The US Air Force has produced some truly incredible planes that sent chills down the spines of potential opponents. Here are the best of the best.
When it comes to flexing muscles on the international stage, every country is only as strong as the strength of its firepower. Military power is broadly divided into three sectors; air, land, and sea. The U.S. air force is one of the most significant parts of its military system and, over the years, has proven to be capable of winning just about any battle with their formidable “airstrikes.” The success of their airstrikes is made possible by the sophisticated and well-equipped aircraft used during combat.
It’s safe to say that the U.S. has one of the best airforces in the world. So, if you’re keen on the scariest birds in the United States Air Force, take a look at some of these flying assassins that strike fear into the hearts of opponents.
10 Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a high stealth advanced fighter aircraft with a top speed of 1,200 mph. The aircraft attaches six infrared cameras in various parts of its body, giving the pilot awareness of his surroundings by sending direct imagery to his helmet.
The fighter is also equipped with a radar system that provides pilots with a long-range view ahead. The F-35 Lightning II is one of the most underrated planes, considering its capabilities. It can carry AIM-9X sidewinder missiles, AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles, and other deadly weapons for ammunition.
9 Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor
Like the F-35 mentioned earlier, the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II has high stealth capacities. It is a tactical aircraft equipped with two Pratt and Whitney F119-PW-100 engines and has a top speed of 1,500 mph. The Raptor has four hardpoints in the weapons department on its wings capable of carrying AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles.
The F-22 can carry up to six AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles under its wings. With its advanced electronic system, it can detect launched missiles and has radar warning receivers.
8 General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon
The General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon is an advanced multipurpose fighter jet with a top speed of 1500 mph. A 20mm M61A1 multi-barrel cannon is installed at the aircraft’s port wing (inside the fuselage). In addition, the F-16 can carry up to six air-to-air missiles like the AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles and the AIM-7 Sparrow.
It can also carry air-to-surface weapons like missiles and bombs. Fighting Falcon stands out as it is also installed with advanced software systems that give it countermeasures, communications, and location accuracies.
7 McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle
Built as a multipurpose war machine, the McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle has the ability to carry out air to air and air to ground attacks. Equipped with 2 Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-229 after-burning turbofan engines, the F-15E can move at a top speed of 1,875 mph.
The Strike Eagle is equipped with a 20mm M-61A1 cannon situated in the right-wing root with 500 rounds. It can carry four infrared-guided missiles such as the AIM-9LM sidewinder or four AIM-7F/M radar-guided missiles.
6 McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet
With a top speed of 1,190 mph and two General Electric F404-GE-400 afterburning turbofan engines, the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet is high stealth and versatile aircraft that can carry out various assignments. The aircraft has a 20mm M61 Vulcan 6-barreled Gatling cannon that fires about 578 rounds. Also, It has a total of nine hardpoints plus the cannon hardpoint.
It can carry four AIM-9 Sidewinder and two AIM-7 Sparrow air-to-air missiles. Air to ground weapons carried by the F/A-18 Hornet comprises various missiles and bombs.
5 Northrop F-5
The Northrop F-5 carries 2 General Electric J85-GE-21B turnover engines. It reaches a top speed of 1,060 mph and has a range of 760 miles. The aircraft has seven hardpoints (2 wingtip launch rails, four under-wing, and one under-fuselage pylon station.
It can also carry four air-to-air missiles like the AIM-9 Sidewinders or AIM-120 AMRAAM. Air to surface missiles that the F-5 can carry includes AGM-65 Maverick or AA-8 Aphid missiles and bombs.
4 Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet
Designed to be an attack aircraft with a top speed of 1190 mph, the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Horne has a range of 2069 miles. It has a General Electric F414 engine. In the weapons department, the Super Hornet has an M61A2 20mm Gatling gun that can fire about 4,000 to 6,000 shots per minute.
The aircraft can also carry AIM-9 Sidewinder, AIM-7 Sparrow, and AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles and has air to surface weapon capacities to accommodate weapons like the GBU-51, Harpoon, MK-76, GBU-10, and the MK-84.
3 F-15 Eagle
The F-15 is a fighter aircraft with a top speed of 1,875 mph, which uses a Pratt and Whitney F100-PW-100 engine. The F-15 Eagle has a range of 3,450 miles and is installed with electronic systems that enable it to detect enemy aircraft, track it, and attack the source.
It can carry AIM-120, AIM-9LM Sidewinder air to air missiles and has a 20mm Gatling gun in the right-wing root. It also has air to surface weapon capacities.
2 Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit
One of the most famous fighters in the US Airforce, the Northrop Gruman B-2 Spirit, is an advanced subsonic aircraft. The fighter is fitted with an intercontinental range capable of firing nuclear or conventional weapons at target locations.
The Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit is a high stealth attack aircraft capable of invading enemy territories and demolishing its strongholds. Nuclear bombs that can be carried by the plane are the B-61 and the B-83. Packed with high-grade technological equipment, the B-2 is a competent and dangerous war machine.
1 Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II
Commonly referred to as the “Warthog,” the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II is an attack aircraft with a top speed of 450 knots (Mach 0.75). The Thunderbolt II is installed with 2 General Electric TF34-GE-100 turbofan engines and has a range of 2580 miles.
Its robust setup means that it can survive direct hits from armor-piercing projectiles. It can pack weapons like a 173 mm GAU-8/A Avenger autocannon that can fire 2100 or 4200 rounds per minute for armament. Additionally, it can also carry air to surface weapons like the AGM-65 Maverick missile.