The US Navy brought more details about the NGAD (Next Generation Air Dominance) program, which will give rise to the 6th gen fighter still known only by the provisional designation of the F/A-XX.
The new fighter jet will replace the Boeing F/A-18E/F as air defense and attack aircraft on US nuclear carriers in the mid-2030s. And its role will be quite different from the Super Hornet, as a document shows of the Navy recently released, the “Navy Aviation Vision, 2030-2035”.
According to Navy, the F/A-XX will have a greater range and speed than the current Boeing fighter jet and will feature passive and active sensor technologies, in addition to having the capability to use long-range weapons that will be developed in the future.
“As the Super Hornets are retired from service, the combination of F-35C and F/A-XX will provide Navy tactical fighter aircraft capability and capacity within the CVW. The advanced carrier-based power projection capabilities residing in F/A-XX will maintain CVN relevance in advanced threat environments,” says the Navy document.
The presentation also features a combat scheme in which the F/A-XX is the main component of a squadron of unmanned aircraft, including what appear to be a tanker, an airborne early warning plane and two attack drones, called “Loyal Wingman”.
The illustration shows a fighter concept with canards and what appears to be a V-tail, similar to the YF-23 prototype. The engines suggest vectorable nozzles, but the layout is likely not a realistic view of the design.
The NGAD program, however, would still be at a very early stage to the point that the US Navy will have the F/A-18E/F Block III as its main backbone until 2035. The variant has a reduced radar signature, a sensor More advanced IRST and especially modular concept avionics, which can be updated more frequently.
For a service that has had several cutting-edge combat aircraft, the current situation of the US Navy is somewhat disappointing compared to the US Air Force, which has operated a stealth fighter for several years (F-22 Raptor) and recently performed its maiden flight. of a next generation fighter. This is worrying, given that China has taken great steps towards having a more powerful navy.