Gee hate to say it but...
I think the Air Force and it’s suppliers are trying to push production of an airplane that isn’t advisable in a day of drones that aren’t restricted by human g-force limits.
Honestly. I hate that human pilots are a disqualifying factor.
But they undeniably are.
Drones are the path to the future. Maybe the fighter sales folks are hyping this deal, but I don’t believe there will be any more fighters after this current generation....it’ll all go to drones. In 20 years, fighter-pilots will be 18 to 20 year old ‘gamer-kids’ who mostly sit in darkened trailers in New Mexico, and fly off in foreign lands.
Next generation fighters will have an array of drones flying with them.
I don’t think they said that it wasn’t a drone. Signs are that it is. The A-I competition for air combat was just carried out. The Australians are working on “Loyal Wingman” a drone aircraft with quick-change mission modules. The mentioned program was done “in the Black” and has a very ambitious timeline. To me this all spells “drone”.
“that isnt advisable in a day of drones”
Maybe the new fighter is pilot-less. Maybe the term Drone will not be used for these new fighters.
Having meat in the seat is still invaluable in actual combat. Proven over and over again.
Drones are fine, but they are a tool. Just like manned fighter aircraft.
Flown from a trailer in Nevada.