The American military-political publication National Interest has presented a list of the five most formidable air forces in the world. Let’s take a look at it.
#5 – Japan
Over the past decade, Japan’s Air Self-Defense Forces have been declining in quantity, but growing in quality. Now they consist of 1,175 aircraft and about 49,000 personnel. Basically, aviation is represented by American planes and helicopters, many of which are manufactured in Japan under license. At the same time, there is a rather weak anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense, which is also part of the Japanese Air Force.
#4 – India
India possesses predominantly outdated aircraft, mainly Soviet-made (although there are French, British, and own developments).
However, the 4th place in the ranking of the Indian Air Force allowed it to take a quantitative superiority over most countries in the world. Air defense and missile defense, for the most part, also do not differ in modernity.
At the same time, India is showing interest in updating the aircraft fleet. Negotiations on the purchase of new cars are underway with Israel and Russia. Number of personnel: 149,000 people.
#3 – China
As in many other spheres, in a matter of decades, China has transformed from a country of catch-up development into a leading world power. For the most part, the Chinese Air Force is armed with equipment of its own production, but there are also many Russian aircraft.
Basically these are Su-27, Su-30 and Su-35 in various modifications. Air defense / missile defense is also represented mainly by Chinese developments. The creation of unmanned vehicles is also actively underway. Number: 4167 aircraft and 330 thousand personnel.
#2 – Russia
The Russian military space forces are somewhat lagging behind the Chinese in terms of quantity, but they are noticeably superior in quality. In addition, unlike the United States (which, for no one is a secret, will be in the first place), where over the past 5 years there has been, albeit a small, reduction in the size of the Air Force, in Russia, on the contrary, they are increasing.
Also, domestic anti-aircraft and missile defense is considered the best in the world. In total, the Russian Aerospace Forces have at their disposal 3,912 aircraft and 165,000 personnel.
#1 – USA
The US Air Force has 11,767 aircraft and 318,000 personnel. But here you need to consider two important points:
Firstly, almost half of American aviation is transport aircraft and helicopters (5739 units).
Secondly, the US Air Force is dispersed, without exaggeration, around the world.
The rating was compiled taking into account many parameters: the number, performance characteristics of aircraft and air defense, the level of training of military personnel, the “coverage area” of aviation of a particular country, etc.
In addition to the obvious backlog in numbers, the publication named two main reasons why the Russian Aerospace Forces are inferior to the US Air Force:
Firstly, this is a “coverage area” – roughly speaking, Russia does not have many military bases outside the country where aviation can be based.
Secondly, unmanned aircraft are very poorly developed in the Russian Federation. Now it is used mainly for exploration, and even then, the park is represented, among other things, by foreign models. In the United States, this area is much better developed, including attack drones.