Special Report

The NATO Countries with the Most Combat Aircraft

Poland+air+force | General Dynamics F-16 "Fighting Falcon"
my_public_domain_photos / Flickr

The Prime Minister of Poland, Donald Tusk, recently issued a warning to all of Europe warning that the Russia-Ukraine war could spread across the continent. This comes just after a Russian cruise missile crossed Polish airspace before reaching its target in Ukraine. Protecting national airspace is of paramount importance for any country and one of the best ways to do that is to have a fleet of combat aircraft at the ready, much like Poland is doing now. (These are the future combat aircraft of world air forces.)

Aside from Poland, many other NATO allies have sizable fleets of combat aircraft. France and Germany have the most fighter jets of any NATO members on the European continent. However, many other nations that make up the alliance have considerable air forces as well.

To determine the NATO countries with the most combat aircraft, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 2024 military strength report from Global Firepower, an annually updated defense-related statistics website with information on 145 countries. We ranked these countries according to which countries have the most fighter and attack aircraft. We included supplemental information regarding each country’s current air force and overall military strength ranking. We excluded NATO countries that do not have any combat aircraft.

There are a number of NATO countries that do not have any combat aircraft whatsoever. Instead of relying on a national air force for defensive measures, many of the countries like Iceland or Luxembourg are banking on Article 5 of the treaty. This refers to a “collective defense” within the alliance, namely that any country that should fall under attack by a foreign power would be aided by other member nations.

Although some nations do not have standing air forces, the NATO members that do are flush with combat aircraft ready at a moment’s notice. (This is the most widely-used military aircraft on Earth.)

Here is a look at the NATO countries with the most combat aircraft:

22. Croatia

Source: usarmyeurope_images / Flickr
  • Total fighter and attack aircraft: 11
  • Total military aircraft: 81
  • Total helicopters: 52
  • Total attack helicopters: 0
  • Military strength score: 1.1333 – #66 out of 145

21. Hungary

Source: Jozsef Soos / iStock Editorial via Getty Images
  • Total fighter and attack aircraft: 12
  • Total military aircraft: 62
  • Total helicopters: 38
  • Total attack helicopters: 8
  • Military strength score: 0.8478 – #54 out of 145

20. Romania

Source: sagesolar / Flickr
  • Total fighter and attack aircraft: 14
  • Total military aircraft: 131
  • Total helicopters: 67
  • Total attack helicopters: 0
  • Military strength score: 0.7712 – #47 out of 145

19. Bulgaria

Source: usarmyeurope_images / Flickr
  • Total fighter and attack aircraft: 16
  • Total military aircraft: 65
  • Total helicopters: 27
  • Total attack helicopters: 4
  • Military strength score: 1.0132 – #62 out of 145

18. Czechia

Source: VanderWolf-Images / iStock Editorial via Getty Images
  • Total fighter and attack aircraft: 28
  • Total military aircraft: 88
  • Total helicopters: 33
  • Total attack helicopters: 3
  • Military strength score: 0.7706 – #46 out of 145

17. Portugal

Source: my_public_domain_photos / Flickr
  • Total fighter and attack aircraft: 28
  • Total military aircraft: 117
  • Total helicopters: 38
  • Total attack helicopters: 0
  • Military strength score: 0.5609 – #38 out of 145

16. Norway

Source: ajw1970 / Flickr
  • Total fighter and attack aircraft: 30
  • Total military aircraft: 102
  • Total helicopters: 37
  • Total attack helicopters: 0
  • Military strength score: 0.5664 – #41 out of 145

15. Denmark

Source: usnavy / Flickr
  • Total fighter and attack aircraft: 37
  • Total military aircraft: 119
  • Total helicopters: 34
  • Total attack helicopters: 0
  • Military strength score: 0.7743 – #48 out of 145

14. Belgium

Source: david_e_smith / Flickr
  • Total fighter and attack aircraft: 45
  • Total military aircraft: 110
  • Total helicopters: 20
  • Total attack helicopters: 0
  • Military strength score: 1.2064 – #70 out of 145

13. Netherlands

Source: lynothehammer / Flickr
  • Total fighter and attack aircraft: 52
  • Total military aircraft: 143
  • Total helicopters: 66
  • Total attack helicopters: 21
  • Military strength score: 0.5644 – #40 out of 145

12. Finland

Source: my_public_domain_photos / Flickr
  • Total fighter and attack aircraft: 55
  • Total military aircraft: 164
  • Total helicopters: 27
  • Total attack helicopters: 0
  • Military strength score: 0.7967 – #50 out of 145

11. Canada

Source: RayOneMedia / iStock Editorial via Getty Images
  • Total fighter and attack aircraft: 65
  • Total military aircraft: 375
  • Total helicopters: 143
  • Total attack helicopters: 0
  • Military strength score: 0.3813 – #27 out of 145

10. Sweden

Source: my_public_domain_photos / Flickr
  • Total fighter and attack aircraft: 71
  • Total military aircraft: 212
  • Total helicopters: 53
  • Total attack helicopters: 0
  • Military strength score: 0.4009 – #29 out of 145

9. Poland

Source: my_public_domain_photos / Flickr
  • Total fighter and attack aircraft: 93
  • Total military aircraft: 468
  • Total helicopters: 215
  • Total attack helicopters: 30
  • Military strength score: 0.2917 – #21 out of 145

8. United Kingdom

  • Total fighter and attack aircraft: 149
  • Total military aircraft: 664
  • Total helicopters: 276
  • Total attack helicopters: 52
  • Military strength score: 0.1443 – #6 out of 145

7. Spain

Source: ajw1970 / Flickr
  • Total fighter and attack aircraft: 151
  • Total military aircraft: 513
  • Total helicopters: 121
  • Total attack helicopters: 17
  • Military strength score: 0.2882 – #20 out of 145

6. Italy

Source: my_public_domain_photos / Flickr
  • Total fighter and attack aircraft: 157
  • Total military aircraft: 800
  • Total helicopters: 402
  • Total attack helicopters: 57
  • Military strength score: 0.1863 – #10 out of 145

5. Greece

Source: VanderWolf-Images / iStock Editorial via Getty Images
  • Total fighter and attack aircraft: 194
  • Total military aircraft: 632
  • Total helicopters: 289
  • Total attack helicopters: 29
  • Military strength score: 0.4349 – #32 out of 145

4. Turkey

Source: slezo / Flickr
  • Total fighter and attack aircraft: 205
  • Total military aircraft: 1,069
  • Total helicopters: 502
  • Total attack helicopters: 111
  • Military strength score: 0.1697 – #8 out of 145

3. Germany

Source: 7armyjmtc / Flickr
  • Total fighter and attack aircraft: 209
  • Total military aircraft: 618
  • Total helicopters: 318
  • Total attack helicopters: 55
  • Military strength score: 0.2847 – #19 out of 145

2. France

Source: VanderWolf-Images / iStock
  • Total fighter and attack aircraft: 224
  • Total military aircraft: 972
  • Total helicopters: 447
  • Total attack helicopters: 69
  • Military strength score: 0.1878 – #11 out of 145

1. United States

Source: my_public_domain_photos / Flickr
  • Total fighter and attack aircraft: 2,750
  • Total military aircraft: 13,209
  • Total helicopters: 5,737
  • Total attack helicopters: 1,000
  • Military strength score: 0.0699 – #1 out of 145

Essential Tips for Investing: Sponsored

A financial advisor can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of investment properties. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.

Investing in real estate can diversify your portfolio. But expanding your horizons may add additional costs. If you’re an investor looking to minimize expenses, consider checking out online brokerages. They often offer low investment fees, helping you maximize your profit.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us?
Contact the 24/7 Wall St. editorial team.