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The best among the best. The top 5 US combat aircraft in 2024 have been named

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar May16,2024

The best of the best. The top 5 US fighter jets in 2024 are named

As tensions between the US and China increase, the likelihood of future armed conflict increases. American aircraft have a number of complex and unique capabilities, but Beijing has been rapidly modernizing its air force in recent decades. >

In US military doctrine, the cornerstone is gaining and maintaining air superiority.

The Pentagon has invested billions of dollars in developing advanced aircraft for each department, and the US has enjoyed air superiority over its adversaries for decades.

Despite the fact that rivals, including China and Russia, have modernized their aviation capabilities in recent years. , some US Air Force and Navy platforms remain among the best aircraft in the world.

F-22 Raptor

F-22 Raptor – the world's first fighter of the fifth generation, which ever took to the sky, – is considered the most advanced platform currently in service.

The Raptor became the first operational fighter to combine stealth, hypermaneuverability, supercruiser flight and sensor data fusion in one platform. In 1997, the Air Force's most famous fighter jet made its first flight and continues to amaze aviation enthusiasts more than two decades later.

Reduced radar section of the “Raptor” and two F119 turboprop engines with variable thrust — probably the main advantages of the fighter. Thanks to the ability to change the thrust and redirect the flow of energy, which allows the aircraft to perform its famous acrobatic tricks, the Raptor can beat any other fighter in a dogfight.

In terms of weapons, the F-22 can carry two missiles of the “ air-air” AIM-9 Sidewinder in two internal side compartments, as well as six missiles of the “air-to-air” with AIM-120 AMRAAM radar guidance or 2 AIM-120 AMRAAM and two GBU-32 JDAM in the central compartment.

F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

America's latest fifth-generation fighter jet, the F-35 Lightning II, is undoubtedly the most coveted tactical aircraft in the world.

Foreign militaries are eager to get their hands on a formidable and stealthy fighter that essentially embodies functions of three aircraft on one platform.

The Joint Strike Fighter was originally designed to replace the US Marine Corps' F/A-18 and AV-8B Harrier, the US Navy's F/A-18, and the US Air Force's A-10 and F-16. Depending on the variation, this versatile fighter can do just about anything, including taking off and landing normally and landing on an aircraft carrier.

The Lightning II is best known for its “Beast Mode”. Of course, the fighter can also carry ammunition on external hangers, which turns the car into a “bomber carrier”. However, the “beast” reduces stealth of the fighter.

In the “stealth” The F-35 is limited by the weapons it can carry inside its radar-shielded fuselage. However, in the “beast” The F-35 can carry nearly four times as much munitions using external mounts that can hold nearly 10 tons of weapons. Despite the fact that Lightning II – a relatively new fighter, more than 900 aircraft were exported, indicating the huge popularity of this fighter around the world.

B-2 Spirit

Although Northrop Grumman's B-2 Spirit stealth bomber is more than 30 years old, this strategic platform remains a powerful force in the skies. Due to its obsolescence, the glider will eventually be replaced by the newer and more advanced B-21 Raider, but today this aircraft is the most formidable bomber in the entire world.

Since its appearance in service during the Cold War, the B-2 has managed to show himself in numerous combat operations in a wide variety of places – from Libya and Kosovo to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Spirit was designed to overcome anti-aircraft defenses and remains the only platform capable of using large-caliber air-to-ground weapons. in a “stealth” configuration.

According to the Air Force, Spirit's combination of stealth technologies with high aerodynamic efficiency and large payload gives the aircraft a significant advantage over its closest bomber competitors. The B-2's low visibility is due to a combination of reduced infrared, acoustic, electromagnetic, visual and radar signatures.

These signatures make it difficult for sophisticated defense systems to detect, track, and defeat the B-2. Many points of the stealth process remain classified, but it is safe to say that composite materials, special coatings and the design of the B-2 wing contribute to this.

B-21 Raider

The Raider, which will be the first component of a trillion-dollar modernization of the US nuclear deterrent, is expected to single-handedly ensure the dominance of the US armed forces in the air. According to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, the Northrop Grumman-developed platform will be able to carry both conventional and nuclear weapons, giving it a “decade advantage”.

Similar to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, Raider will work as an “air data center”. Many details related to the B-21 Raider remain classified.

B-52 Stratofortress

Although the US Air Force's B-52 fleet has been in service for nearly 70 years, this formidable platform continues to be the backbone of the bomber fleet. Even with the addition of the B-21 Raider in the future, the Stratofortress will continue to serve as a serious deterrent to China and other US adversaries.

The bomber has an honorable record: it participated in war in Vietnam, operation “Desert Storm”, the Second War in the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan. The current B-52 can fly almost 14,500 km without refueling. Along with nuclear delivery capabilities, it can launch cruise missiles autonomously.

This very old platform is expected to fly in the skies until the 2050s.

As tensions between between the US and China continues to grow, the chances of future armed conflict are increasing. American aircraft have a number of complex and unique capabilities, but Beijing has been rapidly modernizing its air force in the last decade. The US is no longer the only producer of fifth-generation aircraft, which makes the next generation of aircraft even more important.

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my natasha@thetimeshub.in 1-800-268-7116

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