Fighters are fixed-wing military aircraft designed primarily to secure control of essential airspace by destroying enemy aircraft in combat. the role of fighter aircraft is to establish air superiority in the battlespace. The opposition may consist of fighters of equal capability or bombers carrying protective armament. For such purposes, fighters must be capable of the highest possible performance to be able to outfly and outmaneuver opposing fighters, and to engage in the tactical and strategic bombing of enemy targets. Above all, they must be armed with specialized weapons capable of hitting and destroying enemy aircraft. The key performance features of a fighter include not only its firepower but also its high speed and maneuverability relative to the target aircraft. The success or failure of a combatant’s efforts to gain air superiority hinges on several factors including the skill of its pilots, the tactical soundness of its doctrine for deploying its fighters, and the numbers and performance of those fighters.
Many modern fighter aircraft have secondary capabilities such as ground attack and some types, such as fighter-bombers, are designed from the outset for dual roles. Other fighter designs are highly specialized while still filling the main air superiority role, and these include the interceptor which is a fighter designed specifically to intercept and engage approaching enemy aircraft, and heavy fighter designed to carry heavier weapons, and/or operate at longer ranges than light fighter aircraft, and night fighter is a fighter aircraft adapted for use at night or in other times of bad visibility.