In this 21st century era, every nation is trying to strengthen its military forces. Fighter Jets/Aircrafts play a very important role for this purpose. Here I’ve presented a list of Top 10 Fighter Jets Around the World. Some aircrafts are still in Development stages, whereas some aircrafts are fully operating. I’ve listed speed of some aircrafts in unit “Mach” or “Mach 2” (2040 Km/h) means, 2 times more speed, than the speed of sound (1040.6 Km/h) in air. Among all countries, United States has the most entries in this list (three to be precise).
Fastest Fighter Jets of world:
10. Sukhoi Su-47:
At number 10, the Sukhoi Su-47 (NATO name: Firkin) is a supersonic fighter jet developed by Sukhoi Aviation Corporation. One of its most important features is, forward-swept wings. Due to that features, this Fighter jet yields a lift coefficient, reduce bending and delayed stall. In January 2000, it was introduced in the operational services. It has a top speed of Mach 1.65 (1717 Km/h).
9. Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon:
F16 or more precisely The General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon is a single-engine, multirole aircraft, originally developed by The General Dynamics for the United States. Its first flight took place in 20th January 1974, whereas it was introduced for the services in 17th August 1978. From then, there are over 4500 F-16 aircrafts have been produced, till now. Its primary user is United States, as well as other countries like Pakistan (major non-NATO ally), Greece, Poland, Belgium etc. Its maximum per unit cost is $18.8 million approx. Although its official name is “Fighting Falcon”, “Viper” is popular name among its pilots (due to resemblance with Viper Snake). It is able to fly at altitude of 50,000 ft. for a supersonic speed of Mach 2.
8. Saab JAS 39 Gripen:
At eighth position, it is a multirole, single-engine fighter aircraft, developed by Swedish aerospace company, Saab. It was designed to replace the existing fighter planes, used by swedish, at that time like Saab 35 Draken and 37 Viggen etc. It has been manufactured by Saab AB. Since 1987 247 units have been produced till now. Each unit has cost of about $68.9 million. It can attain a supersonic speed of Mach 2.
7. F/A-18 Hornet:
The McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) F/A-18 Hornet is a supersonic, designed as both a fighter and attack aircraft (F/A for Fighter/Attacker). It is an all-weather, multirole aircraft. It was designed as a collaboration between McDonnell Douglas and Northrop. Hornet is used by the Air Forces of many different nations. Its experimental flight took place on 18th November 1978 and was introduced on 7th January 1983. Its primary users are Spanish Air Force, United States Navy, United States Marine Corps and Royal Australian Air Force. Per unit cost of Hornet varies between $29-$57 million. Its top speed is 1915 Km/h. Its most recent variant is Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.
6. F-35 Lightning II:
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a multirole, single-seated, single-engine, all-weather stealth aircraft, which is under development. F-35 took its first flight in 15 December 2006. Its primary user will be perhaps United States only, though other partners in its manufacturing are NATO countries. It has three variants, F-35A, F-35B and F-35C. F-35C will be introduced in 2019, and it’s per unit cost will be $160 million approx. As of 2013, its 100 units are produced. Its manufacturer is Lockheed Martin. It belongs to fifth generation of fighter jets. Its top speed is 1930 Km/h.
5. Dassault Rafale:
The Dassault Rafale is a multi-role, twin-engine and canard delta-wing aircraft. It is designed and manufactured by Dassault aviation in France, which describes Rafale as, an “Omni role” aircraft. Because it can simultaneously act nuclear airborne missions, air supremacy, reconnaissance and interdiction. Its primary users are French Air Force and French Navy. It took its first experimental flight, way back in 4th July 1986 and was introduced in 18th May 2001. As of June 2014, its 130 units have been built. Each unit costs $124 million. It has many features, which include “Optronique secteur” frontal infra-red search and track sensor (solely designed for this aircraft), Direct Voice Input and the RBE2 AA active electronically scanned array radar. Maximum speed this aircraft can achieve is 2130 Km/h.
4. Chengdu J20:
The Chengdu J20 is a twin-engine, multirole, fifth-generation stealth aircraft, which is being developed by Chengdu Aerospace Corporation for Chinese Air Force (PLAAF). Its first experimental flight occurred in 11 January 2011. Till now, this jet is in the development stages. It is planned to be introduced in 2019. For now, its four prototypes have been built. This jet is capable of striking at long-range target in Asia-Pacific region. It can achieve a speed of Mach 2 with a rather simpler intake, than the most modern jets. Its max speed is 2100 Km/h.
3. Eurofighter Typhoon:
The Eurofighter Typhoon is a twin-engine, multi role, canard delta-wing fighter. It is designed and manufactured by the three combined companies: Airbus Group, Alenia Aermacchi and BAE systems. They formed a project named “Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH” in 1986. Prior to that, development of this aircraft began in 1983, as a partnership between UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy. The Typhoon aircraft was introduced in the operational services in 2003. Currently, it is exported to Royal Air Force of Oman, Italian Air force, German Air Force, Royal Saudi Air Force and Austrian Air Force. As of 2013, 571 Typhoon aircrafts have been produced. It is a very agile aircraft and was used during civil crisis in Libya, in 2011. It has a whopping speed of 2495 Km/h.
2. Mikoyan MiG 35:
The Mikoyan MiG-35(NATO name: Fulcrum-F) is an under-development aircraft. It is classified as a 4++ generation jet by Mikoyan. It is being manufactured by MiG corp. MiG-35 was first officially unveiled at Aero India in 2007. Although it is a single-seated aircraft, a double-seated aircraft called “MiG-35D” is also being developed. It has three prototypes till now. This aircraft heavily relies on ground-controlled interception systems, which enables it to conduct multi-role missions. Its top speed is 2600 Km/h.
1. F-22 Raptor:
Topping our list, the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor is a double-engine, single-seated Fighter Jet, developed by United States. Its stealth technology is effective in all weathers. It has many additional capabilities like electronic warfare, signal communication and ground attack. it was manufactured with the collaboration between Lockheed Martin and Boeing Company Ltd. The Boeing provides its training system and wings etc. Whereas Lockheed, being the prime partner is responsible for weaponry, airframe as well as final assembly of F-22. Its first experiment flight was conducted in 7th September 1997 and it was introduced in 15th December 2005. Its primary user is United States. Till now, this aircraft has been in the service. It has a whopping cost of $150 million per unit.
As far as specs goes, this air-giant contains two f119 engines (world’s most advanced engines). It can achieve the Mach 1.5+ speed, without even using afterburners. Advanced stealth technology ensures that this aircraft can remain virtually undetected all the time. Its top speed is 2410 km/h.
So this was Top 10 list of Fighter Jets around the world. Although there are many hypersonic aircrafts being experimented, but they are not expected to operate any time sooner than 2025 or 2030, like X-35. That’s why I haven’t included those aircrafts. Hope you enjoyed this review, share your opinions about Top Fighter Aircrafts of world in Comments.