The McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) F-15 Eagle is a twin-engine, all-weather tactical fighter designed to gain and maintain air superiority in aerial combat. It is considered among the most successful modern fighters with over 100 aerial combat victories with no losses in dogfights. Following reviews of proposals, the United States Air Force selected McDonnell Douglas' design in 1967 to meet the service's need for a dedicated air superiority fighter. The Eagle first flew in July 1972, and entered service in 1976. The F-15 is expected to be in service with the U.S. Air Force until 2025.
Since the 1970s, the Eagle has also been exported to Israel, Japan, and Saudi Arabia. Despite originally being envisioned as a pure air superiority aircraft, the design proved flexible enough that an all-weather strike derivative, the F-15E Strike Eagle, was later developed, and entered service in 1989.
The largest operator of the F-15 is the United States Air Force. The first Eagle (F-15B) was delivered 14 November 1974. In January 1976, the first Eagle destined for a combat squadron, the 555th TFS, was delivered. These initial aircraft carried the Hughes Aircraft (now Raytheon) APG-63 radar.
The first F-15 kill was scored by IAF ace Moshe Melnik in 1979. In 1979–81, during Israeli raids against Palestinian factions based in Lebanon, F-15As downed 13 Syrian MiG-21 "Fishbeds" and two Syrian MiG-25 "Foxbats", the latter being the aircraft the F-15 was designed to kill. Israeli F-15As and Bs participated as escorts in Operation Opera and served during the 1982 Lebanon War. During the latter, Israeli F-15s shot down 40 Syrian jet fighters (23 MiG-21 "Fishbeds" and 17 MiG-23 "Floggers") and one Syrian SA.342L Gazelle helicopter.