After the Vietnam War, the United States made it clear that it needed a next-generation fighter jet. The Russians had developed the MiG-25 in 1967, and the North American country’s response came twice earlier with the Grumman F-14 and then with the fixed-wing F-15 McDonnel Douglas (now part of Boeing).
This fighter would make its first flight in July 1972 and enter service in 1976, but the peculiarity is that after almost 50 years since this first flight, the F-15 has managed to adapt to the new era. A new (and very expensive) version takes to the skies againBut he does it in a slightly different way: now the idea is to serve as an escort for the mighty F-35.
An F-15 adapted to new times
The F-15 achieved spectacular results during this period. Although it suffered various accidents – 175 of them were lost in non-combat situations – it is one of the most effective fighter planes: a plane crashed during 50,000 flight hours.
What is a “viking takeoff”? Watch Qatar Emiri Air Force # F15 demonstrate the maneuver on its maiden flight. pic.twitter.com/wLHEuvH0Lt
– Boeing Defence (@BoeingDefense) 14 avril 2020
Its behavior has now been refined with a series of electronic controls which improve handling and systems automation.
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Also added a fully digital stand, better sensors and better capabilities for new military missions thanks in part to EPAWSS (Eagle Passive Active Alert Survival System) a modern threat identification system.
Its application to military missions is now evolving significantly: previously, the F-15 alone was sufficient to eradicate threats, but now it will also complement the F-35.
While the latter is responsible for penetrating enemy defenses undetected to locate targets, the new F-15 will be responsible for attacking with all this information thanks to to be able to withstand a much higher effective load: up to 13,380 kh of armament for the 2,585 of the F-35.
As expensive as the F-35, but not really
These upgrades, however, won’t be cheap at all: the new F-15s will cost around $ 80 million, which is the estimated price that it will also take to build the F-35 in 2025. The F advantage -15 lies in its long lifespan, which is 20,000 hours compared to 8,000 in the F-35, and the fact that thanks to this each hour of flight of the F-15 will be much cheaper than an F-35.
On April 14, Boeing announced the first flight of the Qatar Air Force F-15QA (QEAF) and demonstrated its new capabilities in a 90-minute mission. For example, the plane could be seen in this vertical takeoff “Viking” which after the initial takeoff allows gain height at an astonishing speed with a unique nine “G” maneuver.
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Will be the first of 36 new F-15s that the US Department of Defense will manufacture for QEAF, which has invested $ 6.2 billion in these refurbished fighter jets. Another 144 are also on their way to the United States, proving that the F-15 will remain active for a long time.