The aircraft received its baptism of fire during World War 1 when fabric-over-wood monoplanes, biplanes and triplanes first took to the skies in combat. Since then, the military aircraft has evolved considerably relying on advanced stealth coatings and electronics, supercruise technology and precision-guided / fire-and-forget munitions.
For the purposes of the GFP ranking, both fixed-wing and rotary-wing (helicopters) aircraft are factored in as are active aircraft from all branches of srvice (air force, army, navy, marines). All aircraft types are considered including basic / advanced trainers, transports, fighters, bombers, special missions platforms and the like. Aircraft currently on order (heading into the next year) are not taken into account.
The data presented below is through 2017.