Future U.S. Air Force sixth-generation jet fighter will not be just one plane, but a system of systems

Sept. 17, 2020
Meanwhile, the Navy is pursuing its own sixth-generation fighter to replace the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornets, which are nonstealth fourth-gen jets.

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Air Force is already test-flying a secretive prototype of a sixth-generation jet fighter -- years sooner than expected -- a top official revealed this week. Investors Business Daily reports. Continue reading original article

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

17 Sept. 2020 -- The so-called Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) fighter would be a follow-on to the Lockheed Martin F-22 stealth jet, which is a fifth-generation fighter. Yet instead of just one fighter, the Air Force envisions a system of systems that includes piloted and unmanned aircraft.

Lockheed Martin and the Boeing Co. are working on concepts for a sixth-generation fighter. But the Air Force hasn't picked a contractor for it, or even officially started a competition. Meanwhile, requirements for a future sixth-generation fighter aren't clear yet either.

"The NGAD has come so far that the full-scale flight demonstrator has already flown in the physical world. It's broken a lot of records," Air Force acquisition chief William Roper said this week during the Air Force Association's virtual Air, Space & Cyber Conference.

Related: Is it better to focus on tomorrow's technology when considering 5th- or 6th-generation jet fighter planes?

Related: Designers of future 6th-generation jet fighter consider artificial intelligence (AI), long-range sensors

Related: 6th-generation jet fighters may involve hypersonic technology, artificial intelligence (AI)

John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics

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