What’s the modern U.S. Air Force equivalent of these classic Star Wars spacecrafts?

Composite image created using Starwars.com, Disney.com, Starwars.fandom.com, Wiki images as well as DoD imagery.

Take a look at the comparisons and let us know if you agree.

The U.S. Air Force Central Command has recently published an inspiring post on Social Media asking followers to think what would be the modern Air Force equivalents of some of the most famous Star Wars ships.

According to USAFCENT:

Generally speaking we agree but the AC-130H (that was retired): the AC-130U is a type in active service, hence more suitable (even though it does not carry cargo, despite it is based on a transport plane).

Anyway, based on the above, here’s a nice chart.

Someone may object the X-Wing could be the F-22, US’s most advanced multi-role plane; however, the Raptor is stealth and can evade radars, something the Rebels iconic spacecraft is unable to do. Moreover, as suggested by some Star Wars fans (including my son..) there are scenes in which the X-Wing vehicles fly in formation in a Top Gun-fashion loosely reminding the U.S. Navy F-14 “Bombcats.”

And what about the TIE fighter? Considered it represents the enemy side, we shall pick a Russian plane. The multirole, supermaneuverable Su-30SM seems to be the most appropriate.

TIE Fighter + Su-30SM

Do you agree?

Here’s the updated version that takes also our readers suggestions into consideration. As you may notice, it’s not a U.S. Air Force-only comparison, as U.S. Navy and RAAF aircraft have been included. On the spacecraft side, there is also the V-Wing, that makes its appearance on the Galactic Republic side in the final days of the Clone Wars.

In particular, you’ll find:

  • A-Wing: F-16 Fighting Falcon because they were born as interceptors but can conduct surgical strikes, deep reconnaissance and escort fighter duty.
  • T-70 X-Wing : F-22 Raptor because it’s basically the more modern replacement of the classic X-Wing
  • V-Wing: F-14 Tomcat because of the rotating wings and escort task
  • Y-Wing: F-111 Aardvark (yes, I know that the Y-Wing was a light bomber used for CAS role, still the size is the one of a larger tactical fighter bomber and the shape is very loosely reminding the one of a Aardvark with swept wings)


Image credit: Wiki, Lucas Films, Starwars.com, Starwars.fandom.com, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, Russian MoD

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.