U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle
The F-15E Strike Eagle is a dual-role fighter designed to perform air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. An array of avionics and electronics systems gives the F-15E the capability to fight at low altitude, day or night, and in all weather. The aircraft uses two crew members, a pilot and a weapon systems officer. Previous models of the F-15 are assigned air-to-air roles; the “E” model is a dual-role fighter. It has the capability to fight its way to a target over long ranges, destroy enemy ground positions and fight its way out.
The F-15E is powered by two Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-220 or 229 engines that incorporate advanced digital technology for improved performance. For air-to-ground missions, the F-15E can carry most weapons in the Air Force inventory. It also can be armed with AIM-9M Sidewinders or AIM-120 advanced medium range air-to-air missiles, or AMRAAM for the air-to-air role. The “E” model also has an internally mounted 20mm gun that can carry up to 500 rounds.
The F-15’s superior maneuverability and acceleration are achieved through its high engine thrust-to-weight ratio and low-wing loading. It was the first U.S. operational aircraft whose engines’ thrust exceeded the plane’s loaded weight, permitting it to accelerate even while in vertical climb. 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.
DID YOU KNOW?
- The F-15 made its first flight on July 27th, 1972.
- The F-15 production line is set to end in 2019, 47 years after the aircraft’s first flight but the F-15 Eagle is expected to be in service with the U.S. Air Force well past 2025.
- It’s one of the most successful modern-era fighters, with over 100 aerial combat victories. It’s also had 0 aerial combat losses, giving it a perfect record.
F-15E Strike Eagle FAST FACTS:
Engine: Two Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-220 or 229 turbofan engines with afterburners
Thrust: 25,000 – 29,000 pounds each engine
Wingspan: 42.8 feet (13 meters)
Length: 63.8 feet (19.44 meters)
Height: 18.5 feet (5.6 meters)
Speed: 1,875 mph (Mach 2.5 plus)
Combat Range: 2,400 miles (3,840 kilometers) ferry range with conformal fuel tanks and three external fuel tanks
Ceiling: 60,000 feet (18,288 meters)
Maximum takeoff weight: 81,000 pounds (36,450 kilograms)
Fuel capacity: 35,550 pounds (three external tanks plus conformal fuel tanks)
Crew: Pilot and weapon systems officer
Unit cost: $31.1 million (fiscal 98 constant dollars)
Inventory: Total force, 219