Special Report

Future Combat Aircraft of World Air Forces

Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Combat aircraft and fighter jets represent the forefront of technological advancements in militaries globally. Originating over 80 years ago, jet propulsion spurred remarkable advancements in avionics and related technologies. Today, combat aircraft come in various shapes and forms, reflecting ongoing efforts of many nations to develop the next generation.

For many years, military aviation was largely dominated by aircraft from the United States and Russia. However, the landscape has evolved, with more countries now venturing into development of their own aircraft. This change is driven by the widespread availability of technology and governments securing contracts with multinational aircraft manufacturers. The question remains as to how effective these various combat aircraft will be on the global stage in the future.

To identify the future combat aircraft of the world’s militaries, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed a catalog of aircraft from Military Factory, an online database of arms, vehicles, and aircraft used by militaries worldwide. Helicopters, drones, and non-combat aircraft were excluded from this list. We ordered these aircraft alphabetically and included supplemental information regarding the type of aircraft, country of origin, manufacturer, top speed, and armament.

Russia’s upcoming MiG-41 is the next iteration of its family of MiG aircraft and is slated for operational deployment by 2030. Designed as a supersonic interceptor, it is set to succeed the MiG-31 Foxhound. The MiG-41 is projected to have a top speed close to 2,300 mph, which would easily make it one of the fastest aircraft in the world.

Also expected to join the Russian air force in 2032 is the Tupolev PAK DA. This strategic stealth bomber would replace the aging Tu-95 and Tu-160 bombers and serve as a counterpart to U.S. stealth bombers like the existing B-2 Spirit and the upcoming B-21 Raider.

Here are the future combat aircraft of the world’s militaries:

Bronco II

  • Type: Light attack / close-air support aircraft
  • Country of origin: United States
  • Manufacturer: Bronco Combat Systems / Vertex Aerospace
  • Top speed: 311 mph
  • Armament: Gun pods, cannon pods, rocket pods, laser-guided bombs, conventional bombs, anti-tank guided missiles, air-to-air missiles

J-31 Gyrfalcon (FC-31 / F-60)

  • Type: Multirole fourth-generation fighter aircraft
  • Country of origin: China
  • Manufacturer: Shenyang Aircraft Corporation / Aviation Industry Corporation
  • Top speed: 1,367 mph
  • Armament: Undisclosed. Assumed support for internal cannon, air-to-air missiles, air-to-ground missiles, conventional drop bombs

HJT-36 Sitara (Star)

  • Type: Light attack aircraft
  • Country of origin: India
  • Manufacturer: Hindustan Aeronautics Limited
  • Top speed: 528 mph
  • Armament: 12.7mm heavy machine gun pod, 57mm rocket pods, conventional drop bombs

Yasin

  • Type: Light attack aircraft
  • Country of origin: Iran
  • Manufacturer: Iran Aircraft Industry Company / Iran Aviation Industries Organization
  • Top speed: 621 mph
  • Armament: Gun pods, rocket pods, air-to-air missiles, air-to-surface missiles, precision guided bombs, conventional drop bombs

H-20

Source: Kevin Frayer / Getty Images
  • Type: Subsonic strategic stealth bomber
  • Country of origin: China
  • Manufacturer: Xian Aircraft Industrial Corporation
  • Top speed: 600 mph
  • Armament: Undisclosed. Assumed support for dumb boms, precision-guided bombs, air-to-surface missiles, and nuclear weapons

Dassault FCAS

  • Type: Sixth-generation fighter aircraft
  • Country of origin: France
  • Manufacturer: Dassault / Airbus
  • Top speed: 1,243 mph
  • Armament: Undisclosed

F-21 (Fighting Falcon)

Source: y / iStock Editorial via Getty Images
  • Type: Multirole 4.5 generation fighter aircraft
  • Country of origin: United States
  • Manufacturer: Lockheed Martin
  • Top speed: 1,317 mph
  • Armament: 20mm M61A1 Vulcan gatling-style internal cannon, rocket pods; support for Indian Air Force munitions including air-to-air, air-to-surface, and anti-ship missiles

Wasp

Source: CatEyePerspective / iStock Editorial via Getty Images
  • Type: Close-air support attack aircraft
  • Country of origin: Canada
  • Manufacturer: Icarus Aerospace
  • Top speed: 414 mph
  • Armament: 20mm/30mm automatic cannon, air-to-air missiles, air-to-surface missiles, gun pods, cannon pods, rocket pods, conventional drop bombs, precision guided bombs

F/A-259 Striker

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons
  • Type: Light attack aircraft
  • Country of origin: Czech Republic
  • Manufacturer: Aero Vodochody
  • Top speed: 587 mph
  • Armament: Air-to-air missiles, air-to-surface missiles, precision-guided bombs, conventional drop bombs, rocket pods, cannon pods, gun pods

Checkmate (Su-75)

  • Type: Fifth-generation attack aircraft
  • Country of origin: Russia
  • Manufacturer: Sukhoi OKB / Rostek State Corporation
  • Top speed: 808 mph
  • Armament: Undisclosed. Assumed support for Russian air-to-air missiles, air-to-ground missiles, precision-guided bombs

Tejas AF

  • Type: Multirole combat aircraft
  • Country of origin: India
  • Manufacturer: Hindustan Aeronautics Limited
  • Top speed: 1,429 mph
  • Armament: 23mm GSh-23 internal cannon, air-to-air missiles, air-to-surface missiles, rocket pods, anti-radiation missiles, anti-ship missiles, laser-guided bombs, conventional drop bombs

KF-21 Boromae (KF-X)

  • Type: Multirole fifth-generation aircraft
  • Country of origin: South Korea
  • Manufacturer: Korean Aerospace Industries
  • Top speed: 1,553 mph
  • Armament: 20mm gatling-style internal automatic cannon, air-to-air missiles, air-to-surface missiles, precision-guided drop bombs, conventional drop bombs

Kaan (TF-X / F-X)

  • Type: Fifth-generation fighter aircraft
  • Country of origin: Turkey
  • Manufacturer: Turkish Aerospace Industries
  • Top speed: 1,491 mph
  • Armament: 20mm internal cannon automatic cannon, air-to-air missiles, air-to-surface missiles, laser-guided bombs, conventional drop bombs

B-21 Raider

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons
  • Type: Sixth-generation long-range strategic bomber
  • Country of origin: United States
  • Manufacturer: Northrop Grumman
  • Top speed: 621 mph
  • Armament: Conventional drop bombs, precision-guided bombs, nuclear ordnance

J-35

Source: Robert Sullivan / Public Domain / Flickr
  • Type: Fifth-generation carrierborne fighter
  • Country of origin: China
  • Manufacturer: Aviation Industry Corporation
  • Top speed: 1,367 mph
  • Armament: Air-to-air missiles, air-to-surface missiles, precision-guided bombs, conventional drop bombs, anti-ship missiles, anti-radiation missiles

HAL AMCA

Source: Sarath S / Public Domain / Flickr
  • Type: Fifth-generation fighter aircraft
  • Country of origin: India
  • Manufacturer: Hindustan Aeronautics Limited
  • Top speed: 1,370 mph
  • Armament: 20mm internal automatic cannon, air-to-air missiles, air-to-surface missiles

MiG-41 (PAK DP)

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons
  • Type: High-altitude, long-range interceptor
  • Country of origin: Russia
  • Manufacturer: Mikoyan OKB
  • Top speed: 2,284 mph
  • Armament: Long-range, high-speed air-to-air missiles

Tupolev PAK DA

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons
  • Type: Fifth-generation strategic stealth bomber
  • Country of origin: Russia
  • Manufacturer: Tupolev / United Aircraft Corporation
  • Top speed: 559 mph
  • Armament: Cruise missiles, nuclear ordnance, precision-guided bombs, conventional drop bombs

Tempest FCAS

  • Type: Sixth-generation fighter aircraft
  • Country of origin: United Kingdom
  • Manufacturer: BAe Systems
  • Top speed: 1,553 mph
  • Armament: Air-to-air missiles, air-to-surface missiles, precision-guided munitions, direct-energy weapons, hypersonic weapons, swarm weapons

Mitsubishi F-X

  • Type: Sixth-generation air superiority fighter aircraft
  • Country of origin: Japan
  • Manufacturer: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
  • Top speed: 1,460 mph
  • Armament: 20mm internal automatic cannon, air-to-air missiles, air-to-surface missiles, anti-ship missiles, laser-guided bombs, microwave-based weapons

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