Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) will be a multi-faceted US effort to field next-generation tactical air combat capabilities that are not only futurists but also have some unique design elements that will set it apart.
The diamond-shaped wing of NGAD has straight leading and trailing edges. The wing is seamlessly integrated into the elongated fuselage, which has a single prominent chine line and tapers sharply toward the nose.
Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD), which will enter production some time after 2030 as a direct replacement for the F-22 fighter jet, which was formally inducted in 2005, will be more than 25 years old when production begins in small numbers, but by the time inductions are completed, the F-22 will be more than 30 years old.
Each F-22 unit cost around $189 million in 2005, making it one of the most expensive fighter jets that is still holding that enormous price tag due to its low production rate as well as its exclusivity as the only fighter jet, perhaps after the F-117, that has never been exported to another country.
According to recent media reports, the per unit cost of the NGAD when it enters production will exceed $300 million, potentially making it another non-exportable fighter jet due to sheer unit cost and possibly also due to insane flight hour cost that will make even the F-35 look cheap and cost effective.
The NGAD programme will undoubtedly be a stepping stone programme in the 6th generation fighter jet programme that other countries such as China, Russia, France, and the United Kingdom will attempt to model after in order to be classified as a 6th generation fighter jet.