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11:39 AM, May 9, 2019
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US Air Force, Navy To Not Jointly Develop Navy's Next Gen Fighters
Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter

The US Air Force and Navy will not jointly develop next generation of fighters for the US Navy, a Navy official has said.

Unlike the F-35, which has variants for each military branch, the Navy does not intend to use the Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) aircraft in penetration missions of highly contested airspace. The strategy of the Navy differs from that of the Air Force.

"A penetrating fighter, the Navy doesn't have to do that. So some of that inherent design of the aircraft, it does drive costs, and if you don't need that for our mission area, then you don't necessarily want to pay for it," Angie Knappenberger, the Navy's deputy director of air warfare, told during the annual Navy League Sea-Air-Space conference held Tuesday in National Harbor, Md.

According to her, the Navy’s future fighter will draw some features from the current F-35 jet, as well as from the fighter that will be developed by the Air Force.

"Some of those systems are going to be very complementary and we are looking forward to what the Air Force is going to be doing, as I'm sure they're going to be looking hard at what we're going to be doing in that system development," Knappenberger was quoted as saying by UPI.

The US Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps collaborated to work on the F-35 fighter for three decades presuming that variants of the jet for different forces would share 70 percent similarities. However, the planes today only share about 20 percent common parts.

The price of one F-35A standard take-off and landing variant now stands at $89.2 million while that of a F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing variant is the most expensive of all costing $115.5 million each, and an F-35C carrier variant is valued at $107.7 million per fighter.

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