Navy's sixth generation fighter could replace the F-35
The longer-range sensors will give the aircraft a significant advantage over current enemy aircraft. The Naval Aviators should be able to engage the enemy with missiles before the sixth-generation aircraft is within the range of enemy weapons.
New much-longer range sensors and weapons, incorporating emerging iterations of AI, are expected to make warfare more disaggregated, and much less of a linear force on force type of engagement. Such a phenomenon, driven by new technology, underscores warfare reliance upon sensors and information networks. All of this, naturally, requires the expansive "embedded ISR" discussed by the paper. Network reliant warfare is of course potentially much more effective in improving targeting and reducing sensor-to-shooter time over long distances, yet it brings a significant need to organize and optimize the vast, yet crucial, flow of information.
The Navy is currently analyzing air frames, targeting systems, AI-enabled sensors, new weapons and engine technologies to engineer a new 6th-Generation fighter to fly alongside the F-35 and ultimately replace the F/A-18.