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US Navy Starts Search For 6th Generation Fighter

Needs to be combat ready by 2030

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Days after the DoD released their 30 year aviation plan, the United States Navy has started the exploratory process to find a 6th generation fighter to replace the F/A18-E/F and EA-18G. This was mentioned in the aviation plan as something they were planning to do. The Navy hopes what ever plane is chosen, it will be in service to replace the F-18 in 2030.

“Whatever jet is selected will hopefully replace the Super Hornets around 2030,” said Rear Adm. Donald Gaddis this afternoon at the Navy League’s annual Sea, Air, Space conference. “Before the Navy can settle on the final capabilities such a plane will have, it needs to know what types of technology the defense industry can bring to the table for a brand new fighter that will be fielded in less than two decades,” said Gaddis. “The new jet must be able to survive in anti-access environment, have next-gen sensors and maybe even the ability to ‘buddy’ refuel other fighters and perform airborne early warning (AEW) duties.”

Here are some concept sculpture pictures of a boeing F/A-XX carrier based strike aircraft:

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Here’s what the actual RfI says the service wants in the new jet:

“The intent of this research is to solicit Industry inputs on candidate solutions for CVN based aircraft to provide multi-role capability in an A2AD operational environment. Primary missions include, but are not limited to, air warfare (AW), strike warfare (STW), surface warfare (SUW), and close air support (CAS). Also consider the ability of your concept to provide other capabilities currently provided by strike fighter aircraft, such as organic air-to-air refueling (AAR), Tactical Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Acquisition (RSTA), and airborne electronic attack (AEA). The trade space refinement activity will characterize a broad tradespace, to include unmanned, optionally manned and manned aircraft. System attributes and system capabilities will be considered in the context of cost and affordability. Concepts that are derived from legacy aircraft, “clean sheet” new design aircraft, as well as innovative technology concepts specifically tailored for the operational context are all relevant. Please provide a separate white paper for each technology concept or family of related and complementary technology concepts; multiple white papers may be provided.”

With China and Russia bringing out their very own 5th generation fighters really soon, the need to look into staying a step ahead of those 2 superpowers becomes even more apparent.

Here is the actual Rfi that was released:

Navy FA-XX_RFI[1]

US Navy Starts Search For 6th Generation Fighter
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