Classification of Military Aircraft – Military aircraft are aircraft used for military front-line or combat missions, respectively, and are more powerful designs than civilian aircraft, regardless of cost-effectiveness.
Classification of Military Aircraft
MilitaryEzyInfo.com – Military aircraft are first and foremost designed for high speed, altitude, and range. For combat air warfare, the role of long-range bombers and missile carriers is to destroy military installations. Fuel planes, with only fuel on board, have the ability to directly refuel combat aircraft in flight. Military aircraft include long-range reconnaissance aircraft, which have long-range, large altitude, and high speed. Tactical military aircraft include fighter (or fighter) aircraft, fighter-bombers, light bombers, and tactical reconnaissance aircraft. Modern warplanes are often designed as multipurpose aircraft, that is, they are designed for combat purposes such as an attack, fighter-interceptor, and reconnaissance aircraft.
What are the different types of military aircraft?
1) Fighter Aircraft (Fighter Jet)
A fighter jet is a very fast single or double-armed combat aircraft used to destroy (search) enemy fighters, unmanned missiles, etc. The fighter jet is equipped with one or two jet engines. Modern fighter planes that are the driving force are equipped with one or two jet engines. The speed exceeds the speed of sound, currently, about 3,500 km/h, the rate of climb close to the ground exceeds 200 m/s, and the maximum operating altitude can reach 30,000 meters. Armament consists of two to five fixed autocannons (2.0 to 3.7 cm caliber) and ballistic, radio-controlled, or self-guided air-to-air missiles. In addition, for most fighter planes, there is a large amount of electronic equipment, such as radar, identification devices, and so on.
The heavy fighter or bomber fighter combines the flight dynamics and flight qualities of a fighter – high combat speed and climb capability, high maximum altitude, and good maneuverability – with the qualities of light and medium bomber – long range, good weapons, large payload, and extensive electronic and radar equipment. They are highly versatile in terms of operational capability. Their purposes include intercepting and attacking ground targets, searching for submarines, supporting naval links and ground operations, and operating as escort fighters or reconnaissance aircraft. The weaponry is adapted accordingly to the mission at hand. Radar is standard; armament typically includes large-caliber artillery and missiles (air-to-air or air-to-surface), as well as bombs and torpedoes for bombs. Since there is no free space in the fuselage of these military aircraft, the bombs, missiles, and additional fuel tanks are suspended under the wings and at the wing ends. The heavy bombers had speeds between Mach 0.2 and Mach 2, maximum altitudes between 15,000 and 20,000 meters, and ranges between 1,500 and 4,500 kilometers.
Previously, there were night fighters specifically designed for night operations, as they were equipped with instruments for blind flight. Most modern fighters are all-weather, meaning they can perform combat missions in adverse weather conditions as well as at night. Also, all-weather fighters are usually called heavy fighters because they are, in most cases, two-seater and equipped with two engines.
The essence of effective air defense is to “intercept” an attacking enemy and prevent its combat mission so that it can be destroyed. This requires fighters with good takeoff power, high speed, maximum altitude, and good weapons, i.e., interceptors. Most importantly, they are close to the borders of industrial centers and other objects of protection.
High-speed, high-flying fighters (bombers) with jet engines greatly increased the requirements for speed, airspeed, and a maximum altitude of the fighter-interceptor. This resulted in the following performance characteristics: maximum speed from 2000 to 2500 km/h and flight distance from 2000 to 3500 km. Such performance requirements, at an average takeoff weight of 7-12 tons, can be increased by another 50% using engines with a thrust of 3,000-5,000 kgf, due to the additional combustion of fuel. The additional rocket propulsion system can be used for short-term acceleration, especially during ascent.
2) Bomber (Bombardier) Aircraft
Fighter planes are used primarily to address defensive missions, while bombers are at the forefront of offensive operations. A bomber is a large, heavy military aircraft with several turbojet engines (jet turbines or turboprop engines). The bomber is often equipped with an auxiliary launcher on short runways or when overloaded.
The bomber’s mission is to quickly attack distant targets at high altitudes with explosives in the form of bombs. Because of the great danger of approaching targets in enemy territory, an increasing number of bombers are being upgraded to rocket launchers, which fire missiles at great distances from their targets and remotely control them before hitting them, while the bomber itself is outside of enemy control. Modern bombers have a takeoff weight of 230 tons and a total thrust of more than 50,000 kgf or total power of about 50,000 hp. The bomb load depends on the tactical range, up to 16,000 km without refueling, aerial refueling, etc. The bomber’s bomb capacity depends on the tactical range, up to 16,000 km without refueling. The flight altitude reaches 20,000 meters and the crew can be up to 12 people. The speed of modern bombers exceeds the 2,000 km/h mark; current bombers are designed for even higher speeds. Defensive weapons include rockets, machine guns, and automatic cannons.
As with all types of aircraft, bombers can be classified according to different aspects, such as bomb load, and thus takeoff weight (light, medium, and heavy bombers), or according to their operational purpose (tactical and strategic bombers).
Tactical bombers are aircraft designed to perform certain private operational missions, i.e., to carry out tactical missions. By this kind of operation, we mean the operation to change the situation in a certain area of the front line, to conquer the entire target, thus destroying enemy concentrations, concentrations, firing positions, airfields, supply lines, etc. in a certain area.
Based on this mission statement, the basic requirements of the tactical bomber can be developed: high combat speed, bomb load of up to 10 tons, maximum flight distance of 6000 km. Based on these requirements, design characteristics were determined, which can be summarized as aircraft with one, two, three, or four jet engines, takeoff mass of 20-50 tons, equipped with distance-controlled defensive weapons or air-to-air missiles, electronics, and radar equipment, and a sturdy airframe capable of withstanding high loads at low altitudes. In these cases, it can be said that the tactical bomber bears some resemblance to the heavy fighter, both in terms of mission and parameters.
Strategic Bomber. The strategy is the science of waging war on a large scale. The word strategy means large scale combat operations. It also explains the operational function of the strategic bomber. These planes are designed to perform combat missions deep behind enemy lines.
All bombers are equipped with radar devices to detect targets and locate attacking fighters. Combat missions were conducted in teams or by themselves. Because modern bombers have almost the same speed as fighter planes, the same range, and significant defensive capabilities due to air-to-air missiles, fighter coverage is often denied today.
During World War I, bombers were first used individually or in small groups. In World War II, there were “massive” combat sorties consisting of several hundred bombers and flying under the cover of fighter aircraft. Bombers of the time had several engines, were relatively slow, and were designed for maximum bomb load and a large number of defensive weapons. Modern bombers, on the other hand, are designed for long-range, high altitude, and flight speed. In most cases, reconnaissance planes flew ahead to search for targets. Unlike the bombers of the time, they were equipped with radar devices. Targets were marked with illuminated aircraft bombs dropped on parachutes. A special type, thought to be a dive bomber, approached the target from high altitude and then rammed it in a rapid dive flight, dropping one or more bombs from a short distance. The bomber then leveled off in flight. After the design of the ICBM, the strategic bomber was considered obsolete. But they have recently regained their importance as they have been upgraded to missile carriers and to flying launchers.
3) Scout Plane (aircraft)
It’s a multi-seat light-armed fighter or bomber (without bomb payload) equipped with on-board cameras, radar units, and often instruments for transmitting television signals, as well as naval aircraft used for aerial reconnaissance, i.e., for reconnaissance of enemy positions, installations, etc., territory and weather conditions for the benefit of units of one’s own armed forces. Previously, there was a distinction between short-range and long-range reconnaissance aircraft, depending on the maximum flight distance and area of application. Today they say about tactical reconnaissance aircraft and strategic reconnaissance aircraft, depending on the purpose of the operation. There are specialized reconnaissance aircraft for artillery firing from the air, reconnaissance of the terrain in the area of their own artillery fire due to visual reconnaissance or aerial photography, as well as control of camouflage of their own artillery. Such aircraft are called artillery aircraft. They are short-range or tactical scouts.
(4) Military transport aircraft
These large aircraft have from two to eight engines and have a range of more than 3,000 kilometers. They are lightly armed or unarmed at all and are designed to transport supplies (food, fuel, ammunition, weapons, but also guns, tanks, vehicles, etc.) for troops. Military transport planes are used for landing and taking off (landing) of airborne troops, as well as for transporting troops during troop concentrations. The military transport fleet consists of transport aircraft, cargo gliders, and helicopters, and is equipped with the appropriate equipment.