Best fighter jets in the world


 

1: F-35 Lightning II

 

Three years ago Lockheed Martin’s F-35 might not have even made the list. Its development was behind schedule, over budget, and plagued with technical problems to the point where the New York Times called it “dysfunctional.” However, since then the F-35 has been climbing to the top of the fighter jet pyramid.

The F-22 Raptor is also a serious contender for the top spot. By the latest reports, the F-35 has a maximum speed of only Mach 1.61 or about 1,235 mph, while the F-22 can reach Mach 2.25. The F-35 is also reported to be slightly less maneuverable than the two-engine F-22.

So, what breaks the tie between the F-35 and the F-22 Warrior asked the pilots?

“If I have to go to war, I'm going to be in an F-35,” Chris “Worm” Spinelli, F-35 Test Pilot, Lockheed Martin told Warrior. His colleagues agree. The deciding factor for them, and the reason the F-35 is the most technically advanced jet in the world today, is Situational Awareness (SA).

“The biggest, game-changing difference that I've seen…is the F-35’s fusion and integration of all of the different sensors from the aircraft,” Spinelli told Warrior. “It brings together a holistic picture that's quite amazing.”

To generate this picture each F-35 is equipped with a Distributed Aperture System (DAS), Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS), and Northrop Grumman’s Electronic Systems AN/APG-81 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) avionics. Unliked passive array radar, AESA radar simultaneously produces multiple waves of different frequencies. These waves are directed electronically rather than by physically moving an antenna and are both transmitted and received by computer-controlled modules. These characteristics mean that AESA radar activity generates situational data more efficiently while also being harder to detect.

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