Countries with the Most Military Aircraft in the World

The countries with the most military aircraft in the World are China, the United States, and Russia.

Military aircraft are generally used for either combat or non-combat objectives. Non-combat aircraft provide support functions such as transporting weaponry, search and rescue, surveillance, and aerial refueling, whereas combat aircraft initiate military strikes on enemy. The nations with the most aircraft are addressed further below.

Military Aircraft in the World
Military Aircraft in the World ( Image Credit: Flickr )

Countries with the Most Military Aircraft


The People’s Republic of China has the most military aircraft in the world, at 3,720. Bombers, fighters, airborne early warning and control (AEW), trainers, helicopters, reconnaissance, tankers, transport, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) are the different types of aircraft in China. There are multiple current planes in each category.

United States

The United States is a military superpower with 3,680 military aircraft, which include fighter/attack aircraft, bomber aircraft, transport aircraft, special purpose aircraft, trainers, and helicopters. These aircraft are used by the United States Navy, Air Force, and Army.


The Indian Air Force currently operates 2,086 combat aircraft. The aircraft used by the nation include transport, training, helicopters, and fighters. Fighters include the Sukhoi Su 30, MIG 29, LCA-Tejas, and Jaguar, among others. India has 10 C17 Globemaster planes to cover all transportation needs. The C-130J Super Hercules cargo plane is utilized for transportation as well as humanitarian and civilian rescue operations.


Bangladesh has 166 military aircraft, which include fighters, training, transport, and helicopters. The Mikoyan MiG-29 and Cgendo F-7 are among Bangladesh’s combat aircraft, while the Nachang PT-6, Hongdu K-8, and Let L-140 Turbolet are among its training aircraft. The Lockheed C-130 Hercules and the Antonov An-32 are examples of transport aircraft.

Military Aircraft in Different Countries

Military aircraft are designed primarily for military purposes and are flown by a country’s navy, army, or air force. These aircrafts’ principal missions include attacking, training, surveillance, and assisting ground forces. Military aircraft are only manufactured by the military or a restricted number of commercial enterprises capable of designing and building them. Because of technological advancements, the airplane can now be built with high-level technology. Unmanned aerial aircraft, for example, are operated from the ground and undertake surveillance of a target while relaying data back to data centers in real time. Military aircraft design has also advanced since they were first employed in World War I. Military aircraft manufacturing is also increasing as more countries want to defend their airspace and display military capabilities. Governments invest billions of dollars on aircraft production. Among the countries that produce military aircraft are the United States, Russia, and France.

READ MORE: Top 10 Largest Airlines By Fleet Size

Which Country Has the Most Military Aircraft?

China has more military aircraft than any other country in the world, with 3,720 aircraft. The United States comes in second with 3,680 points.

Countries with the Most Military Aircraft

RankCountryMilitary Aircraft
1People’s Republic of China3,720
2United States3,680
7Republic of Korea587
9Democratic People’s Republic of Korea563
10Republic of China485
15Saudi Arabia313
17United Kingdom278
23United Arab Emirates175

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