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Three companies vie for US Navy F/A-XX program

Australian online newsletter Defence Connect reports that Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman will compete to develop and build the US Navy’s sixth-generation, carrier-based strike fighter under the F/A-XX program, also known as the New Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) program, but which is quite distinct from that of the US Air Force.

The US Navy has also confirmed to Aviation Week and Breaking Defense that GE Aerospace and Pratt & Whitney are competing to develop the engine for the fighter. Both companies are also competing for the US Air Force’s own NGAD program – essentially an F-22 Raptor replacement scheduled for service entry during the 2030s.

The US Navy has identified operational reach, capacity, long-range kill chains, autonomy, and next-generation survivability as key enablers in the Air Wing of the Future and supporting Family of System.

The US Navy‘s NGAD, seen as a replacement for the F/A-18 Super Hornet, is part of the US Navy’s transition towards a sixth-generation capability. It has recently completed the Concept Refinement Phase and has entered design maturation, the US Navy told Breaking Defense.

A contract award is not expected before the USAF’s own selection, scheduled for 2024.

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