What’s a sixth-generation fighter?

Lockheed Martin coined the term fifth-generation fighter. It means an aircraft that employs stealth, supercruise and integrated avionics, a la F-22 and F-35.

Boeing apparently thinks it can do better, says Aviation Week’s David Fulghum. He reports today that Boeing is working on a sixth-generation fighter that would appear after 2024.

Ok, since you’ve decided to mention it, Boeing, let’s think about what new features will define a sixth-generation fighter?

My proposals: optionally manned cockpit, directed-energy defenses and variable-cycle propulsion.

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