BLUF

Digital development technology, together with advanced manufacturing techniques, has allowed the USA to develop and fly a 6th generation fighter prototype in under a year.

Summary

Using cutting-edge technology, the USAF has produced and tested a 6th generation fighter prototype. Called a 'next-generation air dominance' (NGAD) fighter, this fighter could possibly go into production by the end of this decade.The NGAD fighter is likely to be a 'system of systems', containing drones and land and maritime-based capability. The 2020 Force Structure Plan commits the ADF to maintain Australia's technological advantage within our region. The NGAD might provide Australia with the opportunity, at an early stage, to become involved in sixth-generation fighter development. Malcolm Davis, the author of this article, supports acquiring 72 F35's as per the AIR 6000 project and ensuring that these F35s are complemented by other advanced capability defence developments. The USAF has set up a Program Executive Office to work with industry to drive the NGAD project forward. Think about the benefits to Australian defence and industry in being involved with the development of a USAF NGAD fighter.