Recently, the US military giant Northrop Grumman released a promotional video related to the new U.S. fighter aircraft. Although the length of this video is only 60 seconds, the “information volume” is very large.
In this video, an MQ-4C Triton High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) drone sits next to an E-2D airborne early warning aircraft and either an F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jet or an E/A-18 Growler electronic warfare aircraft, both of which saw major participation from Northrop Grumman. aircraft are unveiled one by one, and the latest six generations developed by the United States The machine is particularly interesting.
As can be seen from the video, this sixth-generation aircraft newly developed by the United States is very large and uses a stealth design. Compared with the F-22 and F-35 fighters, the aircraft does not have a vertical tail, and the air intake is also installed on the back of the fuselage (dorsal air intake). It is precise because of the huge difference between the shape of this fighter and the traditional fifth-generation fighter.
In fact, as early as March this year, the United States had already revealed some information about the sixth-generation aircraft. At that time, a certain U.S. military expert bluntly stated in an interview with reporters that the U.S. military is designing a controllable, low-drag, aerodynamic concept aircraft. This kind of aircraft can fly at subsonic, transonic, supersonic and hypersonic speeds.
In addition to changing the flight status, what are the advantages of the sixth-generation aircraft? First of all, as a future model, in addition to retaining some of the characteristics of the fifth-generation machine, the sixth-generation machine’s performance has also been enhanced. For example, stealth capabilities and photoelectric avionics facilities have been strengthened. In addition, the sixth-generation aircraft will also use intelligent assistive technology, loyal wingmen, etc.
In addition, the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory also stated that after the new sixth-generation aircraft developed by the U.S. military comes out, it is very likely that laser weapons will be installed. Under normal circumstances, the laser and its control system will work at a speed of Mach 0.6 to Mach 2.5, and this technology is currently only mastered by the United States, leading the world for at least 10 years.
Of course, the sixth-generation machine is not an upgraded version of the fifth-generation machine, and many of its performances cannot be surpassed by the fifth-generation machine. Taking flight speed as an example, the maximum flight speed of the F-35 fighter is only Mach 2.5. The flight speed of the fifth-generation fighters such as the J-20 and Su-57 is roughly the same as that of the F-35, but the maximum flight speed of the sixth-generation fighter can reach Mach 5 is twice that of the F-22 and other five-generation aircraft.
According to the statement given by the US military, it is expected that in 2030, the newly developed sixth-generation aircraft of the United States will have initial combat capabilities. By then, the advantages of the fifth-generation aircraft will be greatly reduced. Therefore, China, Russia and other countries must step up their pace to catch up America.