What new technologies will define the sixth generation of fighter jets? – Learn about the technology that holds the secret to the Air Force’s new fighter jet.
What new technologies will define the sixth generation of fighter jets?
MilitaryEzyInfo.com – The race to build the best fighter jet has resumed with renewed vigor. With less than 1,000 fifth-generation fighter jets currently flying around the world, the world is already eagerly awaiting the arrival of the next generation of fighter jets.
What are the technologies and capabilities that will define the so-called “sixth generation,” including a top-secret new fighter jet that the Air Force will develop, test, and fly within a year? The answer may surprise you.
The dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 interrupted more than 45 years of intensive fighter development. The Cold War led to the rapid introduction of several key technologies, including jet engines, radar-guided missiles, flat-screen displays, and stealth, and the development of the first four generations of post-war fighter jets. In the 2000s, the U.S. introduced its first fifth-generation fighter, the F-22 Raptor.
A fifth-generation fighter is generally defined as an aircraft designed from the ground up to be stealthy, radar-resistant, capable of flying at speeds in excess of Mach 1 without the use of afterburners, with advanced radar and infrared sensors, and extensive use of computers and software capable of processing sensor data as well as controlling the aircraft. The Raptor is defined as an aircraft designed from the ground up.
Since the Raptor’s debut, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and its international rivals, the Chengdu J-20 and Sukhoi Su-57, have joined the fifth-generation aircraft lineup.
Spending on fighter jets is on the rise as the major powers, especially Russia and China, show aggression towards their neighbors while building up their armaments. The U.S., Japan, the U.K., France, and Germany are working on the sixth generation of fighter jets. The question is, what does a sixth-generation fighter actually look like?
In a recent webinar, engineers at Raytheon Intelligence and Space revealed that they believe the next generation of fighters will be defined by several new technologies, including air-to-air radar, air-to-ground radar, radios, and large transmitters that will act as electronic warfare platforms. The software-controlled system will be the first of its kind. The software-controlled system will replace several different systems and switch missions as needed.
Raytheon engineers said the sixth-generation fighter jet will also have its own landing system, Aviation Technology News reported in a webinar. Future aircraft may be designed to land automatically. This would help in landing in the “proper landing zone” in bad weather. Sixth-generation fighter jets could land autonomously without human assistance or guide pilots to land in difficult situations.
The next generation of fighter jets will also have artificial intelligence that will act as a co-pilot for human pilots. In fact, earlier this year, the Air Force revealed a secret that its new fighter planes will have R2-D2-style co-pilots, similar to the AI that piloted the U-2 spy plane in the first episode.
The AI, which will be connected to the cockpit, will be able to monitor enemy radar interference, monitor threats passing over the aircraft, such as approaching missiles, and automatically fire anti-aircraft missiles and flares to disrupt them. The AI could also be used to control “faithful wingmen,” semi-autonomous drones that could fly alongside manned fighters.