Production of US 6th Generation Fighter Jet Enters New Stage, Requires $1.7 Billion in Funding

Production of US 6th Generation Fighter Jet Enters New Stage, Requires $1.7 Billion in Funding
Production of US 6th Generation Fighter Jet Enters New Stage

Washington - The United States Air Force's 6th generation fighter aircraft is entering a new stage. The manufacture of this 6th generation fighter jet is estimated to require a budget of USD 1.7 billion. The manufacture of this US 6th generation fighter began an engineering, manufacturing, and development (EMD) program.

Quoted from War zone, Secretary of the US Air Force Frank Kendall speaking at the Heritage Foundation said the 6th generation fighter jets in the Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) Program are expected to be realized by 2030. We have now started the EMD program. to develop the aircraft that we will produce. We think we will have the capability by the end of the decade.

This Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) program includes platforms such as a new manned fighter aircraft, associated collaborative drones, weapons, sensors and communications architecture. "So basically we have the X-plane program, which is designed to reduce risk in some of the key technologies that we need for the production program," said Kendall.

The costs for the development of the sixth-generation fighter jet NGAD program are estimated at USD1.7 billion, included in the defense budget request for Fiscal Year 2023.

Last month, according to Breaking Defense, Kendall told lawmakers that the NGAD manned platform would cost “several hundred million dollars” per aircraft because it would be at the core of the NGAD ecosystem.

It is not clear whether the prime contractor has been selected to develop a manned part of the program or even a larger segment. However, it is still unclear whether there will be a single prime contractor on any of the platforms in this NGAD program.

Of course, Lockheed, Boeing, and Northrop Grumman are all strong candidates for this stage of EMD. This includes the possibility of some decisions about who will work on a particular piece to start the EMD stage.

As noted earlier, the NGAD Program for this sixth-generation fighter jet is an extensive development to create the 'systems' that will ensure US tactical air dominance for decades to come. It includes a highly adaptable and manned platform with substantial reach, enhanced survivability and next-generation modular sensor capabilities.

The NGAD program is not just about the platform, but we mention it as a unified system. Part of the unified system is the development of an unmanned fighter aircraft, Kendall said.

Two years ago, Will Roper, then the Air Force's Assistant Secretary for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, revealed that the Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) program had begun clandestine flight testing. “We have built and flown a full-scale, real-world flight demonstrator. We are ready to go and build the next generation of aircraft in a way that has never been seen before," Roper told Defense News.

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