In 1980, the air forces of European NATO countries were among the most powerful in the world. Britain, France, Germany and Italy were among the 10 countries with the most combat aircraft, and together the Europeans aligned 40% of the air force in the Atlantic Alliance. The annual report published by the international magazine FlightGlobal for 2020 presents a very different situation.
European withdrawal becomes critical
Thus, if France manages to rank 8th in the overall ranking including combat, transport, training and helicopter aircraft, with 1129 aircraft, it is the only representative of European nations in this ranking, whatever the meaning given to this term (NATO, European Union, continental excluding Russia). When it comes to comparing the fleets of combat aircraft, fighters and bombers included, no European country appears in the Top 10. With 249 combat aircraft in the fleet, including 143 Rafale and 106 Mirage 2000, France keep the head of European countries. But it has fewer aircraft than the US Marines Corps alone, the American corps made up of 182.000 soldiers, which has 297 including 52 F35B, and which has, in addition, 48 F18 and 29 F35B for the training of crews. .
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