U.S. Air Force’s NGAD Combat Aircraft Project to Receive $3.4 billion Budget Allocation in Fiscal 2025

The USAF is expected to award the NGAD design and development contract in 2024 to several vendors
  • Defensemirror.com Bureau
  • 06:48 PM, March 12, 2024
  • 1213
U.S. Air Force’s NGAD Combat Aircraft Project to Receive $3.4 billion Budget Allocation in Fiscal 2025
NGAD fighter illustration @USAF

The Department of the U.S Air Force has unveiled a $217.5 billion fiscal 2025 budget request March 11, that includes $3.4 billion for the Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) Family of Systems to augment current and future platforms in highly contested environments.

Related to the NGAD is a $14.9 billion investment to maintain air domain lethality besides $24.9 billion to ensure ability to deliver global strike around the world.

The budget requested for the NGAD project to develop an aircraft system to replace the F-22 air dominance fighter was $1.6 billion in fiscal 2023. Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall had stated in 2022 to the House Armed Services Committee that the Air Force expects to spend “multiple hundreds of millions” of dollars per aircraft (of the NGAD system).

U.S. Air Force’s NGAD Combat Aircraft Project to Receive $3.4 billion Budget Allocation in Fiscal 2025
NGAD illustration

NGAD progress

The U.S. Air Force has earlier mentioned that it plans to award the contract to build the NGAD fighter at some point in 2024 and realize the project by 2030.

Though no contractor or contractors have been identified, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Textron and General Atomics could be likely contenders.

One of the goals of the NGAD project is to split design, production, and sustainment contracts to involve a variety of companies to work on NGAD.

Next-generation adaptive propulsion

In February 2024 Pratt & Whitney conducted an evaluation of its next-generation adaptive propulsion (NGAP) solution advancing the programme towards finalizing the detailed design review. The NGAP is meant to progress towards producing a power plant for the NGAD fighter.

Pratt & Whitney,  General Electric, Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Northrop Grumman, were each awarded a ten-year, $975m contract for the NGAP programme in August 2022.

U.S. Air Force’s NGAD Combat Aircraft Project to Receive $3.4 billion Budget Allocation in Fiscal 2025
XQ-58 Valkyrie unmanned system could be a teaming partner of NGAD combat aircraft

Teaming with uncrewed systems

The sixth-generation NGAD fighter  will work in a teaming arrangement with mission-focused unmanned platforms working with advanced weapons, electronic warfare systems and sensors to ensure maximum survivability in contested environments.

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