USAF’s NGAD Might be Delayed
US Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall stated that the NGAD project is still in design and has not yet officially entered the engineering, manufacturing, and development stages. He acknowledged that the NGAD Project has not yet completed the Milestone B review process. That milestone denotes the end of a program’s technology maturation phase and the formal start of an acquisition program when the service takes its preliminary design and focuses on system integration, manufacturing processes, and other details before production. Kendall said this during a roundtable talk show with reporters on September 19 on the sidelines of the Air, Space and Cyber Conference hosted by the Air and Space Forces Association recently.
Kendall’s admission seems to overturn a statement last June in which he said publicly that the highly classified NGAD program had reached an important milestone. “We have now started the EMD program to carry out the development of the aircraft that we will produce,” he said at the time at a Heritage Foundation event, as reported by Defense News. Asked about his comments in June, Kendall said that was not what he meant and added that the Air Force is still aiming to produce NGAD around the end of the decade.