Fighters have been the core equipment of Air Force operations since they entered the arena of war. The development and introduction of fifth-generation aircraft further demonstrate the future fighter planes’ primary focus on stealth performance as their development direction. Stealth fighter technology development demands significant financial resources and scientific research expertise. The only two major military countries capable of independently developing fifth-generation aircraft at this time are the United States, China, and Russia. But Chinese and Russian fighter are not truly 5th generation.
The F-15 is the most successful fighter jet in the United States. Although it is not a stealth fighter, it has enough carrying capacity to maintain an absolute advantage in the air. In addition, its ground combat capability is also quite excellent. Its superior comprehensive performance has allowed the F-15 to sell hundreds of aircraft to the outside world, and it has continued to bring high profits to Boeing. It also has a “mythical” record, serving 44 years without being shot down. In April 2020, the F-015QA, the latest modification of the F-15, with a unit price of more than 300 million US dollars, making it the most expensive fighter jet in history.
The expensiveness of modern arms has left many countries in the dust, but Qatar, the “oil rich country”, doesn’t care. The F-15QA is a top-level aircraft specially tailored by the United States for the Qatar Air Force. It plans to export a total of 36 aircraft at a total cost of US$12 billion, and the average price of each fighter exceeds US$300 million. It is reported that the unit price of the fifth-generation F-35 in the United States is less than 100 million US dollars, while the Chinese J-20 is more cost-effective. With the price of one F-15QA you can buy three J-20 or F-35.
F-15QA is naturally expensive. Its comprehensive performance is very superior, and it is almost the same level as the F-15EX that the US military is about to obtain. Equipped with a two-seat glass cockpit, it is equipped with the most advanced electronically scanned array radar, and the onboard computer is also known as “the fastest in the world”. It can be said that the avionics equipment is the world’s leading technology.
In addition, the fighter’s mounting capacity has also been improved. It can mount up to 22 missiles, and the maximum weapon mount is as high as 13.275 tons, setting a world record, and showing its rapid firepower. In terms of engine, the General Electric F110-GE-129 engine is used, the thrust is increased to 13 tons, and the top speed is Mach 2.5. It is said that this speed is second to none among the 4th generation of aircraft.
The successful test flight of the F-15QA proves that the F-15 still shows its ageless ambition after 44 years of service, and through a series of transformations, the aircraft has been continuously radiated with new vigor and vitality. However, although this fighter has many advantages and its combat effectiveness has been improved by a level, the price is too high but the price/performance ratio is not high when you look at the history of the F-15 fighter. Except some countries with huge defence budgets can afford the new variant of F-15 fighter.