Lockheed hypes F-35′s upgrade plan as interest in ‘sixth-gen’ fighters grows

LE BOURGET, Paris — As European defense firms drum up publicity about the sixth-generation fighters they plan to build, Lockheed Martin executives promoted the F-35 as the proven fifth-gen option that could blur the lines with sixth-gen planes as it is upgraded into the 2020s and beyond.

“It’s a compliment to the F-35 that many countries are looking to replicate fifth gen and then extending that to sixth gen,” Michele Evans, Lockheed’s head of aeronautics, told Defense News at the Paris Air Show on June 19. “I think it really does reflect on the value of what F-35 is bringing to the pilots and the battlespace. In terms of technology, we’re not going to let F-35 go static.”

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