Which are the largest air forces in the world? The air force of any country today is an important constitution of its military. Some countries have larger air forces than others. In fact, the largest 20 air forces represent about 70% of the world’s combat aircrafts. The rate increases when it comes to the largest 10 air forces, which represent around 43% of the world’s combat aircrafts. So maybe it is not such a bad idea for everyone to demilitarize, considering how only a few nations own the skies. There really is no danger out there! As important as the number of aircrafts are, the military capability of a country is also determined by the quality of these aircrafts and by the training imparted to the pilots. Modern simulation techniques are also implemented in training nowadays to reduce the expenses. The most frequently used aircrafts in the military are F-16. There are more than 2,000 of these flying around the world and they make up around 16% of the world’s combat aircrafts. Next would be F/A-18 and Su-27/30/33.
Some of the largest air forces in the world include China, Russia, and India. China, with 1,528 combat aircrafts, has recently finished testing its fifth generation stealth fighter planes and has also manufactured local models. They have become an exporter as well, selling military aircrafts to other countries. However, they are still dependent on Russia for their jet technology. Russia might no longer have the backing of the USSR and its military might, but it still has one of the largest air forces in the world with 1,438 military aircrafts. New technological breakthroughs are also being made every day. India, with 809 aircrafts, also has a big military presence. The reliance on Russian aircrafts is heavy though there are also locally manufactured aircrafts such as the HAL Tejas. India is also looking to expand their combat fleet.
If you are interested in knowing more about the largest air forces in the world, you should check out our list. It consists of piloted aircrafts and does not include drones. Also excluded are helicopters and other military planes like tankers and transport planes. Only planes with fixed wing airframes have been considered. The data has been taken from the World Air Forces 2016 review by Flight Global.