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In modern war, no other technology inspires more fear and awe than the fighter jets. Ever since the Wright brothers invented flying, airplanes have been used as war clinchers. In the beginning of the 20th century, planes were used in wartime only for reconnaissance. But soon it was obvious that these birds could and would be used for more destructive purposes and in some cases to even bring battles to a clear end. The world’s biggest developers of fighter jets have been both the United States of America and erstwhile Soviet Union.
Of course, in the 21st century aviation technology has grown leaps and bounds. We have even explored space and are now asking ourselves if we could live on Mars and even colonize it. But till that day comes, it’s probably for us to fantasize about the mean killing machines on earth or rather the ones that fly around earth. Here are a few of our favorite fighter jets of all time.
Remember Tom Cruise in Top Gun? Remember the jet he was flying. That’s the F-14 Tomcat also known as the Grumman F-14 Tomcat. These jets were instrumental in winning the Gulf War and Operation Desert Storm. These jets were originally developed to fight the Soviet-made MiGs during the Vietnam war. It was also used successfully by the Iranian Air Force during the war with Iraq. The last of them was retired sometime in 2006.
The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II also known as the F-4 Phantom was developed by the Americans in the late 1950s. This plane was somewhat of a workhorse for their military for many decades. The F4 Phantom is known for its incredible thrust and high performance maneuverability. Back when it was introduced, it set world records for absolute speed and altitude.
F-16 Fighting Falcon
The Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon, the first of the US Air Force multi-role fighter aircraft, is the world’s most prolific fighter with more than 2,000 in service with the USAF and 2,500 operational with 25 other countries.
The F-16 and the F-15 Eagle were the world’s first aircraft able to withstand higher g-forces than the pilots. The Fighting Falcon entered service in 1979. The last of 2,231 F-16 fighters for the US Air Force was delivered in March 2005. The first two-seat F-16D version was accepted by the US Government in January 2009.
The F-15 Eagle is an all-weather, extremely maneuverable, tactical fighter designed to permit the Air Force to gain and maintain air supremacy over the battlefield. The Eagle’s air superiority is achieved through a mixture of unprecedented maneuverability and acceleration, range, weapons and avionics. It can penetrate enemy defense and outperform and outfight any current enemy aircraft. The F-15 has electronic systems and weaponry to detect, acquire, track and attack enemy aircraft while operating in friendly or enemy-controlled airspace. The weapons and flight control systems are designed so one person can safely and effectively perform air-to-air combat.