"Development of a sixth generation aircraft to replace the F-35 began long ago," Harris told the US House of Representatives Armed Services Committee.
The US Air Force Scientific Advisory Board is conducting a study on a sixth generation strike aircraft known as the penetrating counter air, or PCA, platform. The report will be published in December 2017.
The PCA capability will have a role in targeting and engaging, but an equally critical goal is to serve as a node in the network-centric warfare, providing data from its sensors to launch kinetic and non-kinetic weapons.
The F-35 program has Navy, Air Force and Marine variants of the fifth generation aircraft. The program is the most expensive weapon system in the history of the Defense Department.