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Next-Generation Dominance: US Navy’s Secretive F/A-XX Fighter Program to Supplant F/A-18E/F Super Hornet with $11.554bn Investment

The U.S. Navy is seeking over $11 billion by fiscal year (FY) 2028 for the development of the F/A-XX aircraft. This is the first time the service has publicly requested funds for this advanced fighter jet.

Here’s What We Know: As we reported two weeks ago, the US Navy initially requested $1.528 billion to develop a sixth-generation aircraft for deck-based operations. Recent documents provide more detailed spending plans for the FY2024-2028 period:

  • FY2024: $1.528 billion
  • FY2025: $2.025 billion
  • FY2026: $2.634 billion
  • FY2027: $2.632 billion
  • FY2028: $2.735 billion

By totaling these figures, we can see that the US Navy aims to secure $11.554 billion between FY2024 and FY2028. During the same period, the service plans to allocate $11.849 billion to procure 90 F-35C Lightning II deck fighters, which belong to the fifth-generation category.

Historically, the development of stealth fighters has been associated with high costs. For instance, the F-22 Raptor fifth-generation program, spanning from 1991 to 2005, had a total cost of $45 billion when factoring in inflation ($32.4 billion without adjusting for inflation).

Regrettably, detailed information about the F/A-XX remains highly classified. What we do know is that it is a sixth-generation deck fighter intended to replace some or all of the existing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft.

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