Friday, 12 August 2016

Top 10 Fighter Planes

Our Top 10 analysis is based on the combined score of stealthiness, armament, speed, range, maneuverability and technology. We also considered pilot opinion on capabilities of various warplanes during dog-fight training. All of these aircraft mentioned here are incredibly powerful and devastating, however none of them have seen combat against each other during military operations yet. Our analysis is based on specifications, available data and technical comparison. Pilot training is also important, as performance of the actual aircraft depends from the pilot performance. This list do not contains aircraft that are currently under development of at the prototype stage. It includes only operational warplanes.

10 : JAS 39 Gripen - Sweden
Developed by Saab the Gripen (griffin) is a fourth-generation lightweight multi-role combat aircraft. This fighter uses the latest technologies can perform various missions, such as air defense, interception, and ground attack and reconnaissance. This fighter is very agile for close combat due to its advanced aerodynamic layout. The Gripen can take of from and land on short-strip airfields. A number of components of this aircraft are US-supplied. It is claimed that the Gripen achieves the lowest operating costs of any fighter, currently in operational service. It is reliable and easy to maintain. This aircraft will form the core of Swedish air power well into the 21st century. It also received some export success. The Gripen has been exported to Czech Republic, Hungary, South Africa, Thailand and the United Kingdom.

As part of it marketing efforts, SAAB constantly mentions the Gripen's network centric capabilities. Just how is the Gripen's network centric capabilities superior to other aircraft that are fitted with data links and are supported by an AEW platform? On paper, an upgraded 25 year old MiG-29 with an AESA and a data link, which is supported by an AEW platform, would have an edge over a Gripen NG that is not supported by an AEW platform.

 A major advantage SAAB has over Dassault, Boeing and the Eurofighter Consortium is that it is able to offer the Gripen together with the Ericsson Eriye to customers that have a requirement for an AEW platform but can't afford high-end AEW platforms like the E-3 and Wedgetail.

IMO Gripen C/D is 4.0 not 4.5
NG however will be 4.5.
Lokes definition of 4.5:
Reduced RCS (compared to 4.0), typically 10% or less
Reduced IR signature
sensor fusion
AESA
IR sensors
built-in RWR, MAW
advanced, built-in ECM,
limited supercruise (all but the SH got this one)
NG vs. Rafale; my guess is that they will be roughly on the same technology level, this is IMHO more important than turn rates and acceleration. Thus I would guess both would operate in silent mode to avoid the other detecting it's emission. Also I think it would come more down to training, tactics etc. The NG will have an advantage with the swash plate AESA; it can cover a much larger scan volume than the RBE2. The NG also has beamed data links. Does the Rafale have this? When used properly that can make a difference. Operating in silent mode the RCS of each a/c becomes irrelevant.

IR reduction however will be important, as well as the level of sensor fusion, the sensitivity and quality of the sensors (how good they are at excluding false positives), and finally ECM.

Dog Fighting : None Tested
Weaponary : Good
Age : Medium
Stealth : None
Combat Mission : None
Price : Cheap

9 : MIG-31 - Russia
The MiG-31 (NATO designation Foxhound-A) was developed as part of an overall programme to provide the Soviet air defenses with the ability to meet the threat posed by NATO low-level strike aircraft and cruise missiles. This interceptor has a high speed, altitude and rate of climb, however it sacrifices maneuverability in order to achieve these capabilities. The MiG-31 is among the fastest production aircraft. It uses missiles to shot-down enemy aircraft at long distances. The latest version is the MiG-31BM; this 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. A project to upgrade Russian interceptors to the MiG-31BM standard was begun in 2010. This interceptor continue to form the back bone of Russia's air defenses.

The MiG-31 with R-33E and its upgrade 31M with R-37/R-77 combo, out-range any other jet/fighter/interceptor in BVR.And the R-27ER, employed properly with a nice F-Pole, out-ranges and is faster than the SLAMMER C-5, especially at higher altitudes.Coupled with the Data-Link to AWAC/EWR as well as the group link, now implemented in Su-27, together with EOS/IRST and the ability to launch the ER from that mode, the element of surprise is surely on the Flanker's side. The Foxhounds can also launch Flankers' and MiGs' missiles and support them with their AESA radars, from farther distances.

Dog Fighting : Good
Weaponary : Good
Age : Old
Stealth : None
Combat Mission : Plenty
Price : Cheap

8 : F-18 - USA
Currently the Super Hornet is the most capable US Navy's multi-role fighter. It is based on the aircraft carriers can attack both air and surface targets. The Super Hornet is also in service with Australia as the main fighter aircraft. The F/A-18E/F is a larger and more capable derivative of the F/A-18C/D Hornet. The Super Hornet is fitted with new engines. It has additional hardpoints and can carry more missiles. This aircraft has extended range due to larger internal storage of fuel. The Super Hornet also has improved avionics. Some measures were taken to reduce radar cross section of this aircraft.

In the air superiority role, the Super Hornet's current competitiveness is in part due to its modern avionics and weapons capability, including the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System, infrared search and track (with the retirement of the F-14D and before the fielding of the F-35, the Super Hornet will be the only American fighter with this capability when this upgrade becomes operational in 2013), the AN/APG-79 AESA radar, and the AIM-9X and AIM-120D missiles. Yes, Infact the Super Hornet is a good A2A platform. It has AIM-9x, JHMCS, APG-79, AIM-120D, good maneuverability. In WVR it's effective in WVR. You have super hornet superior maneuverability. Another thing why it's good in A2A is that it has good nose pointing ability to point the enemy and shoot it down. AIM-9x and JHMCS helps the super Honet have more agility when dogfighting the enemy. Also the F/A-18E/F has APG-79 radar to get the first shot in BVR.

Dog Fighting : Good
Weaponary : Good
Age : Old
Stealth : None
Combat Mission : Plenty
Price : Medium

7 : F-15 - USA
The F-15 Eagle is a purpose-built air superiority fighter designed to penetrate enemy defense. Although now in service for over 30 years, it remains a formidable warplane. This aircraft scored more than 100 air kills and is considered among the most successful Cold War era fighters. The F-15 is equipped with weaponry and electronics, enabling it to detect, acquire, track and attack enemy aircraft, while operating in enemy-controlled airspace. This fighter carries a wide range of air-to-air missiles and is extremely maneuverable. Also it has strong high-speed maneuverability. Through modifications and upgrades the F-15 has been constantly improved. The F-15 Eagle is still in service with the US Air Force and is expected to remain operational at least until 2025. This aircraft has been exported to Israel, Japan and Saudi Arabia.

The F-15 is considered one of the most successful and formidable fighter aircraft ever built, with over 100 aerial dogfight victories and zero dogfighting losses. It can operate in all weather conditions, carry a variety of air-to-air and air-to-surface weapons, and is armed with an M61 Vulcan Cannon.
Few fighter aircraft have a chance of competing with the F-15’s high speed and service ceiling. The aircraft has a long range, aided by the option of external fuel pods, and has the reliability of 2 engines. Advanced avionics allow it to pursue foes from long distances and in bad weather.

The F-15’s high performance comes at a high cost: $30 million per unit. During its development, critics worried that the aircraft was too large and heavy to be a successful dog-fighter, although its track record has proven otherwise. The aircraft is capable of flying faster than its airframe’s G rating, which necessitates a warning system for pilots to prevent them from putting too much stress on the aircraft.

Dog Fighting : Best
Weaponary : Best
Age : Old
Stealth : None
Combat Mission : Plenty
Price : Medium

6 : SU-27
The introduction, in the mid-1970s, of the USAF F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon put the then Eastern bloc fighter pilots at a distinct disadvantage. The deployment of the Su-27 Flanker and MiG-29 Fulcrum in the mid-1980s leveled the playing field. Designed as a high performance fighter with a fly-by-wire control system, and the ability to carry up to 10 AAMs, the highly maneuverable Su-27 is one of the most imposing fighters ever built. The first 'Flanker-A' prototypes flew on May 20, 1977 and entered service as the 'Flanker-B' in 1984. The development of the Su-27 fighter plane was completed in the early 1980s, and the plane subsequently set more than 40 world records of altitude and take-off-speed. It was the forerunner of an entire family of planes, including the Su-27UB training plane, the Su-33 ship-based fighter, the Su-37 multi-mission plane and the Su-32FN two-seat specialised plane. The Su-27UB is a two seat training version of Su-27, which first flew in March 1985.

The Su-27 (Nato designation Flanker) is the front-line fighter aircraft designed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau and manufactured by Irkut Corporation. The export version is the Su-27SK.

The aircraft is equipped to operate autonomously in combat over hostile territory, in escort of deep-penetration strike aircraft and in the suppression of enemy airfields. The aircraft provides general air defence in cooperation with ground and airborne control stations. The Su-27 is a highly integrated twin-finned aircraft. The airframe is constructed of titanium and high-strength aluminium alloys. The engine nacelles are fitted with trouser fairings to provide a continuous streamlined profile between the nacelles and the tail beams. The fins and horizontal tail consoles are attached to tail beams.
The range of air-to-air missiles carried by the Su-27 aircraft includes: R-27R1 (Nato designation AA-10A Alamo-A), all-aspect medium-range missile with semi-active radar homing and R-27T1 (AA-10B Alamo-B) with infrared homing and a range from 500m to 60km; and R-73E (AA-11 Archer) all-aspect, close-combat air-to-air missile with infrared homing and a range from 300m to 20km.

Well the Su-27 was designed as the "F-15 counter" in that it had to take into account the performance and abilities of the F-15. You have to remember at this time the Cold War was in full effect so data wasn't exactly freely available and propaganda has a great way of making things seem a lot better then they actually were.

The Su 27 is a hell of a plane because of that though. It's maneuveurable, fast and deadly. The Russians have a great target acquisition system that benefits a wider angle allowing target aquisition and missle launch easier in a turning fight (for example) than an F15. F15's are generally considered to be energy fighters so in a tight "guns" fight they are theoretically going to be at a disadvantage to a Su-27.

The F-15 is an air superiority fighter though, this doesn't mean that it can outturn and outburn everything it means it can engage at multiple ranges with sophisticated systems with a high probablility of a kill. It's radar, avionics, weapons are all a very potent package at all ranges. The Su-27 is also an air superiority fighter and designed for this purpose. From past performances of russian designed systems the F-15 has won out in all it's encounters (ie F-15's record vs Migs and their relevant weapon/avionic systems etc.)

The F-15 has a proven track record with air combat, with no air combat losses I believe (or at least none-provided) the Su-27 has far less documented victories/defeats about it in air combat. So far going up against it's rivals the F-15 has walked out the constant victor.

The Su-27 is obviously highly maneuveurable, you don't take it to an airshow because it flys like a restaurant. It would be a deadly opponent in close vicinity in a turning fight.

Dog Fighting : Best
Weaponary : Best
Age : Old
Stealth : None
Combat Mission : None
Price : Medium

5: Eurofighter Typhoon - Germany / Britian / Italy / Spain
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-15F, 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.

 In the coming years, the RAF will start to deploy the MBDA Meteor missile. The Meteor, which is a long-range ramjet powered weapon, is quite possibly the best beyond visual air-to-air missile developed to date. It has excellent end-game performance and could be the Typhoon pilots’ trump card—at least until the Russians develop an equivalent.

The aircraft's counter air performance is cited as its major strength, and it is frequently cited to be “82% as effective as an F-22.
The magic 82% number is derived from a mid nineties DERA simulation against a postulated Su-35 threat. The number is based upon the rather unusual metric of probability of successful engagement in BVR combat, rating the F-22 at 91%, the Typhoon at 82%, the F-15F (single seat E) at 60%, the Rafale at 50% and the F-15C at 43%.
The probability of a successful engagement can be translated into the more commonly used metric of a kill ratio by making some reasonable statistical assumptions, and doing this yields about 10.0:1 for the F-22A, 4.6:1 for the Typhoon, 1.5:1 for the single seat F-15E, 1:1 for the Rafale and 0.75:1 for the F-15C. So in the most common terms used, the Typhoon is by the DERA simulation about half as combat effective as the F-22A, about three times as combat effective as the F-15F, about five times as effective as the Rafale and 6 times as effective as the F-15C. If we compare this with cited USAF claims rating the F-22A as 10-15 times as combat effective as the F-15C in BVR engagements, this means that the DERA study roughly agrees with USAF assessments of F-22A vs F-15C combat effectiveness. The detailed assumptions applied to this study have not been disclosed.

The strength of the Typhoon is its very modern and comprehensive avionic package, especially that in the RAF variant, and its excellent agility when operated around its optimum combat radius of about 300 NMI (a figure to be found in older Eurofighter literature, which has since disappeared with the export drive to compete against the bigger F-15 and F-22).
The Typhoon's weaknesses are its F/A-18C class weight and thrust and the implications of this in combat at extended operational radii, and the longer term sensitivity of its BVR weapons advantage to equivalent technological developments in opposing fighters.

Dog Fighting : Good
Weaponary : Best
Age : New
Stealth : None
Combat Mission : Few
Price : Expensive

4: Rafale - France
The Rafale is in service both with the French Air Force and Navy. This multi-role fighter features some of the very latest avionics systems. Also some measures were taken to reduce radar cross section of this aircraft. This aircraft is very maneuverable. The Rafale can track 40 targets and fire at four targets simultaneously. This aircraft can hold its own against the latest versions of the American F-16. The Dassault Rafale will form the cornerstone of French air power until well into the 21st century.

The Rafale can carry 21,000lbs worth of ordinance on 14 hard points.  The Typhoon can only carry 16,500lbs on 9 hard points (it has 4 more dedicated strictly to BVR A2A missiles).  The Rafale can even carry nukes.

The Rafale may be equipped with Brimstone missiles or similar in the future, but nothing is solid yet. The Rafale ultimately gets the edge here, however, as it close-coupled canard design makes it better a better flyer in the "low-and-slow" regime.  Once things get down and dirty, the Rafale starts to redeem itself.  The close-coupled canard design that allows it to take off from carriers gives it an advantage.  It is equally capable as a bomber as it is an interceptor.  It even has a carrier variant.  While it may not be the best aircraft at any given mission, it is hard to imagine a mission the Rafale could not do.

The French victory over the F-22 occurred in November 2009. A squad of F-22s from the Air Force’s 1st Fighter Wing in Virginia flew to Al Dhafra, in the UAE, to train with French air force Rafale fighters and Typhoon jets from the British Royal Air Force. The following month, the French Ministry of Defense released video captures — one can be seen at left — from a Rafale’s forward-facing camera showing an F-22 in a disadvantageous dogfighting position, implying the French plane had won at least one round of pretend fighting. Though it was just simulated flight with F-22 , it never gone such a thing againt russian rivals.

Dog Fighting : Good
Weaponary : Best
Age : New
Stealth : None
Combat Mission : Few
Price : Very High

3 :SU-30 MKI - Russia / India
Su-30MKI (Flanker-H) is a two-seat, long-range multirole fighter in service with the Indian Air Force (IAF). Designed by Russia's Sukhoi, the Su-30MKI is assembled under licence by India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The first Russian-built Su-30MKI variant entered into service with the IAF in 2002, while the first India-made aircraft was introduced into the IAF in 2004. The Su-30MKI features multinational avionics and sub-systems, as the components are supplied by 14 manufacturers from six nations. The Su-30MKI can carry a range of air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles, including the Brahmos supersonic cruise missiles. The armament also includes a 30mm GSh-30-1 gun and variety of bombs.

In “Su-30MK Beats F-15C ‘Every Time'” published in 2002 on AW&ST, David A. Fulghum and Douglas Barrie reported that the Su-30 used its maneuverability to beat the F-15 in several engagements conducted in a complex of 360-deg. simulation domes at Boeing’s St. Louis facilities.
According to the article (that is often referenced by Indian media outlets to highlight the presumed Su-30 superiority on the American fighter jets) an anonymous USAF officer explained that in the case of a missed BVR missile (like the AA-12 Adder) shot by the Flanker, the Su-30 could turn into the clutter notch of the F-15’s radar, where the Eagle’s Doppler was ineffective.
As the AW&ST story explained in detail, this maneuver could be accomplished making a descending, right-angle turn to drop below the approaching F-15 while reducing the Su-30’s relative forward speed close to zero: even if this is a very old air combat tactic, the USAF officer said that the Sukhoi could perform effectively this maneuver thanks to its ability to reduce rapidly its speed and then quickly regain it.
If the Flanker driver performed correctly the maneuver, the Su-30 was invisible to the F-15’s radar until the Eagle was inside the AA-11 Archer IR missile range, since the F-15’s Doppler radar relied on movements of its targets.

Dog Fighting : Best
Weaponary : Good
Age : New
Stealth : None
Combat Mission : Few
Price : Medium

2 : SU-35 - Russia
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 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 a new Sukhoi PAK FA stealthy air superiority fighter is being developed in Russia.
Max Speed: 1,726 mph
Max Range: 1,840 miles
Dimensions: Wingspan: 44.5 ft; Length: 62 ft; Height: 16.7 ft
Max Takeoff Weight: 83,500 lb
Engines: Two F119-PW-100 turbofan engines with two-dimensional thrust-vectoring nozzles
Armament: One M61A2 20-mm cannon with 480 rounds, internal side weapon bay carriage of two AIM-9 infrared (heat seeking) air-to-air missiles, and internal main weapon bay carriage of six AIM-120 radar-guided air-to-air missiles (air-to-air load out) or two 1,000-pound GBU-32 JDAMs and two AIM-120 radar-guided air-to-air missiles (air-to-ground loadout).

Russia based the Su-35 on the rock-solid Su-27 platform, so its status as a "supermaneuverable" fighter is a matter of fact. Russian pilots familiar with previous generations of the Sukhoi jet family's thrust-vectoring capabilities have carried out spectacular feats of acrobatic flight, like the "Pugachev's Cobra." Most likely, the Su-35 could out-maneuver the F-22 and other class of all fighters in a classic dogfight. Only Stealth is what keep it out league but PAK-FA will put russians in top spot. Distinguished by its unrivaled maneuverability, most of the Su-35’s electronics and weapons capabilities have caught up with those of Western equivalents, like the F-15 Eagle. But while it may be a deadly adversary to F-15s, Eurofighters and Rafales, the big question mark remains how effectively it can contend with fifth-generation stealth fighters such as the F-22 and F-35.

Dog Fighting : Best
Weaponary : Best
Age : New
Stealth : Little
Combat Mission : None
Price : Medium

1 : F22 - USA
The F-22 Raptor air superiority fighter is almost invisible to radars. This aircraft carries a powerful array of weaponry. It is the most advanced and most expensive production fighter aircraft to date. Many of sensors and avionics of this plane remain classified. Engines of the raptor allow the aircraft to supercruise over long ranges, while thrust-vectoring nozzles, combined with a triplex fly-by-wire flight control system, make it exceptionally maneuverable. The F-22 started life as a straightforward air superiority fighter. However since its introduction this aircraft lacks a formidable air threat from other countries fighters. Later it evolved towards the multi-role fighter, as strike capability was added. This advanced aircraft was never offered for export customers, even other allies and NATO countries. Currently it is the best fighter aircraft ever built.
Max Speed: 1,726 mph
Max Range: 1,840 miles
Dimensions: Wingspan: 44.5 ft; Length: 62 ft; Height: 16.7 ft
Max Takeoff Weight: 83,500 lb
Engines: Two F119-PW-100 turbofan engines with two-dimensional thrust-vectoring nozzles
Armament: One M61A2 20-mm cannon with 480 rounds, internal side weapon bay carriage of two AIM-9 infrared (heat seeking) air-to-air missiles, and internal main weapon bay carriage of six AIM-120 radar-guided air-to-air missiles (air-to-air load out) or two 1,000-pound GBU-32 JDAMs and two AIM-120 radar-guided air-to-air missiles (air-to-ground loadout).

I would like to start by saying that the F-22 is a very capable fighter, but since its release in 1997 there has come new competitors to the world, very many generation 4.5 jets has been built by both the Russians, the US, France and Germany. Therefore even though the Raptor is an extremely good fighter, every fighter has flaws that others can take advantage and others are catching fast. By 2018~20 F-22 couldnt dominate compared to new planes in development.

Dog Fighting : Best
Weaponary : Best
Age : New
Stealth : First 5G Fighter
Combat Mission : Few
Price : Very High

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