A fifth-generation jet fighter is a fighter aircraft classification used in the United States and elsewhere encompassing the most advanced generation of fighter aircraft as of 2013. Fifth-generation aircraft are designed to incorporate numerous technological advances over the fourth generation jet fighter.
10. Sukhoi/HAL FGFA
The Sukhoi/HAL Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) is a fifth-generation fighter being developed by India and Russia. It is a derivative project from the PAK FA (T-50 is the prototype) being developed for the Indian Air Force. FGFA was the earlier designation for the Indian version, while the combined project is now called the Perspective Multi-Role Fighter (PMF). The completed PMF will include a total of 43 improvements over the T-50, including stealth, supercruise, advanced sensors, networking and combat avionics. Two separate prototypes will be developed, one by Russia and a separate one by India. According to HAL chairman A.K. Baweja (speaking shortly after the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Committee meeting on 18 September 2008), both the Russian and Indian versions of the aircraft will be single-seater. The first aircraft will begin testing in India in 2014, with introduction into service expected by 2022.
9. Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft
The Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) is a single-seat, twin-engine fifth-generation stealth multirole fighter being developed by India. It will complement the HAL Tejas, the Sukhoi/HAL FGFA, the Sukhoi Su-30MKI and the Dassault Rafale. Unofficial design work on the AMCA has been started. A naval version is confirmed as Indian Navy also contributed to the funding.
8. KAI KF-X
The Korea Aerospace Industries KF-X is a South Korean program to develop an advanced multirole fighter for the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) and Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU), spearheaded by South Korea with Indonesia as the primary partner. It is South Korea’s second fighter development program following the FA-50. The project was first announced by South Korean President Kim Dae-Jung at the graduation ceremony of the Air Force Academy in March 2001. South Korea and Indonesia had agreed to cooperate in the production of KF-X warplanes in Seoul on July 15, 2010. The initial operational requirements for the KF-X program as stated by the ADD (Agency for Defence Development) were to develop a single-seat, twin-engine jet with stealth capabilities beyond either the Dassault Rafale or Eurofighter Typhoon, but still less than the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II. The overall focus of the program is producing a fighter with higher capabilities than a KF-16 class fighter by 2020.
7. Shenyang J-31
The Shenyang J-31 (F60), rumored to be nicknamed “Gyrfalcon” is a twin-engine, mid-size Fifth-generation jet fighter currently under development by Shenyang Aircraft Corporation. A photo of a model labeled F-60 was posted on the Internet in September 2011. In June 2012, photos and camera video clips about a heavily overwrapped possible F-60 prototype being road-transferred on a highway started to emerge on internet, though some suspect it of mere being a L-15 trainer aircraft. Pictures of a possibly fully assembled aircraft parking on an airfield emerged on September 15–16, 2012. The F-60 is reported to be the export version, where the J-31 would be the domestic Chinese version of the same fighter. With the maiden test flight of the prototype No.31001 on October 31, 2012, China moved ahead of Russia to become the second nation after the United States to have field-tested two stealth fighter designs.
6. Mikoyan LMFS
The Mikoyan LMFS is a proposed Russian stealth, single-engine fighter aircraft, loosely based on the canceled Mikoyan Project 1.44. Recent images reveal a fighter design with substantially larger internal weapons bays. Developed by the Russian Aircraft Corporation or RAC, this lightweight fighter is believed to incorporate an engine based on the RD-33 engine, and manufactured at the Klimov factory. The engine is supposed to be fifth generation, utilizing the latest advancements in turbine and combustion chamber technology, and only receiving minor changes to the fan blades.
5. Mitsubishi F-3
The Mitsubishi ATD-X Shinshin is a prototype fifth-generation jet fighter that uses advanced stealth technology. It is being developed by the Japanese Ministry of Defense Technical Research and Development Institute (TRDI) for research purposes. The main contractor of the project is Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Many consider this aircraft to be Japan’s first domestically made stealth fighter. ATD-X is an acronym meaning “Advanced Technology Demonstrator – X”. The aircraft’s Japanese name is Shinshin. The aircraft’s first flight is scheduled for 2014. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, Japan, seeking to replace its aging fleet of fighter aircraft, began making overtures to the United States on the topic of purchasing several Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor fighters for their own forces. However the U.S. Congress had banned the exporting of the aircraft in order to safeguard secrets of the aircraft’s technology such as its extensive use of stealth; this rejection necessitated Japan to develop its own modern fighter, to be equipped with stealth features and other advanced systems.
4. Chengdu J-20
The Chengdu J-20 is a purported fifth-generation, stealth, twin-engine fighter aircraft prototype developed by Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group for the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF). The J-20 made its first flight on 11 January 2011. General He Weirong, Deputy Commander of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force said in November 2009 that he expected the J-20 to be operational in 2017–2019. The J-20 was one of the stealth fighter programs under the codename J-XX that was launched in the late 1990s. It was designated “Project 718”, and won the PLAAF endorsement in a 2008 competition against a Shenyang proposal that was reportedly even larger than J-20.
3. Sukhoi PAK FA
The Sukhoi PAK FA is a twin-engine jet fighter being developed by Sukhoi for the Russian Air Force. The PAK FA, a fifth generation jet fighter, is intended to be the successor to the MiG-29 and Su-27 in the Russian inventory and serve as the basis of the Sukhoi/HAL FGFA being developed with India. The T-50 prototype performed its first flight 29 January 2010. By 31 August 2010, it had made 17 flights and by mid-November, 40 in total. The second T-50 was to start its flight test by the end of 2010, but this was delayed until March 2011. The Russian Defense Ministry will purchase the first 10 evaluation example aircraft after 2012 and then 60 production standard aircraft after 2016.The first batch of fighters will be delivered with current technology engines. The PAK-FA is expected to have a service life of about 30–35 years.
2. F-35 Lightning II
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, fifth generation multirole fighters under development to perform ground attack, reconnaissance, and air defense missions with stealth capability. The F-35 has three main models; the F-35A is a conventional takeoff and landing variant, the F-35B is a short take off and vertical-landing variant, and the F-35C is a carrier-based variant. The F-35 is descended from the X-35, the product of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program. JSF development is being principally funded by the United States, with the United Kingdom and other partner governments providing additional funding. The partner nations are either NATO members or close U.S. allies. It is being designed and built by an aerospace industry team led by Lockheed Martin. The F-35 carried out its first flight on 15 December 2006. The United States plans to buy a total of 2,443 aircraft to provide the bulk of its tactical airpower for the U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy over the coming decades. The United Kingdom, Italy, Netherlands, Australia, Canada, Norway, Denmark, Turkey, Israel and Japan are part of the development program and may equip their air services with the F-35.
1. F-22 Raptor
The Lockheed Martin/Boeing F-22 Raptor is a single-seat, twin-engine fifth-generation supermaneuverable fighter aircraft that uses stealth technology. It was designed primarily as an air superiority fighter, but has additional capabilities that include ground attack, electronic warfare, and signals intelligence roles. Lockheed Martin claims that the Raptor’s combination of stealth, speed, agility, precision and situational awareness, combined with air-to-air and air-to-ground combat capabilities, makes it the best overall fighter in the world today. Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, former Chief of the Australian Defence Force, said in 2004 that the “F-22 will be the most outstanding fighter plane ever built.”