Offiziere.ch: Brainstorming the Fighter after Next

04.12.12

Categorie: Air, David Axe, Stealth |
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F-35. Lockheed photo.

F-35. Lockheed photo.

by DAVID AXE

The general in charge of the U.S. Air Force’s Air Combat Command says he doesn’t know what the flying branch’s after-next jet fighter will look like. But he does know the Air Force will need a so-called “sixth-generation” fighter beginning around 2030, just as the planned purchase of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters is winding down.

“There will have to be a sixth generation” of jet fighters,” Gen. Mike Hostage, a former F-15 pilot, said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., on Friday. Whatever form it takes, the new warplane must incorporate what Hostage called “game-changing capability.”

“We don’t yet know what it is but we’re out there looking carefully,” Hostage added. However, the general offered some clues about the broad direction of warplane development.

Read the rest at Offiziere.ch.

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One Response to “Offiziere.ch: Brainstorming the Fighter after Next”

  1. Alejandro says:

    Interesting read though the report is incomplete.

    No mentioning of the F-106 Delta Dart which was the Air forces go to interceptor for much of the cold war or the similarly important F-18 and F-14 naval fighters which mirrored the F-16, and F-15. Even attack aircraft fallowed this mix as A-10′s were sent in after F-111′s took out enemy defenses.

    The navy is planning to begin their six gen fighter program in 2016 to replace the F-18, and I suspect they are going to go the heavy twin engine route after the f-35 finally enters production and replaces the AV-8′s and early f-16′s and F-18 A’s.

    Grumman took back their YF-23 demonstrator back in 2004 and modified it to be a display for the air forces “Interim Bomber” program that was cancelled in 2006. I also expect Boeing to enter either another F-18 derivative or a naval variant of the f-15. Lockheed has been working on a replacement for the S-3 viking for a while and can always submit a F-35 variant.

    The only two wild cards in the navy competition would be a Dassault partnership with an American Defense contractor to offer it’s Rafael (which is already qualified to fly of carriers)or a unlikely dark horse like General Dynamics reentering the supersonic fighter business with something.

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