A sixth-generation fighter is a conceptualized class of jet fighter aircraft design more advanced than the fifth-generation jet fighters that are currently in service and development. Several countries have announced the development of a sixth-generation aircraft program, including the United States, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, France and China. The first sixth-generation fighters are expected to enter service in the 2030s.
The U.S. Air Force is bracing the public—and Congress—for the highly anticipated Next-Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) fighter and the sticker shock wave the world’s first sixth-generation jet will leave in its wake. The NGAD fighter, set to begin replacing the F-22 Raptor in 2030, will cost “multiple hundreds of millions of dollars,” easily two or three times the cost of the F-35.