The F-15 Strike Eagle first entered service in January 1976 and is the primary United States Air Force (USAF) air-superiority fighter. The F-15 mission is “an all-weather, extremely maneuverable, tactical fighter designed to permit the Air Force to gain and maintain air supremacy over the battlefield.” The USAF has 522 of these fighters in it’s arsenal at a cost of 29.9 million each. Aerodynamically sound the air craft has flown with one wing completely blown off, delivering pilot and plane safely back to base. http://www.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?fsID=101
This is why “Heavy Metal” on The History Channel is one of my favorite shows.
The F-16 Fighting Falcon pictured here painted with Thunderbird colors “is a compact, multi-role fighter aircraft. It is highly maneuverable and has proven itself in air-to-air combat and air-to-surface attack. It provides a relatively low-cost, high-performance weapon system for the United States and allied nations.” Entering service in January 1979 the USAF maintains 1280 F-16s in its arsenal.http://www.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?fsID=103