Dubbed “sixth generation fighter,” Northrop Grumman stated it is working on a prototype of a new stealth fighter with the technology to deploy laser weapons - Mail Online reports.
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Although Northrop Grumman is still keeping everything under wraps, indicators reveal the superjet will be able to fly at supersonic speeds, and it will rely on excellent cooling capabilities to cover its laser systems.
Northrop’s vice president for research, technology, and advanced design, Chris Hernandez, stated that the fighter will be able to operate long distance since locating an operational base overseas may be a challenge; so it must be able to survive on long range missions with a lot of weapons onboard.
Northrop is not interested in discussing the specifications for the sixth generation fighter even though two design teams are on ground developing specs for the aircraft. The Pentagon will need to certify its speed to operate at supersonic speeds, and the engineering team is working to manage its heat in the light of the laser weapons it will carry and deploy.
This aircraft won’t be ready for use soon, until around 2030.
The US Navy in 2012 requested for help in replacing its F/A-18E/F Super Hornet together with the EA-18G Growler around 2030, and Boeing and Northrop have tasked themselves with developing concepts that will translate into superior air fighters for next generation air dominance aircrafts.
Mark Jefferson, director of Next Generation Air Dominance schemes at Skunk Works noted that “This decomposition may not be perfect and will most certainly be fine-tuned over time, but it does provide a logical construct for looking at the future battle space.”
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Another thing with this aircraft is that it might be pilotless, relying on Artificial Intelligence (AI) to operate and respond to any action.