TYPE: Two-seat dual role attack/air superiority fighter.

PROGRAMME: Demonstration of industry-funded Strike Eagle prototype (71-291) modified from F-15B, including accurate blind weapons delivery, completed at Edwards AFB and Eglin AFB during 1982; product improvements tested in Strike Eagle, 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 227 kg (500 lb) Mk 82 bombs; 16 different stores configurations tested, including 907 kg (2,000 Ib) 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 (86-183) 11 December 1986; first delivery 29 December 1988 to 4th TFW at Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina; Wing declared operational October 1989, currently with 334, 335 and 336 Squadrons; 461st and 550th Tactical Fighter Training Squadrons of 405th TTW at Luke AFB, Arizona, equipped by end 1989 and others to part-squadron within 57th Fighter Weapons Wing at Nellis AFB, Nevada; two squadrons of 48th TFW at Lakenheath, UK, to equip with F-15Es from 1992 (gaining TASM armament in late 1990s). Small number of F-15Es used for trials with 3246th Test Wing at Eglin AFB, Florida, and 6510th TW at Edwards AFB, California; trials include 87-0180 with GE F110-GE-129 engines in place of F100s; P&W F100-PW-229 first flown in F-15E of 6510th TW 2 May 1990.

VARIANTS: F-15E: Basic version, as detailed.
F-15XX: Proposed alternative to USAF ATF; wing area increased to 62.2 m² (670 sq ft), fitted with camber-changing leading-edge slats; wing construction largely of composites; power plants and radar from ATF programme; additional fuel; supercruise capability. No USAF interest expressed in procurement.
F-15F: Single- or two-seat version, optimised for air combat; synthetic aperture high resolution ground mapping and attack modes deleted from AN/APG-70 radar to satisfy US export restrictions; no LANTIRN capability or conformal tanks; max T-O weight 36,741 kg (81,000 lb); re-designed cockpit with CRT displays and wide-angle HUD.

CUSTOMERS: Funding for 8, 42, 42, 36, 36 F-15Es in FYs 1986-90; originally planned 392 reduced to 200 with final order for 36 in FY 1991; deliveries to be completed May 1993, but request for additional funding in FY 1992 draft budget.

DESSIGN FEATURES: 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, Martin Marietta AN/AAQ-14 LANTIRN navigation and targeting pods; air-to-air capacity with AIM-7 Sparrow, AIM-9 Sidewinder and AIM-120 AMRAAM retained; rear cockpit has four multi-purpose 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.
Internal fuel capacity slightly reduced to 7,643 litres (2,019 US gallons; 1,681 Imp gallons) to accommodate avionics; conformal tanks and tangential weapon carriage retained with up to three 2,309 litre (610 US gallon; 508 Imp gallon) external tanks.

FLYING CONTROLS: Digital triple-redundant Lear Astronics flight control system capable of automatic coupled terrain following.

STRUCTURE: 60 per cent of normal F-15 structure redesigned to allow 9g 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.

LANDING GEAR: 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: Originally as F-15C/D, but option of General Electric F110-GE-129s. Aircraft built after August 1991 have 129,0 kN (29,000 lb st) Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-229s.

ACCOMMODATION: Two crew, pilot and weapon systems officer, in tandem on McDonnell Douglas ACES II ejection seats. Single-piece, upward-hinged canopy with increased bird resistance.

ARMAMENT: 20 mm M61A1 six-barrel gun in starboard wingroot, with 512 rds. 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 ejection launchers for AIM-9 Sidewinder and AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles; AIM-7 Sparrow and AIM-120 AMRAAM can be carried on launchers on centreline station or on tangential stores carriers on conformal fuel tanks (maximum total load four each AIM-7 or AIM-9, 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 triple ejector racks on wing and centreline stations. The F-15E can carry a wide variety and quantity of guided and unguided air-to-ground weapons, including Mk 20 Rockeye (26), Mk 82 (26), Mk 84 (seven), BSU-49(26), BSU-50 (seven), GBU-10(seven), GBU-12 (15), GBU-15 (two), GBU-24 (five), CBU-52 (25), CBU-58 (25), CBU-71 (25), CBU-87 (25), CBU-89 (25), CBU-90 (25), CBU-92 (25) or CBU-93 (25) bombs; LAU-3A rockets (nine); SUU-20 training weapons (five); A/A-37 U-33 tow target (one); and B57 and B61 series nuclear weapons (five). An AN/AXQ-14 data link pod is used in conjunction with the GBU-15; LANTIRN pod illumination is used to designate targets for the GBU-12 and -24 laser guided bombs. GBU-120 powered stand-off bomb to undertake qualification trials 1991-92. AN/AWG-27 armament control system.