F-15 Eagle Fighter Jet - US:
The McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle is an American twin-engine, all-weather tactical fighter aircraft designed by McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) to gain and maintain air supremacy in aerial combat. Following reviews of proposals, the United States Air Force selected McDonnell Douglas' design in 1967 to meet the service's need for a dedicated air superiority fighter. The Eagle first flew in July 1972, and entered service in 1976. It is among the most successful modern fighters, with over 100 victories and no losses in aerial combat, with the majority of the kills scored by the Israel Air Force.
The Eagle has been exported to Israel, Japan, and Saudi Arabia. The F-15 was originally envisioned as a pure air superiority aircraft. Its design included a secondary ground-attack capability that was largely unused. The aircraft design proved flexible enough that an all-weather strike derivative, the F-15E Strike Eagle, was later developed and entered service in 1989. The F-15 Eagle is expected to be in service with the U.S. Air Force past 2025. Newer models are still being produced for foreign users. The F-15 production line is set to end in 2019, 47 years after the type's first flight.
The F-15's maneuverability is derived from low wing loading (weight to wing area ratio) with a high thrust-to-weight ratio enabling the aircraft to turn tightly without losing airspeed. The F-15 can climb to 30,000 ft (10,000 m) in around 60 seconds. The thrust output of the dual engines is greater than the aircraft's combat weight, so it has the ability to accelerate vertically. The weapons and flight control systems are designed so that one person can safely and effectively perform air-to-air combat. The A and C-models are single-seat variants; these were the main air superiority versions produced. B and D-models add a second seat behind the pilot for training. E-models use the second seat for a weapon systems officer. Visibly, the F-15 has a unique feature vis-à-vis other modern fighter aircraft: it does not have the distinctive turkey feather aerodynamic exhaust petals covering its engine nozzles. This is because the petal design on the F-15 was problematic and could fall off in flight; therefore they were removed, resulting in a 3% aerodynamic drag increase.
In service with all nations the F-15 has an air-to-air combat record of 104 kills to 0 losses as of February 2008. The F-15's air superiority versions, the A/B/C/D models have not suffered any losses to enemy action. Over half of F-15 kills have been achieved by Israeli Air Force pilots.
In September 2015, Boeing unveiled its 2040C Eagle upgrade, designed to keep the F-15 relevant through 2040. Seen as a necessity because of the low numbers of F-22s procured, the upgrade builds upon the company's F-15SE Silent Eagle concept with low-observable features. Most improvements focus on lethality including quad-pack munitions racks to double its missile load to 16, conformal fuel tanks for extended range, "Talon HATE" communications pod to communicate with 5th generation fighters, the APG-63(v)3 AESA radar, a long-range infrared search and track (IRST) sensor, and BAE Systems' Eagle Passive/Active Warning Survivability System (EPAWSS) system. More details