Read about the capabilities, development, and operational history of the aircraft used by the Air Force across a wide range of mission requirements. Scroll through the different airframe types and click the airframe to view it's Factsheet.
The F-15 Eagle is an all-weather, extremely maneuverable, tactical fighter designed to permit the Air Force to gain and maintain air supremacy over the battlefield.
The F-16 Fighting Falcon is a compact, multi-role fighter aircraft. It is highly maneuverable and has proven itself in air-to-air combat and air-to-surface attack. It provides a relatively low-cost, high-performance weapon system for the United States and allied nations.
The F-22 Raptor is combination of stealth, supercruise, maneuverability, and integrated avionics, coupled with improved supportability, represents an exponential leap in warfighting capabilities. The Raptor performs both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions allowing full realization of operations.
The F-35A is the U.S. Air Force’s latest fifth-generation fighter. The F-35A will provide next-generation stealth, enhanced situational awareness, and reduced vulnerability for the United States and allied nations.
The CV-22 Osprey is a tiltrotor aircraft that combines the vertical takeoff, hover and vertical landing qualities of a helicopter with the long-range, fuel efficiency and speed characteristics of a turboprop aircraft. The mission of the CV-22 is to conduct long-range infiltration and exfiltration.
The primary mission of the HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter is to conduct day or night personnel recovery operations into hostile environments to recover isolated personnel during war.
The UH-1N is a light-lift utility helicopter used to support various missions. The primary missions include: airlift of emergency security forces, security and surveillance of off-base nuclear weapons convoys, and distinguished visitor airlift.
A-10C Thunderbolt II The A-10C Thunderbolt II is the first Air Force aircraft specially designed for close air support of ground forces. They are simple, effective and used against light maritime attack aircraft and all ground targets, including tanks and other armored vehicles.
The AC-130J is a highly modified C-130J aircraft that contains many advanced features. It contains an advanced two-pilot flight station with fully integrated digital avionics.
Carrying the largest conventional payload of both guided and unguided weapons in the Air Force inventory, the multi-mission B-1 is the backbone of America's long-range bomber force. It can rapidly deliver massive quantities of precision and non-precision weapons against any adversary, anywhere.
The B-2 Spirit is a multi-role bomber capable of delivering both conventional and nuclear munitions. A dramatic leap forward in technology, the B-2 brings massive firepower to bear, in a short time, anywhere on the globe through previously impenetrable defenses.
The B-21 Raider will be a dual-capable penetrating strike stealth bomber capable of delivering both conventional and nuclear munitions. The B-21 will form the backbone of the future Air Force bomber force consisting of B-21s and B-52s.
The B-52H Stratofortress is a long-range, heavy bomber that can perform a variety of missions. The bomber is capable of flying at high subsonic speeds at altitudes of up to 50,000 feet. It can carry nuclear or precision guided conventional ordnance with worldwide precision navigation capability.
The E-3 Sentry is an airborne warning and control system, or AWACS, aircraft with an integrated command and control battle management, or C2BM, surveillance, target detection, and tracking platform.
The E-4B serves as the National Airborne Operations Center and is a key component of the National Military Command System for the President, the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The KC-10 Extender is an Air Mobility Command advanced tanker and cargo aircraft designed to provide increased global mobility for U.S. armed forces..
The KC-46A is the first phase in recapitalizing the U.S. Air Force's aging tanker fleet. With greater refueling, cargo and aeromedical evacuation capabilities compared to the KC-135, the KC-46A will provide aerial refueling support to Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and partner-nation receivers.
The KC-135 Stratotanker provides the core aerial refueling capability for the United States Air Force and has excelled in this role for more than 60 years. This unique asset enhances the Air Force's capability to accomplish its primary mission of global reach.
The C-5M Super Galaxy is a strategic transport aircraft and is the largest aircraft in the Air Force inventory. Its primary mission is to transport cargo and personnel for the Department of Defense. The C-5M is a modernized version of the legacy C-5 designed and manufactured by Lockheed Martin.
The C-17 Globemaster III is the most flexible cargo aircraft to enter the airlift force. The C-17 is capable of rapid strategic delivery of troops and all types of cargo to main operating bases or directly to forward bases in the deployment area.
The C-20 is a twin-engine, turbofan aircraft acquired to fill the airlift mission for high-ranking government and Department of Defense officials. The 89th Airlift Wing, Joint Base Andrews, Md., operates five C-20Bs for worldwide special air missions.
The C-21 is a twin turbofan-engine aircraft used for passenger and cargo airlift. The aircraft is the military version of the Learjet 35A business jet. In addition, the aircraft is capable of transporting one litter or five ambulatory patients for aeromedical evacuation operations.
The C-32 provides safe, comfortable and reliable transportation for U.S. leaders to locations around the world. The primary customers are the vice president, using the distinctive call sign "Air Force Two," the first lady, and members of the Cabinet and Congress.
The C-37A/B are twin-engine, turbofan aircraft acquired to fill the worldwide special airlift missions for high ranking government and Department of Defense officials.
The C-40 B/C provides safe, comfortable and reliable transportation for U.S. leaders to locations around the world. The C-40B's primary customers are the combatant commanders, and the C-40C customers include members of the Cabinet and Congress.
The C-130 Hercules primarily performs the tactical portion of the airlift mission. The aircraft is capable of operating from rough, dirt strips and is the prime transport for airdropping troops and equipment into hostile areas.
The HC-130J replaces HC-130P/Ns as the only dedicated fixed-wing Personnel Recovery platform in the Air Force inventory. It is an extended-range version of the C-130J Hercules transport.
The HC-130P/N "King" is the only dedicated fixed-wing Personnel Recovery platform in the Air Force inventory.
The MC-130H Combat Talon II provides infiltration, exfiltration and resupply of special operations forces and equipment in hostile or denied territory. Secondary missions include psychological operations, and helicopter and vertical lift air refueling.
The mission of the VC-25 aircraft — Air Force One — is to provide air transport for the president of the United States.
The MC-12W is a medium-to low-altitude, twin-engine turboprop aircraft. Its primary mission is providing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support directly to ground forces.
The RC-135S Cobra Ball is a rapidly deployable aircraft, which flies Joint Chiefs of Staff-directed missions of national priority to collect optical and electronic data on ballistic targets.
The E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System is an airborne battle management, command and control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platform. Its primary mission is to provide theater ground and air commanders with ground surveillance to support attack operations.
The U-2 provides high-altitude, all-weather surveillance and reconnaissance, day or night, in direct support of U.S. and allied forces.
The WC-135W Constant Phoenix atmospheric collection aircraft supports national level consumers by collecting particulate and gaseous effluents and debris from accessible regions of the atmosphere in support of the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty of 1963.
The WC-130 Hercules is a high-wing, medium-range aircraft flown by the Air Force Reserve Command for weather reconnaissance missions. The aircraft penetrates tropical disturbances and storms, hurricanes and winter storms to obtain data on movement, size and intensity.
The T-1A Jayhawk is a medium-range, twin-engine jet trainer used in the advanced phase of specialized undergraduate pilot training for students selected to fly airlift or tanker aircraft. It also supports navigator training for the U.S. Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and international services.
The T-6A Texan II is a single-engine, two-seat primary trainer designed to train Joint Primary Pilot Training, or JPPT, students in basic flying skills common to U.S. Air Force and Navy pilots.
The T-38 Talon is a twin-engine, high-altitude, supersonic jet trainer used in a variety of roles because of its design, economy of operations, ease of maintenance, high performance and exceptional safety record.
The TG-16A Glider is a part of the U.S. Air Force Academy's sailplane fleet. The TG-16A is used to train USAFA cadets in soaring operations.
The EC-130H Compass Call is an airborne tactical weapon system using a heavily modified version of the C-130 Hercules airframe.
The X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle or OTV, is an experimental test program to demonstrate technologies for a reliable, reusable unmanned space test platform for the U.S. Air Force. The primary objectives of the X-37B are twofold: demonstrating reusable spacecraft technologies for America’s future in space and operating experiments which can be returned to and examined on Earth.
The MQ-1B Predator is an armed, multi-mission, medium-altitude, long-endurance remotely piloted aircraft that is employed primarily as an intelligence-collection asset and secondarily against dynamic execution targets..
The MQ-9 Reaper is employed primarily as an intelligence-collection asset and secondarily against dynamic execution targets.
The RQ-4 Global Hawk is a high-altitude, long-endurance, remotely piloted aircraft with an integrated sensor suite that provides global all-weather, day or night intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capability.