Special Report

The World's 20 Fastest Warplanes

Stocktrek Images / Stocktrek Images via Getty Images

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues to rage on, but recent developments could provide some advantage to Kyiv. Going into the summer months, pressure is being ramped up on the United States and NATO to supply modern warplanes to Ukraine. However, it is unclear how Moscow will respond to this deal, should it go through, as modern warplanes are a powerful tool for any conflict.

The world of military aviation has seen remarkable advancements since the advent of flight. Among the factors that define modern military planes, speed is an essential component. Considering the march of technology is ever forward, nations are constantly engaged in a race to develop and possess the most effective aircraft – whether by speed or armament. Today, we are taking a look at the fastest warplanes in service.

To determine the fastest warplanes in service, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed Modern Aircraft, Helicopters & Drones, a list compiled by Military Factory, an online database of military vehicles, aircraft, arms, and more. Military aircraft were ranked based on their top speed, and only those currently in service with a top speed of over 1,500 miles per hour, or nearly Mach 2, were considered. Supplemental information about the year entered service, crew, type, roles, and which nations employ these aircraft also came from Military Factory.

The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25 Foxbat ranks at the top of this list as a supersonic interceptor and reconnaissance aircraft that revolutionized the Soviet Union’s military aviation capabilities. Boasting a top speed of more than 2,100 mph, or Mach 2.8, the MiG-25 stands out as one of the fastest combat-ready aircraft in service. During the Cold War, it played a significant role in countering and challenging the superiority of American and NATO aircraft. (See every plane in Russia’s air force.)

Not to be outshined, the F-15 Eagle asserts its dominance as one of the fastest modern military planes currently in service. Developed as a powerful air superiority fighter, the F-15 is capable of reaching speeds of up to 1,875 mph, or Mach 2.4. This aircraft has proven versatile in its service of multiple air forces across the globe. (Conversely, this is the slowest airplane still in use by the U.S. military.)

As technology continues to evolve, it will be fascinating to observe how the quest for speed shapes the future of military aircraft design and performance and the world’s aerial conflict strategies. For now, here’s a look at the 20 fastest warplanes currently in service.

Click here to see the world’s fastest warplane.

20. Lockheed F-16I Sufa (Storm)
> Top speed: 1,501 mph
> Type: Lightweight multirole fighter
> Year entered service: 2004
> Roles: Air-to-air combat fighter, interception
> Crew: 2
> Militaries using: Israel

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19. IAI Kfir (Lion Cub)
> Top speed: 1,516 mph
> Type: Multi-role combat aircraft
> Year entered service: 1976
> Roles: Air-to-air combat fighter, interception, ground attack (bombing, strafing), intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance
> Crew: 1
> Militaries using: Ecuador, Israel, Sri Lanka, The United States

Source: Milous / iStock via Getty Images

18. Mikoyan MiG-29 (Fulcrum)
> Top speed: 1,519 mph
> Type: Lightweight multirole fighter
> Year entered service: 1984
> Roles: Air-to-air combat fighter, interception, ground attack (bombing, strafing)
> Crew: 1
> Militaries using: 27 nations, including Germany, Russia, and Ukraine

Source: Willard / iStock via Getty Images

17. Grumman F-14 Tomcat
> Top speed: 1,544 mph
> Type: Swing-wing carrier-borne fleet defense fighter
> Year entered service: 1974
> Roles: Air-to-air combat fighter, interception, ground attack (bombing, strafing), maritime
> Crew: 2
> Militaries using: Iran, The United States (retired)

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16. Eurofighter Typhoon (EF2000)
> Top speed: 1,550 mph
> Type: Multi-role combat aircraft
> Year entered service: 2003
> Roles: Air-to-air combat fighter, interception, ground attack (bombing, strafing), anti-ship, training
> Crew: 1
> Militaries using: 9 nations, including Germany, Spain, and The United Kingdom

15. Shenyang (AVIC) J-16 (Red Eagle)
> Top speed: 1,552 mph
> Type: Multi-role strike fighter
> Year entered service: 2013
> Roles: Air-to-air combat fighter, ground attack (bombing, strafing)
> Crew: 2
> Militaries using: China

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14. Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23 (Flogger)
> Top speed: 1,553 mph
> Type: Swing-wing fighter-interceptor
> Year entered service: 1970
> Roles: Air-to-air combat fighter, interception, ground attack (bombing, strafing)
> Crew: 1
> Militaries using: 35 nations, including Russia, Ukraine, and The United States

13. Mitsubishi F-2
> Top speed: 1,553 mph
> Type: Multi-role fighter
> Year entered service: 2000
> Roles: Air-to-air combat fighter, interception, anti-ship
> Crew: 1
> Militaries using: Japan

12. Shenyang (AVIC) J-11 (Flanker B+)
> Top speed: 1,553 mph
> Type: Multi-role combat aircraft
> Year entered service: 1998
> Roles: Air-to-air combat fighter
> Crew: 1
> Militaries using: China

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Source: Jozsef Soos / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

11. Sukhoi Su-27 (Flanker)
> Top speed: 1,553 mph
> Type: Multi-role fighter
> Year entered service: 1985
> Roles: Air-to-air combat fighter, interception, ground attack (bombing, strafing), anti-ship, maritime, training
> Crew: 1
> Militaries using: 13 nations, including China, Russia, and Ukraine

Source: my_public_domain_photos / Flickr

10. Sukhoi Su-33 (Flanker-D)
> Top speed: 1,553 mph
> Type: Carrier-based air defense fighter
> Year entered service: 1994
> Roles: Air-to-air combat fighter, interception, ground attack (bombing, strafing), maritime
> Crew: 1
> Militaries using: Russia

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9. Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor
> Top speed: 1,599 mph
> Type: Air dominance fighter
> Year entered service: 2005
> Roles: Air-to-air combat fighter, interception
> Crew: 1
> Militaries using: United States

Source: Dmitry Potashkin / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

8. Sukhoi Su-57 (Felon)
> Top speed: 1,616 mph
> Type: Multi-role stealth aircraft
> Year entered service: 2019
> Roles: Air-to-air combat fighter, interception
> Crew: 1
> Militaries using: Russia

Source: Public Domain via my_public_domain_photos / Flickr

7. Boeing (McDonnell Douglas) F-15E Strike Eagle
> Top speed: 1,653 mph
> Type: Strike fighter aircraft
> Year entered service: 1988
> Roles: Air-to-air combat fighter, ground attack (bombing, strafing)
> Crew: 2
> Militaries using: 6 nations, including The United States, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea

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6. McDonnell Douglas F-15I (Ra am)
> Top speed: 1,656 mph
> Type: Strike fighter aircraft
> Year entered service: 1996
> Roles: Air-to-air combat fighter
> Crew: 2
> Militaries using: Israel

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

5. Mitsubishi F-15J (Peace Eagle)
> Top speed: 1,656 mph
> Type: Air superiority fighter
> Year entered service: 1981
> Roles: Air-to-air combat fighter, intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance, training
> Crew: 1
> Militaries using: Japan

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

4. Boeing F-15EX Eagle II
> Top speed: 1,864 mph
> Type: Multi-role fighter aircraft
> Year entered service: 2021
> Roles: Air-to-air combat fighter, interception, ground attack (bombing, strafing)
> Crew: 1
> Militaries using: Egypt, Qatar, The United States

3. Mikoyan MiG-31 (Foxhound)
> Top speed: 1,864 mph
> Type: Long-range high-speed interception aircraft
> Year entered service: 1979
> Roles: Air-to-air combat fighter, interception
> Crew: 2
> Militaries using: Kazakhstan, Russia

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

2. Boeing (McDonnell Douglas) F-15 Eagle
> Top speed: 1,875 mph
> Type: Multi-role air superiority fighter
> Year entered service: 1976
> Roles: Air-to-air combat fighter, interception, ground attack (bombing, strafing)
> Crew: 1 or 2
> Militaries using: 7 nations, including The United States, Japan, and Singapore

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1. Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25 (Foxbat)
> Top speed: 2,156 mph
> Type: Supersonic interceptor
> Year entered service: 1972
> Roles: Interception, intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance
> Crew: 1
> Militaries using: 13 nations, including Georgia, Turkmenistan, and Ukraine

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