The initial rendering of the F/A-XX was published in a document titled “Navy Aviation Vision, 2030–2035”.

According to Thedrive, the US Navy has revealed initial information about the future F/A-XX fighter, aiming to replace the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet in the 2030s. Proposed designs for the next-generation aircraft were also revealed. Accordingly, the US Navy wants the future F/A-XX fighter to have a greater range and faster speed than the Super Hornet, an enhanced sensor system and be able to carry a longer range attack weapon.

The initial rendering of the F/A-XX was published in a document titled “Navy Aviation Vision, 2030–2035”. It shows a fighter with with a broad, almost lambda-wing shape and canard foreplanes. The aircraft may have “ruddervator” tailplanes, similar to the Northrop’s YF-23 stealth fighter.

F/A-XX Program
F/A-XX Program

However, according to The Drive, this may not be the final design of the F/A-XX. It generally seems unlikely the Navy would disclose an actual advanced aircraft design now in development in this kind of unclassified document. Still, it is interesting how markedly different it is from other previous F/A-XX concept art, which has almost universally depicted tailless planforms.

The F/A-XX is expected to be the fighter component of the Navy’s Next Generation Air Dominance family of systems. Although identically named, this program is distinct from the U.S. Air Force’s own NGAD program.

The F/A-XX platforms will be made to carry missiles, have power and cooling systems for directed-energy weapons, and have sensors that can target small radar cross-section targets; cyber warfare platforms at a tactical level as part of a family of systems are being explored.

Aside from the option of buying more F-35Cs, the F/A-XX is seeking to create a new aircraft to replace the Super Hornet’s capability and mission set. Just as the F-35C will replace aging F/A-18 Hornets and complement Super Hornets, the F/A-XX will replace aging Super Hornets in the 2030s and complement the F-35C.

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