So far, the US is the only country to develop, operate and sell its fifth-generation fighter jets, while China and Russia have clearly lagged behind. The race is now on to develop the world’s first sixth-generation fighter jet.
Under the Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) program, the US Air Force has successfully flown the first prototype of the sixth-generation fighter.
“We’ve already built and flown a full-scale flight demonstrator in the real world, and we broke records in doing it,” Will Roper, the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, told Defense News in an interview. “We are ready to go and build the next-generation aircraft in a way that has never happened before.”
On the other hand, China’s sixth-generation fighter will come into being by 2035 or earlier, said Wang Haifeng, a chief architect at Chengdu Aircraft Research and Design Institute that designed the J-20 fighters, in a Global Times (GT) report.