How 12 months of battle affected World Air Forces stock | Evaluation

One story dominated world occasions in 2022: Russia’s ill-judged and militarily flawed invasion of Ukraine. Launched on 24 February, Moscow’s try and seize management and oust the Western-leaning authorities of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky adopted its 2014 annexation of the nation’s Crimea area.

It quickly grew to become clear that Russian President Vladimir Putin had misjudged the fierce resolve of each the Ukrainian navy and the worldwide group, which nearly unanimously moved to isolate his regime.

The early phases of the battle noticed numerous Russian belongings shot down by Ukrainian forces, together with Sukhoi Su-25 and Su-34 fight plane, plus Kamov Ka-52 and Mil Mi-24 fight helicopters. Such acts gave rise to the city legend “Ghost of Kyiv”; a lone Ukrainian RAC MiG-29 fighter ace accountable for a number of “kills” – later dispelled and attributed to its air drive as an entire.

As of 14 November, Kyiv’s defence ministry mentioned its forces had destroyed 278 enemy plane, plus 261 helicopters and 1,509 unmanned air autos, for the reason that begin of the warfare.

The size of Ukraine’s personal tools losses stays unclear, however these have partially been offset by its receipt of alternative belongings donated by NATO members and different allied nations.

With the difficulties related to figuring out particular person destroyed plane to the serial quantity stage solely from photographs taken in an energetic warzone, the Cirium fleets information which powers FlightGlobal’s 2023 World Air Forces listing reveals solely minimal changes to the combatants’ inventories versus final 12 months’s report. Russia’s whole of 4,182 – which ranks it second solely to the USA – is in actual fact a rise of 9, whereas Ukraine’s 312 marks a six-unit discount.

Ghost of Kyiv mural

In the meantime, Moscow’s invasion prompted Finland and Sweden each to request – and quickly obtain approval – to affix the already 30-nation-strong NATO alliance. Ukraine desires to observe go well with.

Away from Europe, years-long tensions between China and Taiwan elevated after an early-August go to to Taipei by US Speaker of the Home of Representatives Nancy Pelosi. Beijing responded by staging main live-fire workouts and aerial incursions into the island state’s air defence identification zone, highlighting the specter of a possible future invasion.

Our new listing particulars some 53,265 navy plane in energetic use with the armed forces of 162 nations across the globe: a web discount of simply six from 12 months earlier.

Two areas skilled percentage-scale fleet dimension will increase throughout our overview interval: Africa (up 41, or 1%, to 4,118); and the Center East (plus 71, or 1%, to 4,485).

Solely very minor adjustments have been recorded within the Asia-Pacific, Latin America, North America, and Russia and the Commonwealth of Impartial States (CIS) areas. However Europe continued a downward development, with its mixed 8,130 plane marking a contraction of 196, or simply over 2%.

Adjustments to the fleet in Africa embrace the Algerian air drive having launched the primary two Lockheed Martin LM-100J transports – the business variant of its C-130J – to seem in our listing. Mali boosted its fight plane stock with six Aero Vodochody L-39s, though a newly acquired Su-25 crashed on 4 October, killing each crew members.


Angola ordered three Airbus Defence & Area C295s: two maritime surveillance-configured examples, and one transport, and Tunisia signed for eight Beechcraft T-6C turboprop trainers.

Retirements in the meantime included Algeria’s final 13 MiG-25 interceptors.

Within the Center East, Kuwait took its first six Eurofighter Typhoons from a 28-unit order, and Qatar its first 4 of 24 examples of the identical sort. Doha additionally acquired its first 4 NH Industries NH90 helicopters, enabling it to retire its 11 Westland Sea Kings.

Qatar Typhoon

Procurement exercise within the area included US International Navy Gross sales offers for Israel to amass its lead 4 of a deliberate eight Boeing KC-46A tankers, plus 4 Sikorsky CH-53K transport helicopters; a part of an 18-unit acquisition.

Jordan introduced a deliberate order for eight Lockheed F-16Vs, and in a shock step – introduced nearly instantly after our final listing was printed – the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in early December 2021 signed for 80 Dassault Rafales, for supply from 2027.

The UAE additionally ordered 12 Airbus Helicopters H225Ms for its Joint Air Command, and plans to purchase between 12 and 48 Hongdu L-15 superior jet trainers from China.

Within the Asia-Pacific area, Afghanistan returns to open our full report’s 23 pages of fleet listings, however in essentially the most modest kind: only one MD Helicopters MD530F is listed as energetic with the Taliban’s newly named Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan Air Power.

Bangladesh added the Grob Plane G120TP coach to its air drive’s fleet, taking 12 of 24 on-order examples. And the Pakistan air drive in mid-March acquired its first Chengdu J-10Cs. Its acquisition – which totals 25 of the fighters – marks the primary worldwide success for the kind.


Different additions included Papua New Guinea’s first of 4 Pacific Aerospace P-750 STOL transports; presently its lone navy plane. The Philippines acquired its first two of six Turkish Aerospace T129 assault helicopters, and ordered one other 32 Sikorsky S-70is, to reinforce 15 in-service examples.

Australia, in the meantime, ordered one other 12 Sikorsky MH-60Rs and 29 Boeing AH-64Es, with the latter to exchange its military’s Airbus Helicopters Tigers. Canberra additionally intends to take away its 47 MRH90 (NH90) rotorcraft from use, and purchase 40 alternative UH-60Ms.

Indonesia ordered 42 Rafales, and secured US authorities approval for a probably $13.9 billion acquisition of 36 Boeing F-15ID fighters. South Korea ordered as much as 40 Bell 505 trainers.

F-15EX Eagle II

Asia-Pacific retirements since our final report included the November 2021 departure of the Royal Australian Air Power’s remaining 64 Boeing F/A-18A/B “Traditional” Hornets, plus the Royal Australian Army’s 27 S-70s. Brunei’s six MBB-built BO105 helicopters additionally ended their service.

In Latin America, Chile changed its distinctive however out of date Boeing 707-based Condor airborne early warning platform, buying an operational pair of ex-UK Royal Air Power (RAF) Boeing E-3Ds.

Brazil’s air drive bought two ex-Azul Airbus A330s for conversion into multi-role tanker transports. The primary is now in use as a passenger transport, forward of present process modification. The Brazilian air drive and navy additionally will obtain 27 H125 trainers. However additional cuts have been made to the nation’s as soon as 28-aircraft acquisition of Embraer KC-390 transport/tankers: first to 22, after which 19 models.

Departures from the area’s fleet included Argentina’s two Mi-171 transport helicopters and the Brazilian air drive’s 12 Mi-35s.

North American developments, in the meantime, included the number of the L3Harris/Air Tractor AT-802U because the winner of the US Particular Operations Command’s Armed Overwatch programme. A primary US Air Power (USAF) contract covers six of the kind, with the entire requirement being for 75.

The USAF, in the meantime, diminished the scale of its McDonnell Douglas KC-10 tanker fleet, from 51 to 40 models. And the Royal Canadian Air Power retired its final 4 search and rescue-roled De Havilland Canada DHC-5s.

Restricted adjustments within the Russia & CIS area included Belarus retiring its 10 Mi-2 transport helicopters and trainers.


Europe’s fleet dimension contracted as a result of a number of sort retirements throughout the overview interval, together with Belgium’s 5 C-130H transports, Finland’s 26 L-70 Vinka primary trainers, France’s 27 Dassault Mirage 2000C fighters, and the final 21 C160 Transall transport and particular mission plane flown by France, Germany and Turkey.

The Netherlands phased out its KDC-10 tanker and 7 F-16B trainers, whereas Norway despatched its remaining F-16s into retirement after 42 years of service, and moved to promote 32 to Romania. Oslo additionally withdrew its 13 troubled NH90s from use, and axed its two Dassault Falcon 20 digital warfare plane.

The UK RAF and Royal Navy retired all their BAE Techniques Hawk T1 superior jet trainers, bar these retained to be used by the previous’s Crimson Arrows aerobatic show workforce. The RAF additionally ended operations with a pair of BAe 146-200QC transports.

Lockheed, in the meantime, furthered its European F-35 gross sales bonanza. Finland in December 2021 chosen the kind for its 64-aircraft HX requirement, and Switzerland finalised a $6.2 billion contract for 36 A-model examples. Acquisition plans have been additionally introduced by the Czech Republic (24) and Germany (35).


The F-35 continues its ascent of our fight plane Prime 10 rating, with the 545 now in use positioning it in sixth place. An extra 184 are listed as full-time coaching belongings, boosting the mixed whole to 729.

Poland ordered 48 Korea Aerospace Industries FA-50PLs, for light-attack and coaching duties, and likewise intends to purchase 32 Leonardo Helicopters AW149s and 96 AH-64Es.

Different offers included contracts from Austria for 18 AW169Ms; Cyprus (six H145s); Greece (six Rafales); Hungary (12 L-39NGs); the Netherlands (5 C-390s); Serbia (two C295s); and Spain (20 Eurofighters, plus 18 H135 trainers). Sweden additionally signed a take care of Saab for 2 Bombardier International 6000-based GlobalEye surveillance plane, and Germany chosen the Boeing CH-47F Chinook for a 60-aircraft CH-53G alternative want.

CH-47F for Germany

When it comes to regional stability, Asia-Pacific operators have the biggest mixed fleet, at 14,559 plane: an in-year enhance of 30. That betters North America’s 13,676 – of which the USA has a 97% share – by 883 platforms.

Whereas in all probability each US navy speech or report of the final 12 months has highlighted the elevated “near-peer” risk posed by China and Russia, Washington DC’s air energy belongings outnumber its potential adversaries in each one among our six tools itemizing classes.


The USA owns 25% of all operational navy plane, with its numerical benefit starting from having 19% of all fight plane to twenty-eight% of fight helicopters and 77% of tankers. Its 13,300 plane whole greater than the mixed belongings held by second- to sixth-ranked Russia, China, India, South Korea and Japan, Cirium information reveals.

Our annual fleet overview excludes these plane recorded by Cirium as not being in day-to-day use, equivalent to nearly 5,100 that are in storage, or concerned in or awaiting improve. We additionally don’t checklist the 709 belongings completely assigned to performing VIP, authorities or personal duties, or these flown by the DOSAAF paramilitary/reserve organisations of Russia (118) and Belarus (11).

Different omissions embrace a mixed 378 plane which might be employed as devoted experimental or analysis and improvement belongings, and an additional 186 which might be assigned to undisclosed navy operators or are used for duties equivalent to calibration, satellite tv for pc monitoring, skydiving, surveying, goal towing, and climate reconnaissance.

Our listing – the preliminary information for which was drawn on 3 October – additionally contains details about agency orders for some 4,185 plane, and letters of intent or choices for as much as one other 7,423 (denoted by an asterisk subsequent to a determine within the Ordered column); together with a possible 2,579 F-35s which have but to come back underneath contract.

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