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3 things you might not know about the vaunted F-15 fighter jet

Published by Business Insider on Sun, 04 Apr 2021

<p><img src="https://static5.businessinsider.com/image/5fa99075f7d1cb0019e3a968-2100/090722-f-8308w-941.jpg" border="0" alt="f 15" data-mce-source="USAF/Airman 1st Class Chad Warren" data-mce-caption="A flight of F-15C Eagles from the 44th Fighter Squadron, Kadena Air Base, Japan, flies during a solar eclipse July 22 over the island of Okinawa. The eclipse was a rare opportunity for servicemembers here to witness this rare event."></p><p></p><bi-shortcode id="summary-shortcode" data-type="summary-shortcode" class="mceNonEditable" contenteditable="false">Summary List Placement</bi-shortcode><p>The Mcdonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle and its subsequent variants have served as <a href="https://amzn.to/2tLrC4o" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow noreferrer">America's</a> workhorse intercept fighters for over 40 years.</p><p>For a short time, it seemed as though the F-15 would fade into history as it was being replaced by its stealthy successor, the F-22 Raptor. But the F-22 program ended and its supply chain was cannibalized to support F-35 production.</p><p><a href="https://amzn.to/2tLrC4o" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow noreferrer">America's</a> relatively small fleet of fifth generation air superiority fighters isn't large enough to replace the venerable F-15. Instead, Uncle Sam has agreed to <a href="https://sofrep.com/news/americas-fighter-of-the-future-is-the-f-15-air-force-wants-to-order-a-dozen-new-f-15x-fighters-in-2020/">purchase <em>more</em></a> fourth generation F-15s to replace those quickly aging out of service.</p><p>So what is it about the F-15 that's so special that <a href="https://amzn.to/2uL6rA9" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow noreferrer">America's Air Force</a> can't seem to get enough of them' Quite a bit, actually.</p><h2>It's the fastest fighter jet in America's arsenal</h2><p><img src="https://static4.businessinsider.com/image/52ea8b7f6bb3f76e25631ee5-2400/503008.jpg" border="0" alt="f-15 eagle afghanistan" data-mce-source="US Air Force" data-link="http://www.dvidshub.net/search/'q=f-15+eagle+sunset&amp;filter%5Btype%5D=image&amp;page=32#.UuqLWbvLicw"></p><p>Although the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter tends to garner most of the headlines, the F-15Cs and F-15Ds currently run by the <a href="https://amzn.to/2uL6rA9" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow noreferrer">US Air Force</a> actually beat out the F-35 in a handful of crucial air-combat metrics.</p><p>The F-35, it's important to note, wasn't designed to serve as a dedicated dog fighter: It was built to engage ground targets primarily. The <a href="https://sofrep.com/fightersweep/what-exactly-was-the-f-15-active-aircraft/">F-15</a>, on the other hand, was designed from the ground up to go toe to toe with the best Soviet fighters in the skyand back then Russian fighters were really something to be feared.</p><p>The F-15's top speed, of slightly over Mach 2.4 or 1,875 mph, is the subject of a bit of debate, as many claim the powerful fighter can go even faster. Either way, it leaves platforms like the F-35with a top speed of just 1,230 mph or soin its dust.</p><p>Even the top-of-the-line F-22 can only achieve Mach 2.2. This gives the F-15 the crown of <a href="https://amzn.to/2tLrC4o" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow noreferrer">America's</a> fastest fighter jet.</p><h2>It's got serious range</h2><p><img src="https://static1.businessinsider.com/image/5cd9a23e021b4c25e83ab503-2400/190512-f-zd147-0460.jpg" border="0" alt="F-15C Eagle refueling during deterrence patrol" data-mce-source="U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Keifer Bowes" data-mce-caption="F-15C Eagle refueling during deterrence patrol"></p><p>While the US Navy struggles to find ways to increase the operational range of its carrier-based F/A-18 Super Hornets and F-35C Joint Strike Fighters to stretch carrier ops further away from Chinese anti-ship ship missiles, the <a href="https://amzn.to/2uL6rA9" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow noreferrer">Air Force's</a> F-15s are boasting around <em>three times</em> the range of their Navy peers when flying with their three external fuel tanks.</p><p>In total, the F-15 can <a href="https://militarymachine.com/f-15-facts/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">cover</a> around 3,000 nautical miles without needing to refuel. Thanks to its inflight refueling capabilities, it could feasibly even stay airborne and in the fight for as long as the <a href="https://amzn.to/2t2Qchr" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow noreferrer">pilot</a>, and its ordnance, last.</p><h2>It's got a perfect combat record</h2><p><img src="https://static4.businessinsider.com/image/5ad7b7a0cd862434008b47ab/050119-f-7709a-023.jpg" border="0" alt="US Air Force F-15 Eagle" data-mce-source="US Air Force/Master Sgt. Michael Ammons" data-mce-caption="First Lt. Charles Schuck fires an AIM-7 Sparrow medium range air-to-air missile from an F-15 Eagle here while supporting a Combat Archer air-to-air weapons system evaluation program mission."></p><p>Despite being in operation for over four decades and <a href="https://www.boeing.com/defense/f-15/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">serving</a> in the <a href="https://amzn.to/2uL6rA9" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow noreferrer">air forces</a> of not just the United States, but also Japan, Israel, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Qatar, no F-15 has ever been shot down by an opposing force.</p><p>Unlike the F-35 and F-22, which rely on stealth to avoid detection and therefore, engagement, the F-15 has never been sneaky.</p><p>Without stealth to protect the aircraft from opposing fighters or ground-based air defenses, F-15 <a href="https://amzn.to/2t2Qchr" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow noreferrer">pilots</a> have had to rely on tactics, skill and speed to outmaneuver or entirely avoid enemy contact.</p><p><em>This article was originally published on January 2, 2020.</em></p><p><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/things-you-might-not-know-about-the-f15-fighter-jet-2021-4#comments">Join the conversation about this story &#187;</a></p> <p>NOW WATCH: <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/4th-fighter-wing-f-15e-strike-eagle-paint-job-time-lapse-2017-10">Watch this F-15E Strike Eagle receive a special paint job in this incredible time-lapse</a></p>
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