Translated by BabelFish
The McDonnell-Douglas F-15 Eagle, which has just started
its second decade of service within the US Air Force, was designed as
a hunter of air superiority, like its immediate predecessor with
the factory of Saint Louis, F-4 Phantom. Like this last, the
F-15 gave rise to several derived versions since it made its
appearance in Tactical Air Command, but it will undoubtedly not reach
noticed it the degree of versatility of which Phantom made the proof.
Nevertheless, the startup of the two-seater alternative of
attack and interception F-15E will increase in an important way of
the capacities of the US Air Force and will make it possible
McDonnell-Douglas to continue the production of this remarkable
fighter which is Eagle.
The development of the F-15 goes up with second half of the Sixties. Worried by the development of Mig-23 "the Flogger" and Mig-25 "the Foxbat" in Soviet Union, the persons in charge for the US Air Force decided to launch a research program relative to a new hunter. Although they had detected the existence of a new generation of planes fights Soviet for a rather long time, the American services of information had of it the confirmation only at the summer of 1967. In July of this year, indeed, two unknown apparatuses were presented at Domodedovo, incentive the US Air Force to take immediate measures.
Answering the most recent progress accomplished in the field of aeronautical technology, having an impressive quantity of electronics components, the interceptor realized by McDonnell-Douglas is equipped with a radar multimode Hugues APG-63 with Doppler impulses, who allows him to detect and draw on targets located low than him. Of a range of 160 km, it is able to hardly continue flying equipments to 15 m of the ground. Although conceived for the aerial combat, the APG-63 also comprises a certain number of air-to-ground modes, such as the cartography (for navigation) and the telemetry, which ensures offensive the automatic load release. This last possibility is seldom used. The F-15 being intended more for missions of air superiority than to the support or the attack. The avionics of this apparatus includes/understands also devices of electronic war, of which Northrop ALQ-135(V), a system of jamming per disappointment able to identify all the threats, to affect a set of priorities to them and to take all the countermeasures necessary in order to face there. The pilot can thus devote himself to the purely tactical part of his mission. The numerical detector Loral ALR-56 is able to detect any enemy radar locked on the plane, which can see its capacities increased by the use of systems assembled outside, like the nacelle of jamming Westinghouse ALQ-119.
Although it constitutes an entirely new plane, the F-15 present a certain number of characteristics pointing out F-4 Phantom II, its predecessor from McDonnell-Douglas. Such is the case of its aerofoil with arrow moderated, which is however established rather high on the fuselage and presents a restricted anhedral, constant on all the scale. At the time of the design of the new plane of air superiority of the US Air Force, the engineers attached a very great importance to the fact that this one would have to evolve/move. For this reason, they decided in favour of two-dimensional air intake, which swivels around an axis perpendicular to the symmetry plane of the apparatus. When, at the low speeds, the angle of attack increases, the air intake drops compared to the longitudinal axis of the plane, making it possible to improve the flow around the drifts and to decrease the trail. The visibility was in addition the object of a very great attention on behalf of the technicians. The field of vision backwards is almost with 180°, and the pilot is placed under a canopy practically deprived of amounts.
The structure of Eagle, although conventional, largely calls upon titanium, a material which counts for more than 26 % in the total mass of the cell. As for carbon fibre, it is employed in the realization of the air-brake and the empennage, without however exceeding more than 1 % of the total.
The F-15 took the air for the first time on July 27, 1972 and, to the end of 1974, the majority of the important tests had been concluded. The new plane was then to be affected in Tactical Air Command, whose panoply was already well provided. The interest that the highest American authorities granted to Eagle appeared clearly when, November 14, 1974, the president of the United States itself attended the reception of the first specimen of this apparatus, in the event a TF-15A, on the basis of Luke (Arizona). This machine and those which suivèrent were taken into account by the 555th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron (TFTS) of the 58th Fighter Traing Wing (FTW), which immediately began the training of these pilots for their qualification. In the middle of 1975, the personnel which was to compose the operational first wing on Eagle had joined the base of Luke. But the rate/rhythm of the exits remained rather weak, so that the pilots had not reached the level wanted at the end of the first phase of their transformation. TAC did not stop any therefore the program which it had defined and the first F-15 entered in service within the 27 Tactical Fighter Squadron (TFS) of the 1st Tactical Fighter Wing (TFW), in Langley AFB (Virginia), January 9, 1976. 72 other machines were going to follow and, at the end of 1976, two will squadrons additional (71st and 94th TFS) had received their equipment in Eagle. 1st TFW was now entirely equipped and two of its units, the 27th and 71st TFS, were declared operational. Charged with proceeding to the pilot training of the first wing of transformed overseas on F-15, 94th TFS obtained this statute only at the beginning of the following year.
The teams of maintenances of 36th TFW based with Bitburg, in West Germany, familiarized themselves with Eagle with Langley AFB as from September 1976. Delivery of four F-15, which intervened at the beginning of 1977, allowed to the pilots of this unit to begin their formation. Those of 525th TFS arrived at Langley in the last months of 1976 and became ready to carry out missions of combat to the middle of January 1977, time to which 36th TFW taken into account its F-15. In April 1977, after the drive had ended, 20 F-15A and three F-15B crossed the Atlantic and reached Bitburg without encumbers. The two others will squadrons 36th TFW knew the same advance, 53rd TFS finishing its deployment in Germany in July 1977 and 22nd TFS three months later.
Regularity of the deliveries of F-15A allowed two others wings of Tactical Air Command and a squadron of the US Air Force to be equipped between 1977 and 1979. The production passed then to the F-15C and the F-15D, a two-seater version of the first.
Accomplishing its initial flight on February 27, 1979, the F-15C was the principal version built during years which followed. Although it does not present any external difference with the F-15A, this model is equipped with an alternative improved of radar APG-63 and has increased capacity while carburizing. Moreover, it is able to carry the container FAST (Fuel And Sensor Tactical), in which 2 270 kg of fuel, and many sensors are stored (cameras of recognition, equipment radar and infra-reds, detectors of radars, illuminators with laser and cameras of television on very low level of light). The capacities of Eagle could of this fact being increased considerably.
The operational deployment of the F-15C and the F-15D began in 1979, 18th TFW, based with Kadena, in the island of Okinawa, being the first unit equipped with these apparatuses, between September 1979 and April 1980.
The F-15A become available following the service entrance of the F-15C were assigned to other units, this manner of proceeding offering to the US Air Force the advisability of re-equipping those which ensured the air defense of the United States. Equipped mainly with Convair F-106A Delta Dart, an interceptor of great quality but then exceeded, these formations had great need to receive new material and better adapted to their task. The process started in August 1981, time to which the 48th Fighter Interceptor Squadron of the Air Defense Tactical Air Command, based in Langley AFB, took into account its first F-15A. This squadron became operational in 1982 and the 318th MADE, of McChord, survives in 1983. A plan envisages to transform three others will squadrons of this command in the years to come. Passed on F-15A in 1984, the Air Defense Weapons Center de Tyndall AFB (Florida), is mainly intended for the drive. Apart from their essential task, which consists in being opposed to any air threat weighing on the American territory, will squadrons them del' ADTAC must be employed in the anti-satellite fight thanks to the missiles ASAT with which they will be provided in the near future. 36 Eagle will be equipped with this weapon developed by the Vought firm.
The US Air Force must also take into account 392 specimens of a version of attack and prohibition any time to which the denomination of F-15E was allotted but that McDonnell-Douglas more readily Strike Eagle calls. Having took the air for the first time on July 8, 1980, this apparatus, produced on the private funds of the American firm, has various improvements, in particular radar avionics. Being interested very quickly in the machine, the US Air Force will require its comparative evaluation with General Dynamics F-16E. Led to Edwards AFB during the year 1983, these tests led to a firm control of the authorities. The deliveries of the F-15E, which must take the changing of General Dynamics F-111, will undoubtedly begin in 1988. The principal equipment carried by the new plane will be the nacelle of navigation and attack of night LANTIRN, the sensors with infra-reds directed forwards, of the detectors of radar, of the numerical cartographic screens, collimating radar APG-71 high head. Moreover, the F-15E will be equipped with missiles air air for average carried AIM-120 and with AIM-9L Sidewinder for infra-red guidance.
Although Eagle was carried out before very being useful in the US Air Force, the American government agreed to its export in several countries, of which Israel, Japan and Saudi Arabia.
The F-15A and the F-15B acquired by the Hebrew State within the framework of the program Peace Fox arrived in the country since 1976 and were used in operations for the escort of the planes of attack and recognition of the Israeli air force. These machines faced with various recoveries Mig-21 and Mig-23 Syrians above Lebanon, in particular in 1982, at the time of the Paix operation as a Galileo, while giving full and whole satisfaction their users. Moreover, they escorted F-16 which carried out the raid against the Iraqi nuclear thermal power station of Osirak, afterwards of 1000 km Israel, June 7, 1981.
As for the F-15J whose Japan is equipped, they are different from the F-15C only by some transformations of the electronics components. Lastly, the principal mission of the F-15C and F-15D which Saudi Arabia must take into account will be the air defense of the countries.