Author Topic: U.S 6th Generation fighter jets program  (Read 2118 times)


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U.S 6th Generation fighter jets program
« on: August 26, 2017, 04:53:13 PM »
From Popular Mechanics

'Sixth Generation' Fighters Jets Are Already Taking Shape - Mar 27, 2017
The United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Japan are all in early planning stages for a so-called "sixth generation" of fighter jets. The jets won't fly until the 2030s, but governments around the world are already exploring designs.

Fifth generation fighters were different from their fourth generation predecessors by incorporating stealth directly into the designs of aircraft, resulting in sleeker planes that carry weapons internally and have a reduced radar signature. The downside is while fifth gen jets are capable of carrying fuel and weapons externally, doing so breaks their carefully designed stealth characteristics. Other features of fifth generation fighters include active electronic scanning array radars and engines powerful enough to cruise above the speed of sound without afterburners.

The feature set for sixth generation fighters hasn't yet been nailed down, but longer range and payload are emerging as two key requirements. Artificial intelligence will likely play a role, sorting data and analyzing threats to reduce the pilot's workload. Optional manning is another likely feature, with the ability to fly fighters remotely. On the other edge of the manning spectrum, two seat fighters will probably evolve into something new. While "backseaters" used to control the jet's radar, their modern counterparts will likely control and orchestrate swarms of unmanned aerial vehicles.

Boeing's new sixth generation design. Via Aviation Week & Space Technology.

The F-22 Raptor's Replacement Is Starting to Take Shape - Aug 23, 2017
The U.S. Air Force is finalizing technology requirements for a new fighter jet to enter service sometime in the 2030s. Known as "Penetrating Counter Air," the new fighter will replace the F-22 Raptor and maintain American air superiority in future conflicts. The sixth=generation fighter will incorporate a number of new technologies that for now exist only on the drawing board.

Citing the existence of advanced Russian weapons such as the S-400 air defense missile system and the Su-57 (formerly PAK-FA) fighter, Air Combat Command commander General Mike Holmes told Aviation Week & Space Technology that while the F-22 and F-35 will continue to be improved, "Eventually you will run into a limit in your ability to improve those platforms, and so we need to have something else ready."

The U.S. hasn't designed a clean-sheet fighter in twenty years, and Penetrating Counter Air (PCA) will differ from the F-22 and F-35 in some ways to deal with new strategic realities. For one thing, PCA will emphasize range, particularly in order to fly escort missions for B-2 and B-21 bombers over Russia and against China in the Asia-Pacific. These sort of missions were unthinkable just five years ago.
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