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FDR, arguable one of the best presidents of all time. Known for his program "The New Deal" and other such accomplishments, what is not not known is his many victories in battle against many different types of enemies. FDR possessed great power and technology as can be seen from his transforming wheel chair in which he slayed many foes.

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In the year 2055 the world was invaded, humanity sat on the brink of destruction the world governments united and sent agents back in time to get the best general we'd ever known...Andrew Jackson and throughout his life he did a lot of cool shit, dueled people...a lot which is how he ended up with a musket ball in his chest pretty much exactly like Tony Stark.Went to war, gambled, etc etc .

This is a war portrait as he stands victorious in yet another battle.

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Be sure to check out the other Presidents while they last:




Photoshop CS5
The Sopranos
Jimmy Johns
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In 1752 before Ben Franklin invented Pizza, Gameboy, the iPad2 or Mexican food he was contemplating how to conquer electricity. Being the genius he was he decided go get it at its source, this being Zeus. Strapping himself to a kite, and equipping some homemade lightning claws he ascended through the clouds and into the realm of the Gods to battle it out with Zeus. This is a painting capturing the exact moment the battle started.


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Federal Empire of Earth

Government: Militant-Democracy and Federal Monarchy
Capital: Earth, Sol System
Head of State: Emperor
Religion: Darwinist-Christianity (Scientific-Religion)
Official Language(s): English (mostly), French, Spanish, German, Chinese, Russian, Arabic, Portuguese, and Japanese
Tech Class: Rank 1
Currency: Imperial Credit
Date of Establishment: 2456 AD
Literacy Rate: 99%
Political Corruption: 15%
Ideology: Democratic-Militarism, Conservatism, Capitalism, Scientific-Religion, Nationalism, Environmentalism, Intellectualism, Monarchism
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American Empire (2032-???)
Anthem: My Country, 'Tis of Thee
Imperial Anthem: Dixieland
Motto: Loyalty, Justice, Equality, Freedom
Royal Motto: By God and Royal Decree, We Serve the Light
Capital: Dallas, Texas
Population: 2032: 500,000,000
Area: 19,811,345 km
Government: Military-democracy and Federal Monarchy
Currency: Dollar
Predecessor(s): United States and Canada
Religion: Darwinist-Roman Catholicism
Official Language(s): German, English, and French
Other Languages: Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Greek, Polish, and Albanian
Political Corruption: 25%
Dominant culture: Franco-Germanic Culture (English, Dutch, French, German, Austrian, and Scandinavian cultures combined)
Political ideology: Centralist-Conservatism, Monarchism, Anti-Fascism, Anti-Communism, Anti-Anarchism, Capitalism, Democracy, Imperialism, Racial-Equality and Multiculturalism

Symbolism: Eagle (glory and freedom), crown (power and royalty), arrows (the military), axe (might and justice), red (courage), black (authority), blue algiz (truth and protection)
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The Congress of Earth is a Parliamentary government formed primarily by the United Kingdom, Brazil, the United States of America, the Russian Federation, Japan, France, and the People's Republic of China on August 3rd, 2093, in which marked the end of the Third World War and the Martian Civil War. With its capital located within Zurich, Switzerland, the ruling seven countries unified the world through territorial expansion and social-economic reform. By the year 2095, colonization of Mercury, Venus, and the Asteroid belt was legalized for economic purposes, saving the Earth from draining its water supply by gathering small, icy rocks that contain it. On March 21st, 2096, Israel was saved from annexation by the world powers when it was able to gain power within the last empty seat of the Congress. By 2100, the government of Communist China was replaced by the Nationalist Republic of China (which it was exiled into Taiwan since December 1949). With Communism gone, Capitalism and Democratic-Socialism became the new political ideology of the planet as the two beliefs spread throughout colonized worlds of humanity. However, in 2110, alien readings from Tau Ceti had occurred, making rumors of a possible alien invasion. By 2123, strange attacks against the colonists on Mars emerged and forced Earth forces to retreat back to their homeworld. The result was the start of the War of the Gods, which resulted from the Alien takeover of Japan.

Its military force is modeled after the German Wehrmacht of the Second World War, but consists primarily of soldiers from Israel, Britain, France, India, Serbia, Albania, Iran, Greece, Turkey, Russia, America, Germany, Finland, Italy, China, Japan, Brazil, India, Mexico, and Norway. It is a multicultural power within the Sol System with English, French, Chinese, Portuguese, Hebrew, Russian, Japanese, and Spanish as its main languages, while all others were banned during the establishment of the Congress of Earth. However, the language of Greek, as a form or resistance, demanded to become a minor member of the Congress and have a seat within the Congress, though t had no political power great enough to start its own expansion. Eventually, this helped preserved the ancient Greek culture and civilization from a radical change, thus recognizing its independence as a nation and its membership in the government. Turkey has also become a recognized member and minor power that has preserved its language and culture after ten years of unrest. By that time, India, Iran, Albania, and the resurrected Republic of Yugoslavia had soon joined and preserved their own heritage. The Unified German Republic was born when a German rebellion had erupted within occupied-German territories in France while Italy was given independence by the COE, needing a ninth member within the ruling council. The eighth and final country to ever be recognized as an independent nation and a minor member of the Congress was the Scandinavian Kingdom, a constitutional monarchy with Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, and Finnish as its main languages. Despite this, however, Finland decided to become its own nation. It is also confirmed that its leader, the President, requires a citizenship from either one of the nine ruling countries and be at least at age 35 in order to be elected into office. The economy is based on a Capitalistic-market economy that has thrived since the establishment of the Congress. This enables the nation into having a technological advancement and create settlements on colonized planets such as Mars in a quicker pace. However, though to the fact that they are at war, they spend most of their money on the war effort.
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F-15 Eagle

The F-15 Eagle is an all-weather, extremely maneuverable, tactical fighter designed to gain and maintain air superiority in aerial combat. The Eagle's air superiority is achieved through a mixture of maneuverability and acceleration, range, weapons and avionics. The F-15 has electronic systems and weaponry to detect, acquire, track and attack enemy aircraft while operating in friendly or enemy-controlled airspace. Its weapons and flight control systems are designed so one person can safely and effectively perform air-to-air combat. It can penetrate enemy defense and outperform and outfight current or projected enemy aircraft.

The F-15's superior maneuverability and acceleration are achieved through high engine thrust-to-weight ratio and low wing loading. Low wing-loading (the ratio of aircraft weight to its wing area) is a vital factor in maneuverability and, combined with the high thrust-to-weight ratio, enables the aircraft to turn tightly without losing airspeed.

A multimission avionics system sets the F-15 apart from other fighter aircraft. It includes a head-up display, advanced radar, inertial navigation system, flight instruments, UHF communications, tactical navigation system and instrument landing system. It also has an internally mounted, tactical electronic-warfare system, "identification friend or foe" system, electronic countermeasures set and a central digital computer.

Through an on-going multistage improvement program the F-15 is receiving extensive upgrade involving the installation or modification of new and existing avionics equipment to enhance the tactical capabilities of the F-15.

The head-up display projects on the windscreen all essential flight information gathered by the integrated avionics system. This display, visible in any light condition, provides the pilot information necessary to track and destroy an enemy aircraft without having to look down at cockpit instruments.

The F-15's versatile pulse-Doppler radar system can look up at high-flying targets and down at low-flying targets without being confused by ground clutter. It can detect and track aircraft and small high-speed targets at distances beyond visual range down to close range, and at altitudes down to tree-top level. The radar feeds target information into the central computer for effective weapons delivery. For close-in dog fights, the radar automatically acquires enemy aircraft, and this information is projected on the head-up display.

The APG-63 radar was developed over 20 years ago and has an average mean time between failure less than 15 hours. APG-63 LRUs have become increasingly difficult to support both in the field and at the depot. First, individual parts have become increasingly unavailable from any source; incorporating newer technology parts often entails module redesign and fails to address the root cause. Second, continuing reliability deterioration impacts both sustainment, particularly during deployment, as well as ACC’s ability to implement two-level maintenance. In addition, the APG-63 radar has virtually no remaining processing and memory capacity to accommodate software upgrades to counter evolving threats. The APG-63(V)1 radar has been designed for improved reliability and maintainability to address user requirements. The radar incorporates components designed for improved reliability and lower failure rates and enhanced diagnostics for improved fault detection and fault isolation. Along with other design features, these should improve radar reliability to 120 hours MTBM, an order of magnitude better than the existing APG-63.

An inertial navigation system enables the Eagle to navigate anywhere in the world. It gives aircraft position at all times as well as pitch, roll, heading, acceleration and speed information.

The F-15's electronic warfare system provides both threat warning and automatic countermeasures against selected threats. The "identification friend or foe" system informs the pilot if an aircraft seen visually or on radar is friendly. It also informs U.S. or allied ground stations and other suitably equipped aircraft that the F-15 is a friendly aircraft.

The Fiber Optic Towed Decoy (FOTD) provides aircraft protection against modern radar-guided missiles to supplement traditional radar jamming equipment. The device is towed at varying distances behind the aircraft while transmitting a signal like that of a threat radar. The missile will detect and lock onto the decoy rather than on the aircraft. This is achieved by making the decoy’s radiated signal stronger than that of the aircraft.

A variety of air-to-air weaponry can be carried by the F-15. An automated weapon system enables the pilot to perform aerial combat safely and effectively, using the head-up display and the avionics and weapons controls located on the engine throttles or control stick. When the pilot changes from one weapon system to another, visual guidance for the required weapon automatically appears on the head-up display.

The Eagle can be armed with combinations of four different air-to-air weapons: AIM-7F/M Sparrow missiles or AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles on its lower fuselage corners, AIM-9L/M Sidewinder or AIM-120 missiles on two pylons under the wings, and an internal 20mm Gatling gun (with 940 rounds of ammunition) in the right wing root.

The current AIM-9 missile does not have the capabilities demonstrated by foreign technologies, giving the F-15 a distinct disadvantage during IR dogfight scenarios. AIM-9X integration will once again put the F-15 in the air superiority position in all arenas. The F-15/AIM-9X weapon system is to consist of F-15 carriage of the AIM-9X missile on a LAU-128 Air-to-Air (A/A) launcher from existing AIM-9 certified stations. The AIM-9X will be an upgrade to the AIM-9L/M, incorporating increased missile maneuverability and allowing a high off-boresight targeting capability.

Low-drag, conformal fuel tanks were especially developed for the F-15C and D models. Conformal fuel tanks can be attached to the sides of the engine air intake trunks under each wing and are designed to the same load factors and airspeed limits as the basic aircraft. Each conformal fuel tank contains about 114 cubic feet of usable space. These tanks reduce the need for in-flight refueling on global missions and increase time in the combat area. All external stations for munitions remain available with the tanks in use. AIM-7F/M Sparrow and AIM-120 missiles, moreover, can be attached to the corners of the conformal fuel tanks.

The F-15 Eagle began its life in the mid 1960s as the Fighter Experimental (FX) concept. Using lessons learned in Vietnam, the USAF sought to develop and procure a new, dedicated air superiority fighter. Such an aircraft was desperately needed, as no USAF aircraft design solely conceived as an air superiority fighter had become reality since the F-86 Sabre. The intervening twenty years saw a number of aircraft performing the air-to-air role as a small part of their overall mission, such as the primarily air-to-ground F-4 Phantom and the F-102, F-104 and F-106 interceptor designs. The result of the FX study was a requirement for a fighter design combining unparalleled maneuverability with state-of-the-art avionics and weaponry. An industry-wide competition ended on December 23, 1969 when McDonnell Douglas was awarded the contract for the F-15.

* The first F-15A flight was made on 27 July 1972, culminating one of the most successful aircraft development and procurement programs in Air Force history. After an accident-free test and evaluation period, the first aircraft was delivered to the Air Force on Novermber 14, 1974. In January 1976, the first Eagle destined for a combat squadron was delivered to the 1st Tactical Fighter Wing at Langley Air Force Base, Va. Three hundred and sixty-five F-15As were built before production of the F-15C began in 1978. In January 1982, the 48th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron at Langley Air Force Base became the first Air Force air defense squadron to transition to the F-15. After twenty years of service, the F-15A has recently been reassigned from active duty Air Force fighter squadrons to Air National Guard units. The F-15A is flown by Air National Guard squadrons in the states of Oregon, Missouri, Georgia, Louisiana, Hawaii, and Massachussets.
* The first flight of the two-seat F-15B (formerly TF-15A) trainer was made in July 1973. The first F-15B Eagle was delivered in November 1974 to the 58th Tactical Training Wing, Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., where pilot training was accomplished in both F-15A and B aircraft. The F-15B incorporates a tandem seating configuration, with a second crewmember position aft of the pilot's seat. The primary purpose of the F-15B is aircrew training, with an instructor pilot occupying the rear seat while an upgrading pilot mans the front seat controls. The rear seat pilot has a full set of flight controls and can fly the aircraft throughout the envelope, including takeoff and landing. Even though space is sacrificed to accomodate the second crew member, the F-15B retains the same warfighting capability as the F-15A. In keeping with the trainer concept, however, the rear seat is not equipped with controls for the combat avionics and weaponry. In fact, the rear seat is not a mandatory crew position, and F-15Bs are often flown with empty rear cockpits.
* The F-15C is an improved version of the original F-15A single-seat air superiority fighter. Additions incorporated in the F-15C include upgrades to avionics as well as increased internal fuel capacity and a higher allowable gross takeoff weight. The single-seat F-15C and two-seat F-15D models entered the Air Force inventory beginning in 1979. Kadena Air Base, Japan, received the first F-15C in September 1979. These new models have Production Eagle Package (PEP 2000) improvements, including 2,000 pounds (900 kilograms) of additional internal fuel, provision for carrying exterior conformal fuel tanks and increased maximum takeoff weight of up to 68,000 pounds (30,600 kilograms). Externally, the differences between the F-15A and F-15C are so slight as to make identification difficult; the only reliable indicator is the aircraft serial number. All F-15As have tail numbers starting with 73- through 77-, while F-15Cs have tail numbers beginning with 78- through 86-. The F-15C is the Air Force's primary air superiority fighter, serving with active duty units at Langley AFB, VA, Eglin AFB, FL, Mountain Home AFB, ID, Elmendorf AFB, AK, Tyndall AFB, FL, Nellis AFB, NV, Spangdahlem AB, Germany, Lakenheath AB, England and Kadena AB, Okinawa. The operational F-15C force structure is approximately 300 aircraft assigned to operational units. In the mid-1990s the F-15C experienced declining reliability indicators, primarily from three subsystems: radar, engines, and secondary structures. A complete retrofit of all three subsystems could be done for less than $3 billion.
* The F-15D is a two-seat variant of the single-place F-15C. The primary purpose of the F-15D is aircrew training, with an instructor pilot occupying the rear seat while an upgrading pilot mans the front seat controls.

F-15C's, D's and E's were deployed to the Persian Gulf in 1991 in support of Operation Desert Storm where they proved their superior combat capability with a confirmed 26:0 kill ratio.

The F-15C has an air combat victory ratio of 95-0 making it one of the most effective air superiority aircraft ever developed. The US Air Force claims the F-15C is in several respects inferior to, or at best equal to, the MiG-29, Su-27, Su-35/37, Rafale, and EF-2000, which are variously superior in acceleration, maneuverability, engine thrust, rate of climb, avionics, firepower, radar signature, or range. Although the F-15C and Su-27P series are similar in many categories, the Su-27 can outperform the F-15C at both long and short ranges. In long-range encounters, with its superiorr radar the Su-27 can launch a missile before the F-15C does, so from a purely kinematic standpoint, the Russian fighters outperform the F-15C in the beyond-visual-range fight. The Su-35 phased array radar is superior to the APG-63 Doppler radar in both detection range and tracking capabilities. Additionally, the Su-35 propulsion system increases the aircraft’s maneuverability with thrust vectoring nozzles. Simulations conducted by British Aerospace and the British Defense Research Agency compared the effectiveness of the F-15C, Rafale, EF-2000, and F-22 against the Russian Su-35 armed with active radar missiles similar to the AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM). The Rafale achieved a 1:1 kill ratio (1 Su-35 destroyed for each Rafale lost). The EF-2000 kill ratio was 4.5:1 while the F-22 achieved a ratio of 10:1. In stark contrast was the F-15C, losing 1.3 Eagles for each Su-35 destroyed.
F-15E Strike Eagle

Although the slogan of the F-15's original design team was "Not a pound for air-to-ground," the F-15 has long been recognized as having superior potential in the ground attack role. In 1987 this potential was realized in the form of the F-15E Strike Eagle. The mission of the Strike Eagle is as succinct as that of its air-to-air cousin: to put bombs on target. The F-15E is especially configured for the deep strike mission, venturing far behind enemy lines to attack high value targets with a variety of munitions. The Strike Eagle accomplishes this mission by expanding on the capabilities of the air superiority F-15, adding a rear seat WSO (Weapon Systems Operator) crewmember and incorporating an entirely new suite of air-to-ground avionics.

The F-15E is a two seat, two engine dual role fighter capable of speeds up to MACH 2.5. The F-15E performs day and night all weather air-to-air and air-to-ground missions including strategic strike, interdiction, OCA and DCA. Although primarily a deep interdiction platform, the F-15E can also perform CAS and Escort missions. Strike Eagles are equipped with LANTIRN, enhancing night PGM delivery capability. The F-15E outbord and inboard wing stations and the centerline can be load with various armament. The outboard wing hardpoint are unable to carry heavy loads and are assign for ECM pods. The other hardpoints can be employed for various loads but with the use of multiple ejection racks (MERs). Each MER can hold six Mk-82 bombs or "Snakeye" retarded bombs, or six Mk 20 "Rockeye" dispensers, four CBU-52B, CBU- 58B, or CBU-71B dispensers, a single Mk-84 (907 kg) bomb F- 15E can carry also "smart" weapons, CBU-10 laser quided bomb based on the Mk 84 bomb, CBU-12, CBU-15, or another, laser, electro-optical, or infra-red guided bomb (including AGM-G5 "Marerick" air-to-ground) missiles.

Conformal Fuel Tanks were introduced with the F-15C in order to extend the range of the aircraft. The CFTs are carried in pairs and fit closely to the side of the aircraft, with one CFT underneath each wing. By designing the CFT to minimize the effect on aircraft aerodynamics, much lower drag results than if a similar amount of fuel is carried in conventional external fuel tanks. This lower drag translate directly into longer aircraft ranges, a particularly desirable characteristic of a deep strike fighter like the F-15E. As with any system, the use of CFTs on F-15s involves some compromise. The weight and drag of the CFTs (even when empty) degrades aircraft performance when compared to external fuel tanks, which can be jettisoned when needed (CFTs are not jettisonable and can only be downloaded by maintenance crews). As a result, CFTs are typically used in situations where increased range offsets any performance drawbacks. In the case of the F-15E, CFTs allow air-to-ground munitions to be loaded on stations which would otherwise carry external fuel tanks. In general, CFT usage is the norm for F15Es and the exception for F-15C/D's.

The F-15E Strike Eagle’s tactical electronic warfare system [TEWS] is an integrated countermeasures system. Radar, radar jammer, warning receiver and chaff/flare dispenser all work together to detect, identify and counter threats posed by an enemy. For example, if the warning receiver detects a threat before the radar jammer, the warning receiver will inform the jammer of the threat. A Strike Eagle’s TEWS can jam radar systems operating in high frequencies, such as radar used by short-range surface-to-air missiles, antiaircraft artillery and airborne threats. Current improvements to TEWS will enhance the aircraft’s ability to jam enemy radar systems. The addition of new hardware and software, known as Band 1.5, will round out the TEWS capability by jamming threats in mid-to-low frequencies, such as long-range radar systems. The equipment is expected to go into full production sometime in late 1999.

The Defense Department plans to sustain production of the F-15E for at least two more years, purchasing three aircraft in both FY 1998 and FY 1999. Without FY 1998 procurement, the F-15 production line would begin to close in the absence of new foreign sales. These six additional aircraft, together with the six aircraft approved by Congress in FY 1997, will sustain the present 132-plane combat force structure until about FY 2016. Under current plans by 2030, the last F-15C/D models will have been phased out of the inventory and replaced by the F-22.
Service Life

Designed in the 1960s and built in the 1970s, the F-15A - D aircraft has now been in service for over twenty years. While the Eagle's aerodynamics and maneuverability are still on a par with newer aircraft, quantum leaps in integrated circuit technology have made the original F-15 avionics suite obsolete. The objective of the Multi-Stage Improvement Program (MSIP) was to set the Eagle in step with today's vastly improved information processing systems. Some F-15C/D aircraft (tail numbers 84-001 and higher) came off the assembly line with MSIP in place. All F-15A/B/C/D aircraft produced before 84-001 will receive the MSIP retrofit at the F-15 depot. Improvements incorporated via MSIP vary between F-15A/B and F-15C/D aircraft; the C/D MSIP has been completed. However, all air-to-air Eagles gain improved radar, central computer, weapons and fire control, and threat warning systems.

The purpose of the F-15 Multi-stage Improvement Program (MSIP) was to provide maximum air superiority in a dense hostile environment in the late 1990s and beyond. All total, 427 Eagles received the new avionics upgrades. Along with later model production aircraft, these retrofitted aircraft would provide the Combat Air Forces (CAF) with a total MSIP fleet of 526 aircraft. The MSIP upgraded the capabilities of the F-15 aircraft to included a MIL-STD-1760 aircraft/weapons standard electrical interface bus to provide the digital technology needed to support new and modern weapon systems like AMRAAM. The upgrade also incorporated a MIL-STD-1553 digital command/response time division data bus that would enable onboard systems to communicate and to work with each other. A new central computer with significantly improved processing speed and memory capacity upgraded the F-15 from 70s to 90s technology, adding capacity needed to support new radar and other systems. The original Eagle had less computer capacity than a 1990s car. Some of the work prefaced the addition of the Joint Tactical Information Distribution System, adding space, power, and cooling that would allow the new avionics to run in the harsh environments in which the Eagle operates. The new programmable armament control set (PACS) with a multi-purpose color display (MPCD) for expanded weapons control, monitoring, and release capabilities featured a modern touch screen that allowed the pilot to talk to his weapons. A data transfer module (DTM) set provided pre-programmed information that customized the jet to fly the route the pilot had planned using mission planning computers. An upgrade to the APG-63 Radar for multiple target detection, improved electronic counter-countermeasures (ECCM) characteristics, and non-cooperative target recognition capability enabled the pilot to identify and target enemy aircraft before he was detected or before the enemy could employ his weapons. An upgrade of the advanced medium range air-to-air missile (AMRAAM), that carried up to eight missiles, represented an improvement that complimented the combat-proven AIM-7 Sparrow by giving the pilot capability to engage multiple targets to launch and leave, targeting and destroying enemy fighters before they could pose a threat. The upgraded Radar Warning Receiver (RWR) and an enhanced internal countermeasures set (ICS) on F-15C/D models improved threat detection and self-protection radar jamming capability that allowed pilots to react to threat and to maneuver to break the lock of enemy missiles.

The F-15 initial operational requirement was for a service life of 4,000 hours. Testing completed in 1973 demonstrated that the F-15 could sustain 16,000 hours of flight. Subsequently operational use was more severely stressful than the original design specification. With an average usage of 270 aircraft flight hours per year, by the early 1990s the F-15C fleet was approaching its service-design-life limit of 4,000 flight hours. Following successful airframe structural testing, the F-15C was extended to an 8,000-hour service life limit. An 8,000-hour service limit provides current levels of F-15Cs through 2010. The F-22 program was initially justified on the basis of an 8,000 flight hour life projection for the F-15. This was consistent with the projected lifespan of the most severely stressed F-15Cs, which have averaged 85% of flight hours in stressful air-to-air missions, versus the 48% in the original design specification.

Full-scale fatigue testing between 1988 and 1994 ended with a demonstration of over 7,600 flight hours for the most severely used aircraft, and in excess of 12,000 hours on the remainder of the fleet. A 10,000-hour service limit would provide F-15Cs to 2020, while a 12,000-hour service life extends the F-15Cs to the year 2030. The APG-63 radar, F100-PW-100 engines, and structure upgrades are mandatory. The USAF cannot expect to fly the F-15C to 2014, or beyond, without replacing these subsystems. The total cost of the three retrofits would be under $3 billion. The upgrades would dramatically reduce the 18 percent breakrate prevalent in the mid-1990s, and extend the F-15C service life well beyond 2014.

The F-15E structure is rated at 16,000 flight hours, double the lifetime of earlier F-15s.
Foreign Military Sales

The Eagle has been chosen by three foreign military customers to modernize their air forces. Japan has purchased and produces an air-to-air F-15 known as the F-15J. Israel has bought F-15A, B, and D aircraft from USAF inventories and is currently obtaining an air-to-ground version called the F-15I. Similarly, Saudi Arabia has purchased F-15C and D aircraft and acquired the air-to-ground F-15S.
F-15I Thunder

Israel has bought F-15A, B, and D aircraft from USAF inventories and is currently obtaining an air-to-ground version called the F-15I. The two seat F-15I, known as the Thunder in Israel, incorporates new and unique weapons, avionics, electronic warfare, and communications capabilities that make it one of the most advanced F-15s. The F-15I, like the US Air Force's F-15E Strike Eagle, is a dual-role fighter that combines long-range interdiction with the Eagle's air superiority capabilities. All aircraft are to be configured with either the F100-PW-229 or F110-GE-129 engines by direct commercial sale; Night Vision Goggle compatible cockpits; an Elbit display and sight helmet (DASH) system; conformal fuel tanks; and the capability to employ the AIM-120, AIM-7, AIM-9, and a wide variety of air-to-surface munitions.

F-15 production, which began in 1972, has been extended into 1999 by orders F-151 aircraft for Israel. Israel selected the F-15I in January, 1994 after evaluating a variety of aircraft to meet its defense needs. The government of Israel initially ordered 25 F-15I Thunders, powered by two Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-229 low bypass turbofan engine. This foreign military sale was valued at $1.76 billion dollars. The Israeli Air Force received the first two of 25 F-15I aircraft in January 1998. On 22 September 1998 the US Department of Defense announced the sale to the Government of Israel of 30 F-15I aircraft; 30 AN/APG-70 or AN/APG-63(V)1 radar; and 30 each LANTIRN navigation and targeting pods. Associated support equipment, software development/integration, spares and repair parts, flight test instrumentation, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, US Government and contractor technical and logistics personnel services, and other related requirements to ensure full program supportability will also be provided. The estimated cost was $2.5 billion.
F-15S Peace Sun IX

F-15 production has been extended into 1999 by orders for 72 F-15S aircraft for Saudi Arabia. Peace Sun IX is an F-15 Foreign Military Sales production program, with development, to deliver 72 F-15S aircraft including support equipment, spares, and training to the Royal Saudi government. Saudi Arabia has purchased a total of 62 F-15C and D aircraft and later procured the F-15S, which is a two-seater aircraft based on the F-15E airframe, with downgraded avionics, downgraded LANTIRN pods, and a simplified Hughes APG-70 radar without computerised radar mapping. Four F-15S Eagles were delivered in 1995. On 10 November 1999 the last of 72 F-15S aircraft was delivered to Saudi Arabia. In November 1995 Saudi Arabia purchased 556 GBU-15 Guided Bomb Units (including six training units), 48 data link pods, personnel training and training equipment and other related elements of logistics support. The estimated cost is $371 million. Saudi Arabia would use the GBU-15s to enhance the stand off attack capability of the F-15S aircraft.
F-15J Peace Eagle
Japan has purchased and produced a total of 223 air-to-air F-15 known as the F-15J, assembled in Japan from largely indigenously manufactured sub-assemblies and equipment. The Mitsubishi F-15J/DJ Eagle is the principal air superiority fighter operated by the JASDF. These differ from the F-15C/D with the deletion of sensitive ECM, radar warning, and nuclear delivery equipment. The AN/ALQ-135 is replaced by indigenous J/ALQ-8 and the AN/ALR-56 RHAWS is replaced by J/APR-4.

Primary Function Tactical fighter.
Contractor McDonnell Douglas Corp.
Power Plant Two Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-100 turbofan engines with afterburners.
Thrust (C/D models) 25,000 pounds each engine ( 11,250 kilograms).
Length 63 feet, 9 inches (19.43 meters).
Height 18 feet, 8 inches (5.69 meters).
Wingspan 42 feet, 10 inches (13.06 meters)
Speed 1,875 mph (Mach 2.5-plus) at 45,000 ft.
Ceiling 65,000 feet (19,697 meters).
Maximum Takeoff Weight (C/D models) 68,000 pounds (30,600 kilograms).
Range 3,450 miles (3,000 nautical miles) ferry range with conformal fuel tanks and three external fuel tanks.
Armament 1 - M-61A1 20mm multibarrel internal gun, 940 rounds of ammunition
4 - AIM-9L/M Sidewinder and
4 - AIM-7F/M Sparrow missiles, or
combination of AIM-9L/M, AIM-7-F/M and AIM-120 missiles.
F-15C Weapon Loads
7 9 120 88 MM
4 4

4 2 2
2 2 4
4 4
4 900

4 4 4 900

F-15E Weapon Loads

12 CBU-52 (6 with wing tanks)
12 CBU-59 (6 with wing tanks)
12 CBU-71 (6 with wing tanks)
12 CBU-87 (6 with wing tanks)
12 CBU-89 (6 with wing tanks)
20 MK-20 (6 with wing tanks)

65 130 87 89 97 10 12 28 15 JDAM 9 120 MM

4 500


4 500


4 500


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# Systems AN/APG-63 X-band pulsed-Doppler radar [Hughes]
# AN/APG-70 X-band pulsed-Doppler radar [Hughes]
[ on F-15E, F-15C/D, F-15A/B MSIP]
# AN/APX-76 IFF interrogator [Hazeltine]

# AN/ALQ-135(V) internal countermeasures system
# AN/ALQ-128 radar warning [Magnavox] suite
# AN/ALR-56 radar warning receiver (RWR) [Loral]
# AN/ALE-45 chaff/flare dispensers [Tracor]

# AN/AVQ-26 Pave Tack
# AN/AXQ-14 Data Link System
Crew F-15A/C: one. F-15B/D: two.
Unit cost $FY98
[Total Program] $43 million.
Date Deployed July 1972
[for USAF] 360 F-15A/B
408 F-15C
61 F-15D
203 F-15E
Total Inventory 275 F-15A/B
410 F-15C/D
203 F-15E

Approximately 100 F-15s are in storage @ AMARC
Primary Mission Aircraft Inventory 45 F-15A/B Air National Guard Air Defense Force
45 F-15A/B Air National Guard
126 F-15C/D Air Combat Command
90 F-15C/D Pacific Air Forces
36 F-15C/D US Air Forces Europe
342 F-15A/C TOTAL

66 F-15E Air Combat Command
18 F-15E Pacific Air Forces
48 F-15E US Air Forces Europe
132 F-15E TOTAL

Only combat-coded aircraft and not development/ test, attrition reserve, depot maintenance, or training aircraft.
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an just for fun

Alpha strike

Alpha strike is a term used by the United States Navy to denote a large air attack by an aircraft carrier air wing, first coined during the Vietnam War.[1] It is the Navy's version of the more widely used term "strike package".

An Alpha strike is typically a large strike representing a "deck load" of aircraft, i.e.,the amount of aircraft that can be brought to the flight deck, armed and launched against a high-value target. This will generally amount to about half of the aircraft aboard and will comprise aircraft from all squadrons on board and are also referred to as airwing-size strikes. The other half will normally have been recently recovered aircraft, and will be parked and prepared for their next mission on the hangar deck below the flight deck. During an Alpha strike the carrier will remain into the wind and at General Quarters with a "ready deck" to recover any aircraft returning to the ship with battle damage. During the Vietnam War an Alpha strike also meant that the target of a strike was specifically taken from a target list maintained by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and as such required JCOS authorization.

The alternate form of carrier operations are "cyclic operations" during which a carrier will launch and recover aircraft (a launch and recovery is a complete cycle) on a prescribed schedule. Several factors will contribute to the length of a cycle depending on the type of aircraft, the time and distance to the target, and the mission. With virtually all fast moving, jet aircraft aboard, carriers during the Vietnam War would launch and recover every 90 minutes and complete 9 cycles daily over typically a 12-13 hour period. These carriers were generally assigned to Yankee Station located about a 100 miles from the target area. When a carrier stood down after flight quarters another carrier would commence flight operations. Typically three and on rare occasions four carriers operated on Yankee Station and provided continuous fleet air operations around the clock. A carrier would typically be on the line for a "line period" of 30 to 35 days, and then leave the line for 6 to 8 days of rest and recreation. A deployment to the Western Pacific usually amounted to six line periods and typically lasted about 10 1/2 months including transit from and to the continental United States.

During the peak of the war a carrier typically launched 9 to 13 thousand sorties. If a sortie may be used as a measure of activity, the periods from 1966 to early 1968 and 1970 to 1973 probably amounted to the most intensive level of combat flying in the history of naval warfare.

Sometimes some very large air raids were staged by coordinating aircraft from three US Navy carriers in the Gulf of Tonkin and the US Air Force flying from airfields in Thailand. This could amount to 90 to 100 Navy aircraft and a similar number from the Air Force. During these very large raids either the Navy or the Air Force would strike first and the other service would re-strike the target 15 minutes later. The planning for these strikes was extensive, and typically a strike would remain over target no longer than two minutes in an effort to minimize losses in what was also the most intensive air defense system composed of fighters, anti-aircraft guns, and missiles ever encountered.

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A type-2 phaser or phaser pistol is a typical hand-held directed-energy phaser weapon used by Starfleet and United Federation of Planets personnel during the 23rd and 24th and the 29th century.

More powerful and generally larger in size than the type 1 phaser, type 2 phasers were kept aboard Starfleet and Federation starships, starbases, space stations and at planetary facilities.

General specifications

A descendant of the EM weapons and phase pistols of the 22nd century, the type 2 phaser was introduced before the mid-23rd century and was standard issue aboard Starfleet vessels by the 2260s. In the nearly two hundred years since their introduction to Starfleet personnel, several models and makes have been observed.

Utilized primarily in defensive situations, the phaser type-2 had several applications, from use as a weapon to use as a cutting tool, explosive device, or energy source. Storing considerable energy, most phasers were distinguished by a roughly pistol or gun-type configuration, firing a focused energy discharge in the form of a beam or steady stream. (TOS: "The Naked Time", "The Conscience of the King", "The Galileo Seven")
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Models and variations
23rd centuryEdit

As early as the 2260s, Federation type 2 phasers were characterized by an unmistakably gun-like appearance. Varying in color from black and white, gray and black, and gray and copper combination, the 2260s model featured identifiable barrel and trigger structures, with an elongated handle/power pack capable of being quickly swapped out and "reloaded".

Unlike the majority of its progeny, the type 2 phaser of the 2260s – and later the 2280s – featured an integrated companion, top-mounted type-1 hand phaser. (TOS: "The Devil in the Dark", "The Omega Glory")

Type 2 phasers of this period were, like later models, capable of power adjustment. Beam intensity and even speed and motion could be altered depending on the intended function. They could be utilized to produce a cutting beam, capable of slicing through a bulkhead, or to generate a phaser "spread". The energy from a 2260s model could also be drained (a process which took several hours) and used as a power source. The energy from six phasers was capable of launching a small vessel or shuttlecraft into an unsustainable orbit around a planet for several hours. Adjustments could be made by a small knob at the rear of the device, and one on the front of the left side. (TOS: "The Naked Time", "Wink of an Eye", "The Galileo Seven"; ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II"). When overloaded, a 2260s type 2 phaser had the capacity to destroy a significant portion of a starship. (TOS: "The Conscience of the King")

The destructive power of the phaser type-2 of this era has been measured in thousands of lives, when large numbers of Yangs were killed on the planet Omega IV in 2268. Proconsul Claudius Marcus, of planet 892-IV's equivalent of the Roman Empire, noted that 100 men armed with hand phasers could "defeat the combined armies of Rome". At its maximum setting, it could disintegrate an object up to the size of an average humanoid. (TOS: "The Omega Glory", "Bread and Circuses")

During the period ranging between the late 2270s and the early 2290s, at least three phaser type-2 variants were put into service aboard Federation starships and space stations.

Consisting of single-piece and phaser type-1 and type-2 combination units, most phasers of this time were characterized by a dark-gray coloration, some with a number of control buttons allowing adjustments to be made for the desired affect.

Functioning similarly to the 2260s-style type 2 phaser, the phaser-2 models of this period were powerful enough to vaporize targets up to the size of an average humanoid and could throw a stunned individual several feet in certain circumstances. (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan; Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)

By 2287, type 2 phasers had become sleek, black models with removable clips at the handle. They were stowed in equipment lockers aboard Federation starships and shuttlecraft, though they would trigger an alarm if fired at certain settings. A phaser of this design fired on stun at close range was lethal. (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)

In the alternate reality created in 2233 by Nero, the alternate 2250s version of the type 2 phaser became silver, albeit with a body reminiscent of the original design, with a rotating barrel for switching between stun and kill settings. They were only seen to fire bolts rather than continuous beams. (Star Trek)
Type 2 phaser, TOS
A type 2 phaser in 2269
Type 2 phaser, 2266
Precision firing a type 2 phaser using the flip-up sight
Type 2 phaser, 2285
A type 2 phaser in 2285
A type-2 with type-1 attached in 2285
Type 2 phaser, ST6
A type 2 phaser in 2287 - 2293
Alternate reality phaser kill and stun
Kill and stun settings on the alternate reality phaser pistol, 2258

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24th century and beyondEdit
Type 2 phaser circuitryInternal circuitry of a type-2 in 2366.

By the 2360s, the type 2 phaser had evolved past the pistol-like configuration, becoming a sleek, silver-colored device with a handle flowing into the form of a muzzle cowling and emitter.

With two small buttons for beam width and intensity control and a large one to fire the device, the phaser type-2 of this period featured a large, illuminated power level readout. The phaser of this time retained the functionality of the previous designs, but increased the power and versatility. Like their predecessors, these units could be adjusted for use as cutting tools or power sources. They could also be set to overload, becoming a powerful explosive device. (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint", "The Hunted", "Silicon Avatar")

By the 29th century, Starfleet utilized pistol-style phasers again. (VOY: "Relativity")
Phaser settingsA type 2 phaser, settings one through sixteen

The type 2 phasers of the 24th century were capable of achieving sixteen settings, ranging from mild stun to disintegration. They were as follows:

    Level one: lowest setting, Light Stun, capable of stunning most base humanoids for approximately five minutes. According to Starfleet regulations all phasers must be stored at this setting. Possesses enough force to break large urns. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual; TNG: "Aquiel"; TAS: "The Lorelei Signal")

    Level sixteen: Capable of vaporizing rock to widen an opening in a lava tube partially blocked by rubble, or blowing large holes in walls. (TNG: "Chain of Command, Part I", "Frame of Mind")

In addition to variable power settings, type-2s can be set for a narrow (affecting a single target) or "wide" beam (affecting two or more targets over a certain area). The frequency of the beam may also be adjusted to make it more effective against certain types of shields and/or force fields. (TNG: "The Arsenal of Freedom", "The Best of Both Worlds", "Power Play"; VOY: "Initiations") Type 2 phasers could also cause severe to deadly phaser burns. (TNG: "Night Terrors")
Type 2 phaser, 2364
A type 2 phaser circa 2364
Type 2 phaser, 2360s
A type 2 phaser circa 2366
Type 2 phaser, 2269
A type 2 phaser (without setting indicators) circa 2368
Type 2 phaser, 2370s
A type 2 phaser circa 2372
Type 2 phaser, 2379
The inner workings of a type-2 in 2379
Phaser Rifle storage, circa 2379
Type-2 and type-3 phasers in a weapons locker circa 2379
Seven of Nine meets Anna Jameson
Seven of Nine with a 29th century Starfleet pistol phaser

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Phaser technology

Lieutenant Malcolm Reed in "Broken Bow" explicitly stated that phase pistols had only two settings, while several TNG-era episodes have established phasers as having up to sixteen. Aside from this, no data or even lip service has been given as to just what differentiates a phase pistol from a phaser - it is quite possible that little or no differences exist beyond settings. The first TOS pilot, "The Cage" established the use of lasers before phasers, but is often regarded as an anachronism. The Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual describes phasers operating on a "modified version of the rapid nadion effect" which "produce a pulsed protonic charge".

Although never shown on screen, production illustrations suggest that the type 2 phaser used in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan had removable type-1 components like the model used in Star Trek: The Original Series and the model used in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. The design of the "assault phaser" from Star Trek V: The Final Frontier and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country also included a removable type-1 located beneath the cowling.

  For TNG, the type-2 phaser was intentionally differentiated from the style used in TOS. In a 1987 interview, Rick Sternbach explained, "We've gotten away from the pistol look of the handheld phasers. We have based the new design on the fact that there are many ways for the human hand to grip one." (Starlog issue #125, p. 48) Sternach included a complete version of the TNG design of type-2 phaser in a series of sketches which were dated 6 February 1987 and which he prepared for construction bidders interested in building the props required for the show. (Star Trek: The Next Generation

  Star fleet Type 2 phaser X by bagera3005 Star fleet Type 2 phaser by bagera3005 Phaser  Type-IIa by bagera3005 Phaser  Type-II by bagera3005 Assault Phaser by bagera3005 Star fleet Type 1 phaser X by bagera3005  
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After months of playing Halo Reach, I've finally been able to recreate Master Chief.

Since the game takes place during the Fall of Reach, the Chief would be wearing his Mark V helmet

To do this you need the Mark V helmet, the Mark V shoulder pieces, and the golden visor. To unlock all these you'll need to be at least a Brigadier, once you reach that rank you should have more than enough credits for the armor pieces (provided you haven't excessively spent your credits on other things)

I'd like to see the Chief in action with a combat knife (He'd probably be like Jason Voorhees or something), and I'd like to hear what kind of witty remark Cortana would say in response to it.
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After months of playing Halo Reach I've finally been able to recreate the cast of Red vs Blue.

Here we have Freelancer Tex.

I seriously thought they would have given Tex more than just default armor permutations since she's a Freelancer. I mean come on, Rooster Teeth had access to the Mark VI helmet months before the game even hit the street.

"Payback's a bitch, and so am I."
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Everybody run! It's the Meta!"

After months of playing Halo Reach I've been able to recreate the Meta, the antagonist of the Red vs Blue Recollections trilogy.

(If you haven't seen the Revelations Finale yet, SPOILER ALERT!)




The Meta, formerly known as Agent Maine, was a rogue Freelancer agent with goals to obtain armor enhancements and artificial intelligence to increase his power.

At the end of the Recollections Trilogy, after a fierce battle with the Red and Blue Blood Gultch soldiers he fell to his death.

Since the next season of Red vs Blue is apparently going to take place in Epsilon's memory world, it is possible that he may return along with the other villains the Red and Blue soldiers have fought over the years.

Since his primary weapon (The Brute Shot) didn't return in Halo Reach I opted for the Concussion Rifle since it's the closest we're going to get.

None of the armor permutations in Reach are exactly the same as they were in Halo 3 so I had to improvise here. For the left shoulder I gave him a grenadier, for his right shoulder I did commando, I used my Multi-Threat for the Chest Piece, visor color is gold, and for the helmet I opted for Emile's simply because I thought it looked cool. (EVA was never really one of my favorites)
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U.S Army soldier armed with a Barrett M82A3 12.7x99mm, an M4A1 Carbine, and M9 sidearm. His shoulder will be broken the moment he fires from that position. He just did.
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His battalion of marines and air force march towards war against the Covenant. This was made in 2009 so it was a while before I gotten better. Still epic though.
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The Legendary Squad is now helped by the Dovahkin and Paarthurnax to face the new evil that has been brought into the League of Enormity, the villainous faction. Alduin, has joined the League of Enormity to wreak havoc and destruction of the universe.

Halo, Skyrim, Half Life, Mass Effect, Call of Duty, The Walking Dead, Battlefield, Ninja Gaiden, Crysis crossover.

Garry's Mod
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The USA, formally known as the United States of America, emerged from the original Thirteen Colonies established by the British between 1603 and 1733. Its disputes over increased independence and representation within the British Empire (‘no taxation without representation’) led to the formation of a Continental Congress and the Declaration of Independence in 1776. The new USA staged the world’s first successful independence war against a colonial empire. Throughout the nineteenth century, the USA embarked on a massive campaign of expansion, conquering ever more lands, displacing or liquidating native tribes and establishing new states. By 1900 and despite a devastating civil war (1861 – 1865), the USA extended from the Atlantic to the Pacific, boasted the largest economy in the world and was confirmed as a military power in the Spanish-American War and World War I. It became a super power (along with the USSR) following World War II and, despite the resurging power of China and post-Soviet Russia, has retained much of its power and global influence at the dawn of the twenty-first century.

The original flag of the USA, known as ‘Betsy Ross’, was first flown in 1777. It consisted of thirteen horizontal stripes of alternating red and white, with a blue canton displaying a circle of thirteen stars to represent the country’s founding states. The design was similar to that of the British East India Company and was in use until 1795.

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The German Empire (German: Deutsches Reich) emerged from the Prussian victory in the Franco-Prussian War (1870 − 1871) and the subsequent proclamation of a united German state (excluding the Austrians) under Prussian leadership. The empire rapidly rose to the status of a great power: by 1913, it boasted one of the most urbanised societies in the world, one of the strongest and most innovative industrial bases, one of the largest armies and navies and key accomplishments in the fields of industry, technology and science. The empire nevertheless collapsed in World War I and was turned into a republic by the victorious Allies. On top of defeat and the dissolution of their empire, the 1919 Treaty of Versailles blamed the war responsibility on the Germans and imposed severe territorial concessions and reparation payments.

The German Empire’s war flag (German: Reichskriegsfahne) consisted of a white field with a black-white cross offset to the hoist and with a white disc and the Prussian eagle in its centre. The canton displayed the empire’s national flag with a centred black Iron Cross, a Prussian decoration established in 1813.

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The Byzantine Empire, 1045

Byzantion (Greek: Βυζάντιον) was the name of a humble city located on the Bosporus, later called Byzantium by the Romans. It was founded by Dorian Greek colonists from Megara during the seventh century BC to secure Greek shipping routes to and from the Black Sea region. The city achieved some prominence as a trade hub during the zenith of the Roman Empire before being sacked by the forces of Septimius Severus in 195, as a result of having sided with the usurper Pescennius Niger during the Year of the Five Emperors (193). Although Septimius Severus recognised the city’s potential and rebuilt it, Byzantium was given a far greater destiny only in 330 when Constantine the Great (r. 306 – 337) chose the city as his new imperial residence and capital, a decision which altered the course of Roman and indeed European history.

Several factors influenced Constantine’s choice: Byzantium’s strategic position at the gateway between two continents, the increasing economic and demographic importance of the Roman Empire’s eastern territories and last but not least, Constantine’s desire to literally distance himself and his government from the less than cooperative senatorial elite back in Rome. Constantine and his son Constantius II (r. 337 – 361) did everything in their power to make Byzantium – soon renamed as Nova Roma Constantinopolitana or Constantinopolis – into a citadel with all the imperial grandeur of Rome in its heydays, combining the fledgling Christian architecture with the established Roman urban culture. At the death of Constantius II, the city’s governmental and ceremonial heart consisted mainly of the Great Palace (Greek: Μέγα Παλάτιον), the Hagia Eirene (Greek: γία Ερήνη), the Hippodrome (Greek: Ιππόδρομος) and the Forum of Constantine (Greek: Φόρος Κωνσταντίνου). On top of that, a new Byzantine Senate was established with its own Curia to emphasise Constantinople’s status as the New Rome, free from the corruption and conspiracies of the Roman senators in the west. 

The continuous dedication of the Roman – Eastern Roman after the imperial division of 395 – government to the construction of Constantinople caused its population to skyrocket between the fourth and sixth century, in sharp contrast to the decline of Rome itself. Of the approximately 800,000 people living in Rome at the time of its infamous destruction by the Visigoths in 410, a mere 30,000 remained halfway through the sixth century. Constantinople had by this time become the greatest metropolis of the Mediterranean with around 500,000 inhabitants. Although the city’s population dwindled slightly over the next centuries and never outclassed the imperial zenith of Rome, Constantinople was undoubtedly the supreme jewel of medieval Europe until the forces of the Fourth Crusade desecrated the city in 1204.

The fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and the disappearance of its last splinter territories by 486 caused the imperial government of Constantinople to begin propagating a renovatio imperii, a restoration of the empire’s territory and authority. To Constantinople, the fall of the west meant before anything that there was finally a single Roman Empire again. Moreover, that the ‘inferior’ western barbarians had not only toppled Rome but also claimed its legacy was considered an unforgiveable insult. As the sole continuation of the empire, Constantinople considered itself the rightful ruler of all the former Roman territories in the west, a claim it considered both possible and inevitable. 

The man who zealously pursued the renovatio-policy was Justinian the Great (r. 527 – 565). From the moment of his ascension to power, he embarked on an ambitious quest consisting of four objectives: the reconquest of the lost western territories, the purification and codification of Roman law, the establishment of religious unity and a military-first economy. Justinian’s multi-front wars, vast construction programs (most famously the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople) and heavy taxation pushed the empire and its people to the limit of their abilities. Despite considerable successes, the ultimate goal of restoring the Roman Empire proved unrealistic, all the more because difficulties turned into calamities as the sixth century progressed. The first plague epidemic hit the Mediterranean hard from 541 onward, the war against the Ostrogoths in Italy dragged into the 550’s and the Sassanid Empire reinitiated hostilities in the east from 542. In the north meanwhile, barbarian invasions breached the imperial frontier once more: the Avars and Bulgars entered the Danube Valley from the Ukraine, subjugating Slavic tribes along the way and forcing them to in turn invade the Balkans in search of a new home. In the west meanwhile, Constantinople’s hard-fought victories in Spain and Italy were all but undone by the Visigoths and Langobards, although the empire long held on to key Italian regions which included Rome and Ravenna. The catastrophes towards the end of Justinian’s reign and after his death in 565 proved to be merely the overture to the storms of the seventh century. The power of Constantinople nevertheless held out well enough at first: emperor Herakleios (r. 610 – 641) booked a spectacular victory at the Battle of Nineveh in 627 which shattered the Sassanid Empire, secured the imperial frontier in the east and allowed Constantinople to begin planning the reconquest of the Balkans against the Slavs. 

Fate decided otherwise: less than a decade after Nineveh, the imperial armies were retreating in the face of the Arab tribes, recently united in the new faith of Islam. Shortly after Herakleios’ death in 641, Arab forces had secured the entire Middle East and went on to conquer Egypt by 642. These colossal demographic and territorial losses inflicted an unprecedented internal crisis upon Constantinople’s economy, military and administration. In response, Herakleios and his successor Constans II (r. 641 – 668) embarked on a campaign of sweeping reforms to suit the new situation and consolidate what was left of the empire. The result was the emergence of a ‘new’ Greco-Roman state, indeed the immediate continuation of the (Eastern) Roman Empire but one which had been thoroughly altered by decades of catastrophes and the rising significance of its Greek component. From around this time, the dominion of Constantinople is popularly known to modern-day people as the ‘Byzantine Empire’. However, both the government and the people stubbornly continued to call themselves and their empire ‘Roman’.

The reforms which shaped the emergence of the Byzantine state were nevertheless huge: the countryside of the empire was given a new taxation system which called for taxes in the form of gold alone and charged the local leaders of peasant communities with coordinating tax collection. The vital monetary link between the empire’s tax payers and government officials was thus preserved and strengthened. This was indeed of the greatest importance: the loss of inhabitants, resources and territory both required and implied a more efficient micro-management of the remaining territories. As a result, both the imperial army and bureaucracy shrunk significantly during the seventh and eighth century. Whereas Constantinople fielded an army as large as 150,000 soldiers in the days of Justinian the Great, it could count on ‘only’ 80,000 halfway through the eighth century. Likewise, the central government in Constantinople consisted of about 2,500 officials when Justinian came to power, as opposed to a mere 600 at the dawn of the eighth century.

In said situation of severe contraction, emperor Constans II also enforced a complete reorganisation of the Byzantine military around 660. It continued to be made up of semi-professional soldiers and enlistment remained voluntary, but its structure was rebuilt around four field armies: the themata (Greek: (pl.) θέματα), which were all stationed in the empire’s new heartland of Asia Minor. A fifth thema was soon established in the Aegean Sea to represent the Byzantine war fleets, followed by the creation of themata in the remaining Byzantine territories in the western Mediterranean. The new system was quickly expanded and enhanced under Constans II’s successors and ultimately became a new Byzantine administrative framework which replaced that of the Roman emperors Diocletian and Constantine.

To complement the themata, prevent a repeat of the Arab sieges of Constantinople (673 – 678 and 717 – 718) and more effectively combat the increasing number of internal conspiracies against the emperor, Constantine V (r. 741 – 755) created new units with only professional soldiers: the tagmata (Greek: (pl.) τάγματα), which in theory numbered altogether 18,000 men. Constantine V thus dramatically increased Constantinople’s defensive capacity and his own ability to crush internal threats to his power. However, the emperor’s position ultimately came at risk of being challenged or controlled by his own tagmata-commanders. To solve this, a new force was fielded in the tenth century to serve as the emperor’s personal bodyguard, one which largely consisted of Scandinavian soldiers: the famous Varangian Guards (Greek: Τάγμα των Βαράγγων). The downside to assembling the tagmata was the gradual decline in quality of the themata. Two main reasons can be brought up for this: firstly, the general preference of cavalrymen to serve in the tagmata rather than the themata, not in the least because the former paid better; secondly, the gradually increasing importance of cavalry-heavy armies. Already in the ninth century, the Byzantine military had to order peasant communities all over the empire to reserve a certain number of cavalrymen for service in the themata.

As the ninth century progressed, the internally reconsolidated Byzantine Empire could finally prepare its great war of reconquest. Byzantine forces had managed to reclaim the western Peloponnese shortly after 800 – killing or deporting the Slavs and repopulating the area with Greeks – but were hindered in further expansion by internal strife and strong foreign enemies, most notably the Bulgarian Empire. The fall of the Avar Khaganate by 804 had allowed for a remarkable rise in Bulgarian power and prosperity, establishing an empire which roughly encompassed modern-day Bulgaria, all of Macedonia and vast portions of modern-day Serbia, Greece and Albania. For centuries, the Byzantine emperors could do little more than to tolerate the Bulgarian khans, all the more because Constantinople’s Arab nemesis continued to terrorise the Mediterranean.

By the end of the ninth century, Byzantium achieved new successes by driving the Arabs out of Cilicia and strengthening its hold on southern Italy. The subsequent string of Byzantine victories which happened throughout the tenth and early eleventh centuries were the result of the internal weakening of the Arabs in the Middle East and the creation of political stability within the Byzantine government. A kind of balance of power had emerged between the hereditary monarchy of the emperor and the governmental influence of the Byzantine army, which implied that the Byzantine generals agreed to act reservedly in case of troubles within the monarchy but were allowed considerable influence over the seating emperor. Though said balance was indeed the fundament of the tenth century Byzantine successes, it turned the imperial court of Constantinople into a grand theatre of hypocrisy, flattery, factionalism and backstage conspiracies where one had to tread lightly to avoid disappearing from the stage at the command of either the regime or the military.

Two emperors defined the Byzantine tenth century: Constantine VII (r. 913 – 959) and his grandson Basil II (r. 963 – 1025). However, Constantine stood initially under the regency of the Patriarch of Constantinople, subsequently ruled alongside his mother Zoe Karbonopsina and then had to tolerate general Romanos Lekapenos as co-emperor until 944. His grandson Basil II ruled consecutively alongside his generals Phokas until 969 and Tzimiskes until 976.

The upside to the immense power of these generals was that the Byzantine armies could act decisively on every front, being commanded by men who had no real superior. Lekapenos turned the tables in the Balkans and increased Byzantine pressure on the Bulgarian Empire, which had reached the zenith of its power under khan Symeon (r. 893 – 927), even attempting a siege of Constantinople itself (923 – 924). Phokas reestablished firm Byzantine control over Cilicia, reclaimed Crete in 961 and Cyprus in 965, annexed Armenia and secured the gateway into Syria by reconquering Antioch in 969. Tzimiskes then initiated the annexation of Bulgarian Thrace, reduced the Mirdasids of Aleppo to a Byzantine vassal and invaded the Middle East, conquering key cities like Edessa, Tripoli, Sidon and Damascus but falling short of Jerusalem itself.

The downside to the Byzantine army’s state-influence became clear upon the death of Tzimiskes in 976: the empire fell into thirteen years of civil war before Basil II managed to regain control, greatly aided by a military alliance with Vladimir the Great of Kievan Russia. Once firmly in power, Basil II pushed the military policies of his late co-emperors to the limit. In 1014, Byzantium obliterated the Bulgarian army at the Battle of Kleidon and systematically conquered the Bulgarian Empire. By 1018, all remaining Bulgarian resistance had been destroyed. The ruthlessness of the Byzantine armies – even by medieval standards – gained Basil II the epitaph of ‘Bulgar Slayer’ (Greek: Βουλγαροκτόνος), by which he is known to this very day. Basil subsequently annexed significant territories in the Caucasus before turning west to strengthen Byzantine positions in southern Italy. Throughout his reign, Byzantium’s only military failure was the attempted invasion of Muslim Sicily.

The wars of reconquest waged by Basil II transformed the Byzantine armies along the general lines of military development going on in both the Latin West and the Islamic world. The importance of cavalry units increased dramatically: heavily armoured cavalrymen were given a more offensive role on the battlefield, whereas infantry units were trained to protect cavalry with carré formations. The new battle tactics stood side by side with a new system of military recruitment and maintenance. Basil II introduced the principal of subsidiary fiscal solidarity, which meant that rich land owners had to take over the fiscal duties (and not the land) of low-class peasants with financial difficulties. When lands fell to the tax collectors of the government, it was not sold but given in ‘lease’ to richer citizens which then had to pay for the armour, horses and wages of cavalrymen. As such, the Byzantine government both managed to maintain the army as a public institution to which all imperial citizens contributed and prevented – at least initially – that local or regional potentates gained too much power and could establish their own de facto autonomous dominions (which was the case all over the Latin West during the Early Middle Ages).

Approximately halfway through the eleventh century, the Byzantine Empire had once again become arguably the strongest state of the medieval Mediterranean world, having almost doubled its territory since the eighth century and ruling unopposed from the Straits of Messina to the Caucasus Mountains and the eastern shores of the Black Sea. However, the rapid expansion caused the iron grip of the imperial government to loosen under the rule of Zoe Porphyrogenita (r. 1028 – 1050) and her successive co-rulers (Romanos III, Michael IV, Michael V, her sister Theodora and Constantine IX), causing the powerful families of Asia Minor to gain significant local autonomy and act increasingly without orders from Constantinople

© 2015



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For the 24 hour Draw-A-Thon for Japan!

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He's the same person!
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I love this game WAY too much.
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A t rex comes back as the living dead in this prehistoric zombie t shirt design.

Check out the shirt: [link]
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The venom primed and the fangs are out as the viper snake gets ready to strike!

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Check out this flamin' design by Chriskar at…
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Coat of Arms and Flag of European Empire.
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Flag and Emblem of People's Republic of Rome, Repubblica Popolare di Roma in Italian
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For :icondatapacrat:
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