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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - Special Reports - Ranked: Most powerful air forces in the World, 2024

Special Reports

Ranked: Most powerful air forces in the World, 2024

F-16 Fighting Falcon

In today’s geopolitical landscape, military strength and the ability to defend oneself are crucial. Owning fighter jets is a powerful indication of a nation’s military strength and international influence. These advanced planes can deter potential aggressors and protect a country’s freedom and objectives.

Taiwan is currently facing the problem of China’s persistent violation of its airspace, which leaves it in a vulnerable position. To enhance its defense capabilities, Taiwan is collaborating with the United States to develop a new generation of fighter jets. In this era of rapid advancements in military technology, fighter aircraft are essential to maintain air superiority and provide support to ground forces.

The rankings of air supremacy rely on the number of active fighter jets in each nation’s military inventory. Additional data includes the overall size of military fleets and the prevalence of specific fighter jet models. In the unpredictable Pacific region, the United States and China rank at the top due to their advanced air forces, and their ongoing investments in defense indicate that the competition for air control will continue in the coming years.

Russia has emerged as a formidable player in the international scene, with a fleet of more than 1,500 fighter jets, including the Su-57, MiG-29, and Su-30 that form the backbone of their air force. Although smaller than the U.S. fleet, Russia’s jets are of high quality and possess undeniable superiority. The capacity to maintain a larger fighter jet inventory is often mirrored by substantial military expenditures, as can be seen in the top-ranking nations such as the United States, Russia, and China.

In this report, we will examine the intricacies of international air power by exploring the nations with the most fighter jets. Developed technology and superiority in numbers are the main components for a nation to possess the most fighter jets. We will present the top 20 countries with the most fighter jets, and discuss the role these aircraft play in modern warfare.

  1. United States
    > Fighter jets in military: 2757 (20.7% of total fleet)
    > Total military aircraft fleet: 13300
    > Most common fighter jet: F-16C (775 aircraft)
  2. China
    > Fighter jets in military: 1570 (49.6% of total fleet)
    > Total military aircraft fleet: 3166
    > Most common fighter jet: J-7 (387 aircraft)
  3. Russia
    > Fighter jets in military: 1517 (36.3% of total fleet)
    > Total military aircraft fleet: 4182
    > Most common fighter jet: Su-27/30/35 (353 aircraft)
  4. India
    > Fighter jets in the military: 707 (32.0% of total fleet)
    > Total military aircraft fleet: 2210
    > Most common fighter jet: Su-30 MKI (248 aircraft)
  5. South Korea
    > Fighter jets in military: 500 (31.2% of total fleet)
    > Total military aircraft fleet: 1602
    > Most common fighter jet: F-5E (156 aircraft)
  6. Pakistan
    > Fighter jets in military: 453 (32.1% of total fleet)
    > Total military aircraft fleet: 1413
    > Most common fighter jet: F-7 (135 aircraft)
  7. Saudi Arabia
    > Fighter jets in military: 364 (40.6% of total fleet)
    > Total military aircraft fleet: 897
    > Most common fighter jet: F-15C/S/SA (211 aircraft)
  8. Egypt
    > Fighter jets in military: 333 (31.2% of total fleet)
    > Total military aircraft fleet: 1069
    > Most common fighter jet: F-16A/C (168 aircraft)
  9. Taiwan
    > Fighter jets in military: 285 (38.7% of total fleet)
    > Total military aircraft fleet: 737
    > Most common fighter jet: F-16A/V (110 aircraft)
  10. Israel
    > Fighter jets in military: 273 (45.4% of total fleet)
    > Total military aircraft fleet: 601
    > Most common fighter jet: F-16C/I (175 aircraft)
  11. Japan
    > Fighter jets in military: 244 (16.8% of total fleet)
    > Total military aircraft fleet: 1451
    > Most common fighter jet: F-15J (155 aircraft)
  12. Syria
    > Fighter jets in military: 226 (49.9% of total fleet)
    > Total military aircraft fleet: 453
    > Most common fighter jet: MiG-23 (87 aircraft)
  13. France
    > Fighter jets in military: 226 (22.5% of total fleet)
    > Total military aircraft fleet: 1004
    > Most common fighter jet: Rafale B/C (94 aircraft)
  14. Turkey
    > Fighter jets in the military: 225 (21.1% of total fleet)
    > Total military aircraft fleet: 1065
    > Most common fighter jet: F-16C (157 aircraft)
  15. Iran
    > Fighter jets in military: 219 (40.5% of total fleet)
    > Total military aircraft fleet: 541
    > Most common fighter jet: F-4D/E/RF-4E (63 aircraft)
  16. Germany
    > Fighter jets in military: 209 (34.8% of total fleet)
    > Total military aircraft fleet: 601
    > Most common fighter jet: Eurofighter (134 aircraft)
  17. Greece
    > Fighter jets in military: 193 (30.4% of total fleet)
    > Total military aircraft fleet: 635
    > Most common fighter jet: F-16C (114 aircraft)
  18. Spain
    > Fighter jets in military: 152 (29.4% of total fleet)
    > Total military aircraft fleet: 517
    > Most common fighter jet: EF-18M/F/A-18A (72 aircraft)
  19. United Kingdom
    > Fighter jets in military: 145 (21.9% of total fleet)
    > Total military aircraft fleet: 663
    > Most common fighter jet: Eurofighter Typhoon (119 aircraft)
  20. Singapore
    > Fighter jets in military: 100 (22.1% of total fleet)
    > Total military aircraft fleet: 453
    > Most common fighter jet: F-16C/D (60 aircraft)

Our research has identified the 20 countries with the most powerful air forces. These air forces are an essential component of their defense strategies. Fighter aircraft, known for their advanced features and large numbers, are crucial to modern warfare and international safety. As countries strive for power in the ever-changing geopolitical landscape, fighter aircraft remain at the forefront of defense assets. This article emphasizes their critical role in determining the interplay of world geopolitics and military tactics and highlights their continued importance in an evolving environment.


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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - Special Reports - Ranked: Most powerful air forces in the World, 2024
Katherina Davis
Deputy News Editor at CEOWORLD Magazine. Covering money, work, and lifestyle stories. Covering issues of importance to public company nominating and corporate governance committees, including new director recruitment, board evaluations, onboarding, director compensation and overall corporate governance. More recently, I have joined the newsletters team, writing and editing some of the CEOWORLD Magazine's key reader emails.