The aircraft might be the Lockheed Martin’s design for the NGAD (Next Generation Air Dominance) or some other secretive program.
On Jul. 1, 2023, Lockheed Martin’s official account posted an interesting Instagram story to celebrate the 80th anniversary of its famous Skunk Works advanced projects division. Among the aircraft silhouettes shown in the IG story, there is one that really struck everyone’s attention: the one of an unknown, clearly manned next generation aircraft.
In May this year, the Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs announced that the Department of the Air Force has begun to solicit proposals for the 6th generation NGAD fighter that will replace the F-22 with the intent to award a contract in 2024. The NGAD Platform is one of many critical combat capabilities that will enable counter-air missions with the ability to strike both airborne and ground-based threats to achieve air superiority and support the Joint Force. The next generation aircraft will also cooperate with autonomous unmanned aircraft, being developed as part of the dedicated Collaborative Combat Aircraft (CCA) program.
According to Secretary Kendall, the U.S. Air Force should procure 200 NGAD fighters along with 1,000 CCA, autonomous drones that will cooperate in the “loyal wingman” role with the sixth-generation combat aircraft within a “system of systems” that see the fighters cooperating and interconnected with other assets (including F-35s), satellites, a secure combat cloud network, air defense nodes and so on.
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