Despite uncertainties regarding the current generation of advanced fighter aircraft, the U.S. Air Force is proceeding with the development of the next generation, slated to enter service sometime after 2030.
The new fighter could represent a fresh approach to warplane design for the world’s leading air power. Today’s emphasis on radar evasion could give way to a broader focus on energy efficiency, which in turn could facilitate new weapons and other capabilities. For that reason, Dr. Mark Maybury, the Air Force’s top scientist, refers to the new fighter as a “More-Electric Aircraft.”
Today the Air Force is investing heavily in F-22 and F-35 stealth fighters, both types manufactured by Lockheed Martin. The last of 187 F-22s will roll out of Lockheed’s Georgia facility later this year. Production is just getting underway in Texas and Georgia on as many as 1,763 Air Force F-35s.