Fighter Planes

Fighter Planes


A fighter aircraft is a military aircraft designed primarily for air-to-air combat with other aircraft, as opposed to a bomber, which is designed primarily to attack ground targets by dropping bombs. The hallmarks of a fighter are its small size, speed and maneuverability.
Many fighters have secondary ground-attack capabilities, and some are dual-roled as fighter-bombers. Consequently, the term "fighter" is sometimes extended colloquially to include dedicated ground-attack aircraft.
Fighters are the primary means by which armed forces gain air superiority over their opponents in battle. Since at least World War II, achieving and maintaining this air superiority has been a key component of victory in warfare, particularly conventional warfare, between regular armies (as opposed toguerrilla warfare). The purchase, training and maintenance of a fighter fleet therefore consumes a substantial proportion of the defense budgets of modern armed forces.


Royal Flying Corps recruiting poster
The word "fighter" did not become the official English term for such aircraft until after World War I. In Great Britain's Royal Flying Corps – later the Royal Air Force – these aircraft continued to be referred to as "scouts" into the early 1920s. The U.S. Army called their fighters "pursuit" aircraft (reflected by their designation in the "P" series) from 1916 until the late 1940s. In the French, Portuguese and German languages the term used (and still in use) for fighters literally means "hunter". This lead has been followed in most other languages, an exception being Russian, in which the fighter is called "истребитель" (pronounced "istrebitel"), meaning "exterminator".

Examples of jet fighter aircraft, sorted by time, country and role
Although the term "fighter" technically refers to aircraft designed to shoot down other aircraft, such...

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