The U.S. Air Force is preparing to radically change the strategy for acquiring promising fighters by taking the industry to create new aircraft for five years or less, Defense Rocket Procurement Executive Director Will Roper told Defense News.
According to him, the changes in the Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) program, which involves the creation of the next generation fighter, will enter into force on October 1. According to Roper, this approach resembles the situation with the development of the Century Series family of fighters, when in a relatively short period of time aircraft from F-100 to F-106 were created.
Roper noted that NGAD will be based on three principles: flexibility in software development, open architecture, and digital engineering. The Executive Director added that the rapid renewal of the fleet of combat aircraft, receiving the same name, should create uncertainty among potential US adversaries like China and Russia.
The publication adds that the Air Force is asking for one billion dollars to finance NGAD in 2020, but this amount can be halved.
In September, it was reported that heavy strike reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) S-70 Okhotnik could become a full-fledged replacement for combat aircraft. In July 2018, this UAV in terms of artificial intelligence (AI) was named the prototype of the sixth generation fighter.
Currently, the US Armed Forces have two fighters of the last (fifth) generation – F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II (three options).
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