The first successful military aircraft was built in the early 19th century by American aviation pioneers Orville and Wilbur Wright.
With a maximum speed of 42 miles per hour, the manned flyer was significantly different to the jets of today that are capable of reaching maximum speeds of 1,500 miles per hour or more and require no onboard crew.
After the invention of the first aircraft, the military use of aerospace technologies became attractive for many nations across the globe since the beginning of the 20th century.
The genuine interest of army triggered the rapid development of aerospace and aircraft technologies explicitly for military use.
Over many centuries, this interest only grew larger as the research and development practices introduced cutting-edge aerospace technologies. Global military spending between 2001 and 2019 increased by roughly 70 percent, reaching over 1.9 trillion U.S. dollars in 2019.
Consequently, the size of the military aircraft and aerospace manufacturing market increased steadily until 2019. Though, the same market experienced a proportional decline due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in 2020.
The U.S. defense industry wasn’t spared from the economic crunch caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
Despite this, fighter jets continue to sell, and manufacturers are still seeking new markets to expand into.
But the emerging disruption to the industry from unmanned aircraft and artificial intelligence has the potential to reshape the entire industry.
Here’s a look at the big business of fighter jets: