Multirole combat aircraft

Multirole combat aircraft
The Panavia Tornado is an example of a multirole combat aircraft, and was historically the first bearer of such designation.

A multirole combat aircraft is an aircraft designed to act in at least two different roles in combat. The primary role is usually a fighter—hence, it is as often called a multirole fighter—while the secondary role is usually air-to-surface attack. More roles are added, such as air reconnaissance, forward air control, and electronic warfare. As of the subtypes of attack missions, besides the most often air interdiction, there may be suppression of enemy air defense (SEAD), or even close air support (CAS).

Strike fighter, which similarly refers to a fighter capable of attack role, for historical reasons implies putting more emphasis on the interdiction aspect.

The main motivation for developing multirole aircraft is cost reduction. A fleet of multirole aircraft, when comparing to separate fleets of dedicated aircraft, costs less to develop, to manufacture, to maintain, and to supply. Some aircraft are called swing-role, to emphasize the ability of a quick role change, either at short notice, or even within the same mission.


History of the term

Multi-Role[n 1] Combat Aircraft was the title of a multinational European project in 1968 that became the Panavia Tornado aircraft. During its development, the project had also been briefly called Multi-Role Aircraft (MRA). The same aircraft is now referred to as the Tornado IDS, or InterDictor/Strike, to differentiate it from a later aircraft based on essentially the same airframe, known as Panavia Tornado ADV or air-defence variant, with two types having diverged from an initial design presumably intended to perform both missions.


F-16C Fighting Falcon
F/A-18F Super Hornet

Listed below are examples of multirole combat aircraft and the country where they have been developed:

Region Country of origin Aircraft Notes
Europe  United Kingdom
 West Germany
Panavia Tornado The original aircraft to have the word "Multi-Role" in its official description.
 United Kingdom
Eurofighter Typhoon Described as a "highly agile Air Superiority and Air-to-Surface, multi-role/swing-role fighter" by the manufacturers and users.[1][2]
 France Dassault Mirage 2000
Dassault Rafale Described as a fully "omnirole" fighter by Dassault[3]
 Sweden Saab JAS 39 Gripen JAS comes from Jakt ("fighter"), Attack, Spaning ("reconnaissance")
 Russia Mikoyan MiG-29M Multirole development of MiG-29
Sukhoi Su-30M Multirole development of Su-27PU/Su-30
Sukhoi Su-35S 4++ generation development of Su-27M/Su-35
Mikoyan MiG-35 4++ generation development of MiG-29M and MiG-29K
Sukhoi PAK FA Sukhoi T-50 prototype first flew in 2010
North America   United States  McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II American 3rd generation fighter/interceptor.
McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle The F-15E is a multirole fighter derived from the F-15 Eagle air superiority fighter. It is used by the United States Air Force other U.S. allies like Israel, South Korea, Singapore & Saudi Arabia.
General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon The F-16 is a multirole fighter used by many members of NATO and other U.S. allies
McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet and Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet The 'A' in "F/A" explicitly denotes the joint Attack role of the F/A-18 ('F' = Fighter)
 United States
 United Kingdom
F-35 Lightning II
Asia Japan Japan  Mitsubishi F-2 Developed from F-16 Block 40
Republic of China Republic of China (Taiwan)  AIDC F-CK-1 Ching-kuo
 People's Republic of China Chengdu J-7 Reverse engineered from MiG-21F-13
Shenyang J-8
Xian JH-7A
Shenyang J-11 Reverse engineered from Sukhoi Su-27SK
Chengdu J-10
Chengdu J-20 Prototype first flown in 2011
 People's Republic of China
JF-17 Thunder Previously known as Super Seven
 People's Republic of China
Sukhoi Su-30MKK Used by the PLA Air Force ('K' = Kitayski, China)
 India HAL Tejas Previously known as LCA.
AMCA Indian fifth generation multirole fighter.
Sukhoi Su-30MKI Used by the Indian Air Force.
('I' = INDIA)
Sukhoi/HAL FGFA Derivative of PAK FA (T-50).

See also


  1. ^ Cambridge Dictionary only lists "multirole", and not "multi-role".


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужен реферат?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft — (AMCA) Wind tunnel testing model of MCA Role Stealth …   Wikipedia

  • HAL Medium Combat Aircraft — HAL Medium Combat Aircraft …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Military aircraft — A fighter and 3 bombers at an airshow A military aircraft is any fixed wing or rotary wing aircraft that is operated by a legal or insurrectionary armed service of any type. [1] Military aircraft can be either combat or non com …   Wikipedia

  • Ground-attack aircraft — An A 10 Thunderbolt II firing an AGM 65 Ground attack aircraft are military aircraft with primary role of attacking targets on the ground with greater precision than bombers and prepared to face stronger low level air defense …   Wikipedia

  • Avion multirôle — De Havilland Mosquito Un avion multirôle est un avion militaire capable d effectuer plusieurs missions différentes : par exemple chasse, bombardement, reconnaissance, etc. Sommaire 1 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Panavia Aircraft GmbH — is a multinational company established by the three partner nations of the Tornado Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MRCA) project, Germany, Italy and the UK. The company is based and registered in Germany.In a similar arrangement, development of the… …   Wikipedia

  • Panavia Aircraft GmbH — Panavia Panavia est un consortium formé en 1969 par le Royaume Uni, l Allemagne et l Italie. Il réunit les compétences de British Aircraft Corporation, MBB et Alenia Aeronautica afin de développer le programme MRCA (MultiRole Combat Aircraft,… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Panavia Aircraft GmbH — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Panavia Tornado alemán Panavia Aircraft es una compañía multinacional fundada por los tres países europeos participantes en el proyecto para el avión de combate multi rol …   Wikipedia Español

  • Fighter aircraft — A fighter aircraft is a military aircraft designed primarily for air to air combat with other aircraft, as opposed to a bomber, which is designed primarily to attack ground targets by dropping bombs. Fighters are comparatively small, fast, and… …   Wikipedia

  • military aircraft — Introduction       any type of aircraft that has been adapted for military use.       Aircraft have been a fundamental part of military power since the mid 20th century. Generally speaking, all military aircraft fall into one of the following… …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”