The air force of a country is dependent on its fighter jets. Having control of the sky in terms of weapons, technology, and the ability to move around can stop wars or keep the peace. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the most advanced fighter jets cost a lot of money.
Many countries also buy jets made in their own country because they are much cheaper than jets made elsewhere. Others are able to set up full or partial production of the jet they want in their own country.
Fighter jets are the most advanced, powerful, and complicated planes in terms of technology. It makes sense that they are also the most expensive. So, what are your options if you had to buy one?
1. Saab JAS 39 Gripen: $85M
The Swedish JAS 39 Gripen, C, and D are light single-engine multirole fighters made by the Swedish aerospace company Saab AB. They are one of the least expensive new 4th or 4.5th generation combat fighters on the market. A single plane could cost up to $30 million.
In 2012, it was thought that the latest generation of the JAS 39 would cost more than $100 million. Saab was only able to lower the price recently, and now the Gripen is once again a sought-after plane around the world. This fighter plane is thought to cost $85 million.
2. Sukhoi Su-35: $85M
The Sukhoi Su-35 is the name for two versions of the Su-27 air defense fighter that are better. They are single-seat, twin-engine, and very maneuverable planes that were made by the Sukhoi. They were designed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau.
Even though the Su-33 and Su-37 are not for sale, the Su-34, Su-30, and their many versions are more than twice as cheap as the Su-35. This is why Russia has had a hard time selling this plane, even though China and Egypt have already bought some. Despite this, some countries are reportedly interested in the Su-30 and its estimated price of $85 million.
3. McDonnell Douglas F-15EX Strike Eagle: $87.7M
The F-15 was not meant to be a cheap plane, and its newest version, the F-15EX, shows that. The plane itself is more expensive than the F-35A, so the low cost comes mostly from the low cost of running it.
It is only supposed to cost “only” $29,000 per hour to run, and the US government only hopes to get that cost down to $36,000 by 2024. This, along with the fact that it is similar to other F-15 models, makes the F-15EX a good choice for many countries.
4. EA-18G Growler: $102M
In 1995, Boeing Defense made the EA-18G Growler, a two-seat plane for the U.S. Space & Security program. The EA-18G Growler is an improvement over the Super Hornet. This new version is more expensive and better because it has “electronic warfare systems” added to it. It can do everything the Super Hornet can do, but it isn’t as well-armed and isn’t set up for aggressive flights. It costs $102 million to build and sell the EA-18G Growler.
Northrop Grumman gave plane systems that use electromagnetic signals to control the energy spectrum in the space around them. When these systems are used right, they can stop an enemy plane from using the EM spectrum in the area. This gives these planes an advantage in modern combat.
5. F-117 Nighthawk: $107.7M
The U.S. Air Force’s first stealth aircraft, the F-117 was developed, procured, and constructed under strict secrecy. Contradicting the enemy’s expectations included even deviating from the standard practice of giving American fighters numbers as names. F-19 would have been the designation for the F-117 Nighthawk. This stealth attack plane first flew in 1982 and was retired the following year.
The F-117 Nighthawk has a top speed of over 700 mph, thanks to the power of its two General Electric F404-F1D2 turbofans. On the list of the most expensive military aircraft in the world, it ranks #5. The cost of the F-117 is $107.7 million.
6. Chengdu J-20 Black Eagle: $110M
The Chengdu J-20 “Mighty Dragon” is a stealth fighter plane from China’s Chengdu Aerospace Corporation. It is from the fifth generation and has a single seat. It took its first flight in January 2011, and since March 2017, it has been used by the People’s Liberation Army Air Force. It is China’s first stealth aircraft.
Each J-20 costs about $110 million, and the whole program is thought to cost around $4.4 billion. The J-20 is made to carry out ground attack missions in dangerous places. It can reach supersonic speeds of about 1,305mph and a height of 59,055 feet. It can climb 60,000 feet per minute and travel 2,100 kilometers per hour.
When the afterburners are turned on, each of the two WS-10G turbofan engines makes 30,000lb of thrust. The plane is 75.46 feet long and 49.21 feet wide. It is 16.40 feet tall and weighs 38,801 pounds. Its MTOW is about 77,162 pounds.
7. Dassault Rafale: $115M
The French word “Dassault Rafale” means “gust of wind.” It means that the plane has a rapid-fire rate. The French fighter jet Dassault Rafale was finished in 2001, and the French Air Force, Space Force, and Navy are still using it.
This jet is also used by the air forces of India and Qatar Emiri. This plane was first suggested as part of the Future European Fighter Aircraft program, which was a group of countries that worked together to make a cutting-edge plane for European air forces.
France had different ideas than the rest of the team, so they made their own jet, the Dassault Rafale. This fighter jet cost $115 million to make and has high-tech features like an infrared search and track system, integrated direct voice input, and an AESA radar, which stands for AA active electronically scanned array.
8. F-35 Lightning II: $122M
In December 2006, the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lighting II fighter jets were put on the market (F-35A). Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Pratt and Whitney, and BAE Systems are some of the companies that make planes. The F-35 Lighting plane comes in three versions: the F-35A ($89.2 million), the F-35B ($115.5 million), and the F-35C ($107.7 million).
They are about 50.5ft to 51.4ft long and 15ft to 15.5ft high. The F-35A and F-35B have wings that are 35 feet long, while the F-35C is 43 feet wide. It weighs between 22,500 and 30,000 pounds, and its MTOW is 60,000 pounds. It can go as fast as 1,864 mph and has a service ceiling of about 50,000 feet. The F-35 can climb at a rate of 45,000 feet per minute.
9. Eurofighter Typhoon: $124M
The jet is still in use and is known for how well it can fight other planes. It is known as a flagship fighter for air forces that can afford one. It can be used with many types of missiles, such as Brimstone, Storm Shadow, and Marte ER. The Eurofighter Typhoon is one of the older planes on this list. It was completed in 1994. The Future European Fighter Aircraft Programme, which is a group of engineers from all over the world, has been working on it since 1983. There were people from Italy, France, Germany, Spain, and the UK in the group.
Price per unit averages around $124 million. After the Cold War ended, there was less need for fighters, which hurt the plane and put off its service until 2003. But since the Eurofighter Typhoon started being made, 571 of them have flown for air forces in Italy, Germany, Austria, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and other places.
10. Air Force One: $325M
The two Boeing VC-25s that carry the US president are called “Air Force One.” The planes are military versions of the Boeing 747-200 that have been heavily changed. They have advanced communication and air defense systems. The Boeing VC-25s went into service in 1990. Each one costs $325 million.
The VC-25 has a maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of 374,850kg and is powered by four General Electric CF6-80C2B1 engines. Each engine puts out 56,700 lbs of thrust, allowing the plane to reach a top speed of 629mph. The plane can fly as high as 45,100 feet and can travel 13,000 km while in the air. The VC-25’s ability to refuel while in the air greatly increases its maximum range.
11. F-22 Raptor: $350M
The Raptor is thought to be one of the best fighter planes in the world. It was made to fight against Russia’s high-tech SU Flanker and MIG Fulcrum planes. During the cold war, when Russia was a threat, it began to be made in the 1980s. It is made by Lockheed Martin and Boeing and costs about $350 million per aircraft. The cost of the whole program is about $66bn.
It is made with fifth-generation technology and has a single-weapon platform with supercruise, super maneuverability, stealth, and sensor fusion. It is 44.5 feet wide and 62 feet long. The plane weighs 43,340 pounds and has an MTOW of 83,500 pounds. The F-22 has a range of 2,960 km and a rate of climb of 62,000 km/min.
12. B-2 Spirit: $2.1B
The fighter jet is made to look like an alien spaceship, and it can avoid radar, visual, electromagnetic, and infrared signals to sneak deep into enemy territory without being seen and drop bombs on specific targets. It was first made to carry nuclear bombs, but later it was made better so that it could also carry other types of missiles.
The total cost of building the B-2 Spirit was $45 billion, and the US military got 21 of them. The B-2’s initial unit cost of $737 million made it the most expensive plane ever produced. However, after 1997’s retrofitting and tweaks, the project’s final price tag increased to $2.1 billion. The hourly running costs are $135,000. One of the 21 units was lost in an accident in 2008, but the US Air Force plans to use the other 20 until 2032.
How expensive is the F-35?
The new estimate for the cost of the F-35, which comes in at $412 billion, represents only a marginal increase for the program.
How much does 1 f 16 cost?
The F-16 can cost anywhere from $12.7 million to $80 million, depending on which version it is and which country buys it. Even though that’s not a small amount of money, the F-16 is cheaper than other modern fighter jets.
How much does a MiG 23 cost?
The price being asked for is $1.4 million. NATO called the MiG-23 the “Flogger,” and it was a big step forward in the development of Soviet military planes. It had the first look-down, shoot-down radar and was the first to fire missiles at targets that couldn’t be seen.
What is the most cheapest fighter jet in the world?
The HAL Tejas has an operating cost of about $4,000, which is the lowest of the fighters we’ve talked about so far. The next best fighter in terms of cost to run is the F-16, which costs about $7,000 per flight hour.