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15 of the Fastest Fighter Jets in the World Ever Built

183 views | By Hangar.Flights | Last updated on November 28, 2021

Ever since men first took to the skies, the ability to fly faster and longer inspired continuous improvements in airframe and engine design. Fortunately, wartime necessities enabled rapid technological breakthroughs in materials science, engine, and airframe design, allowing combat pilots to fly at speeds previously thought to be harmful to the human body. Today, stealth technology and long-range air missiles have reduced the need for speed in the design of modern-day jet fighters.

We have compiled a list of 15 fighter aircraft that hold the record for flying faster, higher, and further than their counterparts. It is genuinely an epic list of great aircraft, from the lightning-fast interceptors of the cold war era to the advanced 21st-century tactical fighters produced in the United States, Europe, and China.

#15. Eurofighter Typhoon

#15 Eurofighter Typhoon - 15 of the Fastest Fighter Jets in the World

By Wikipedia user Guinnog – Eurofighter Typhoon (No 29 Squadron Typhoon F.2), Farnborough 2006.

  • Country of manufacture – UK, Germany, Italy, Spain
  • Speed – Mach 2 (2,385 kph/1,482 mph)
  • Introduction – 2003
  • Configuration – Twin engine, two-seater
  • Role – Multirole, Air superiority fighter
  • Service Ceiling – 19,812 m (65,000 ft)
  • Range – 2,900 km (1,800 mi/1,600 nmi)
  • Stealth – No
  • No Built – 571
  • Status – In service, In production

The Eurofighter Typhoon is a multinational combat aircraft manufactured by a group of European defense and aerospace companies. Flush from the success of deploying the Panavia Tornado combat aircraft program.

The UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain began the Future European Fighter Program in 1983. The result was a supersonic aircraft with an airframe design providing unparalleled levels of maneuverability, making it a worthy successor to the famous World War 2 era combat aircraft dogfighters. It is equipped with a pair of Eurojet EJ200 turbofan engines, producing 60 kN (13,000 lbf) of dry thrust per unit and 90 kN (20,000 lbf) with afterburners. The aircraft’s first combat deployment was in 2011.

It remains in active service with the UK’s Royal Air Force (RAF), the Italian Air Force (Aeronautica Militare), Austrian Air Force (Luftstreitkräfte), German Air Force (Luftwaffe), Spanish Air Force (Ejército del Aire), Kuwait Air Force, Qatar Emiri Air Force, Royal Air Force of Oman, and the Royal Saudi Air Force.

#14. Sukhoi SU-57 ‘Felon’

Sukhoi SU-57 'Felon' - 15 of the Fastest Fighter Jets in the World

By Anna Zvereva

  • Country of manufacture – Russia
  • Speed – Mach 2 (2,385 kph/1,482 mph)
  • Introduction – 2020
  • Configuration – Twin engine, single-seat
  • Role – Multirole fighter
  • Service Ceiling – 20,000 m (66,000 ft)
  • Range – 3,500 km (2,200 mi/1,900 nmi)
  • Stealth – Yes
  • No Built – 12
  • Status – In-service, in production

Codenamed “Felon” by NATO, the Sukhoi Su-57 is a Russian 5th generation multirole fighter. It is the country’s first stealth combat aircraft in a series of stealth fighter jets that will eventually replace the MiG-29 and Su-27 aircraft.

Designed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau, the SU-57 offers a lethal combination of aerial tactical combat alongside advanced avionics, radar systems, superior handling, and supercruise in a stealth airframe with lower operating costs than US-built 5th generation fighters. Power is supplied by two Saturn AL-41F1 producing 88.3 kN (19,840 lbf) of dry thrust, 142.2 kN (31,970 lbf) of thrust in afterburner, and 15 tonnes (147.1 kN, 33,070 lbf) of emergency thrust.

Several countries have expressed interest in purchasing the SU-57 for their Air Force. These include Algeria, Vietnam, and Iraq.

#13. Chengdu J-10

#13. Chengdu J-10 - 15 of the Fastest Fighter Jets in the World

By Peng Chen – China airforce J10

  • Country of manufacture – China
  • Speed – Mach 2.1 (2,505 kph/1,556 mph)
  • Introduction – 2005
  • Configuration – Single engine, single-seater
  • Role – Multirole fighter
  • Service Ceiling – 17,000 m (56,000 ft)
  • Range – 2,250 km (1,400 mi, 1,210 nmi)
  • Stealth – No
  • No Built – 468
  • Status – In service, in production

The Vigorous Dragon is not a copycat, no matter what you may see. This multi-role, all-weather fighter aircraft manufactured by the Chengdu Aircraft Cooperation is a war machine in its own right. Initially conceived as an air-to-air combat aircraft, the J-10 is capable of deep interdiction into enemy terrain. Also, fly-by-wire flight controls an unusual delta wing and canard set-up hint at serious performance and high agility at Mach 2 speeds.

The Vigorous Dragon is available in a single Saturn-Lyulka AL-31FN or Shenyang WS-10 turbofan engines with afterburners, delivering 79.43 kN (17,860 lbf) of dry thrust dry and 125 kN (28,000 lbf) with afterburner. Export variants of the J-10 are available to interested countries, with Pakistan confirming an order for 50 units.

#12. Dassault Mirage 2000

#12. Dassault Mirage 2000 - 15 of the Fastest Fighter Jets in the World

U.S. Air Force photo by SRA GREG L. DAVIS

  • Country of manufacture – France
  • Speed – Mach 2.2 (2,624 kph/1,630 mph)
  • Introduction – 1984
  • Configuration – Single engine, single/two-seater
  • Role – Multirole fighter aircraft
  • Service Ceiling – 17,060 m (55,970 ft)
  • Range – 1,550 km (960 mi/840 nmi)
  • Stealth – No
  • No Built – 601
  • Status – In-service

The Dassault Mirage 2000 is a 4th generation fighter jet manufactured by Dassault Aviation, France. It was designed as a single-engine lightweight successor for the Mirage III.

Power is supplied by a single M53 power plant which is available in two versions. The M53-P2 engine produces 65 kN (15,000 lbf) of dry thrust and 95 kN (21,000 lbf) with an afterburner. The M53-5 engine (fitted to earlier production aircraft) delivered 88 kN (20,000 lbf) thrust with an afterburner.

The Mirage 2000 and its all-weather multirole variants’ largest operators are the French (Armée de l’air) and Indian Airforce (IAF). Other export countries include the United Arab Emirates, Peru, Greece, Taiwan, and Qatar.

#11. F-15E Strike Eagle

#11. F-15E Strike Eagle - 15 of the Fastest Fighter Jets in the World

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Sean Carnes

  • Country of manufacture – United States
  • Speed – Mach 2.2 (2,624 kph/1,630 mph)
  • Introduction – 1988
  • Configuration – Twin Engine, two-seater
  • Role – Multirole, Enhanced Tactical Fighter
  • Service Ceiling – 18,000 m (60,000 ft)
  • Range – 3,900 km (2,400 mi/2,100 nmi)
  • Stealth – Limited
  • No Built – 513
  • Status – In service, in production

It was derived from the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle. The F-15E Strike Eagle is an advanced all-weather multirole and ground attack fighter conceived as a direct replacement for the F-111 Aardvark and built by McDonnell Douglas Boeing Defense, Space & Security.

The F-15E primary purpose was to perform solo, high-speed interdiction missions deep into enemy territory without fighter escort or jamming by supporting electronic-warfare aircraft. It entered service with the 405th Tactical Training Wing, Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, in April 1988. And it has been exported to Israel, South Korea, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore.

#10. Mikoyan MIG-29 ‘Fulcrum’

#10. Mikoyan MIG-29 'Fulcrum' - 15 of the Fastest Fighter Jets in the World

By Coert van Breda – Koksijde (Belgium) Airshow 2005

  • Country of manufacture – Soviet Union
  • Speed – Mach 2.25 (2,683 kph/1,667 mph)
  • Introduction – 1982
  • Configuration – Twin engine, one seater
  • Role – Multirole, Air superiority fighter
  • Service Ceiling – 18,000 m (59,000 ft)
  • Range – 1,430 km (890 mi/770 nmi)
  • Stealth – No
  • No Built – Over 1,600
  • Status – In service, in production

The Mikoyan MiG-29 (Микоян МиГ-29) is an air superiority fighter designed and developed in the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War by the Mikoyan design bureau and The Russian aerodynamics institute (TAG). It was created in response to the threat posed by the United States F-15 Eagle and the F-16 Fighting Falcon.

The MIG-29 is capable of Mach 2+speeds, short-runway take-off-and-landing, and superb maneuverability. It is powered by a pair of Klimov RD-33 turbofan engines, each delivering 50.0 kN (11,200 lbf) dry and 81.3 kN (18,300 lbf) afterburner.

Today, the MIG-29 fighter is produced by the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), and it is exported to more than 30 countries, including Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Poland, India, Libya, Peru, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, and the United States.

#9. Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor

#9. Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor - 15 of the Fastest Fighter Jets in the World

By Tech. Sgt. Phil Landram

  • Country of manufacture – United States
  • Speed – Mach 2.25 (2,683 kph/1,667 mph)
  • Introduction – 2005
  • Configuration – Twin engine, single-seat
  • Role – Advanced stealth tactical fighter
  • Service Ceiling – 20,000 m (65,000 ft)
  • Range – 3,000 km (1,800 mi, 1,600 nmi)
  • Stealth – Yes
  • No Built – 195
  • Status – In-service

This bird is built for the gods. Very few warplanes can conjure similar levels of awe, respect, and dread generated by the F-22 Raptor. The aircraft is manufactured by Lockheed Martin Aerospace (now Boeing), primarily for the United States Air Force, which remains its only user.

The F-22 Raptor is a 5th generation all-weather, stealth tactical fighter aircraft. It combines its primary role as an air superiority fighter with interdiction (ground attack), electronic warfare, and signals intelligence capabilities. This beast is powered by a pair of fire-breathing Pratt & Whitney F119-PW-100 augmented turbofans, generating 116kN (each delivering 116 kN (26,000 lbf) dry ) of dry thrust and 156 kN and 35,000 lbf) thrust with afterburner.

The F-22 contains so much good stuff that the United States Congress banned Lockheed Martin export from exporting the aircraft to protect its valuable stealth technology and other top-secret features.

#8. English Electric Lightning

#8. English Electric Lightning - 15 of the Fastest Fighter Jets in the World

By Adrian Pingstone – Farnborough Air Show

  • Country of manufacture – England
  • Speed – Mach 2.27 (2,803 kph/1,742 mph)
  • Introduction – 1960
  • Configuration – Twin engine,
  • Role – Interceptor, General Purpose Fighter (GPF)
  • Service Ceiling – (18,000–20,000 m (60,000–65,000 ft)
  • Range – 1,367 km (849 mi, 738 nmi )
  • Stealth – No
  • No Built – 337
  • Status – Retired (1988)

The English Electric Lightning is the only UK-built fighter capable of Mach 2 speeds, and it served as an interceptor during the Cold war. It was developed and manufactured by English Electric (later British Aircraft Corporation, which markets the aircraft as the BAC Lightning). Its primary role was to defend the Royal Air Force (RAF) nuclear-armed strategic bombers (‘V’ bombers) from preemptive strikes by Soviet Union supersonic bombers.

The English Electric Lightning is fitted with a pair of Rolls-Royce Avon turbojet engines to achieve its mission. The airframe has a wing sweep of 60°, allowing the aircraft to rotate into an almost vertical climb from take-off rapidly. And it can reach an altitude of 36,000 ft (11,000 m) in less than three minutes, one of the fastest climb rates of any combat aircraft.

Military operators include Kuwait Air Force, Royal Saudi Airforce, Royal Airforce RAF Users Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait

#7. Convair F-106 ‘Delta Dart’

#7. Convair F-106 'Delta Dart' - 15 of the Fastest Fighter Jets in the World

By US Air Force

  • Country of manufacture – USA
  • Speed – Mach 2,3 (2,743 kph/1,704 mph)
  • Introduction – 1956
  • Configuration – Single engine/one seater
  • Role – Fighter-Interceptor
  • Service Ceiling – 17,000 m (57,000 ft)
  • Range – 4,345 km (2,700 mi, 2,346 nmi)
  • Stealth – No
  • No Built – 342
  • Status – Retired (1988)

The F-106 is a one-of-a-kind aircraft designed as an all-weather interceptor, equipped with enough firepower and speed to shoot down Soviet bombers quickly and in large numbers. This no-frills jet fighter is powered by a single but potent Pratt & Whitney J75-P-17 after-burning turbojet engine, delivering 72 kN (16,100 lbf) dry thrust and 109 kN (24,500 lbf) with an afterburner. Fifties era interceptors are no joke, and when the need for a high-performance Full Scaled Aerial Target Drone arose.

Several retired ‘Delta Darts’ were converted into target drones (QF-106A) and used as target practice vehicles. The only military operator of the F-106 is the United States Airforce (USAAF)

#6. Grumman F-14 Tomcat

#6. Grumman F-14 Tomcat - 15 of the Fastest Fighter Jets in the World

U.S. Navy photo

  • Country of manufacture – United States
  • Speed – Mach 2.34 (2,790 kph/1,731 mph)
  • Introduction – 1974
  • Configuration – Twin Engine, two-seat
  • Role – Long-range interceptor, multirole, air superiority fighter
  • Service Ceiling – 16,000 m (53,0000 ft)
  • Range – 3,000 km (1,800 mi, 1,600 nmi)
  • Stealth – No
  • No Built – 712
  • Status – In-service (Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force)

It was made famous by the famous movie ‘Top Gun’ starring Tom Cruise. The Grumman Aerospace Corporation developed the F-14 Tomcat as the U.S. The Navy’s main maritime air superiority fighter, fleet defense interceptor, and tactical aerial reconnaissance aircraft until its retirement.

Two engine options powered it; a pair of Pratt & Whitney TF30 (or JTF10A) augmented turbofan engines rated for a maximum speed of Mach 2.34. And two General Electric F110-GE-400 afterburning turbofans, 16,610 lbf (73.9 kN), thrust each dry, 28,200 lbf (125 kN) with afterburners. These powerful engine options and variable-geometry wings made the F-14 Tomcat capable of speeds exceeding Mach 3.

Iranian F-14s have remained in service almost half a century after production flying escort for Russian Tupolev Tu-95, Tu-160, and Tu-22M bombers on airstrikes in Syria.

#5. Sukhoi Su-27 ‘Flanker’

#5. Sukhoi Su-27 'Flanker' - 15 of the Fastest Fighter Jets in the World

By Dmitriy Pichugin

  • Country of manufacture – Soviet Union
  • Speed – Mach 2.35 (2,803 kph/1,741 mph)
  • Introduction – 1985
  • Configuration – Twin engine, single or two-seater
  • Role – Multirole, Air superiority tactical fighter
  • Service Ceiling – 19,000 m (62,000 ft)
  • Range – 3,530 km (2,190 mi, 1,910 nmi)
  • Stealth – No
  • No Built – 680
  • Status – In-service

Codenamed ‘Flanker-A’ by NATO observers, the SU-27 was developed by Sukhoi Design Bureau to neutralize the threat posed by the United States advanced tactical fighters. The SU-27 was designed from scratch to be an air superiority fighter jet with an interceptor and extended range escort capabilities.

Power is provided by twin Saturn AL-31F after-burning turbofan engines, each delivering 75.22 kN (16,910 lbf) of dry thrust and 122.6 kN (27,600 lbf) with an afterburner.

Variants of the Su-27 design have been exported to China, Vietnam, Ethiopia, and Indonesia.

#4. F-111 Aardvark

#4. F-111 Aardvark - 15 of the Fastest Fighter Jets in the World

  • Country of manufacture – United States
  • Speed – Mach 2.5 (2,982 kph/1,853 mph)
  • Introduction – 1967
  • Configuration – Twin engine, two-seater
  • Role – Multirole fighter bomber
  • Service Ceiling – 20,000 m (66,000 ft)
  • Range – 5,940 km (3,690 mi/3,210 nmi)
  • Stealth – No
  • No Built – 563
  • Status – Retired (2010)

Produced for the United States Airforce (USSAF) by General Dynamics, the F-111 Aardvark (and its variants) is the first actual multirole supersonic combat aircraft with all-weather capability and suited for low-level interdiction (ground attack), aerial reconnaissance, electronic warfare, and strategic nuclear bombing missions. In other words, this is a killer airplane.

Other notable pioneering technologies introduced in the F-111 include variable-sweep wings (a first for a production combat aircraft) for better top speed performance and a turbofan afterburner engine. Power is provided by twin Pratt & Whitney TF30-P-100 after-burning turbofan engines, each delivering 80 kN (17,900 lbf) thrust dry and 112 kN (25,100 lbf) with an afterburner.

The F-111 Aardvark operators include the United States Air Force (USAF) and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).

#3. McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle

#3. McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle - 15 of the Fastest Fighter Jets in the World

By Tech. Sgt. Brad Fallin, U.S. Air Force

  • Country of manufacture – United States
  • Speed – Mach 2.5 (2,982 kph/1,853 mph)
  • Introduction – 1976
  • Configuration – Twin Engine, single-seat
  • Role – Air superiority fighter
  • Service Ceiling – 20,000 m (65,000 ft)
  • Range – 5,600 km (3,500 mi, 3,000 nmi)
  • Stealth – No
  • No Built – 1,198
  • Status – In-service, in production

You can not shoot this bird out of the sky, and every Third World MIG and their lesser cousins have tried with fatal consequences. The McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle is arguably the most successful jet fighter ever made. It is a genuine all-weather, multi-role air superiority fighter with a highly accomplished career serving in numerous wars and campaigns. To date, the F-15 remains the only fighter aircraft with zero losses in aerial combat.

It is powered by a pair of Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-220 after-burning turbofans, developing 14,590 lbf (64.9 kN) dry thrust per unit and 23,770 lbf (105.7 kN) with an afterburner. Both engines’ combined dynamic thrust output is so high that the F-15 can enter a vertical climb from take-off.

The F-15 Eagle is produced in several variants exported to several countries, including Japan, Saudi Arabia, and Israel.

#2. Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-31 “Foxhound”

#2. Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-31 "Foxhound" - 15 of the Fastest Fighter Jets in the World

  • Country of manufacture – Soviet Union
  • Speed – Mach 2.83+ (3,375 kph/2,097 mph)
  • Introduction – 1981
  • Configuration – Twin Engine, two-seater
  • Role – Supersonic Interceptor
  • Service Ceiling – 25,000 m (82,000 ft)
  • Range – 3,000 km (1,900 mi, 1,600 nmi)
  • Stealth – No
  • No Built – 519
  • Status – In-service

Early spy reports that the Soviet Union was developing a ‘SUPER FOXBAT’ caused mass hysteria in the west for a good reason. Although sporting a similar design look with the MiG-25 FOXBAT. The Mikoyan MiG-31 (NATO code name: Foxhound) is a supersonic interceptor aircraft with a much stronger, all-new airframe designed to operate flawlessly at low-altitude airspeeds exceeding Mach 3. Designed by the Mikoyan Design Bureau, the MIG-31 is one of the fastest combat aircraft globally.

It is powered by a pair of Soloviev D-30F6 afterburning turbofan engines, producing 93 kN (21,000 lbf) of dry thrust and 152 kN (34,000 lbf) with an afterburner, for a top speed of Mach 1.23 at low altitude and an absolute high-altitude speed exceeding Mach 3 under exceptional circumstances.

It is currently in service with the Russian Air Force and the Kazakhstan Air Force.

#1. Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25 “Foxbat”

#1. Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25 "Foxbat" - 15 of the Fastest Fighter Jets in the World

By Leonid Faerberg

  • Country of manufacture – Soviet Union
  • Speed – Mach 3 (3,375 kph/2,097 mph)
  • Introduction – 1970
  • Configuration – Twin Engine, single-seat
  • Role – Interceptor
  • Service Ceiling – 20,700 m (67,900 ft)
  • Range – 1,630 km (1,013 mi, 1,000 nmi)
  • Stealth – No
  • No Built – 1,186
  • Status – In limited service

This plane terrified the west for decades until the end of the cold war. The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25, code-named FOXBAT by NATO, is the fastest supersonic interceptor and reconnaissance combat airplane to enter military service. It was the last plane designed by the legendary Mikhail Gurevich before his retirement.

The MIG-25 is powered by two Tumansky R-15B-300 after-burning turbojet engines, each producing 73.5 kN (16,500 lbf) of dry thrust and 100.1 kN (22,500 lbf) with an afterburner to provide the MIG-25 with the fastest climb rate of any aircraft. It can intercept the famed and equally fast Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird spy plane at an altitude of 19,000 ft. The Soviet MIG-25 deployment sent US generals on a mad but futile scramble for a worthy adversary. None existed.