It is no secret that as science and technology advanced over the ages, military standards evolved as well (or vice versa). By the start of the 20th century, it was clear that new generation of battles will be fought in the skies. Fast forward a 100 years and every nation is striving to develop the best capabilities to dominate the skies so that they can support their troops on the ground. Planes have certainly changed from those flimsy wooden propeller driven structures of the early 20th century to modern automated engineering marvels. In recognition of that fact, we have compiled a list of 10 bets fighter jets in service around the globe.
Unit cost at 30$ Million, this is undoubtedly an economical fighter Jet. Though the Jet had its first flight in 2001, it was not until 2015 that was formally launched and set into production. The jet has a lot of potential and certainly by early goings it seems the future is bright for the jet. The development of Tejas has been bumpy with some unresolved issues.
9. JF 17 (Pakistan & China)
This plane is certainly a surprise on our list. A joint venture between Pakistan Air Force and the Chinese the plane has an impressive combat radius of 840mi or 1352 Km which can rival with the best. The most impressive detail about the plane is its very low operational costs. Introduced in 2007, the plane already has suitors with the likes of Egypt, Iran, Uruguay, Argentina, Malaysia, Morocco, Nigeria and Sri Lanka having inquired about the plane. Some of these countries have even asked for joint collaborations with China and Pakistan for the development of this plane.
The image below compares J-17 with other single-engined fighter jets such as Tejas and F-16 (click on image to enlarge).
8. Saab JAS 39 Gripen(Sweden)
One of the agilest fighters out there and suitable for close combat. Some parts/components are supplied by the US for this aircraft. Some experts consider it as the lowest operating cost jet there is.
7. F-16 Falcon(USA)
The now legendary F-16. Made by LockHeed Martin, F-16 was sold heavily to various countries. It is an old guard of United States Airforce and its newest version ” The Falcon” has impressed many. There might come a day when The US finally decides to retire this beautiful piece of engineering but until then it remains a workhorse for their airforce.
6. Milkoyan MiG-31(Russia)
It was a matter of time before a MiG made this list, and here it is. It is billed as a true multi-role Foxhound, able to undertake long-range interception, precision strike and defense suppression tasks. Both cockpits feature advanced displays allowing the crew to deploy precision-guided munitions
5. McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle
This plane was built to dominate the sky. During the cold war era this plane was the hallmark of US air defenses and still serves today as one of best air to air combat fighter jets.
4. Sukhoi Su-35(Russia)
Another Russian jet, just emphasizes the Military might of this country. It can carry maximum ordinance of 8000kg, both air to air and air to ground, but primarily this jet was designed as an air superiority fighter.
3. Dassault Rafale (France)
The jet is France’s answer to F-16, Falcon. The Rafale can track 40 targets and fire at four targets simultaneously. No doubt one of best all round fighter jets out there.
2. Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet (USA)
One of most capable aircrafts on our list. The plane is primarily used through aircraft carriers and can strike both ground and air targets. Indeed, a well-reputed fighter employed by the US Navy and the principal fighter for the Austrailian Army as well.
1. Lockheed Martin / Boeing F-22 Raptor (USA)
An exceptional fighter jet with speeds of 2.25Mach. The plane has excellent stealthy capabilities, the engines of this aircraft allow it to supercruise over very long ranges. Most of the data and sensors on this plane remain classified, and it has not been exported to any country or allies