Fixed Wing Aircraft
The F-16 Fighting Falcon is a compact, multi-role fighter aircraft. It is highly maneuverable and has proven itself in air-to-air combat and air-to-surface attack. It provides a relatively low-cost, high-performance weapon system for the United States and allied nations.
The F-15 Eagle is an all-weather, extremely maneuverable, tactical fighter designed to permit the Air Force to gain and maintain air supremacy over the battlefield, while the F-15E Strike Eagle is a dual-role fighter designed to perform air-to-air and air-to-ground missions.
The A-10 Thunderbolt II is the primary ground support aircraft in active service with the United States Air Force. Specifically designed for close air support, its combination of large and varied ordnance load, long loiter time, accurate weapons delivery, austere field capability, and survivability has proven invaluable to the United States and its allies. It has excellent maneuverability at low air speeds and altitude, its wide combat radius and short takeoff and landing capability permit operations in and out of locations near front lines.
The AV-8B Harrier II is a V/STOL fighter and attack aircraft operational with the U.S. Marine Corps. Combining tactical mobility, responsiveness, reduced operating cost and basing flexibility, both afloat and ashore, the Harrier II is particularly well-suited to the special combat and expeditionary requirements of the Marine Corps.
The F/A-18 Hornet is an all-weather fighter and attack aircraft. The single-seat F/A-18 Hornet is the nation's first strike-fighter. It was designed for traditional strike applications such as interdiction and close air support without compromising its fighter capabilities. The newest model, the Super Hornet, is highly capable across the full mission spectrum: air superiority, fighter escort, reconnaissance, aerial refueling, close air support, air defense suppression and day/night precision strike. The EA-18G Growler is another major variant of the F/A-18 family of aircraft that combines the proven F/A-18F Super Hornet platform with a sophisticated electronic warfare suite.
The F-22 Raptor is the first 5th generation fighter aircraft to enter service with the United States Air Force. The Raptor performs both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions, using advanced low-observable technologies that provide significantly improved survivability and lethality. The combination of sleek aerodynamic design and increased thrust allows the F-22 to cruise at supersonic airspeeds, which greatly expands its operating envelope in both speed and range over current fighters.
The F-35 Lightning II is the result of the Department of Defense's Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program, which sought to build a multirole fighter optimized for the air-to-ground role with secondary air-to-air capability. The JSF requirement was to meet the needs of the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and allies, with improved survivability, precision engagement capability, and reduced life cycle costs. The core engine, canopy, radar, ejection system, subsystems, and avionics are all common among the three different versions.
The C2-A Greyhound is a high wing, twin-engine monoplane cargo aircraft, designed to land on aircraft carriers. It provides critical logistics support to Carrier Strike Groups. Its primary mission is the transport of high-priority cargo, mail and passengers between carriers and shore bases. The C-2A's in-flight ramp open capability allows airdrop of supplies and personnel.
The C-130 Hercules primarily performs the tactical portion of the airlift mission. The aircraft is capable of operating from rough, dirt strips and is the prime transport for airdropping troops and equipment into hostile areas. Basic and specialized versions of the aircraft airframe perform a diverse number of roles, including airlift support, aeromedical missions, weather reconnaissance, and ground attack (AC-130 variants).
The C-17 Globemaster III is capable of rapid strategic delivery of troops and all types of cargo to main operating bases or directly to forward bases in the deployment area. The aircraft can perform tactical airlift and airdrop missions and can transport litters and ambulatory patients during aeromedical evacuations when required.
The C-5 Galaxy is one of the largest aircraft in the world and the largest airlifter in the Air Force inventory. The aircraft can carry a fully equipped combat-ready military unit to any point in the world on short notice and then provide the supplies required to help sustain the fighting force. It can carry outsize and oversize cargo over intercontinental ranges and can take off or land in relatively short distances.
The KC-135 Stratotanker provides the core aerial refueling capability for the United States Air Force and has excelled in this role for more than 50 years. This unique asset enhances the Air Force's capability to accomplish its primary mission of global reach. It also provides aerial refueling support to Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and allied nation aircraft. The KC-135 is also capable of transporting litter and ambulatory patients using patient support pallets during aeromedical evacuations.
The KC-10 Extender is an Air Mobility Command advanced tanker and cargo aircraft designed to provide increased global mobility for U.S. armed forces. Although the KC-10's primary mission is aerial refueling, it can combine the tasks of a tanker and cargo aircraft by refueling fighters and simultaneously carry the fighter support personnel and equipment on overseas deployments. The KC-10 is also capable of transporting litter and ambulatory patients using patient support pallets during aeromedical evacuations.
The AC-130 Gunships are built around the proven C-130 Hercules airframe. These aircraft are equipped with various ground attack weapons, making close air support and armed surveillance their primary roles.
The B-52 Stratofortresses are the backbone of the manned strategic bomber force for the United States. Thery are capable of dropping or launching the widest array of weapons in the U.S. inventory. This includes gravity bombs, cluster bombs, precision guided missiles, joint direct attack munitions and nuclear weapons. In a conventional conflict, the B-52 can perform strategic attack, close-air support, air interdiction, offensive counter-air and maritime operations. It is highly effective when used for ocean surveillance, and can assist the U.S. Navy in anti-ship and mine-laying operations.
Carrying the largest payload of both guided and unguided weapons in the Air Force inventory, the multi-mission B-1 is the backbone of America's long-range bomber force. It can rapidly deliver massive quantities of precision and non-precision weapons against any adversary, anywhere in the world, at any time. The B-1B's blended wing/body configuration, variable-geometry wings and turbofan afterburning engines, combine to provide long range, maneuverability and high speed while enhancing survivability.
The B-2 Spirit is a multi-role bomber capable of delivering both conventional and nuclear munitions. A dramatic leap forward in technology, the bomber represents a major milestone in the U.S. bomber modernization program. The B-2 brings massive firepower to bear, in a short time, anywhere on the globe through previously impenetrable defenses. Its low-observable, or "stealth," characteristics give it the unique ability to penetrate an enemy's most sophisticated defenses and threaten its most valued, and heavily defended targets.
The MQ-1B Predator and the MQ-1C Gray Eagle are unmanned aerial vehicles used by the U.S. Air Force (MQ-1B) and the U.S. Army (MQ-1C). They are both air transportable by C-130 or bigger cargo aircraft. The Predator was the first UAV to fire offensive weapons against enemy combat forces, using Hellfire missiles against ground and air targets.
In comparison to the MQ-1 Predator, The MQ-9 Reaper is a more advanced remotely piloted aircraft. Its missions are the same as of the Predator, but it is a larger, more powerful and more capable aircraft. The Reaper can be controlled by the same ground systems used to control the Predator.
The EA-18G Growler is the fourth major variant of the F/A-18 family of aircraft that combines the proven F/A-18F Super Hornet platform with a sophisticated electronic warfare suite. The aircraft retains all of the F/A-18E/F’s multi-mission capabilities with its validated design and the capability to perform a wide range of enemy defense suppression missions.
The E-2 Hawkeye is the Navy's all-weather, carrier-based tactical battle management airborne early warning, command and control aircraft. Its missions also include surface surveillance coordination, air interdiction, offensive and defensive counter air control, close air support coordination, time critical strike coordination, search and rescue airborne coordination and communications relay. An integral component of the Carrier Strike Group air wing, the E-2C uses computerized radar, Identification Friend or Foe and electronic surveillance sensors to provide early warning, threat analysis against potentially hostile air and surface targets.
The E-3 Sentry is an airborne warning and control system, or AWACS, aircraft with an integrated command and control battle management, or C2BM, surveillance, target detection, and tracking platform. The aircraft provides an accurate, real-time picture of the battlespace to the Joint Air Operations Center. AWACS provides situational awareness of friendly, neutral and hostile activity, command and control of an area of responsibility, battle management of theater forces, all-altitude and all-weather surveillance of the battle space, and early warning of enemy actions during joint, allied, and coalition operations.
The E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System, or Joint STARS, is an airborne battle management, command and control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platform. Its primary mission is to provide theater ground and air commanders with ground surveillance to support attack operations and targeting that contributes to the delay, disruption and destruction of enemy forces.
The P-3C Orion is a four-engine turboprop anti-submarine and maritime surveillance aircraft. It was originally designed as a land-based, long-range, anti-submarine warfare (ASW) patrol aircraft, the P-3C's mission has evolved in the late 1990s and early 21st century to include surveillance of the battlespace, either at sea or over land. Its long range and long loiter time have proved invaluable assets as it can view the battlespace and instantaneously provide that information to ground troops, especially U.S. Marines. The P-3C can carry a mixed payload of weapons internally and on wing pylons.
The P-8A Poseidon is a modified Boeing 737-800ERX, bringing together a highly reliable airframe and high-bypass turbo fan jet engine with a fully connected, state-of-the-art open architecture mission system. This combination, coupled with next-generation sensors, will dramatically improve anti-submarine warfare (ASW), and anti-surface warfare (ASuW) capabilities.
The EP-3E ARIES II (Airborne Reconnaissance Integrated Electronic System II) is the U.S. Navy's only land-based signals intelligence (SIGINT) reconnaissance aircraft. They are based on the P-3 Orion airframe and provide fleet and theater commanders worldwide with near real-time tactical SIGINT. With sensitive receivers and high-gain dish antennas, the EP-3E exploits a wide range of electronic emissions from deep within targeted territory.
The RQ-4 Global Hawk and the MQ-4C Triton are high-altitude, unmanned aircraft. Their mission is to provide intelligence using their sophisticated sensor package. The Global Hawk is operated by the U.S. Air Force, while the Triton is fielded by the U.S. Navy.
The E-4B Advanced Airborne Command Post aircraft is an extensively modified Boeing 747-200. In case of national emergency or destruction of ground command control centers, the aircraft provides a highly survivable, command, control and communications center to direct U.S. military forces, execute emergency war orders, and coordinate actions by civil authorities.
The U-2S is a single-seat, single-engine, high-altitude/near space reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft. It provides high-altitude, all-weather surveillance and reconnaissance, day or night, in direct support of U.S. and allied forces. It delivers critical imagery and signals intelligence to decision makers throughout all phases of conflict, including peacetime indications and warnings, low-intensity conflict, and large-scale hostilities. Long and narrow wings give the U-2 glider-like characteristics and allow it to quickly lift heavy sensor payloads to unmatched altitudes, keeping them there for extended periods of time.
The mission of the VC-25 aircraft is to provide air transport for the President of the United States. The presidential air transport fleet consists of two specially configured Boeing 747-200Bs with the Air Force designation VC-25 and tail numbers 28000 and 29000. When the President is onboard either aircraft, or any Air Force aircraft, the radio call sign is „Air Force One”.