F-15 Eagle

F-15 Eagle

The McDonnel Douglas F-15 Eagle is an all-weather, extremely maneuverable, tactical fighter designed to permit the Air Force to gain and maintain air superiority in aerial combat. Also of note, it is the first American fighter aircraft developed specifically for air-to-air combat since the F-86 Sabre designed in 1947.

Description

The 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 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. The Eagle can be armed with the AIM-7F/M Sparrow orAIM-120 AMRAAM (Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile) radar guided missiles on its lower fuselage corners, with AIM-9L/M Sidewinder or AIM-120 missiles on two pylons under the wings, and an internal M61 Vulcan 20mm Gatling gun in the right wing root. The 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, rate-of-climb, 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; the concept of low wing loading has been used in many other great fighters long before the F-15, including the Spitfire of World War II. As a result, the F-15 is one of the deadliest (and best) fighters ever built. This is evident in the aircraft’s reputation, for during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, the Iraqi Air Force disobeyed orders and refused to fly out of fear of the F-15.

As of today, the F-15 kill ratio stands at 108 air-to-air victories and no air-to-air losses. The F-15 is used by the US, Israel, Japan, and Saudi Arabia.

Avionics

  • Radar:
    • Raytheon AN/APG-63 or AN/APG-70 or
      • Although several F-15C aircraft were produced with APG-70 radar, all have been retrofitted to the AN/APG-63(V)1 configuration
    • Raytheon AN/APG-63(V)1 or
    • Raytheon AN/APG-63(V)2 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) or
    • Raytheon AN/APG-63(V)3 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA)
      • Both active AF and ANG F-15Cs will receive another (up to) 48 V3 units between 2009-2015, over the existing 19 aircraft.
  • Countermeasures:
    • AN/APX-76 or AN/APX-119 Identify Friend/Foe (IFF) interrogator
    • Magnavox AN/ALQ-128 Electronic Warfare Warning Set (EWWS) -part of Tactical Electronic Warfare Systems (TEWS)
    • Loral AN/ALR-56 Radar Warning Receiver (RWR)-part of Tactical Electronic Warfare Systems (TEWS)
    • Northrop ALQ-135 Internal Countermeasures System (ICS) – part of Tactical Electronic Warfare Systems (TEWS)
    • AN/ALE-45 chaff/flare dispensers

Armament

  • Guns: 1× internally mounted 20 mm (0.787 in) M61A1 gatling gun, 940 rounds
  • Hardpoints: four wing, four fuselage, two wing stations, centerline station, optional fuselage pylons with a capacity of 16,000 lb (7,300 kg)
  • Missiles:
    • AIM-7 Sparrow
      AIM-120 AMRAAM
      AIM-9 Sidewinder

Variants

Basic models

 
  • F-15A: Single-seat all-weather air-superiority fighter version, 384 built in 1972–1979
  • F-15B: Two-seat training version, formerly designated TF-15A, 61 built in 1972–1979
  • F-15C: Improved single-seat all-weather air-superiority fighter version, 483 built in 1979–1985. The last 43 F-15Cs were upgraded with AN/APG-70 radar and later the AN/APG-63(V)1 radar.
  • F-15D: Two-seat training version, 92 built in 1979–1985.
  • F-15J: Single-seat all-weather air-superiority fighter version for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force 139 built under license in Japan by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in 1981–1997, two built in St. Louis.
  • F-15DJ: Two-seat training version for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force. 12 built in St. Louis, and 25 built under license in Japan by Mitsubishi in the period 1981–1997.
  • F-15N Sea Eagle: The F-15N was a carrier-capable variant proposed in the early 1970s to the U.S. Navy as an alternative to the heavier and, at the time, considered to be “riskier” technology program, the Grumman F-14 Tomcat. It did not have a long range radar or the long range missiles used by the F-14. The F-15N-PHX was another proposed naval version capable of carrying the AIM-54 Phoenix missile, but with an enhanced version of the AN/APG-63 radar on the F-15A. These featured folding wingtips, reinforced landing gear and a stronger tailhook for shipboard operation.
  • F-15E Strike Eagle: Two-seat all-weather multirole strike version, fitted with conformal fuel tanks. It was developed into the F-15I, F-15S, F-15K, F-15SG, F-15SA, and other variants. Over 400 F-15E and derivative variants produced since 1985; still in production.
  • F-15SE Silent Eagle: Proposed F-15E variant with a reduced radar cross-section.
  • F-15 2040C: Proposed upgrade to the F-15C, allowing it to supplement the F-22 in the air superiority role. The 2040C concept is an evolution of the Silent Eagle proposed to South Korea and Israel, with some low-observable improvements but mostly a focus on the latest air capabilities and lethality. Proposal includes infra-red search and track, doubling the number of weapon stations, with quad racks for a maximum of 16 air-to-air missiles, Passive/Active Warning Survivability System, conformal fuel tanks, upgraded APG-63(v)3 AESA and a “Talon HATE” communications pod allowing data transfer with the F-22.

Specifications

Crew 1
Length 63 ft 9 in (19.43 m)
Wingspan 42 ft 10 in (13.05 m)
Height 18 ft 6 in (5.63 m)
Wing area 608 ft² (56.5 m²)
Empty weight 28,000 lb (12,700 kg)
Loaded weight
44,500 lb (20,200 kg)
Max take off weight 68,000 lb (30,845 kg)
Power plant (Dry thrust)
2 x 17,450 lbf (77.62 kN)
Power plant (Thrust with afterburner) 
2 x 25,000 lbf (111.2 kN)
Maximum speed (High altitude)
Mach 2.5+ (1,650+ mph, 2,660+ km/h)
Maximum speed (High altitude) Mach 1.2 (900 mph, 1,450 km/h)
Combat radius
1,061 nmi (1,222 mi, 1,967 km)
Ferry range
3,450 mi (3,000 nmi, 5,550 km)
Service ceiling
65,000 ft (20,000 m)
Rate of climb >50,000 ft/min (254 m/s)
Wing loading 73.1 lb/ft² (358 kg/m²)
Thrust/weight 1.12

 

F-15 Eagle
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F-15 Eagle
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