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The Air Force issued a request for proposals for the new FX fighter in , and no fewer than six companies submitted competing paper designs.

Legend: How 1 Battle Made the F-15 Eagle a Real 'Top Gun'

No prototypes were built. The air service selected McDonnell Douglas now a part of Boeing in , ordering full-scale development planes. The F was a formidable aircraft. This gave the aircraft a thrust-to-weight ratio of greater than one, making it so powerful that it was the first fighter to exceed the speed of sound in vertical flight.

The F had so much thrust it could climb to sixty-five thousand feet in just seconds. In horizontal flight, the F could reach speeds of Mach 2.

F-15E ‘Strike’ Eagle

This allowed the F to pick out low-flying enemies on radar against the clutter generated by the ground. The radar was also the first to incorporate a programmable system processor, which allowed moderate upgrades to be done via software and not intrusive hardware updates. The Eagle was originally armed with four radar-guided AIM-7 Sparrow missiles for long-range engagements and four AIM-9 Sidewinder infrared guided missiles for short-range engagements.

This was remedied in the F by equipping the plane with an internal M61 Vulcan twenty-millimeter gatling gun.

The F was also designed with long range in mind. Carrying three six-hundred-pound fuel tanks, the F had a range of three thousand miles, making it possible to fly from the continental United States to Europe without stopping or midair refueling. The first F prototypes flew in , and serial production began in The plane rapidly began to populate both the U.

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DVIDS - F Eagle

Melnik would eventually down four aircraft from FAs and FCs, for a career total of eleven enemy fighters shot down. Israeli, Saudi and American Fs were responsible for this impressive streak. Israeli kills included were recorded between and and included Syrian MiG Foxbat interceptors, MiG and MiG fighters, and a number of ground attack and strike aircraft.

One FE Strike Eagle even scored an air-to-air kill against an Iraqi Mi attack helicopter with a laser-guided bomb. The latest program, nicknamed Golden Eagle, stress tests FCs for wear and tear, and of the planes in the best physical condition with the least receive new APGV3 active electronically scanned array radars and the Joint Helmet Mounted Cuing System, allowing rapid target acquisition with infrared guided missiles. The company has twice in recent years tried to again attract the interest of the Air Force, first with the semi-stealthy Silent Eagle in In , Boeing again introduced a new F, Eagle C.

Pulse-Doppler Radar

One concept of operation would have the stealthy—but relatively short on firepower—F flying among enemy aircraft, passing on targeting information to a Eagle C acting as a flying missile battery. Japanese FJs also operate from Okinawa, and were allegedly involved in an aerial encounter in June involving Chinese Su Flanker fighters.


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In a world still dominated by fourth-generation fighters, the F is an aging—but still formidable—fighter. The lack of a current, viable replacement means it will be at least until the early s before the remaining C and E models are retired.

This Is A Fully Armed F-15E Strike Eagle - The Most Advanced Production Eagle Ever

The F airframe in all its flavors will almost certainly spend an impressive half-century in active service— a first for a front line U. The United States Air Force F Eagle is a twin-engine, high-performance, all-weather fighter designed to seize and hold air superiority by sweeping the skies of all opposing forces.

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Entering the United State Air Force inventory on November 14, the F was the pinnacle of aviation technology for the last quarter of the 20th century. Capable of flight at greater than Mach 2. The F can climb 50, feet in less than 60 seconds. The relatively low aircraft weight, compared to wing area, made the Eagle not just fast, but also highly maneuverable, creating a near perfect platform for air-to-air combat. The F can be armed with a number of different weapons packages depending upon the intended mission.


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