Multi-purpose hunting

Multi-purpose hunting or Multirol hunting . Hunting aircraft that can perform air-to-air combat missions and ground attack alike, changing the weapon settings they carry.


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  • 1 Features
  • 2 Examples of multipurpose fighters
    • 1 Fourth generation
    • 2 Fifth generation
  • 3 Related Links
  • 4 Sources


This is a relatively modern concept that appears with the 4 generation aircraft, which have led to the latest developments of combat aircraft, which are increasingly integrating the functions of air superiority , fighter bomber interceptor and attack aircraft , All on the same platform.

A multi-purpose fighter differs primarily from a fighter bomber in that the latter emphasizes ground attack with lower performance for air combat; and it differs from a ground attack aircraft in that it has very few fighter plane capabilities and has some armor.

The versatility of a versatile fighter is due among other characteristics to the capabilities to carry a varied range of armament, which can range from air-surface weapons, air-air or a mixed load. Depending on whether the aircraft is equipped with air-to-air weapons, it can carry out escort missions of other aircraft, interception, air patrol, etc. In case of being equipped with air-surface armament it can be used for bombing missions, near air support, or even attacking naval targets among many others. A combination of air-air and air-surface weapons could be used for interdiction missions where the aircraft probably could not be escorted and would have to attack ground targets while maintaining the ability to defend against other fighters.

A Su-35BM of the Russian Air Force

Generally multirol fighters arise as modernizations or upgrades that are carried out during the operational life of the different air superiority fighters, increasing their ground attack capabilities and improving their structural design and avionics to adapt them to the new requirements of the air forces. This is the case of the F-15E derived from the US F-15 ; or of the Russians Su-30 and Su-35 who derived from the Su-27 .

In other airplanes, polyvalent capabilities are included without even changing the official designation of the aircraft, such as the F-16 or MiG-29 , which were born as pure air superiority fighters and in their latest versions have substantial multirol capabilities without sacrifice the first

All the fighters that are currently in production have versatile capacities to a greater or lesser extent.

Examples of multipurpose fighters

Fourth generation

  • Saab 39 Gripenor JAS 39 Gripen: developed in the 1980s by the consortium of Swedish companies IG-JAS, led by the aerospace company Saab .
  • Dassault Mirage 2000 :manufactured by the French company Dassault Aviation was designed in the 1970s and based on the Dassault Mirage III and entered service in 1984 . It is the most modern model that has been manufactured from the successful Mirage series. In 2009 it is in service in nine countries with more than 600 aircraft built.

A Dassault Rafalede the French Air Force

  • Dassault Rafale: itis the most modern designed and built in France by Dassault Aviation . He made his first flight on 4 of July of 1986 , entering service at the end of the year 2000 .
  • Sukhoi Su-30 :two – seater developed in Russia by the Sukhoi companyfrom the Su-27PU. He made his first flight on December 31 , 1989 and entered service in 1996 . More than 200 units have been built for both the Russian Air Force and its export.
  • Sukhoi Su-35 :single – seater developed in Russia by the Sukhoi companyfrom the Su-27M. Due to the similar characteristics and the components it contains, it is considered a close cousin of the Su-30MKI (version for India ). The Su-35 is being introduced to the Russian Air Force .
  • Eurofighter “Typhoon”: twin-engine and highly maneuverable, designed and built by the consortium of European companies Eurofighter GmbH . It made its first flight on 27 as March as 1994 and entered service on 8 as April as 2003 in Germany . Until 2009 , more than 200 units had been produced and there were more than 400 orders.

Fifth generation

In the fifth generation airplanes, new requirements such as stealth and the integration of functions have appeared. In this way, all fifth-generation fighters have significant multirole capabilities, the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor being in some way the exception to the rule, since although it has a certain ability to attack the ground, it is an aerial superiority fighter “more pure”. This is perhaps because it will be complemented with the F-35 . For its part, the Russian project PAK-FA does plan to integrate all the capabilities of a multi-purpose fighter. Few features are known about the Chinese project, but it seems to focus on interception and long-range air combat.

The Sukhoi T-50 PAK-FA developed by Russia .

  • Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II:developed from

“Joint Strike Fighter” (JSF) program is designed with stealth capabilities, for near air support missions, tactical bombardment and air combat. He made his first flight on October 24, 2000. He is expected to enter service for 2015 after several delays in the program.

  • Sukhoi T-50: or PAK-FA by the name of the program developed in Russia by the Sukhoi company . Although it is defined as an aerial superiority poaching, it is assured that it has all the capabilities of a fourth generation multipurpose fighter. It made its first flight on January 29, 2010. It is still in the process of development and it is estimated that the first specimens will enter service before 2015.
  • Chengdu J-20: is a “Multipurpose Interceptor Hunting” project developed in China by Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group . He flew for the first time on January 11, 2011 and is expected to enter service before 2020.

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