Top 10 Strongest Air Forces of the World in 2022
Top 10 Strongest Air Forces of the World in 2022
Table Content

According to The EurAsian Times, The World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft (WDMMA) website has just ranked the Indian Air Force 3rd strongest globally in 2022.

The WDMMA report assesses the overall combat capabilities of many different air forces around the world and ranks them based on that.

The Indian Air Force ranks higher than China's regional rivals, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, the Israeli Air Force, and the French Air and Space Force.

WDMMA uses a scoring formula called TrueValueRating (TvR), which allows for evaluating the overall combat strength of the air forces of countries based on factors such as modernization, attack capacity, and defense capacity...

Report Overview

The current WDMMA inventory consists of 98 countries tracked, 124 air services covered (this includes Army, Navy, and Marine branches of service where applicable), and 47,840 total aircraft followed.

According to the WDMMA rankings, the US Air Force has the highest TvR score with 242.9. The U.S. Air Force has a diverse fleet of aircraft, many of whose components are locally sourced thanks to strong defense industry.

The U.S. Air Force has dedicated strategic bombers, close-in air support aircraft, a large fighter force (many of which are multi-role) and hundreds of transport aircraft. . The US Air Force is also continuing to order hundreds of other types.

Interestingly, the top two positions belong to the US Air Force and US Navy, followed by the Russian Air Force, US Army Air Force and US Marines. Next on the list are the Indian Air Force and the Chinese Air Force.

According to the report, the Indian Air Force has a total of 1,645 operational aircraft in its arsenal.

While Indian media welcomed the WDMMA rankings, Chinese netizens disagreed with this ranking and questioned the capabilities of the Indian Air Force as well as the WDMMA rankings.

Chinese netizens believe that the Indian Air Force ranks higher because the WDMMA lacks information about the Chinese Air Force.

An article on Chinese social media went viral saying that for a long time, India had depended on imported foreign products to strengthen its military capabilities.

In 2016, India spent nearly $8.7 billion to buy 36 improved Rafale fighters from France. Currently, these fighters are also deployed in the Indo-China and India-Pakistan border areas to gain a competitive advantage over China's J-16 and J-20 fighters.

The emergence of the Space Force

Modern military operations are not restricted to atmospheric affairs. In recent years, several countries have begun to develop some form of “space force” program, either as an expansion of their existing air force or as a standalone branch, that looks to extend their military influence to outer space and its boundless frontiers. While the majority of these programs are still in their infancy, spaceward expansion is imminent as countries look to bolster their military strength.

Top 10 Strongest Air Forces of the World in 2022/2023 - Ranked by WDMMA

1. United States Air Force

2. Russian Air Force

3. Indian Air Force

4. People's Liberation Army Air Force (China)

5. Japan Air Self-Defense Force

6. Israeli Air Force

7. French Air Force

8. Bristish Royal Air Force

9. South Korean Air Force

10. Pakistan Air Force

************

What Are the Strongest Air Forces of the World in 2022/2023: India Overtakes China

1. United States Air Force

Photo: linkedin
Photo: linkedin

The United States of America maintains the strongest Air Force in the world by an impressive margin. As of late 2021, the United States Air Force (USAF) is composed of 5217 active aircraft, making it the largest, the most technologically advanced, and the most powerful air fleet in the world. What's more, the United States Navy, Army, and Marine Corps are close behind, bringing the United States' total available military aircraft to 13,247. This is larger than the combined air fleets of the next five countries on the list.

Ultimately, the United States' four main military branches occupy four of the top five spots, with the order changing slightly depending upon whether the metric in use is TvR rating or overall number of aircraft. Combat helicopters make up the largest portion of the US air fleet (particularly in the non-Air Force branches), accounting for 5,463, or about 41% of the total aircraft. The USAF also includes 2,660 trainers, 2,740 combat aircraft, 744 special mission aircraft, 627 tankers, 982 transports, and more.

2. Russian Air Force

Photo: defensenews
Photo: defensenews

The Soviet air force came into being in 1992 as the former soviet union but after disintegration the Russian air force was left with 1,900 combat aircrafts.But still the Russia is continuously improving its air defense capability by producing many terrifying war planes.The Mikoyan MIG-31 ‘foxhound’ is a remarkable and fiercely competent plane with the extreme capabilities.Thus, Russian airforce is capable of dealing with any emergency in the world. Thus due to strongest military air defense strategies, high-speed warfare planes it occupies the second place in the world’s air force list.

The Russian Air Force is a distant, but comfortable second to the USAF when it comes to military aircraft, with a total of 3,863 military aircraft (with another 310 allotted to the Navy). During the Cold War, Soviet airpower was comparable to that of the United States, but after the dissolving of the Soviet Union and the establishment of the Russian Federation, the Air Force budget was reduced considerably. However, since the turn of the 21st century, the Russian Air Force has been steadily improving and retains enough precursors to hold steady control of the #2 spot, at least for a little while longer.

3. Indian Air Force

Photo: sldinfo
Photo: sldinfo

This country has won a few wars, and also has developed some of their own planes in the past and present. The only reason they are behind the Saudis is their reliance on Russian airframes, while the Saudis and Japanese have F-15s.

It was officially established on 8 October 1932. Military Schools and Sainik Schools were founded to broaden the recruitment base of the Defence Forces. The President of India Pranab Mukherjee serves as the ex-officio Commander-in-Chief of the IAS.

Best-equipped air force across the world along with professional standards, It had been involved in several wars, one with neighboring Pakistan and one with the People's Republic of China. During the Kargil War of 1999, It had provided close air support to the Indian Army with the use of helicopters.

Having the second-best carrier aviation arm doesn’t hurt.

4. People's Liberation Army Air Force (China)

Photo: ainonline
Photo: ainonline

With 1,991 military aircraft in the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF), 857 in the Army, and 437 in the Navy (for a total of 3,285), the Chinese air fleet is the third-largest in the world. Although China ranks behind Russia in total aircraft, they dwarf the Russian Air Force in terms of personnel. Moreover, the PLAAF has seen, perhaps, the most notable improvement among world Air Forces over the last 20 years. The PLAAF started out with an outdated fleet of second or third-generation Soviet-built combat aircraft that were practically obsolete on the world stage. But in the new millennium, China has taken matters into its own hands, emulating USAF models and developing its own fourth-generation aircraft, which approach—and in some cases outperform—their USAF inspirations in both innovation and technological prowess. While China sits in a relatively distant third as of 2021, its current path of expansion indicates it may soon eclipse Russia for the second spot, perhaps even challenge the United States for the top rank.

5. Japan Air Self-Defense Force

Photo: defenceview
Photo: defenceview

Japan could rank higher, but they have limited themselves due to Article 9 of their post-World War II constitution.

While they are stretching the boundaries, the lack of real ground-attack capabilities is very telling. But they have very good air-to-air, anti-surface ship, and anti-submarine capabilities.

With four “helicopter destroyers” that are really small carriers, Japan could vault up very quickly.

6. Israeli Air Force

Photo: timesofisrael
Photo: timesofisrael

The Israeli Air Force is listed here not so much because it is very large, but because it is so experienced and well equipped with modern gear.

The Israelis have had a good air force — much of it based on need. Yes, the airframes are American designs, but the Israelis have installed their own electronics on the F-15I and F-16I planes that are now the backbone of their military.

The Israeli Air Force maintains a high level of readiness, with many of its pilots being some of the best trained in the world.

Plus, their pilots are very, very good.

7. French Air Force

Photo: af
Photo: af

The French remain one of the most powerful militaries around the world and operate some of the most advanced and modern equipment. Like the British, the French typically have equipment at around one-tenth the number the Americans have.

The French Air Force is equipped with their own indigenous Mirage fighters and is boosted somewhat by the aircraft carrier they have in service as well as their Mistral Class helicopter carriers.

8. British Royal Air Force

Photo: airandspace
Photo: airandspace

The British air force is considered to be the oldest airforce in the world as being the part of oldest decision-making lot of the countries.This air force is renowned for its strategic bombing.This air force came into being during the period of the first world war on 1st April 1918 when the royal naval force and the Royal Flying Corps United.

This is a very capable, albeit small, force. The problem is “the Few” are becoming “fewer” — and there have been some uncomfortable gaps, including the early retirement of their Harrier force, which was a poor way to repay the airframe that won the Falklands War.

The fact that the Royal Navy’s new carrier will have to deploy with United States Marines says a lot.

9. South Korean Air Force

Photo: wikidata
Photo: wikidata

South Korea is officially known as The Republic of Korea and is located in the southern part of the Korea peninsula, which neighbors China to the west, Japan to the east, and North Korea to the north. The largest city and capital is Seoul, which has a population of just under 10 million. Under its current constitution, the state is also referred to as The Sixth Republic of South Korea. The country had its first election at 1948 and operates under a powerful presidential system.

South Korea’s air force has come a long way in the same timeframe as China. F-5s and F-4s have been replaced by F-16s, and they developed the T-50 Golden Eagle, which is a very capable advanced trainer — so much so it has also been turned into a multi-role fighter as well.

10. Pakistan Air Force

Photo: globalvillagespace
Photo: globalvillagespace

The country of Pakistan has a history that dates back to almost 2,500 years B.C. It is considered to be one of the most highly advanced and highly developed civilizations of those ancient times. Finally becoming a sovereign state (and eventually recognized as an official mark on the map of the world) on August 14, 1947, this country is known for having deep roots in the Islamic religion. The country’s capital is Islamabad, and the country features four different provinces: North West Frontier Province, Sindh, Balochistan, and Punjab.

Considering the immense air force possessing countries in the region, Pakistan also developed its gigantic air force known as PAF which is ranked at seventh position in the top 10 countries list having best airforce. From the time of its inception, Pakistan has been indulged in different feuds of the regions especially with neighboring India so It gradually developed its air defense in order to maintain balance of power in the region and to confront threats from the enemy. It possesses a good number of Chinese Chengdu J-7 fighter aircrafts along with f-16 fighting falcons.It also possesses the Mirage 3, Mirage 5 and French fighter aircraft.

Top 10 Nations with the Most Military Aircraft (All Branches Combined) - Flight International 2022:

  1. United States - 13,247 (5,217 Air Force, 4,409 Army, 2,464 Navy, 1,157 Marines)
  2. Russia - 4,173 (3,863 Air Force, 310 Navy)
  3. China - 3,285 (1,991 Air Force, 857 Army, 437 Navy)
  4. India - 2,186 (1,715 Air Force, 232 Army, 239 Navy)
  5. South Korea - 1,595 (898 Air Force, 611 Army, 69 Navy, 17 Marines)
  6. Japan - 1,449 (746 Air Force, 392 Army, 311 Navy)
  7. Pakistan - 1,386 (810 Air Force, 544 Army, 32 Navy)
  8. Egypt - 1,062 (1,053 Air Force)
  9. Turkey - 1,057 (612 Air Force, 398 Army, 47 Navy)
  10. France - 1,055 (570 Air Force, 306 Army, 179 Navy)
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