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Fighters & Attack | Force Structure | Issues - Political | Lobbying | Policy - Procurement | USA

Aging F-15s: Ripples Hitting the F-22, F-35 Programs

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F-22 and F-15(click to view full) Over the last several months, “Aging Aircraft: USAF F-15 Fleet Grounded” has covered the sudden loss of the USAF’s F-15 A-D Eagle fighter fleet, in the wake of an accident in which one of the USAF’s plane’s broke in half in mid-air due to structural fatigue. The ripple effects have been wide-ranging within the existing fighter fleet, as other aircraft were diverted to cover F-15 missions. Pilot re-certification very nearly became a nightmare of its own. The largest effects, however, may play out on the procurement front. If many of the USAF’s F-15s, which were supposed to serve until 2020, must be retired, how should they be replaced? The US Air Force Association’s February 2008 Washington Watch feature details some of the considerations, and ripple effects, underway: “On Dec. 12, 28 Senators and 68 members of the House of Representatives wrote to Pentagon chief Robert M. Gates, urging him to keep buying F-22s, at least through the end of the 2009 Quadrennial Defense Review. They said that, in light of the F-15 groundings and reports indicating that “significantly more than 220” Raptors are needed to fulfill national strategy, ending F-22 production now would be, […]

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