Top 5: The World’s Largest Fighter Jets – Ranking Aviation Giants by Length and Wingspan
Fighter jets are the epitome of military power – combining speed, maneuverability, and advanced weaponry.
Among these marvels of aviation engineering, these five colossal jets stand out for their sheer size and imposing presence, each one boasting impressive dimensions and awe-inspiring capabilities that represent some of the most imposing and powerful aerial machines ever built.
5. Chengdu J-20 “Mighty Dragon”
The Chengdu J-20, also known as the “Mighty Dragon,” is a fifth-generation stealth fighter developed by China. With a length of approximately 67 feet (20.4 meters) and a wingspan of 42.3 feet (12.9 meters), this formidable jet showcases China’s technological prowess and commitment to military modernization.
First introduced in 2011, the jet is armed with short- and long-range air-to-air missiles, precision-guided bombs, and anti-radiation missiles. The J-20 represents a significant advancement in the aerial capabilities of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force.
4. Sukhoi Su-35 “Flanker-E”
The Sukhoi Su-35, a formidable fighter aircraft of the Russian Air Force, ranks as the fourth largest on this list. Measuring 71.1 feet (21.7 meters) in length and boasting a wingspan of over 50 feet (15.3 meters), the Su-35 is a versatile and agile fighter equipped with cutting-edge avionics and weapons systems.
With an internal cannon containing 150 rounds, as well as both air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles, this jet boasts an impressive maneuverability comparable to the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor. Its maximum speed of 1,500 mph (2,414 km/h) and advanced radar capabilities make the Flanker-E a force to be reckoned with on the battlefield.
3. Sukhoi Su-30 “Flanker-C”
Another marvel from Sukhoi’s stable, the Su-30 “Flanker-C,” claims the third spot on our list of the largest fighter jets. With a length of nearly 72 feet (21.9 meters) and a wingspan of approximately 48 feet (14.7 meters), the Su-30 is a twin-engine multirole fighter designed for air superiority and ground attack missions.
In addition to the 150-round cannon and missiles also found on the Flanker-E, the Flanker-C also offers the potential use of general purpose, cluster, and laser-guided bombs. Its tandem two-seat configuration, advanced radar systems, and long-range capabilities make the Su-30 a mainstay in air forces in India, Malaysia, Russia, Vietnam, and more.
2. General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark
The General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark, is a pioneering fighter-bomber of the United States Air Force (USAF). Stretching one foot (0.3 meters) longer than the Flanker-C and with a wingspan of 63 feet (19.2 meters), this legendary fighter jet first entered service in 1967.
Notably, the F-111 was the world’s first variable-sweep wing aircraft capable of supersonic speeds in level flight. While retired by the USAF in 1998, its game-changing wings – allowing it to adapt its wing configuration during different phases of flight for optimal performance – along with a range of industry-firsts, such as automated low-level terrain-following radar and after-burning turbofan engines, paved the way for designs that are now commonly found in newer fighter jets.
1. Tupolev Tu-28 “Fiddler”
Taking the top spot as the world’s largest fighter jet is the Tupolev Tu-28 “Fiddler”. With a staggering length of approximately 98.7 feet (30 meters) and an imposing wingspan of 57.6 feet (17.6 meters), the Tu-28 (officially designated as Tu-128) is a long-range interceptor aircraft developed by the Soviet Union.
Designed to counter potential threats at long distances, the jet boasts a range of 840 nautical miles (1,560 km). The Fiddler is equipped with powerful radar and air-to-air missiles, making it a formidable presence during the Cold War era. It was in service from the mid-1960s until its retirement in 1990.