This Is How the Air Force's Future Fighter Jet Might Look Like

The sixth-generation tactical aircraft concept 1 photo
Photo: U.S. Air Force
Last year in September, the USAF has revealed that they were secretly working on a "sixth-generation" tactical aircraft under its Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) program, but nothing more was disclosed. Now, we are treated with a little more information on the design used for the mysterious craft.
Last week, USAF's biennal report for aquisition was released, and on page 28, we're shown an NGAD concept. From the report, we get that the NGAD program takes on digital engineering to replace mass-produced fighters with "smaller batches of iteratively upgraded platforms." This strategy follows the direction of the new digital technology of the automotive industry.

The USAF states that the project "uses high-fidelity models to troubleshoot design, assembly, maintenance, and sustainment before physical systems exist." This new technology is meant to cut down the manufacturing time and increase military jets' production, giving them at the same time the most advanced digital capabilities.

The USAF specifies that the NGAD is an advanced aircraft program that will use a Digital Century Series approach. This strategy allows the military to adopt commercial practices for key design activities before the physical part is manufactured.

The report says that the Next Generation Air Dominance is meant to accompany the F-32 and the F-22 Raptor:

"Designed to complement the F-35, F-22, joint, and partner forces in the Air Superiority role, Next Generation Air Dominance is an advanced aircraft program for the development of penetrating counter-air platforms with multi-domain awareness, agile resilient communications, and an integrated family of capabilities."

However, the USAF did not disclose the prototype or its characteristics. What they did give us is a preview of the concept, a diamond-shaped aircraft that does seem to have the look of a fighter jet. The jet also features a bubble canopy, two engines, and two vertical stabilizers. We don't know if that's the aircraft's final look, but we are hoping to see it being revealed soon.
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About the author: Florina Spînu
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Florina taught herself how to drive in a Daewoo Tico (a rebadged Suzuki Alto kei car) but her first "real car" was a VW Golf. When she’s not writing about cars, drones or aircraft, Florina likes to read anything related to space exploration and take pictures in the middle of nature.
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