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.