Which army has the fastest fighter plane?

Whether designed by the Russian or American armed forces, some fighter jets are capable of reaching phenomenal top speeds. But which country has the fastest jet of them all?

Which army has the fastest fighter plane?
© Smith Collection/Gado / Contributeur
Which army has the fastest fighter plane?

In order to dominate the air space, many fighters rely on their speed. Developed for warfare, these vehicles are breathtakingly fast and the old Concorde, which was intended for regular flights, definitely pales in comparison. So, let’s find out which is the fastest fighter jet and who designed it.

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The NASA/USAF X-15: The fastest prototype

Designed in the 1960s by NASA and the US Air Force, the NASA/USAF X-15 is the most powerful fighter aircraft ever designed. What’s so special about it? It is capable of travelling 5.9 times faster than the speed of sound—in other words, a speed of 7,2731 km/hour!

Created during the Cold War, this plane, which is really more of a rocket than anything else, was a prototype that was never seen on the battlefield.

Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird: The fastest former fighter

In terms of sheer speed, the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird looks slow compared to the X-15. Yet it was the king of sky for years. Also developed in the USA, this reconnaissance aircraft can reach Mach 3.4, a speed of 4,198 km/hour. For the record, the X-Men use a modified version of this plane in their films.

In real life, however, the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird has not been in service since 1999.

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The MiG-26 Foxbat: The veteran plane that’s still in service

The ‘Foxbat’ is another aircraft that was designed during the Cold War but by the Russian armed forces. Its speed? Mach 3, or 3,704.4 km/h. In service since the 1970s, this old-timer is still part of Russia’s arsenal, even if its use remains limited today.

This article has been translated from Gentside FR.

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