Hobby Master HA4518 USAF Boeing F-15E Strike Eagle Multi-Role Fighter - 97-0219, 492nd Fighter Squadron "Madhatters", "75th D-Day Anniversary Scheme", RAF Lakenheath, England, 2019 [Heritage Scheme] (1:72 Scale)
"Obsolete weapons do not deter."
- British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
The McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) F-15E Strike Eagle is an all-weather multirole fighter, derived from the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle. The F-15E was designed in the 1980s for long-range, high speed interdiction without relying on escort or electronic warfare aircraft. United States Air Force (USAF) F-15E Strike Eagles can be distinguished from other U.S. Eagle variants by darker camouflage and conformal fuel tanks mounted along the engine intakes.
The Strike Eagle has been deployed in Operation Desert Storm, Operation Allied Force, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Odyssey Dawn carrying out deep strikes against high-value targets, combat air patrols, and providing close air support for coalition troops. It has also seen action in later conflicts and has been exported to several countries.
The F-15E will be upgraded with the Raytheon APG-82 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar after 2007, and the first test radar was delivered to Boeing in 2010. It combines the processor of the APG-79 used on the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet with the antenna of the APG-63(V)3 AESA being fitted on the F-15C. The new radar upgrade is to be part of the F-15E Radar Modernization Program. The new radar was named APG-63(V)4 until it received the APG-82 designation in 2009. The RMP also includes a wideband radome (to allow the AESA to operate on more radar frequencies), and improvements to the environment control and electronic warfare systems.
While some of the F-15C/Ds have been replaced by the F-22 Raptor, there is no slated replacement for the F-15E in its primary "deep strike" mission profile. The Strike Eagle is a more recent variant of the F-15, and has a sturdier airframe rated for twice the lifetime of earlier variants. The F-15Es are expected to remain in service past 2025. The USAF has pursued the Next-Generation Bomber, a medium bomber concept which could take over the Strike Eagle's "deep strike" profile. The F-35A Lightning II is projected to eventually replace many other attack aircraft such as the F-16 Fighting Falcon and A-10 Thunderbolt II, and may also take over much of the F-15E's role; however, the F-15E has better combat range under payload.
Pictured here is a stunning 1:72 scale diecast replica of a USAF Boeing F-15E Strike Eagle multirole fighter that was attached to the 492nd Fighter Squadron "Madhatters", and clad in a "75th D-Day Anniversary Scheme", which is based at RAF Lakenheath, England.
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Historical Account: "Madhatters" - In the midst of the organizational changes, the squadron switched aircraft again, exchanging the F-111s for the F-15E Strike Eagle in early February 1992. This continued to add to the previous 50 years of flying the air-to-ground mission with one of the most capable multi-role/air-to-ground jets in the current Air Force inventory.
The squadron participated in Operation Odyssey Dawn in Libya in March 2011, along with numerous deployments to Southwest Asia supporting Air Expeditionary units as part of the ongoing Global War on Terrorism as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF).
The Bowlers participated in a short deployment to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey in November 2015 in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Accompanied by 493d Fighter Squadron, the F-15s were sent to enforce the sovereign air space of Turkey.
In further support of OIR, the Bolars deployed to Southwest Asia in 2017 to inhibit the expansion of ISIS in Syria. The 492d employed over 4,000 precision munitions across 11,000 combat flying hours and achieved two air-to-air kills against enemy aircraft. Because of the squadron's extreme combat effectiveness and achievement of total air dominance in the AO, they were awarded the Raytheon Trophy, a first for any Strike Eagle squadron and multi-role aircraft.