Top 10 Countries Having Strongest Air Force

For a country to have a strong defense it is crucial that it has a potent air force. Time has shown that nations with weak air defences do not stand a chance against invading armies. Nations all over the world have realised that they have to spend billions on their air forces to guard their freedom. Some of the countries with the strongest air forces are mentioned in this article.

Instructions

  • 1

    United States Air Force (USA)

    This is without a doubt the mightiest air force in the world. Equipped with some of the most advanced weapon systems, it is also the largest in terms of numbers.

    It was founded with the motto 'No One Comes Close' in 1947 and now holds the largest number of aircrafts in its arsenal.

    While the F-22 Raptor is the latest and the most sophisticated jet in its inventory, other weapon systems included:

    - Aerial Refueling aircrafts
    - Attack Aircrafts
    - Attack Helicopters
    - Bombers
    - Cargo transport aircrafts
    - Cargo helicopters
    - Electronic Warfare Aircrafts
    - Ground Attack Aircrafts
    - Helicopters
    - 450 ICBMs
    - Multi-mission Aircrafts
    - Multi-mission RPAs (Remote Piloted Aircraft)
    - Observation aircrafts
    - Reconnaissance aircrafts
    - 32 Satellites
    - Search and Rescue Aircrafts
    - Special electronic missions aircrafts
    - Tanker aircrafts
    - Trainer aircrafts
    - UAVs
    - Utility aircrafts
    - VIP staff transport aircrafts
    - Weather reconnaissance aircrafts
    - Special Operations Squadrons Aircrafts

    Image Courtesy: markbatra.com

  • 2

    Russian Air Force (RUSSIA)

    During the Cold War era the Russian Air Force was the biggest rival of the US Air Force. Even today, after the demise of the Soviet Union, the Russian Air Force is still the second most lethal Air Force in the World with its advanced weaponry. The weapon systems in this power in the sky include:

    - Airliner Fixed-wing aircrafts
    - Airborne Early Warning & Control aircrafts
    - Air Superiority Fighters
    - Attack Helicopters
    - Bombers
    - Command & Control aircrafts
    - Ground Attack Aircrafts
    - Interceptor aircrafts
    - Reconnaissance aircrafts
    - Satellites
    - Strategic Airliners
    - Strategic Transport Aircrafts
    - Strike Fighter Aircrafts
    - Tactical Transport Aircrafts
    - Training Aircrafts
    - Training Helicopters
    - Transport Helicopters
    - UAVs
    - Utility Helicopters
    - VIP Transport aircrafts

    Image Courtesy: armyrecognition.com

  • 3

    People's Liberation Army Air Force (China)

    It is the largest and the deadliest Air Force in Asia, with weapon systems more advanced than any other in the region. With the USAF having stealth fighter jets in its inventory, the Chinese are not holding back and developing their own stealth versions.

    The weapon systems in the PLAAF include:

    - Aerial Refueling aircrafts
    - Airborne Early Warning - AWAC, AEW&C
    - Air Superiority Fighters
    - Attack Aircrafts
    - Attack Helicopter
    - Basic Trainer
    - Bombers
    - Close Air Support
    - Fighter-Bomber
    - Fighter/Interceptor
    - Helicopters
    - Helicopter Trainer
    - Interceptor Fighter
    - Jet Trainer
    - Light Transport
    - Multirole Fighter Aircrafts
    - Strategic bomber aircrafts
    - Supersonic Trainer
    - Transport and Cargo aircrafts
    - Transport Helicopter
    - Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV)
    - Utility Helicopters
    - VIP Transport

    Image Courtesy: flightglobal.com

  • 4

    Royal Air Force (UNITED KINGDOM)

    The Royal Air Force is the oldest air force in the world, formed during World War I in 1918 and is known for its professionalism and accurate bombings in conflicts. During World War II the RAF was a decision maker, challenging Hitler’s military and stopping the German forces from capturing Great Briton.

    Its inventory consists of:

    - Air defence fighter aircraft
    - Air-to-air refuelling aircraft
    - Airborne early warning aircraft
    - Attack aircrafts
    - Heavy-lift support helicopters
    - Offensive support aircraft
    - Close air support
    - Electronic Warfare Aircrafts
    - Reconnaissance aircraft
    - Search and rescue aircraft
    - Strategic airlift transport
    - Strike fighter
    - Support helicopters
    - Tactical-airlift transport
    - Training aircraft
    - Transport aircrafts
    - Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)
    - VIP transport

    Image Courtesy: 1.pictures.gi.zimbio.com

  • 5

    Armée de l’Air (FRANCE)

    Armée de l’Air is rated as the world’s first professional air force which was founded in 1909. This Air Force holds a very important position in NATO. The French Air Force is most famously known for the Mirage series of aircrafts in its arsenal. Apart from Mirages, other weapon systems include:

    - Aerial refuelling
    - Airborne warning and control
    - Ground attack
    - Multirole fighter
    - Nuclear strike
    - Reconnaissance
    - Search and rescue helicopters
    - Signals intelligence (ELINT)
    - Strategic airliner
    - Tactical transport
    - Trainer
    - Advanced trainer
    - Transport helicopters
    - Reconnaissance UAV
    - Utility and training helicopters
    - Utility Transport
    - VIP Transport
    - Experimental aircraft

    Image Courtesy: f-16.net

  • 6

    Israeli Air Force (ISRAEL)

    Depending on the United State Air Force, the Israeli Air Force has some of the most advanced US made combat aircrafts in its arsenal, with the F16s and F15s as its main strike fighters. Being in a constant state of war with its neighbours, the Israeli air force is the strongest in the region.

    The weapons used by this air power include:

    - Aerial refuelling
    - Air superiority fighter
    - Attack helicopters
    - CAEW (Conformal Airborne Early Warning)
    - Electronic Warfare (EW)
    - Electronic signals intelligence (ELINT)
    - Ground attack
    - Heavy transport
    - Light transport
    - MALE UAV - medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)
    - Maritime patrol aircraft
    - Maritime patrol helicopters
    - Mini UAV
    - Multirole fighter
    - SEMA (Special Electronic Missions Aircraft)
    - Signals intelligence (SIGINT)
    - Strike fighter
    - Tactical UAV
    - Tactical transport
    - Trainer
    - Transport

    Image Courtesy: haaretz.com

  • 7

    Indian Air Force (INDIA)

    The Indian Air Force is the largest air power in South Asia, with advanced weapon systems inducted from all over the world. Apart from foreign aircraft, the Indian air force is working on the development of its own fighter jet version, however, it is still in its testing phase.

    The weapon systems used include:

    - Air superiority fighter
    - Airborne early warning aircraft
    - Anti-Tactical Ballistic Missile (ATBM)
    - Squadrons Attack helicopter
    - Close support aircraft
    - Ground attack force
    - Heavy lift helicopter
    - Interceptor aircraft
    - Land-based air defence systems
    - Light utility helicopter
    - Medium utility helicopter
    - Multi-role combat aircraft
    - Short-range ballistic missile (SRBM)
    - Surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems
    - Aerial refuelling
    - Training aircraft
    - Transport aircraft
    - Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) reconnaissance and surveillance
    - VIP Transports

    Image Courtesy: images2.sina.com

  • 8

    Pakistan Air Force (PAKISTAN)

    The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) is the second largest air power in South Asia. In the 1965 war between Pakistan and India, the PAF played a crucial role in neutralising Indian raids and establishing air superiority.

    Later, during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan the PAF became the first air force in the region to shoot down Soviet fighter jets with F16s. The F16 till this date is PAF’s strike fighter with Chinese and French aircraft in the inventory. Pakistan has also developed its own combat aircraft JF-17 with assistance from China.

    The weapon systems in PAF inventory include:

    - Aerial Refuelling aircraft
    - Airborne Early Warning – AWACS
    - Air Superiority Fighters
    - Attack Aircrafts
    - Land-based air defence systems
    - Basic Trainer
    - Ground attack force
    - Fighter-Bombers
    - Fighter/Interceptor
    - Helicopters
    - Helicopter Trainer
    - Jet Trainer
    - Light Transport
    - Multirole Fighter Aircrafts
    - VIP transport

    Image Courtesy: pakarmedforces.com

  • 9

    Luftwaffe (GERMANY)

    Established in 1935, this air force overshadowed the skies during World War II, out matching their opponents because of their advanced weapon systems. Their weapon systems include:

    - Aerial Refuelling
    - Electronic Warfare
    - Fighter-Bomber
    - Ground-attack
    - Military tactical transport aircraft
    - Reconnaissance aircraft
    - Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM)
    - Signals intelligence (SIGINT)
    - Special Air Mission
    - Strategic Transport
    - Training aircraft
    - Utility Helicopters
    - VIP Transport

    Image Courtesy: cavok-aviation-photos.net

  • 10

    Royal Australian Air Force (AUSTRALIA)

    Although very small in number, the Australian Air Force was established in 1921 and is considered very lethal. Their weapon systems include:

    - Aerial refuelling
    - Airborne early warning and control (AEW&C)
    - Advanced trainer
    - Lead-in fighter trainer
    - Light transport
    - Maritime patrol/Strike
    - Navigational trainer
    - Reconnaissance/Surveillance UAV
    - Strategic transport
    - Tactical Transport
    - VIP transport

    Image Courtesy: militarymedals.com.au

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