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4th Generation Fighter Aircraft


Aerospace | Aviation

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.




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