Hybrid theory: Lockheed Martin and Boeing pitch upgraded F-22 and F-15 jet fighter
WASHINGTON – Almost since the day the last F-22 Raptor fighter jet rolled out of Lockheed Martin's assembly plant, the U.S. Air Force has been making plans for its successor -- a sixth generation jet fighter aircraft to continue the U.S. military's dominance of the air. ARS Technica reports.
The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:
27 Nov. 2018 -- In 2016, the Air Force issued its Air Superiority 2030 strategic plan for the next 15 years of air combat capabilities, which included a call for developing a penetrating counter-air (PCA) aircraft to replace or augment F-22 and F-15 jet fighters.
Essentially, the military wanted a fighter capable of surviving in an advanced, hostile environment while taking out enemy aircraft and air defenses and acting as a node in the network, providing data from its penetrating sensors to enable employment using either stand-off or stand-in weapons. The U.S. Navy is looking at similar capabilities for its carrier-based air operations.
The F-35 Lightning II is not an air-superiority fighter aircraft. While it can dabble in that role, it was intended to be a strike fighter -- a fighter-bomber workhorse meant largely to take on ground targets and defend itself as necessary.
John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics
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