Top 10 fighter planes of the world
New Delhi: Fighter planes are an integral part of any state’s defence today. The more technologically advanced fighter planes a nation has, the more strongly it could defend itself against its enemies in times of war. 

These fighter jets are made especially on order and are then exported to the countries based on strategic and political coordination.  

Here is a list of fighter aircrafts considered to be the best:

1. F-22

The deadliest fighter aircraft of the world and the most critical component of the United States Air Force, F-22 Raptor is a fifth generation fighter plane, widely appreciated for its super-agility, sensor fusion, supercruise speed and lethal attacking capabilities on highest possible operational altitude.

A combination of sensor capability, integrated avionics, situational awareness, and weapons provides first-kill opportunity against threats.  

The F-22 possesses a sophisticated sensor suite allowing the pilot to track, identify, shoot and kill air-to-air threats before being detected.  

The F-22 has a significant capability to attack surface targets. In the air-to-ground configuration the aircraft can carry two 1,000-pound GBU-32 Joint Direct Attack Munitions internally and will use on-board avionics for navigation and weapons delivery support.

2. SU-35

The Sukhoi Su-35 is a single-seat, twin-engined supermaneuverability multirole fighter. It is a derivative of the Su-27 'Flanker', and was initially known as the Su-27M. 

More than a dozen of these were built with some used by the Russian Knights aerobatic demonstration team.

Among the Su-35 design features, worth of note is the absence of an overhead brake flap, a standard characteristic of the Su-27. Its functions are performed by an active rudder.  

The Su-35 chassis has been reinforced because of the increased takeoff and landing weight of the aircraft. For the same reason, the front bearing has two wheels. The improved radar stealth reduces the reflectance of the Su-35 in the X radio waveband and in the angle range of ±60°.

Another important difference of the Su-35 from predecessors from the Su-27 family is the use, in its power plant, of new engines with an increased thrust. Those engines, known as 117S.

3. Eurofighter Typhoon

Designed and built by a syndicate of four different companies from UK, Italy, Spain and Germany, this fighter plane holds a long track of laurels in warfare. 

The Eurofighter Typhoon uses a sophisticated integrated defense system “Praetorian” which monitors air-to-air and surface-to-air dangers and can responds multiple threats concurrently.

Eurofighter Typhoon has a foreplane/delta wing configuration that is aerodynamically unstable in the subsonic range.  

Low observability technology is incorporated in the basic design. The combination of low visual detection; low radar reflection; use of passive, systems; defensive aids; secure communications and the capability of supercruise supported by a cockpit, that gives the pilot a clear tactical picture and continuous and instant control over the level of emissions from the aircraft, ensure that the Eurofighter Typhoon has high survivability and the ability to operate independently from ground and airborne control agencies in dense electronic warfare environments.  

The Eurofighter Typhoon is, by any standard, a low observability aircraft with a fleet effectiveness superior to any other competitor.

The airframe is constructed mainly from Carbon Fibre Composites (CFCs), lightweight alloys, titanium and Glass Reinforced Plastics (GRP).

With the Eurofighter Typhoon, in subsonic flight the pressure point lies in front of the centre of gravity, therefore making the aircraft aerodynamically unstable, and is why Eurofighter Typhoon has such a complex Flight Control System – computers react quicker than a pilot.

4. SU-30 MKI: Super Sukhoi

SU-30MKI`s not initially designed to carry nuclear or strategic weapons, but newly developed IAF will receive 40 upgraded Su-30MKIs capable of carrying the BrahMos cruise missile possibly by 2012. 

In addition, there are also plans to integrate the nuclear-capable Nirbhay missile with the aircraft as well.

In May 2010, Russia had won a large contract to upgrade 40 Su-30MKI fighters with new radars, onboard computers, electronic warfare systems and the ability to carry the BrahMos missile.  

The first two prototypes with the 'Super-30' upgrade will be delivered to the Indian Air Force in 2012, after which the same upgrades will be performed on the last batch consisting of 40 production aircraft.  

India is planning to upgrade its Su-30MKI fighters with Russian Phazotron Zhuk-AE Active Electronically Scanned Array AESA radars.  

5. Rafale

A lethal air supremacy fighter widely known for its unparalleled air-to-air combat capabilities, Rafale is a product of Dassault Aviation, a French aircraft manufacturer of military and business jets. 

This fighter plane supports an electronic warfare system, SPECTRA, which defends the aircraft from ground and airborne threats.  

This fighter plane also assists the real time generation of three-dimensional maps that are used in long-range interception and targeting.  

Rafale is a twin-jet combat aircraft capable of carrying out a wide range of short and long-range missions, including ground and sea attack, air defence and air superiority, reconnaissance, and high-accuracy strike or nuclear strike deterrence.

The Rafale entered into service with French Navy in December 2000, and with the French Air Force in 2004. Ten aircraft are operational on the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier.

6. JAS 39 Gripen NG

Comprising eight hardpoints to convey several missiles and bombs, the JAS 39 Gripen is a lightweight fighter plane best known for its delta wing-canard design and high manoeuvrability. 

This fighter plane supports a sophisticated PS-05/A pulse-doppler X-band radar which is capable of observing and identifying targets 120 km away. It can also attack targets beyond visual range by channelizing air-to-air missiles.

* An electronically-scanned array (AESA) radar based on the PS-05/A, now being developed by Ericsson. An AESA consists of an array of programmable "transmit-receive (TR)" modules that can operate in parallel to perform separate or collaborative functions, performing, for example, jamming and target acquisition at the same time. The AESA will provide enhanced multimode capabilities, as well as extended range for beyond visual range missiles. It is scheduled for introduction in the 2005:2010 timeframe.

* Improved defensive countermeasures, including new towed decoys and missile and laser warning systems.

* The "OTIS" infrared search and track (IRST) system now under development by Saab Dynamics and being tested on a Viggen. OTIS will provide multiple modes for both air to air and air to ground combat.

* The Thales "Guardian" helmet-mounted display (HMT), now being evaluated on the Gripen for cueing the IRIS-T and other smart weapons.

7. F/A-18 Super Hornet

It is a Supersonic carrier-capable fighter aircraft. There is a single-seat variant as well as a tandem-seat variant which is larger and more advanced derivatives of the F/A-18C and D Hornet. 

The Super Hornet has an internal 20 mm gun and can carry air-to-air missiles and air-to-surface weapons.  

Additional fuel can be carried with up to five external fuel tanks and the aircraft can be configured as an airborne tanker by adding an external air refueling system.  

It is used by the US Navy since 1992.

Day/night strikes with precision-guided weapons
Anti-air warfare
Fighter escort
Close air support
Suppression of enemy air defense
Maritime strike
Forward air control

8. F-15

No other fighter in the history of aerial combat has a record that even comes close to the Eagle's. The F-15 is far superior to most of its brethren - way better than the F-4 - accelerating better, turning better, handling better.

In fact, such is the reputation of the F-15 that during the opening phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Saddam Hussein's air force simply refused to get in the air. They knew the F-15 would just knock them out of the sky.

The Eagle's air superiority is achieved through a mixture of unprecedented maneuverability and acceleration, range, weapons and avionics. It can penetrate enemy defense and outperform and outfight any current enemy aircraft.  

The F-15 has electronic systems and weaponry to detect, acquire, track and attack enemy aircraft while operating in friendly or enemy-controlled airspace. The weapons and flight control systems are designed so one person can safely and effectively perform air-to-air combat.

The F-15's versatile pulse-Doppler radar system can look up at high-flying targets and down at low-flying targets without being confused by ground clutter. It can detect and track aircraft and small high-speed targets at distances beyond visual range down to close range, and at altitudes down to treetop level.  

The radar feeds target information into the central computer for effective weapons delivery. For close-in dogfights, the radar automatically acquires enemy aircraft, and this information is projected on the head-up display.  

The F-15's electronic warfare system provides both threat warning and automatic countermeasures against selected threats.

9. F-16

Developed by General Dynamics, as a multirole jet fighter aircraft, the F-16 is called as the “Viper,” among pilots. 

Some of the best features of this fighter plane are Relaxed Static Stability, seat leant back 30 degree to cut the g-force on the pilot, bubble canopy for improve visibleness and most importantly, side-mounted control stick to facilitate control while channelizing.

In an air combat role, the F-16's maneuverability and combat radius (distance it can fly to enter air combat, stay, fight and return) exceed that of all potential threat fighter aircraft.

It can locate targets in all weather conditions and detect low flying aircraft in radar ground clutter.  

In an air-to-surface role, the F-16 can fly more than 500 miles (860 kilometers), deliver its weapons with superior accuracy, defend itself against enemy aircraft, and return to its starting point.  

An all-weather capability allows it to accurately deliver ordnance during non-visual bombing conditions.

In designing the F-16, advanced aerospace science and proven reliable systems from other aircraft such as the F-15 and F-111 were selected. These were combined to simplify the airplane and reduce its size, purchase price, maintenance costs and weight.  

Avionics systems include a highly accurate enhanced global positioning and inertial navigation systems, or EGI, in which computers provide steering information to the pilot.  

The plane has UHF and VHF radios plus an instrument landing system. It also has a warning system and modular countermeasure pods to be used against airborne or surface electronic threats. The fuselage has space for additional avionics systems.

10. Mirage 2000

Mirage 2000-5 is available as a single-seater or two-seater multirole fighter. The aircraft has hands-on throttle and stick (HOTAS) control. Mirage 2000-5 incorporates the Thales VEH 3020 head-up display and five cathode ray tube multifunction advanced pilot systems interface (APSI) displays.

The combined head-up / head-level display is collimated at infinity, and presents data relating to flight control, navigation, target engagement and weapon firing. Sensor and system management data is presented on two coloured lateral displays.

Mirage 2000 has nine hardpoints for carrying weapon system payloads: five on the fuselage and two on each wing. The single-seat version is also armed with two internally mounted, high-firing-rate 30mm guns.

Air-to-air weapons include the MICA multitarget air-to-air intercept and combat missiles, and the Magic 2 combat missiles, both from MBDA (formed out of a merger between Matra BAe Dynamics, EADS Aerospatiale and Alenia Marconi Systems). MICA supports a maximum operating range of 60km.  

The aircraft can carry four MICA missiles, two Magic missiles and three drop tanks simultaneously. The Mirage 2000-5 can fire the MBDA Super 530D missile or the MBDA Sky Flash air-to-air missile as an alternative to the MICA missile.