The F-15 is the most successful modern air-to-air fighter in existence and it has remained relevant and in production longer than the F-16 has. Sprey's idea that the F-15 Eagle is a big turkey stuffed with frivolous things like a "big radar" and two engines is laughable. The Eagle's massive radar aperture allows for it to detect, and in some cases to engage enemy fighters well before they can detect and engage the Eagle. This is a very big deal when it comes winning in beyond visual range air-to-air combat, and with the recent upgrade to the APG-63V3 AESA radar the F-15 packs the most powerful and capable fighter radar in operational service anywhere on the globe.
Regardless of its size, F-15's high thrust-to-weight ratio allows for it to compete with lighter fighters in the within-visual-range fight. This is especially true when tailored tactics are employed by the Eagle's pilots that exploit the big jet's (about the size of a tennis court) unique attributes when opposing fighters that were designed for high-g sustained turns in the lateral plane at lower altitudes, or low-speed high-alpha maneuvers. Additionally, the F-15's large size allows it to stay in the fight long after an F-16 or F/A-18 has hit bingo fuel state and returned to base. The F-15 also commonly carries double the payload of air-to-air missiles and ammunition than any light or medium weight fighter in US inventory.
Then there is the undeniable combat record of the Eagle, yet Mr. Sprey seems to think that the F-15 is a loser even after four decades of incredible success, not to mention the fact that it has never been bested in air-to-air combat and retains a kill ratio of 105.5 to 0. This denial of clear historical reality is a startling indication that Mr. Sprey may be living in the 1970s when it comes to air-combat doctrine, or maybe he simply does not want to admit that his stripped down, all super-maneuverable light-weight visual fighters or nothing initiative was not the right path for America's air combat forces after all.
The fact is that the F-16, the same aircraft that Mr. Sprey is said to have had such a great input into during its genesis, has gained thousands of pounds in avionics, targeting pods, fuel tanks and other "frivolous junk" continuously since its introduction into service and some see this as a testament to how inaccurate his light-weight fighter prophesies of the 1970s were.
Mr. Sprey's views are questionable considering that the F-15 remains more deadly than ever even after forty years of continuous service in the USAF, not to mention that its even more complicated and heavy brother, the F-15E Strike Eagle, is the most all-around useful machine that the USAF has in its inventory. Additionally, the F-15 Strike Eagle derivatives are still thought of as one of the top-of-the-line fighter aircraft available on the world market today.
Bottom-line, the idea that Mr. Sprey still thinks the F-15 is a dog when every metric and battle has proven him otherwise is more indicative of a character flaw than an argumentative one. http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/pierre-spreys-anti-f-35-diatribe-is-half-brilliant-and-1592445665