The US Air Force has revealed a new stealth fighter prototype it says has already secretly built and flown, according to Defense News.
So move over F-22 Raptor, or better yet, maybe its time for the Air Force to rethink its unreliable F-35 Lightning II program because there’s a new stealth jet that could potentially dominate the skies by 2030.
Air Force acquisition head Will Roper recently spoke with Defense News and said the jet, built under the Air Force’s Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) program, could enter production “pretty fast.”
“We are ready to go and build the next-generation aircraft in a way that has never happened before,” Roper told Defense News in an exclusive interview ahead of the Air Force Association’s Air, Space and Cyber Conference in mid-September.
Roper said, “We’ve already built and flown a full-scale flight demonstrator in the real world, and we broke records in doing it.”
As the NGAD program is classified, not much is known about the secretive jet. Roper wouldn’t give additional details on the aircraft to Defense News or anyone at the event.
The disclosure of the Air Force’s sixth-generation prototype could be perfect timing for the Air Force to request more funds from Congress as a modernization wave is sweeping across the military, said Mackenzie Eaglen, a defense budget analyst with the American Enterprise Institute.
“If you can quickly get to something and show progress through product, it just changes the whole dynamic for the Hill,” she said. “[Roper has] got so many headwinds, it seems this would be a likely avenue to show conceptual success for his ideas.”
The announcement also follows years of troubling stories about just how “f**ked up” the F-35 program is. Readers may recall:
- F-35 Program Is “F***ed Up,” Puts American Pilots In Severe Dogfight Disadvantage
- US Stealth Jets Can’t Shoot Straight, New Pentagon Report Warns
- Bombshell Report: Pentagon Mismanaged $2.1 Billion In F-35 Stealth Jet Parts
- F-35 Crash That Grounded Fleet Caused By Manufacturing Defect
… the list goes on and on.
Nevertheless, there is hope for a new stealth jet, and it appears the Air Force is moving quickly on its futuristic projects. Recently, the Navy’s Rear Adm. Greg Harris recently told a virtual audience that the service is looking at F/A-XX or next-generation air dominance family systems.
Six generation stealth jets could become a reality at the end of this decade.