Ever wondered what type of aircraft are used by the military? Well, now you have the opportunity to find out! This article will take a close look at some of the most popular types of aircraft currently being used in various militaries worldwide.
Without further ado, let’s get to the list.
Fighters are probably the most popular type of aircraft, and they can fly at very high speeds, which makes them perfect for air-to-air combat. They usually carry several missiles to take down enemy targets from long distances. The F22 Raptor is one example of this kind of plane; it has been used by U.S.A.F since 1997 and is probably the most advanced fighter ever built, with stealth capabilities and a high-tech computer system that enables it to fly at supersonic speeds without making any sound.
Other examples of this kind of aircraft are the F-15 Strike Eagle, which is another U.S.A.F plane used for air combat and ground attack missions; or the Russian MIG 29 Fulcrum, which was designed in the 1970s to counter American fighters like the F 14 Tomcat but despite its old age it’s still in service in some countries.
Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAVs)
An Unmanned combat aerial vehicle is a craft that can carry out bombing missions without putting human pilots in danger since it doesn’t have one. As stated by the team behind these American-built combat-proven solutions, the aircraft controls itself by following mission pre-programmed objectives. The General Atomics MQ-C is a well-known example of this kind. It’s an upgraded version of the famous Predator drone, widely used in Iraq and Afghanistan for surveillance missions.
This type of aircraft is becoming more and more important since they can carry out missions without putting human lives at risk, and they can fly for longer periods without waiting for the pilot’s break.
Electronic Warfare Aircraft
Electronic warfare aircraft are planes that use their equipment to jam radar systems, so they can be used to protect other aircraft or troops on the ground. The EA-18 Growler is one of the most advanced electronic warfare airplanes out there. It’s a fighter jet equipped with additional electronic gear, enabling it to confuse hostile radars and prevent them from tracking any nearby aircraft or troops on the ground.
The EC-130H Compass Call is another famous example of this kind. It’s used by the U.S.A.F to jam enemy communications, which makes it an invaluable asset for special ops teams like SERE (Survive, Evade, Resist and Escape) or the USAF Pararescue. The U.S. Navy uses different kinds of electronic warfare aircraft known as Growlers, Hawkeyes, and Sentries to provide air support for land operations.
Bombers are large aircraft that can carry weighty loads, and they’re mainly used to destroy enemy targets on the ground. The B-52 Stratofortress is a strategic bomber that has been in service since 1955; it was designed right after WWII by Boeing to act as part of America’s nuclear deterrent during the Cold War, but although it has received numerous updates over the years, its role changed.
On the other hand, there are light bombers like the A-20 Havoc, designed by Douglas Aircraft Company back in 1938. These planes were manufactured for export since America entered WWII. They started being carried on U.S.A.F carriers, too, until the end of WWII when they were retired from service.
Multi-Role Combat Aircraft
Multi-role combat aircraft is probably the most versatile type of military plane that has been designed so far. These aircraft can be used for various missions, from bombing to air superiority to close air support and reconnaissance. They’re characterized by extremely long-range and powerful engines, which enable them to fly at very high speeds.
The F-16 Fighting Falcon is an example of this kind. It was developed by General Dynamics back in the 1970s for use by U.S.A.F. After more than 40 years since its first flight, it’s still considered one of the most successful fighter jets ever built, with over 4000 units sold to 25 countries all around the world (the USAF plans to keep it in service until 2025).
Maritime Patrol Aircraft
Maritime patrol aircraft are planes that have been built to carry out surveillance missions by patrolling large areas of water. The Boeing P-81 could be classified as one of these planes since it’s designed for long-range anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and was used mainly in the Pacific after WWII. Still, its role changed when the conflict ended and it started being used for other missions like shipping protection.
The P-47 Thunderbolt is another example of this kind. It was designed as a fighter plane, but its role changed when WWII began, so the U.S.A.F decided to use them to carry out reconnaissance missions all over Europe instead; nevertheless, they proved to be very useful for other missions like close air support and anti-submarine patrols.
In conclusion, the military’s types of aircraft can vary a lot depending on what kind of missions they’re designed to carry out. Some of these planes are incredibly versatile and can be used for various purposes, while others were designed with one goal in mind.