Russia’s Zvezda TV channel “accidentally” exposed a model of a secret hypersonic 6th generation fighter jet.
It happened during a live broadcast. The model appeared to be a modern Russian-made hypersonic 6th generation fighter jet. It is most likely an unmanned version.
The 6th generation jets are scheduled to carry out their first flights by the mid-2020s and are to be hypersonic. TASS made the initial report in June 2016, citing the head of the directorate of military aircraft programs, the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) Vladimir Mikhailov. “He [the prototype] will rise into the air, as we plan, no later than two or three years after 2020”, said Mikhailov.
Mikhailov stated the program for the jet is currently underway, including engineering design.
According to the Defence Blog, certain military experts point out that the project of a new hypersonic fighter jet is called the Pigeon, because of the similarity of the tail assembly.
Pics below are taken from the Defence Blog:
The new fighter jet is to most likely have a massive twin-tail that allows it to use its own shockwaves to increase its lift and decreases drag.
Defence Blog didn’t report any other specifications of the aircraft including what type of engine it would use, its range or altitude of flight, it’s maximum speed has not been precisely named as well.
It speculated that the jet would “smash records and travel at five times greater than the speed of sound, over Mach 5-6. Quite possibly, the cruising speed of the future fighter aircraft will be identical today afterburning speed – Mach 1.5-2.”
Defence Blog also cited sources that claimed the picture is part of a Russian disinformation campaign or a sort of joke carried out by the Russian military. The model in the “accidentally” released footage is a 1/72 Italeri Mig-37 “Ferret” or a 1/48 Testors Mig-37 plastic model..
The race of the first 6th generation fight jet is on-going, as well as for other hypersonic and laser technologies. Earlier in 2018, the US Air Force Research Laboratory released a video of a concept of a sixth-generation fighter jet.
The concept video also showed the 6th gen. fighter jet shooting a laser gun that cuts an enemy aircraft in half.
Most capabilities that the 6th generation fighter jets will have are a mystery, however there is much speculation. According to some they could have autonomous flight, extended combat range, and larger payloads. It is likely that these aircraft will travel at hypersonic speeds and be able to deploy hypersonic weapons.
Currently, the throne of the 6th generation aircraft superpower is vacant and only time will show which country will come ahead.