A Boeing T-7A Red Hawk jet on a test flight. Boeing
Defense One: Who is Secretly Building the USAF’s New Fighter?Officials are mum, so here’s a roundup of clues.
Among the big questions surrounding the secret U.S. Air Force fighter-jet demonstrator revealed this week is: who built it?
Will Roper, the head of Air Force acquisition, declined to say much about the new plane, other than it has actually flown, that some of the plane’s systems have been flight-tested, and that it was designed and built using digital engineering.
So let’s look at some clues, starting with a likely predecessor to the Next Generation Air Dominance project that produced the new demonstrator.
In January 2015, Frank Kendall, then defense undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics, told the House Armed Services Committee about a DARPA-led project that was developing new planes and engine technology for the Air Force and Navy.
“The intent is to develop prototypes for the next generation of air-dominance platforms — X-plane programs, if you will,” Kendall said.
Dubbed the Aerospace Innovation Initiative, the project aimed to “develop the technologies and address the risks associated with the air dominance platforms that will follow the F-35, as well as other advanced aeronautical challenges.”
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WNU Editor: Its the usual suspects …. Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. The plane’s engine was built by either GE or Raytheon Technologies’ Pratt & Whitney.