There are many ratings of modern fighters in the world. Aircraft are compared in terms of flight altitude, armament, ability to detect the enemy, etc. etc. I think that such ratings are not entirely correct, because each aircraft is a complete machine designed to perform certain tasks. One fighter can reach high speed, but not climb to a great height, the other can carry a lot of weapons, but at the same time have a small combat radius. But in both cases, they both represent precisely fighters, just one is better in one capacity, the other in another. However, ratings continue to emerge.
So, today we will look at the Top 3 modern fighters with the longest range without refueling and without the use of additional outboard tanks. At the very beginning, we will immediately decide that we will consider the combat radius of the aircraft, and not the practical flight range.
The practical flight range is the distance that an aircraft can fly under a given state of the atmosphere, taking into account the fuel consumption for launch, takeoff, flight, landing and taxiing, taking into account the air navigation fuel supply. Combat radius is the distance at which a combat aircraft can solve the assigned task with an established fuel reserve and return to the home airfield.
In the first place, I put the Russian fifth-generation fighter Su-57, which has not yet entered the army. The point here is not at all a sense of patriotism. According to previously published data, the combat radius of the Su-57 at subsonic speed is 2064 km, and at supersonic speed - 1050 km, which exceeds that of the American F-35 fighter, in which they are respectively equal to 1080/760 km. For another American fighter, the F-22, the same figures are 1250/760 km.
In addition, the combat radius of the Su-57, if I have not missed any other fourth generation fighter, is indeed the largest. At least this is stated. All data on the fighter is taken from the first stage engine.
The practical range of the Su-57 is declared at 4300 km without additional tanks and 5500 km with them.
This American aircraft, created back in the 70s of the 20th century, is not in vain in second place. The F-15 Eagle, which was originally designed as an air superiority aircraft, is still in service with many countries around the world.
The combat radius of the F-15 is 1900 km, which is the second largest in the world among modern fighters. By this indicator, the F-15 left far behind the fifth-generation fighters F-35 and F-22. At the same time, the practical flight range of the aircraft is 5,6 thousand kilometers. The aircraft is built according to a normal aerodynamic configuration, and its maximum take-off weight is 30,9 tons. The maximum speed of the fighter is 2,7 thousand km / h. The fighter is equipped with a 20-mm M61 cannon with 940 rounds of ammunition and 11 suspension points for missiles and bombs with a total mass of up to 7,3 tons.
Until now, the F-15 fighter and its modifications are considered one of the best fighters in the world. In mid-July of this year, the US Department of Defense ordered the first modernized F-15EX fighters; in total, it is planned to purchase 144 modernized fighters, which are supposed to be used as carriers of hypersonic weapons.
The third place was taken by the Russian fourth-generation fighter Su-35S, which appeared in service with the Aerospace Forces quite recently. According to open data, the Russian fighter has a combat radius of 1,5 kilometers. Moreover, its practical range is 3,6 thousand km.
The aircraft itself is positioned as a multipurpose super-maneuverable fighter of the "4 ++" generation, with engines with thrust vector control (UHT). The aircraft is capable of carrying up to 8 tons of combat load. "Generation 4 ++" is conditional and only indicates that in terms of the aggregate characteristics, the fighter is very close to the characteristics of the fifth generation fighter, with the exception of the low-signature technology. The Su-35 is, in fact, a transitional link from the Su-27 to the Su-57.
The aircraft is designed to solve problems of conquering and maintaining air supremacy, aviation support of troops in conflicts of any scale, isolation of the combat area. Today, the fighter is officially in service with the Russian Aerospace Forces and the Chinese Air Force. Recently, there was information about the imminent arrival of the Su-35 into service with the Egyptian Air Force.
Fourth place and so on ...
Although this article talks about the Top 3 fighters in terms of flight range, I could not resist adding more. So, on the heels of the Russian Su-35 comes the European fighter Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4 aka EF2000 - a fourth-generation twin-engine multirole fighter with a canard and delta wing. The combat radius of this aircraft is 4 km with a practical range of 1390 km. Following the Eurofighter Typhoon, an American F-3790 fighter with a combat radius of 16 km and a practical range of 1315 km can be delivered.
In modern combat, fighter aircraft has a special role to play, which does not diminish over time. The task of creating no-fly zones, suppressing enemy air defenses and escorting ships and aircraft will be on the "shoulders" of fighters. And to complete each task requires its own, special fighter, or multipurpose aircraft. Again, it is not entirely correct to compare different fighters within a rating, but it is quite possible, just for information.
Honestly, the rating I have compiled does not pretend to be the ultimate truth, so constructive criticism indicating mistakes is only welcome. Also, readers can make their own rating and voice it in the comments.