US Plans to Retire B-52s, C-21s, F-117 & U-2 for more F-22s

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The end for the U-2?(click to view full) DefenseTech notes that a draft plan from the US Air Force plan (“program budget decision 720”) intends to retire the USA’s 33 U-2 reconnaissance aircraft, its 55 F-117 stealth fighters, 38 of its 76 C-21 Learjets, and about 40% of its B-52 bomber fleet between FY 2007-2011, in order to free up around $2.6 billion for the purchase of more F-22 Raptor fighters. The EB-52 SOJ [stand-off jammer] aircraft project would also be cancelled. Some of these measures will be more controversial than others… B-52H: in the BUFF(click to view full) The most controversial aspect to this aircraft retirement plan is likely to be the cut of 38 B-52H Stratofortress bombers. Program Budget Decision 720 would apparently reduce the B-52 fleet from 94 to 56 aircraft, and kill the EB-52 SOJ [stand-off jammer] derivative that would have added long-range, persistent jamming capability to US forces. Flight International reports that a Congressional Electronic Warfare Working Group, led by Rep. Joseph Pitts [R-PA] is gathering to oppose the EB-52 cuts, citing improvements in integrated air defense systems around the world and drawing comparisons to the USAF’s 1990s retirement of the EF-11 Raven. The C-21 […]

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