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F-15E Strike Eagle

f-15e-1.jpg (70805 bytes)

DATE:

SEPTEMBER 09, 1996

SECTION:

AIRCRAFT - FIXED-WING - MILITARY

COUNTRY:

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

COMPANY NAME:

MCDONNELL DOUGLAS - MCDONNELL AIRCRAFT COMPANY

TITLE:

MCDONNELL DOUGLAS F-15E EAGLE

MCDONNELL DOUGLAS F-15I EAGLE

MCDONNELL DOUGLAS F-15S EAGLE

MCDONNELL DOUGLAS F-15U EAGLE

Israel Defence Force name: Ra'am (Thunder)

TYPE:

Two-seat dual role attack/air superiority fighter.

PROGRAMME:

Demonstration of industry-funded Strike Eagle prototype (71-0291) modified from F-15B, including accurate blind weapons delivery, completed at Edwards AFB and Eglin AFB during 1982; product improvements for the F-15E were tested on four Eagles, amongst which were the Strike Eagle prototype, an F-15C and an F-15D, between November 1982 and April 1983, including first take-off at 34,019 kg (75,000 lb), 3,175 kg (7,000 lb) more than F-15C with conformal tanks; new weight included conformal tanks, three other external tanks and eight 500 lb Mk 82 bombs; 16 different stores configurations tested, including 2,000 lb Mk 84 bombs, and BDU-38 and CBU-58 weapons delivered visually and by radar.

Full programme go-ahead announced 24 February 1984; first flight of first production F-15E (86-0183) 11 December 1986; first delivery to Luke AFB, Arizona, 12 April 1988; first delivery 29 December 1988 to 4th Wing at Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina. Small number of F-15Es used for trials with 3246th Test Wing at Eglin AFB, Florida, and 6510th TW (412th TW from October 1992) at Edwards AFB, California; trials include 87-0180 with GE F110-GE-129 engines in place of F100s; $5 million allocated in 1995 to allow USAF to complete test project. P&W F100-PW-229 first flown in F-15E of 6510th TW on 2 May 1990.

VARIANTS:

F-15E: Basic version, as detailed.

F-15F: Proposed single-seat version, optimised for air combat; not built.

F-15H: Proposed export version, lacking specialised air-to-ground capability; supplanted by F-15S.

F-15I: Israeli export version of F-15E; selected November 1993; confirmed 27 January 1994; 21 ordered 12 May 1994 for delivery from 1997 at one per month; option on four more converted to firm order in November 1995. Tactical electronic warfare system deleted; to be replaced by Israeli-built integrated system including active jamming, radar and missile warning, and dispenser subsystems. Otherwise identical to USAF F-15E, with F100-PW-229 engines, LANTIRN pods, full capability AN/APG-70 radar, Kaiser holographic HUD, Litton ring laser INS and VHSIC central computer. Associated equipment includes four Sanders mission planning subsystems and one Sanders common mapping production system (CMPS) to assist ground planning, briefing and debriefing activities at total cost of $6.2 million.

F-15S: Saudi Arabian export version of F-15E, lacking some air-to-air and air-to-ground capabilities; Saudi Arabian request for 72 aircraft approved by US government in December 1992; initially designated F-15XP; first funds assigned by US government on 23 December 1992; contract signature by Saudi government May 1993; planned delivery rate halved early 1994; now to be one per month from 1995. First F-15S flown 19 June 1995; official roll-out and handover 12 September 1995. Initial aircraft believed to have been retained in USA for trials; first two examples delivered to Saudi Arabia in November 1995 were second and third built.

Saudi versions comprise 24 optimised for air-to-air missions and 48 optimised for air-to-ground; largely outfitted with F-15C/D systems; AN/APG-70 radar `de-tuned' to match AN/APG-63 performance, lacking computerised mapping; some ECM deleted; Lockheed Martin Sharpshooter reduced-capability version of LANTIRN nav/attack pods. Despite earlier planned restrictions, aircraft delivered with conformal fuel tanks and associated tangential stores attachments. Armament includes AGM-65D/G Maverick, AIM-9M and AIM-9S Sidewinder missiles, CBU-87 submunitions dispenser and GBU-10/12 bombs. Saudi programme includes about 154 Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-229 engines.

F-15U: Version conceived to satisfy United Arab Emirates requirement for 20 to 80 long-range interdictor aircraft, in which it is competing against Lockheed Martin F-16, Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter 2000 and Sukhoi Su-37 (Su-30MK). F-15U Plus proposal anticipates extended range, with additional 2,570 kg (5,665 lb) of fuel in thicker clipped-delta, 50 leading-edge sweep wing; more stores stations and internally situated infra-red navigation and targeting sensor suite in lieu of LANTIRN. Typical ordnance loads would comprise nine 2,000 lb Mk 84 bombs or seven laser-guided GBU-24s.

Offer envisages co-development, with UAE funding cost of developing and testing any new components; alternative proposal envisages delivery to UAE of standard F-15E Strike Eagle under FMS; either option dependent upon US government policy, which still to be established.

CUSTOMERS:

USAF funding for originally planned 392 reduced to 200; however, further nine funded in FY91 and FY92, comprising three Desert Storm loss replacements and six with proceeds of sale to Saudi Arabia of 24 surplus F-15C/Ds. Additional six examples to be procured in FY96 budget for delivery from November 1998, despite not being requested by USAF; these expected to make good anticipated attrition. Further batches of six aircraft expected to be purchased in FY97 and FY98, raising total USAF buy to 227. Delivery of FY97 and FY98 F-15Es set for 1999. Saudi Arabia 72 (F-15S); Israel 25 (F-15I).

USAF F-15E PROCUREMENT

Batch FY Qty First aircraft

Lot 1 86 8 86-0183

Lot 2 87 42 87-0169

Lot 3 88 42 88-1667

Lot 4 89 36 89-0471

Lot 5 90 36 90-0227

Lot 6 91 36 91-0300

Lot 7 91 6 91-0600

Lot 8 92 3 92-0364

Lot 9 96 6

________________________________

Total 215

Initial USAF unit, 4th Wing, declared operational October 1989, currently with 333, 334, 335 and 336 Squadrons; and others with 57th Wing USAF Weapons School at Nellis AFB, Nevada; 90th FS of 3rd Wing at Elmendorf, Alaska, received first F-15E on 29 May 1991; 391st FS, sole F-15E squadron in multitype 366th Wing at Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, received first aircraft (reallocated from early production) 6 November 1991; 492nd and 494th FS of 48th FW at Lakenheath, UK, received first aircraft on 21 February 1992 (46th arrival at Lakenheath, 16 June 1993, was 200th F-15E, 91-0335). Deliveries of Lot 7 began to 48th FW on 13 April 1994 and final USAF F-15E (92-0366) delivered to 57th Wing on 11 July 1994. Initial contract placed with McDonnell Douglas by US government on 18 December 1992 for 72 Saudi aircraft; project name, Peace Sun IX.

COSTS:

$35 million, flyaway; $2,000 million for 21 F-15Is (1993), Israel. $311 million appropriation for six F-15Es in FY96.

DESIGN FEATURES:

NACA 64A aerofoil section with conical camber on leading-edge; sweepback 38 42' at quarter-chord; thickness/chord ratio 6.6 per cent at root, 3 per cent at tip; anhedral 1; incidence 0. Twin fins positioned to receive vortex flow off wing and maintain directional stability at high angles of attack. Straight two-dimensional external compression engine air inlet each side of fuselage. Air inlet controllers by Hamilton Standard. Air inlet actuators by National Water Lift. Mission includes approach and attack at night and in all weather; main systems include new high-resolution, synthetic aperture Hughes AN/APG-70 radar, wide field of view FLIR, Lockheed Martin LANTIRN navigation (AN/AAQ-13) and targeting (AN/AAQ-14) pods beneath starboard and port air intakes respectively; air-to-air capacity with AIM-7 Sparrow, AIM-9 Sidewinder and AIM-120 AMRAAM retained; rear cockpit has four multipurpose CRT displays for radar, weapon selection, and monitoring enemy tracking systems; front cockpit modifications include redesigned up-front controls, wide field of view HUD, colour CRT multifunction displays for navigation, weapon delivery, moving map, precision radar mapping and terrain-following. Engines have digital electronic control, engine trimming and monitoring; fuel tanks are foam-filled; more powerful generators; better environmental control.

FLYING CONTROLS:

Plain ailerons and all-moving tailplane with dog-tooth extensions, both powered by National Water Lift hydraulic actuators; rudders have Ronson Hydraulic Units actuators; no spoilers or trim tabs; Moog boost and pitch compensator for control column; plain flaps; upward-opening airbrake panel in upper fuselage between fins and cockpit. Digital triple-redundant Lear Astronics flight control system capable of automatic coupled terrain-following.

STRUCTURE:

Wing based on torque box with integrally machined skins and ribs of light alloy and titanium; aluminium honeycomb wingtips, flaps and ailerons; airbrake panel of titanium, aluminium honeycomb and graphite/epoxy composites skin. Strike version of Eagle includes 60 per cent of normal F-15 structure redesigned to allow 9 g and 16,000 hours fatigue life; superplastic forming/diffusion bonding used for upper rear fuselage, rear fuselage keel, main landing gear doors, and some fuselage fairings, plus engine bay structure. New wing design that would provide 33 per cent range increase and give double the number of weapons stations of existing F-15E revealed in 1994. This could be incorporated in future production aircraft (including proposed United Arab Emirates F-15U) or installed on existing F-15s as retrofit programme.

LANDING GEAR:

Hydraulically retractable tricycle type, with single wheel on each unit. All units retract forward. Cleveland nose and main units, each incorporating an oleo-pneumatic shock-absorber. Bendix wheels and Michelin AIR X radial tyres on all units. Nosewheel tyre size 22 x 7.75-9, mainwheel tyres size 36 x 11-18; tyre pressure 21.03 bars (305 lb/sq in) on all units. Bendix five-rotor carbon disc brakes.

POWER PLANT:

Initially, two Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-220 turbofans, each rated for take-off at 104.3 kN (23,450 lb st), installed, with afterburning. USAF aircraft 135 onwards (90-0233), built from August 1991, have 129.4 kN (29,100 lb st) Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-229s, which also ordered for Saudi F-15S. Internal fuel in foam-filled structural wing tanks and six Goodyear fuselage tanks, total capacity 7,643 litres (2,019 US gallons; 1,681 Imp gallons). Simmonds fuel gauge system. Optional conformal fuel tanks (CFT) attached to side of engine air intakes, beneath wing, each containing 2,737 litres (723 US gallons; 602 Imp gallons). Provision for up to three additional 2,309 litre (610 US gallon; 508 Imp gallon) external fuel tanks. Maximum total internal and external fuel capacity 20,044 litres (5,295 US gallons; 4,409 Imp gallons).

ACCOMMODATION:

Two crew, pilot and weapon systems officer, in tandem on McDonnell Douglas ACES II zero/zero ejection seats. Single-piece, upward-hinged, bird-resistant canopy.

SYSTEMS:

Lucas Aerospace generating system for electrical power, with Sundstrand 60/75/90 kVA constant-speed drive units. Litton molecular sieve oxygen generating system (MSOGS) introduced in 1991 to replace liquid oxygen system. AiResearch air conditioning system. Three independent hydraulic systems (each 207 bars; 3,000 lb/sq in) powered by Abex engine-driven pumps; modular hydraulic packages by Hydraulic Research and Manufacturing Company. AlliedSignal APU for engine starting, and for provision of limited electrical or hydraulic power on the ground independently of main engines.

AVIONICS:

Comms: Magnavox AN/ARC-164 UHF transceiver and UHF auxiliary transceiver with cryptographic capability; Teledyne Electronics AN/APX-101 IFF transponder; Hazeltine AN/APX-76 IFF interrogator with Litton reply evaluator.

Radar: Hughes Aircraft AN/APG-70 I-band pulse Doppler radar provides air-to-air capability equal to F-15C, plus high-resolution synthetic aperture mode for air-to-ground.

Flight: Triple redundant Lear Astronics digital flight control system with automatic terrain-following standard. IBM CP-1075C very high-speed integrated circuit (VHSIC) central computer introduced in 1992 (replacing CP-1075). Honeywell AN/ASK-6 air data computer, Honeywell AN/ASN-108 AHRS, Honeywell CN-1655A/ASN ring laser gyro INS providing basic navigation data and serving as primary attitude reference system, Collins AN/ARN-118 Tacan, Collins HSI presenting aircraft navigation information on a symbolic pictorial display, Collins AN/ARN-112 ILS receiver, Collins ADF receiver, Dorne & Margolin glide slope localiser antenna and Teledyne Avionics angle of attack sensors. Collins miniature airborne GPS receiver for installation from 1995.

Instrumentation: FLIR imagery displayed on Kaiser IR-2394/A wide field of view HUD; Honeywell vertical situation display set using CRT to present radar, electro-optical identification and attitude director indicator formats to pilot under all light conditions; moving map display by Bendix/King RP-341/A remote map reader. Honeywell digital map system intended to replace remote map reader from 1996.

Mission: Lockheed Martin LANTIRN externally mounted sensor package comprising AN/AAQ-13 navigation pod and AN/AAQ-14 targeting pod.

Self-defence: Northrop Grumman Enhanced AN/ALQ-135(V) internal countermeasures set provides automatic jamming of enemy radar signals; Loral AN/ALR-56C RWR, Magnavox AN/ALQ-128 EW warning set, Tracor AN/ALE-45 chaff dispenser.

ARMAMENT:

20 mm M61A1 six-barrel gun in starboard wing-root, with 512 rounds. General Electric lead computing gyro. Provision on underwing (one per wing) and centreline pylons for air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons and external fuel tanks. Wing pylons use standard rail and launchers for AIM-9 Sidewinder and AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles; AIM-7 Sparrow and AIM-120 AMRAAM can be carried on ejection launchers on the fuselage or on tangential stores carriers on CFTs. Maximum aircraft load (with or without CFTs) is four each AIM-7 or AIM-9, or up to eight AIM-120. Single or triple rail launchers for AGM-65 Maverick air-to-ground missiles can be fitted to wing stations only.

Tangential carriage on CFTs provides for up to six bomb racks on each tank, with provision for multiple ejector racks on wing and centreline stations. Edo BRU-46/A and BRU-47/A adaptors throughout, plus two LAU-106A/As each side of lower fuselage. F-15E can carry a wide variety and quantity of guided and unguided air-to-ground weapons, including Mk 20 Rockeye, Mk 82, Mk 84, BSU-49, BSU-50, GBU-10, GBU-12, GBU-15, GBU-24, CBU-52, CBU-58, CBU-71, CBU-87 or CBU-89 bombs; SUU-20 training weapons; A/A-37 U-33 tow target; and B57 and B61 series nuclear weapons. An AN/AXQ-14 datalink pod is used in conjunction with the GBU-15; LANTIRN pod illumination is used to designate targets for laser-guided bombs; AGM-130 powered standoff bomb integrated in 1993. AN/AWG-27 armament control system.

DIMENSIONS:

EXTERNAL:

Wing span 13.05 m (42 ft 9{3/4} in)

Wing aspect ratio 3.0

Length overall 19.43 m (63 ft 9 in)

Height overall 5.63 m (18 ft 5{1/2} in)

Tailplane span 8.61 m (28 ft 3 in)

Wheel track 2.75 m (9 ft 0{1/4} in)

Wheelbase 5.42 m (17 ft 9{1/2} in)

AREAS:

Wings, gross 56.49 m{2} (608.0 sq ft)

Ailerons (total) 2.46 m{2} (26.48 sq ft)

Flaps (total) 3.33 m{2} (35.84 sq ft)

Fins (total) 9.78 m{2} (105.28 sq ft)

Rudders (total) 1.85 m{2} (19.94 sq ft)

Tailplanes (total) 10.34 m{2} (111.36 sq ft)

WEIGHTS:

AND LOADINGS (F100-PW-220 engines):

Operating weight empty (no fuel, ammunition, pylons or

external stores) 14,515 kg (32,000 lb)

Max weapon load 11,113 kg (24,500 lb)

Max fuel weight: internal (JP4) 5,952 kg (13,123 lb)

CFTs (two, total) 4,265 kg (9,402 lb)

external tanks (three, total) 5,396 kg (11,895 lb)

max internal and external 15,613 kg (34,420 lb)

Max T-O weight 36,741 kg (81,000 lb)

Max zero-fuel weight 28,440 kg (62,700 lb)

Max landing weight:

unrestricted 20,094 kg (44,300 lb)

at reduced sink rates 36,741 kg (81,000 lb)

Max wing loading 650.5 kg/m{2} (133.22 lb/sq ft)

Max power loading 176 kg/kN (1.73 lb/lb st)

PERFORMANCE:

Max level speed at height Mach 2.5

Max combat radius 685 n miles (1,270 km; 790 miles)

Max range 2,400 n miles (4,445 km; 2,762 miles)

US F-15 PRODUCTION

 

F-15A F-15B F-15C F-15D F-15DJ

Israel 19 2 18 13

Japan 20(1)

Saudi Arabia 55 19

US 365(2) 59(3) 409 61

Total 384 61 482 93 20

F-15E F-15I F-15J F-15S Total

Israel 25 72 149

Japan 2 22

Saudi Arabia 74

US 215(4) 1,109

Total 215 25 2 72 1,354

Note: See Mitsubishi in Japanese section for licenced production totals (1)Including eight kits to Mitsubishi (2)Including 10 YF-15s (3)Including two YF-15s, of which one converted to F-15E prototype (4)Planned purchase of 12 F-15Es in FY97 and FY98 not included

 

Source: Jane's All The World Aircraft 1997

 

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