Top 11 Best Fighter Jets in the World 2023

It was found that aircraft could be used to transport both people and cargo across long distances swiftly. During times of conflict and peace, the military understood the need for both offensive and defensive air power. Fighter jets are deployed offensively to damage the enemy’s infrastructure, runways, supply depots, and airfields.

Its defensive function is to protect ground forces from aerial attack and to offer close air support to those forces. Military aircraft play a key role in naval warfare by locating and eliminating submarines and enemy warships, thereby protecting coastal areas from attack. Additionally, military aircraft do airlift (both cargo and troops) and aid in rescue operations during national disasters, as well as supply forward outposts with logistical support.

Today, air power is crucial to a country’s military might, both in times of peace (by protecting the country’s sovereignty) and in times of war (by damaging vital enemy sites, discouraging troop movement, and disrupting the flow of military supplies).

So in this article, we analyze the top 11 best fighter aircraft in the world, ranked from worst to best as we go down, based on criteria including stealthiness, armament, speed, range, technology, and maneuverability.

Su-30MKI

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The Indian Air Force operates the Su-30MKI (Flanker-H), a two-seat, long-range multirole fighter (IAF). Sukhoi of Russia created the Su-30MKI, which Hindustan Aeronautics Limited of India assembles under license (HAL).

In contrast to the first Indian-manufactured aircraft, which was introduced to the IAF in 2004, the first Su-30MKI model built by the Russians entered service with the IAF in 2002. Due to the Su-30MKI’s components coming from 14 different manufacturers across six different countries, it has global avionics and subsystems.

The Brahmos supersonic cruise missiles are among the air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles that the Su-30MKI is capable of transporting. Additionally, a 30mm GSh-30-1 gun and several different bombs are part of the weaponry.

RoleMultirole fighter, air superiority fighter
National originRussia / India
First flight1 July 1997
Primary userIndian Air Force
Number built272
Produced1996 – present

JAS 39E Gripen

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It’s possible that the Swedish Saab JAS 39E Gripen won’t remain last for long. The JAS 39E has twelve onboard weapons stations and the most modern AESA radar, claims Saab. Its avionics feature cutting-edge sensor technology and artificial intelligence (AI) integration components.

Although it currently appears that the JAS 39E was created with affordability and Swedish airspace protection in mind. The technology behind it has the potential to influence the way that other fighter jets on this list are developed in the years to come.

RoleMultirole fighter
National originSweden
First flight9 December 1988
Primary usersSwedish Air Force, South African Air Force, Hungarian Air Force, Czech Air Force
Produced1987 – present
Number built271+

Boeing F-15E Strike Eagle

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A superior next-generation multirole strike fighter is the F-15E Strike Eagle. The F-15E is the mainstay of the US Air Force (USAF) today and was created as a derivation of the preceding F-15A and F-15D aircraft.

The Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM),  the AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM), the AGM-130 Standoff Weapon System, the AIM-9X Sidewinder, and a variety of bombs are among the up to 10,432 kg (23,000 lb) of payload that the F-15E is capable of transporting. It has a top speed that is more than twice as fast as sound.

The Strike Eagle can perform air-to-air and air-to-surface operations in all types of weather, day or night, thanks to its cutting-edge avionics equipment.

The USAF actively utilized the F-15Es during Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Southern Watch, and Northern Watch operations. Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Deny Flight, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Odyssey Dawn are a few other noteworthy combat deployments.

RoleAir superiority fighter
National originUnited States
First flight27 July 1972
Primary usersUnited States Air Force, Japan Air Self-Defense Force, Royal Saudi Air Force, Israeli Air Force
Produced1972 – present
Number built1,198

Sukhoi Su-35

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The Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jet is quick and nimble, with a top speed of 3,087 kph (Mach 2.25) and three-dimensional thrust vectoring technology. It can carry more than twice as much ammunition as the F-15 Eagle and has a total of twelve weapons stations.

It is believed that the Irbis-E Passively electronically scanned array radar is being utilized; however, this has not been established for certain. Unlike AESA radar, this type of radar can only emit a single wave at a predetermined frequency, and it most likely relies on physical antenna receivers.

RoleMultirole fighter, air superiority fighter
National originSoviet Union (Russia since 1991)
First flight19 February 2008
Primary usersRussian Air Force, People’s Liberation Army Air Force, Egyptian Air Force
Produced2007 – present
Number built147

Dassault Rafale

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Rafale is a twin-engine, multi-role fighter that may be used for air sovereignty, deep strike, reconnaissance, and airborne nuclear deterrent missions. Its builder, Dassault Aviation, refers to it as an “omnirole” fighter.

The French Air Force and Navy fly the multirole fighter. The avionics and sensor systems on this aircraft are state-of-the-art. It is equipped with a 30mm gun, a variety of laser-guided bombs and ground-attack munitions, air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles, nuclear and anti-ship missiles, and more.

The Rafale fighter made its first combat deployment in 2002 during Operation Enduring Freedom. A handful of combat missions in Afghanistan, Libya, and Mali have involved the usage of aircraft (Operation Serval).

The RAFALE C single-seat, RAFALE M carrier-based single-seat, and RAFALE B twin-seat versions are the three variations of the aircraft that are offered.

RoleMultirole fighter
National originFrance
First flight19 May 1991
Primary usersFrench Air and Space Force, French Navy, Indian Air Force, Qatar Emiri Air Force
Produced1986 – present
Number built240

Eurofighter Typhoon

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The Eurofighter Typhoon, which was jointly designed by Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom, is swift but may be more maneuverable.

Both an air-to-ground engagement asset and a beyond-visual-range capability were built into the Eurofighter. It has the Euroradar CAPTOR AESA radar and is currently compatible with the most sophisticated air-to-air, air-to-ground, and air-to-ship missiles in Europe.

The Typhoon Eurofighter is said to be the most sophisticated fighter plane that is native to Europe, reaching speeds of little over 2,469 kph (Mach 2).

RoleMultirole fighter, air superiority fighter
National originMultinational
First flight27 March 1994
Primary users German Air Force, Italian Air Force, Royal Air Force, Spanish Air, and Space Force
Produced1994 – present
Number built571

F/A-18E/F Super Hornet

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The next-generation multirole strike fighter F/A-18E/F Super Hornet is a combat-proven strike fighter. The F/A-18C/D Hornet has been completely redesigned to be bigger and better. The US Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force both use the Super Hornet (RAAF).

The aircraft was put into service by the US Navy in 1999 to replace the Grumman F-14 Tomcat. In 2010, the RAAF adopted the two-seat F/A-18F Super Hornet into service.

During Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Southern Watch, and the War in Afghanistan, the fighter jet’s combat prowess was demonstrated.

The Super Hornet’s integrated and networked technology suite offers the combatant commander and ground troops improved interoperability and overall force support. The aircraft’s 11 weapon stations may store a range of smart weaponry, such as laser-guided bombs, as well as air-to-air and air-to-ground munitions.

RoleCarrier-based multirole fighter
National originUnited States
First flight29 November 1995
Primary usersUnited States Navy, Royal Australian Air Force, Kuwait Air Force
Produced1995 – present
Number built608+

Sukhoi Su-57

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The first stealth aircraft built in Russia was the Sukhoi Su-57 Felon. Numerous issues and delays held down its development. There aren’t many examples in production as of 2022. However, they are more advanced than earlier prototypes, and Russia is still making improvements to the aircraft.

The Su-57 is expected to get a new engine and a number of additional improvements in the upcoming years, making it a significant increase over the Su-27 idea. It is a powerful fighter with excellent low-speed mobility, stealth abilities, and cutting-edge electronics and sensors.

RoleMultirole fighter
National originRussia
First flight29 January 2010
Primary userRussian Aerospace Forces
Produced2009 – present
Number built16

Chengdu J-20

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For use by the People’s Liberation Army Air Force, Chengdu J-20 is a fifth-generation, single-seat, twin-engine stealth fighter jet produced by Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group (CAIG) (PLAAF).

Eight hardpoints on the aircraft plus an interior weapons compartment that can store a variety of beyond-visual-range air-to-air and short-range missiles, including long-range PL-12C/D and PL-21 air-to-air missiles, are available for mounting armaments. Additionally, it is equipped with anti-radiation missiles, laser-guided bombs, and air-to-surface missiles.

The J-20 has advanced fly-by-wire (FBW) technology, a canard delta design, low jet engine intakes, and a blended fuselage.

First flying in January 2011, the plane finally made its public debut in 2016. In March 2017, it was accepted into PLAAF duty as an air-superior fighter.

RoleStealth air superiority fighter
National originChina
First flight11 January 2011
Primary userPeople’s Liberation Army Air Force
Produced2009 – present
Number built150–208

F-22 Raptor

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The first fighter plane of the fifth generation, the F-22, is still in use today. The Raptor has one of the most covert designs ever created and excels at both close-quarter dogfighting and beyond-visual-range (BVR) warfare.

This jet was solely used by the US Air Force because it was believed to be too sophisticated to be given to any other nation. However, the jet was frequently sent abroad and employed in several combat missions, demonstrating its usefulness.

RoleAir superiority fighter
National originUnited States
First flight7 September 1997
Primary userUnited States Air Force
Produced1996–2011
Number built195

F-35 Lightning II

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Number one on our list is a brand-new multipurpose fighter, the F-35. In 2015, the F-35B variant was put into service by the US Marine Corps. The Joint Strike Fighter program produced the F-35 to replace earlier fighters. Soon, the AV-8B, A-10, F-16, and F/A-18 will be replaced by the F-35.

The F-35’s design is similar to that of the Lockheed Martin F-22 but smaller and with just one engine. It employs stealth technology, which reduces the radar cross-section of the vehicle. This multi-role fighter is capable of tactical bombing, CAS, and air defense. It works with the most recent A/G missiles.

The F-35A, F-35B, and F-35C are the three main variants of this aircraft. These variations have characteristics that lower the costs of development, production, and maintenance. This aircraft boasts the most potent fighting engine ever made.

Syrian targets were bombed by Israeli F-35s. These sly fighters launched an attack close to Russian assets in Syria. Israel’s F-35s could not be destroyed by Russia’s S-300 and S-400 air defense systems.

RoleMultirole fighter
National originUnited States
First flight15 December 2006
Primary usersUSAF, United States Marine Corps, United States Navy
Produced2006 – present
Number built875+
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