Air Force to rely on digital engineering to design and prototype 6th generation jet fighter to replace F-35

Part of the progress with the program, according to Air Force Acquisition Executive William Roper, is due to new methods of digital engineering, reports Kris Osborn for The National Interest.

6th Gen Fighter 25 Sept 2019 5d8a85c255131

WASHINGTON – Drone fighter jets, hypersonic attack planes, artificial intelligence, lasers, electronic warfare and sensors woven into the fuselage of an aircraft - are all areas of current technological exploration for the Air Force as it begins early prototyping for a new, 6th Generation fighter jet to emerge in the 2030s and 2040s, reports Kris Osborn for The National Interest. Continue reading original article

The Intelligent Aerospace take:

September 25, 2019-While the initiative, called Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD), has been largely conceptual for years, Air Force officials say current jet fighter prototyping and demonstrations are informing which technologies the service will invest in for the future.

Part of the progress with the program, according to Air Force Acquisition Executive William Roper, is due to new methods of digital engineering.

Digital engineering, as Roper explains it, brings what could be called a two-fold advantage. It enables weapons developers to assess technologies, material configurations and aircraft models without needing to build all of them -- all while paradoxically enabling builders to “bend metal” and start building prototypes earlier than would otherwise be possible.

Related: UK government launches opportunity for industry to collaborate on the development of next-generation air power

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Jamie Whitney, Associate Editor
Intelligent Aerospace

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