashed over the Gulf of Mexico . Test pilot Major James A. Duricy was killed after the leading edge of the left vertical tail tore off at a speed of Mach 1.97. Material fatigue was found to be the cause.
  • On April 7, 2003, a US Air Force F-15E (S / N 88-1694) crashed near Tikrit , Iraq . Both the pilot and the weapons systems officer (WSO) were killed.
  • On June 7, 2006, an F-15K of the South Korean Air Force (ROKAF) crashed during a night training mission. Both crew members were killed in the process, which is why the ROKAF requested a comprehensive investigation. Since the machine's black box could not be recovered, the cause of the crash was not finally clarified. The ROKAF later announced that the two crew members presumably lost consciousness when exposed to high G loads and therefore fell. In public, however, it was doubted that both crew members lost consciousness at the same time.
  • On May 30, 2007, a Missouri Air National Guard (ANG) F-15 crashed over Illinois . The pilot was only able to release the ejection seat a few seconds before the impact, but survived the crash.
  • On November 2, 2007, a 27-year-old Missouri Air National Guard (ANG) F-15C (S / N 80-0034) broke apart immediately behind the cockpit during an aerial combat exercise . The pilot, Major Stephen W. Stilwell, was able to save himself with the ejection seat and survived the crash seriously injured. The reason turned out to be a break in one of the two upper longitudinal members used to stiffen the cockpit area, which are known as "Longerons". With a thickness of 10–19 mm instead of 23 mm, this did not meet the specification, which led to a hairline crack and then to total failure. After the crash of April 30, 2002 could already be traced back to structural failure or material fatigue, start bans were issued first for the entire F-15 fleet and later only for the affected F-15A to D and the machines were examined more closely. Worldwide over 1100 F-15s were temporarily banned from take-off. The investigations revealed at least one side member that was too weak in 191 machines, and in nine of them there were already hairline cracks, which is why they were immediately discarded. All other machines were declared operational again on January 8, 2008. The remaining 182 machines followed on February 15, 2008 under tightened safety conditions and shortened maintenance intervals. Among other things, the maximum speed during training and exercise operations was reduced from Mach 2.5 to 1.5 and the maximum permitted G-load was lowered.
  • On July 30, 2008, an F-15D (S / N 85-0131) crashed during the RED FLAG maneuver . The Nellis AFB plane crashed northwest of Rachel , Nevada , over an inhabited area. Both crew members were able to save themselves by parachute, but the pilot later succumbed to his serious injuries. There were no casualties among the civilian population.
  • On February 20, 2008, two US Air Force F-15C Eagles collided about 80 km south of Eglin AFB . 1st Lt. Ali Jivanjee and Capt. Tucker Hamilton was able to save himself with the parachute, but only Hamilton survived the crash. Jivanjee could not be recovered from the Gulf of Mexico in time and died from serious injuries. A lack of communication between the two pilots, who had not coordinated their flight maneuvers, was found to be the cause.
  • On July 18, 2009, a US Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle crashed over central Afghanistan, killing the crew.
  • On March 22, 2011, a US Air Force F-15E crashed over Libya due to a technical problem. Both pilots were able to save themselves with the ejection seat.
  • On October 24, 2011, a US Air Force F-15C crashed over Nevada during a training flight due to unexplained circumstances. The pilot was able to save himself with the ejector seat.
  • On October 8, 2014, a US Air Force F-15D crashed near RAF Lakenheath , leaving the pilot uninjured.
  • On April 5, 2018, an F-15K of the South Korean Air Force crashed in the Chilgok region. Both pilots were killed.
  • On June 11, 2018, a USAF F-15 crashed into the sea off the Japanese island of Okinawa, and the ejected pilot was rescued by the Japanese military.
  • On June 15, 2020, a US Air Force F-15C crashed during a training flight over the North Sea. The pilot was killed.

See also

Web links

Commons : McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c The F-15 Eagle: A Chronology. (No longer available online.) James R. Ciborski, June 2002, archived from the original on June 9, 2010 ; accessed on June 16, 2019 .
  2. Mike Spick: Fighter Planes . Motorbuch Verlag, Verlag Stocker-Schmid, 2002, ISBN 3-7276-7132-7 .
  3. ^ Lou Drendel: Eagle (Modern Military Aircraft). Squadron / Signal Publications, 1992, p. 12
  4. a b Israeli Air-to-Air Victories since 1974. (No longer available online.) Middle East Database, September 24, 2003, archived from the original on February 21, 2009 ; accessed on June 16, 2019 .
  5. a b c F-15 landing with one wing. The History Channel, accessed June 8, 2010 .
  6. ^ Norman Polmar, Dana Bell: One Hundred Years of World Military Aircraft. 2003, ISBN 1-59114-686-0 , p. 409.
  7. a b c F-15 Eagle. US Air Force, March 14, 2005, accessed August 19, 2013 .
  8. a b c Survival in Combat. Boeing, accessed June 8, 2010 .
  9. ^ A b c Steve Davies: F-15 Eagle & Strike Eagle (Combat Legends) . The Crowood Press Ltd, London 2002, ISBN 1-84037-377-6 .
  10. ^ Aircraft Procurement. (PDF; 1.9 MB) (No longer available online.) Air Force February 2008, archived from the original on January 19, 2012 ; accessed on June 16, 2019 .
  11. Is the JSF really good enough? - analyzing the ASPI paper. (PDF) Dr. Carlo Kopp and Peter Goon; P. 3, archived from the original on October 25, 2011 ; accessed on June 8, 2010 (English).
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