US Air Force Wants More Funds for Sixth Gen
Fighter. US President Donald Trump’s proposed defense
budget released Tuesday provides funding increase for a sixth-generation fighter jet in fiscal
year2018-19. The Next Generation Air Dominance program
is one of the monikers for the Pentagon’s future designated air superiority aircraft
– jets designed to infiltrate and dominate airspace as part of a strategy.
The service’s fiscal 2018-19 budget request released Tuesday includes $25.4 billion for
research, development, test and evaluation programs — an increase of $5 billion, or
26 percent, from the amount enacted for the current year, according to budget documents.
While some of the funding would go toward top acquisition programs such as the KC-46A
Pegasus tanker, F-35A Lightning II and B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber, some would also
support advanced technology initiatives. For example, the “Next generation Air Dominance”
sixth-generation fighter program aims to secure $295 million for the fiscal year beginning
just $21 million under the current year. the Air Force’s deputy assistant secretary
for budget, said during a budget briefing at the Pentagon. “The capability gap is
closing and we must continue to invest in game-changing technology such as hypersonics,
directed energy, unmanned autonomous systems, and nanotechnology.”
Another area that saw a proposed increase in R&D spending was the Long Range Stand-Off
Weapon, a New generation cruise missile to be launched from aircraft such as the B-52
Stratofortress. “We’re still flying with fourth-generation
weapons on a fifth-generation platform,” he said. For F-22, F-35 and a future penetrating
counter-air system sixth-generation fighter “we need weapons that are fifth- and sixth-
generation that go with that.” Lastly, as expected, the B-21 LRS-B — the
Air Force’s classified, next- generation stealth bomber also saw a proposed increase
from $1.3 billion to $2 billion as the program ramps up in planning, testing and evaluation
and development efforts. Next generation Air Dominance, also known
as Penetrating Counter Air, received a hike in line with the service’s Air Superiority
2030 roadmap study completed last May, an Air Force spokeswoman told
The Air Force also is fleshing out the concept of a “survivable strike weapon” and related
technologies to meet future needs, he said. Whether they would by hypersonic and rely
on speed to outpace enemy air defenses, or rely on stealth to avoid detection, has yet
to be determined, he told reporters. The F-35 program has been plagued by cost
overruns and schedule delays. Carlisle was asked if he was concerned that the headline-grabbing
setbacks associated with the joint strike fighter would make lawmakers wary of funding
an expensive sixth-generation system or family of systems in the next decade.
The Air Force will take lessons learned from the F-35, F-22 and B-21 Raider programs and
apply them to the penetrating counter-air sixth-generation fighter project, he added.
“We have to be ready for not only what we need today but we better be ready for the
potential threats … 10, 20 years from now,” Thank You For Watching. Please Like, Share,
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