Air Force moves past drawing board on avionics, computers, and other technologies for 6th-gen jet fighter

April 20, 2021
Digital engineering enables weapons developers to assess technologies without building all of them, and start building prototypes earlier.

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio – Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works, and Boeing’s Phantom Works all are among industry developers working on prototype sixth-generation jet fighter and the plane's advanced technologies. Kris Osborn at The National Interest reports. Continue reading original article

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

20 April 2021 -- The Air Force has not decided yet on a platform or set of technologies, yet is moving beyond the conceptual realm and into the exploration of weapons, sensors, networking, and other technologies.

The Air Force is making progress with its sixth-generation aircraft initiative, called Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD). It had been largely conceptual for years, but Air Force officials now say current prototyping and demonstrations are informing which avionics and other technologies the service will invest in for the future.

Senior Air Force officials have said that an analysis of alternatives has been completed and that work on requirements is in progress. Work includes various modeling and efforts to explore crucial hardware and software for onboard computers.

Related: General Dynamics to upgrade Type 3 avionics computer systems for Super Hornet and Growler combat jets

Related: Lockheed to build 90 F-16 jet fighter aircraft and avionics for U.S. allies in potential $62 billion deal

Related: Curtiss-Wright to provide avionics computer for Navy MQ-4C unmanned patrol plane in $7.5 million contract

John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics

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