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Raytheon Engineers Predict Multifunction Hardware, AI Capabilities for Sixth-Gen Fighter Jets

Raytheon Intelligence and Space
Raytheon, Intelligence and Space

Engineers and other experts at Raytheon Technologies' intelligence and space business have outlined several technology capabilities they predict will be integrated into “sixth-generation“ fighter jets that the U.S. Air Force plans to field by 2030.

Raytheon Intelligence & Space technologists predict future fighters will have multifunction hardware equipped with adaptable software, the company said Monday.

“You no longer have a radar, no longer have electronic warfare, no longer have a radio,“ said Jason “Tex“ Clark, director for advanced mission systems at RI&S. “Instead, you have multifunction hardware that does it all and can be repurposed very quickly ““ switching between functions so quickly it seems instantaneous.“ 

Future fighters will have high-performance computing capabilities that will transform these aircraft into “flying data centers.“

“Next-generation multifunction systems will produce orders of magnitude more data than previous systems,“ said Tomek Rys, business development director for communications and airspace management systems at RI&S. “On-board compute clusters composed of high-performance, ruggedized processors will effectively put a data center in the sky. These systems will leverage artificial intelligence to turn data into information in real time. The result will be faster decision making.“

Raytheon experts predict six-gen fighters to perform autonomous landing, operate with swappable sensors and fly with AI-enabled planes. They also expect the future fighter jet program to advance the use of digital engineering to better predict costs.

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