Despite the fact that the military-industrial complex is actively and continuously developing in all corners of the planet, certain types of military equipment can be in service with different countries of the world for decades, also in huge quantities. The reasons can be very different: from satisfactory technical characteristics or ease of production to ease of operation or operating experience in full-fledged combat operations. Military aviation is also subject to this trend. To your attention, the "five" of the most massive combat aircraft, which are currently in service with the armies of the world.
1. F-5 Freedom Fighter
The F-5 Freedom Fighter is a twin-engine supersonic combat aircraft whose primary mission is to attack ground targets. Two modifications - the F-5A fighter and the F-5B trainer aircraft - are part of the US Military Assistance Program. Therefore, it is the F-5 Freedom Fighter that is actively supplied as a modern low-cost combat aircraft for service in European and Asian countries that are allies of the United States.
Su-24 can rightfully be called a legendary aircraft developed in the Soviet Union. This supersonic vehicle is a front-line bomber capable of successfully performing combat missions in all weather conditions. In addition, the Su-24 was the first aircraft in the Soviet Union with an integrated digital navigation and attack system. To date, the bomber continues to be in service with the Air Forces of the Russian Federation, Syria, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, as well as several countries that have signed export contracts with the USSR.
3. Chengdu J-7
The case when the replica turned out to be no worse than the original. The Chengdu J-7 is a Chinese licensed version of the famous Soviet MiG-21 supersonic jet fighter. The production and release of aircraft lasted almost half a century - from 1965 to 2013 - so it is not surprising that their number is simply enormous. Chengdu J-7 today continues to be in service as an interceptor aircraft in the air forces of a number of states, even in the Air Force of the People's Liberation Army.
Another legendary domestic aircraft, which is known literally in all corners of the world. The Su-25 is a subsonic armored attack aircraft, which also has a couple of well-known nicknames - known as "Rook" or "Ladya". He is an example of an aircraft that does not possess modern technologies, but this absolutely does not prevent him from being widely used throughout the planet. This is because the Su-25 remains a relatively inexpensive and effective method of destroying ground targets from the air. The popularity of the Su-25 does not subside today: it is regularly upgraded so that the attack aircraft can keep up with the times.
5. Eurofighter Typhoon
The Eurofighter Typhoon is a maneuverable fourth generation fighter that remains a highly effective way to dominate aerial combat. The aircraft began to be developed in 1983 as part of the Future European Fighter Aircraft program, that is, it is a product of cooperation between Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Spain, but after a while France withdrew from the agreement. The first demonstration flight of the modified Eurofighter took place on March 27, 1994. And only a year and a half later, in September 1998, the liner was named Typhoon. To date, about a thousand aircraft have been produced, which, in addition to the countries participating in the agreement, are also supplied to the states of the Middle East and Southern Europe.
Continuing the theme: sooner or later even the most massive planes end up in one place - The last shelter: how they deal with decommissioned planes, where they are taken