The US Department of the Navy stated that three US aerospace defense contractors are competing to build the US Navy's Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) strike fighter aircraft, known as the F/A-XX. The contractors are Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.
The Department also stated that Pratt & Whitney and GE Aerospace are the engine competitors.
The F/A-XX programme has now entered the next phase, from the Concept Refinement Phase to the Design Maturation Phase. The idea of crewed and uncrewed variants is still open, it might even become a mix.
The F/A-XX will replace the current fleet of F/A-18E and F/A-18F Super Hornets, which are already showing their age.
According to a Congressional Budget Office report, the Super Hornet is deteriorating faster than the fleet of classic F/A-18A/B/C/D Hornets which the service used before. The faster wear and tear even results in lower availability rates for the Super Hornets versus its predecessor compared to similiar age.
Replacement of the Super Hornets is planned to start from 2030.
Photo by Marco Dijkshoorn (Scramble Archive)