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US Air Force Is Retiring 33 F-22 Fighter Jets While Ordering Additional F-15EX Fighter Jets

The Pentagon has released its latest budget request, requesting $773 billion in total funding for fiscal year 2023. This is nearly $31 billion greater than the Department of Defense’s total for the current fiscal year. The Pentagon has released its latest budget request, requesting $773 billion in total funding for fiscal year 2023. This is nearly $31 billion greater than the Department of Defense’s total for the current fiscal year.

Among them, the Air Force’s operation is more intriguing, with plans to retire 33 F-22s and replace them with 24 F-15EXs. The F-22s set to be retired are all older Block 20 models that have been consigned to training and other non-combat tasks. The retirement of these 33 F-22s will reduce the overall number of F-22As in the fleet from 186 to 153.

The Air Force has stated that the whole Raptor fleet will be retired within the next few years. While the fifth-generation fighter F-22 is being phased out, the US Air Force plans to buy more 4.5th-generation aircraft like the F-15EX. The Air Force is interested in purchasing 24 F-15EX fighter jets. Of course, the F-35 is a hot topic in the procurement world.

The US Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps are looking to buy 61 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, with 33 F-35As going to the Air Force, 15 F-35Bs and four F-35Cs going to the Marine Corps, and 9 F-35Cs going to the Navy. That’s 24 fewer F-35s than the trio of F-35s proposed in the 2022 budget proposal, which were eventually funded.

The Air Force has stated that it intends to defer purchasing the F-35A until the more advanced Block 4 configuration, which is still in development, is available. The US Air Force is also looking to discontinue purchasing MQ-9 Reaper drones.

The F-22 fighter, which has positional issues, is not of interest to the US Air Force. For many years, this is one of the reasons why the F-22 has had a poor sense of existence. Top aircraft with significant maintenance expenses, including the F-35 jets, eventually sank to the point of eating ashes in the hangar.

If the F-22 fighter plane is kept, the US Air Force’s future six-generation aircraft programme will be limited. Following the F-35’s failure, the US Navy and Air Force have once again split apart in the development of sixth-generation aircraft. The US Navy has likewise proposed and is seeking financing for its own sixth-generation aircraft project.

According to Peccia, the military sought $1.65 billion for the Next Generation Air Dominance programme, an increase of $133 million that will go toward enhanced sensors and durable communications technology for the sixth-generation fighter.

The Air Force also set aside $113 million for “advanced collaborative platforms,” the Air Force’s new designation for “Loyal Wingman” style drones that will complement the NGAD and the B-21.

The B-21 Raider programme reached the procurement phase this year with a $1.7 billion request; but, due to the program’s secrecy, Peccia did not reveal how many stealth bombers would be acquired for that sum.

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