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F-15 Eagle 40th Anniversary Photos

July 27, 2012 marks the 40th anniversary of the first flight of the F-15 Eagle. The Eagle, four decades later, remains a premier air superiority fighter, delivering valuable service to this country and others worldwide even as its role has evolved over the years. Originally designed as a pure air superiority fighter, the F-15 has maintained that role while adding capabilities, in the shape of the F-15E Strike Eagle and later export versions, that were unforeseen during its successful first flight on July 27, 1972. Along with the U.S. Air Force, it also flies with the air forces of Japan, Saudi Arabia, Israel, South Korea, and Singapore. Kept up to date with new radars, sensors, missiles, engines, and other modifications, the Eagle can go head to head with any fighter on earth. Despite its age and the introduction of replacements such as the F-22, there is no doubt that the F-15 Eagle will be able to keep its talons sharp for some years to come.

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Steven Hoarn is the Editor/Photo Editor for Defense Media Network. He is a graduate of...

    li class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="comment-40325">
    walt heimert

    what has happened to the f 22? i was led to believe that it was the replacement fighter of the f 15 and would be the fighter of the future. no it seems that the usaf is downplaying the plane. also there seems to be more interest in the f 35 which seems to be on the horizon more each day.

    li class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="comment-40330">

    The F-35 is no where near as capable as the F-22. Mr Gates had an agenda and we’re paying for it.

    li class="comment byuser comment-author-chuck-oldham even thread-even depth-1" id="comment-40332">

    Numbers. One way of looking at the F-22 and F-35 is as 21st century analogues of the F-15 and F-16, which comprised a “high/low mix” of a more expensive, higher capability fighter with a cheaper, lower capability fighter. And before F-16 jocks come looking for my head, I’m talking about the initial plan and asking you to remember the original vision for the F-16, as a simple, lightweight, day fighter. The F-16 was envisioned as the aircraft that would be produced in greater numbers than the F-15, but even so, F-15 production numbers for the Air Force were more than 1,000. By contrast, fewer than 200 F-22s have been built, and fewer still are combat-coded. The Raptor goes far beyond being the “high” of the “high/low mix.” It’s referred to as a “silver bullet” aircraft, which in my opinion translates to there being far too few of them. The difference is supposed to be made up by F-35 procurement, but with budgets as they are, let’s just say we’ll see.