Monday, February 15, 2016

Sixth-gen fighter likely won’t be common across U.S. services, Air Force general says

In a departure from the dual-service F-35 effort, the Pentagon’s sixth-generation fighter likely won’t be common between the Air Force and the Navy, a top Air Force general said Friday.
The next generation of fighters will likely be designed as separate aircraft across the services because the Air Force and Navy will have unique mission requirements in future decades, said Lt. Gen. James “Mike” Holmes, deputy chief of staff for plans and requirements.
“We’ll have some different requirements for what we need based on the different things we are expected to provide for the joint force,” Holmes said Friday during a media roundtable at the Pentagon. “It’s not likely [it will be a common airplane]. We’ll use common technologies and maybe some common things, but at this point we think it will be a different enough mission that it won’t be the same airplane.”
It’s a departure from the fifth-generation F-35 Lightning II which will be used by the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps. The F-35 was designed as a joint-service fighter, with three different variants built for the various services.
But it looks like the sixth gen fighter development will more closely resemble current aircraft, where the Air Force operates the F-15 and F-16, and the Navy flies the F-18. more