In 1967 the U.S. became aware of the Soviet MiG-25 Foxbat. This made it necessary to develop a new aircraft to counter the MiG-25. The USAF rejected the USN F-14 Tomcat and issued its own requirements. The solution came in the form of the McDonnell-Douglas (now Boeing) F-15 Eagle. The F-15A made its inaugural flight in July 1972 and in January 1976 the first Eagle entered service. The "E" entered service in 1989. The F-15 was the first dedicated USAF air superiority fighter since the F-86 Sabre.
McDonnell Douglas F-15J 02-8801 c/n 544/001 was the first of only two F-15Js actually manufactured by McDonnell Douglas in St. Louis, Missouri. F-15J 02-8801 was delivered to the USAF for its maiden flight on June 4, 1980 and then sent to the JASDF on July 15, 1980. A total of two hundred and three F-15Js and twenty F-15DJs were produced for Japan. The ADTW is the Air Development and Test Wing tasked with testing new systems and aircraft to make certain they meet the high standards required by the JASDF.