The McDonnell Douglas YF 17 was the first defining aircraft of this family taking design experiences from F 5E. The YF 17 lost to YF 16 in the light fighter competition. But failures are stepping stones of success and here is the proof. The YF 17 airframe was bulked into a bigger F 18 A/B as a mid range complement to the bigger F 14 Tomcat. After the cancellation of Naval Advanced Tactical Fighter NATF program. The US Navy wanted a heavy class combat aircraft that could replace all it's F 14s and F/A 18 C/D Hornet aircrafts. A heavily upgraded F 14 was supposed to do the job but US congress went ahead with a more cheaper alternative of developing a bigger F 18 with powerful engines. Certainly they later found F 35 C as a fitting contender but, still their was a need of a twin engine fighter that has better range and electronic attack capability. This requirement was fulfilled by the F/A 18 Super Hornets and E/A 18 Growlers. The F/A 18 Super Hornets are the Growlers are 25% bigger in size than the original hornets. They have square cross section intakes with partial serpentine intakes, that partially hides the engine fan blades. They are powered with a more powerful engine. The E/A 18 Growler is an Electronic Attack variant based on Super Hornet airframe.
Their are unique leading edge root extensions on the Super Hornet airframe. They provide a substantial lift to the heavy body. The Super Hornet is whole lot a new aircraft that apart from maintenance procedures and ejection seat thier is rarely any old thing taken. The Super Hornets later received heavy upgrades like an AESA radar , avionics from the cancelled X 32 and various other podded mission specific sensors.
The F / A 18 Advanced Super Hornet is an upgrade program initiated to add more capabilities to the current existing fleet of Super Hornets and Growlers. As well as possible procurement of more F / A 18s to complement the F 35 C.
Chengdu Aerospace Corporation's J 20 is an advanced fifth generation twin engine single seat Air-Superiority aircraft. It has been intended to replace the 3rd generation aircrafts in inventory of People's Liberation Army - Air Force and serve as a deterance to the deployment of advanced US fifth generation aircrafts in South China sea and anywhere around. There are no known post production variants of Chengdu J 20 and its development program has been funded entirely by Chinese Government. It features all attributes of being an advanced Chinese development which sure would challenge superiority of US , Russia and would dominate Europe in the field of fighter aircraft design.
The Chengdu J 20 has been designed keeping in mind the Chinese Anti Access / Area Denial strategy. According to this strategy, the forces must have minimum fire power to deny access to a powerful enemy over the area of interest. Chengdu J 20 may not be able to match the level of stealth of US fighters but would surely be enough to deny access. The Chinese have given equal importance to Stealth and kinematic performance of an aircraft and have made a high thrust engine, high internal fuel and more number of external fuel tanks being able to carry. The J 20 has been designed to match the level of combat effectiveness of Lockheed F 22 raptor as well as to overpower combat effectiveness of Lockheed F 35 lightning ll. The J 20 may not be able to reach the technological advancement level of F 35 but can perform more tasks and provides a kinematically superior airframe.
There is a sensible case to be made that a confrontation between opposing stealth fighters may be decided at within-visual-ranges, where elements of classic dogfighting and close in air combat manoeuvring may apply.
It is an American Single Engine, Medium Capability Fifth Generation Fighter. There is a family of different aircrafts based on F 35. The F 35 is currently being introduced in service. F 35 is a single engine, single seat, stealth, multirole, fifth generation fighter aircraft. deployed for combat by the United States Air Force and various other Air Forces allied to US. It is an outcome of the erstwhile Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program initiated by the US to replace various aircrafts in service with US military. It is also thus the most costly Fifth Generation Fighter Program because it aims to satisfy multiple requirements in a single airframe. The JSF was intended to replace F 14 Tomcat, F 16 Falcon, F/A 18 Hornet, A-10 Thunderbolt and AV-8B Harrier aircrafts and all their variants.
F-35 JSF development is being principally funded by the United States with additional funding from partners. The partner nations are either NATO members or close U.S. allies. The United Kingdom, Italy, Australia, Canada, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Turkey are part of the active development program; several additional countries have ordered, or are considering ordering, the F-35. All the partner nations have started receiving F 35 aircrafts.
To keep development, production, and operating costs down, a common design was planned in three variants that share 80 percent of their parts:
1 F 35A (CTOL) conventional take off and landing variant.
2 F 35B (STOVL) short-take off and vertical-landing variant.
3 F 35C catapult assisted takeoff but arrested landing ( CATOBAR ) carrier-based (CV) variant.
On 31 July 2015, the first squadron was declared ready for deployment after intensive testing by the United States.