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DT Poll: What’s the World’s Best 4.5-Gen Fighter?

by John Reed on March 29, 2012

So, we talk about fifth-generation fighters all the time and we’ve even asked for your opinion about them.

Well, many of the world’s air forces can’t yet afford stealthy fighters but still need to modernize their aging fleets, we thought we’d look at the next best thing to a fifth-gen fighter; a 4.5 gen jet.

You know, the planes like the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet or the Eurofigter Typhoon. Badass jets that are able to give the only fifth-gen fighter on the international market, the delay-plauged F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, a run for its money in fighter acquisition contests around the globe.

So readers, which 4.5 jet is the best?

We’ve got Boeing’s ‘stealth killer’ Super Hornet, Boeing’s F-15SE Silent Eagle, Dassault’s Rafale, the Eurofigther Typhoon, the Saab Gripen, Sukhoi’s  Su-30, the MiG-35 and finally the Chengdu J-10.

4.5-gen fighters are called this because they feature advances in technology over 4th-gen fighters that were designed in the 1970s and dominated the skies in the 1980s and 1990s yet they aren’t entirely revolutionary designs like the F-22 Raptor and other 5th-gen planes. All of these jets mentioned above feature advanced radars, sensors communications links, while some like the Super Hornet, Silent Eagle and Typhoon are considerably stealthier than previous generations of fighters. Meanwhile, the Typhoon, Rafale and Gripen can supercruise — they can fly faster than the speed of sound without using gas guzzling afterburners — a feature that the F-22 Raptor, the ultimate fifth-gen fighter, is famous for.

So, do your research and tell us which one is the best in the poll below.


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