On November 10, US aerospace manufacturer Boeing announced that its advanced F-15QA Ababil fighter aircraft, operated by the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF), successfully touched down in Dubai for their inaugural participation in the Dubai Air Show.
Boeing posted a video featuring the arrival of two cutting-edge F-15QA in Dubai, accompanied by the caption: “Welcome to Dubai, F-15QA Ababil! Making a grand debut landing, this is the first appearance of the @MOD_Qatar Emiri Air Force new F15 at DubaiAirshow.”
The Dubai Airshow, kicking off on November 13, 2023, is set to host many aviation and defense companies, making it one of the most eagerly anticipated flight festivals worldwide.
The US aircraft manufacturer focuses on showcasing the advanced capabilities of its F-15 fighter aircraft. The F-15QA fighter jet, making its debut at an Air Show for the first time, is operated by the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF).
The F-15QA, a derivative of the F-15E, a two-seat, multi-role variant of the primary F-15 air-superiority fighter, is scheduled to participate in the aerial demonstration.
— Boeing Defense (@BoeingDefense) November 10, 2023
In 2017, Qatar ordered 36 F-15QAs from the US for US$6 billion, forming a crucial part of the nation’s ambitious strategy to expand and modernize its air force.
According to Boeing, the F-15QA program has incorporated next-generation technologies into the advanced F-15, featuring fly-by-wire flight controls, an all-glass digital cockpit, and modern sensors, radar, and electronic warfare capabilities.
Leveraging digital engineering and advanced manufacturing, these aircraft signify a transformative advancement for the F-15.
The F-15QA was designed to augment the Qatar Emiri Air Force’s (QEAF) superiority, providing unmatched speed, range, and payload compared to any other fighter globally.
This F-15 is equipped with additional weapons hardpoints, enabling it to carry up to 16 air-to-air missiles, albeit with a substantial range and speed penalty.
In addition to the aerial demonstration of the F-15QA fighter jet, a lineup of other Boeing aircraft, including the F-15E, KC-46A Pegasus, P-8A Poseidon, AH-64 Apache, and CH-47F Chinook, will be showcased in a static display.
Boeing will also highlight the T-7A Red Hawk Advanced Pilot Training System simulator, offering visitors a preview of the groundbreaking ground-based training system. This simulator connects seamlessly with real training jets, providing an immersive experience for aspiring pilots.
What Makes F-15 Fighter Jet Formidable?
The US-made F-15 fighter jet has recently been in the spotlight as Israel extensively deploys it for striking Hamas positions in Gaza. These fighter jets are pivotal in the Israel Air Force’s efforts to deter potential regional threats.
Introduced in 1974, the F-15 and its various versions have amassed an impressive record, with 104 enemy aircraft taken down and not a single loss. The Israeli Air Force is the predominant contributor to this success, underscoring the F-15’s effectiveness in aerial engagements.
The F-15 primarily originated in response to the shortcomings of American fighters during the Vietnam War, where large, powerful aircraft struggled against smaller, more maneuverable opponents.
The fighter jet addressed this by prioritizing air superiority and incorporating a dedicated air superiority fighter concept.
The initial design concept of the F-15 Eagle was notably characterized by the phrase “without a pound for ground,” emphasizing its exclusive focus as an air superiority fighter without inherent capabilities for attacking ground-based targets.
However, the remarkable success of the F-15 airframe resulted in the development of the ground-attack-capable F-15 E-variant, commonly identified as the Strike Eagle.
The F-15E Strike Eagle is a versatile multirole strike fighter crafted for deep penetration missions while retaining the capability to defend itself in air-to-air combat situations.
It became the USAF’s primary tactical fighter bomber after the F-111’s retirement with conformal fuel tanks, advanced radar, and targeting capabilities.
Moreover, the Strike Eagle is a highly adaptable airframe, initially designed in the 1980s, showcasing prescient utility that aligns with the post-Cold War emphasis on versatility.
Its multirole capabilities are facilitated by a Combat Systems Officer (CSO) in the back seat, overseeing air-to-ground avionics and allowing the pilot to focus on flying.
The aircraft’s Tactical Electronic Warfare System (TEWS) integrates advanced countermeasure technologies, reinforcing its defensive capabilities in contemporary warfare scenarios.
Boeing’s choice to showcase the F-15QA underscores the company’s confidence in the aircraft. This move signals Boeing’s anticipation of securing additional orders for this continually advancing platform, which has demonstrated its effectiveness even in an era dominated by fifth-generation fighter aircraft.