Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II
There's no doubt about it, the F-35's cockpit is the future. A wide, full color, touchscreen is the dominant feature. With touchscreen capability and countless features, the F-35's display will no doubt be just the thing for a generation of pilots used to iPads and smartphones.
There is no heads-up-display (HUD). Vital information is instead relayed directly onto the pilot's visor using the helmet mounted display, simulated in green in this picture. Using the F-35's sensors, the helmet mounted display can even allow the pilot to "look through" the aircraft.
Future concepts for the Saab Gripen and Boeing Super Hornet show a very F-35-like cockpit layout.
The Eurofighter Typhoon sticks with a much more conventional layout. Three large multifunction displays (MFDs) along the traditional HUD, buttons, and dials. The Typhoon's cockpit ergonomics has been praised by its pilots, however. A helmet mounted cueing system is utilized, as well as a voice control allowing the pilot to select targets or perform many other functions simply by voice.
The Dassault Rafale's cockpit is... Well... Different.
It certainly appears clean and uncluttered, with a traditional HUD, side mounted stick, and 3 MFDs. For some reason, however, the two touchscreen side MFDs are located far forward, with the center MFD magnified by a lens resembling an old fashioned microfiche reader. It's actually a head level display (HLD) that displays information at the same focal distance as the HUD.
While the Thales TopOwl-F helmet mounted display would seem like a no-brainer for the Rafale, it has yet to be realized in operational form.
Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet
In comparison to the others, the Super Hornet's cockpit looks like a blast from the past with its monochrome green displays and array of dials, switches and buttons. This picture is a bit deceiving, however, as it is quite a few years old, and the Super Hornet has gone through a few changes since then.
The newest proposed Super Hornet cockpit would look eerily close to the F-35's, with a wide touchscreen and a HUD replaced by a helmet mounted display.
Saab JAS-39 Gripen
The current Gripen C cockpit very much resembles the Eurofighter Typhoon workspace, three large MFDs with a traditional HUD. No real surprises here.
The proposed "NG" models of the Gripen, the E and F, will likely adapt a similar single large touchscreen as utilized by the F-35. Again, it eschews a traditional HUD in favor of a helmet mounted display. Without a doubt, this is where fighter cockpit design is going.
Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor
For sake of comparison, this is what the current "king of the sky" F-22 cockpit looks like. Nothing groundbreaking here. Just MFDs, and a traditional HUD. The F-22 still lacks a helmet mounted display, as well.