Some very interesting (new?) details on the US Navy NGDA program.Rear Adm. Gregory Harris, who leads the chief of naval operation’s air warfare directorate (OPNAV N98), said Tuesday that the aircraft following the Super Hornets will “most likely be manned,” but that the Next Generation Air Dominance program will include a mix of both manned and unmanned platforms.
“As we look at it right now, the Next-Gen Air Dominance is a family of systems, which has as its centerpiece the F/A-XX – which may or may not be manned – platform. It’s the fixed-wing portion of the Next-Gen Air Dominance family of systems,” Harris told attendees at a Navy League breakfast.
“But we truly see NGAD as more than just a single aircraft. We believe that as manned-unmanned teaming comes online, we will integrate those aspects of manned and unmanned teaming into that,” he continued. “Whether that – we euphemistically refer to it as our little buddy – is an adjunct air-to-air platform, an adjunct [electronic warfare] platform, discussion of could it be an adjunct advanced early warning platform. We’ll have to replace the E-2D [Advanced Hawkeye] at some point in the future, so as we look to what replaces that.”
The Navy has been inching toward a family of systems approach for NGAD over the last several years. USNI News previously reported the service was leaning toward a manned fighter aircraft as part of the NGAD family of systems. The Navy last year quietly stood up its NGAD program office.
Some very interesting (new?) details on the US Navy NGDA program.
From my non-expert view it seems they want the F/A-XX (part of NGAD) to be the center piece of the NGAD, and then want air-to-air, EW, AEW platforms (probably all unmanned) alongside it.
So I guess the F/A-XX would be more of a "commanding" aircraft so that it can instruct its unmanned helping platforms on what to do?
So the unmanned platfirms are basically something similar to the unmanned loyal wingman project that Australia has now with Boeing?