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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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-combat:

  • Combat aircraft are aircraft designed to destroy enemy equipment using its own armament.[1]
  • Non-Combat aircraft are aircraft not designed for combat as their primary function, but may carry weapons for self-defense. Mainly operating in support roles.


Combat aircraft

Combat aircraft divide broadly into fighters and bombers, with several in-between types such as fighter-bombers and ground-attack aircraft (including attack helicopters).

Combat aircraft are normally developed and procured only by military forces.

Non-combat aircraft

Non-combat aircraft can be a wide variety of types, which include front-line aircraft for example Surveillance aircraft and support types for example trainers.

Non-combat aircraft could be designed just for military use, for example Tanker, or a civil aircraft modified for the role, for example Transport aircraft.

Supporting roles are carried out by specialist patrol, search and rescue, reconnaissance, observation, transport, training and Tanker aircraft among others.

Many civil aircraft, both fixed wing and rotary, have been produced in separate models for military use, such as the civil Douglas DC-3 airliner, which became the military C-47/C-53/R4D/Dakota transport. Even the small fabric-covered two-seater Piper J3 Cub had a military version, the L-4 liaison, observation and trainer aircraft. Gliders and balloons have also been used as military aircraft; for example, balloons were used for observation during the American Civil War and World War I, and military gliders were used during World War II to land troops.

See also


  1. ^ a b Gunston 1986, p. 274
  • Gunston, Bill (1986). Jane's Aerospace Dictionary. London, England: Jane's Publishing Company Limited. ISBN 0 7106 0365 7.  


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