fighters, ground attack aircraft, tactical bombers or interdictors
are typically used to attack enemy targets far behind the
frontlines. These aircraft usually attack supply convoys, thus
delaying enemy forces and supplies from reaching the frontlines.
These aircraft are sometimes related to air superiority fighters or
multi-role fighters, however their emphasis is focused on ground
attack role. Still most attack aircraft have an air-to-air combat
capability. These aircraft typically have long-range and can operate
in significant distances from their bases.
we receive many questions which is the best strike, and ground
attack or interdictor aircraft in the world. Which is the greatest
modern attack aircraft and why. Our Top 10 analysis is based on the
combined score of armament, range, speed, technology, and some other
factors. All of these aircraft mentioned here are incredibly
powerful and devastating. This analysis is based on specifications,
available data and technical comparison. Pilot training is also
important, as performance of the actual aircraft depends from the
pilot performance. This list do not contains aircraft that are
currently under development of at the prototype stage. It includes
only operational warplanes.
top 10 attack aircraft in the world are these:
F-15E Eagle (USA)
Eagle was originally developed by McDonnel Douglas as a private
venture. It is a dedicated twin-seat attack aircraft, that evolved
air superiority fighter.
This aircraft appeared in the 1980s and was seen as a possible
replacement for the
First operational aircraft were delivered in 1989. It was referred
as the Strike Eagle, however this name was not adopted officially.
The type made its combat debut during Operation Desert Storm, and
proved outstanding in this and subsequent combat actions.
The F-15E is
still used by the US Air Force. As of 2014 USAF operated just over
200 of these attack aircraft.
It has been exported to Saudi Arabia (F-15S) and Israel (F-15I).
However these were downgraded export versions. It was also
exported to South Korea (F-15K Slam Eagle) and Singapore (F-15SG).
The F-15E has different avionics and equipment than the F-15 air
It is fitted with targeting pods and other specialized ground attack
equipment. The weapons system operator is in the rear cockpit.
aircraft can carry a whooping 10 400 kg
of external ordnance or external fuel. It can carry various
air-to-ground, anit-ship, anti-radiation missiles, bombs (including
nuclear), and guided munitions. Also
the F-15E retains its air-to-air capability and can carry the same
air-to-air missiles as the F-15 air superiority fighter.
has a maximum speed of over 2 655 km/h and can reach altitude of
18.2 km. It has a range of around 2 500
the F-15E can be optimized as an air superiority fighter.
Su-34 is a replacement for the ageing
It is a derivative of the
Su-27 air superiority fighter. This attack aircraft is easily
distinguished by its side-by-side cockpit and 'platypus' nose.
Development of this aircraft was slow due to limited funding. It was
first flown in 1990. In 1995 a pre-production aircraft was revealed.
was adopted in 2014. As of 2015 Russian Air Force operates 76 of
these attack aircraft. It was stated that total Russia's requirement
is for 200 interdictors of new type to replace the ageing Su-24s.
The Su-34 is being proposed for export, however so far it received
no production orders.
aircraft has 10 underwing and underfusealage hardpoints for a wide
range of weapons, including air-to-air, air-to-surface, anti-ship
and anti-radiation missiles, guided or free fall bombs. The Su-34
normally carries 4 000 kg of weapons,
however maximum capacity is 8 000 kg.
Emphasis is placed on long-range standoff weapons.
feature of the Su-34
is that it has a rearward facing radar and can launch air-to-air missiles at
pursuing enemy aircraft. Cockpit and some other crucial components
and systems are armored. Aircraft is fitted with comprehensive
electronic counter measures equipment.
aircraft has a maximum speed of 1 900 km/h and can reach altitude of
14 km. It has a maximum range of around 2 000 - 2 500 km depending on the
can also carry electronic warfare or reconnaissance pods. This
aircraft is also being proposed for the Russian Air Force to serve
in the heavy interceptor, reconnaissance, and electronic warfare
Panavia Tornado IDS
(Germany, Italy, United Kingdom)
age the multi-national Tornado Interdictor Strike (IDS) aircraft
remains one of Europe's most important warplane. The various
different attack, reconnaissance and defense suppression versions of
this aircraft have played major roles during recent military
Development of the Tornado by the UK, West
Germany and Italy begun in 1968, with the first flight by a
prototype in 1974 and service deliveries beginning in 1979. Nearly 1
000 of these aircraft were built, until production ceased in 1998.
It is currently in service with all three nations that developed it.
Saudi Arabia was the only export customer. It operates 82 surviving
aircraft. The Tornado IDS aircraft are being constantly upgraded in
order to keep them operational. Various new systems and new weapons
are being added.
IDS aircraft are primarily assigned the conventional long-range
interdiction/overland attack role. The also have specialized
missions that comprise maritime attack, air defense suppression and
aircraft can carry up to 9 000 kg of
ordnance, including air-launched cruise missiles, air-to-ground
missiles, anti-tank guided missiles, free-fall and laser-guided
bombs, anti-ship and anti-radiation missiles.
IDS has a maximum speed of 2 236 km/h and can reach altitude of 15
km. Typical combat range is claimed to be 1 390 km.
F/A-18F Super Hornet
The F/A-18F Super Hornet is a US carrier-capable attack aircraft. It is
essentially a two-seat attack version of the single-seat F/A-18E.
It basically similar to the single-seater and possesses identical
equipment and virtually identical combat capability. This aircraft
is in service with the US Navy and Marine Corps. The previous F/A-18
series aircraft served with distinction during various combat
operations. This attack aircraft is in service with the US Navy. It
has been exported to Australia.
is primarily operated by the US Navy in the night attack and forward
air controller role. This two-seat aircraft can be also used for
pilot training. Some F/A-18F aircraft are fitted with sensors and
can be also used for reconnaissance.
This aircraft can carry over 7 000 kg
It is armed with various
air-to-ground, air-to-air, anti-ship and anti-radiation missiles. It
can also carry laser-guided, nuclear and free fall bombs. It can be
also fitted with unoperated rocket pods.
has a maximum speed of 1 915 km/h and
can reach altitude of around 15 km. It has a
maximum range of 2 350 km.
Typical range of
interdiction missions is around
1 400 km.
Despite its age the Russian Su-24 remains
a powerful long-range, low-level strike attack aircraft with real
all-weather precision attack capability. With its variable geometry
swing wing and side-by-side cockpit, the Su-24 is inevitably
compared with the US General Dynamics
F-111. The aircraft
was never intended or used as a strategic bomber, however, a fact
obscured by such comparisons. The Su-24 is more broadly equivalent
to the Anglo-German-Italian
The aircraft made its first flight in 1970. It entered frontline
service in 1973.
Su-24 was never as capable as Western attack
aircraft. Also its avionics was backward and unreliable. Its
improved version, the Su-24M was a much better aircraft. It was
adopted in 1986.
production total is probably between 900 - 1 200 aircraft, including
variants until production ceased in 1993. It has been exported to a
number of countries. This
attack aircraft saw
combat during the Soviet War in Afghanistan and some other military
continue for surviving Russian Su-24s to extend their service lives.
aircraft can carry up to 8 000 kg of ordnance. It is armed with
various air-to-ground, anti-ship and anti-radiation missiles. It can
also carry laser-guided and free fall bombs. Furthermore the Su-24
was designed to carry free-fall nuclear bombs.
has a maximum speed of 1 320 km/h and can reach altitude of 17 km.
It has a range of around 1 200 - 2 500 km depending on the weapon
While optimized as a supersonic bomber the Su-24 aircraft was also
intended to have a secondary reconnaissance role. The Su-24MR is a
dedicated tactical reconnaissance version. The Su-24MP is a
dedicated electronic warfare aircraft.
The JH-7 is
a Chinese interdiction and maritime attack aircraft.
In China it is known as Fei Bao or Flying Leopard.
It has been in development since the mid-1970s to meet a requirement
from the Chinese air force and naval aviation for an all-weather
interdictor. Although the prototype reportedly first flew in 1988,
the programme was troubled by technical problems through-out the
1990s. It was adopted in 1994. As of 2014 a total of 240 of these
aircraft were produced. A total of 120 aircraft are operated by
Chinese Air Force and 120 by Naval Air Force.
In design, the JH-7 resembles a scaled-up
SEPECAT Jaguar. This attack aircraft
features a wide range of indigenously-developed systems and
equipment. Its engines are license-manufactured Rolls-Royce Spey
JH-7 can carry 9 000 kg of weapon,
including anti-ship missiles, anti-radiation missiles and air-to-air
missiles. It can also carry various bombs, including laser- and
Performance of the JH-7 approaches that of the
Tornado IDS, albeit with a reduced payload, but with a longer
The JH-7 has
a maximum speed of 1 800
km/h and can reach
altitude of 15.6 km.
Range is around 2 000 km,
depending on the weapon load and external fuel.
The Mirage 2000D and 2000N were both developed from Mirage 2000.
This tactical bomber made its first flight in 1986. A total of 86
Mirage 2000D and 77 Mirage 2000N were produced.
The Mirage 2000D is a long-range attack aircraft, while the Mirage
2000N is a dedicated nuclear attack version. It carries a single
150- or 300-kT yield standoff missile.
The 2000D carries a nuclear missile on a centerline pylon. However
the 2000D carries a more diversified armament. It can carry
around 5 000 kg of ordnance, including
various air-to-surface missiles and bombs. Both aircraft can carry
air-to-air missiles for self-defense.
tactical bomber has a maximum speed of 2 330
km/h and can reach
altitude of 18 km.
Range is around 1 500-1
800 km, depending
on the weapon load and external fuel.
Mitsubishi F-2 (Japan)
Mitsubishi F-2 is a Japanese close support and anti-shipping
fighter. It is based on
F-16C Fighting Falcon.
This aircraft was adopted in 2001. Production ceased in 2011. A
total of 94 aircraft were built. In Japan it was initially uses for
fighter support role. However in 2005 it was reclassified by the
Japanese MoD as a multi-role fighter.
has 11 hardpoints available for various stores, including the ASM-2
anti-ship missile as one of the principal weapons. Also it can carry
various free fall bombs and a wide range of air-to-air missiles.
Maximum weapon load is just over 8 000 kg.
has a maximum speed of 2 100 km/h and
can reach altitude of 18
km. Range is
around 1 700 km,
depending on the weapon load.
F-2A is a single-seater, while the F-2B is a twin-seater, used for
SEPECAT Jaguar (France / United Kingdom)
The SEPECAT Jaguar is a joint French and British
development. It was adopted back in 1973.
However both French and British Jaguars are now retired. Today
the only operator of this aircraft is India. However
it is likely that condition of the Indian
Jaguars is poor due to their age. An upgrade program to
replace engines and avionics is planned, however it is being delayed
by funding problems and bureaucracy.
The Jaguar can carry 4 500 kg of
ordnance on 5 hardpoints. It can carry various combinations of
air-to-ground, anti-radiation, air-to-air missiles, bombs (including
pods with unoperated rockets.
This aircraft can be also fitted with electronic counter measures
pod, reconnaissance pod, targeting pod, or external fuel tanks.
has a maximum speed of 1 700 km/h and
can reach altitude of 14 km.
Range is around 1 700 km,
depending on the weapon load and external fuel.
International AMX (Brazil / Italy)
The AMX is a
multi-purpose aircraft, used for ground attack, interdiction, close
air support and reconnaissance. It was developed by AMX
International. It is a joint Brazilian and Italian development. This
aircraft first flew in 1984. It was a relatively advanced and cost
effective design. Italy ordered 187 of these aircraft, and Brazil -
79. The first operational aircraft was delivered in 1989.
aircraft can carry up to 3 800 kg of ordnance on 5 external
hardpoints. These include air-to-ground missiles, anti-radiation
missiles, free-fall and laser-guided bombs, pods with rockets. It
can also carry air-to-air missiles for self-defense.
The AMX has
a maximum speed of 1 050 km/h and
can reach altitude of 13 km.
Range is around 1 800 km,
depending on the weapon load and external fuel.
also a two-seat version with reduced range.
In the reconnaissance role, the AMX can either carry external photo
or infra-red pods, or can be equipped with any one of three sensor
pallets for internal carriage in the forward fuselage.