Toting a single 2,000lb Mk84 bomb and retaining the original LANTIRN system, this F-15E is climbing in full reheat from its Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-220 engines. Jamie Hunter

The US Air Force marked 30 years of the F-15E in December. The Strike Eagle continues to be a niche type that looks set for many more years of service.

Only the USAF’s F-15E pilots currently wear the Joint Helmet- Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS). Jim Haseltine

THE FIRST PRODUCTION-STANDARD F-15E Strike Eagle (serial 86-0183/ E001) made its maiden flight on December 11, 1986, from McDonnell Douglas’ St Louis, Missouri, plant. Thirty years on, the Strike Eagle has earned itself a unique position in the US Air Force inventory. It is one of the most proficient multi-role, air-to-air and air-to ground strike fighters in the world, and is set to remain so well into the future.

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