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4th Generation Fighter Aircraft

Despite the arrival of the technologically advanced - yet cost prohibitive - 5th Generation Fighter, the 4th Generation Fighter still remains the potent multirole platform of choice.

The Fourth Generation Fighter is the modern standard in combat warplanes. The term is used for those aircraft designs bridging the gap between the developments of the 1960s and 1970s and those appearing today under the Fifth Generation Fighter classification. Fourth Generation Fighter types incude the American F-16 Fighting Falcon, the F/A-18 Hornet, the Chengdu J-10 and the MiG-29 Fulcrum. 4th Gen types were the first combat warplanes to make regular use of Fly-by-Wire (FbW) control systems and had increased reliance on digital processing to achieve advanced flying characteristics and performance - meaning designers could make just about any form flyable (case-in-point the F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter).

These same aircraft can be further enhanced into 4.5th Generation flying forms through upgrades that bring about an increased level of control and improved performance as well as introducing some stealth-like capabilities - without the expense inherent in procuring and operating 5th Generation Fighers like the F-22 Raptor. Despite the rise of the 5th Generation Fighter, the 4th Generation Fighter appears to have been given an extended service life and should remain the focus of many-and-air-service heading into the next decade.

There are a total of 44 4th Generation Fighter Aircraft in the Military Factory. Entries are listed below in alphanumeric order (1-to-Z). Flag images indicative of country of origin and not necessarily the primary operator.