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IAF F-15I Ra'am Israel Airforce 1/48 Pro Built Model

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The McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) F-15 Eagle is an American twin-engine, all-weather tactical fighter designed by McDonnell Douglas to gain and maintain air superiority in aerial combat. It is among the most successful modern fighters, with over 100 aerial combat victories with no losses in dogfights.Following reviews of proposals, the United States Air Force selected McDonnell Douglas' design in 1967 to meet the service's need for a dedicated air superiority fighter. The Eagle first flew in July 1972, and entered service in 1976.

Since the 1970s, the Eagle has been exported to Israel, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and other nations. The F-15 was originally envisioned as a pure air superiority aircraft. Its design included a secondary ground-attack capability that was largely unused. The design proved flexible enough that an all-weather strike derivative, the F-15E Strike Eagle, was later developed, and entered service in 1989. The F-15 Eagle is expected to be in service with the U.S. Air Force past 2025. F-15 versions are still being produced for foreign users, with the F-15 production line set to end in 2019, 47 years after the type's first flight

F-15I in IAF

Heyl Ha'avir chooses its fighter of the future: the Ra'am
In January of 1994 the F-15E was chosen as the IAF's fighter of the future, a role for which the F-16 and F-18 had also been vying for quite some time. Heyl Ha'avir decided to purchase 21 planes, at a price of just over $2 billion. These were basically E models that had been slightly modified, and marked 'F-15I' - with the 'I' standing for Israel. In 1995, Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Yitzhak Rabin approved the purchase of 4 more planes.

First test flight

In September of 1997 the first Ra'am - as the F-15I's are called in Hebrew - was completed at Boeing's assembly line in the US. An IAF team numbering about 30 people - including pilots, armaments officers, programmers and systems experts - worked hand in hand with the Americans, helping with logistical backup and supervising the development and production of the plane. On September 12th, the Ra'am carried out its first test flight, for defining its capabilities and testing its flight envelope. Among other elements tested were the plane's performance at speeds greater than Mach 2, and at maximum maneuver load at 9g. Two months later, a group of Israeli airmen went on a 6 week retraining course in an Air Force base in the United States.

Unveiling the first Ra'am

On November 6th 1997, Heyl Ha'avir received the first of its 25 Ra'am F-15I's in a rolling-out ceremony held at the Boeing plant in St. Louis, Mo. When the speeches were over, Minister of Defence Yitzhak Mordechai strode towards the plane - which had been painted in desert camouflage colors and carried AMRAAM and Python-4 missiles - and affixed a decal with the IAF insignia to the fuselage.

Simultaneously, General Eytan Ben Eliyahu, the IAF Commander, unveiled the IAF's 50-year jubilee logo. After the ceremony, the plane was taken to USAFB Eglin for a series of test flights.

The first two Ra'am planes land in Israel

On January 19th 1998 the first two Ra'am planes landed in Hatzerim Airbase. An audience of 3,000 had gathered at the base in order to watch the arrival of Heyl Ha'avir's most advanced fighters. The two Ra'am F-15I's flew over the spectators' heads, accompanied by two Baz F-15s and a pair of Phantoms. The planes, which were flown by American pilots, had taken off from the Boeing plant in St. Louis and flown directly to Britain, refueling in midair 5 times on the way. They then flew straight to Italy, and from Italy to Israel, with no further refueling. 

The Minister of Defence, the IDF Chief of Staff, and the commander of Hatzerim Airbase strode toward the planes and affixed the IAF insignia and the jubilee logo. The planes were now officially in Israeli hands.


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MORE IMAGES OF  F-15I RA'AM Model are available at our Gallery Album :  F-15I Ra'am 1/48


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