Sharing below top 10 most expensive fighter jets in the world 2023. Also check price per unit, manufacturer along with other details.
Whenever we hear the word fighter jet, an image of a fabulous war machine flying faster than the speed of sound appears in our mind. Fighter jets are constantly evolving. Today, they are far more advanced and complex than they used to be during the time of world wars. Now, we have 5th generation fighter planes that can cruise at a supersonic speed equipped with stealth technology that can hide them from radars.
The one thing you might know that Fighter Jets are not cheap. The advanced sensors, radar, electronic pods, jammer, and weapons used on a fighter jet are very expensive. In addition to this, there are many more factors such as the material used, companies manufacturing the components, etc. on which the price tag a fighter place depends upon.
One question that is quite common among Aerospace enthusiasts around the world is what are the best fighter jets in the world in 2023. It is not possible to answer this question without considering the price of planes. Actually, according to many experts, the best fighter plane is the one that gives the best result at the minimum cost. Talking about the cost, there are fighter planes that are very costly. Through this post, we are sharing a list of the top 10 most expensive fighter jets in the world in 2023.
Top 10 most expensive fighter planes in the world 2023
Please note that in our list we are including only fighter jets. We are not talking about military bombers and transport aircraft. Now, let’s go through our list of the most expensive fighter jets in the world in 2023.
SAAB JAS 39 Gripen
- Country of Origin – Sweden
- Manufacturer – Saab AB
- First Flight – 9th December 1988
- Primary Users – Swedish Air Force, South African Air Force, Brazilian Air Force, Czech Air Force
- Air to Air Missile – AIM-9 Sidewinder, MBDA Meteor
- Approximate price – $40 – 45 Million
Small, Nibble, and Dangerous is how we can describe JAS 39 Gripen from Saab, Sweden. It is a 4th generation fighter based on a sleek delta wing and canard configuration design. The fighter jet is also equipped with advanced features like fly-by-wire flight controls, Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, etc. If we talk about the cost, the price of Gripen is around $40 – 45 Million per aircraft. Currently, SAAB JAS 39 Gripen is a part of the Swedish Air Force, South African Air Force, Brazillian Air Force, and Czech Air Force.
LCA Tejas Mk 1a
- Country of Origin – India
- Manufacturer – Hindustan Aeronautics Limited
- First Flight – 17th January 2015
- Primary Users – Indian Air Force
- Air to Air Missile – Astra Mark 1, 2, 3, Derby, Python – 5, R – 73.
- Approximate price – Around $43 million
Although the Mk 1a variant of LCA Tejas is still under development, HAL has already offered to different Air forces in the world like Malaysian Air Force, Argentine Air Force, etc. Apart from this, the Indian air force has already placed an order of 83 LCA Mark 1a. The Tejas Mark 1a is also based on delta wing design. It is often considered the smallest fighter aircraft in the world. If we talk about the configuration of this plane, it is powered by a single-engine. Apart from this, it also has an AESA radar. The expected price of Tejas Mk 1a is around $43 million per jet.
JF 17 Thunder
- Country of Origin – Pakistan/ China
- Manufacturer – Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group /Pakistan Aeronautical Complex
- First Flight – 25th August 2003
- Primary Users – Pakistan Air Force, Myanmar Air Force, Nigeria Air Force
- Air to Air Missile – PL – 5E, PL – 9C, PL – 10E
- Approximate price – $45 million Approx.
JF 17 Thunder is a Multirole combat fighter jet jointly developed by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) and the Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC) of China. Many Air forces including Pakistan Air Force, Myanmar Air Force, and Nigeria Air Force is already using JF 17 Thunder. Although China is a co-developer of this plane, it is not using the same for its own Air Force (PLAAF). The upcoming variant of JF 17 Thunder i.e. JF 17 Block 3 is going to be updated to ultra-modern avionics and weapon.
Sukhoi Su 35 Flanker E
- Country of Origin – Russia
- Manufacturer – Sukhoi Design Bureau
- First Flight – 19th February 2008
- Primary Users – Russian Air Force, People’s Liberation Army Air Force, Egyptian Air Force
- Air to Air Missile – R-27ER, R-77M/P/T, R-74, R-40
- Approximate price – $65 Million Approx
Su 35 is the latest variant of the famous flanker series of fighter jets by Sukhoi Design Bureau. The primary users of Su 35 are China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force, Russian Air Force, Egyptian Air Force, and Indonesian Air Force. This aircraft is a derivation of the Su 27 fighter jet developed by the same manufactures. Indian Air Force also uses a similar aircraft with a few differences in avionics and weapons i.e. Su 30 MKI. Flanker E is labeled as a 4.5 generation fighter with an approximate cost of $65 million per jet.
F/A 18E/ F Super Hornet
- Country of Origin – United States of America
- Manufacturer – McDonnell Douglas Boeing Defense, Space & Security
- First Flight – 29 November 1995
- Primary Users – United States Navy, Royal Australian Air Force, Kuwait Air Force
- Air to Air Missile – AIM-9 Sidewinder, AIM-120 AMRAAM, AIM-7 Sparrow
- Approximate price – $79.8 million per jet
F/A 18E/F Super Hornet is one of the most versatile aircraft on our list. Powered by Two General Electric F414-GE-400 turbofans this jet can fly at the rate of Mach 1.6. As per many experts, Super hornet is the best carrier multirole fighter in the world. This jet is an updated version of the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet. If we talk about the prices, the cost of F/A 18E/ F Super Hornet is around $79.8 million
- Country of Origin – Multinational Development
- Manufacturer – Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH
- First Flight – 27 March 1994
- Primary Users – Royal Air Force, German Air Force, Italian Air Force, Spanish Air Force
- Air to Air Missile – AIM-120 AMRAAM, MBDA Meteor, AIM-132 ASRAAM, AIM-9 Sidewinder
- Approximate price – $105 million
The Eurofighter Typhoon is twin-engine multirole fighter aircraft designed to carry both Air to Air and Air to ground missions. This plane is a result of the joint development of many European agencies a consortium of Airbus, BAE Systems, and Leonardo. The Eurofighter Typhoon has already seen combat during the 2011 military intervention in Libya where it performed aerial reconnaissance and ground strike missions. The Typhoon was also one of the finalists of the MMRCA competition conducted by the Indian Air Force.
- Country of Origin – France
- Manufacturer – Dassault Aviation
- First Flight – Rafale A demo: 4th July 1986 and Rafale C demo: 19th May 1991
- Primary Users – French Air and Space Force, Indian Air Force, Egyptian Air Force, Qatar Air Force
- Air to Air Missile – MBDA Meteor, MBDA MICA IR, Magic II
- Approximate price – Approx $108 million
Developed in one of the most costly countries on the planet, Dassault Rafale is also one of the most expensive fighter jets in the world. This twin-engine jet has a canard delta wing design. According to many experts, Rafale is the successor of the Mirage 2000 fighter developed by Dassault Aviation in the 1980s. The price of Rafale varies for different countries. Obviously, French Air Force buys them for a much cheaper price. Recently, the Indian Air Force concluded a fairly controversial deal of these jets. Still, we can say the Rafale jets by Dassault are one of the most expensive ones in the world.
Chengdu J-20 Mighty Eagle
- Country of Origin – China
- Manufacturer – Chengdu Aerospace Corporation
- First Flight – 11th January 2011
- Primary Users – People’s Liberation Army Air Force
- Air to Air Missile – PL-9, PL-12C/D & PL-15 – PL-21
- Approximate price – $110 million
J 20 fighter jet by Chengdu Aerospace Corporation is also known by the name of “Mighty Dragon”. Chengdu Aerospace label this fighter as the third operational fifth-generation stealth fighter aircraft after the F-22 and F-35. As per some experts, it is also the cheapest fifth-generation fighter jet in the world. However, the former chief of IAF criticized this aircraft and refused to label it as the proper 5th generation fighter plane because it has canards. Plus, it can’t supercruise (ability to fly at supersonic speeds without using afterburners). Still, J-20 is very costly and stands 3rd in our list of the most expensive fighter jets in the world.
Lockheed Martin F- 35C Lightning II
- Country of Origin – United States of America
- Manufacturer – Lockheed Martin
- First Flight – 15 December 2006
- Primary Users – United States Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force, Belgian Air Component, Israeli Air Force, Japan Air Self-Defense Force, Italian Air Force, Royal Norwegian Air Force, United Arab Emirates Air Force, Royal Air Force
- Air to Air Missile – AIM-120 AMRAAM, AIM-9X Sidewinder, AIM-132 ASRAAM, MBDA Meteor
- Approximate price – $152 million
Lockheed Martin F- 35C Lightning II, is a single-seater, single-engine multirole fighter aircraft with stealth technology. The primary manufacturer of this amazing aircraft is Lockheed Martin. However, the expertise of companies for many other nations like Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems is also used in developing F-35C Lightning II. The funding in the development of this fighter jet is from United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Italy, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Turkey (formerly). Currently, the price of this jet is around $121 million.
- Country of Origin – United States of Ameria
- Manufacturer – Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, Boeing Defense, Space & Security
- First Flight – 7 September 1997
- Primary Users – United States Air Force
- Air to Air Missile – AIM-120 AMRAAM
- Approximate price – $152 million
Hands down, F-22 Raptor is the most expensive and exclusive fighter jet in the world 2023 and we have kept it at number 1. No other country except the United States of America is using this fighter plane. The air superiority that F-22 offers to the United State Air Force are unmatched. Powered by two engines, the F-22 raptor is also termed the best fighter jet in the world even at the most expensive price. This is the reason why there is a ban on the export of this jet under US federal law to protect its stealth technology and classified features.