China is expecting to build a sixth generation fighter aircraft by 2035, a Chinese fighter jet specialist has revealed.
"China's sixth-generation fighter will come into being by 2035 or earlier," said Wang Haifeng, a chief architect at Chengdu Aircraft Research and Design Institute as saying to Ordnance Industry Science Technology, a Xi'an-based periodical on national defense industries, in January.
The sixth-generation fighter may include capabilities like ability to command drones, artificial intelligence and even higher stealth capability through aerodynamic design, Chinamil quoted the periodical as stating.
"New technologies such as laser, adaptive engines, hypersonic weapons and swarm warfare, might also be part on the new aircraft," Wang added.
"China's tradition is to have one generation in service, a new one in development and a next-generation under study. Now that the J-20 is already in service, the development for a new aircraft is also underway," a Beijing-based military expert was quoted by Global Times as saying Monday.
The UK unveiled its sixth-generation fighter jet development program named Tempest in July 2018, and will invite India to join its co-development aircraft program, the Business Standard reported on Friday.
Other countries including the US, Russia and Japan are also reportedly developing their own sixth-generation fighter jets. Although they remain in the concept stage, the new fighters are likely to emerge in the 2030s or 2040s, the National Interest reported.
According to analysts, a generation gap means that the sixth-generation warplanes would easily top fifth-generation ones including the US' F-22 and China's J-20, the report added.