Share This Article
According to Secretary Frank Kendall, the highly classified Next Generation Air Dominance fighter jet program (NGAD) of the United States Air Force has begun its crucial engineering and manufacturing development phase.
During a conversation held at the Heritage Foundation, Kendall stated that the US Air Force started early experimental prototyping on NGAD in 2015 at a the time when Kendall served as the chief procurement official for the Department of Defense.
According to him, this was effectively an X-plane program that was aimed to reduce risk while still developing important technologies that were required for the production program.
From the beginning of the Engineering & Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase until the acquisition projects of the United States Air Force reach initial operating capability, the normal timeline for this process is almost seven years.
Despite the fact that NGAD has been in development already for some years, the program will still be several years before it reaches Initial Operational Capability (IOC) because the service has just lately begun working on the EMD phase.
“The clock didn’t truly start in 2015, it’s starting roughly now. We think we’ll have capability by the end of the decade” Kendall stated.
Furthermore, he said:
“I’m not interested in demos and experiments unless they are a necessary step on the road to real capability. What we tend to do is do a quick demo, and then we have to start an EMD or development program and wait several more years, because we didn’t start the developmental function. If we don’t need it to reduce risk, we should go right to development for production and get there as quickly as we can.” Kendall said in his remarks.