The Aerospace Innovation Initiative is to develop prototypes for the next generation of air dominance platforms, X-plane programs. They will also work on a next-generation engine. The F-35 joint strike fighter was billed as one plane that can fit the needs of the Air Force, Navy and Marines, the next-generation fighter will instead be two planes that share common parts.
The Xplane prototypes would be precursors to a “sixth-generation” successor to the Air Force’s F-22 Raptor air-superiority fighter
Upcoming budgets will fund promising new technologies and capabilities, including unmanned undersea vehicles; sea mining; high speed strike weapons; an advanced new jet engine; rail gun technology; and high energy lasers.
The announcement of the initiative could also be a warning shot at Lockheed Martin, whose F-35 is just now gearing up to go operational. If the company doesn’t keep costs down on the program, Callan said, the Pentagon could consider moving future funding for F-35 procurement over to this next-generation system.
The Pentagon is funding
1. “sixth-generation” stealth fighters
2. a new Air Force stealth bomber
3. a new Navy carrier-based stealth drone.
Defense manufacturers pay the most attention to two key parts of the defense budget, procurement and research and development. When combined together, these are called the modernization accounts, meaning the money is used to buy new weapons and equipment. Collectively, these two coffers include $177.5 billion, making up more than 33 percent of DOD’s $534 billion base spending request in 2016.
The Pentagon’s procurement request alone — money for new planes, ships, vehicles and drones — is up more than 15 percent in 2016 when compared to the current year.
The Pentagon also wants to boost spending on classified projects in 2016. The spending request includes $18.8 billion for these secretive efforts, a 7 percent increase from 2015
SOURCES – Defense One, Youtube, Defense News