Attack aircraft represents the fixed-wing bomber and ground attack force of a given country.
Life other aerial weapons of today, the attack aircraft was born in the fighting of World War 1 (1914-1918). Today's advanced platforms have benefited from the many decades of conventional warfare to the point that precision bombing, fast-attack, long-range, and low-level strikes have become the call-of-the-day. Modern-day bombers are in play with only a select few global powers, principally the United States, as such dedicated types are expensive to develop, procure, and maintain. To this end, other powers field a modest collection of light-to-medium attack types, most often through the Multirole Fighter platform. These allow for an attack capability without the overhead commitments present in dedicated bombers.
For the purposes of the GFP ranking, only fixed-wing attack / strike types (as well as light-class aircraft that can be armed) are included. Armed UCAVs / Drones and dedicated Attack Helicopters / gunships are excluded. Aircraft on order (heading into the next year) are not taken into account.