BLUF

The United States Air Force (USAF) recently announced that the Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) program is moving into the next stage of development, with the aim of fielding America’s next air superiority fighter by 2030.

Summary

This article by Alex Hollings, writing for 1945, makes the following points:
  • The NGAD, which will include a crewed fighter and drone support aircraft, has begun its engineering, manufacturing, and development (EMD) program.
  •  USAF Secretary Frank Kendall wants the Air Force to move straight into development, fielding the new family of fighter systems within the next eight years.
  • The 2030 timeline parallels statements made by the Air Force indicating that the F-22 Raptor—currently America’s top-tier air superiority fighter—may not be survivable in contested airspace beyond 2030.
  • The NGAD fighter program will usher in a significant shift in how America approaches air dominance.

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