F-15 vs. FA-18


The F-15 Eagle is a twin-engine, all-weather tactical fighter used by the US Air Force. The F-18 Super Hornet is a twin-engine carrier-based multirole fighter used by the US Navy. While the F-15 is used as an interceptor, for air superiority, and as a multirole combat aircraft, the F-18 can also be configured as an airborne tanker.

Comparison chart

Edit this comparison chart


User Rating (197):


User Rating (83):
Role Air superiority fighter Carrier-based multirole fighter
Manufacturer McDonnell Douglas Boeing Defense, Space and Security McDonnell Douglas Boeing Defense, Space and Security
Status Used primarily by the US, Japan, Saudi Arabia and Israel In service and production in the US and Australia
Number built 1,198 500 as of April 2011
Unit cost US $28-30 million US $66.9 million
National origin United States United States
Also known as McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet
Introduced January 1976 1999
Number still in service 222 in US; over 1000 worldwide. 500
Maximum speed Mach 2.5 Mach 1.8+
Number of engines 2 2
Number of seats 1 or 2 1 or 2
Armament 20mm M61 Vulcan 6-barreled Gatling cannon, bombs, missiles, drop tanks. 20mm M61 Vulcan Gatling gun, missiles, bombs
Length 63 ft 9 in 60 ft 1¼ in
Wingspan 42 ft 10 in 44 ft 8½ in
Loaded weight 20,200 kg 21,320 kg
Combat radius 1222 miles 449 miles
Service ceiling 65,000 ft 50, 000 ft
Rate of climb 50, 000+ ft/min 50, 000+ ft/min

Contents: F-15 vs FA-18

An F-15E Strike Eagle pops flares during an aerial training dog fight
An F-15E Strike Eagle pops flares during an aerial training dog fight

edit History

The F-15 Eagle was developed as an air superiority fighter with both air-to-air and air-to-ground capabilities. As the planes developed by the US Navy, such as the F-14 Tomcat, were unsuitable for these purposes, the US Air Force spearheaded the F-X program, which led to the development of the F-15A. It made its first flight in July 1972. It was introduced in 1976 and was followed by other single-seat and two-seat models with extra fuel capacity and improved radar and engines.

The F-18 Super Hornet was proposed in the late 1980s as an improvement on early F-18 models and gets its name from the unique wing and tail configuration like that of a hornet. It was first ordered by the US Navy in 1992 as a replacement for the F-14 Tomcat. It first flew on 29th November 1995 and flight testing began in 1996. It was underwent US Navy operational tests in 1999 and was officially approved in February 2000.

edit Design

The F-15 Eagle is 63 feet 9 inches long, with a wingspan of 42 feet 10 inches. Its loaded weight is 20,200 kilograms.

The F-18 Super Hornet is 60 feet 1.25 inches long, with a wingspan of 44 feet 8.5 inches. Its loaded weight is 21,320 kg.

Boeing employees talk about some of the features offered in Boeing's F-15 Silent Eagle and F-18 Super Hornet in this video:

edit Cockpit

The cockpit of the F-15 Eagle is mounted high in the forward fuselage. It has a one-piece windshield and large canopy.

The F-18 Super Hornet has two cockpits: front and aft. These come with multi-function displays and can be operated independently.

edit Engines

The F-15 Eagle uses two Pratt & Whitney F100 axial-flow turbofan engines with afterburners mounted side-by-side in the fuselage.

The F-18 Super Hornet uses two General Electric F414 turbofan engines.

Boeing is proposing a new GE-F414-EPE (Enhanced Performance Engines) for a 20% increase of thrust.

An F-18 equipped with an AGM-84 SLAM-ER under the right wing (top) and two AN/AWW-13 Advanced Data Link pods under the left wing (bottom)
An F-18 equipped with an AGM-84 SLAM-ER under the right wing (top) and two AN/AWW-13 Advanced Data Link pods under the left wing (bottom)

edit Armament

The F-15 Eagle can be armed with AIM-7F/M Sparrow missiles, AIM-120 AMRAAM advanced medium range air-to-air missiles, AIM-9L/M Sidewinder missiles and a M61A1 20 mm Gatling gun.

The F-18 Super Hornet can be armed with a 22mm M61 Vulcan nose mounted Gatling gun, AIM-9 Sidewinder and AIM-7 Sparrow air-to-air missiles, AGM-65 Maverick, Standoff Land Attack Missile-Expanded Response (SLAM-ER), AGM-88 HARM Anti-radiation and AGM-154 JSOW air-to-surface missiles, AGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missiles, JAM Precision-guided munition, laser guided bombs, unguided iron bombs, CBU-87 cluster bombs, CBU-78 Gater bombs, CBU-97 bombs and Mk 20 Rockeye II bombs.

edit Operators

F-15 Eagles are used by the US Air Force, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Singapore.

F-18 Super Hornets are used by the US Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force.

Here's an amazing video of the F-18 Super Hornet flown by the US Navy Flying Eagles squad at the 2010 Miramar Air Show. At around 04:34 the Super Hornet wraps itself in a vapor cone caused by a sudden drop in air pressure as the plane approaches the sound barrier.

edit References

Share this comparison:

If you read this far, you should follow us:

"F-15 vs FA-18." Diffen.com. Diffen LLC, n.d. Web. 21 May 2015. < >

Related Comparisons Follow Diffen
Top 5 Comparisons
Make Diffen Smarter.

Log in to edit comparisons or create new comparisons in your area of expertise!

Sign up »

Comments: F-15 vs FA-18

Anonymous comments (4)

September 10, 2012, 3:10pm

207.x.x.217: The 222 F-15s in service in the U.S. are part of the count of 1,000 worldwide. A vast majority of the F-15s that were built are still in service.

— 67.✗.✗.142

September 10, 2012, 11:46am

How is it that the numer of F-15s currently in service is greater than the number built?

— 207.✗.✗.217

March 13, 2013, 3:04am

1000 in service world wide and 1198 built how is the number in service more than built?

— 68.✗.✗.209

August 25, 2013, 10:19am

The super hornet might break the sound barrier in a straight dive. Also it's range is much further than the f-15. The hornet would be a superior dog fighter as it is more agile.

— 120.✗.✗.91


Up next

F-14 Tomcat vs. F-15 Eagle