The Need for Speed: 10 of the World's Fastest Combat Aircraft!

To have an edge in the world of air superiority, you need to be quick. Key.Aero explores ten of the fastest combat aircraft to have served operationally in the last 50 years.

Note: All speeds have been calculated with each aircraft travelling at top speed at 30,000ft.


10. Panavia Tornado ADV

Tornado F3 [MoD Crown Copyright/Cpl Darren Smith]
A pair of RAF Tornado F3 interceptors patrol the skies over the Falkland Islands in 2007. MoD Crown Copyright/Cpl Darren Smith

A derivative of the famed Panavia Tornado family, the Air Defence Variant (ADV) is a long-range, twin-engine interceptor which saw service with the Italian Air Force, Royal Air Force (RAF) and Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF).

Originally designed to intercept Soviet bombers, the Tornado ADV had a greater maximum speed than its Interdictor and Strike (IDS)/Electronic Combat and Reconnaissance (ECR) counterparts. At altitude, the interceptor could reach speeds of up to Mach 2.2 (1,494mph or 2,405km/h).

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