McDonnell-Douglas F-15A Eagle (USA)
Country of Origin:
Model Number/Mk #:
# in Current Service:
McDonnell-Douglas Aircraft Company
2 - Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-100 turbofan engines with 25,000 lbs. of thrust
Empty: 28,000 lbs.
Maximum: 68,000 lbs.
42 ft. 10 in.
63 ft. 9 in.
18 ft. 8 in.
AIM-7F/M Sparrow missiles or AIM-120 advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles; AIM-9L/M Sidewinder or AIM-120 missiles; 20mm M-61-A1 Gatling Gun
$27,900,000.00 (in 1998)
384 (between 1972-79); 110 by Mitsubishi of Japan
The McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle, after more than 25 years of service, was still the U.S. Air Force's premier fighter as the year 2000 approached. It is the only aircraft in the U.S. Air Force arsenal capable of launching the ASAT anti-satellite missile. It also serves with the air forces of Israel, Japan and Saudi Arabia.
The F-15 constantly is upgraded to include state-of-the-art equipment. It can penetrate enemy defenses and can outperform and outfight any current or projected enemy. The Eagle's air superiority is due to its advanced avionics, its range and weaponry, and its unprecedented maneuverability. One person can effectively perform air-to-air combat using its advanced systems to detect, acquire, track and attack enemy aircraft.
The F-15's low-wing loading (the ratio of aircraft weight to its wing area), combined with its high engine thrust-to-weight ratio, allows it to turn tightly without losing airspeed. Under any light conditions, data from the integrated avionics system is projected on the windscreen, so the pilot can track and destroy an enemy aircraft without having to look down at cockpit instruments.
Between Jan. 16 and Feb. 1, 1975, an F-15A nicknamed "Streak Eagle" broke eight time-to-climb world records. It reached an altitude of 98,425 feet just 3 minutes 27.8 seconds from brake release at takeoff and coasted to nearly 103,000 feet before descending.
The first Eagle entered service in November 1974 with the 58th Tactical Training Wing at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. The first Air Force air defense squadron to transition to the F-15 was the 48th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron at Langley Air Force Base, Va., in January 1982. By 1989, more than 1,200 Eagles were in service; most were built by McDonnell Douglas in St. Louis, Mo., and more than 110 were built by Mitsubishi of Japan.
Besides the U.S.A.F., Israel (F-15I Ra'am-Hebrew: Thunder), Japan (F-15J/DJ), S. Korea (F-15K 'Slam Eagle') and Saudi Arabia (F-15S) are the only countries to operate the F-15A.