Aircraft for the Armed Forces

By: Ajeet Khurana

The wars of today would be imaginable without the use of military aircraft. Of course, no country can go to war armed with only one type of aircraft. Every nation must invest in different kinds of aircraft ranging from fighter aircraft, bombers, and tankers to observation balloons. Each of the different kinds of planes has a separate role to play. And each of these roles is as essential as the next.

While looking at airplanes for defence purposes, one finds that many of the aircraft are multi-functional. For instance, the F-4 Phantom is not only a fighter-bomber. It is also used for the purpose of reconnaissance. It also plays the additional roles of CAS and ECM. Moreover, if such an aircraft seems to fall too expensive, there are several other military aircraft to bolster a nation's defences. For instance, the American F/A-18 Hornet is great as a fighter plane and also as a striker.

There are a few basic categories of military aircraft. These include fighter planes, ground attack aircraft, tankers, bombers, and trainers. Apart from this, aircraft are also used for transport, observation, and surveillance. Fighter aircraft are designed to attack. As a result, they are speedy and easily-manoeuvrable. In the modern world, air superiority is the factor that decides the fate of military conflicts. Thus, most nations invest in fighter planes because their ability to win wars is well-known.

However, fighter planes alone cannot win wars. Ultimately, it has to be a team effort. That is where ground attack aircraft such as the F-104 enters the picture. While the fighter aircraft spearhead the attack, ground attack aircraft strengthen the defense. These planes are also known as tactical fighters. They are put into action at the head of the battle and are armored to protect the pilot against the fire of small arms.

Other military aircraft include bombers, tankers, and trainers. Bombers, as the name suggests, are designed to drop bombs on ground targets. The A-10 Thunderbolt is an example of a bomber that attacks tactical targets. Tankers are used to refuel other aircraft when their fuel gets exhausted. There are also a number of aircraft known as trainers. These are used to teach pilots about flying, navigating, and aiming their weapons. In addition to these we have the aircraft that are used purely for transportation and those that are used to observe military activity on the ground level. Defence without aircraft is no longer an option.

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