The Most Advanced Fifth-Generation Fighter: A Ranking of Cutting-Edge Aircraft

Choose the fifth-generation fighter you think is the most advanced!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 23, 2024 05:18
Welcome to StrawPoll's ultimate showdown of the skies! Cast your vote now and help us rank the most advanced fifth-generation fighters soaring through the air, showcasing their prowess and cutting-edge technology. From the stealthy F-22 Raptor to the versatile F-35 Lightning II, and the powerful Russian Su-57 or the agile Chinese J-20, which aircraft will reign supreme as the best of the best in aerial combat? Don't see your favorite high-tech warbird on our list? Fear not! You can suggest a missing option to make your voice heard in this high-stakes, high-flying contest. The thrill of the dogfight awaits, so buckle up and take part in the action as we determine the ultimate fifth-generation fighter!

What Is the Most Advanced Fifth-generation Fighter?

  1. 1
    74
    votes

    F-35 Lightning II

    Lockheed Martin
    This is currently the most advanced fifth-generation fighter in the world. It has advanced stealth capabilities, superior situational awareness, and the latest sensor technologies. It is also highly versatile, with the ability to perform air-to-air and air-to-ground missions.
    The F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, all-weather stealth multirole fighters designed for ground attack, reconnaissance, and air defense missions. It is the result of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program, which aimed to develop a cost-effective and highly capable aircraft for multiple branches of the military.
    • Top Speed: 1,200 mph (1,930 km/h, Mach 1.6)
    • Range: 1,350 miles (2,220 km)
    • Service Ceiling: 50,000 feet (15,240 meters)
    • Unit Cost: $77.9 million - $101.3 million (depending on the variant)
    • Armament: Gun, missiles, and bombs (internal and external)
    F-35 Lightning II in other rankings
  2. 2
    27
    votes
    Russia's Su-57 fighter is also considered to be one of the most advanced fifth-generation fighters. It has advanced stealth capabilities, a high degree of maneuverability, and advanced avionics. It is also capable of performing air-to-air and air-to-ground missions.
    The Su-57 is a fifth-generation multirole fighter jet designed and manufactured by the Russian aerospace company Sukhoi. It is also known as the T-50 and PAK FA. The Su-57 is intended to be a direct competitor to the American F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II.
    • Maximum speed: 2,441 km/h
    • Range: 3,500 km
    • Ceiling: 20,000 m
    • Thrust vectoring: Yes
    • First flight: 29 January 2010
  3. 3
    24
    votes
    China's J-20 fighter is also considered to be one of the most advanced fifth-generation fighters. It has a high degree of stealth, advanced avionics, and is highly maneuverable. It is also capable of performing air-to-air and air-to-ground missions.
    The J-20 is a fifth-generation stealth fighter jet developed by the People's Republic of China. It is also known as the Chengdu J-20 and is designed for long-range air superiority missions.
    • Length: 20.3 meters
    • Wingspan: 13.5 meters
    • Height: 4.45 meters
    • Maximum Speed: Mach 2.25
    • Service Ceiling: 20,000 meters
  4. 4
    19
    votes

    F-22 Raptor

    Lockheed Martin
    The F-22 Raptor was the first fifth-generation fighter to enter service. It has advanced stealth capabilities, a high degree of maneuverability, and advanced avionics. However, it is primarily designed for air-to-air combat.
    The F-22 Raptor is a fifth-generation fighter jet built for air superiority. It is designed to have stealth capabilities and advanced avionics to defeat modern air defense systems.
    • Max speed: 1,500 mph
    • Ceiling: 65,000 ft
    • Range: 1,840 miles
    • Thrust: 35,000 lbf
    • Length: 62 ft
    F-22 Raptor in other rankings
  5. 5
    10
    votes
    India's HAL AMCA is currently under development and is poised to become one of the most advanced fifth-generation fighters in the world. It will have advanced stealth capabilities, advanced avionics, and will be highly maneuverable. It is also expected to be capable of performing air-to-air and air-to-ground missions.
    The HAL AMCA (Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft) is a fifth-generation fighter aircraft being developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) of India. It is designed to meet the requirements of the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Navy.
    • Role: Multirole stealth fighter
    • Generation: Fifth-generation
    • Crew: Single-seat
    • Max speed: Mach 2
    • Range: More than 3,500 kilometers (2,175 miles)
  6. 6
    14
    votes
    South Korea's KF-X is also under development and is expected to be one of the most advanced fifth-generation fighters. It will have advanced stealth capabilities, advanced avionics, and will be highly maneuverable. It is also expected to be capable of performing air-to-air and air-to-ground missions.
    The KF-X, which stands for Korean Fighter Experimental, is a fifth-generation fighter aircraft under development by South Korea. It is a multirole fighter jet designed to replace the aging fleet of F-4D/E Phantom II and F-5E/F Tiger II aircraft in the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF). The KF-X is intended to be a platform with advanced stealth capabilities, superior maneuverability, and state-of-the-art avionics.
    • Role: Multirole fighter
    • Stealth Capability: Low observable design features
    • Engines: Two General Electric F414-GE-400K turbofan engines
    • Maximum Speed: Mach 2.1 (approximately 2,660 km/h or 1,655 mph)
    • Range: 2,900 km (1,800 mi)
  7. 7
    10
    votes
    China's FC-31 is another advanced fifth-generation fighter currently under development. It will have advanced stealth capabilities, advanced avionics, and will be highly maneuverable. It is also expected to be capable of performing air-to-air and air-to-ground missions.
    The FC-31 is a fifth-generation stealth multirole fighter aircraft.
    • Max speed: Mach 1.8
    • Range: 2,200 kilometers (1,367 miles)
    • Service Ceiling: ~16,000 meters (52,000 feet)
    • Thrust: 2 × RD-93 or WS-13 afterburning turbofans, each providing 83 kN (18,596 lbf) of thrust
    • Armament: Internal and external hardpoints for carrying missiles, bombs, and other air-to-ground munitions
  8. 8
    11
    votes

    TFX

    Turkey's TFX is a fifth-generation fighter currently under development. It will have advanced stealth capabilities, advanced avionics, and will be highly maneuverable. It is also expected to be capable of performing air-to-air and air-to-ground missions.
    The TFX, also known as the Turkish Fighter Experimental, is a fifth-generation fighter aircraft currently under development. It is being created by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) in collaboration with the defense contractor BAE Systems.
    • Length: 19 meters
    • Wingspan: 13 meters
    • Maximum Speed: Mach 2
    • Range: 2,222 kilometers
    • Combat Radius: 1,852 kilometers
  9. 9
    6
    votes
    The Tempest is a fifth-generation fighter currently under development by a consortium of European countries. It will have advanced stealth capabilities, advanced avionics, and will be highly maneuverable. It is also expected to be capable of performing air-to-air and air-to-ground missions.
    The Tempest is a fifth-generation fighter aircraft designed to meet the requirements of future air combat missions. It is being developed as part of a collaborative effort between the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defence and several leading aerospace companies.
    • Stealth Capability: Significantly reduced radar cross-section and infrared signature for enhanced survivability.
    • Supercruise: Ability to sustain supersonic speeds without using afterburners.
    • Data Fusion: Integration of data from various sources, sensors, and platforms for improved situational awareness.
    • Advanced Avionics: State-of-the-art onboard systems for enhanced performance and mission effectiveness.
    • Directed Energy Weapons: Capability to employ high-energy lasers and other directed energy weapons.
  10. 10
    10
    votes
    The MiG-41 is a fifth-generation fighter currently under development by Russia. It is expected to have advanced stealth capabilities, advanced avionics, and will be highly maneuverable. It is also expected to be capable of performing air-to-air and air-to-ground missions.
    The MiG-41 is a proposed fifth-generation fighter aircraft being developed by Mikoyan, a Russian aerospace company. It is intended to serve as a successor to the MiG-31 interceptor aircraft.
    • Primary function: Interceptor
    • Crew: 1
    • Length: unknown
    • Wingspan: unknown
    • Height: unknown

Missing your favorite fifth-generation fighter?

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Ranking factors for advanced fifth-generation fighter

  1. Stealth
    Fifth-generation fighters should feature low radar cross-section (RCS) and be hard to detect by enemy radar. This includes the design, materials used, and technologies incorporated to minimize the aircraft's signature.
  2. Avionics
    Advanced sensors, radar, and communication systems enable the fighter to gather, process, and share information effortlessly with other assets on the battlefield. This includes having electronic warfare (EW) capabilities, data fusion, and advanced networking capabilities.
  3. Maneuverability
    The ability of the aircraft to perform well at a wide range of speed, altitude, and angles of attack, is vital for evading enemy threats and conducting effective air-to-air combat.
  4. Weapon systems
    The aircraft's ability to carry and effectively deploy a wide range of weapons is crucial for achieving mission objectives. This includes air-to-air missiles, air-to-ground munitions, and advanced targeting systems for precision strikes.
  5. Payload capacity
    The ability of the aircraft to carry a large payload of weapons and fuel, allowing it to engage multiple targets and sustain long-range missions if required.
  6. Range and endurance
    The fighter's ability to fly and engage in combat roles over long distances without refueling, increasing its operational effectiveness.
  7. Supercruise ability
    The ability of the aircraft to maintain supersonic flight without using afterburners, which enhances its speed and performance while saving fuel.
  8. Interoperability
    The fighter's compatibility with other air, land, and naval assets, enabling seamless collaboration with allied forces and integration into existing defense systems.
  9. Maintainability and reliability
    The ease with which an aircraft can be maintained, repaired, and kept in optimal condition, thus ensuring high mission readiness and low operational costs.
  10. Affordability
    The overall cost of development, production, and operational expenses can impact the availability and usefulness of the aircraft for various militaries around the globe.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most advanced fifth-generation fighter. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or fighter is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!

Statistics

  • 1798 views
  • 205 votes
  • 10 ranked items

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A participant may cast an up or down vote for each fighter once every 24 hours. The rank of each fighter is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

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More information on most advanced fifth-generation fighter

Background Information: Fifth-generation fighters are the latest and most advanced jet fighters in the world. These aircraft are designed to be stealthy, highly maneuverable, and equipped with advanced avionics systems that provide pilots with unparalleled situational awareness. The term "fifth-generation" refers to the next generation of fighter aircraft after the fourth-generation, which includes planes like the F-15, F-16, and F/A-18. Fifth-generation fighters are characterized by their advanced stealth capabilities, advanced sensors and avionics, and highly integrated computer systems. Currently, there are three main contenders for the title of most advanced fifth-generation fighter: the F-22 Raptor, the F-35 Lightning II, and the Su-57 (formerly known as the PAK-FA). Each of these aircraft has its own unique strengths and weaknesses, and debates over which is the most advanced continue to rage among aviation enthusiasts and military experts alike. Regardless of which aircraft ultimately comes out on top, there is no doubt that fifth-generation fighters represent the cutting edge of military aviation technology, and will play a critical role in the future of air combat.

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