F-15 Eagle

Boeing's F-15 program was requested by the US Air Force, which required a fighter jet designed to maintain the country's air superiority. The F-15 Eagle has now been the primary fighter jet aircraft and intercept platform for decades.

F-15 Program – All Articles, News, Videos and More…

Japanese F-15J marks 100 years of the Italian Air Force

As part of preparations being made for welcoming a detachment of Italian F-35A Lightning IIs to Komatsu Air Base in Ishikawa, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force painted one of its F-15J Eagles in special markings to commemorate the centenary of the Italian Air Force

Feature Premium

How the USAF is planning to massively change its frontline fighter fleets

The USAF’s fighter force comprises a disparate mix of aircraft types – some of which are rather old – and there are urgent plans to recapitalize the fleet with a mix of new and upgraded types, as Jon Lake explains

Australian KC-30A conducts refuelling trials with JASDF F-15Js

The Royal Australian Air Force has completed air-to-air refuelling trials with Boeing F-15J/DJ Eagle fighters from the Japan Air Self-Defense Force for the first time

Feature Premium

The ultimate guide to everything happening at RAF Lakenheath

AirForces Monthly looks at RAF Lakenheath, where the 48th Fighter Wing is continuing to transition from an all Eagle force to welcome the new fifth-generation capabilities offered by the F-35A Lightning II

USAF transfers former Kadena-based F-15Cs to 144th FW

As the USAF continues to rapidly withdraw its F-15C/D Eagles from Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, the US Air National Guard’s 144th Fighter Wing at Fresno-Yosemite International Airport in California has revealed that it received three of the former Japan-based fighters in December

First USAF F-15s leave Kadena as phased withdrawal effort begins

The phased withdrawal of USAF-operated Boeing F-15C/D Eagles from Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan, commenced on December 1, when the first eight 18th Wing aircraft departed from the base

Japanese F-15s deploy to the Philippines

Two Japan Air Self-Defense Force-operated Boeing F-15J Eagles along with 60 personnel have deployed to the Philippines to undertake exercises with the Philippine Air Force between November 27 and December 11

USAF plots withdrawal of F-15s from Kadena

According to a report released on October 27, the USAF is planning to remove all of its Boeing F-15C/D Eagle fighters from Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan, in 2023

Israel completes major rebuild of crashed F-15I Ra’am

An Israeli Air Force F-15I Ra’am that had been involved in a crash-landing last year has completed repairs and is now flying again

Feature Premium

Soesterberg F-15 CO describes his time as squadron boss

Colonel Douglas C (‘Disco’) Dildy (USAF Ret) describes his time as the commander of the 32nd Fighter Squadron at Soesterberg Air Base in the Netherlands, which flew the F-15 Eagle.


F-15 Eagle Development

McDonnell Douglas was awarded the F-15 contract on December 23, 1969, for the development phase which involved building 20 aircraft initially. On June 26, 1972, the F-15 made its ceremonial debut at McDonnell Douglas' St Louis plant located on the same airfield as the city’s airport. Christened the Eagle, the F-15's next milestone – the first flight – occurred on July 27 when Irving Burrows of McDonnell Douglas piloted the fighter on a 50min maiden flight over Edwards AFB, California. This event also launched the F-15's flight-test programme which took place at three locations – Edwards, Eglin AFB, Florida, and the McDonnell Douglas facility at St Louis airport.

NASA supported the F-15 flight-test programme by evaluating three-eighths scale models of remotely piloted research vehicles (RPRVs). The aluminium and fibreglass RPRV's, 23.8ft long with 16ft wingspans and weighing 2,000lb, were dropped from B-52 aircraft at 45,000ft. These trials provided invaluable data that enhanced the safety of the full-scale tests later.

The two-seat F-15B first took to the air on July 7, 1973. McDonnell Douglas built 384 single-seat F-15A aircraft between 1972 and 1979, and 61 two-seat F-15Bs during the same period. Customers for both variants were the Israeli Air Force and the US Air Force.

The F-15C made its maiden flight on February 26, 1979, followed by the two-seat F-15D on June 19, that same year. There were 483 single-seat F-15Cs manufactured between 1979 and 1985, and 92 two-seat F-15Ds during the same period. Aircraft were built for the Israeli Air Force, Royal Saudi Air Force, and the US Air Force.

Japanese Variant

In the 1980s, Japan built F-15s under licence from McDonnell Douglas and they are currently operated by seven operational squadrons, a training squadron, and a dedicated aggressor unit. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ F-15J Eagle is the primary interceptor in service with the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF).

The first F-15J was handed over to the JASDF in St Louis in July 1980. The initial two F-15Js and the first 12 F-15DJ aircraft were built in St Louis and flown to Japan. Ten F-15Js and eight F-15DJs were then supplied as kits and assembled by MHI at Komaki, while the remaining 153 F-15Js and 28 F-15DJs were pieced together by MHI with Japanese-produced components. The final F-15J was rolled-out at Komaki on November 4, 1998, followed by the last F-15DJ on October 25, 1999.