Northrop’s Advanced Concepts

Boeing isn’t the only company with some seriously futuristic airplane designs on display with minimal explanation at this year’s Air Force Association conference in National Harbor, Md. I snapped the photo above in Northrop Grumman’s booth last night. I’m told it might be a concept for a long range strike aircraft. It was on a mural featiuring a host of other futuristic designs including what many think is the Next Gen Bomber, something that looks like a stealthy recon UAV, and the design for a tail-less sixth-gen fighter for the Navy. Check them out after the jump.

A sixth-gen naval fighter concept?

The stealthy-looking ISR/strike drone…a UCLASS bid, perhaps?

Northrop’s older next-gen bomber concept:

  • SJE

    Here’s an idea: get the companies to build scaled models and the AF can operate them as drones. Ater 5 years, if they work and are cost effective, scale up.

  • Jeffery Rightmire

    The shape of things to come. Now if the budget allows develop them.

  • mhmm

    Clearly it is from Battlestar Galactica.
    Geez guys…. LOL

    • EJ257

      Yes, it is clearly a Viper MK1.

      • joe

        If they start the proposal with the phrase “with advanced networkable computers” then you know we’ve got trouble coming…

  • Letsallbefriends

    Top one wins the fast and pointy prize.

    • blight

      Kind of reminds me of those Precision Global Strike ramjet missiles.

      • Letsallbefriends

        Yeah, looks like it’s all about speed, stealth and range. I guess, like the PGS missiles, the dream is to need overseas bases or carriers as little as possible.

        I suppose having a cockpit halfway down the fuselage doesn’t matter if they’ve got cameras and sensors all over the thing.

        • blight

          Essentially, that sucker is going to be fighting at BVR, so why do you need to see your targets?

          It may not do well at dogfighting, but sometimes old tactics disappear, like the cavalry square.

        • joe

          In theory, it’s a good thing - the closer the pilot is to the centre of rotation (pretty much the same as the centre of mass and centre of lift), the less g-force he or she experiences in extreme manouvres.

  • Dark Sidius

    May be the first pictures can be the projects for the new long range strike plane, its not the first time we see this picture. The last is the old concept next gen bomber.

  • Foreign.Guy

    I didn’t know that Northrop Grumman are following the Rainbow trend…..
    God save the internets

  • Elijah

    OUR Air Force should recieve every consideration in budget decisions. We should not allow ourselves to fall behind other countries in new developments of air defense.

  • Chris

    If Northrop and others are showing us there next gen concept’s,one thing is for sure is they will never be a production aircraft!!!

    • Cheesed

      If Northrop and others are showing us their next gen concepts, one thing is for sure: there will never be a production aircraft.

  • Jayson

    I’m thinking the Babylon 5 concept is still more towards 8th/9th gen. I do believe they can develop an actual X-Wing (minus the lasers making spit sounds).


    That’ll throw the Chinese off.

  • Peppy

    Do a barrel roll!

    • Guest A

      Wow, you went there…lol

    • Slippy

      Yes, Star Fox. Also, I am still to this day convinced that the goal was to let Kermit the Frog die in every level

      • Falco

        It sure was!

  • Michael

    I see where this is going. Maybe we’ll be able to afford 2 aircraft of this sort. But only for a short while because gas prices will get ridiculous, then it’ll wind up on cinder blocks somewhere.

  • Ben

    Looks like they’re pitching a manned 6th Gen fighter with an unmanned UCAV variant. I try to never toot my own horn, but this is EXACTLY what I was predicting on here yesterday. The idea of completely unmanned fighter force (at least for this next generation) is shortsighted.

    • Falco

      “I don’t want to brag… but I’m going to anyway because i am smart.”

  • chaos0xomega

    The first one… I wanna fly it…

  • Colt

    Interesting Designs, too bad their likely not become a reality in this day and age.

    I think the first one reminds me of the old SR-71 Blackbird. It was design initially as a Strike craft as well.

  • @Cr4shDummy

    I guess they think a delta wing would be advantageous aerodynamically with a 6th gen fighter and next gen bomber.

    • William C.

      I don’t believe that qualifies as a true delta wing, though I’m not certain what to call it.

  • Elijah

    Luke! I am you father! Many things we have today started out as fiction. Remember the first wireless cell phone. (beam me up).

  • DhuntAUS

    Note the larger plane in the first image has a cockpit .Maybe some sort of command and control aircraft for a small squad of ucavs. Reminds me of the movie ” stealth”.
    When you get these make sure you donate all your thunderbolts and spectres to your good mates down under :)

  • Robertro2


  • coyote36s

    If you mow the grass and find a stealth fighter up on blocks you might be a USAF pilot

  • txkboy

    Funny how the 6th generation Navy fighter concept looks similar to the infamous Aurora jet.

  • @Earlydawn

    If we’re playing the comparison game, the second four-ship model looks a lot like the UCAV from the movie “Stealth”, which was ironically Navy.

  • drball

    Given the mess that Northup has made of the F-22 and F-35 aircraft should they even be allowed to bid……No more cost over runs, if it’s not on time under budget no pay….Period.

    • Steven

      You realize Lockheed designed both those aircraft, right??

  • Dick Lancaster

    The same company that built the San Antonio class LPDs? Wear your parachute!