Six U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagle jets have just arrived in Turkey

The U.S. Air Force has deployed air superiority planes near Syria.

Six F-15C Eagle jets, belonging to the 493rd Fighter Squadron of the 48th Fighter Wing, from RAF Lakenheath, UK, have just deployed to Incirlik airbase, in Turkey.

According to the U.S. Air Force, the air superiority planes were moved close to Syria “in a demonstration of the United States unwavering support for Turkish sovereignty and the collective security of the region.”

Furthermore, the USAFE-AFAFRICA F-15s, pure air superiority aircraft not used for ground attack missions, “were deployed after the Government of Turkey requested support in securing the sovereignty of Turkish airspace.”

Although the Eagles will theoretically be used to secure the Turkey-Syria border that is violated by Syrian and Russian planes every now and then, the decision to move 6 or more (according to some sources, up to 12) F-15s near Syria seems to be aimed at flexing the muscles against the Russians that have been quite active in western Syria since Moscow launched its first air strikes against terrorists at the end of September.

Some media outlets speculated the F-15Cs, world’s most successful combat-proven dogfighters (that have recently taken part in an exercise in Israel and earlier this year in Turkey), will be used against the Russian combat planes if these fly a bit too close with the U.S. and coalition aircraft conducting air strikes in Syria but this seems to be a bit far-fetched at this stage: they will probably provide air cover to the A-10s, Special Forces support assets etc, without interfering with their Russian counterparts to avoid risky close encounters. Unless this is strictly required.

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

 

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.

11 Comments

  1. “Turkey-Syria border that is violated by Syrian and Russian planes every now and then” …you make it sound like it is a regular happening and the “weak” Turkish NATO ally (actually the second armed forces in NATO after the US) could only look at the big bullies Syria (cough cough) and Russia hopelessly…

  2. Assuming the pilots are equal.. lol. This is the real world, not an airframe comparison in a vacuum. The pilots aren’t equal, Ivan knows it, and would probably be very afraid if it came to blows. Also, you might be forgetting that these are AESA Eagles with AIM-9X’s and JHMCS so they’re not to be trifled with WVR either.

    • You missed my point. I am doing an airframe comparison. The Flanker can easily out turn the Eagle, Tomcat, and Hornet. And its AOA is far better than any of those jets.

      At 4:25 of the video the Flanker initiates its MRT, and it only takes 15.5 seconds to complete that turn. No Eagle, Tomcat, Hornet, Typhoon, or Gripen can match that. However, the Block 30 Viper comes very close, as does the Rafale.

      The AESA Eagles still suffer from a GIANT RCS because of those large VG intakes. However, because of AESA (as I pointed out in my prior post, that at BVR the Eagle would have the advantage) the F-15 holds a clear superiority.

      The Flanker and Eagle both have helmet sights and off boresight IR AAMs. WVR, the Turkish Block 30 Vipers probably would give the Flanker a harder time than 1985 model F-15C’s-

  3. How many MiG/Su kills do the F-15’s have?

    How many F-15’s/-16’s etc have MiG’s/Su’s claimed?

    Your Russian pals won’t know what hit them, if things got serious.

    Jus like the Iraqis…. Just like the Serbs…

    Those rehashed Fulcrums and Flankers would die just like their predecessors.

    • You missed my point. I am doing an airframe comparison. The Flanker family is a more agile jet than the Eagle, or other “teen series” aircraft (with the exception of the Block 30 F-16C). BVR, the AESA Eagle has the advantage.

      The Eagle is an excellent jet, and it has a tally of 100 kills for 0 losses. However, for the most part, the Syrians, Serbs, and Iraqi’s were terrible pilots. The Russians are far better pilots than whom we fought against in Desert Storm and in the Balkans. My point is that with Eagles from FY85/86 combined with airframes that probably have well over 7500 hours on them, I still highly doubt the Russians are very frightened. That being said, if we had greater numbers of F-22’s (than a scant 187) we could not only project a far more capable jet; we could also instill fear in our enemies.

      And the main reason why we do not have more Raptors is because we have a far left-wing president that wouldl rather consistently fund social welfare programs over defense/national security-

  4. That’s hilarious!

    Your Russian targets would suffer the fate that ALL Russian equipment does.

    I don’t see ANY Russian Flankers or Fulcrums sporting kill markings…

    I do see PLENTY of F-15’s and F-16’s sporting MiG and Su kills…

    Those Russian missiles make nice targets for Weasel crews, not to mention the Israelis who have REPEATEDLY spanked the so-called “formidable” Syrian IADS….

    Russia never learns from it’s mistakes.

    They should stop shooting down airliners.

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