US Air Force wants NGAD fighters as soon as possible

The funding proposal allocates $2.8 billion to NGAD research and development, underscoring its critical importance. The Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) program remains under a highly classified veil, with specific details about its capabilities.

The US Air Force is accelerating the development of its next-generation sixth-generation fighter, known as the NGAD program, with an investment of nearly $3 billion. This strategic move aims to neutralize China’s military advance.

The United States is determined to put its advanced sixth-generation stealth fighter into operational condition as soon as possible, committing millions of dollars to make it a reality. In this context, the Chinese military advance acts as a catalyst for the Air Force’s recent budget proposal, which calls for almost $3 billion dedicated exclusively to the NGAD.

The funding proposal allocates $2.8 billion to NGAD research and development, underscoring its critical importance.

In addition, $600 million is allocated to the Collaborative Combat Aircraft program, a collaborative initiative between the Air Force and the Navy aimed at forging new combat capabilities. This includes the development of unmanned aerial vehicles, advanced autonomous technologies and innovative software systems.

The Armed Forces reinforced their air arsenal in the face of China’s advance.

In parallel, the US Navy is developing its own sixth-generation stealth fighter for its air arsenal, called F/A-XX. This platform will have capabilities analogous to those planned for the fighter derived from the NGAD program.

“Strategic competition with China drives us to achieve excellence,” said Frank Kendall, Secretary of the Air Force, in a statement prior to the release of the Air Force budget, underscoring the urgency of staying at the forefront of military development.

Looking ahead to the next decade, the Air Force expects the NGAD to reach operational capability. “I believe that the budget presented points us forward, perhaps not as quickly as would be desirable, but definitely in the right direction to preserve capabilities crucial to national security. “I am satisfactorily confident in our application despite the existing limitations,” Kendall added.

In a scenario in which Congress has limited military spending to $895 billion for fiscal year 2025, the Department of Defense faces the challenge of optimizing the allocation of resources between the different branches of the armed forces.

This task is complicated by the growing possibility of a major conventional confrontation with powers of comparable capability, making it a matter of critical decisions that could define the future of warfare.

In the context of the global strategy, airspace control is a key element. Achieving air superiority by deploying cutting-edge aircraft in sufficient numbers provides a fundamental tactical advantage, capable of decisively influencing the outcome of any confrontation.

Innovation and stealth at the forefront of the air: The future of the NGAD

The Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) program remains under a highly classified veil, with specific details about its capabilities still shrouded in mystery. Based on available information, the NGAD is expected to offer the flexibility to operate manned and unmanned missions, highlighting its ability to coordinate swarms of drones setting a precedent in aerial warfare.

Regarding its operational objectives, the NGAD is designed to dominate the sky, eliminating any enemy air threat and thus facilitating the safe incursion of other allied forces into the theater of operations.

The Air Force’s replacement strategy includes replacing its fleet of F-22 Raptor fighters, already considered a generation in retreat from the demands of modern combat. The estimated cost of the NGAD is formidable, projected at around $300 million per unit, reflecting its advanced technology and unprecedented capabilities.