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Air Force to develop long-term budgeting strategy; begin work on 6th gen fighter

February 20, 2014

Air Force Chief of Staff General Mark Welsh said today that his service is going to begin a long-term, multi-decade resource strategy in order to focus on new and growing threats in an era of rapid technological and geostrategic change.

“We need a strategy. We’ve needed it for a while,” Welsh said. This one will look out 30 years. It will be “reviewed every two years and completely updated every four years,” he said.

Additionally, Welsh said that the Air Force budget will include funds to begin work on a sixth generation fighter (the US currently fields the fifth gen F-22 and is nearing deployment of the F-35).  No other nation has an operable fifth gen fighter, although several are in development.

Early work on a sixth gen fighter will enable the US to keep its technological lead, and it is critical to begin work now while to avoid a gap in engineering experience.

Boeing's early conception of the FX1 sixth generation fighter

Boeing’s early conception of the FX1 sixth generation fighter

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