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. 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 weapons and flight control
systems are designed so one person can safely and effectively
perform air-to-air combat.
The Eagle can be armed with
combinations of four different air-to-air weapons: AIM-7F/M
Sparrow missiles or AIM-120 advanced medium range air-to-air
missiles on its lower fuselage corners, AIM-9L/M Sidewinder or
AIM-120 missiles on two pylons under the wings, and an internal
20mm Gatling gun in the right wing root.
The first F-15A flight was made in July
1972, and the first flight of the two-seat F-15B (formerly
TF-15A) trainer was made in July 1973. The first Eagle (F-15B)
was delivered in November 1974. In January 1976, the first Eagle
destined for a combat squadron was delivered. F-15C, D and
E models were deployed to the Persian Gulf in 1991 in support of
Operation Desert Storm where they proved their superior combat
capability with a confirmed 26:0 kill ratio. F-15 fighters
accounted for 36 of the 39 Air Force air-to-air victories.
F-15Es were operated mainly at night, hunting SCUD missile
launchers and artillery sites using the LANTIRN system
They have since been deployed to
support Operation Southern Watch, the patrolling of the
UN-sanctioned no-fly zone in Southern Iraq; Operation Provide
Comfort in Turkey; in support of NATO operations in Bosnia, and
recent air expeditionary force deployments