Next Generation Fighters and Vaporware
Many nations are toying with next generation fighter aircraft but the only entries that are flying come from the US, which is still the world’s only super power. The F-22 and now the F-35, 20 years more advanced than the F-22 are flying actively as members of squadrons both in Naval and Marine Corps Aviation and the Air Force.
So what about the “New French Mirage”, which they hope will go fast, or the Russian Su-57, or the Chinese J-20? The Russian Su-57 is demonstration technology with somewhere between one and three aircraft flying. They shut down what production line there is because of the Chinese Plague, which hit Russia very hard (Russia is a nation with a LOT of lung disease). The Chinese J-20 is slightly ahead of the Russians, but there are serious bugs in the aircraft that have kept it as a flying technology demonstrator.
Nobody but the French are sure why a manned mach 4 aircraft is desirable. In the age when the US is deploying hypersonic cruise missiles (mach 5+) at the end of the decade, the advantage of a fast semi-stealth jet that flies in a straight line (not maneuverable) is limited. At the moment it is on the drawing board.
The Lockheed SR-72, a mach 6+ aircraft currently under development and expected to deploy on or about 2030. I have no idea whether it will be manned or unmanned. Lockheed is playing its cards close to the vest. I suspect that in this case, it’s not vaporware, but time will tell.