The following units can be upgraded to Fighters:
Fighter units can attack enemy air units and can scout enemy terrain. They are very useful when stationed on Carrier units.
- Air Strike: attack any visible military unit (not Air units) within range. Maximum damage: 50%.
- Air Bomb: bombard city defenses (-12%) and attempt to destroy tile improvements.
- Intercept: the Fighter attempts to damage or shoot down any Air units that attack the city in which it is based.
- Recon: reveal land in a 5-square radius of the target space.
- Rebase: move to any city the player owns or to that of any other Civ with which the player has an Open Borders agreement.
Fighters can weaken city fortifications and harm units with Air Strike attacks, though not as effectively as Bombers. Using the Intercept mission, Fighters can help protect cities and units from deadly Air attacks.
The earliest military aircraft were used primarily in a reconnaissance role. In 1915, during World War I, aircraft designer Anthony Fokker developed a gear system that allowed a plane-mounted machine gun to fire through the propeller, giving birth to the first fighter aircraft. The fighter's mission was to shoot down enemy reconnaissance and fighter planes. Later, as the use of bombers became more widespread, fighters were called upon to act as interceptors against enemy bombing runs and escorts for friendly bombers. The best way to ensure the safe passage of friendly bombers to their selected targets is the destruction of enemy fighters.