The 26 Military Aircraft of the Future

As aircraft technology continues to advance, countries find themselves vigorously seeking out cutting-edge aircraft to ensure their combat readiness and tactical advantage. Militaries continue to restock their fleets with the latest iterations of fighter jets and combat helicopters to maintain air superiority

To identify the military aircraft of the future, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed what militaries across the world are ordering this year from the report, 2023 World Air Forces by FlightGlobal, an aviation and aerospace industry website. Aircraft were ranked by the number of units on order across all 163 countries reporting to FlightGlobal. Orders include both firm order and those with and letters

of intent or options. Supplemental data regarding the type of aircraft, how many are in active service, and notable countries that utilize these aircraft came from FlightGlobal.

Currently, the F-35 Lightning II emerges as the military aircraft with the most units on order at 2,758. Produced by Lockheed Martin, the F-35 is a multirole, stealth combat aircraft that boasts an array of capabilities, including advanced sensor package, internal and external weapons, and interoperability. Geopolitical conditions, combined with its advanced features, have driven demand for the F-35. (These are the top 10 most used fighter jets in the world.)

Various models of the F-35 have been purchased and ordered by a global network of partners, including the U.S., U.K., Italy, Netherlands, Australia, Norway, Denmark, Canada, and others. However, controversy over cost overruns, delivery delays, and performance questions mean that future orders can fluctuate significantly.

While compared to the F-35 relatively few B-21 Raiders are on order, at 100, this long-range stealth bomber by Northrop Grumman may be one of the most anticipated aircraft on order. Aimed at replacing the aging B-1 and B-2 aircraft, the B-21 is set to eclipse these popular bombers on all fronts, especially technologically. However, the timeline for the actual rollout for the B-21 is unclear.

It is worth pointing out that a majority of the aircraft on this list, especially those near the top of the list, are from U.S.-based manufacturers. As such, they tend to be distributed among allies of the United States. Russian-made aircraft, meanwhile, tend to go to its allies. (These are the largest air forces in the world.)

Here is a look at the aircraft of the future.

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