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US Navy Reveals Plans For Next-Gen Fighter Jets Boasting Unmanned ‘Little Buddy’ Assistance

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The United States Navy revealed their plans for the next generation of fighter jets set for production in the coming decade.

The project, known as Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD), will be replacing the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and is planned to go into action in the 2030s, Popular Mechanics reported.

“As we look at it right now, the Next-Gen Air Dominance [NGAD] is a family of systems, which has as its centerpiece the F/A-XX—which may or may not be manned—platform. It’s the fixed-wing portion of the Next-Gen Air Dominance family of systems,” said Rear Adm. Gregory Harris, according to Popular Mechanics. (RELATED: A Strange Triangle Flew Out Of The Ocean Near The US Navy, And They Have No Idea What It Is)

Unmanned aircraft, referred to as a “little buddy,” will supplement others and could provide additional firepower in the air, according to Air Force Magazine.

The Navy Reveals Plans for Its New Fighter Jet – Popular Mechanics https://t.co/OXzVB4gTB7

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“But we truly see NGAD as more than just a single aircraft. We believe that as manned-unmanned teaming comes online, we will integrate those aspects of manned and unmanned teaming into that,” he continued. “Whether that – we euphemistically refer to it as our little buddy – is an adjunct air-to-air platform, an adjunct [electronic warfare] platform, discussion of could it be an adjunct advanced early warning platform. We’ll have to replace the E-2D [Advanced Hawkeye] at some point in the future, so as we look to what replaces that.”(RELATED: A Strange Triangle Flew Out Of The Ocean Near The US Navy, And They Have No Idea What It Is)

The military is striving for an initial goal of 40 percent unmanned and 60 percent manned aircraft. However, officials hope to eventually reverse that ratio to necessitate less pilots in the air, according to Air Force Magazine.