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The Air Force’s next-generation aircraft may defy traditional categorization.
It’ll likely surpass the F-22 Raptor or F-35 Joint Strike Fighter in range, but may not be as mission-specific as a bomber. It might not require a stealth coating over the entire aircraft. Perhaps lasers will be incorporated into the airframe to increase its survivability.
These are options analysts are discussing as the service preps its next-gen “capability” to penetrate counter air offensive or defensive weapons, and readies itself for the next high-end threat around the globe, officials said Monday during a panel discussion.
“As we went through the [study], we specifically precluded ourselves from using the word fighter,” said Brig. Gen. Alexus Grynkewich, head of an Enterprise Capability Collaboration Team. Last year, he and the ECCT released the Air Force’s plan for next-generation air dominance, known as Air Superiority 2030.
And it plans to start investing heavily in that goal soon, its new budget request for Fiscal 2019 shows. The service asked for $504 million next year for its next-generation air dominance research, development, test and evaluation program, according to the document.
And that's not all: In its future years defense program [FYDP], showing the next five years of planned spending, the Air Force shows a planned investment of roughly $11 billion over the course of five years for RTD&E on next-gen air dominance.
"Under next-generation air dominance, we're investing in a family of systems," Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek told Military.com on Tuesday. "We're going through the analysis of alternatives now, and that will help define the capabilities of the future."
originally posted by: PokeyJoe
So, they're already announcing into the white the companion for the B-21....I know this has been discussed here before, but where does that leave the companion for the B-2? Forever black? Obviously if the 21 needs a companion, the B2 needs one as well. So, what is it? Will we ever see it? If it's to be forever black - why?