Air superiority fighter

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An F-14A Tomcat from the USS Nimitz (CVN-68) during Operation Southern Watch in 1997.

An air superiority fighter is a fighter airplane. They are designed for close combat in the air against enemy fighters. This type of aircraft is very expensive Less of them are made than other types of fighters.

During World War II and the Korean War, fighters were divided by their roles. These roles included heavy fighter, interceptor, escort fighter and night fighter. When guided missiles were invented in the 1950s, new fighters were designed and made in two different kinds:

  • Aircraft designed for fighting beyond the visual range (BVR) of the pilot. This kind of fighter is called an interceptor. They are not very common in modern militaries. This is because they were not the best designs available as technology got better. They often did not have a gun They also had poor maneuverability. This was because they were not designed to get in a dogfight with the enemy fighters. This kind of fighter has long range air-to-air missiles and a very strong radar. An example of an interceptor is the F-4 Phantom
  • Aircraft designed for fighting within visual range are dogfighters. This kind of fighter has weapons such as guns and short range missiles for close combat. This kind of fighter has a very good maneuverability. These aircraft are also not very common anymore. This is because advancements in technology made long-range air-to-air missiles better for combat. An example of a dogfighter is the F-5 Tiger.
  • Aircraft designed to fight in both beyond visual range and within visual range. These aircraft are the most common fighters today. They have both long and short range missiles,. They also have a powerful cannon. They are often very maneuverable. An example of this type of fighter is the F-22 Raptor.

Examples of air superiority fighters[change | change source]

Country Aircraft examples
United States

Related pages[change | change source]

Notes[change | change source]

  1. History Channel Website article. During the 1960s, the Mirage III was the basic air superiority fighter of the Israeli air force.
  2. "Making the Best of the Fighter Force". Archived from the original on 2008-09-15. Retrieved 2013-06-05.