6th-Generation Fighters: Closer Than You Think! | Editorji
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6th-Generation Fighters: Closer Than You Think!

Feb 25, 2021 13:18 IST

United States has secretly designed, built and test flown a prototype sixth-generation fighter jet under the Next-Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) programme. The last time an experimental fighter took off in the US was for a fifth-generation fighter 20 years ago. That contract eventually was won by Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II. It took over ten years to complete and has become the most expensive American weapons programme ever. Other nations are still struggling to make their own fifth-generation fighters. But this unnamed sixth-generation jet has taken just a couple of years from the time serious work on the project commenced to actual flight. There are a handful of other sixth-generation programmes in various stages of development around the world. While the European Future Combat Air System (FCAS) is expected to launch the first flight of its New Generation Fighter (NGF) in 2026 the British-led Tempest is expected to be operational by 2035. Both China and Russia are also believed to be working on their own sixth-generation combat planes. India’s military-industrial establishment needs to get cracking on sixth-generation technologies like optional manning, swarm drones, DEW, hypersonic weapons and ensure that they are effectively built into the AMCA.