Northrop Grumman features its conceptual sixth-generation fighter jet of the future in a new commercial likely to air during the Super Bowl. (YouTube)

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 just showed them off during Super Bowl Sunday. The defense titan released a new commercial that touts its achievements and includes a glitzy glimpse at a plane whose fielding is likely decades away.

Here’s the clip in question:


The contractor released the ad on the heels of it 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.

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Northrop Grumman provided a first look at 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 to enemies looking for them.

Here’s Northrop Grumman’s new commercial in its entirety. It appeared on several websites Friday, including Popular Science:

Northrop Grumman's new commercial gives a glitzy glimpse at sixth-generation fighters. (Northrop Grumman)

This piece was first published Saturday, ahead of the Super Bowl.