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4th Generation Fighter Aircraft


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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 [ 46 ] 4th Generation Fighter Aircraft entries 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.
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1
Picture of the AIDC F-CK-1 (Ching-Kuo) / (Indigenous Defence Fighter)
National Flag Graphic
1994
AIDC F-CK-1 (Ching-Kuo) / (Indigenous Defence Fighter)
Lightweight Multirole Fighter Aircraft
2
Picture of the Avioane IAR 95 Spey
National Flag Graphic
1980
Avioane IAR 95 Spey
Fighter-Bomber Aircraft Proposal
3
Picture of the BAe Sea Harrier
National Flag Graphic
1978
BAe Sea Harrier
Carrierborne VSTOL Strike Fighter Aircraft
4
Picture of the Boeing (McDonnell Douglas) F-15 Eagle
National Flag Graphic
1976
Boeing (McDonnell Douglas) F-15 Eagle
Multirole / Air Superiority Fighter Aircraft
5
Picture of the Boeing (McDonnell Douglas) F-15E Strike Eagle
National Flag Graphic
1988
Boeing (McDonnell Douglas) F-15E Strike Eagle
Strike Fighter Aircraft
6
Picture of the Boeing (McDonnell Douglas) F/A-18 Hornet
National Flag Graphic
1983
Boeing (McDonnell Douglas) F/A-18 Hornet
Multirole Carrier-based Strike Fighter Aircraft
7
Picture of the Boeing F-15SE (Silent Eagle)
National Flag Graphic
2009
Boeing F-15SE (Silent Eagle)
Multi-Role Stealth Aircraft Proposal
8
Picture of the Boeing F/A-18 Advanced Super Hornet
National Flag Graphic
2015
Boeing F/A-18 Advanced Super Hornet
Carrier-Based Strike Fighter Aircraft Prototype
9
Picture of the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet
National Flag Graphic
1999
Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet
Carrier-based Strike Fighter Aircraft
10
Picture of the Chengdu (AVIC) J-10 (Vigorous Dragon)
National Flag Graphic
2005
Chengdu (AVIC) J-10 (Vigorous Dragon)
Multirole 4th Generation Fighter Aircraft
11
Picture of the Dassault Mirage 2000 (M2000)
National Flag Graphic
1979
Dassault Mirage 2000 (M2000)
Multirole Fighter / Strike Fighter Aircraft
12
Picture of the Dassault Mirage 4000
National Flag Graphic
1979
Dassault Mirage 4000
High-Altitude Interceptor / Low-Altitude Penetrator Aircraft
13
Picture of the Dassault Rafale
National Flag Graphic
2001
Dassault Rafale
4th Generation Multirole Fighter Aircraft
14
Picture of the Eurofighter Typhoon (EF2000)
National Flag Graphic
2003
Eurofighter Typhoon (EF2000)
4th Generation Multirole Fighter Aircraft
15
Picture of the FMA SAIA 90
National Flag Graphic
1989
FMA SAIA 90
4th Generation Multirole Fighter / Fighter-Bomber
16
Picture of the Grumman F-14 Tomcat
National Flag Graphic
1974
Grumman F-14 Tomcat
Swing-Wing, Carrierborne Fleet Defense Fighter
17
Picture of the HAL Tejas LCA (Light Combat Aircraft)
National Flag Graphic
2015
HAL Tejas LCA (Light Combat Aircraft)
4th Generation Lightweight Multirole Fighter Aircraft
18
Picture of the Hawker Siddeley HS.1200
National Flag Graphic
1976
Hawker Siddeley HS.1200
4th Generation Fighter Design Study
19
Picture of the IAI Kfir (Lion Cub)
National Flag Graphic
1976
IAI Kfir (Lion Cub)
Multi-Role Combat Aircraft
20
Picture of the IAI Lavi (Young Lion)
National Flag Graphic
1986
IAI Lavi (Young Lion)
4th Generation Multirole Fighter Prototype / Technology Demonstrator
21
Picture of the IAI Nammer (Leopard)
National Flag Graphic
1991
IAI Nammer (Leopard)
4th Generation Fighter Prototype
22
Picture of the KAI KF-16 Fighting Falcon
National Flag Graphic
1991
KAI KF-16 Fighting Falcon
4th Generation Multirole Fighter Aircraft
23
Picture of the Lockheed Martin F-16  Fighting Falcon
National Flag Graphic
1978
Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon
Lightweight Multirole 4th Generation Fighter
24
Picture of the Lockheed Martin F-16V (Viper)
National Flag Graphic
2017
Lockheed Martin F-16V (Viper)
Multirole 4th Generation Fighter
25
Picture of the Mikoyan MiG 1.42 / 1.44 / MFI
National Flag Graphic
1999
Mikoyan MiG 1.42 / 1.44 / MFI
Technology Demonstrator
26
Picture of the Mikoyan MiG-29 (Fulcrum)
National Flag Graphic
1984
Mikoyan MiG-29 (Fulcrum)
Lightweight Multi-Role Fighter Aircraft
27
Picture of the Mikoyan MiG-31 (Foxhound)
National Flag Graphic
1979
Mikoyan MiG-31 (Foxhound)
Long-Range High-Speed Interceptor Aircraft
28
Picture of the Mikoyan MiG-35 (Fulcrum-F)
National Flag Graphic
2020
Mikoyan MiG-35 (Fulcrum-F)
4.5th Generation Multirole Fighter Aircraft
29
Picture of the Mitsubishi F-2
National Flag Graphic
2000
Mitsubishi F-2
Multirole Fighter / Maritime Strike Aircraft
30
Picture of the Northrop F-20 Tigershark
National Flag Graphic
1982
Northrop F-20 Tigershark
Multi-Role Fighter / Fighter-Bomber Aircraft
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31
Picture of the Novi Avion
National Flag Graphic
1992
Novi Avion
Multirole 4th Generation Aircraft Proposal
32
Picture of the PAC JF-17 Thunder
National Flag Graphic
2007
PAC JF-17 Thunder
Lightweight Multirole Fighter Aircraft
33
Picture of the Panavia Tornado ADV (Air Defense Variant)
National Flag Graphic
1985
Panavia Tornado ADV (Air Defense Variant)
Air Defense Fighter / Interceptor Aircraft
34
Picture of the Panavia Tornado ECR (Electronic Combat / Reconnaissance)
National Flag Graphic
1990
Panavia Tornado ECR (Electronic Combat / Reconnaissance)
Suppression of Enemy Air Defense (SEAD) Aircraft
35
Picture of the Panavia Tornado IDS (InterDictor / Strike)
National Flag Graphic
1979
Panavia Tornado IDS (InterDictor / Strike)
All-Weather, Low-Level Strike Aircraft
36
Picture of the Saab JAS 39 Gripen (Griffin)
National Flag Graphic
1997
Saab JAS 39 Gripen (Griffin)
Lightweight 4th Generation Multi-role Fighter Aircraft
37
Picture of the Shenyang (AVIC) J-11 (Flanker B+)
National Flag Graphic
1998
Shenyang (AVIC) J-11 (Flanker B+)
4th Generation Multi-role / Air Superiority Fighter
38
Picture of the Shenyang (AVIC) J-15 (Flying Shark)
National Flag Graphic
2013
Shenyang (AVIC) J-15 (Flying Shark)
Carrierborne Multirole Fighter Aircraft
39
Picture of the Shenyang (AVIC) J-31 Gyrfalcon (FC-31 / F-60)
National Flag Graphic
2024
Shenyang (AVIC) J-31 Gyrfalcon (FC-31 / F-60)
Multirole 4th Generation Fighter Aircraft
40
Picture of the Sukhoi Su-27 (Flanker)
National Flag Graphic
1985
Sukhoi Su-27 (Flanker)
Air Superiority / Ground Attack / Multirole Fighter
41
Picture of the Sukhoi Su-30 (Flanker-C)
National Flag Graphic
1996
Sukhoi Su-30 (Flanker-C)
Two-Seat, Twin-Engine Air Superiority / Strike Fighter Aircraft
42
Picture of the Sukhoi Su-32/37/47 Berkut (Golden Eagle)
National Flag Graphic
1997
Sukhoi Su-32/37/47 Berkut (Golden Eagle)
Technology Demonstrator Aircraft
43
Picture of the Sukhoi Su-33 (Flanker-D)
National Flag Graphic
1994
Sukhoi Su-33 (Flanker-D)
Carrier-Based Air Defense Fighter Aircraft
44
Picture of the Sukhoi Su-35 (Flanker-E / Super Flanker)
National Flag Graphic
2014
Sukhoi Su-35 (Flanker-E / Super Flanker)
Multirole Heavy Combat Fighter Aircraft
45
Picture of the Xian JH-7 (Flounder) / FBC-1 (Flying Leopard)
National Flag Graphic
1992
Xian JH-7 (Flounder) / FBC-1 (Flying Leopard)
Fighter-Bomber / Strike Aircraft
46
Picture of the Yakovlev Yak-41 (Freestyle / Yak-141)
National Flag Graphic
1987
Yakovlev Yak-41 (Freestyle / Yak-141)
Prototype VTOL Fleet Defense Fighter Aircraft

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