This is the concept fighter Boeing wants to make real by 2030
The F-22 Raptor is what's called a fifth-generation fighter, making it the most advanced combat aircraft as of, well, right now. But around here, we don't care about right now, we're all about what's next.
And this concept from Boeing of the F/A-XX sixth-generation fighter jet could be exactly that. We've seen some hints on Boeing's vision for the future of strike aircraft, but this concept image is the most detailed yet.
There are no technical details, but we definitely like the low-observable profile (note the conspicuous lack vertical tail surfaces), as well as those big front canards. Our only real concern is that (as with the F-35) the pilot has zero rearward visibility, but since the F/A-XX will be "optionally manned," it might not be as big of an issue.
FlightGlobal has some additional info on when we might be able to expect to see an aircraft like this in real life:
The Boeing F/A-XX concept is a response to a USN request for information (RFI) from April 2012 soliciting data for a replacement for the service's Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler fleets in the 2030s. The Super Hornet fleet is expected to start reaching the end of the jet's 9000h useful lifespan during that time period.
"The intent of this research is to solicit Industry inputs on candidate solutions for CVN [nuclear-powered aircraft carrier] based aircraft to provide air supremacy with a multi-role strike capability in an anti-access/area denied (A2AD) operational environment," the navy RFI had stated. "Primary missions include, but are not limited to, air warfare (AW), strike warfare (STW), surface warfare (SUW), and close air support (CAS)."
Navy leaders had said at the time that they expect any new F/A-XX design to have greatly increased range and offer far superior kinematic performance compared to existing tactical aircraft.
Source: By Evan Ackerman, FlightGlobal News – 9 April 2013
Photo: The U.S. Boeing F/A-XX sixth-generation Fighter Aircraft (Photo by Boeing)