New Delhi: With countries rapidly developing integrated air defence systems, hypersonic weapon technologies and low observability technologies there is an imperative need for western air forces need to regain their ability to counter threats by accessing highly contested environments in a scalable, flexible and dynamic way rather than a local and static one.
To counter this, French aircraft manufacturer Airbus is developing sixth generation manned fighters with unmanned platforms, the Next Generation Weapon System (NGWS) which will provide European air forces and navies with capabilities well beyond existing fighters.
The Next Generation Fighters (NGF) will set the next level of survivability in terms of passive stealth (signature reduction and electromagnetic emission control) and active stealth (electronic counter measures).
The heart of the NGF will be provided by its extremely capable avionics and sensor suite. The increase in processing power, storage and connectivity will grant the pilot with greatly heightened situational awareness and the ability to rely not only on its own sensors and effectors, but also on other platforms’ ones.
Combined with the introduction of artificial intelligence and the ability to team with unmanned platforms, the NGF will become a battlefield management platform capable of operating deep within the enemy airspace.
The NGF alone will not suffice for the most demanding missions in highly contested environments. To counter such threats, the NGF will team with unmanned platforms called Remote Carriers or RCs acting as force multipliers. Adding capabilities in a scalable and flexible manner will enhance the overall mission effectiveness, efficiency and survivability of the NGWS.