A nation’s air force is dependent on its fighter jets. The capacity to dominate the sky in terms of armaments, technology, and mobility can prevent or maintain peace. So, it should not be surprising that the most advanced aircrafts are expensive. Many nations purchase domestically produced jets because they are significantly less expensive than jets manufactured overseas.
Others can establish full or partial manufacturing of the desired jet in their own country. Fighter jets are the most technologically advanced, complex, and powerful aircrafts. It makes it reasonable that they would also cost the most. With that being said, let’s take a look at the 8 most expensive fighter jets in the world.
8 Saab JAS 39 Gripen: $85 Million
The Swedish JAS 39 Gripen, C, and D are lightweight, single-engine, multi-role fighters manufactured by Saab AB. It is one of the least-priced new fourth or fourth-and-a-half-generation fighters on the market. A single aircraft may cost as much as $30 million. In 2012, it was estimated that the cost of the JAS 39’s newest iteration would exceed $100 million. Saab was just recently able to reduce the price, and now the Gripen is once again a globally desirable aircraft. This aircraft is estimated to cost $85 million.
7 Sukhoi Su-35: $85 Million
Sukhoi Su-35 is the designation for two improved versions of the Su-27 air defense fighter. Sukhoi manufactured this single-seat, twin-engine, and highly agile aircraft. Sukhoi Design Bureau was responsible for their creation. Even though the Su-33 and Su-37 are unavailable for purchase, the Su-34, Su-30, and all of their variants are more than twice as affordable as the Su-35. This is why Russia has had difficulty marketing this aircraft, despite the fact that China and Egypt have previously purchased some. Despite this, reports indicate that a number of nations are interested in the Su-35 and its estimated price of $85 million.
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6 McDonnell Douglas F-15EX Strike Eagle: $87.7 Million
The latest variant of the F-15, the F-15EX, demonstrates that the aircraft was never intended to be inexpensive. The plane itself is more expensive than the F-35A, therefore its low price is primarily due to its low operating costs. F-15EX’s estimated operating cost per hour is $29,000, and the US government intends to reduce this cost to $36,000 by 2024. This, along with the fact that it is comparable to other F-15 versions, makes the F-15EX an excellent option for many countries.
5 EA-18G Growler: $102 Million
In 1995, Boeing Defense produced the two-seat EA-18G Growler for the U.S. Space & Security program. The EA-18G Growler is superior to its predecessor, the Super Hornet. This updated version is more expensive and superior due to the addition of “electronic warfare systems.” It has the same capabilities as the Super Hornet, although it is not as well-armed and is not designed for aggressive flight. The cost to manufacture and market the EA-18G Growler is $102 million. Northrop Grumman supplied aircraft with technologies that employ electromagnetic signals to regulate the energy spectrum in their surrounding space.
4 F-117 Nighthawk: $107.7 Million
The first stealth aircraft for the United States Air Force, F-117 was developed, procured, and produced in tight secrecy. Even departing from the customary practice of giving American fighters numbers as names was necessary to confound the enemy’s expectations. The F-117 Nighthawk would have been designated as the F-19. This stealth attack aircraft had its first flight in 1982 and was withdrawn the next year. It ranks 4th on the list of the most expensive fighter jets in the world. The F-117 is priced at $107.7 million.
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3 Chengdu J-20 Black Eagle: $110 Million
The Chengdu J-20 “Mighty Dragon” is a stealth aircraft manufactured by the Chengdu Aerospace Company of China. It is a fifth-generation vehicle with a single seat. It had its first flight in January 2011, and the People’s Liberation Army Air Force has been using it since March 2017. This fighter aircraft is China’s first airplane with stealth technology. Each J-20 costs approximately $110 million, and the total cost of the program is estimated to be over $4.4 billion. The J-20 is designed to carry out risky ground attack missions. It is capable of supersonic speeds of around 1,305 mph and altitudes of 59,055 feet. With activation of the afterburners, each of the two WS-10G turbofan engines produces 30,000lb of torque.
2 Dassault Rafale: $115 Million
The French word for “gust of wind” is “Dassault Rafale.” It indicates that the aircraft has a high rate of firing. The French fighter jet Dassault Rafale was completed in 2001, and it is still in use by the French Air Force, Space Force, and Navy. This aircraft is also utilized by the Indian and Qatar air forces. This aircraft was initially proposed as part of the Future European Fighter Aircraft program, in which a number of nations collaborated to create cutting-edge aircraft for European air forces. This fighter plane was manufactured at a cost of $115 million and has high-tech features like an infrared search and track system.
1 F-35 Lightning II: $122 Million
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighter jets, one of the most powerful jets, went on sale in December 2006. Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Pratt & Whitney, and BAE Systems are among the manufacturers of aircraft. The F-35 Lightning aircraft is available in three variants: F-35A ($89.2 million), F-35B ($115.5 million), and F-35C ($107.7 million). They are around 50.5 to 51.4 feet long and 15 to 15.5 feet tall. The F-35A and F-35B have 35-foot-long wings, whereas the F-35C is 43 feet wide. It has a maximum speed of 1,864 mph and a service ceiling of approximately 50,000 feet. The F-35’s rate of ascent is 45,000 feet per minute.
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Sources: Engineerine, Rarest, AeroTime
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