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    The F-15 Eagle: Unmatched Aerial Champion in the Skies

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    When the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle tore through the skies on its maiden flight on July 27, 1972, few could have predicted the legendary status this aircraft would achieve in aerial combat history.

    The all-weather tactical fighter designed by McDonnell Douglas (now part of Boeing) has since recorded over 100 victories without a single loss, solidifying its reputation as the go-big-or-go-home U.S. fighter jet.

    Developed to reclaim U.S. air superiority during the Cold War era, the F-15 responded to the Air Force’s call for a fighter with extraordinary speed, potent radar, and a substantial armament, including air-to-air missiles and a gun for close-combat.

    The F-15’s unparalleled performance comes from a fusion of power and technological sophistication, with engines that allow it to ascend straight up into the sky and radar systems capable of detecting enemy aircraft over 200 miles away.

    The F-15 has seen various iterations, from the F-15A to the more advanced F-15EX, incorporating enhanced payloads, fly-by-wire controls, digital cockpits, and cutting-edge electronic warfare capabilities.

    The F-15EX is the latest in this lineage, offering further-improved operational capabilities to the U.S. Air Force.

    In combat, the F-15 has been a formidable force. Its first aerial kill dates back to 1979 when an Israeli pilot downed a Syrian MiG-21. During operations in the Middle East, F-15 variants demonstrated their prowess; the F-15Ds claimed 36 Iraqi aircraft in the Gulf Wars, and the F-15Es targeted mobile Scud missile launchers.

    No other fighter worldwide boasts a more impressive track record in real air combat engagements.

    Nonetheless, in 1988, the Strike Eagle variant made its debut, placing a greater emphasis on deep-strike/ground attack missions, close air support for infantry, and, eventually, electronic warfare capabilities.

    According to DefenseNews, “The Eagle Passive/Active Warning and Survivability System will let the F-15E monitor, jam and deceive threats in highly contested environments…. It uses sensors, electronic countermeasures and algorithms to provide integrated radar warning, geolocation, situational awareness and self-defense technology.”

    Furthermore, “The F-15EX can shoot from a significantly increased range, farther than any other fighter in the US Air Force arsenal [emphasis added], and provides the unique capability of holding 12 AMRAAMs [AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile] or other large ordnance.”

    Former F-15 and F-35 pilot Joseph Stenger said, “What separates the F-15E is the air-to-ground capability, especially in the close-air-support (CAS) mission set. The sensors, long on-station time, interoperability, and a vast array of available weaponry really set the F-15E apart from other fighters.”

    When the United States recognized the necessity of including the destruction of USSR satellites in its defense strategies, intelligence revealed that the Russians could detect ground-to-orbit missile launches and potentially evade anti-satellite missiles.

    Consequently, the US embarked on the development of an anti-satellite missile intended to be deployed from an airborne F-15.

    As reported by Wearethemighty.com, “The system was successfully tested by Air Force Maj. Wilbert D ‘Doug’ Pearson, who is still the only pilot with an air-to-orbit kill.”

    Relevant articles:
    Badass Fighter Jet: What’s So Cool About The F-15?, Simple Flying
    What Are The Best Fighter Jets In The US Air Force?, simpleflying.com
    15 is the most badass U.S. fighter jet ever, Airborne ECS
    Why the F-15 Is Such a Badass Plane, Popular Mechanics

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