Thanks to Anthony 256 for the link!
via Popular Mechanics
With the F-35 barely out the front door, the U.S. military is already trying to figure out what America's next-generation fighter jet will look like. The U.S. Air Force's Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) program is conducting research and development work that will ultimately lead to an air superiority fighter to take the place of the F-22. The program is due for a large increase in funding, as the Trump administration suggested an eight-fold increase for the NGAD program, up to $168 million from just $21 million.Interesting.
The request comes in the form of the White House's supplemental budget plan for 2017. As Aviation Week points out, the full increase is highly unlikely to be approved as it would require lifting Budget Control Act (BCA) caps, something that takes 60 votes in the Senate. Still, the request for such a sharp increase indicates that the White House will be pumping more resources into the NGAD program, and the Air Force will likely move forward with the program more quickly than anticipated.
This is one of two things...or even both.
1. The F-35 has been in development for almost 20 years. It is the natural course of events for the next generation fighter to be under development now...IF THE F-35 HAD ENTERED SERVICE AS SCHEDULED! Under a normal growth plan we should already be on F-35E, F-35F, F-35G etc...but we're still stuck at take off.
2. The F-35 could be the Turkey that I believe it to be and the President/Pentagon is acting to try and get the next gen model into service asap so that we MIGHT have a chance to maintain air superiority.
3. It could also be both!
Regardless, this is telling. The funny thing is that the allies will be paying attention. What does Trump know that the allies don't? Trump has an attitude of America first (which I agree with 100%), so would he sell the allies planes knowing that the US needs something better?