Pic 04 ksu

Three MiGs fly over Tselinoyarsk.

A fighter aircraft is a military aircraft designed primarily for air-to-air combat against other aircraft, as opposed to bombers and attack aircraft, whose main mission is to attack ground targets. The hallmarks of a fighter are its speed, maneuverability, and small size relative to other combat aircraft.

Examples of fighter aircraft

Focke-Wulf aircraft

Focke-Wulf Flugzeugbau AG (German pronunciation: [ˌfɔkəˈvʊlf]), full name Focke-Wulf Flugzeugbau Aktiengesellschaft, was a German manufacturer of civilian and military aircraft before and during World War II. Its most well known aircraft was the Fw-190, the Luftwaffe's mainstay aircraft during World War II. However, it was rivaled by the Soviets' Lavochkin La-5 fighter aircraft.[1]

General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon

First flown in 1974, the F-16 is the backbone of the U.S. Air Force. During the beginning of Solid Snake's infiltration mission of Shadow Moses Island, the Air Force sent in two F-16 fighter jets from Galena AFB as a diversionary tactic. The plan was to begin the infiltration while the terrorists had their eyes on the F-16s. The diversion proved to be effective, as Liquid Snake departed to engage them in a Hind D, to which he had earlier referred to the aircraft as "some bothersome flies." Incredibly, he was able to shoot them both down with the Hind. After shooting them down, Liquid contacted the Government and warned them that, should they try to pull a similar stunt like that again, he would launch the nuke.

Kawanishi N1K

The Kawanishi N1K was an Imperial Japanese Navy floatplane fighter that was utilized during World War II, which had the Allied codename of "Rex." It's counterpart for land-based operations was the N1K-J, given the codename George. The Patriots referenced the N1K when comparing the Metal Gear REX model to the plane in terms of names late into the Big Shell Incident in 2009.[2]

Lavochkin La-5

The Lavochkin La-5 was a Soviet-made fighter craft used during World War II, and was considered one of the most reliable aircraft within the Soviet Air Force, being nicknamed the "King of Russian fighters."[1]

Warning: The following information is from outside Hideo Kojima's core "Metal Gear Saga." It has some level of canonicity within the continuity, but reader discretion is advised.[?]

During the San Hieronymo Incident in late 1970, the former Soviet commander of the San Hieronymo Peninsula, Colonel Skowronski, had a Lavochkin La-5 among his collection on board the tanker, which Naked Snake later noticed when conversing with Skowronski after the latter was imprisoned by Python due to being discovered.[1]

Non-"Metal Gear Saga" information ends here.

Lockheed Martin/Boeing F-22 Raptor

The Lockheed Martin/Boeing F-22 Raptor is a single-seat, twin-engine fifth-generation supermaneuverable fighter aircraft that uses stealth technology. It was designed primarily as an air superiority fighter, but has additional capabilities that include ground attack, electronic warfare, and signals intelligence roles. Lockheed Martin Aeronautics is the prime contractor and is responsible for the majority of the airframe, weapon systems and final assembly of the F-22. Program partner Boeing Defense, Space & Security provides the wings, aft fuselage, avionics integration, and training systems.

Messerschmitt aircraft

Messerschmitt AG (German pronunciation: [ˈmɛsɐʃmɪt]), full name Messerschmitt Aktiengesellschaft, was a German aerospace manufacturing company that was well known for its World War II fighter craft, particularly the Bf 109 and the Me 262. Its aircraft, however, were rivaled by the Soviets' Lavochkin La-5.[1]

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21



The MiG-21 (NATO reporting name: Fishbed) is one of the Soviet Union's frontline fighter jets. They can be equipped with rocket pods and bombs for air-to-ground bombing runs.

Used to control the airspace over Tselinoyarsk, Naked Snake needed to avoid several MiG's with the D-21 drone at the beginning of Operation Snake Eater. In Snake's battle with The Boss MiGs were ordered to bomb the area giving her and Snake limited time in which to fight. Later, when he and EVA were making their escape, a couple of MiGs threatened to shoot them down but Nikita Khrushchev called them off.

Warning: The following information is from outside Hideo Kojima's core "Metal Gear Saga." It has some level of canonicity within the continuity, but reader discretion is advised.[?]

In 1970, Colonel Skowronski, former commander of the San Hieronymo Peninsula, lamented that he lacked a MiG, feeling it would have allowed him to eliminate his usurper, Gene.[1]

Non-"Metal Gear Saga" information ends here.

Mitsubishi A6M Zero

The Mitsubishi A6M Zero, officially designated the Navy Type 0 Carrier Fighter or the Mitsubishi A6M Rei-sen, was a line of long-range fighter aircraft operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II, and was considered to be the Japanese Navy's best fighter plane. It was given the codenames Ray, Zeke, and Zero during World War II by the Allied Forces.

During the Peace Walker Incident in late 1974, the Militaires Sans Frontières subcommander Kazuhira Miller, when overseeing the development of their own Metal Gear shortly after Huey Emmerich joined the private military company, decided alongside Emmerich to name their Metal Gear "ZEKE" after the plane.[3]

Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero

The Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero was the second version of a line of long-range fighter aircraft operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II, improved from the original via the Sakae engine. Its Allied reporting names were "Ray" and "Zero", derived from "Rei-sen" from the overall line's overall name. The Patriots referenced the A6M2 model when comparing the Metal Gear RAY model to the plane in terms of names late into the Big Shell Incident in 2009.[2]

Mitsubishi J2M Raiden

The Mitsubishi J2M Raiden is a single-engine land-based interceptor aircraft used by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service during World War II. It's alternate name is a reference to the Japanese God of Thunder (translated as "Thunderbolt"). It was given the Allied reporting name of "Jack" by the United States Armed Forces. The Patriots late into the Big Shell Incident in 2009 referenced the fighter plane in both its Japanese name and the allied reporting name when comparing the plane to their operative, Raiden, real name Jack, when telling him he was effectively a weapon with no free will of his own while goading him to defeat the renegade Les Enfants Terribles clone Solidus Snake.[2]

Warning: The following information is from outside Hideo Kojima's core "Metal Gear Saga." It has some level of canonicity within the continuity, but reader discretion is advised.[?]

Raiden would later confide to Kevin Washington of Maverick Security Consulting, Inc. that his codename/nickname Raiden had been named by the Patriots after the plane when relaying why he changed his name by 2018.

Non-"Metal Gear Saga" information ends here.

Sukhoi aircraft

Sukhoi Company, formerly the Sukhoi Design Bureau, is a Russian aircraft manufacturer that designed military aircraft for the Soviet Union, and later the Russian Federation. In 1970, Colonel Skowronski, former commander of the San Hieronymo Peninsula, lamented that he lacked a Sukhoi, feeling that it would have given him the opportunity to defeat Gene.[1]

The Sukhoi Su-27 (NATO reporting name: Flanker) is a fighter jet originally designed by the Soviet Union and was a mainstay in the Russian Federation's Air Force. The Flanker is an extremely capable aircraft that can hold its own against the American F-15 Eagle or the British Tornado. Zanzibar Land utilized Su-27s as part of its Strategic Air Force's fighter division.

McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II

The McDonnel Douglas F-4 Phantom II is a tandem, two-seat, twin-engine, all-weather, long-range supersonic jet interceptor fighter/fighter bomber originally developed for the United States Navy by McDonnell Aircraft, having first entered service in 1960. It possessed a top speed of Mach 2.2, and could carry over 8,400 kg of weapons on nine external hardpoints, including air-to-air missiles, air-to-ground missiles, and various bombs. It initially did not carry an internal cannon, although later versions did utilize the M61 Vulcan gun. It was utilized extensively during the Vietnam War as the air superiority fighter of both the Navy and Air Force, and had roles such as reconnaissance and ground attacks late into the war. It continued to see usage throughout the 1970s and 1980s, before gradually being phased out for more modern fighters.

Zanzibar Land utilized various F-4 Phantom IIs of the RF-4C variant as part of its Strategic Air Force, specifically as Aerial Scouts.

Unidentified Western Jet

Warning: The following events occur in the pseudo-historical Side Ops in Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes; its level of canonicity is ambiguous.
MGSV GZ aircraft

An unidentified third party made use of an unidentified Western aircraft around 1975. Two of such jets were dispatched to bomb and destroy a base on Cuba after Militaires Sans Frontières agent Snake destroyed several anti-air emplacements on the base, also shooting down the MAGTF chopper while en-route to the base. Kazuhira Miller stated that the aircraft were definitely of Western origin, but could not determine who sent them, although he suspected Cipher might have been involved.

Side Ops information ends here.

In 1984, a similar jet was later used in pursuit of the Diamond Dogs chopper, only for Quiet to snipe out the cockpit and its pilot.

Diamond Dogs had similar jets, and ended up using one to napalm the exit to the Quarantine Platform at Venom Snake's orders in order to ensure the vocal cord parasite-infected Diamond Dogs soldiers during a second outbreak on Mother Base could not go outside. They would further use the same model of jet to napalm Eli's island at the conclusion of the Kingdom of the Flies Incident. The Diamond Dogs presumably utilized these jets during support strikes.

Behind the scenes

Ghost Babel F-22

A squadron of F-22s, from Ghost Babel.

F-22 Raptors did not appear in the series proper, but they did appear in Metal Gear: Ghost Babel, released in the West as Metal Gear Solid, where they were dispatched to destroy anti-aircraft turrets guarding the maintenance base at Galuade. According to No. 4 during the Special Missions mode, the F-22s were also intended by Steve Gardner to act as a contingency plan in case Solid Snake failed to stop the Gindra Liberation Front, by carrying out an air raid on Galuade, and even made plans to launch a nuclear warhead at the location. This also explained why the F-22s were suspiciously smooth in their carrying out the cruise missile strike.[4]

In Metal Gear Solid 2, in an optional Codec conversation with the Colonel upon reaching the midpoint of the Solidus battle, the Colonel and Rosemary AIs will tell Raiden about how the Metal Gears REX and RAY had both shared the same names as the allied reporting names for Japanese fighter planes during World War II, and that Raiden, both with his codename and his real name Jack, shared the codename for one of the Japanese interceptors during the same time, in an attempt to reinforce that to them, he is nothing more than an expendable pawn without a will of his own.[2] Raiden would later reference this in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance in an optional Codec conversation with Kevin Washington. Although not actually mentioned in the former conversation, the N1K-J version of the N1K's allied reporting name of "George" was also shared by Solidus Snake, aka George Sears.

A McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II briefly made an appearance in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops in the montage accompanying Gene's threatening speech at the Plant before ensuring that the Russian soldiers under his command committed mass-riot suicide.




  • Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake - User's Manual (Su-27; RF-4C)

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b c d e f Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, Kojima Productions (2006)
    (Snake looks up at a crate above him, reading the markings) // Naked Snake (Big Boss): Lavotchkin La-5... What's a World War II fighter doing here? // Colonel Skowronski: It is a part of my collection! Once the king of Russian fighters, it could hold its own against Focke-Wulf and the Messerschmitt. // Snake: Were you a fighter pilot? // Skowronski: Indeed I was. Yes... a fighter. If only I had a MiG... or a Sukhoi... I would riddle Gene's body with holes this very day. Somebody! Anybody... Bring me a plane! A plane! // (Skowronski laughs maniacally. Snake shoots the lock off his cage and leaves as the Colonel continues laughing.)
  2. ^ a b c d Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2001).
    Colonel: Raiden, you have to beat [Solidus Snake]! This is your last duty! // Raiden: We're not just pawns in some simulation game, you know! // Rosemary: Yes, you are. You're nothing but mere weapons. No different from fighter jets or tanks. // Raiden: What the -- // Colonel: The old model destroyed four years ago was "REX"... // Rose: The new amphibious model is "RAY"... // Colonel: Both of these are the same as the code names used by the U.S. Armed Forces to refer to Japanese war planes during World War II. // Rose: Your code name "Raiden" too, comes from the Japanese navy's name for one of its interceptors... // Raiden: Stop it! I'm not a weapon!! // Rose: Oh really? Do you know the code name the U.S. Armed Forces used for the Japanese fighter "Raiden"? // Colonel: It was "Jack". Both of you are just weapons to be used and thrown away. // Rose: Just weapons to be used on the battlefield. Just pawns in a game -- exactly as you said. // Colonel: And a weapon has no right to think for itself! Now, it's time to fulfill your purpose! Defeat [Solidus Snake]!
  3. ^ Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Kojima Productions (2010).
    Huey Emmerich: Thanks for putting me on the R&D team, Snake. I’ll cut to the chase. We’ve commenced development on our own bipedal weapon. The only thing is that we don’t exactly have easy access to resources here. // Naked Snake/Big Boss: Yeah, unfortunately we don’t have the budget of a defense department behind us. // Huey Emmerich: I understand. That’s why I want to ask you something. If you fight any more AI weapons, could you try to gather as many of their parts as you can? That would really make things go a lot smoother. // Naked Snake/Big Boss: Again, easier said than done. Huey Emmerich: If anyone can do it, you can, Boss. You single-handedly took out the Pupa. // Naked Snake/Big Boss: True. // Huey Emmerich: Look, if you’re not interested, I can just work with what we have here. I’m not trying to force you to take unnecessary risks. You’re the boss around here. // Naked Snake/Big Boss: All right. No promises, but I’ll think about it. // Huey Emmerich: Great. Also, each AI weapon has a “head part” that serves as the core of its armament. Recovering a head part will allow you to use the weapon associated with that part. …But those guys won’t go down without a fight. So don’t get preoccupied with this stuff. // Naked Snake/Big Boss: Don’t worry. I’m not about to risk my life for a bunch of scrap. // Huey Emmerich: I would hope not. One more thing: our new bipedal weapon needs a name. // Naked Snake/Big Boss: Good point. We can’t keep calling it “our bipedal weapon.” // Huey Emmerich: I had a talk with Miller, and we came up with “Metal Gear ZEKE.” // Naked Snake/Big Boss: Metal Gear… ZEKE…? // Huey Emmerich: Yep. As you know, “Metal Gear” was coined by Granin. // Naked Snake/Big Boss: And “ZEKE”? // Huey Emmerich: It’s a name the U.S. military gave to a Japanese aircraft that flew during World War II. ZEKE was the Japanese navy’s best fighter plane. So are you okay with that, Snake? // Naked Snake/Big Boss: Sure, fine by me. // Huey Emmerich: Miller was saying that an army without borders will need a deterrent against other countries. He’s right. With Metal Gear, MSF can achieve true independence. // Naked Snake/Big Boss: Here’s hoping.
  4. ^ Metal Gear: Ghost Babel
    -Stage 10-2 clear-
    No. 4: About that F-22 cruise missile attack -- did you notice something a little too smooth about it? Gardner had the air force on standby right from the beginning of the crisis. The idea was if the mission failed, he would have Galuade blown sky-high along with Snake. He even had a nuclear warhead ready to go.