The history of fighter aircrafts is filled with excitement, stunning designs and amazing technology. A fighter aircraft is a military aircraft designed specifically for air to air combat against enemy aircraft. A fighter is unique in its speed, maneuverability, and small size. Many modern aircrafts, however, fail this definition as they are equipped with secondary ground-attack capabilities. There are several different types of fighter aircraft that have developed over the years and are currently in use around the world.
Originally developed during World War I, the fighter jets from history has been revolutionized, and will continue to change as increasing and changing demands, along with changes in technology force the hand of designers and engineers. Who knows what types of fighter aircraft we will see in the future.
Types of Fighter Aircrafts
The various types of fighter aircraft include – strike fighters, superiority fighters, attack aircrafts, light combat aircraft, and multirole combat aircraft.
– The strike fighter is a multirole combat aircraft that was designed to operate primarily in the air to surface attack role. This craft also incorporates certain performance characteristics of a fighter aircraft. These strike fighters are different from fighter-bombers. There is more emphasis in these fighters on air to air combat capabilities as a multirole combat aircraft. Examples of strike fighters are the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, and the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lighting II.
– The air superiority fighter is designed for entering and seizing control of enemy airspace as a means of establishing dominance. These fighters are designed to effectively engage enemy fighters more than any other type of fighter aircraft. Examples of air superiority fighters include the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor and the Eurofighter Typhoon.
– The attack aircraft is a tactical military aircraft that has a duty of carrying out airstrikes with greater precision than bombers. It is prepared to encounter strong low level air defenses while pressing the attack. Used for close air support and naval air to surface missions, this aircraft overlaps the tactical bomber mission. An example of an attack aircraft is the Fairchild A-10 Thunderbolt.
– The light combat aircraft is also a multirole aircraft. These come from advanced trainers that have been modified or designed for engaging in light combat missions – either strike or attack missions, reconnaissance or interdiction roles. Examples of light combat aircraft are the BEA Hawk 200 and the LCA Tejas.
– The multirole combat aircraft perform different roles. This can include the fighter category of air to air combat. Examples are the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet.
Fighter aircraft are some of the most exciting machines in the sphere of military power because of their design, speed and weaponry. It is difficult to capture all the different types of fighter aircraft in just the short list above, as many manufacturers and countries produce various types of fighter aircrafts. Some of the great manufacturers of these amazing machines include Boeing (F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, A-4 Skyhawk), Grumman (F-14 Tomcat), Lockheed Martin (F-117 Nighthawk, F-22 Raptor), Vought (A-7 Corsair II), and Sukhoi (Su-25 Frogfoot, SU-34 Fullback), just to name a few.