- Two-seat training version for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force. 12 built in St. Louis, and 25 built under license in Japan by Mitsubishi during 1981–1997.[
The development of the F-15 started towards the end of the 1960's. The U.S. Air Force was focused on the deployment of aircraft capable of carrying nuclear weapons and ground attack such as the F-111, F-105 Thunder Chief and F4 Phantom. Large aircraft like the 101 B Voodoo and F-106 Delta Dart were also deployed in efforts to intercept the enemy's strategic bombers. At that time, air superiority was not the domain of small, man-euverable aircraft. This all changed with the outbreak of the Vietnam War, where the U.S. Air Force sustained heavy damage from the nimble Mig 17’s and Mig 19’s of the North Vietnamese. At the 1967 Moscow Air Force Show, the Mig 23, Mig 25, and the Sukhoi 15 were introduced, further encouraging the U.S. to develop a fighter plane capable of combating the ever growing Soviet Air Force. It was then that the U.S. Air Force appealed to eight aircraft manufacturers to draw up proposals for a new fighter that could guarantee air superiority.
In December 1969, McDonnell Douglas' proposal was adopted, and work started on the F-15, the first air superiority fighter since the F-86 Sabre, active during the Korean War. The role of the F-15 was to use its quick acceleration, climbing power, high maneuverability and attack power to overpower the enemy's aircraft and ensure air superiority.
The F-15 is powered by two Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-100 turbofan engines with afterburners, each with 7348kg thrust. It was primarily designed for optimal maneuverability at about Mach 0.9, the speed at which most aerial combat occurs. The abundant use of light-weight materials such as titanium alloy and a boron-epoxy compound allowed for even more speed.