In 1783, the first practical aircrafts, hot air and hydrogen balloons, were established and quickly adopted for military duties. Today, any fixed-wing or rotary-wing aircraft that is operated by a legal or insurrectionary-armed service of any type is considered a military aircraft. These aircrafts fall into two categories, combat or non-combat. Combat aircrafts are designed to destroy enemy equipment with their own aircraft ordnance or weapon. These aircrafts are typically developed and procured only by military forces. Non-combat military aircrafts are not designed with the primary function of combat in mind. These aircrafts act in support roles by carrying weapons or supplies for defense. Either civilian organizations or military forces may develop them.
Combat aircrafts, or “Warplanes,” are divided into broad categories, including fighter aircrafts, bombers, and attackers. There are several variations between the categories.
- The main role of a fighter aircraft if to destroy the enemy’s aircrafts when engaging in air-to-air combat. These are fast and highly maneuverable, and may escort other combat aircrafts when needed. They are capable of carrying a number of kinds of weapons, including cannons, machine guns, guided missiles, and rockets. The modern fighter aircrafts of today are able attack from long distances.
- Bomber aircrafts are typically heavier, larger, and less maneuverable than fighters. Bombers are almost exclusively used for ground attacks, as they are not fast enough to take on enemy fighters. They are capable of carrying larger payloads of bombs, cruise missiles, and torpedoes. Some bombers have only a single engine and require only one pilot, while others have two or more of both.
- Attack aircrafts may be used to provide air support for ground troops. These weapons are able to carry both nuclear and conventional weapons beyond enemy lines to strike ground targets.
- Electronic warfare aircrafts are used to degrade the effectiveness of enemy radio and radar systems.
A maritime patrol aircraft is a fixed-wing aircraft that is designed to make long journeys for long periods of time over water in maritime patrol roles. They also act as anti-submarine, anti-ship, and search and rescue aircrafts.
- Most of the combat aircrafts today have the ability to fill multiple roles. A multirole combat aircraft may be a fighter or a bomber, depending on what the mission calls for.
Noncombat roles of military aircrafts include reconnaissance, search and rescue, surveillance and observation, Airborne Early Warning and Control, transport, and aerial refueling. Many civil aircrafts have been produced in a separate model specifically for military use.
- Reconnaissance aircrafts are primarily used for the gathering of intelligence and are typically equipped with cameras and other sensors. They are sometimes specially designed or may be a modified fighter or bomber type.
- Military transport (or logistics) aircrafts are primarily used to transport supplies and troops. Cargo may be attached to pallets, making loading and unloading a simpler process. It may also be discharged from parachutes from the aircraft to eliminate the need for landing. Aerial tankers are also included in this category.
- Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) systems are radar systems that are designed to detect ships, other aircrafts, and ground vehicles at long ranges, as well as to control and command the battle space in an air engagement.
- Experimental aircrafts are designed as a way to test advanced aerodynamic, avionic, structural and propulsion concepts.
The following are examples of military aircrafts available through UDC USA:
- Antonov An-32
- Antonov An-26
- Northrop F-5 Tiger II Fighter/trainer
- Mil Mi-17/Mi-8
- Mil Mi-2
- Mil Mi-26
- Mil Mi-24/Mi-35
Length: 23.78 m (78.02 ft.)
Width: 29.20 m (95.80 ft.)
Height: 8.75 m (28.71 ft.)
Weight: 16,800 kg (37, 038 lbs.)
Powerplant: 2 x ZMKB Progress AI-20DM turboprop engines
Maximum Speed: 530 km/h (329 mph)
Maximum Range: 2,500 km (1,553 mi)
Service Ceiling: 9,500 m (31,168 ft.)
The Anotonov An-32 (NATO reporting name “Cline”) was developed as an improved version of the An-26 twin-engine. This aircraft introduced more powerful engines for better performance and allowed it to work in rougher conditions than its predecessors were designed to handle. The An-32 made its debut in 1969 and is still in service for many countries to this day. It made its first flight on July 9th, 1976 and production numbers have totaled at 361 units.
To keep the design simple, the An-32 was cosmetically kept the same as the An-26 with new re-designed engines. These new engines increased performance and proved to withstand harsh tropical and high-altitude environments. This led to its use by customers located in the Middle East, North Africa, and parts of Asia including India, Iraq, and Sri Lanka.
The high-mounted wings of the An-32 allow it a short takeoff time and landing qualities. Instead of being mounted underneath, the aircraft’s engines are mounted on top of the wings to allow for complete clearance by ground personnel when working on the aircraft. This high placement also allows for a larger diameter propeller blade to be used to generate more thrust. Two ZMKB Progress AI-20DM turbopop engines, which generate approximately 5,100 horsepower each, power the An-32. The maximum payload capacity is approximately 7.5 tons with a powered rear-loading ramp for cargo entry/exit. A standard crew is made up of two pilots, a loadmaster, and a flight engineer. The An-32 can reach a maximum speed of 330 miles per hour with a cruising speed of 292 miles per hour. Its service ceiling is listed at 31,165 feet at a range of 1,555 miles. From the base design of the An-32, several variants have emerged and feature the same increased Maximum Take-Off Weights (MTOWs), improved avionics, and other systems.
Contact the defense experts at UDC USA for additional information on Anotonov An-32, other defense weapons and aircrafts, military training and education, and defense procurement services.
Length: 23.8 m (78.08 ft.)
Width: 29.20 m (95.80 ft.)
Height: 8.60 m (28.22 ft.)
Weight: 15,000 kg (33,069 lbs.)
Powerplant: 2 x Progress AI-24VT turbopop engines
Maximum Speed: 445 km/h (277 mph)
Maximum Range: 2,500 km (1,553 mi)
Service Ceiling: 7,500 m (24,606 ft.)
Developed form the An-24, the Antonov An-26 was built to as an airliner passenger and general transport role. Its first flight was on May 21st, 1969 and production spanned until 1986. In that time, 1,403 units were produced. Many different variants of this aircraft have emerged, although many of these aircrafts are still in active service today. The An-26 has a secondary bomber role with under-wing bomb racks. Acting in the bomber role, it was extensively used by the Sudanese Air Force during the Second Sudanese Civil War and the War in Darfur. Russian forces currently train with the An-26 as a bomber.
The An-24 was designed by the Soviet Union to thrive in the harshest of conditions found across the vast Soviet empire, particularly in the areas of the frontier that were incredibly difficult to reach. This created the need for a modified form that would gain traction and included a powered loading ramp for easy moving of cargo pallets to and from the aircraft into awaiting vehicles. As it was finalized, the An-26 stayed almost the same in terms of form and function as its predecessor, the An-24 model, in its twin-engine layout and high-wing design. The tail of the aircraft kept with the vertical single fin and low-set horizontal planes. The flight deck is placed at the front end of the short nose cone, while the cargo hold makes up a majority of the remaining interior space. The An-26 is also known by its NATO identification, “Curl-A.”
Two major variants have been developed from the An-26. The An-30 “Clank” features a redesigned nose section with extensive glazing. This variant has only been built in small numbers and typically serves in dedicated photographic and survey roles. The An-32 “Cline” replaced the An-26 in 1977 and features an Ivcyenko AI-20D Series 5 turbopops. The engines are mounted above the wing instead of below it to give it greater clearance.
Contact the defense experts at UDC USA for additional information on Anotonov An-26, other defense weapons and aircrafts, military training and education, and defense procurement services.
Northrop F-5 Tiger II Fighter/Trainer
Length: 14.45 m (47.41 ft.)
Width: 8.13 m (26.67 ft.)
Height: 4.06 m (13.31 ft.)
Weight: 4,410 kg (9,722 lbs.)
Powerplant: 2 x General Electric J85-GE21 turbojet engines with afterburner
Maximum Speed: 1,734 km/h (1,077 mph)
Maximum Range: 2,483 km (1,543 mi)
Service Ceiling: 15,790 m (28,700 ft.)
Development of the Northrop F-5 Tiger II began in 1954 after a Northrop team toured Asia and Europe to examine the defense needs of SEATO and NATO countries. In 1955, a company design study for a lightweight supersonic fighter aircraft that would be easily maintained, relatively inexpensive, and capable of operating out of shorter runways was conducted. On August 9, 1962, the Department of Defense gave this newly designed aircraft the official designation of the F-5A Freedom Fighter. Optimized for an air-to-ground role.
The Northrop F-5 Tiger II Fighter aircraft retained many of the qualities that made its predecessor, the F-5A Freedom Fighter, such global success. This model featured two General Electric J85-21/21A series engines with 5,000-thrust output. The service ceiling was increased to 51,800 feet and the range was improved to 1,543 miles. To accommodate the new powerplants, the fuselage was enlarged and lengthened, and extra stores of internal fuel were increased to help the operational range. The avionics of the F-5 were upgraded to the Emerson Electric AN/APQ-152 series radar and maneuverability was enhanced thanks to the addition of leading edge extensions along the wings. The original twin M39 cannons were originally retained from the F-5A, but upgraded to the M39A2 series after the ordnance load was increased.
Numerous update programs were created to keep this incredibly important warplane viable in today’s modern world. These upgrades offer a mix of new avionics and structural refurbishment of the airframe. Under license, this aircraft has been assembled in Taiwan and South Korea, and remains in widespread service in Bahrain, Brazil, Chile, Honduras, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia, Yemen, as well as with the United States Marine Corps and United States Navy.
For additional information on the Northrop F-5 Tiger II, other military aircrafts and defense weapons, military training and education, or defense procurement services, contact the experts at UDC USA today.
Mil Mi-8/ Mil Mi-17
Length: 18.17 m (59.61 ft.)
Width: 21.29 m (69.85 ft.)
Height: 5.56 m (18.24 ft.)
Weight: 7,260 kg (16,006 lbs.)
Powerplant: 2 x Klimov TV3-117mt turboshaft engines
Maximum Speed: 260 km/h (162 mph)
Maximum Range: 450 km (280 mi)
Service Ceiling: 4,500 m (14,764 ft.)
The Mil Mi-8 is a medium-sized, twin-turbine helicopter designed originally in the Soviet Union and currently produced by Russia. In addition to its normal role as a transport helicopter, the Mi-8 is also used as an airborne-armed gunship, reconnaissance platform, and command post. In addition to its nearly identical sister helicopter, the Mil Mi-17, the Mi-8 is one of the world’s most produced helicopters and is used by over 50 different countries. As of 2015, it was ranked as the third-most common operational military aircraft in the world. Even after 42 years, production of the Mi-8 still continues at the Kazan Helicopter Production Association.
Utilizing some of the successful internal workings of the Mi-4, the Mi-8 features a single Soloviev turbo-shaft engine of 2,700-shaft horsepower that was added to a new and enlarged fuselage. Its tail rotor easily makes the aircraft easily recognizable, as it is on the starboard side instead of the port side. The Mi-8 features a number of improvements compared to its predecessor, including a vibration damper to increase comfort for passengers and crewmembers. This helicopter is capable of carrying cargo in the cabin with half-opened/removed doors, external loads, or up to 24 passengers.
External stores are mounted on weapon racks on each side of the fuselage. The Mi-8 is provided with missiles, bombs, cannons, and small arms. It carries four B8V20 missile launchers with missiles launched with the PUS-31-71 electrical fire control system. When carrying bombs, a BDZ-57KRVM bomb attachment can carry up to 500 kilograms of cargo. This helicopter also carries four UPK-23-250 gun containers with GSh-23L 23mm guns and pivoted mounts. It may be fitted with long-range communication equipment and a radar, and may even carry phased-array antennas for the suppression of enemy electronic attack and air defense, such as airborne radars, air defense artillery weapon control radars, target detection radars, and missile radar homing heads.
For additional information on the Mil Mi-8 or Mi-17, other military aircrafts and defense weapons, military training and education, or defense procurement services, contact the experts at UDC USA today.
Length: 17.41 m (57.2 ft.)
Height: 3.75 m (12.3 ft.)
Weight: 2.365 kg (5,214 lbs.)
Powerplant: 2 x Klimow/Klimov GTD-350P turboshaft engines
Maximum Speed: 191 km/h (119 mph)
Maximum Range: 159 km (99 mi)
Service Ceiling: 4,000 m (13,123 ft.)
The Mil Mi-2 is a small, lightly armored, turbine-powered transport helicopter with close air support capabilities when armed with 57mm rockets and 23mm cannons. Its NATO reporting name is “Hoplite.” This helicopter was produced exclusively in Poland at the WSK PZL-Świdnik factory and designed by the Mil Design Bureau of the Soviet Union. It features a classic configuration with a three-bladed main rotator (with a 48-foot diameter) and two-bladed tail rotor system.
The first production helicopter in the Soviet Union was the Mil Mi-1, which was modeled after the S-51 and Bristol Sycamore, and flown by Mikhal Mil’s bureau in September of 1948. During the 1950s, it became evident (and was eventually confirmed by both American and French development) that helicopters could be improved with the addition of turbine engines. S.P. Isotov the developed the GTD-350 engine to be used on the far superior Mil Mi-2.
The Mil-built prototype had its first flight in the Soviet Union on September 22nd, 1961 after the initial development was transferred to Poland. The first Świdnik-built prototype flew first on November 4th, 1965 – this was the only Soviet-designed helicopter to actually be built completely outside of the Soviet Union. PZL- Świdnik produced a total of 5,497 Mil Mi-2 helicopters, as well as the wide-bodied Mi-2M for carrying up to ten passengers. It was then introduced into the Soviet Air Force in 1965 and used by mainly former Eastern Bloc and Soviet countries.
Many variants based on the Mil Mi-2 were built, including:
- Mi-2B – A basic Mi-2 with updated navigational aids, a modified electrical system, and without rotor blade de-icing
- Mi-2R – An air ambulance and search and rescue version of the Mi-2 fitted with an electric hoist
Mi-2RM – naval version
- Mi-2URN – A 1973 variant of the Mi-2US gunship with two Mars launcher pods for close air support or armed recce
- Mi-2URP – 1976 anti-tank version with four pylon-mounted AT-3 “Sagger” ATMs and four more added in the cargo compartment
- Mi-2US – A gunship version that is equipped with a NS-23KM 23mm cannon on the port side, two pylon-mounted 7.62mm machine gun pods, and two trainable 7.62mm machine guns
For additional information on the Mil Mi-2, other military aircrafts and defense weapons, military training and education, or defense procurement services, contact the experts at UDC USA today.
Length: 40 m (131.2 ft.)
Height: 8.14 m (26.7 ft.)
Weight: 28.2 t
Main Rotor Diameter: 32 m (104.9 ft.)
Engines: 2 x ZMKB Progress D136 turboshafts
Maximum Speed: 295 km/h (183.3 mph)
Service Ceiling: 4.6 km (15,091 ft.)
Range: 952 km (1,212.9 mi)
The Mil Mi-26 (NATO designation Halo) is a twin-turbine, heavy-lift helicopter and the world’s largest production helicopter. Development of this helicopter began in the 1970 with the goal of creating a helicopter with a load capacity twice the size of any other contemporary helicopter. The first Mi-26 prototype flew in December of 1977 and then made its first public appearance at the Paris Air Show in 1981. Russian squadrons first received the Mi-26 in 1982, but they were not considered fully operation in 1983. India became the first country to purchase the aircraft, followed by twenty other countries.
The Mi-26 “Halo” has a load capacity of comparable with that of a C-130 transport plane. With the rear ramp closed, its cargo area measures 12-meters long and 3.2-meters wide with a ceiling height of 2.9 meters. It can carry two combat vehicles weighing in at up to 9,988 kilograms each. This interior space may also be configured to seat 80 combat-equipped troops or 60 stretchers. The Mi-26 is flown and operated by a crew of four: pilot, copilot, flight engineer, and navigator.
The landing gear of the Mi-26 is a non-retractable tricycle-type with a steerable nose wheel. The main gear may be hydraulically adjusted to facilitate loading through the rear door. This feature is also used and adjusted when landing on varied surfaces. Sensors, which are attached to each of the main gears, determine takeoff weight; it is then displayed at the flight engineer’s station at liftoff. The retractable tailskid gives the helicopter unobstructed accessibility to the rear cargo-loading door.
The “Halo” is the first helicopter to successfully fly with a main rotor with eight blades. The rotor is 32 meters in diameter and is made of a composite of aluminum alloys that are edged with titanium. The tail rotor and main rotor head are both made of titanium. Two 10,000-horsepower ZMKB Progress D-136 turboshaft engines power the Mi-26.
For additional information on the Mi-26 “Halo,” other defense weapons and military aircrafts, military training and education, or procurement services, contact the experts at UDC USA today.
Length: 19.79 m (64.9 ft.)
Height: 6.5 m (21.3 ft.)
Weight: 8.4 t
Main Rotor Diameter: 17.3 m (56.8 ft.)
Engines: 2 x Kilmov TV3-117 turboshafts
Maximum Speed: 310 km/h
Service Ceiling: 4.5 km (14,763.8 ft.)
Range: 450 km (279.6 mi)
The Mil Mi-24 (NATO designation “Hind”) is one of the most widely known assault helicopters in the world, and remains in service in 50 countries. It entered service with the Russian Air Force as an assault gunship and transport, and was developed on the propulsion system of the Mi-8. These improvements allow the helicopter to participate in missions as direct air support, an anti-tank weapon, an armed escort, and air-to-air combat aircraft. The Mi-24 is a very similar to the American-made AH-64 “Apache,” but unlike Western assault helicopters, it is also able to transport up to eight troops.
The five-blade main rotor of the Mi-24 is mounted atop of the fuselage midsection, while its short, weapon-carrying wings are mounted at the sides of this section. Its two turboshaft engines are then mounted above the midsection of the body with two air intakes located just above the cockpit; exhaust ports are located on the sides of the engines. Its swept-back tapered tail fin features a rotor on the right-hand side with tapered flats on a boom just forward of the fin. External stores are mounted on store points on the external under-wing. Each wing has three hard points with a total of six stations.
Variants of the Mil Mi-24 include:
- Mi-24D/HIND D – Direct air support
- Mi-24V/HIND E – Most proliferated version, direct air support
- Mi-24P/HIND F – Direct air support with fixed twin gun cut in the turret profile
- Mi-24R/HIND G-1 – NBC sampling with mechanisms to collect air and soil samples, filter air, and place marker flares
- Mi-24K/HIND G-2 – Features cameras in the cabin, gun, and rocket pods for photo-recon and artillery spotting
- Mi-25 – Export version of HIND D
- Mi-35 – Export version of the HIND E with a twin-barrel 23mm gun
- Mi-35P – Export version of the HIND F
For additional information on the Mi-24 “Hind,” other military aircrafts and defense weapons, military training and education, or procurement services, contact the experts at UDC USA today.