Wednesday, March 09, 2016

The US Air Force Wants a 6th Gen Fighter, not More F-22s

The US Air Force has no interest in restarting production of the Lockheed Martin F-22, partly because it's too expensive and because it wants to move quickly on a next-generation fighter.

The service’s deputy chief of staff for strategic plans and requirements said as much during a congressional hearing on 8 March, suggesting that fighter jet manufacturers like Boeing, Northrop Grumman or Lockheed Martin may decide to offer modifications to existing technologies and platforms in the next F-X competition.

“Because we want to do it faster and don’t want to do another 20-year development programme for a whole host of reasons, we’ll try and go with technology that are at a high readiness level now with manufacturing capabilities that are at a high readiness level now,” Lt Gen James Holmes tells a Senate Armed Services subcommittee panel in response to questions about restarting F-22 production.

“I think it’s completely possible as we get the requirements that there may be competitors that bid on modification of an existing technology or platform like the F-22 and the F-35.”

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