Fighter Generations The definition of fighter generations has long been subject to debate. However, most agree that the generations break down along these broad lines: Generation 1: Jet propulsion (F-80, German Me 262). Generation 2: Swept wings; range-only radar; infrared missiles (F-86, MiG-15). Generation 3: Supersonic speed; pulse radar; able to shoot at targets beyond visual range (“Century Series” fighters such as F-105; F-4; MiG-17; MiG-21). Generation 4: Pulse-doppler radar; high maneuverability; look-down, shoot-down missiles (F-15, F-16, Mirage 2000, MiG-29). Generation 4+: High agility; sensor fusion; reduced signatures (Eurofighter Typhoon, Su-30, advanced versions of F-16 and F/A-18, Rafale). Generation 4++: Active electronically scanned arrays; continued reduced signatures or some “active” (waveform canceling) stealth; some supercruise (Su-35, F-15SE). Generation 5: All-aspect stealth with internal weapons, extreme agility, full-sensor fusion, integrated avionics, some or full supercruise (F-22, F-35). Potential Generation 6: extreme stealth; efficient in all flight regimes (subsonic to multi-Mach); possible “morphing” capability; smart skins; highly networked; extremely sensitive sensors; optionally manned; directed energy weapons.