United States of America’s Top 5 Secret Warplanes
In 1914 France was the first army in history to utilize camouflaged uniforms. Their tactical advantage was quickly adopted by every major power in World War I and has been used to deadly affect in every conflict since.
That necessity for disguise and stealth has intensified as technology has integrated further into daily warfare. It’s no longer enough to have the biggest bombs or strongest tanks. It’s now necessary to have a way to hit the enemy without them ever detecting that you were there.
These are the United States of America’s stealthiest warplanes:
Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II
The F-35 Lightning II is the gold standard of fighter jet. Modern weaponry, extreme agility, stealth features, and the ability to say that it’s the only multirole international fifth-generation warplane in existence is what sets this aircraft apart from all competitors.
Completing its maiden flight in December 2006, the F-35 is locked and loaded with weapon systems like the Sidewinder, Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs), and Storm Shadow. All of which makes it dominant up close and in ranged aerial combat.
These planes have slowly spread throughout the various branches of the US Military, including the US Air Force, US Navy, and US Marine Corps. In the next few years, other allied nations will be implementing the fighter craft into their military air fleets.
The F-35 Lightning II has three variations: CTOL, conventional takeoff and landing; STOVL, vertical landing; and CV, carrier variant. The single-seat fighter is primarily produced by Lockheed Martin, though major partners also include Pratt & Whitney, BAE Systems, and Northrup Grumman.
Lockheed Martin / Boeing F-22 Raptor
Virtually imperceptible to modern radars, the F-22 is a twin-engine fifth generation, single-seat tactical fighter. Originally enlisted to the US Air Force fleet as an air-superiority fighter, the F-22 has transitioned into a multi-mission fighter aircraft.
Stealth integrated avionics, air-to-air, and air-to-ground missiles make it a perfect jack of all trades. Making it a multi-armed tool ready to complete attack, surveillance, reconnaissance, signals intelligence, and electronic warfare missions.
Though it formally joined the US Air Force’s ranks in December 2005, the F-22 Raptor completed its maiden flight in September 1997. In the time since its origination, few aircrafts have been able to rival its combined stealth, maneuverability, and lethal ammunitions.
Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet
This two-seat strike fighter replaced the Grumman F-14 Tomcat for US Navy service in 1999 and joined the Royal Australian Air Force in 2010. A combat-proven military jet, the Super Hornet provides multi-role next generation strike fighter abilities.
While the previous two aircrafts balanced stealth and military might, the Boeing F/A-18E/F is a fighter jet first and foremost. With eleven weapon stations on the craft, the Super Hornet is excessively ready for air-to-air and air-to-ground combat. Maximizing all types of smart weapons, including laser-guided bombs, the plane has provided much needed support in Operation Southern Watch, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and many other US missions.
Boeing F-15E Strike Eagle
Considered the backbone of the modern US Air Force, the Strike Eagle carries up to 23,000lbs of payload. Ammunitions include Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles, numerous variations of bombs, AIM-9X Sidewinders, Joint Direct Attack Munitions, and the Standoff Weapon System.
While flying at more than double the speed of sound, the avionics systems allow the Strike Eagle to conduct missions in all weather conditions. Whether it’s day or night, sunny or snowing, the F-15 is ready for air-to-air or air-to-surface missions.
Designed in the 1980s, the original focus was long-ranged, high-speed interdiction without necessitating an escort plane.
These planes are easy to distinguish from other US Eagle aircrafts by noting their tandem seat cockpit, darker camouflage, and conformal fuel tanks.
Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit
A two-seat American heavy strategic bomber, the B-2 Spirit gained public recognition due to their unique bat-like concept. The bomber was crafted for maximum stealth and anti-aircraft defense penetration capabilities. Which is made easier by their ability to deploy conventional and thermonuclear weapons like sixteen 2,400-pound B83 Nuclear bombs, JDAM Global Positioning System-Guided Bombs, and AGM-129 ACM cruise missiles. As the only known aircraft that is able to carry air-to-surface standoff weapons while in a stealth configuration, the B-2 Spirit is truly one of a kind.
Entering the US Air Force fleet in 1997, the bomber was originally crafted to combat Soviet Union airspace. After the USSR’s collapse, the program was severely defunded. Leading to only twenty-two B-2 Spirits ever being created. They are currently expected to be decommissioned in 2032.
The United States has always invested in having the absolute best fighter aircrafts. Which is probably why the US currently has eleven aircraft carries — over double that of all other countries combined.
In late 2019, a private satellite picked up unusual activity in the airspace over Nevada. It’s theorized that the UFO could be a new, currently unidentified, military aircraft. Not much was determined about the craft except that it was fast and quite stealthy. If this theory is proven correct, it may very well mean that one of the planes listed isn’t long for its top five ranking. Of course, there’s only one way to truly know. For that though, the world will have to wait a bit longer.