The main striking force in modern military conflicts is combat aircraft. Fighters of the latest, fifth generation or equivalent to them army winged vehicles of generations “4+” or “4 ++” are not only one of the most deadly, but also one of the most expensive types of weapons.
Military experts presented the top 10 most expensive combat aircraft in the world – fighters, interceptors and attack aircraft.
The Russian interceptor MiG-35 is considered to be a transitional link between the 4th and 5th generations of combat aircraft. Structurally, this combat vehicle is considered an improved model of the legendary MiG-29. The unit price of the MiG-35 interceptor is $ 55 million.
Indian airforce combat vehicle, which is manufactured under license from the Sukhoi Design Bureau at HAL factories in India. One such fighter is currently worth approximately $ 63 million.
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 subsystems 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 a variety of bombs.
8.F-18 E / F Super Hornet
American aircraft designed to be based on aircraft carriers. Each unit of such a combat vehicle costs the US Army $ 80 million.
F/A-18E/F Super Hornet is a combat-proven strike fighter offering next-generation multirole strike fighter capabilities. It is a larger and improved redesign of the F/A-18C/D Hornet. The Super Hornet is in service with the US Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).
The US Navy inducted the aircraft into service in 1999 for replacing its Grumman F-14 Tomcat. The F/A-18F Super Hornet (two-seat version) entered service with the RAAF in 2010.
Combat capabilities of the fighter jet were proved during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Southern Watch and War in Afghanistan.
The Super Hornet’s suite of integrated and networked systems provides enhanced interoperability and total force support for the combatant commander and for troops on the ground. The 11 weapon stations on the aircraft can hold a mix of air-to-air and air-to-ground ordnance, as well as a variety of smart weapons, including laser-guided bombs.
The most formidable attack aircraft in the Russian Aerospace Forces. The approximate cost of one such fighter is $ 104 million.
Sukhoi Su-35 is a heavily-modified version of the Su-27 fighter. The Su-35 is a 4++ generation aircraft employing technologies of the fifth-generation. The latest technologies make it superior to all other fourth-generation fighters now under development anywhere in the world.
The first Su-35 prototype was built at Komsomolsk-na-Amure Aviation Production Association in 2007. The maiden flight of Su-35 was concluded in February 2008.
The Su-35 is capable of deploying long and short-range air-to-air missiles, and precision and unguided air-to-ground munitions such as missiles, bombs and rockets. The 14 hardpoints of the aircraft can carry a maximum weapon payload of 8t.
Combat aircraft of the 4th generation, which was created entirely by French engineers. The top-end configuration of the fighter costs $ 124 million.
Described as an ‘omnirole’ fighter by its manufacturer Dassault Aviation, Rafale is a twin-engine, multirole fighter aircraft that is capable of performing air sovereignty, deep strike, reconnaissance and airborne nuclear deterrent duties.
The multirole fighter is operated by the French Air Force and Navy. This aircraft features the latest avionics and smart sensor systems.
It can carry a 30mm cannon, air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles, nuclear and anti-ship missiles, as well as a range of laser-guided bombs and ground-attack munitions.
The maiden combat deployment of the Rafale fighter was in 2002 during the Operation Enduring Freedom. The aircraft has been used in a number of combat missions in Afghanistan, Libya and Mali (Operation Serval).
The aircraft is available in three variants, namely RAFALE C single-seat, RAFALE M carrier-based single-seat and RAFALE B twin-seat version.
5.F-15E Strike Eagle
An American strike aircraft capable of performing both the functions of a fighter, attack aircraft or interceptor, and a light bomber in combat. For a unit of such an aircraft, the US Air Force lays out about $ 136 million.
The F-15E Strike Eagle is a superior next-generation multirole strike fighter. Developed as a derivative of earlier F-15A/D aircraft, the F-15E is the backbone of the US Air Force (USAF) today.
The F-15E can carry up to 23,000lb of payload, including the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM), AGM-130 Standoff Weapon System, the AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM), AIM-9X Sidewinder and a variety of bombs. It can fly at more than twice the speed of sound.
The state-of-the-art avionics systems provide the Strike Eagle with the ability to conduct air-to-air and air-to-surface missions in all weather conditions during the day or night.
The F-15Es were extensively deployed by the USAF in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm as well as Operations Southern Watch and Northern Watch. Other notable combat deployments include Operation Deny Flight, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Odyssey Dawn.
The 5th generation Su-57 multipurpose fighter is the most advanced Russian combat winged vehicle. The price of one such aircraft is about $ 150 million.
The Su-57 is a fifth-generation, single-seat, twin-engine, multi-role fighter aircraft manufactured by Sukhoi, a subsidiary of United Aircraft Corporation. It was formerly known as PAK FA and T-50.
The aircraft is designed to perform air superiority and attack missions primarily of the Russian Air Force and the Russian Navy. It can defend all types of ground, air and surface targets of the enemy and monitor the airspace at longer ranges.
With a combat weight of 10t, the aircraft can carry short-range air-to-air missiles, air-to-surface missiles such as X-31, X-35, X-38, X-58, X-59, short and medium-range guided and unguided weapons, and aerial bombs in 250kg, 500kg, and 1,500kg classes.
The aircraft made its first flight in January 2010 and is currently in the final flight testing phase. It is expected to be introduced by the Russian Air Force in 2019, replacing the existing fleet of Su-27 fourth-generation fight
The combat aircraft, developed by European engineers, is in service with several armies of European countries that are members of NATO. The cost of one combat vehicle is $ 175 million.
Eurofighter Typhoon is a new generation multirole fighter aircraft that is presently one of the best in the world. It is a foreplane/delta wing aircraft integrating modern avionics and sensors, Defensive Aids Sub System (DASS) and distinct weapons, such as Mauser BK-27 27mm cannon, air-to-air, air-to-surface and anti-ship missiles and precision-guided munitions.
Eurofighter Typhoon’s development is Europe’s largest multinational military collaborative effort managed by the Nato Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency (NETMA), which is also the prime customer.
The programme delivers cutting-edge technologies for the European defence industry.
Eurofighter Typhoon made its combat début in 2011 for reconnaissance and ground strike missions in Libya by the Royal Air Force (RAF) and the Italian Air Force.
2.F-35 Lightning II
The F-35 Lightning II 5th generation multi-role American fighter jet is one of the most advanced combat flying vehicles in the world. For each unit of such a single strike aircraft, the Pentagon and its allies spend about $ 180 million.
The F-22 Raptor, a versatile 5th generation American attack aircraft in the “basic configuration,” costs US taxpayers and their allies $ 250 million.
The F-22 Raptor developed by Lockheed Martin and Boeing is a single-seat, twin-engine fifth-generation extremely advanced tactical fighter. The stealth, integrated avionics and superior performance make the F-22 a super-manoeuvrable fighter.
Inducted by the US Air Force (USAF) as an air-superiority fighter, the F-22 evolved into multi-mission fighter aircraft. The F-22 Raptor employs sophisticated air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles. The emerging technologies integrated aboard the F-22 make it a superior platform for a wide array of missions, including surveillance, reconnaissance, attack, electronic warfare and signals intelligence.