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We often get asked by a lot of people these simple but crucial questions on which aircraft are the best and most advanced military weapons in the world. Here are the top 10 military jets in the world in no particular order.

10. JF-17 Thunder / HAL Tejas

top 10 military jets in the world
JF-17 Thunder

The JF-17 Thunder, also known as the FC-1 Xiaolong, was developed by Pakistan and China and now has become the workhorse of the Pakistan Air Force by replacing older Dassault Mirage III and Chengdu J-7 fighter jets. In January 2021, the newest variant the JF-17A Block 3 went into production, offering the most advanced avionics, helmet-mounted display, new radar, and many other improvements.

HAL Tejas is its Indian counterpart, developed to replace older MiG-21 fighter jets and enrich the Indian Air Force with numerous, domestically-produced advanced fighters. In January 2021, the improved Tejas Mark 1A variant was approved for production, featuring a new radar, advanced electronic warfare equipment, and a reduced radar signature.

9. Mikoyan MiG-31BM

top 10 military jets in the world
Mikoyan MiG-31BM

 The MiG-31BM is the latest version of the MiG-31 interceptor, which forms the backbone of Russia’s air defenses. The upgraded MiG-31BM received a ground attack capability and became a true multi-role fighter. A project to upgrade Russian interceptors to the MiG-31BM standard was launched in 2010. By 2017 a total of 110 aircraft were reportedly upgraded. This upgrade allowed to extend the service life of older aircraft for at least another 15 years. It is planned that all operational MiG-31s will be upgraded.

   This aircraft is 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.

   This fighter has a high speed, altitude, and rate of climb, however, it sacrifices maneuverability in order to achieve these capabilities. The MiG-31BM is among the fastest production aircraft. It can reach a maximum speed of up to 3 000 km/h.

8.Dassault Rafale

Indonesia Signs Up for Dassault Rafale Fighters | Defense News: Aviation International News
Dassault Rafale

The Rafale and the Typhoon began development as one aircraft. But then France decided to split the program in two, and create a separate fighter for its own needs.

Unsurprisingly, the two aircraft are, at least on the outside, very similar. But the Rafale has enjoyed greater sales in recent years, and a larger range of variants have been developed.

 The F3-R is the latest variant and has been given many upgrades to its weaponry and sensors.

Currently, the F4 is under development, and will include further improvements to its radar and avionics. France, the United Arab Emirates, India, and a host of other customers will begin to receive delivery of this variant in the near future, while many older variants will be upgraded.

7Sukhoi Su-35

Russian Su-35 Fighter Crashes in Ukraine

The Su-35 multi-role fighter is a significantly developed version of the Su-27. It is being offered for export as a replacement for the Su-27 and MiG-29 fighters. In 2012 it has been adopted by the Russian Air Force.

   Developers refer the Su-35 as 4++ generation fighter. It is a very fast and highly maneuverable fighter with very long range, high altitude capability and heavy armament. It poses a great threat to Western 4+ generation fighters

   The Su-35 is primarily an air superiority fighter. However it has secondary air-to-ground capability. This aircraft can carry enormous amount of weapons. It has 12 wing and fuselage hardpoints and can carry ordnance with a maximum weight of up to 8 000 kg.

   Its large and powerful engines give it ability to supercruise for a long time. Also its engines allow to reach supersonic speeds without using an afterburner. Engines have a three-dimensional thrust vectoring and make this aircraft very maneuverable.

   However Russia still lags behind in the development, acquisition and employment of some of the latest technologies.

   Recently the new Sukhoi Su-57 (previously known as PAK FA) stealthy multi-role fighter was developed in Russia and reached initial production. First operational aircraft were planned to be delivered to the Russian air force in 2018.

6.Saab JAS 39E Gripen

Saab JAS 39 Gripen - Wikipedia
Saab JAS 39E Gripen

While the Swedish Saab JAS 39 could be considered a budget fighter jet, the E version, which came out in more recent years, is a long way from that.

A vast upgrade to the venerated Gripen, the jet boasts a new engine, new avionics and many other upgrades that elevate it to the level of any other 4.5 generation jet.

Pricier than its predecessor, the new Gripen is also one of the most advanced jets that money can buy.

So far, only Swedish and Brazilian air forces have adopted the latest version of the JAS 39, but it has been evaluated by many others, only narrowly losing out to newer and more advanced aircraft such as the F-35. This shows the true potential of this versatile Swedish jet.

5.Eurofighter Typhoon

Eurofighter Typhoon
Eurofighter Typhoon

In 1986 the Eurofighter consortium was formed by Germany, Italy, the UK and, later, Spain, to develop a new multi-role combat aircraft, optimized as a beyond visual range interceptor with a secondary ground-attack capability. This aircraft carries advanced European-designed missiles. it is fitted with a very modern and comprehensive avionics package.

    It is claimed that Typhoon is half as combat effective as the American F-22 Raptor. It is an approximate estimate, however it seems that Typhoon is superior to the F-15, French Rafale, evolved Russian Su-27 variants and many other aircraft.

   The Eurofighter Typhoon will form the cornerstone of European air power until well into the 21st century.

4.Chengdu J-20

China Can't Rely on Stealthy J-20 Fighter to Dominate, Experts Say
Chengdu J-20

The Chengdu J-20 is the new China’s stealth fighter. It was designed to compete against fifth-generation fighters, such as the US F-22 Raptor and advanced fourth-generation fighters, such as the Russian Su-57 (previously known as PAK-FA). It is speculated, that development of the J-20 was assisted by the Russian MiG aviation company. Low-rate initial production of this stealthy aircraft commenced in 2015. First operational J-20 stealthy fighters were delivered to Chinese air force in 2016. This stealthy fighter was officially adopted by China’s air force in 2017.

   During the last decade China has taken a more transparent approach to its military programs. Still though there is little official information on this plane.

   The new J-20 is a medium- and long-range air superiority fighter, which might also have a secondary ground attack capability. The new Chinese warplane is an advanced fourth-generation fighter, rather than a true fifth-generation fighter.

   This Chinese fighter has two large internal weapon bays for long-range air-to-air missiles and two small side-mounted weapon bays for short-range air-to-air missiles. Missiles are stored in these weapon bays in order to reduce the radar cross-section. It also has large fuel tanks for long-range missions. It carries more fuel and weapons than the American F-22 Raptor. Furthermore this aircraft is capable of high speed operations.

3.Sukhoi Su-57

Sukhoi Su-57 (PAK FA)
Sukhoi Su-57

The Su-57 is a new Russian fighter aircraft. It started life of the PAK FA (or Future Frontline Aircraft System). In 2017 this aircraft received a regular Su- designation. This new stealthy aircraft was designed intended to replace ageing MiG-29 and Su-27 fighters. It can be seen as a Russian answer to the US F-22 Raptor. Development of this aircraft commenced in 2001. A prototype was revealed and made its first flight in 2010. It was planned that in 2018 a first batch of 12 pre-production fighters will be delivered to the Russian Air Force. In fact in 2018 a couple of pre-production Su-57 fighters were deployed in Syria. Full-scale production was planned to begin in 2019. Russian Air Force has a requirement for up to 150-200 of these new multi-role fighters.

   Originally it was thought that the Su-57 is a stealthy air superiority fighter. However it turned out that this aircraft has a secondary ground attack capability and can engage surface targets.

   Despite being referred as a fifth-generation fighter, there are some serious doubts about it, as some US Military officials referred the Sukhoi PAK FA only as advanced fourth-generation fighter. Russia still lags behind in the development, acquisition and employment of some of the latest technologies. Though the Sukhoi Su-57 definitely has reduced radar cross-section and a number of other improvements over the current Su-35 multi-role fighter.

   Two large internal weapon bays are mounted in tandem between the engines. This fighter has 10 internal and 6 external hardpoints for various air-to-air, air-to-surface, anti-radiation missiles and even guided bombs.There are also two sidebays for short-range air-to-air missiles. It is believed that this aircraft will carry up to 7 500 kg of ordnance. That’s an enormous amount of weapons.

2.Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II

Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II - Wikipedia
Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II

The F-35 lightning II is controversial, with many critics highlighting its high cost and modest flight performance. While not as fast as the 4th generation jets, or as maneuverable as those with thrust-vectored engine exhausts, the F-35 makes up for that in other areas.

It is incredibly high-tech, using its sensors, computers and data links to absorb and share a range of information. Results from the latest trials show that it is nearly unbeatable in beyond-visual-range combat, and is unrivalled as a precision strike platform.

There are three F-35 variants: the conventional F-35A, the short take-off and vertical landing F-35B and the carrier-borne F-35C. Between them, it has become the most numerous 5th generation fighter jet, with over 750 produced and in service across 11 countries, with several more countries are about to receive their orders.

The F-35’s advancement is part of its controversy, as incredibly complex and maintenance-heavy elements of its construction, such as avionics or its stealth skin, were prone to failure.

But these problems are now beginning to be slowly ironed out and new upgrades are being rolled out. So, there is no denying that the F-35 is currently the most advanced fighter jet in the world.

1. Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor

Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor - Wikipedia

The F-22 Raptor is one of the world’s oldest and most powerful combat planes. The fighter aircraft, which was developed by Lockheed Martin and Boeing for the US Air Force and inducted in 2005, is not for sale to other countries.

A powerful fifth-generation tactical fighter, the F-22 Raptor is renowned for its stealthy capabilities, integrated avionics systems, exceptional performance, and super-maneuvrability. Since its initial flight in September 1997, the Raptor has been utilized for everything from surveillance and reconnaissance to assault and electronic warfare and gathering information.

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