Updated: It’s no secret that the United States Air Force is developing a top-secret Gen-6 fighter. The Air Force itself admitted as much, giving zero additional information.
When a photograph appeared online earlier this week, defense experts speculated it might be the new 6th Gen fighter jet the Air Force recently admitted working on.
The current thinking, however, is that it’s not that but, rather, a new next-gen drone, the RQ-180, that has been speculated upon even more than the new fighter jet. So that’s what it is!
Except lots of folks think not, suggesting that it is, instead, the next-gen stealth bomber, the Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider, which is almost as mysterious.
A photographer in California got this photograph of the jet a couple of weeks ago as it was flying near Edwards Air Force Base. Aviation Week, which reported on the existence of the jet, published this same shot and presumably used it to estimate the jet’s altitude in the photograph as 20,000 feet. This is all presuming that the plane in the shot is the new jet in question, which it might or might not be. Remember that the Air Force has only confirmed the existence of the program and no details, so it could well be another secret program.
The shape of the jet, as has been speculated, is wild, with what appears to be something resembling a conventional fuselage built in to the batwing planform.
So what it is? The fact is, nobody outside of those with top secret clearances really knows, and with the diversity of opinion having tripled in recent days, all we can say is, we can’t wait to find out, if indeed we ever do.