The US Air Force has begun planning the first drafting and testing of the 6th generation fighter. Major General Arnold Bunch, commander of the Air Force Materiel Command, shared the information. This is in an interview with Scout Warrior. The sixth-generation fighter will be a replacement for the fifth-generation F-35, expected to be operational by the mid-2030s, and is being researched by both the Air Force and Navy. next. The two US military branches will identify the technologies and capabilities that this new fighter jet possesses. The US Air Force wants to create air superiority over Russian fifth-generation fighters (Sukhoi Su-35, Su-57) or China (Chengdu J20).
Combat aircraft that will be operational within the next 20 years will likely be equipped with new stealth technology, electronic warfare, the ability to handle complex algorithms, high automation, and super-speed weapons. The sound and technology is called “smart-skins”, when the sensors of the aircraft are equipped on the sides of the fighter. Some of the technology mentioned above was featured in a Northrop Grumman commercial clip, with a rendered image of a sixth-generation fighter.
Northrop Grumman is essentially the US Department of Defense partner with the second largest revenue after Lockheed Martin. Surely they will bid to receive a contract to design and produce fighters for the US military. To do this, they must be planning the first steps to outline the design of the aircraft. According to Defense News, Boeing is also doing the same thing. The aircraft, at least, will change part or all of its F / A18 Super Hornet fleet, the fourth generation of fighters, which is expected to cease operations by 2035.
The U.S. Navy’s vision of aircraft carriers until 2040 will use the F-35C, a version created to meet the needs of the Navy, and EA-18G Growler for electronic breakwashing. Also around this time, 6th generation aircraft will also be put into service, serving both manned and unmanned missions. This means that the sixth generation fighter will have to be able to control it remotely, like the current UAVs.
In terms of technology requirements, the new aircraft will have to operate at supersonic speeds without the need for the afterburner system now. As a result, the fighter will have a tactical advantage when flying at a faster speed but more fuel-saving, the mission time will be longer. The F-22 Raptor itself has the super cruise technology version as above.
The sensors, computers and electronic systems on the plane will have to be perfectly connected to each other, capable of receiving real-time data from satellites, other fighters to create information. Useful information for pilots when operating.
Meanwhile, Smart-skins integrate a lot of sensors on the fuselage and inside the aircraft, using advanced algorithms to synthesize and present information to pilots. The current F-35 has made part of such technologies. The information is measured by sensors on the aircraft, computer collected and displayed on the screen for the pilot. In addition, Northrop’s Distributed Aperture System is also showing 360-degree space around the plane. They are integrated right into the fuselage sections, both reducing drag when flying, and making signals difficult to identify by the radar system.