Airforce is the military branch of a country that primarily conducts aerial warfare. Specifically, it is the branch of a nation’s armed services that is responsible for aerial warfare as distinct from an army, navy, or marine corps. Air forces normally consist of a combination of bombers, fighters, transport planes, helicopters, and other aircraft. Air forces are majorly responsible for operations of the military space, intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), and communications equipment. Air forces in some countries have the right to command and control other air defense assets such as anti-aircraft artillery, surface-to-air missiles, or anti-ballistic missile warning networks and defensive systems.
So have you ever wondered which set of countries has the best Air Forces in the world?
Pilots are not the only professionals that compose the Air forces, but also rely on a significant amount of support from other personnel to operate. Intelligence, logistics, security, special operations, cyberspace maintenance, support, weapons loaders, and many other specialties are required by all air forces.
In this modern time, the strength of a nation is judged by how strong its armed forces are. The stronger the force, the more secure and safe the country feels from its opponent or enemies. It is not easy to come up with the list of countries with the best air force, as every country has its own specialized force according to its need and the budget available to modernize it.
Top 10 Best Air Forces in The World 2020
Once known as the United States Army Airforce USAAR, the United States Air-force USAF comes in at number one on our list. This is the largest and strongest Airforce on planet Earth with any calculations at all. With 321,444 active-duty Airmen, 141,880 Civilian volunteers, and 62,200 men on reserve, with another 105,700 in the Air Guard, the United States Air-force is, without doubt, the largest airborne army in the world. They also have 5,047 manned Air crafts, 406 air-crafts piloted remotely, and 170 satellites in orbit.
They have 947 F-16 fourth-generation fighter jets in their fleet, Apache Helicopter Gunships, Boeing CH-47 Chinook transport Helicopters, Sikorsky Ch-54 (Heavy lift) Helicopters, Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptors, and the most technologically advanced fighter jets in the world; the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II.
The U.S has the most number of fifth-generation fighter jets in the world. They have 266, which is far more than its closest rivals Russia and China.
The USAF also has the biggest financial backing of all the Air-forces in the World, they have spent an estimated 1.508 trillion United States Dollars developing a single aircraft type.
With a total Aircraft strength of 3,794, the Russian Air-force comes in at number 2. The Russians are not jokers in Aeronautics- they first took to the skies as far back as 1912 with the Imperial Russian Air Service. They later renamed their Air-force the Soviet Air-force, but after the Soviet Union broke down the Russian Air-force (RAF) came into official use in 1992. Recently the Russian Airforce has been merged with the Russian Aerospace Defense Force to give a bigger, more robust mechanism that can stand up to rivals around the world-most notably NATO.
The Russian Air-force boasts impressive numbers when it comes to multi-role fighters, transport aircraft, and attack helicopters including bombers. Noteworthy is the fact that all Russian Aircraft are (as a matter of policy) built within the borders of the Russian Federation. In its fleet, the Russian Air-force boasts the new fifth-generation fighter jets Sukhoi Su- 57 which is a stealth multi-role fighter jet. It is state of the art and planned for introduction in the closing stages of 2019.
People’s Liberation Army Air Force (Chinese Air-force)
Third, on our list of the best air forces in the world, With an aircraft strength of 2,955 the Chinese Air-force -officially the People’s Liberation Army Air-force (PLAAF) comes in next. This military organization was formed in 1947, which is just a few years before the official forming of the People’s republic of China.
With such a long presence in the air, the People’s Liberation Army Air-force has gone through a lot of changes, and lengthy periods of development, cumulating in the PLAAf becoming one of the most advanced and prepared Air-forces in the World.
China boasts in its fleet fifth-generation fighter jets Chengdu J-20 and Shenyang FC-31, and also notable fighter jets like J-10, J-11, and J-16. For those times when constant fire instead of stealth is required, there are attack Helicopters such as Z-10 and Z-18. While All the above-mentioned hardware is designed and developed in China, the PLAAF also has among its fleet Russian made Warcraft such as the Su-30 and the Su-35.
The Royal Airforce which is the aerial combat arm of the British Army comes next on our list of the best air forces in the world. There are 33,840 active personnel, 832 Operational Aircraft in their fleet, and also 2,220 reserve personnel on standby.
The Royal Airforce (RAF) was officially formed after the conclusion of the first world war in 1918. This is the first independent Airforce in the world and has proven itself in combat efficiency as far back as the second world war during which it led the Allied Forces into the bombardment of Germany.
For Transport, they have the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III, BAE 146 CC.2/C.3, Airbus Voyager KC.2/KC.3, Airbus A400M Atlas C.1. For training activities, they have air-crafts like BAE Hawk T.1/T.2, Beechcraft Super King Air and Typhoon T.3. For Reconnaissance and patrol duties they have Beechcraft Shadow R.1, Boeing E-3D Sentry AEW.1, and Boeing RC-135W, among others.
For Attack and destruction, they have fear-inspiring fourth and fifth-generation fighter jets like the Lockheed F-35B Lightning, Eurofighter Typhoon, General Atomics MQ-9B Protector RG.1.
The French Air-force – Armée de l’air – is the aerial combat division of the French Armed Forces. It’s founded as an independent department, dated 1934. The ‘Armee del’ air’ (which translates to Army of the Air) has proven itself in combat efficiency during the War Against Terrorism as well as during combat missions to fight totalitarianism in parts of Africa. The French Airforce also partakes in regular reconnaissance as well as border patrol missions.
There are about 656 Aircraft in its fleet, and the French are known to constantly pursue excellence in technological advancements. The French are known to have in their fleet the Dassault Rafale, which is a fifth-generation fighter jet, fully fitted with stealth attack capabilities, as well as air to ground attack abilities. The French Dassault Rafale is a multi- Role fighter jet- one of the finest in the world.
In the post-World War 2 era, the French made a successful effort to develop a domestic aircraft industry. During the Gulf war, the French Airforce (Armee de l’air) showed or better put demonstrated its prowess during the Gulf War, becoming one of the most popular jet fighters of its day, with a high quality of performance in the battlefields.
Turkish Air Force come into existence after the creation of the Republic of Turkey, the Turkish Air Force was formed in 1911 by Ottoman Empire. This is one of the best-emerging Air-forces in the world. The Turkish Air-force is the aerial arm of the Turkish Armed Forces and is one of their proudest and oldest (founded prior to 1911) organizations. With a yearly budget of about 45 billion dollars, The Turkish Airforce is quite well funded.
There are over 668 air-crafts in their fleet, and this number includes brand new state of the art Lockheed F-35 Lightning II multi-role fighter jets- the most fearsome killing machines in the sky today. They also have Heavy Lifting Helicopters in their fleet.
There are about 60,000 people who call the Turkish Air-force home, and this Armed Force has proven itself in combat during the Korean war, and many other occasions.
Owing to the fact that Pakistan has not done very well on the diplomatic front Pakistan has had to prepare itself for acts of aggression from its hostile neighbours. Therefore Pakistan has invested heavily in its armed forces, particularly its Air-force.
In its fleet, there are 1,342 Air-crafts which include F-16, and their flagship jet fighter the JF-17 Thunder which was originally built in conjunction with the Chinese Air-force, but later modified by Pakistani engineers. There are also helicopters such as the Alouette III, and the Mi-171 which are used primarily as attack helicopters. For reconnaissance, there are Mirage IIIRP, Falco UAV, and Jasoos II Bravo – attack fighter jets.
As far as personnel is concerned the Pakistani Air-force has one of the largest, with about 70,000 active personnel and another 8,000 on reserve.
The Indian Air-force comes in next on our list. This another one of the Armed Forces that are in near-constant action, and in a perpetual state of alertness because India is not a very peaceful country especially as it regards their hostile neighbour Pakistan.
The Indian Air-force, which is the aerial combat arm of the Indian Army was founded in 1932. This is the 4th largest Air-force in the world when we count their 1700 aircraft, 900 of which are classified as combat aircraft. There are 139,576 active personnel, which is one of the largest in terms of active personnel.
They have transport aircraft like C-130J, C-17 Globe-master III, and CH-47F (I) Chinook, as well as Boeing 737. For pilot training, they have Hawk Mk 132, HJT-16 Kiran, Pilatus C-7 Mk II. For Reconnaissance missions, they have Searcher II, and Heron (s) The Indian Air-force have attack helicopters like Apache AH-64E, CH-47 Chinook, HAL Light Combat Helicopters as well as other helicopters like Dhruv, Chetak, Cheetah, Mi-8, Mi-17, Mi-26. The Indian Air-force boasts fourth and fifth-generation attack fighter jets like Su-30MKI, Mirage 2000, MiG-29, MiG-21, HAL Tejas.
The Australian Air-force which is officially called the Royal Australian Air-force is the aerial combat division of the Australian Armed Forces. One of the smaller forces in terms of numbers, the Royal Australian Air-force was formed in 1921 as an offshoot of the (British) Royal Air-force. They have about 259 air-crafts in their fleet, and from that number about 110 crafts are classified as combat air-crafts.
With their headquarters in Canberra, the Australian Air-force has 14,120 active personnel and 4,273 personnel on reserve. This is one of the most respected Air-forces in the world and have proven themselves World War I, World War II, Berlin Airlift missions, the Korean War, Vietnam War, War in Afghanistan, Iraq War, and the Military intervention against ISIS.
They have as transport air-crafts C-130 Hercules, C-17 Globemaster III, Boeing 737, B300, Challenger 600, Airbus A330 MRTT, C-27J Spartan. They have for training activities PC-9, PC-21, Hawk 127, and B300. For patrol and reconnaissance missions they have AP-3c Orion, P8-A Poseidon. The Royal Australian Air-force has for combat and attack missions fourth and fifth-generation fighter jets like F/F-18 Hornets, F/A-18F Super Hornet, and Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II- which is the most fearsome killing machine in the skies at the moment.
Japan Air Self- Defense Force
This is the aerial warfare branch of the Japan Self Defense Forces, and as the name implies they are responsible for the defense of Japan- the case of the Japan Air Self Defense Force to defend Japan’s airspace. The JASDF carries out regular flight patrols around Japan’s borders while maintaining a network of early-warning radar systems. As far as combat is concerned they have only provided air transport in UN Peacekeeping missions.
This force was founded in 1954 (the preceding Japanese Air-force surrendered after World War II) There are 50,324 personnel in active service to the Japan Air Self- Defense Force, while they have 777 aircraft in their fleet.
They have transport air-crafts like C-1, C-2, KC-767J, C-130H, Boeing 747-400, and Boeing 777-300ER. They have Helicopters UH-60J, CH-47J, they have fourth and fifth-generation fighter jets like F-EJ, F-15J/DJ, F-2, F-35A.
JASDF support command is in charge of the weather, rescue, monitoring, control inspection, and transportation, and the Air training command are in-charge of the basic technical and flying training. Also, air-development and test command are responsible for the development and research of equipment, research on flight medicine, and development.
The role of the air force is
- To protect its country from any type of air attack and also make air attacks on other countries during wars.
- Air forces are responsible for carrying out strategic and tactical bombing missions, providing support to land and naval forces, and gaining control of the air.
What makes an Air-force powerful? That should be 3 major things:
- The levels of technological advancement it has to boast of within its fleet.
- Because one or two highly advanced air crafts will not be enough to make an Air-force powerful the fleet has to be quite sizeable.
- Even if an air-force has 1 million highly developed air-crafts in its fleet, they still need well-trained personnel to man the air-crafts, and to turn potential into raw power.
And why should any country bother with building a fearsome Airforce? In both defensive and offensive operations it is quite important to have the ability to support ground troops from above, as your abilities on the ground may not be enough to win battles, and guarantee the integrity of your borders.
Having said all that, the purpose of this post is to highlight the countries that have put in the effort to build their air-forces into major forces worthy of note in this world.
Here you have the list of the top ten best air force in the world. They are advancing and improving daily. Some, if not all of the countries listed above are still researching to produce more sophisticated fighter crafts that no other has, preparing and fortifying themselves against present or future attacks from an enemy.
Tag: world best Air forces in the world.