Fighter Jets – A Multi-Billion Dollar Business
Fighter jets remain the cornerstone of security for most countries. They’re fast, they’re dangerous, and moreover, can easily deceive the adversary. But, they cost a huge pile of money! They are too expensive to design, build and field. While some countries can afford not so many advanced fighters in their air force, some powerful countries have a number of fleets of advanced fighter jets. The main reason for this is the operating cost of every single piece. The countries with an economy not that powerful cannot afford these beasts.
From F-15’s to F-16’s, from F-22 Raptors to F-35 stealth jets, from Apache to Black Hawk; the market for American fighter jets and choppers is much much bigger than what companies had imagined at the very start. There are private companies buying aging fighters that are upgraded to suit their needs. Many more countries are lining up for the latest 5th and 6th generation fighter jets – cutting edge technology and equipped with world-class weaponry system.
Along with jets, unmanned aerial combat vehicles continue to advance just as rapidly. There are few programs conducted by the air force in an attempt to prove that AI could make the human fighter pilot obsolete. Recently the US Air Force announced a program named SkyBoard Program, in an attempt to try unmanned aerial vehicles’ performance under real combat conditions.
The future of unmanned warplanes is just around the corner. But for now, selling American fighter jets around the world remains a big business! Despite the economy being one of the several problems the country is grappling with, from a sales perspective this industry is yet to see any major slowdown. In fact, many countries like India, UAE have issued huge tenders for purchasing defense items and this includes fighter jets as well.
According to experts, the US Military Aircraft Market will be worth $58 billion by 2026! For the past few decades, the US and Russia along with some European countries have largely dominated this market. But there are other emerging countries that are starting to enter this market. The likes of India and China have entered this market. While China is known for replicating warplanes of different countries, India on the other hand has come up with an indigenously built fighter jet named Tejas! Fixed with a world-class weaponry system and missiles, Tejas is indeed a stupendous piece of art!
Just like in any other industry in which Artificial Intelligence gets introduced, AI is poised to cause big disruptions in the aerospace world. This might replace some human-piloted fighters with unmanned or optionally manned fighters. AI could be a game-changer as it would help in developing advanced unmanned combat aerial vehicles that are just as effective as human-piloted fighter jets!
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