Military Review

Sixth generation fighter: when will it appear and what are its main features

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Recently, they are increasingly talking about the creation of a sixth generation fighter. Some countries are about to begin designing it. But what will be the difference between the sixth generation of combat aircraft from previous generations?


On February 20, 2020, France and Germany signed an agreement to develop a prototype of the sixth-generation European fighter Future Combat Air System (FCAS). The project will be run by Airbus and Dassault, the Thales SA industry group and several other enterprises. It is planned that the new aircraft will begin to be operated in 2040 and will replace the fourth-generation fighters, which are now actively used in the air forces of European states.

Meanwhile, FCAS is far from the only project of the sixth generation fighter. Two years ago, at the air show in Farnborough, Great Britain presented the project of the sixth-generation Tempest fighter (“The Storm”). The British leadership plans to begin delivering such aircraft to the Royal Air Force in the mid-2030s.

The Franco-German and British projects of the sixth generation fighter have political significance. What is Great Britain, what France and Germany are striving to demonstrate their technological independence, primarily from the United States and the US military industry. If they have their own sixth generation aircraft, then there will be no need to purchase F-35. Moreover, the sixth generation fighter a priori will have the best technical characteristics.

The USA has its own sixth generation fighter projects. We are talking about such projects as the LA X-36, Bird of Prey, F / A-XX. In Russia, some components of the aircraft of the future are already being tested on the basis of the fifth-generation Su-57 fighter aircraft. There is also the T-60 project “Pigeon”, which was developed back in Soviet times, in 1984, and with certain modifications it may well become the basis for the production of sixth generation fighters.


Tempest at the air show

The main differences between the sixth generation fighter projects are experts call further improvement of stealth technology, the ability to effectively operate in any flight mode, the presence of smart coverage and highly integrated network capabilities, the ability to optional piloting, the availability weapons directional energy.

By the way, seven years ago, in 2013, the United States published a request from the Air Force Research Laboratory for providing information for the development of laser weapons that could be equipped with sixth generation fighters.

A distinctive feature of the new aircraft may be higher maneuverability compared to the previous generation. It is likely that the designers will refuse vertical plumage, which does not have proper efficiency and in some situations even acts as an obstacle to the maneuverability of the aircraft.

The afterburner supersonic flight, which is the main characteristic of the fifth generation aircraft, will certainly remain one of the defining characteristics of the sixth generation fighter. At the same time, it is possible that the flight altitude can be increased to 35 km.

Since modern flights at high speeds are already being carried out at the limit of the human body's capabilities, more and more attention will be paid to creating the aircraft’s own intelligence. Ideally, such an aircraft should be unmanned, controlled remotely, but this requires the solution of numerous problems in the field of artificial intelligence.

The lack of a pilot allows you to make planes smaller in size, which will significantly increase their maneuverability. In addition, the absence of people on board the new fighter would have allowed to abandon a number of additional systems, such as life support systems or evacuation. However, while the sixth-generation unmanned fighter remains only at the level of ideas, and for its implementation, the proper technologies are still lacking in European countries, neither in the USA, nor in Russia.
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  1. SanSanych Gusev
    SanSanych Gusev 26 February 2020 13: 03 New
    +5
    In garages will they be doing something?
    1. Alexey Sommer
      Alexey Sommer 26 February 2020 14: 13 New
      -3
      I’m certainly a couch expert, but I’ll bring in my 5 kopecks on the grounds of the 6th generation.
      1 It will be hypersonic
      2 He will be unmanned
      3 He will have a laser weapon
      4 He will be able to go into outer space
      5 Stealth based on new principles. After the massive introduction of ROFAR, today's "stealth" will no longer be invisible from the word at all.
      Something like this.
      1. Stalllker
        Stalllker 26 February 2020 14: 21 New
        -2
        He will not have laser weapons, do not go to the fortuneteller. Any lasers against rockets and no more
        1. Alexey Sommer
          Alexey Sommer 26 February 2020 14: 23 New
          0
          Quote: Stalllker
          He will not have laser weapons, do not go to the fortuneteller. Any lasers against rockets and no more

          Don't understand, translate?
          If you are talking about blinding lasers, then this is now.
          1. Stalllker
            Stalllker 26 February 2020 14: 30 New
            -2
            What's not clear here? These "lasers" will be delivered, blinding
            1. Alexey Sommer
              Alexey Sommer 26 February 2020 14: 33 New
              0
              So there it is. And you can put and put on today's aircraft.
              This is not a revolution
              1. Stalllker
                Stalllker 26 February 2020 14: 39 New
                0
                And where did I write that this is a revolution ???
                1. Alexey Sommer
                  Alexey Sommer 26 February 2020 14: 40 New
                  0
                  And the new generation, and therefore the new, is a revolution.
                  Otherwise, this is the generation of X +++
                  1. Stalllker
                    Stalllker 26 February 2020 14: 43 New
                    -3
                    What?????? The new generation, this is the next, for the current. And not necessarily a revolution
                    1. Alexey Sommer
                      Alexey Sommer 26 February 2020 14: 45 New
                      -1
                      Quote: Stalllker
                      The new generation, this next, for the current

                      AND? It is obvious. What do you mean by that?
                      1. Stalllker
                        Stalllker 26 February 2020 14: 50 New
                        -2
                        You read the comment and it says
                      2. Alexey Sommer
                        Alexey Sommer 26 February 2020 14: 53 New
                        -2
                        Firstly, do not poke.
                        Secondly, what to read? Your comment is short. I read it right away).
                      3. Stalllker
                        Stalllker 26 February 2020 14: 57 New
                        -2
                        Well, what does it say at the end?
                      4. Alexey Sommer
                        Alexey Sommer 26 February 2020 14: 59 New
                        -1
                        I don’t know what you mean. I think I answered your comment. speak more clearly, it’s hard for you to understand. )
            2. Stalllker
              Stalllker 26 February 2020 14: 45 New
              -3
              What's in the F-35 revolutionary ????
              1. Alexey Sommer
                Alexey Sommer 26 February 2020 14: 46 New
                -2
                I dont know.
                Why do you ask me? I didn’t call him that.
                1. Stalllker
                  Stalllker 26 February 2020 14: 58 New
                  0
                  F-35 of the fifth generation, what is revolutionary in it compared to the fourth plus plus plus ???? According to your logic, he should carry the "revolution" !!!!!
                2. Alexey Sommer
                  Alexey Sommer 26 February 2020 15: 00 New
                  -1
                  Subtle. This is the key difference between f 35 and f16.
                  You do not agree?
                3. Stalllker
                  Stalllker 26 February 2020 15: 02 New
                  -4
                  And is this a revolution ????? I see, go play tanks
                4. Alexey Sommer
                  Alexey Sommer 26 February 2020 15: 04 New
                  -1
                  I repeat I did not call the F35 the 5th generation.
                  I called it differences from F 16.
                  By the way, how many fights do you have in tanks and what kind of stats?
                  Well, since they touched.)
                  Write your AK in PM? Play platoon?
  • Whalebone
    Whalebone 26 February 2020 17: 28 New
    +1
    Have you invented a new physics? To hypersonic and went into space? If not, then the sturgeon should be cut. Not the fact that supersonic is needed. If the aircraft is unmanned, then its safety is not a priority. The main thing is to shoot back in time, before they bring down. The future, in general, is likely to be in the possession of ammunition.
  • Clueless
    Clueless 26 February 2020 17: 54 New
    +1
    There will be no 6th generation, for we would kill each other before
  • Alexey LK
    Alexey LK 3 March 2020 00: 34 New
    0
    Quote: Alexey Sommer
    featured 6th generation

    The fact of the matter is that if at least one of this is realized, then the countdown of generations will begin anew - as now we do not include piston fighters from the Second World War or earlier in the list of generations - i.e. there will be the first generation of hypersound, or the first generation of unmanned fighter jets, or the first generation of space planes, etc.
  • Fedor egoist
    Fedor egoist 26 February 2020 13: 07 New
    +8
    The main differences between the sixth generation fighter projects, experts call the further improvement of stealth technology, the ability to effectively operate in any flight mode, the presence of smart coverage and highly integrated network capabilities, the ability to optional piloting, the presence of directional energy weapons.

    Its main difference is the absence of a pilot in the cockpit. As, however, and the cabin itself. The physiological limit of a person's presence in an airplane during maneuvers has already been practically reached. With an increase in accelerations and overloads, it is a person who becomes that very "weak link", because of which further improvement of performance characteristics is impossible.
    Thus, the sixth and future generations are first and foremost unmanned aircraft controlled either by AI or by the operator remotely.
    1. Stalllker
      Stalllker 26 February 2020 14: 23 New
      +2
      I also think so, the pilot is the "weak link". No offense guys
  • Sergey39
    Sergey39 26 February 2020 13: 08 New
    +2
    That is, there will be no fundamental differences from previous generations, except for the ability to optional piloting. But besides all the projects presented, there is no Russian one. That's when he appears, then it will be possible to draw conclusions.
    1. Livonetc
      Livonetc 26 February 2020 14: 33 New
      +3
      The fundamental difference is the ability to perform maneuvers with overload inaccessible to the human body.
      Everything else is particular.
      By and large, unmanned aerial vehicles are already there, these are missiles.
      The bottom line is, in principle, to transfer all technical combat systems, regardless of the application environment, to unmanned (at least on board) mode.
  • paul3390
    paul3390 26 February 2020 13: 09 New
    +1
    I'm afraid to even imagine how much it will cost .. A penguin against this background, go and turn out to be a cheap craft.
  • The comment was deleted.
  • Professor Preobrazhensky
    Professor Preobrazhensky 26 February 2020 14: 14 New
    -3
    Not when, not one of the predictions of science fiction writers about the immediate prospects came true.
    1. Livonetc
      Livonetc 26 February 2020 14: 34 New
      +1
      It depends on what length of time you consider the immediate prospect.
  • Ovrag
    Ovrag 26 February 2020 14: 36 New
    -2
    Europeans cannot overpower even the 5th generation. About 6e it's just wet dreams.
    In the world now there are only 2 countries that can really, plan something there for the 6th generation. These are the USA and China.
    Even Russia is not a player here. If on a glider we can do something else. That lag in the development of avionics every year only grows and grows. And the elementary base is actually almost completely lost. Nowadays, the time of Chinese technology with Russian stickers on top of the original nameplates. This is not even shy to supply eminent (in the past) manufacturers on nuclear submarines.
  • Operator
    Operator 26 February 2020 14: 41 New
    +1
    Europeans collapsed from oak - there is no 6th generation aircraft, after the 5th, UAVs immediately begin.
  • rocket757
    rocket757 26 February 2020 14: 52 New
    +2
    It's funny that many have not figured out what a 5th generation fighter is. What is it and what is it "eaten" with ....
  • Host Tavern
    Host Tavern 26 February 2020 15: 44 New
    +1
    Yes, the 5th really is not, but here is the 6th.
  • iouris
    iouris 26 February 2020 16: 27 New
    0
    Each proposal is a "masterpiece". But reality is somewhere far away.
  • Klingon
    Klingon 26 February 2020 16: 29 New
    0
    wow! striped swung at Klingon bird of prey laughing
    and the Britons already had Tempest, and not bad for their time (Tempest MK V)
  • Andrey.AN
    Andrey.AN 26 February 2020 17: 03 New
    0
    The sixth generation should optionally include features that the fifth, at least one, cannot have. Such opportunities include anything that the fifth cannot possess, for example, the fourth generation cannot hide weapons in its internal compartments, and the sixth will probably be able to hide in the internal compartment next to the pilot's rockets.
  • Vasily Ponomarev
    Vasily Ponomarev 26 February 2020 17: 19 New
    0
    "Afterburner supersonic flight, which is the main characteristic of the fifth generation aircraft" -that really, the past types did not have this, I thought it was stealth, oh that's it
    1. Andrey.AN
      Andrey.AN 26 February 2020 17: 28 New
      0
      Past types it can, for example, the Su-35.
  • Vasily Ponomarev
    Vasily Ponomarev 26 February 2020 17: 36 New
    0
    Quote: Andrey.AN
    Past types it can, for example, the Su-35.

    it was scarcasm if you did not understand
  • Tank jacket
    Tank jacket 26 February 2020 19: 14 New
    +2
    If the Europeans continue to listen to Gretta Tumberg, then they will have such an eco-friendly sixth generation fighter ...

    Between us memory fog you are in a dream
    You kaaaaaak in sneeeee ...
    Probably only a hang glider will help you ....
    Will help you..
  • iouris
    iouris 26 February 2020 22: 26 New
    0
    A distinctive feature of the aircraft generation 5 - AI. Where is the AI? He is not there. So, the hallmark of a generation 6 aircraft is AI.
  • Mikhail3
    Mikhail3 27 February 2020 09: 21 New
    +1
    Generations were invented by marketers, so it will appear when the designers draw this nonsense attractively. This fuss of traders has nothing to do with the real development of aviation.
  • Pavel57
    Pavel57 1 March 2020 22: 34 New
    0
    Make them the F-35 full drone, then you can talk about the 6th generation.