As every year Defence iQ’s International Fighter conference gathered in Berlin high-ranking officer from the Air Forces around the world as well as top ranking industrials to discuss the way ahead for combat aircraft.
If once the wording related to platforms, aerodynamics, manoeuvrability, thrust, was the most used, in current days when talking about clouds these do not relate to those we find in the sky, the electromagnetic spectrum having become one of the key issues, with electronic warfare being at the forefront of many discussions, while networking was the other mantra. Up to the point that Lt.Gen. (ret.) Klaus-Peter Stieglitz, former Chief of Staff German Air Force, the other chairman being Gen. (Ret) Frank Gorenc, former Commander USAFE-AFAFRICA, asked more than once to the speakers “how many seats, how many engines, carrier based or not,” as sometimes the physical reality of the aircraft being discussed was not even mentioned, the focus being on its electronic capabilities.
The 2019 edition of the International Fighter conference was not all about fighters, although these dominated the agenda with upgrades to 4th generation aircraft, entry into service of 5th generation ones and development status of 6th generation fighters being discussed at length, but it involved also a number of presentations about pilots’ training, a key issue at least until all will not become unmanned. Over 35 speakers from nearly 20 nations addressed the audience, eight companies also presenting their papers, while panel discussions on 6th Generation future fighters, technologies for next generation fighter propulsion, performances versus affordability were also part of the dense programme. Hereafter some of the issues discussed in Berlin.
More to come