BLUF

The next generation fighter capability might not be platform based.

Summary

What will replace the F-35? The USAF will use data extracted from F-35 operations and investigate advanced technologies while keeping an open mind on what forms a future capability might take. For the first time, the replacement capability will not necessarily be an airborne platform. The form of the future capability could be an amalgamation of hardware and software and could consist of an airborne network of data clouds, artificial intelligence, and total interconnectivity. So open is the thinking that service analysts have shied away from the term 'sixth-generation' aircraft as a successor to the F-35 because it is unclear what breakthrough technology might be developed in the future. What do you think would influence a decision to move away from a platform-based capability in replacement of the F-35?  

PME 4