Funny as originally B21 was B2 lite.Progressively it appears to me based on high level statements that the framework for a NGF will revolve around the following product sets of systems :
1) A platform that will be B-21 like which in the past I have described as a B-21 lite. This shaping will provide multi spectrum stealth, valuable internal weapons storage space, range, and electrical power capacity for DEW and sensors;
I don’t think this ends up as B21 alone. I am starting to see this as not one platform but many B21 being part of it. In particular it larger size and payload means it’s the natural mother ship of golden hordes. But B21 is decidedly subsonic. The article mentions speed. So I think a fast pointy nose fighter may be in the works here.
Especially when we hear about this new century series.
There are a number of options here again with the five year Fighters talk I suspect that we might see more loyal wingmen than manned systems.2)Loyal wingman with the leading candidate being the Kratos XQ-58A Valkryrie;
The line between drone and missile seems blurred these days. Cheap drones make a ton of sense and will be critical for both training and operations. Decoys and Attack systems that can kamikaze threats or guide less destructive means.3)Attritable drones such as the "Goldern horde" program; and
4)Advanced missiles including hypersonics and long range missiles with AI and EW capabilities
Major makers are now pitching systems like the Cuda and Pelican (Above) these propose system lighter than a sidewinder smaller than one two with range on par with AMRAAM. F35 internally today can carry what? 4 AMRAAM with the refit coming that will make 6. Pelican would make that 8-12.
More with external carry.
On F22 it could go up to 14 assuming that they can squeeze into the sidewinder bays.
Then you get the AIM260 AMRAAM size what almost double range?