F-15E Strike Eagle

From Academic Kids

The F-15E Strike Eagle is an American modern all-weather strike fighter, designed for long-range interdiction of enemy ground targets deep behind enemy lines. A derivative of the F-15 air superiority fighter, the Strike Eagle proved its worth in Desert Storm, carrying out deep strikes against high-value targets and providing close air support for Coalition troops

F-15E Strike Eagle
Missing image

F-15E Strke Eagle
RoleAir-to-ground attak aircraft
First flight
Entered serviceApril 1988
ManufacturerMcDonnell Douglas Corp.
Length63.8 ft19.43 m
Wingspan42.8 ft13.06 m
Height18.5 ft5.69 m
Wing area608 ft²56.5 m²
Empty28,000 lb 12,700 kg
Loaded lb kg
Maximum takeoff81,000 lb36,700 kg
Engines2 x Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-229 afterburning turbofans
Thrust29,000 pounds-force129 kN (each)
Maximum speedMach 2.5+
Combat range
Ferry range 2,400 miles3,900 km
Service ceiling 65,000 ft19,800 m
Rate of climb 50,000 ft/min15,000 m/min
Cost$31.1 million (1998 Dollars)
Guns1x M61 Vulcan 20 mm cannon with 512 rounds
Bombs CBU-52, CBU-58, CBU-71, CBU-87 cluster, CBU-89 Gator, CBU-90, CBU-92, CBU-93, Mk 20 Rockeye, GBU-10 Paveway II, GBU-12 Paveway II, GBU-15 Capable of delivering nuclear ordinance.
MissilesAIM-7 Sparrow, AIM-9M Sidewinder, AIM-120 AMRAAM, AGM-45 Shrike, AGM-65 Maverick, AGM-88 HARM


In March of 1981, the USAF announced the Enhanced Tactical Fighter program to procure a replacement for the F-111. The concept envisioned an aircraft capable of launching deep interdiction missions without requiring additional support in the form of fighter escort or jamming support. General Dynamics submitted the F-16XL, while McDonnell Douglas submitted a variant of the F-15. The first production model of the F-15E was delivered to the 405th Tactical Training Wing, Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., in April 1988. Sub-variants of the F-15E are also operated by Israel (F-15I), Korea (F-15K), and Saudi Arabia (F-15S).

While the F-15 is being replaced by the F-22 Raptor, there is no slated replacement for the F-15E. As the Strike Eagles are more recent than the F-15 and rated for twice the lifetime, they will remain in service well into the middle of the 2010's. The Air Force is currently investigating a "regional bomber" concept, and among the possibilities are a bomber derivative of the F-22 Raptor, essentially carrying on the Strike Eagle legacy.

Design Characteristics

The deep strike mission of the F-15E is a radical departure from that of the F-15, designed as an air superiority fighter under the mantra "not a pound for air-to-ground". However, the basic airframe proved versatile enough to produce a very capable strike fighter. While designed for ground attack, it retains much of the air-to-air lethality of the F-15, and can defend itself against enemy aircraft.

The F-15E is a derivative of the F-15B, a trainer craft. Instead of a student seat in the back, the F-15E's second seat is equipped for a Weapons Systems Officer(WSO), or known to some as the "guy in back" (GIB), to work the new air-to-ground avionics. On four screens, the WSO can display information from the radar, electronic warfare or infrared sensors, monitor aircraft or weapons status and possible threats, select targets, and use an electronic "moving map" to navigate. Two hand controls are used to select new displays and to refine targeting information. Displays can be moved from one screen to another, chosen from a "menu" of display options.

To extend its range, the F-15E is typically fitted with two conformal fuel tanks that hug the fuselage, producing lower drag than conventional fuel tanks. They carry 750 U.S. gallons (2,800 L) of fuel, and also contain two weapons hardpoints. However, unlike conventional fuel tanks, they cannot be jettisoned, so increased range comes at the cost of degraded performance with respect to the F-15 as a result of the additional drag and weight. The same tanks can be mounted on F-15C's, but the range/performance tradeoff is typically not worth it for an air superiority fighter.

The Strike Eagle's tactical electronic warfare system(TEWS) integrates all countermeasures on the craft: radar warning receivers(RWR's), radar jammer, radar, and chaff/flare dispensers are all tied to the TEWS to provide comprehensive defense against detection and tracking.

An inertial navigation system uses a laser gyroscope to continuously monitor the aircraft's position and provide information to the central computer and other systems, including a digital moving map in both cockpits.

The APG-70 radar system allows air crews to detect ground targets from longer ranges. One feature of this system is that after a sweep of a target area, the crew freezes the air-to-ground map then goes back into air-to-air mode to clear for air threats. During the air-to-surface weapon delivery, the pilot is capable of detecting, targeting and engaging air-to-air targets while the WSO designates the ground target.

The low-altitude navigation and targeting infrared for night (LANTIRN) system allows the aircraft to fly at low altitudes, at night and in any weather conditions, to attack ground targets with a variety of precision-guided and unguided weapons. The LANTIRN system gives the F-15E unequaled accuracy in weapons delivery day or night and in poor weather, and consists of two pods attached to the exterior of the aircraft. At night, the video picture from the LANTIRN can be projected on the HUD, producing an image identical to what he would see during daytime.

The navigation pod contains terrain-following radar which allows the pilot to safely fly at a very low altitude following cues displayed on a heads up display. This system also can be coupled to the aircraft's autopilot to provide "hands off" terrain-following capability.

The targeting pod contains a laser designator and a tracking system that mark an enemy for destruction as far away as 10 mi (16 km). Once tracking has been started, targeting information is automatically handed off to infrared air-to-surface missiles or laser-guided bombs.

For air-to-ground missions, the F-15E can carry most weapons in the U.S. Air Force inventory. It also can be armed with AIM-9 Sidewinders and AIM-120 AMRAAMs for the air-to-air role. Like the F-15, the Strike Eagle also carries an internally mounted General Electric M61A 20mm cannon. The outboard hardpoints are unable to carry heavy loads and generally reserved for ECM pods, but the capacity of the inboard hardpoints can be expanded with the use of multiple ejector racks(MER). A MER allows up to six bombs to be carried on a single hardpoint.

A 494 FS F-15E of the  taking off from
A 494 FS F-15E of the 48th Fighter Wing taking off from RAF Lakenheath


This article contains information that originally came from a U.S. Government website, in the public domain. [USAF Website (]

Related content

Related development:

Comparable aircraft: MiG-25 - MiG-31 - Su-27 - Su-30

Designation series: F-11 - YF-12 - F-14 - F-15 - F-16 - F-17 - F/A-18

Variants: F-15A - F-15B - F-15C - F-15D - F-15E - F-15K

See also:

Lists of Aircraft | Aircraft manufacturers | Aircraft engines | Aircraft engine manufacturers

Airports | Airlines | Air forces | Aircraft weapons | Missiles | Timeline of aviation


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