The American military force found itself without an appropriate all-weather fighter during the air war in Vietnam. As an interim measure, the U.S. Air Force ordered their own variant of the Navy’s F-4 Phantom II. In 1969, McDonnell Douglas began development of the Air Force’s next generation fighter. The resulting design, the F-15 Eagle, was the first production aircraft that produced more thrust than weight.

The Eagle features a heads-up display that is visible in all light conditions and provides the pilot all essential flight information. The advanced pulse-Doppler radar system can detect low-flying targets without confusing them with surface clutter. The radar feeds the target information into the aircraft’s central digital computer for weapons delivery. The complete multimission avionics system sets the Eagle apart from other modern fighter aircraft.

The C, D, and E models served extensively in the Persian Gulf in 1991, with the F-15C fighters accounting for 34 of the 37 Air Force air-to-air victories supporting Operation Desert Storm.