They zip and dart across the sky in a three-jet formation, a six-second apparition in a 30-second commercial touting the achievements of defense contractor Northrop Grumman. Unlike modern jets, such as the F-22 Raptor or F-16 Fighting Falcon, they have no tail and are likely to be armed with lasers that are straight out of a science-fiction movie.
They're sixth-generation fighters, and Northrop Grumman appears poised to show them off during Super Bowl Sunday. The defense titan released a new commercial online Friday that touts its achievements and includes a glitzy glimpse at a plane whose fielding is likely decades away.
The contractor has not announced that the new commercial will air during the game, when a 30-second spot can cost $5 million. But its release follows on the heels of Northrop Grumman airing what is believed to be the first Super Bowl ad ever produced for a defense contractor last February. In that game, the company focused on its entry in the Air Force's Long Range Strike Bomber competition, which went on to win the $60-billion contract in October.
Northrop Grumman provided a first lookat its vision for the sixth-generation fighter to a handful of reporters in December. One of the most complicated parts, analysts have noted, is that if the stealthy planes include lasers, they will need to be built in a way in which the heat doesn't give them away on enemy radar.
Northrop Grumman's new commercial appeared on several websites Friday, including Popular Science.