Jet fighters have crossed many generations, which have different historical leaps, and have also faced various other authorities in their classifications. Therefore, the aircraft generation notion is applied only to jets rather than the other propeller differences in the 1990s.
Since then, many leap fragging improvements have been made in fighter jets through significant advances in the following:
- Aircraft design
- Weapon systems
- Aircraft body
The generation shift in fighter jets and aircraft occurs with different technological innovation, most of which is impossible to integrate into present-day aircraft.
In this article, we have listed the five different generations of fighter jets that you should take a look at!
First-generation subsonic fighter jets
This was introduced first from the mid-1940s to the mid-1950s, which were named MiG-15, MiG-17, and F-86. They all consisted of a basic aviation system without proper protection and countermeasures. These jets were also armed with many cannons, guns, different types of bombs, and rockets. One of the essential characteristics of the jet was that it lacked burners. In addition, they operated in the subsonic regime.
Second-generation fighter jets
These jets were introduced for air-to-air radar between the mid-1950s and the early 1960s, guided by infrared and semi-active missiles. They also had specific radar receivers like F-5, MiG-21, and many others. Compared to the first-generation jets, these had incorporated machine design advances, allowing them to fly at supersonic speeds but at flight levels. During this period, radar-guided missiles were introduced to extend to engagement ranges.
Third-generation fighter jets
Jets of this generation from the early 1960s to 1970 witnessed different types of significant improvements in their avionic suits and weapon systems. They also introduced the first type of multi-role fighters, like MiG-23, Mirage III, and many more, which had the ability to switch and swing roles.
During the late 1980s and early 90s, the half-generation increment stemmed from the vast military needs, which also restricted aircraft development. As a result, modifications were made to the existing ones. For example, the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet is one of the best examples of the 4.5 generation fighter, which is the first to be modified from the 4th generation fighter jets. In some places, these 4.5 and 4th generation fighter jets are still in use.
Fifth-generation fighter jets
These were developed and manufactured in 2005 and are still undergoing in the present. Among others, the F-22 Raptor was the first introduced as the next-generation fighter jet, a common variant for Russia and India. The fifth generation shows a highly developed quantum improvement, leading to sustainability and helping in achieving more incredible generational changer, which is also a part of almost all fifth-generational aircraft designs. These fighter jets and aircraft allow the divers to maintain battlespace dominance and adequate lethality.