The U.S. Air Force has announced a new fighter jet prototype, which according to reports, was built in just a year and secrecy--but what do we know about this new aircraft?
(Photo : US Air Force)
Pictured above is a concept art from the US Air Force in 2018.
Announcing the New Prototype Fighter Jet
In a report by Popular Mechanics, Will Roper, the US Air Force head of acquisition, made the announcement, revealing that the defense agency has designed and built the new jet under its Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) program.
Based on the report, NGAD aims to build a jet that would supplement or even replace the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, one of the force's best jets.
Only 186 Raptors have been built, but apparently, only 123 are capable of bringing the jet's full spectrum of combat roles, while only 64 aircraft are ready to take the air at a moment's notice and fulfill its duties.
With that, the Air Force has started creating a prototype jet fighter that could help supplement their need for fighter jets, and it turns out that they were able to do so in just a year, according to Roper's exclusive interview with Defense News, in conjunction with the Air Force Association's virtual Air, Space, and Cyber Conference.
Within a short amount of time by modern standards, they were able to design a virtual version of the jet.
Soon enough, they were able to build a full-sized prototype complete with mission systems, as well as fly it for testing, but besides those facts, the public virtually knows nothing about the new jet, although Roper said it had already "broken records."
By that, the news outlet speculates it might have been the time they spent on creating the jet, which in comparison with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter that took ten years to complete, is indeed record-breaking.
No Further Details Except Its Existence
Roper did not specify which defense contractor was tasked to design and built the prototype jet, although it could be any of the big names in the aerospace industry, including Boeing, Northrop Grumman, or Lockheed Martin.
Moreover, there are also no details on where the prototype jet is now, as well as when it flew and how long it lasted, or whether there are multiple prototypes that exist, what it's called, or even what it looks like.
Nevertheless, the force has made several concept arts in the past, so anyone who follows them will likely have an idea or two about what the jet might look like.
Besides the announcement made by the US Air Force, there really is no further detail on the jet.
However, it seems like the NGAD was designed for "air dominance" to help in possible future conflicts, so it is most likely that they have optimized it for air combat, but everything is speculations for now.
Roper did not say when they would ultimately unveil the fighter jet, but if anything, everyone is at awe on how fast the Air Force was able to build the prototype, something that hasn't been done since World War II.
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Written by: Nhx Tingson
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