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diagram: This is our first look at the Air Force's secret new fighter jet under the NGAD program. Here's everything we can see on the mysterious sixth-generation plane.
© U.S. Air Force This is our first look at the Air Force's secret new fighter jet under the NGAD program. Here's everything we can see on the mysterious sixth-generation plane.
  • A U.S. Air Force report depicts the service’s secret new fighter jet.
  • The Air Force has built and flown the Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) fighter, but hasn’t publicly revealed the mysterious aircraft.
  • It’s unclear if the new concept art bears any resemblance to the actual aircraft.
Last fall, the U.S. Air Force shockingly revealed it had designed, built, and tested a secret new fighter jet in the span of just one year. The mysterious fighter is part of the Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) program, an Air Force project designed to supplement and eventually replace the F-22 Raptor.



Beyond admitting the plane exists—and uses F1-style engineering—the Air Force has told us little else about its NGAD fighter. But the service might have just dropped its most concrete clue yet: intriguing concept art of a fighter aircraft being built under the NGAD program. Is it the secret new fighter jet?

The image above appears on page 55 (“Next Generation Air Dominance”) of the Air Force’s biennial report for acquisition, which it released last week. The aircraft depicted is a large, diamond-shaped fighter jet with large engine air intakes over the airplane’s wing, trailing to the left and right of the cockpit, where the intakes would be shielded from radar from below. The aircraft also features two engines, a bubble canopy cockpit, and two vertical stabilizers that can be retracted to fold flat into the wings.

Here’s what the NGAD section of the report says:

“Designed to complement the F-35, F-22, joint, and partner forces in the Air Superiority role, Next Generation Air Dominance is an advanced aircraft program for development of penetrating counter air platforms with multi-domain awareness, agile resilient communications, and an integrated family of capabilities.”
The image also hints at the capability to refit the aircraft with weapon and propulsion upgrades. The fighter is seen alongside three versions of air-to-air missiles, landing gear, and engines labeled V1, V2, and V3. Modern combat aircraft receive new weapons all the time, but refitting an existing aircraft with new engines is generally considered too complicated.

The Air Force developed the secret fighter jet with digital engineering technology designed to dramatically shorten the development time of new aircraft. Digital engineering involves the use of virtual modeling and simulation tools. NGAD’s ability to rapidly absorb new, complex upgrades may be partly due to digital engineering.

So, is the image a viable NGAD design? Indeed, the aircraft looks like a fighter jet built for speed and all-around stealth. It’s hard to get a sense of the size, but it could well be bigger than the F-22.

The blended body and wing configuration would yield a large internal volume that could store fuel and weapons carried in internal weapons bays. The Air Force reportedly wants a fighter with the range to accompany bombers into deep penetration missions, just as the P-51D Mustang flew alongside the B-17G Flying Fortress in World War II. That requires a fighter with a large internal fuel supply.

The folding vertical stabilizers would increase stealth in the down position, but why have them at all? Keeping them around likely has some benefit versus deleting them, such as increased maneuverability or fuel efficiency.

The NGAD fighter wouldn’t work alone. In the concept art, two vertical lines emanate from the aircraft nose and are aimed upward, indicating connections to satellite and airborne communications nodes. That would allow the NGAD pilot to jack into a stream of data from nearby friendly forces, from Air Force airborne early warning aircraft to Navy destroyers, and obtain a picture of the battlefield without turning on his or her own radar and other sensor systems. That’s the“multi-domain awareness” to which the Air Force refers.

It’s impossible to know for sure if the NGAD image is representative of the real aircraft. It does seem like the image properly depicts the kind of plane and capabilities the Air Force has said it wants. Whatever the case, we’ll hopefully know what the new fighter jet looks like soon.
This Is Our First Look at the Air Force’s Secret New Fighter Jet (msn.com)
XXIV Corps
 

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I lost all of my rifles & handguns in a mishap on Rio Grande when the barge hit a sandbar and sank.
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How much? 500M per plane. They will build like 10 of them. Should of just kept making F16s for 30M per. Prices of these new weapons is insane.
Lockheed Martin's (NYSE:LMT) F-35 stealth fighter gets all the headlines, but around the world, Lockheed's F-16 Falcon remains the world's most popular fighter jet. Thanks to a new arms deal struck with Taiwan, the F-16 could reign supreme for decades to come.

As confirmed by an update on the Pentagon's daily digest of contract awards, last week, the Air Force awarded Lockheed Martin a $62 billion contract to produce an unspecified number of F-16 fighter jets for purchase by foreign allies. But who will be buying these airplanes, and is this deal as profitable for Lockheed Martin as it sounds?

F-16s in flight

LOCKHEED MARTIN'S MOST POPULAR FIGHTER JET IS GETTING EVEN MORE POPULAR WITH FOREIGN ARMS BUYERS. IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.
Look who's buying the F-16 now
Seriously. Who is buying all these fighter jets?

Curiously, the DoD announcement of the sale doesn't specify the buyer(s). But according to a story by Agence France-Presse, at least 66 of the fighters on order (out of an initial production lot of 90) will be going to Taiwan in an $8 billion arms deal first revealed last year.

The destination of the other 24 jets remains a mystery. (Some sources surmise it will be Morocco). And when you consider the vast size of this deal -- nearly eight times the dollar value of the sale negotiated last year -- and its long duration (the contract stretches 10 years, although the initial batch of 90 aircraft is due for completion by the end of 2026), it's possible that Taiwan, too, will be buying a lot more than just the 66 fighters it initially ordered.


The world's most popular fighter jet
Lockheed Martin is the world's biggest publicly-traded defense company. It only makes sense that it should make the world's most popular fighter jet. And the latest issue of FlightGlobal's World Air Forces report confirms that 2,280 Lockheed Martin F-16 Falcons are in use by air forces around the globe -- more than twice as many as the world's next-most-popular fighter, the Sukhoi 27 "Flanker".

Presumably, one of the reasons the F-16 remains so popular is its cost. With a roughly $30 million price tag, an F-16 sells for less than 80% of the sticker price of Sukhoi's Flanker. Lockheed's savvy move to begin producing the F-16 in India, moreover, promises to help the F-16 undercut the competition on price for years.

But you don't even need to project cost-cutting benefits to see how this deal will benefit Lockheed Martin stock and the company's bottom line.

From August 2020.
 

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What ever the Air Force comes up with, it's a sure bet that Congress will either shoot it down or severely limit the numbers that get produced. The members in Congress have no idea what is required to defend the United States since most of them never served in the military. The F22 program is a good example.
 

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One Major issue about "The Flying Triangle" is it's Silence. There are a few different rumors or suspenions as to who or what the Flying Triangles could be....From High Tech Balloons to Alien/ ET Tech.

Aurora IF it existed, supposedly had a very distinct Doughnut contrail that was a "Tell Tale" and unique and easy to spot due to the way "Pulse or Hybrid" Engine worked/performed and was canceled because of that issue IF "it existed at all.

This new latest "Gee-Wiz Bang latest High Tech Gizmos" have not been proven as of yet or will work as designed or promised.
Look at the F-35...IT's helmet and other things do not work as was designed or promised or delivered what it was or is supposed to be. Look how much the U.S. taxpayer is paying or has paid to extra to get it Right Their are Three versions of the F-35 which may be part of the problem...but are not a helmet issue..

The USAF "Head Shed" has claimed/wants the F-35 to replace the A-10...Other than them, most people with more than one braincell do not see that happening or viable. To carry the payload required means loading the F-35 in "Beast Mode" negating the Stealth advantage....Besides putting the most expensive Aircraft into such a Hostile Environment and cannot protect it's pilot/Driver like the Hawg (A-10) can. Nor can it sustain the Battle Damage the Hawg can, and still slap knots on the Bad Guys heads. The Hawg and it's drivers cannot be touched and currently there is no realistic replacement for it. The USAF never wanted the Hawg and has been trying to get rid of it since before they got it.

IF it is not a fighter or a bomber the USAF does not want it....Don't ask me how they define SPECTRE or GHOSTRIDER...I have no real answer nor do they I highly suspect. When they go into a Left banking turn...Pray you are somewhere else Far Far Far away or dug down deep if you have to call "DANGER CLOSE"

The F-16 and F-16XL does a good job but does not do a GREAT Job like the F-15 or the F-15X. The F-15 was designed specifically to be an Air Superiority Fighter. It has done an amazing job in such a role over the years and has an impeccable Combat Record in that Role. The F-15X is designed to fill the niche until the Sixth generation fighter aircraft comes online. Mainly it will be used for Air Defense over North America.
When I got out of the USAF, The F-15 was the only known Fighter at the time that could go into and maintain a straight vertical climb without having to spin to maintain lift.

The F-15 was also used in the Anti satellite weapon (ASAT) testing program in the early 80s
 

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How much? 500M per plane. They will build like 10 of them. Should of just kept making F16s for 30M per. Prices of these new weapons is insane.
(Development cost + cost to build the initial aircraft)/number of initial aircraft = $500,000,000 each. They always amortize development costs per aircraft in the prototype lot. Likely each production quality aircraft will be in the F22-F35 cost range once/if production begins.
Unless we fall for 'It will cost $0, nothing, nada'................
 

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One Major issue about "The Flying Triangle" is it's Silence. There are a few different rumors or suspenions as to who or what the Flying Triangles could be....From High Tech Balloons to Alien/ ET Tech.

Aurora IF it existed, supposedly had a very distinct Doughnut contrail that was a "Tell Tale" and unique and easy to spot due to the way "Pulse or Hybrid" Engine worked/performed and was canceled because of that issue IF "it existed at all.

This new latest "Gee-Wiz Bang latest High Tech Gizmos" have not been proven as of yet or will work as designed or promised.
Look at the F-35...IT's helmet and other things do not work as was designed or promised or delivered what it was or is supposed to be. Look how much the U.S. taxpayer is paying or has paid to extra to get it Right Their are Three versions of the F-35 which may be part of the problem...but are not a helmet issue..

The USAF "Head Shed" has claimed/wants the F-35 to replace the A-10...Other than them, most people with more than one braincell do not see that happening or viable. To carry the payload required means loading the F-35 in "Beast Mode" negating the Stealth advantage....Besides putting the most expensive Aircraft into such a Hostile Environment and cannot protect it's pilot/Driver like the Hawg (A-10) can. Nor can it sustain the Battle Damage the Hawg can, and still slap knots on the Bad Guys heads. The Hawg and it's drivers cannot be touched and currently there is no realistic replacement for it. The USAF never wanted the Hawg and has been trying to get rid of it since before they got it.

IF it is not a fighter or a bomber the USAF does not want it....Don't ask me how they define SPECTRE or GHOSTRIDER...I have no real answer nor do they I highly suspect. When they go into a Left banking turn...Pray you are somewhere else Far Far Far away or dug down deep if you have to call "DANGER CLOSE"

The F-16 and F-16XL does a good job but does not do a GREAT Job like the F-15 or the F-15X. The F-15 was designed specifically to be an Air Superiority Fighter. It has done an amazing job in such a role over the years and has an impeccable Combat Record in that Role. The F-15X is designed to fill the niche until the Sixth generation fighter aircraft comes online. Mainly it will be used for Air Defense over North America.
When I got out of the USAF, The F-15 was the only known Fighter at the time that could go into and maintain a straight vertical climb without having to spin to maintain lift.

The F-15 was also used in the Anti satellite weapon (ASAT) testing program in the early 80s
Everybody forgets the last time the USAF tangled with a near-peer adversary was Korea, and then also forgets the advancement in surface-to-air missile technology. What was the first thing done in Iraq?

How many CAP sorties will a flight of A-10s require? When was the last time a A-10 had jinx away from a SA-19, or other modern SAM operated by a competent user? The A-10 has a g-limit of 7-1/3 to 4 gs depending on weight and weapons load, modern SAMs have g-limits and are maneuverable enough to make these slow aircraft vulnerable. CAS has by necessity moved back or up to a point well outside the range of these weapons, and at 25,000 feet, and 6 miles away, what exactly are the benefits of an A-10.

And, even the antiquated SA-2 could clear the skies of pesky AC-130s, even if it didn't actually hit any, they all had to leave the area.

And, if you are in a straight vertical climb nothing but the engine is providing lift in the vertical direction, in fact if your wings are generating any lift, its not helping, just causing more drag so any aircraft with a thrust-to-weight ratio greater than 1:1 is capable of this. Any F-16C is more than capable of the vertical climb as long as the configured weigh is around than 27,000 lbs, which isn't all that hard to do. Heck, even the F/A-18E and F-35A can maintain a vertical climb under certain weights.

I love cavalry, lancers like Napoléon's Polish Lancers, the British 17th, or the famed Bengal Lancers and their effectiveness in combat in the early 19th Century and against colonial foes is legendary, but by the time of the US Civil War, in a peer-to-peer fight, they were useless, which is why the 6th Pennsylvania Lancers traded in their lances for carbines.

Sometimes things become obsolete, and you have to move on . . .

But, to keep this post on topic, here is a picture of the secret fighter over the skies of New Mexico:

Cloud Sky Atmosphere Ecoregion Afterglow
 

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Hmmm, so you have all the reasons for not having any aircraft at all. What are your observations for moving forward to keep air superiority or support ground forces engaged in combat, now, at this moment? There has to be a bridge, compromise of weapons until the next platform comes on line.

AAA, SAM Missiles, there are ways to defeat them now and I am positive the U.S. has unknown armament that will take the lead as always to clear a path for conventional forces. Obviously you do not broadcast your capability unless you have the answers to your own conundrums.

If the next world war gets going and the major powers are involved, no proxy war, you better have every weapon system in manufacture as there will be no time to design, build, and field anything when the war is on your doorstep in hours not weeks or years. AND "if" one side becomes so entangled in a all or nothing scenario, nukes will be used or bio weapons. And space based weapons have been deployed even as treaties say that they are not to be.

And I would prefer to die with a lance in my hands than a rock. Whats your point?
 

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Hmmm, so you have all the reasons for not having any aircraft at all. What are your observations for moving forward to keep air superiority or support ground forces engaged in combat, now, at this moment? There has to be a bridge, compromise of weapons until the next platform comes on line.

AAA, SAM Missiles, there are ways to defeat them now and I am positive the U.S. has unknown armament that will take the lead as always to clear a path for conventional forces. Obviously you do not broadcast your capability unless you have the answers to your own conundrums.

If the next world war gets going and the major powers are involved, no proxy war, you better have every weapon system in manufacture as there will be no time to design, build, and field anything when the war is on your doorstep in hours not weeks or years. AND "if" one side becomes so entangled in a all or nothing scenario, nukes will be used or bio weapons. And space based weapons have been deployed even as treaties say that they are not to be.

And I would prefer to die with a lance in my hands than a rock. Whats your point?
Everything you wrote supports the retiring of old, difficult to maintain, obsolete aircraft.

Modern, low observable aircraft fitted with stand-off capability weapons are the way forward for the USAF. Retire the A-10 and use the money saved to buy more new aircraft, either F-15Es or F-35s And, air support needs to be owned and controlled at the lowest level possible. Attack helicopters are organic to the division and corps, so when the division CG wants air support he has is own assets, he does not have to go all the way up to the joint command and ask for help. Helicopters also have the ability the hover, masked by terrain, and still maintain the ability to fire on the enemy with mast mounted sensors, or with a quick pop-up maneuver that offers far less exposure to enemy fire. And, they can ground loiter almost indefinitely.

What's the point? What worked 50 years ago, might not be the best choice in today's battle.


German Uhlan, circa 1916.
Horse Helmet Horse tack Working animal Halter


British 9th Lancers, Aisne, France:
 
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